#Cathy

Full of Grace

Today we turn our thoughts to Mary, the Mother of Jesus and our spiritual mother, a woman whose life was all about grace. From the moment of her conception, she accepted the gift of grace freely given to her. It is the same grace offered to us each day as well. Mary’s life is not just dogmas of our church; she was a real person that is still very much present in our lives today. She never got ahead of God’s grace; she cooperated with it, knowing there would be sufficient amounts given for each day. This is the miracle and mystery of grace: we will always have all that we need. That simple thought fills me with peace. So now like Mary, we wait and ponder and ask the simple question, how will we birth the holy in our life this Advent season?

By Cathy

Soul-Tending

As Advent approaches, I feel my soul needing some tending to. I am thankful for this “sacred pause” that our church invites us to enter into. It’s a time for making sacred space so God can enter into our lives in a new and mysterious way. There is no special formula for how to do Advent. It is all Spirit-led if we allow the Spirit to help us in our waiting and fill us with a deep joy that no one can ever take away from us. This quote says it best, “To soul tend does not mean we do the work. Our souls are the work of the Gardener. But I believe we have to connect to the Holy to do that. We have to let the Gardener dig around our roots.. throw out the stones and twigs and clogs of clay; to fertilize with sacred time, and thoughts, and community.” So I will look for ways this Advent to allow the Gardener to tend to my soul so that I may better tend to the soul of others.

by Cathy

Broken and Glorious

“As I walked down the avenue, the late afternoon sun was turning the lovely and dying sycamore leaves into fragments of brilliant stained glass, and I said to myself, “This alone is worth the price of admission to our broken and glorious world.” Linda Larrson

Reading this quote today a few things resonated deeply within me. This author is living in a place of gratitude, being able to see the beauty around her while not denying the brokenness that is present in this world on many levels. It is so easy to fall into stagnant puddles of cynicism, judgment, and apathy. But no, we have Hope with a capital H in the person of Jesus. It challenged me to continue to go forward knowing not all will ever be perfect but there is glory, God’s glory, if we look for it and be part of sharing that hopeful message with the world.

by Cathy

Even the Sparrows

Out hiking, I noticed from a distance this birdhouse someone had placed in the canyon. Knowing that yes, even the birds need a place to call home, a place to rest from the elements. The scripture Matthew 6:26 came to mind: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” A synonym for valuable is precious, something of great value. Do you often think of how precious you are to God? If our God can care for these tiniest of creatures, we can be thankful that this great love extends to us as well. Driving home that day these song lyrics played on my radio,”If He can hold the world He can hold this moment. Not a field or flower escapes His notice, Oh even the sparrow knows He holds tomorrow.” Coincidence? I don’t think so.

by Cathy

You Are Loved

I was out hiking the other day and I came upon this message hanging from a pine tree. I am always amazed when another pilgrim on this road of life takes the time and intentionally leaves a message of encouragement and hope, someone that comes out of his or her own little world or existence to expand the love of a bigger world. Love means simply to will the good of another. I am grateful this day that I am loved deeply by a very personal God so I send this message to all of you to never forget how much you are loved as well. “To show great love for God and our neighbor we need not do great things. It is how much love we put into doing that makes our offering something beautiful for God.” St. Teresa of Calcutta

by Cathy

Wonderful World

 

My husband and I went to Home Depot recently to buy a new refrigerator. We were met by this salesman with a big personality. He says “Hi, I‘m Sal.” We followed Sal around and finally decided on a new refrigerator so we proceeded to the counter to write up the order. He shared how he was 76 years old, has worked for Home Depot for nine years after his wife told him he drove her crazy being home as a retiree! There was something special about Sal, he was very much alive. As we were about to leave he asked, “Can I sing you a song?” He reached under the counter and pulled out a small ukulele. “What can I play for you?” he asked. I immediately said, “What a Wonderful World.” What followed next was this scene of Sal and me singing “What a Wonderful World” in the middle of Home Depot. Crazy? Maybe, but I know there was something of the Divine happening, something sacramental, and infused with grace, a burning bush moment, and all I could do was take off my shoes and be thankful.

by Cathy

Moving Right Along

In the thirty-nine years of our married life, we have moved eleven times. This week we are moving to a new home again. We have been living temporarily for nine months in a condo while also living in a place of liminality. Liminality comes from the Latin word limen meaning “threshold.” It is those times when you feel like you are standing in the middle of a bridge. There is no going back, only forward, to the unknown or new season of your life. Any type of loss can produce liminality as we are forced to be present to that loss, that grief. It can also be a place of great growth with God’s grace if we can embrace and learn from it. I remember this day that God makes all things new as I walk over the bridge once again and say goodbye to liminality, for now.  “I make all things new.” Revelation 21:5

by Cathy

Abiding

In August our family traveled to Chile on vacation. Since their seasons are different from ours it was Springtime. Here in the states, it was the beginning of Fall and harvest time. Nevertheless, we were excited to experience a tour of the local winery in the Andes Mountains. As we were walking around and through the vines, I felt like I was walking in a wordless scripture verse. “ I am the vine; you are the branches, abide in me” (John 15:5). I could see where the pruning had just taken place with scraps of branches on the ground. The vinedresser had done his work and the vines now must wait patiently for their Creator to complete their long journey to be fruitful and to grace our tables. It is no wonder the Teacher chose this metaphor about the importance of abiding. It’s the only way we too are nourished and fruitful.

by Cathy