Sunday, September 30, 2007


Today marks the beginning of a year long period of discernment for me. A time to pray, listen and try to decide if I am called to be an Associate of the Sisters of St. John the Divine.

It'll be a time for me to develop and follow a Rule of Life, and to deepen my prayer life.

A year can seem like a long time but I am glad that it is a year. Too often I make impulsive decisions, or I think I want to do something that turns out later to not be so great. We all do.

Discernment gives me an opportunity to slow down, to not rush in and to really try and listen for God's voice. My greatest struggle will be the daily commitment to prayer and to making time for it. In a year, I will know whether or not I am capable of that type of commitment. I will also, hopefully, have learned the value in slowing down and not making hasty decisions.

When have there been periods of discernment in your life? What was the jewel or lesson you learned from that time of discernment?

(image - my window altar at Stonesthrow) * o

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Dreaming of Beeswax

I've got the creative itch to do a collage in beeswax - a technique I haven't tried yet. I've got the idea, know what I want to put on it and am antsy to try it. So what's stopping me? Lack of beeswax. See, in my small town you can't just run to the local craft store and buy whatever. Now there are plenty of people here who will tell you to "mind your own beeswax" and several more who can't resist the urge to stick their nose in to your beeswax, but actual, authentic beeswax is not to be found. And so I will have to hold off until I can make the next trip to the Big City to stock up on supplies..(sigh). Until then, I'm dreaming of beeswax. * o

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Spirituality vs Religion

One of the questions in my course this week was "Is spirituality different from religion and if so how?"

My answer is yes. To me religion is more like a practice, or set of practices. It has specific rules, rituals and it's own hierarchy. Spirituality on the other hand is more of a relationship.

To put it another way, spirituality is like breathing. Religion might define how, when and where I breathe but it is spirituality that is the breath.

How do you define spirituality and religion? Are they one and the same for you?

(image - my first Zentangle - created Sep 19/07) * o

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Frost and Pumpkin Barf

Saturday morning we were hit with the first heavy frost of fall. A frost that finished off the marigolds in front of the cottage, and the Himalayan Impatiens in the yard. Hubby spent the afternoon pulling them up and tidying the yard. The first of the preparations for winter. Already. Sigh, I'm so not ready for it.

The painting project continued into this weekend. Teenage Boy wanted his room painted orange, and orange he got. It looks like a pumpkin threw up in there but he says he likes it. He better - I'm not painting it again for a long time. I have bedroom number two to paint next, but that will have to wait a couple of weekends. I need a break.

Creatively I've become hooked on doodling, specifically the Zentangle type of doodling. I've fallen in love with my Uniball fine black pen and I use it to scratch doodles over all my journal pages. Even my calendar at work. I'm insane.

My course on Spirituality and Family relationships starts this week. I'm looking forward to a morning routine of reading and journaling as I work my way through it.

Autumn is always so full, and I said I was going to release something didn't I?

* o

Friday, September 14, 2007

Autumn's Release

I just received my copy today of "Praying with the Elements" a beautiful little book created by Christine Valters Paintner, at Abbey of the Arts. It's full of scripture, snippets of poetry, thoughtful reflections and stunning photos and I highly recommend it.

While flipping through it at lunch time I was caught by this quote:

"This earth we are riding keeps trying to tell us something with it's continuous scripture of leaves." - William Stafford

Maybe it's because it is the fall season that this quote stood out for me. Christine writes, "I love the image of the scripture of leaves that Stafford offers - what if we were to consider the changing trees as sacred text where the Holy One is revealed to us in new ways each season? What if we followed the invitation of each season - spring's emerging, summer's fullness, autumn's release, and winter's rest?"

What indeed. Kind of makes you pause a moment and really look at the landscape as you are rushing out the door in the afternoon. And "autumn's release" - what am I releasing? I always seem to take on so much more in the fall, and I know it drains my energy until I long for winter's rest.

This weekend I'll be spending time reflecting on creating a Rule of Life, and I know I'll be looking at what I need to release this autumn. And I hope the cold, wet weather we'v been experiencing lately subsides for awhile so I can get outside and read the scripture of leaves.

Photo: Night Sky - Sault. Ste Marie, Michigan - taken by Charlie Maedel * o

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Farewell Purple Octopus

With his brother happily off to college, Teenage Boy/Man has decided he wants to move into his old room, since it is just slightly larger than the one he occupies now. TBM has also decided he wants his room painted in "Lush Orange" with "Mango Tango" trim.

This has meant a weekend for me spent putting on a couple of coats of primer and preparing the room. Years ago when College Boy was much younger, in a burst of creativity I painted his room with an Under-the-Sea theme that included a giant purple octopus. Thought it was a great idea at the time, but obviously I was not thinking too far into the future to the time when I would have to somehow paint over and get rid of that octopus.

In all fairness to him, College Boy outgrew that purple octopus years ago, but I have not had the time or opportunity to paint that room until he moved out of it.

And so, after three coats of tinted primer we bid farewell to Mr. Purple Octopus, and all things "little boy like" and we get ready to say hello to Mango Tango and the last of the teen years. * o