Small Things Grow

mustard seed

mustard seed

 

Matthew 13:

31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

Being the Beloved in Repentance and Rest, Quietness and Trust

kingdom come

kingdom come

isaiah 30-15
Sometimes the best thing I can do is pull away from it all, and bask in the gaze of the One who delights over me. To let all the noise fall away. To ignore the to do lists. To quiet everything else and listen to that still small voice.

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I spent this past weekend at a retreat. My phone was away in my purse. Social media wasn’t touched. And Saturday’s portion of the retreat was a whole day of quiet.

The world went on without me. Facebook, instagram, twitter, and everything else didn’t feel my absence. My house stayed in one piece. My kids were delighted for extra time with their grandparents.

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I remembered, I was loved. Broken and foolish one that I am, my deepest identity is Beloved.

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I remembered who God was. My All. My Healer. My Redeemer. My portion.

retreat and outdoors-21I forgot the clamoring of everyday life.

It was a reset button for my soul. A chance to see where I’ve been living compulsively instead of intentionally. Where I have been rushing and grabbing instead of trusting.

Truly, “in repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength. . .” (Isaiah 30:15)

 

Lord Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace

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kingdom come

lakehouse-48

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much

seek to be consoled as to console;

to be understood as to understand;

to be loved as to love;

For it is in giving that we receive;

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

(Prayer of St. Francis)

 

Sunday Rest: Just Be.

fall rain-4

fall rain-4

Ann Voskamp wrote a beautiful post this week. Some of the lines within it that struck me were:

“Sometimes the most revolutionary thing that you can do is simply turn just for a moment from doing — and make space for being.”

“Maybe we don’t waste our lives only when we revive by hushing time and making time to Be?

Being present, being beloved, being still…

Maybe the world only contains three things that can never be destroyed– God and being and love.”

Read the rest of the post here.

May you find time and space to just be today.

Free iPhone Background

bird stripes colorful iphone5

 

“Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”” (Luke 17:20)

Over the next few days, I will be on a retreat. So I’ve created a few freebies in advance.

I am hoping to do more of this kind of thing on the blog, in the near future. (A whole set coming in November).

I love the reminder in the Luke that the Kingdom of heaven is in our midst, always.

To download, open this page in your iPhone web browser, (I am not sure how other smart phones work) and hold down on the image until the “save image” option pops up. Save the Image then, go into your photo albums to “Recently added.” Find the photo again and open it then click the button on the bottom left, then “use as wallpaper.” It will give you the option to use as Lock screen, Home screen or both. Make your choice and you’re done! 

If you have any problems, let me know in the comments and I will try to fix them when I get back!

Iphone 5:

bird stripes colorful iphone5 bird stripes goldiphone5

 

Iphone 4 (Will work better if you turn the reduce motion on in your settings. Settings–> General–>Accessibility—> Reduce Motion) bird stripes gold bird stripes colorful

 

Like A Treasure Hidden In A Field

Retreat-36

kingdom come

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it…” (Matthew 13:44)

I wonder if this same story exists as an invitation in our everyday.

Finding that field surely isn’t a one time grandiose experience.

Selling it all is minute-by-minute decisions.

It is an unfolding process, an unraveling.

An unclenching of our fists from what we thought would bring us life so that we can enter Life.

A quieting of the noise so we can listen and learn the sound of a Greater but often softer Voice.

In the moments where we wonder if we have messed up and missed it, maybe we can step toward the treasure right then and there.

Surrendering whatever is before us in love.

Why Snark, Shame, and Guilt Don’t Really Attract Others to A Cause

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kingdom come

All across social media there are calls to care about or join in a cause.

This is a beautiful thing that the passions we have for justice and for freedom for others causes us to want to engage on whatever platform we have.

The place we share family photos or the latest life happenings can also be used to shine light on some terrible things going around the world. Our networks of people can also be used in powerful ways for the common good.

What causes unrest in me is the methods that are used.

There is guilt, shame and snark. There is a way of speaking that if used in direct relationship with others would be considered abusive or bullying.

These manners of speaking create a distinct us and them. The “us” who cares about the world. The “us” who is loving and generous towards issues. The “them” who are terrible, hateful, and too lazy or afraid to use what they have for others. They shut down the conversation instead of encourage.

I have seen so many articles go viral over the past six months from the issues surrounding Michael Brown, ISIS, or the violence in Palestine. I choose those three specifically because I care about each of them and have been following them online.

fall rain-7In a Machiavellian sense, it seems any means or language possible to get the word out there, is worth it.

But is it?

Like viruses in the body, these posts flare up, and then go away.

But the issues behind them stay and still desperately need attention.

The longevity and patience needed to engage in world issues, and to keep pursuing peace and justice simply cannot be achieved through viral posts. In fact, I would say posts filled with shame, snark or guilt achieve the opposite affect in the long run. The public gets bored or burnt out.

People may react, but it will often be in a shallow, short-lived way.

What I want to posit is that we are more creative than this, and the issues we care about deserve our creativity and care.

In the way we commission others to involvement, I pray that we empower them instead of shut them down. In our acknowledgement of the immediacy and urgency of the issues, may we also think of long term ways to draw alongside others for the slow ride to social change. Change that won’t always feel as exciting as the current headline.

I pray that we can give people the freedom to join alongside us or, as Mother Teresa encouraged “find [their] own Calcutta.” Maybe they won’t be as passionate about movements that we are deeply concerned with. That might be apathy, and in relationship there is space to challenge and call others out. But it might also be  because they are concerned with something entirely different. Something that also demands attention.

May we be able to offer that freedom to others to pursue other broken places in the world.

31 Days: A Monday Morning Blessing

kingdom come
beauty-3
A Franciscan Blessing
May God bless you with discomfort,
At easy answers, half-truths,
And superficial relationships
So that you may live
Deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression,
And exploitation of people,
So that you may work for
Justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears,
To shed for those who suffer pain,
Rejection, hunger and war,
So that you may reach out your hand
To comfort them and
To turn their pain to joy
And may God bless you
With enough foolishness
To believe that you can
Make a difference in the world,
So that you can do
What others claim cannot be done
To bring justice and kindness
To all our children and the poor.
Amen
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