#Liz

Surrendering Things

The last few weeks it has been hard to watch all the devastation of the wildfires.  The lives of families going up in flames is a surrender they will not forget. I can only imagine the horror and intense feelings of losing the material structures, the photos, the clothes, the toys, the furniture, the heirlooms. I am reminded today of what I have accumulated in my world of stuff.  At one time trying to keep up with the Jones’ and comparing myself to my friends and neighbors was the mentality. Now, although I hang onto a lot of the things that have meaning as well as the creature comforts in my home, they are all earthly things that I cannot take with me, as the saying goes.  The memories created from the breaking of bread and sharing stories around the antique heirloom table, or drinking from great grandma’s crystal wine goblets are set deep in my soul. I surrender my ‘things’ to you, God, as I continue to create lasting memories and be blessed with what I have right in front of me, not needing more.

by Liz

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day is here! Across America, we enter into a kind of sacred ritual whether we are aware of it or not. We celebrate gratitude as we sit with our families or friends to break bread together and just BE with each other. For my family and me, it is our favorite holiday of the year.  There are no presents, no obligation, just a time to gather and be present to the day with each other. We gather for a prayer of thanksgiving and truly embrace the love of family and friends being thankful, once again, for our life together. We wash away any negative feelings and forgive any wrongdoings. It’s a renewal, or pathway, in a sense, for us to enter into the Christmas season. The ritual of Thanksgiving is sacramental and bonding.  Let us take the day to reflect and be thankful for just that. Happy Thanksgiving!

by Liz

Family Table

As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving next week, I am remembering how I used to LOVE to set the family table when I was a young girl. I carefully ironed and folded the cloth napkins with the fork resting on top, the knife and spoon nestled together, with wine goblet and water glass close by. Thanksgiving brings to mind that somehow eating together creates a space where we can be vulnerable and present. Whoever is at the Thanksgiving day table is there for a reason–-to connect to our human need for nourishment and to each other. Whether sharing our food or coming empty-handed, we receive from another’s bounty and we are in communion. We are blessed by the generosity of the farmer’s labor, the earth’s many organic abundant gifts, and the joy of companionship.  I cherish my many Thanksgiving memories that involve pure presence and exchanging stories. May you have a blessed Thanksgiving day with your family and friends, sharing food and gratitude.

by Liz

 

Pleading and Gratitude

When I want something really badly, my prayer is begging God for an answer.  I feel like a child pleading to a parent for something I want to have right NOW. Usually, my prayers are not answered that way, although sometimes surprisingly so. I must step back and reflect, be in gratitude for the moment I am in, realizing God knows what I want and in His time it will happen. Faith has shown me this in the past and I trust that it will happen again. I then chuckle to myself in the middle of my prayer request, that I am thankful for where I am right now.  I then feel a wash of presence come over me and God telling me to be grateful for the moment and all that it has right NOW. Today is all I have and today I will be grateful for what is put before me, embracing the unknown and living out the questions with no answers in faith. Thank you.

by Liz

The Serenity Swing

Hiking the road less traveled was the perfect trail for my son to choose as we climbed the mountain to a swing that has been permanently affixed to a giant oak tree, profoundly named, “The Serenity Swing.” Others walk or climb the trail that is more marked by the foot traffic. Ours was the trail where we encountered a snake, hopped over barbed wire fences, and grabbed onto rocks as we climbed to the top. Once we arrived, we took in all the surrounding beauty of the sunlit hills and the grandeur of the view.  The climb reminds me of the journey we are on, taking on life’s adventures, bumps, and turns. My son is learning to take this life straight on, encountering the snakes and barbed wire along the way. We shared our hearts and connected as we felt the lightness of life when we swung on the swing, giving serenity to the day.

by Liz

Notice, Pause and Choose

I am embarking on a girl weekend. Yes, just me, myself and I traveling for three nights and creating destinations along the way of my choosing. I’m making this my “notice, pause and choose” trip.  I want to notice something for which to be thankful, making my intentional stops along the way. I will then pause to acknowledge this something as a reminder of God’s presence. I will then choose to focus on God’s presence in that moment and let it reveal His powerful peace to me. I am excited to have such a plan, juxtaposed with a spontaneity, to what it will bring because of my intent and purpose.  In this season of fall, I want to take the time to reflect and be in the moment in front of me and notice, pause and choose. That’s what brings me to a fuller interior life exploring the outer world around me to fill all my senses and interpret what it means to me. Just a girl. In the world. Me, myself, and I, grounded with God.

by Liz

Walking Through Fall

I’m bringing out my array of fashionable boots! It’s that time again to cover my toes as I enter the season of fall. I look at the cache of shoes in my closet. Each pair has a purpose or a season. My Rainbow Sandals are carefree abandon, loose and open. My two-inch wedge sandals with ankle straps hold my feet secure yet still are airy and open. My suede ankle boots hibernate my toes and give me sure footing. These shoes invite me to look down at my footpath in life, the grounding on which my feet experience life, putting one foot in front of another, securing my footing, looking inward and grounding myself again through these seasons of life. God wants me to look down once in a while to make sure my footing is still secure in Him. These boots are made for “walkin,” for planting my feet securely on God, as I take each step on His earthly ground.

by Liz

Reluctant Welcome

Nature brings me into the

transition of newness.

The birds that have left the nest,

the leaves feel the turn of fall coming,

Waking up to the sun that has moved in the sky.

The crisp air creating goosebumps on my sun-kissed skin.

Turning the page to autumn

feels like a start to a hibernation,

to let go of carefree summer days,

to reflect on life as it is right now

coming to newness,

embracing the next phase.

Aging parents,

adulthood for kids,

aching back,

God’s way of renewing the soul

to hold the many new passages of life

I reluctantly welcome.

by Liz