Friday, September 30, 2011


"When you go to the ends of the earth, you will find traces of God; if you go to the depths of your soul, you will find God Himself. (When the little monk dreamt about finding God)"

I have a wonderful book called The Little Monk: Wisdome from a Little Friend of Big Faith, by Madeleine Delbrel.  The author was born in 1904 in the south of France, and she was born and raised as an athiest.  She would often say "God is dead- Long Live Death!" because she felt that was the only certainty!  She was a progressive, learned woman, and wore her hair scandelously short.  Her life changed forever when her fiance left her to join the Dominicans, and she realized that life didn't seem meaningless and absurd to her Christian friends, and this started the beginning of her finding God. 

The quote I randomly turned to just now hits home with me so much right now, both as my soul longs for the peace and quiet it finds at a body of water, as well as how it longs for a deeper relationship with God.  It reminds me of a poem I wrote in high school:

I looked for my soul, but my soul I could not see,
I looked for my God, but my God eluded me,
I looked for a friend, and then I found all three.

Who'd have thunk I was so insightful as a teenager?! 

How many times have you looked, searched with all your being, to "find God"?  Did you think to look inside?  I know I forget to. 

Madeleine's inspiration was Teresa of Avila, and how she recommeneded to silently think of God for five minutes each day.  It sounds so simple, but try it.  No radio, no phone, no TV, no computer- just you and your silent thoughts about God.  You won't need to go to the ends of the earth, you will find your soul and your a friend.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It's Okay to Cry

I cry at mass every Sunday.  It's not necessarily the same time every Sunday, but at some point during the service, I am moved to tears.  And I'm okay with that. 

This last week, and the first Life Teen mass for me at St. Stephen's, it started with the Prayers of the Faithful, and didn't really end until I distracted myself after communion by making faces back and forth with the toddler in front of me. 

Sometimes it's really embarassing how much I cry- luckily I've managed the art of silent tears- because I've come out of church before with wet spots on my shirt!  But you know what?  I'm okay with it.

It's okay to cry. 

Sometimes the power of God's presence is just too amazing not to!  Sometimes a song takes me right back to Mass at PLU before my friend renounced our friendship.  Sometimes it reminds me of how much I miss my grandmothers every single day.  Sometimes it's because I feel the pain of a fellow member of the congregation.  Sometimes I am humbled by my humanity and God's love for me.  Like I said, it's something different every time.

When I was little, and actually- an innocent part of my still does this- I would equate rain to angels' tears.  When my grandfather died when I was young, I was sure it rained whenever I missed him.  When kids were horribly mean to me at school, I knew the angels were sad that one of Jesus's lambs was hurting so badly.  When terribly tragic events happened personally or globally, there was rain.  Now, yes- I know- this is the Pacific Northwest, where there's 363 days of rain, one day of snow, and maybe a few days of sun... but the rain was always a subtle reminder for me that God shared my pain because he loved me so much! 

We have close family friends who lost a loved one to suicide, Carly Henley.  She was a beautiful college student, musician- singer/song writer, and one of my favorite songs that she wrote "Rain".  This is the original YouTube video, and here is the studio cut sung by her cousin Tess Henley.  How healing the rain is, letting it fall down over you...

When you feel moved by the Spirit, laugh- sing- shout- dance- share it!  Please remember, it's okay to cry.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Cup Runeth Over

... or, er, my brain runeth over.... with snippet of ideas on what to write!  What do you want to read about?
  • Feeling Your Way
  • Songs for Your Soul
  • Religions & Traditions & Learning Styles, Oh MY!
  • For You, I Pray
I know, some of these might seem a little vague, but I don't know that I'm ready to go too much farther with them in an opinion-survey of sorts.  Is there anything else that you want to put out there?  My brain, body, and spirit have been on a little bit of overload right now.... settling in after moving, trying to find things after moving, working overtime right now, and jumping on board with the youth ministries high school team at church... I see quotes, hear song lyrics, and have little 5-minute discussions in passing about some of the above-topics, and I can't tell you how many post-it notes I have stuck on my desk at work, in my calendar that I carry with me, stuck in my journal on my nightstand- things I want to write about!  I think I need to bust out the whiteboards and just keep a running list, or maybe a brainstorming map. 

Dear Lord,

Please grant me the peace of mind, body, and spirit to see clarity in where Your path is leading me.  Help use me to speak to Your people, help me to be inspiried by the Spirit so that I can write to the needs of those who cry out to You.  Use me, Lord, use me.  I say, "Yes!" 

Let Your Will be done, Amen.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Spirit Is-a Movin'!

Yesterday I went to my first Baptist service, it was a funeral service, and it was the most fun I've had at church in a LOOOOOONG time!  Not that church should always be fun, but I tell you what- I was ready to start sayin' "Amen, alleluja!" and "My Lord, preach it!" along with everyone else.  The preacher had some really good words too.... not so "Hell-and-damnation" like some funerals I've been to, but more along the lines of "when was the last time you talked to Jesus?" concepts.  Keeping Him close with you, being ready to go right now- not tomorrow, not a week from now, not 50 years from now, but now. 

There's actually a few incredibly charasmatic Roman Catholic churches in the Seattle area, and I think I might have to go to them a little more often.  I can't tell you how amazingly moving it was to have the pastor burst into song, and upbeat, jazzy-bluesy spiritual in the middle of prayer.  And it was simple enough that the congregation joined in harmony. 


I sent a text to my brother after the service, and it said, "This is the best funeral EVER.  If Jesus was giving a locker room-pep talk, this would be it!" 

So, are you ready to follow Jesus, right now?  Is your soul ready to let go of this world when God's time says so?  I don't know if I can say "YES!" just yet, but I'm sure gonna work real hard at gettin' there.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A New Song, An Old Feeling

I love music.  Any music.  All music!  I have over 9000 songs in my music library, ranging from Chopin to Third Day, Duke Ellington to Dropkick Murphy... and then some!  One of my ex-boyfriends burned a few data CD's of music for me, years ago, and I am always surprised at some of the songs I have because there were hundreds on those CD's.  Yesterday, with my Zune on random, I heard a song I've never heard before & it brought me right back to some of the most spiritually intense, moving times of my life.... it was wonderul, and it reminded me of where I want to be- where I've come, and where I want to return.

 If I Stand
Rich Mullins

There's more that rises in the morning
Than the sun
And more that shines in the night
Than just the moon
It's more than just this fire here
That keeps me warm
In a shelter that is larger
Than this room

And there's a loyalty that's deeper
Than mere sentiments
And a music higher than the songs
That I can sing
The stuff of Earth competes
For the allegiance
I owe only to the giver
Of all good things

So if I stand let me stand on the promise
That you will pull me through
And if I can't, let me fall on the grace
That first brought me to You
And if I sing let me sing for the joy
That has born in me these songs
And if I weep let it be as a man
Who is longing for his home

There's more that dances on the prairies
Than the wind
More that pulses in the ocean
Than the tide
There's a love that is fiercer
Than the love between friends
More gentle than a mother's
When her baby's at her side

And there's a loyalty that's deeper
Than mere sentiments
And a music higher than the songs
That I can sing
The stuff of Earth competes
For the allegence
I owe only to the Giver
Of all good things

So if I stand let me stand on the promise
That you will pull me through
And if I can't, let me fall on the grace
That first brought me to You
And if I sing let me sing for the joy
That has born in me these songs
And if I weep let it be as a man
Who is longing for his home

And if I weep let it be as a man
Who is longing for his home

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Not a Soul Cry, but a Soul Crying.

Yesterday I learned that one of my friends lost her son in a bicycling accident.  I am absolutely heart-broken for her family, and my soul is crying for her.

This started me thinking about the difference between being sympathetic vs. being empathetic.  We often say "Oh, I know how you feel..." when we're trying to talking to others, but do we really know how they feel?  Can we ever? 

I know that I did not have a vision or what I call a "Soul Cry" when her son died.  I know that I did not have any sort of Divine intervention telling me to pray for them, or that some unimaginable tragedy has happened... I just wept for the pain that I knew she was feeling.  Losing someone is so horrible, and knowing someone who's lost someone has got to be one of the closest "next worst" things on the proverbial list.

It's probably been mentioned in a few of my posts, but I'm going to talk about it again... when I first started having my visions, premonitions, and empathic feelings of sharing other people's pain, I was a freshman in college, and it was so, so hard.  By the time I'd finished college, so many loved ones had died unexpected deaths, I couldn't cope with it!  One of my friends at the time had said "The shortest verse in the Bible is this:  Jesus wept."  That has always stuck with me.  Now, I totally fail at quoting exact verses, so I couldn't begin to tell you where it is, but I know it's there... I've found it myself before, randomly while flipping through pages, seeking words of comfort.

Jesus wept.  He didn't have to, He knew that there was a bigger plan, that everything and everyone had their time and place on this earth, but in His human form, Jesus wept when his friend died.  God wept for the compassion He felt in this frail and fragile human body that was a man named Jesus.

I used to call this gift a "cursed gift" but I don't feel that way anymore.  These Gifts of the Spirit have helped me to help other people, and I am doing my best every day to surrender to that!  If only there were a way to control when and where it happens, but that defeats the purpose of surrendering to God. *half grin*chuckle*  Oh, the irony when the human mind tries to logically reason with the Holy Spirit!

Sorry for the slightly disjointed thoughts right now, my writing has been feeling more like a glorified brainstorm lately.  I'm hoping that goes back to normal after I get back into a better routine.

Dear Lord, 

Please keep angels with my friends as they mourn the loss of their beloved son.  As a parent who lost His only Son to this world, You have felt their pain.  Help to heal their hearts, and let them see little signs of your Glory and their son down their road to recovery.  Please help comfort their pain and sorrow as they get used to living with the hole in their heart, and help them to receive Your Glory, help them to fill that hole with nothing but Your love.