Friday, April 4, 2014

Prayers Answered

I'm attending adoration once again. During our move I was so tired and befuddled with all the changes that I often forgot the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Our parish here has three days of adoration. I checked once or twice to see when I might go. "Perhaps I'll drop in," I thought. Then I forgot about my decision in the day-to-day needs and challenges of life in Georgia. But my faithful husband was praying that I'd slow down enough to "wait one hour" again.

In March I read a notice in the church bulletin. A new day was being added for adoration during Lent. Oh, my heart whispered, maybe this is the time to return. The second Sunday I read the notice I called to see what times were open. And my favorite time of 12:00 to 1:00 PM needed an adorer (guardian as they are called here).

I have been meeting with Jesus in the adoration chapel for the last three weeks. I am so happy Rich prayed for me to find my way back to adoration! It is a time like no other---that hour of gazing, waiting, praying and being quiet with my Savior.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Day of Ashes

In 2005, I discovered a seminarian named Michael Rogers. I enjoyed his thoughts about many Catholic subjects and his life as a teacher. His writing was so clear and passionate. It spoke to me on a deep level concerning his Christ centered life. This happened at a time when nothing Catholic could interest me. Since that first encounter I have followed his writing year after year and blog after blog. Fr. Michael Rogers SJ has continued writing in his clear, passionate, lively prose.  Now I find his writing is tempered with loving kindness along with his zeal for Christ and Catholic thought.

On The Road From La Sorta  a more current blog written by Fr. Michael Rogers SJ is where I found this post. It is a perfect start for my Lenten meditations.   

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Long Move



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I wrote in September of our move from Washington to Georgia. Once in Georgia, we looked for a house in order to resettle quickly.

The move into a new home took less time than the moving out from our home in Washington. But the moving in had its own set of difficulties. After we found the house that met our needs, we made an offer. Thus began the back and forth ordeal between agents, loan officers, and others as we tried to buy the house we wanted as our home. It was a very tense time, made so by the miscommunications, undefined goals, the divided attention of the seller's agent and the general "fog of war" that happens in many human endeavors.

Nevertheless, the last week of October brought the day we signed the papers to close, and all the aggravation and heart burn became a "bad dream." The sellers and we buyers were very happy to be through with the process and heartily shook hands. Cordiality was the order of the day.

Filled with delight, we moved into our new home.



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And we moved in. And in. And we are still in the process of moving in. It takes more than the delivery of boxes and furniture, painting and cleaning, sorting and storing. It takes time.

We have been in this house since the first day of November. We've celebrated Christmas with our daughter here, as well as the Super Bowl with our daughter and oldest son (that was a wonderful gift of grace), we learned of our youngest son's engagement here, hosted a new friend to tea, and we await the arrival of an old friend's visit this month. We have prayed and studied, worked and created, laughed and cried, grown closer together as a couple... And yet we still experience the loss of our former life together, in that other place, with those other people, and those other prayers, deeds, emotions, and the feel of those particular familiar habits of our past.

Each day here we move away from past, planting our feet one step at a time into the now and into a future reality.



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As I have pondered our move, I am reminded of others who have done and are doing the same thing. The woman from North Carolina who engaged me in conversation during the first few days after we had arrived from Washington. Then there are our next door neighbors. They just bought their first house and will move from our neighborhood in a few days. I too know the joy of moving from a rental to a home of our own. And then there was a new friend I met during November. She had moved from a town close to the one we left in Washington. How wonderful it has been to share with her our similar experiences in Washington and the Northwest.

All these people moving. Just like me. Our world is not static.

I realize none of my small difficulties or challenges are as gigantic or horrendous as those of others. Every day unnamed people start life anew because of persecution, illness, war, or natural disasters. They are experiencing the same general feelings and reactions I have had these past few weeks. Though at present I sometimes seem out of step and a stranger here, I know I'll discover people are basically the same everywhere. With each new venture into my new surroundings I'll renew my determination to be actively involved within my new community. Time and perseverance will help me to be at home here. I can see that already.


God Bless Those Who Move...

Friday, November 22, 2013

Four Losses Many Gains

Leaving familyculturehomefriends---all are losses.

Arriving, being present to more of our family is a great gift. After years of estrangement, arriving nullifies the preconceived and melds new bonds of appreciation.

Immersion into a new culture challenges the direction we are traveling. It invigorates the will. Excites the imagination and creates understanding.

Settling into a new home nurtures our character. We rethink what we hold most dear. Allow the new and the old to mingle; our life is renewed.

Making new friends brings joy. Acceptance by a stranger validates us. So validated, we reach out to others with confidence and welcome.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Log of Jumbled Thoughts ...May to September

It is the first day of May and people are walking through our house. They have been there for thirty minutes. We have walked around the block and now we are standing near our car talking with a Christian friend. Pauline says, "Let's pray that you sell the house today." So we pray and at ten o'clock that night we have a buyer.

...
We agree to the terms of a contingent contract. We are now obligated to a long wait...It is very long. And by July 31 we have waited through four changes of our closing date. In June we pack most of our belongings in boxes, then load them into the first pod container. We live with a futon mattress couch, a few towels and kitchen supplies, a garden table and chairs in the dining room, a tool box for a desk, and a mattress on the floor in the bedroom. Late in July the last pod sits on the street waiting the final few boxes and mattresses. In two days we load and clean the house. At 8:45 pm on July 31 we lock the door and drive off to the hotel. We no longer own a house.

...
August 9, 2013, we leave the hotel and move to a cabin on a lake for our last two weeks in Washington. Our sons come for a weekend. We enjoy their company. Our family is so scattered. We have not seen them for many months. They are full of plans and knowledge and when they leave our hearts remember them each day.

...
We make many visits to friends and enjoy church and neighborhood parties.
There are tearful farewells.  Taking leave is hard and it leaves such an empty place.

...
Finally the day of departure has arrived. I cannot look back. Each time we have flown out of the city I have watched the neighborhoods flow past beneath me. This day I will not look. My eyes are fixed on the future. Whatever comes I will look only forward. To remember and reach out, yes. But to long for the past would be a black pit of grief.  I will not go there.

...
Sunday evening August 18, 2013, we arrive in Atlanta, exhausted feeling our age. Our daughter meets us. She is so eager and we are delighted to see her. For me all this seems like a dream. Yet God provides and we need not be wide awake to receive from His hand. At the airport help comes in the form of a porter who finds our lost luggage and gets it to fit inside our daughter's car. He seems like an angel to our tired minds. Monday morning the Lord provides a person who directs us to a furnished apartment where we can settle until we find a permanent place.

May to August the mundane and the sublime, days move like slugs on the walk.  Nights are deep and sleep zips away. Now in Georgia, I sit on the couch in the apartment. I think, "Finally the journey is over and now we can rest." But how could I know that the journey of house and home had only just started?

To be continued.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Few Are Chosen

There are saints among us who will never make an earthly list or church calendar.  They live Christ-like lives seemingly unnoticed. Sharing their life of faith with those they meet and live with, they think not of their own sanctity. Humility clings to them as does the sweet fragrance of heaven. Most will pass from this life mourned as a dear friend, family member, and faithful congregant. None can guess the joy that awaits them nor the jeweled crown they shall receive.

Be vigilant and keep your heart pure before Christ. We are all Saints in the making.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Here Grief And There Joy

I lost a friend. We buried her this week. She was one of those rare people who can draw out the best in others. One who slips into a room unnoticed and leaves just as quietly but who enriches all just by being. Soft spoken, yet possessing a strength of character that flowed from hard trials and unfeigned humility. Her sudden death brought deep grief to all who knew her. All somber thoughts and reminiscence fall short of the joys that greet her in heaven. For after purgation comes the welcome home to all believers, and surely a "Well Done Yukiko!" from Jesus her Savior and Lord.