Saturday, January 22, 2011

Gerard Manley Hopkins

I read these lines by poet Gerard Manley Hopkins earlier this week:
For Christ plays in ten thousand places
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men's faces.

It prompted me to go through some magazines I had and create the following collage in my journal
As I was doing it, I realized that I have a much easier time seeing Christ in these faces than in the faces of people who cut me off in traffic, who speak too loudly on cell phones in the grocery store, or who make messes that I have to clean up.  Ouch!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Connection over the week-end

If you have been following my posts, you know that my word for 2011 is "connection".  I met with my spiritual director a few days ago and she helped me hone in a little more on what that might look like in my daily life.  One aspect is connecting with God even when things aren't going the way I want them to.  Looking for God's "fingerprints" in my life, and trying to see how I can bless others in the moment.

I had a chance to practice that over the week-end.  I accompanied my husband and several of his family members to visit his sister, who is very ill (terminal).  As much as I wanted to support his family, it meant 9 hours in the car in one day, and that on top of my first full week of a new job -- I just wanted to spend time at home.  But I went with "connection" on my heart and a desire to watch for God's blessings in unexpected places.

The scenery was actually pretty, and the driving conditions were good.  I had a chance to play with some iphone apps and came up with the following pictures:

Between playing with my phone, reading and knitting, it was a relaxing and fun trip.  (My husband and his brother were talking over old times, having not seen each other in over 10 years.)  I was glad for the opportunity to look for and find evidence of God's presence, even on an arduous car trip. 

At his sister's house, things were even better than we imagined.  His sister rallied, and got out of bed and seemed to enjoy all the company.  I fully expected to be relegated to a hallway while the brothers and sisters went in one or two at a time.  She seemed truly blessed to see all of us (even me!)  And her son was there with his very nice (understatement!) camera.  He showed me some of the bells and whistles and even let me play with it. 

Although it was a very long day, and we arrived home exhausted, it was a day of connection!  I'm glad I showed up with that mindset.  It made a difference.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Squeen for a Day

I didn't know what I was getting into when I signed up for Carla Sonheim's Art of Silliness Class.  I wanted to get freer in my drawing and release more creativity.  I think that is happening.  Carla is having us do all kinds of crazy things, including inventing a new language!  Each day we post our latest creations to a Flickr account and Carla chooses someone to be Squeen for the Day.  (Squeen = Silliness Queen).  Well today, --ta-da! -- I was chosen.  And it's based on this project (playing with food) which took me just about all afternoon yesterday:
Not sure how proud I should be of it, but it was great fun to be chosen Squeen for a Day!  Too bad I still had to cook and do dishes.  Guess the family didn't get the memo!

I hope you have the chance to feel as special as the Squeen for the Day.  Afterall, we are God's workmanship (Ephesians 2:10), and that sounds pretty wonderful to me.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My Word for 2011

It's been really inspiring to read about the words that my blogging friends are choosing for their intention words for this new year.  Special thanks to Kim Klassen for some great instruction on how to choose a word, as this is the first year I  have done this.  And the word I have decided on is . . .


Reading last year's journals revealed to me that I was all about trying new things and launching out in new directions. It was fun, but I wasn't very focused.  Instead of making "focus" my intention for this year, I think "connection" better describes what I want to experience.  Exploring and strengthening connections I have with friends, family, my own inner gifts, and -- of course -- with God.  The Willow Tree figurine pictured here and in my blog masthead is one that a good friend gave me a few years ago.  It's been gathering dust in a corner of our family room.  I dusted it off and gave it a prominent place in the hallway outside of my studio, as I hope to dust off some of the connections that I have lost track of, but that I know are important to me.  And I'm hoping to blog regularly about how these connections are going.  I'm also looking forward to reading the blogs from friends who are also pursuing words of intention for 2011.

Happy New Year!