Quiet for the Weekend – September 7-9, 2012

“And God rode upon the wings of a cherub, and flew.
He flew upon the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his secret place, 
his canopy around him was dark waters
and thick clouds of the skies.
From the brightness before him,
his thick clouds passed with hailstones and coals of fire.”
– Psalm 18:10-12

“It’s wonderful to climb the liquid mountains of the sky.
Behind me and before me is God and I have no fears.”
– Helen Keller

“The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Excuse me while I kiss the sky.”
– Jimi Hendrix

“Clouds come floating into my life,
no longer to carry rain or usher storm,
but to add color to my sunset sky.”
– Rabindranath Tagore

“i thank you God for this most amazing day,
for the leaping, greenly spirits of trees,
and for the blue dream of sky,
and for everything which is natural,
which is infinite,
which is yes.”
– e.e. cummings

Hoping your weekend is blessed in very way and that the sky invites you into glory and praise.

Joining with Sandy and Deidra in their spaces for beauty and stillness:

A Photo Essay: Quiet for the Weekend – August 31-September 2, 2012

It’s been a strange sort of week.
‘Found time,’ here at home,
time we thought we’d be traveling –
but we’re not.
So we got to extend our days with our
youngest granddaughter by a couple of weeks,
and that was sweet.
Next Wednesday, she begins pre-school.

We took time to plan vacations for next year,
always a fun thing to do.
But communication with the agent got a little dicey 
and we weren’t sure why.
Everything worked out in the end;
it generally does. 

Yesterday, we went to see “The Odd Life of Timothy Green,”
and found it quirky and sweet.
And then the projector blew up about 2/3 of the way through.
Say what?
We got a couple of free theater tickets out of it,
but still . . .
So we had an early dinner at a nearby
cheap-o place that turned out to be pretty good,
and we shopped at Costco, to prepare
for the thundering herd (in the nicest possible way!)
that will descend on us for the holiday weekend. 

It was 7:00 p.m. and the sky was unusually pretty,
so I turned the car right instead of left as we drove out of the parking lot, and headed to Isla Vista – the crazy college community that isn’t quite crazy yet,
 as UCSB hasn’t begun their fall semester. 

There was a good place to park, so I grabbed it,
reached in the back seat for my camera bag,
and headed out onto the bluffs,
just as the sun was beginning its last 
sinking, saturating radiance,
and the blue moon was starting its ascendency.
And I walked.
And I looked.
And I breathed.
Every once in a while,
I stopped to take a picture
to exclaim over the beauty all around,
and to say, ‘Thank you’ to the One who made it all. 

Come along with me, won’t you?

(By the way, I have no idea what all those multi-colored small flags mean,
but they were pretty and whimsical in their own right, so I took their picture.
And I have to say that just scrolling through these pictures makes me say ‘Thank You’ over and over again. I cannot begin to put into words how grateful I am to live where I do.) 

And these words from scripture jumped out at
me as I reflected on this experience today, 
the day after all that confusion – and all that beauty.
Because someday, all that we see now as 
and life-giving
will pale in comparison to the LIGHT
that will overwhelm and bedazzle us on the Day of the LORD.

“No longer will violence be heard in your land,
nor ruin or destruction within your borders,
but you will call your walls Salvation
and your gates Praise.
The sun will no more be your light by day,
nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you,
for the LORD will be your everlasting light,
and your God will be your glory.
Your sun will never set again,
and your moon will wane no more;
the LORD will be your everlasting light,
and your days of sorrow will end.”
Isaiah 60:18-20

Joining Michelle DeRusha’s invitation to Summer, for the last time this year,
and with Sandy and Deidra for their ongoing weekend invitation to quietness and reflection.

Quiet for the Weekend – August 24-26, 2012

These pictures are over 40 years old, taken in the Southern Province
of the country of Zambia. We went fishing one day, an afternoon off.
We watched some local boys, and then a good friend and his small boy showed 
my husband how to find fish in this large pond.
We laughed and enjoyed the beauty of the day.
And that’s why fishing is a heavenly gift, so very suitable for weekend quiet.

    After this, Jesus appeared again to the disciples, this time at the Tiberias Sea (the Sea of Galilee). This is how he did it: 
Simon Peter, Thomas (nicknamed “Twin”), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, 
the brothers Zebedee, 
and two other disciples were together. 
Simon Peter announced, “I’m going fishing.”
    The rest of them replied, “We’re going with you.” They went out and got in the boat. 
They caught nothing that night. 
When the sun came up, 
Jesus was standing on the beach, 
but they didn’t recognize him.
      Jesus spoke to them: 
“Good morning! 
Did you catch anything for breakfast?”
    They answered, “No.”
      He said, “Throw the net off the right side of the boat and see what happens.”
     They did what he said. 
All of a sudden there were so many fish in it, 
they weren’t strong enough to pull it in.
       Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, 
“It’s the Master!”
     When Simon Peter realized that it was the Master, he threw on some clothes, 
for he was stripped for work, 
and dove into the sea. 
The other disciples came in by boat 
for they weren’t far from land, 
a hundred yards or so, 
pulling along the net full of fish. 
When they got out of the boat, 
they saw a fire laid, 
with fish and bread cooking on it.
     Jesus said, “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught.” Simon Peter joined them 
and pulled the net to shore—153 big fish! 
And even with all those fish, the net didn’t rip.
     Jesus said, “Breakfast is ready.” 
Not one of the disciples dared ask, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Master.
       Jesus then took the bread and gave it to them. He did the same with the fish. 
This was now the third time Jesus had shown himself alive to the disciples 
since being raised from the dead.
John 21:1-14, The Message

Fishing is much more than fish. It is the great occasion when we may return to the fine simplicity of our forefathers. 
Herbert Hoover

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.
Doug Larson

If fishing is a religion, fly fishing is high church.
Tom Brokaw
Like they say, you can learn more from a guide in one day than you can in three months fishing alone. 
Mario Lopez

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
— Chinese Proverb

Joining Michelle, Sandy and Deidra and their weekend invitations
to slow down, center and lean into rest.

A question for friends using Blogger: 
recently, anytime I cut and paste, I get this weird white background.
Don’t have a clue how to get rid of it.
Any ideas??

Quiet for the Weekend – August 17-19, 2012

It was a beautiful summer afternoon,
sun shining,
water multi-colored,
wind on the rise.
So I stopped the car at a bluff-top park,
and stood and watched a while.
These trees are fast disappearing,
going the way of much bluff side real estate,
sinking down, down into the sand below.
But today, this one lent itself to a lovely portrait frame
of the wind at work.
Suddenly, two billowing kites puffed into closer view,
filling and flapping and giving their owners
a memorable ride.
 I stood and watched in admiration and awe.
Such grace and beauty,
strength and confidence.
But as always when I gawk at kite-surfers,
I was struck by something else, too.
 I was struck by the power,
the invisible but oh-so-necessary power
of the wind.
Athleticism alone does not make this happen.
Good equipment all by itself will not produce this result.
It is only when the wind rises,
when the board owners allow the wind to do
what only the wind can do
that a good ride becomes a thing of beauty.

Jesus said, 

“You’re not listening. Let me say it again. Unless a person submits to this original creation—the ‘wind-hovering-over-the-water’ creation, 

the invisible moving the visible,

a baptism into a new life—it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom. When you look at a baby, it’s just that: a body you can look at and touch. But the person who takes shape within is formed by something you can’t see and touch—the Spirit— 

and becomes a living spirit.


“So don’t be so surprised when I tell you that you have to be ‘born from above’—out of this world, so to speak. You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from 

or where it’s headed next. 

That’s the way it is with everyone ‘born from above’ by the wind of God, the Spirit of God.” 

John 3:5-8, The Message

Joining Michelle, Sandy and Deidra with their lovely weekend invitation to quiet:

Garden Glory: Summer Weekend – August 10-12

Every day I walked circles in the parking lot.
We sat a lot during the School for Spiritual Direction
and I needed the exercise. 
So, I walked in circles, 
round and round the lowest level of the parking lot.
And every day, I noticed a lovely garden just below me.
Twice each week, volunteers came to weed and water.
It took me two summers,
two weeks each summer,
to actually stroll down into that garden below me.
 And I discovered something wonderful.
An historic garden,
filled with flowers and fruits and vines
that were in use during the late 18th and
early 19th centuries, during the era of the missions
and Spanish rule of Alta and Baja California.  

 A lovely small piece of summer serendipity in the middle of an intense time. 

“Serendipity is the faculty of finding things we did not know we were looking for.” 
Glauco Ortolano 

“May Jesus himself and God our Father, who reached out in love and surprised you with gifts of unending help and confidence, put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your work, enliven your speech.
2 Thessalonians 2:15-16, The Message

Joining with Michelle, Sandy and Deidra this beautiful summer weekend:

Quiet for the Weekend – August 4-5, 2012

“Timely advice is lovely;
like golden apples in a silver basket.”
Proverbs 25:11 (NLT)

“Rebellion against your handicaps gets you nowhere.
Self-pity gets you nowhere.
One must have the adventurous daring
to accept oneself as a bundle of possibilities
and undertake the most interesting game in the world —
making the most of one’s best.”
– Harry Emerson Fosdick

“Try to make at least one person happy every day,
and then in ten years, you may have made three thousand,
six hundred and fifty persons happy,
or brightened a small town by your contribution
to the general enjoyment.”
– Sydney Smith

“Look, I really don’t want to wax philosophical,
but I will say, that if you’re alive
you got to flap your arms and legs,
you got to jump around a lot,
you got to make a lot of noise,
because life is the very opposite of death.
And therefore, as I see it,
if you’re quiet,  you’re not living.
You’ve got to be noisy,
or at least your thoughts should be
noisy and colorful and lively.”
– Mel Brooks 

Pictures of ripening pomegranates in the historic gardens of the Old Mission, Santa Barbara CA
Quotes are examples of ‘timely advice,’  Bold italics added to my favorite parts. 
Joining Sandy and Deidra in their quiet spaces this weekend, with gratitude
for who they are and how they welcome us.

Quiet for the Weekend: July 6-8, 2012

“My beloved spoke and said to me,
    ‘Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, 
come with me. 
 See! The winter is past;  
the rains are over and gone. 
 Flowers appear on the earth;  
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves is heard in our land. 
 The fig tree forms its early fruit;  
the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling;  
my beautiful one, come with me.’”
Song of Solomon 2:10-14 (NLT)
It’s summer!
 The flowers are popping,
 the fruit is ripening,
 the fountains are flowing,
 the outside lights are hung in celebration.
 Even the old, tired fence looks happy to see
the sun, the warm air and the pinks and purples of summer blooms.
 And the shyest of our feathered friends peeked out from behind the leaves – even though I did have to shoot through the screen to capture her.
May your weekend be full of light and laughter,
time with family or friends,
and time to sit alone in the afternoon breeze.
God is good, all the time.
But somehow, on a fair summer’s day,
God seems even good-er than usual.
Joining up with Michelle, Sandy and Deidra for their invitations to celebrate
the weekends with a small space of quiet and color. 

Quiet for the Weekend – June 29/30, 2012

“Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
    Who may stand in his holy place?
Those who have clean hands and a pure heart,
    who do not put their trust in an idol
    or swear by a false god.”
Psalm 24:3 TNIV
“For Christ did not enter into a holy place 
made with human hands, 
which was only a copy of the true one in heaven. 
He entered into heaven itself 
to appear now before God on our behalf.
Hebrews 9:24 NLT 
“Certainly work is not always required of a man.
There is such a thing as a sacred idleness –
the cultivation of which is now fearfully neglected.”
 – George MacDonald      
 “People are doubtful and skeptical about the church,
they suspect and dislike the clergy,
they are impatient of theological systems,
but of Jesus Christ,
as he stands out to view in the sacred pages,
as they dimly realize him in their own best selves,
as they catch faint traces of him in the lives of his saints,
they have no other sentiments 
than those of respect and affection.”
Herbert Hensley Henson
19th century Anglican priest

Photos taken at St. Mary’s Retreat House in Santa Barbara CA where I met with Brother Thomas for the first time. He is not Abbot David, but we will enter into a contract for spiritual direction for 8 months and see where God takes us in that time. The setting for these meetings is glorious, one I had never seen and it is right next door to The Old Mission, where I go frequently. Just enjoying this view may be among the richest of the gifts of the next 8 months.

Joining with Sandy and Deidra at their Quiet Spaces for the weekend, with gratitude for each of them:

Quiet for the Weekend-June 23/24, 2012

For now we see only a reflection 
as in a mirror; 
then we shall see face to face. 
Now I know in part; 
then I shall know fully, 
even as I am fully known.” 

1 Corinthians 13:12 

“Maybe the only thing each of us can see is our own shadow.
Carl Jung called this his shadow work. 
He said we never see others. 
Instead we see only aspects of ourselves that fall over them. 
Shadows. Projections. Our associations.
The same way old painters would sit in a tiny dark room 
and trace the image of what stood outside a tiny window, 
in the bright sunlight.
The camera obscura.
Not the exact image, 
but everything reversed or upside down.”
– Chuck Palahniuk

“You can only come to the morning through the shadows.”
– J.R.R. Tolkien
May your weekend be rich
with intimations of heaven,
dear friends,
that place where we will see
each other and ourselves
and our Good God
in truth and beauty.
Joining up with Sandra and Deidra as we all take time to be
a little less busy,
a little more attentive,
a little more centered.

Quiet for the Weekend – June 16/17, 2012

“Listen, O Israel! 
The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.  
And you must love the Lord your God 
with all your heart, 
all your soul, 
and all your strength.  
And you must commit yourselves 
wholeheartedly to 
these commands that I am giving you today.   
Repeat them again and again to your children. 
Talk about them when you are at home 
and when you are on the road, 
when you are going to bed 
and when you are getting up.  
Tie them to your hands 
and wear them on your forehead 
as reminders.   
Write them on the doorposts of your house 
and on your gates.”
Deuteronomy 6:4-9, The New Living Translation
 Wooden gates and doors from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church,
where the Kindergarden Commencement for our granddaughter Grace 
was held on Thursday morning of this week.
This church is four driveways from our home.
I have been inside a few times, but never wandered the grounds with camera in hand.
It is an old mission style church, built for the families of the soldiers in the presidio when Father Serra 
built the mission trail in California in the late 18th century.
It is gloriously beautiful and someday I’ll do an entire photo essay about it.
But these gates and doors spoke to me this week.
Perhaps the scripture above and the one below are part of why they did.

  “Yes, I am the gate. 
Those who come in through me will be saved. 
They will come and go freely 
and will find good pastures.  
The thief’s purpose 
is to steal and kill and destroy.  
My purpose is 
to give them a rich and satisfying life.”
John 10:9-10, The New Living Translation
And surely one of the sweetest gifts of a rich and satisfying life
is a purple hydrangea still glistening with morning dew.
This one was located next to the doors shown above.

May your weekend bring reminders of the rich and satisfying life of Jesus, the gate.
Linking this with my friends Sandy and Deidra at their quiet gathering spaces for our weekend reveries.