Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Why is handicapped parking sometimes so far away from the entrance?

Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers on my post about my Mom. It makes traveling the journey easier knowing there are those who are walking the path with you, whether through your own personal experience or just knowing you are saying a prayer.

I had a phone call from one of those who picks up Mom to take her to church on Wednesday. Last week they played games - I think it was some form of dominoes. Several have told me two years ago, she could play, last week she was confused on what she she do while playing the game. Several of them helped her figure it out and get through the game.

A suggestion was made that Mom's handicapped sticker stay in her purse so wherever she goes, the driver can use it. What a great idea!!! Should have thought of it - makes it easier for all.

Now...what are places thinking when they put the handicapped parking so far away that it is inconvenient for the person needing the most convenience? What is with that?? Our local Colonel Sanders place makes it inconvenient. the Mexican restaurant next to Home Depot makes it inconvenient as it is halfway down the parking lot. Why make a person who has difficulty walking have to walk further than a person fully capable? Makes no sense to me.

What about doors so heavy that the elderly cannot manage opening them by themselves? Doorknobs that are difficult to use because of arthritis, which I am painfully becoming aware of personally because of my onset of arthritis. I can only imagine how it is for those who do not have the strength to manage it with either hand.

I am curious what obstacles you may see for those who are aging and make it difficult to be independent?

Giving life through forgiveness

"To give life to people is to reveal to them
that they are loved just as they are by God,
with the mixture of good and evil,
light and darkness that is in them:
that the stone in front of their tomb
in which all the dirt of their lives has been hidden,
can be rolled away.
They are forgiven;
they can live in freedom."
Jean Vanier

Monday, April 26, 2010

Crossing over

Here you see a picture of my Mom and me. It was taken at my daughter's home while we were celebrating my son in law's birthday.

Mom is 80 years old and lives with us. We have a little apartment for her that is connected to our home, but separate at the same time. We are thankful we can have that space for her and that she is with us.

However, with that thankfulness is an awareness that Mom is becoming more frail. Her body doesn't always cooperate with her. Yesterday, I was so very aware of the toll aging has taken on her.

We went to the birthday party, which takes a about an hour and 15 minutes to get there. There is the mandatory pit stop we must make. We strategically have to find a parking place which makes it easy for her to get into the building. Of course the handicapped parking area is as far away from the door as you can park.

Mom can no longer go into a place by herself. The doors are too heavy, and the maneuvering of a door and a walker make it difficult to manage. And with the walking, making it to the bathroom "in time" usually doesn't happen any more.  And, yesterday, Mom did not bring any supplies to take care of her problem. Mom doesn't always remember those things anymore of being prepared. We made do for the evening.

At the party, Mom sat in the house for a while, but then was ready to go out where the action was happening. Not an easy task any more, I scope out what obstacles will prevent her doing what she would like to do and how to make it work for her. Taking the small step out the back door is challenging, as she is reminded to lock the walker so she has stability to make the step.

We got her a chair to sit outside and arranged it so she could sit, but not have to walk as far. When I say that, the slight uneven surfaces can be a challenge for her now, and a mere couple of feet of uneven surface she needs assistance. Thank you to the nurse who saw the need for some extra special attention to Mom and helped.

We were one of the first to leave, as we had to travel a good ways compared to the other folks. When we arrived home, she was worn out from the short trip, and as she entered her apartment,  I saw a worn out Mom.

This morning Mom did not go to church - she had a headache she said - my guess she was worn out from the night before.

Over the past few years, Mom's independence is fading. She is no longer driving (not her decision), she wants me to make decisions for her. Bill paying, medications, meals, and scheduling doctor's appointments are all a part of the responsibilities that she no longer has to worry about.

I won't say it's easy to care for an aging parent. There's the angst of wondering if I am doing all that needs to be done. There's the part of Mom that knows she is becoming increasingly more frail and less independent. There is the feeling of being on the hamster wheel of knowing that the responsibility continues 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. There is the selecting of food that we know she will be able to eat. There's the occasional fall (thank goodness for those "Help I've fallen and I can't get up" buttons) that happens in the middle of the night. There's the changing of linens at the least expected times. There are times of disorientation, yet there are times when she is crystal clear in thought, but those times are fewer.

I want to cherish these times when I see a part of Mom that I remember - the times that I see her are beginning to fade, but occasionally they shine through and I get that glimpse of Mom as I remember her.

I offer this prayer to those of you who might be experiencing  caregiving for aging parents. I found it on this web site:

Blessed Breath of God, of Life, breathe through me now. In this moment, I feel the sweet and merciful fullness of God in me. I have the wisdom, grace and love of God filling my soul.

Precious God, as I watch my aging  mother change and move through the cycles of life, I am filled with emotion. Help me to be a patient and loving adult child in this experience. Show me how to honor my feelings and how to be aware of all the lessons and gifts you have for me in this experience.

I appreciate my  mother, and all that she, has brought to my life. I feel the early taste of grief as I realize  her mortality….and my own. Fill me with respect, a big heart and a giving spirit, Lord. Help me to know the right things to do in each situation; may I always be a Light to them as their journey continues.

Prepare me Lord, for what lies ahead. Only you know the richness of our journey, God. In our Oneness, I know you light the way for them and for me. May sweet and merciful angels be with our family throughout all our days. I give thanks for the many gifts I have already received in this family and the gifts in the days to come. All is well and God is good. Amen.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday Music - The King of Love My Shepherd is

Today during our service, we did something a little different than we typically do following the first lesson. In our little church, we typically either read of chant the psalm, using a psalm tone so very familiar to us. There is a comfort with the predictable, knowing exactly what is going to happen next.

However, today we sang the psalm (23), which is the "psalm of all psalms", "The Lord is my Shepherd" - using the hymn "The King of Love My Shepherd is" was our hymn. There are various tunes to which we are familiar in the church. However, I find the one to the hymn tune "Dominus Regit Me" (by Ralph Vaughan-Williams) particularly soothing and meaningful to me.

As I meandered through Youtube, there is an increasing amount of choices from which to choose.  Some have been chosen to be watched by thousands upon thousands, and usually those are wonderful chestnuts to view. The one I selected has been out for a good six months and viewed by fewer than 400.  It's a prelude performed by the Bournemouth Sinfonietta conducted by George Hurst.  Listen to this lovely little pastoral sounding tune -- listen to the tune Dominus Regit Me meandering throughout the piece.

Share with us your worship experience through the sound of music today. What hymns did you sing? Which were particularly meaningful to you today?

cross posted at Revgalblogpals.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

School and anticipation of Summer

The school  year is nearing the end as we enter into the last twenty school days. Teachers are getting a taste of summer as the days lengthen and the days are beginning to feel like summer - we have the same anticipation that students do about the summer with the feeling of freedom that the summer offers us.

We can no longer worry about the alarm clock, stay up late, go here or there as our fancies allow us (or our pocketbooks). We march to the time of our own clock. These anticipations are felt as we may stay up a little later or hit the snooze button one more time. We plan summer time activities in our heads. You get the idea.

But the days ahead are not easy ones - for special education teachers, we have the end of year reviews and the development of next year's IEP (individualized education program) for each student. It's time consuming, the scheduling is hectic, and my brain cells feel expended.

This year has been particularly difficult as the last half of the year, which has lent itself to the unbloggable, which has affected me deeply and profoundly. It continues, and it will for some time. Yesterday added more to the story of more "stuff" - it would be so helpful to feel some sort of support. Sigh......

In today's world, teaching encompasses so much more than what we think of as teaching. Children eat two meals at school today and for those of us who work with young students assist in that at some level, some of us more so than others. We are taking care of some of the very basic needs while they are there, some of it because of the nature of the child and the fact I am in special education, but for some of those needs, it is because the parents expect it. So many parents send their children sick to school, some because they must work and taking off means they do not get paid. Others because they would prefer to send their child to school sick for no other reason than they want them to be cared for by someone else.

With that being said, there are parents that take very good care of their children, and nurture and care for their children that will allow the child(ren) to grow up to be emotionally healthy people who have  had their needs met.

So the countdown is on - with a furlough day this week at the end. Hope all you teaching types (and those who are not) anticipate summer with the same childlike way you did in your childhood. What do you anticipate for the summer?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Book #12 - Charlotte's Web

It's about time I read this book. It was voted the number one children's chapter book from the School Library Journal's web site.  And I can see why it was rated number 1. It's a delightful book on friendship and devotion and loyalty and more. E. B. White's classic book Charlotte's Web is deserving of being at the top.

I just wonder how I missed it through childhood and here I am at age 54 completing it. One never grows too old for wonderful books like this.

I vowed to read at least 10 more books on the list to add to my paltry 12 I am SURE I have read. There were others that I wasn't positive I read, so excluded them in my total. I was greatly humbled by my friend Deb, who had read 88. 
So.... one down, nine to go - but who knows, I might go for more!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Book #11 - The Prince who Wrote a Letter by Ann Love

A quick and delightful children's book to read, I thank a friend I have known since I started teaching come by and share a children's book to read. She came by to talk to me about volunteering in my classroom - now what kind of wonderful gift is that??? I am excited!

Anyway, the little prince goes to his first day of school and writes a letter - the parents, the king and queen, are very excited and begin to spread the word about the letter he wrote - well... as the story spins, things get a bit complicated about the letter. Oh the little boy had not a clue what a stir his letter would bring to the people in the kingdom. Such a fun little story to read!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The icon has found its home

Two of my children went across the big pond in March and I requested they return with a religious icon. It's interesting with today's technology that when they were on that particular quest, I received photos of "do you like this one or this one"? sort of thing. We narrowed down via email which one I would like. Well, two came home.

One made its way to church. It was Holy Week when it finally arrived to its destination. Placed as you enter the church, on your right, it hangs with a shelf underneath it. This is no ordinary shelf, as it was crafted by the loving hands of one of our parishioners for this purpose. He also created the wooden bowls on the shelf. Between the two bowls is a blue bowl created by a local potter.  It will be filled with holy water for those who might want to cross themselves as they enter or exit the church.

To God's glory, may this icon be a window to God in prayer and meditation.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Wondrous Love

I have this version of "What Wondrous Love is this" on my Ipod - Deborah Liv Johnson has a jewel of an album called "Softly and Tenderly" and she has a voice quality similar to Judy Collins and folk singers from that era.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Top 100 Children's Chapter Books - What do you think?

This post is dedicated to my friends who are always looking for books to try to satisfy their children's quench for literature.
The School Library asked its readers to list their top 10 books. With 318 responses, they compiled a list of the top 100 children's chapter books. I am humbled. I have only read 10. Some of these have been so long ago, that the ones I highlighted are the ones I am almost certain I have read. The others that are iffy, I left alone. (Update 6-7-10 --- I have read 14 now)

#1 Charlotte's Web by E.B. White (read after the posting)
#2 A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
#3 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
#4 The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

#5 From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
#6 Holes by Louis Sachar
#7 The Giver by Lois Lowry
#8 The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
#9 Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
#10 The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
#11 The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
#12 The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
#13 Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
#14 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
#15 Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
#16 Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
#17 Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
#18 Matilda by Roald Dahl
#19 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
#20 Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
#21 Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riodan
#22 The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo
#23 Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
#24 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
#25 Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
#26 Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
#27 A Little Princess by Francis Hodgson Burnett
#28 Winnie-the Pooh by A.A. Milne
#29 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland /Alice Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
#30 The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
#31 Half Magic by Edward Eager
#32 Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien
#33 James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
#34 Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
(read after the posting)
#35 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire JK Rowling
#36 Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
#37 Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor
#38 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
#39 When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
#40 The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
#41 The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
#42 Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
#43 Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary
#44 Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
#45 The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
#46 Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
#47 Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
#48 The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall
#49 Frindle by Andrew Clements
#50 Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
#51 The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright
#52 The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
#53 Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
#54 The BFG by Roald Dahl
#55 The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
#56 Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
#57 Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
#58 The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken
#59 Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
#60 The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
#61 Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
#62 The Secret of the Old Clock (The Nancy Drew mysteries) by Caroline Keene
#63 Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright
#64 A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck
#65 Ballet Shoes by Noah Streatfeild
#66 Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary
#67 Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher by Bruce Coville
#68 Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
#69 The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
#70 Betsy Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace
#71 A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
#72 My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
#73 My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
#74 The Borrowers by Mary Norton
#75 Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
#76 Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
#77 City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
#78 Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
#79 All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
#80 The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
#81 Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
#82 The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander
#83 The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
#84 Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge
#85 On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder
#86 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
#87 The View from Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg
#88 The High King by Lloyd Alexander
#89 Ramona and her Father by Beverly Cleary
#90 Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
#91 Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
#92 Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
#93 Caddie Woodlawn by C. R. Brink
#94 Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
#95 Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
#96 The Witches by Roald Dahl
#97: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
#98 Children of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston
#99 The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
#100 The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

How many have you read? I think I may try to read some this year. Any that you recommend?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A little of this, a little of that.

Well, the 15th of April was eventful in that we filed tax extensions. So there.

I tested students this morning. Young children ages 3-5 are sometimes cooperative, and sometimes not. Mostly not, when it comes to evaluations. Hit and miss.

Trying to organize and pull together the last part of the school year's obligations, namely the IEPs for students in my program. Can I mention that causes the bulk of my anxiety this time of year? It's the combination of having a classroom AND trying to develop educational plans for the upcoming school year that makes me snippy right now.

A new student came into our classroom at this time of the school year. A little unusual to be coming this late, but thought it was best. I think we made the right decision. Sometimes the gut and heart rule!

My Itunes shuffle is playing Rock a Bye Baby - so I think that is a nudge to say good night to all. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Book #10 Sarah's Key

This is the second book I have read from the period of World War II, more specifically the Holocaust. This one was a little different in that this centered around the Jews from France who were taken to Auschwitz, and as for many, where taken to their death.

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay revolves around two stories. One was of today, of a woman who is researching the story of the French Jews who were captured during the regime of Hitler and the Nazis to share this little known part of the World War. The second was of Sarah, who is a young girl, who has been captured and taken to a concentration camp and lives with the fact she has hidden her little brother back in a "safe place" at home, knowing she will return to him where all will be safe and sound. Of course, that is not to be.

There the stories and then they converge into one story in where they connect. Little did the woman who was researching would find how she was connected to this story that happened 60 years ago.  How it connects is for you to find out in this captivating story.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Returning to Reality

I should have had my running shoes on today, because I never do think I caught up with myself until the evening.

It was the first day after Spring Break and any thoughts of being rested were soon given a reality check that my work is not done for the year. I knew that. I even said it before going to work. However, I never expected to go like gangbusters quite like I did today. I started the morning testing a student for end of year testing, received phone calls for students who may be eligible for our program, tested another student, attempted to write an IEP from scratch - not successful for a variety of reasons beyond my control, but I will get that done this week. Then had an IEP meeting which required an interpretere, which always requires extra time.

I had scheduled one more to test for end of year testing, but knew I would not get to do that. So had to cancel. More phone calls for a variety of situations.

A long day, a productive day, and I hope that it will not be this way everyday until the last day of school. Pray that I can feel some sort of sense of peace and calm during this time. It's feeling harried.

Finding God in Nature

  My profession is always to be alert, to find God in nature, to know God's lurking places, to attend to all the oratorios and the operas in nature.
Henry David Thoreau

Friday, April 9, 2010

Time to Rest and Stop

Stop for one whole day every week, and you will remember what it means to be created in the image of God, who rested on the seventh day not from weariness but from complete freedom. The clear promise is that those who rest like God find themselves free like God, no longer slaves to the thousand compulsions that send others rushing toward their graves. - Barbara Brown Taylor, from her book Leaving Church

Late Thursday morning, a friend and I took off for an overnighter down at the coast. It always seems a bit hectic just before going, as I seem to toss a few things into the bag and be on my way, and having to make sure some of the other tasks that have to continue still have to be set up for Mom.

For the next 24 hours, my obligations to the real world had stopped. We got into the car and headed out. It had been a while since I had visited this section of the beach, as the stomping grounds where I like to go is about an hour or so east of where we were heading. It had been long enough that even though I THOUGHT I didn't  need directions, I did have to call my son twice to jog the memory a bit.

We got there a bit early so had to wait for our room. The weather had been glorious until the day we got there and it was apparent that rain was imminent. And rain it did. Lots of rain. Wind. And the what was the warmth of spring that makes us ever hopeful for summer left the scene just enough for there to be a slight chill in the air. There would be no sitting out to soak up a little warmth and sunshine.

It's nice to go with a friend where there is the comfort of knowing that we can talk and laugh, and on the flip side, we can go an hour and remain silent and totally be at ease. And that is how our trip was, easy going, restful, and free.

Sleep did not elude either of us as sometimes being in a different bed. To sleep late is a luxury and that, too, was granted. No alarm clock or obligation in which to answer.

As we left, we headed east to a more familiar location where the sleepy fishing village has found its niche in attracting shoppers to funky shops and some great seafood cuisine. We made our contributions to improve the economy at the local shops as we found a few items to take home with us.  I actually found a lamp for the bedroom which has a built in night light in addition to it being a regular lamp. How cool is that??? It is now in one of our bedrooms.

We drove home going the way of the millions of pine trees, giggling at the names of the "towns" that had one or two houses, wondering where the names originated and why. "Clio", "Central City", "Wilma" - why were they named when there appeared to be no one there?

It was a nice restful 24ish hours to get away. It is reviving and something I should "work on" doing more often, especially when I get the feeling of being on the hamster wheel for too long.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

It's just a Night

For about 24 hours I am going on a small little vacation. Me. with friends.

Tell Mom I am going overnight or a get away?
Mom: How come I didn't know this sooner?
Me: Well, I made the reservations yesterday, I wasn't exactly positively sure.
Mom: Where are you going?
Me: to a place where there is sand and the name of the beach which sounds like a country south of the border.
Mom: Oh. Fake cry.
Me: I know.. it'll be ok. My better half will be here.

Conversation 2:
Mom: Will you let me know when you will leave?
Me: Yes I will.
Mom: Where will you be staying?
Me: At the motel that sounds like some political leader should own it.
Mom: Oh, do you like staying in hotels/motels?
Me: They're ok.
Mom: How come I didn't know sooner?
Me: It's ok Mom. I'll be back tomorrow.

Mom's meds: check
Mom's food for lunch prepared: check
Mom's supplies of the unmentionables for which we have in abundance at the moment: check
Instructions for better half: soon to be typed up and mailed.

Packed check
Mentally ready - sort of check
Meds: check

food: check
water: check

Hoping for a drinky poo with an umbrella in it by the pool... double check. Just one drink with a double check.

Sometimes preparing for the trip takes more out of you and you wonder if it is worth it. See you on the backside. . . .

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Book #9 Jesus Freak by Sara Miles

I just finished reading Jesus Freak and was not disappointed in Sara Miles book of her journey as a new Christian, after walking into an Episcopal Church and taking communion and having a conversion experience.  A member of St. Gregory of Nyssa in San Francisco, she shares the life she lives fully through this parish, from working the food pantry, which feeds hundreds every week by distributing food to anyone who walks in the door. But they go a step further - these people who walk in the door are also asked to help give food at the pantry to others also.

Miles is not your conventional Christian, nor is St. Gregory's the typical Episcopal Church (if you watch some of the services on Youtube, you will get a feel of the flavor of the worship there).  She walks the walk that Jesus walked, to feed the hungry, to eat and worship with those who may not be exactly who we want to be sitting next to for whatever reason.
Sara challenged me to continue to think outside of the box, to think long and hard about what ministry means in the church. How are we opening our doors to the needs of others? Are we a church for ourself or are we a church for the unchurched? How are we as a church and as individuals going to follow the teachings of Christ?
I found Miles' book inspiring, refreshing, reverent and genuine. Unconventional? Yes. Radical? Absolutely? Recommended? Highly. Run, don't walk, to get this book. Savor it.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Monday and Spring Break

Easter Monday is also the first official day of Spring Break here for teachers. I see it as the last bit of rest before we get back on the train and go full speed ahead before the end of school The last thirty days are quite hectic with testing, IEP writing, end of school programs, etc. For me, I tend to feel a bit anxious during this time of the school year for the mere amount of work that is required in addition to oh yes, we still are teaching!

So today is a day of quiet rest. Other than some obligatory grocery shopping and a much needed car wash (one needs to see out of the windshield to drive), the day was pretty much set with knitting, reading, nappage and playing a little online Scrabble. All in all, a good relaxing day.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Finally! Alleluia! Christ is risen! The Lord is Risen indeed!!

By the time you read this, many of you will be home from the Easter service, ready to settle down for an Easter nap, or perhaps you will be having an afternoon Easter Egg Hunt. For me, the service will have ended Sunday morning, followed by a Brunch at church.

We have much to be thankful for on this Resurrection Day.
  • The azaleas have FINALLY decided, after much fear and trepidation, that winter is over here and they are going to put on a little show, albeit two weeks late. 
  • a Holy Week with people who have visited from various faith traditions
  • good liturgy
  • family, especially those family members who we cannot be with this holiday, though they are in our hearts
  • that we are free to worship in the faith and tradition of our own choosing
  • friends, who are like family to me
  • for the music which sings to me in so many ways
  • for a Savior, who gave up His life for us all.
Share with me your joys this Easter Sunday.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday Five- Revgalblogpals

I don't know when the last time I participated in a Friday Five, but I liked the one for today, though as the poster said - you kind of hate putting one up, but I think she posted some appropriate questions for Holy Week:
It seems almost irreverent to post a Friday Five on Good Friday, so I will try to treat it with some respect. I am still mulling over the darkness of last nights Tenebrae Service, the silence as we left was profound, and although I travelled home with others we did not speak, there was a holiness about it.....and yet we know that holiness was born of horror!

So as we enter into this darkest of days I offer you this Friday Five:

1. Of all the gospel accounts of the crucifixion, which one stands out for you, and why?
   I guess I have heard the gospel of John so much on Good Friday - I haven't given it a lot of thought as to which one stands out from the others to me.

2.Do you identify with any people in this account, how does that challenge you?

I think the I identify with Peter - as we all have some of Peter in us - when things get touch, we tend to lay low.

3. Hymns or silence? I think there is room for both and both I will experience today. The hymns that come to mind are Ah Holy Jesus, Were you there when they crucified my Lord?  and "Never said a mumblin' word"

4. Post a poem or a quote that sums up Good Friday for you? Interestingly, this one just appeared to me today and speaks loudly to me:

The death of a beloved is an event that rings and rings through a life: bearing it is not a problem to be solved, but a long, slow piece of music to listen to. And mourning, like music, is best listened to with others. - Sarah Miles, from her book Jesus Freak (mostly because this is the book I am reading now)

5.Is there a tradition you could not be without, a tradition that makes Good Friday, Good Friday?
Today I am off from school, not because it's Good Friday, but because it is a furlough day. I would much rather get off from school on Good Friday because this day has been so untouched by the commercialization of other holidays. And I would love for the service to be at noon. However, I don't think this will happen.
However, the black veil on the cross is a visual that comes to mind of what makes Good Friday,  Good Friday. The starkness of the church with all adornment removed. The silence as we enter the church (please Lord, make us all aware of the importance of this today - please let's have quiet in the church).

What about you? Do any of these questions leave with a desire to share in the comments???

It is Finished

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Maundy Thursday - Ubi Caritas

I was looking for something appropriate for Maundy Thursday and this spoke to me both through the music and the video with the footwashing. 

Ubi Caritas

Where good and love are, God is there.
Christ's love has gathered us into one.
Let us rejoice and be pleased in Him.
Let us fear, and let us love the living God.
And may we love each other with a sincere heart.

Where charity and love are, God is there.
As we are gathered into one body,
Beware, lest we be divided in mind.
Let evil impulses stop, let controversy cease,
And may Christ our God be in our midst.

Where charity and love are, God is there.
And may we with the saints also,
See Thy face in glory, O Christ our God:
The joy that is immense and good,
Unto the ages through infinite ages. Amen.