Monday, December 31, 2007

An "Auld Lang Syne" Friday Five on Monday :)

From RevGalBlogPals ...

With that in mind, share five memorable moments of 2007. These can be happy or sad, profound or silly, good or bad but things that you will remember.

Bonus points for telling us of a "God sighting"-- a moment when the light came through the darkness, a word was spoken, a song sung, laughter rang out, a sermon spoke to you in a new way--whatever you choose, but a moment in 2007 when you sensed Emmanuel, God with us.

Okay, how fun!! Here they are, although my Friday Five is actually Monday More...

1) In March, I found out that my partner was not going to be able to move here with her daughter, as we'd planned. And because of the glitches we'd encountered, we had no idea when she'd be able to move and still don't! That loss was worth almost 10lbs and a bit of depression.

2) On April 9th, knowing we needed to have something good happen, I suggested we have a commitment ceremony over the phone, just me and her and God. So we did! I had a book of creative ceremonies that had prayers, invocations, poetry, vows, etc. It was wonderful!!

3) In June, I went back to Virginia Beach, where I lived for about 16 years, and watched one of my very best friends get married! I am almost tearing up (yet again) just thinking about it. As close friends do, we shared so much of our romantic discouragement, and encouraged each other over the years to hang in there, promising each other that one day we'd be past all the pain, both of us happy in love. And here we were, both having found the loves of our lives!! It was magical experience!

4) Late this summer, my partner and her daughter both came to visit and the four of us had a wonderful vacation together. The kids took to each other almost immediately and had great fun hanging out. In our hearts, we became family! And every ordinary "family" moment was precious to me.

5) Right after that, I found out that my landlord of 4 years was going to sell the Victorian duplex I had loved for all of those years and my son and I would have to move. I didn't want to move! But I am oh, so glad I did!! I love our new home, from the private entrance, to the stairs and 2nd floor living that Jonathan envisioned, to the screened-in balcony, to the courtyard full of trees that is my magnificent view every day, to the garden tub in my bathroom!

6) I had a strong sense that my partner and I would see each other in November, but had no idea why, how or when. But I have learned to trust this kind of intuitive information and I just sort of let it float around in my head. Well, around the last week of October, Shelly found out that none of the people at her work who had been scheduled to attend an upcoming workshop in Toronto would be able to go and they were going to send her instead (paying for her airfare, hotel stay and meals). We immediately made plans for me to join her there to get married, and that's what we did!

7) I have had an incredible Christmas season!! I found wonderful ways to celebrate, some big, some small, every single day and each moment of celebration was both charmed and meaningful!

8) I have two "bonus" memories ... months ago, I asked God to know more about God-as-feminine, as mother, and almost immediately afterwards, discovered the moon. And I mean, an incredible connection and really soothing, comforting experience each time I saw the moon. I also began to have some mystical experiences in nature, in general, that fostered a much deeper sense of loving connection with God.

My second bonus memory has to do with the wisdom of God in choosing Joseph as a parent for Jesus. In my post yesterday, I wrote much more about that, but yesterday's sermon really opened my eyes to ways in which Jesus seems to "take after" Joseph.

I am SOOOO deeply grateful for this past year! It was not without challenge!! But there has been so much joy. So much God, really :).

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Joseph, who raised Jesus...

I haven't posted for the past couple of days because I haven't been feeling well. For some reason, it seems that God often chooses to get my attention when I don't feel well. Either that, or I'm more likely to listen closely!

Actually, I guess we must have some kind of agreement in place, that I hope will soon come up for review, because there must be much better ways to help me make spiritual shifts. I'm feeling better today and I'm so glad I went to church (I considered not going).

The pastor talked about Joseph and how powerful it was for him to decide not to do what the Bible said when he found out Mary was pregnant. And he mentioned several things the Bible says that we now question (like women covering their heads). He said something I'd never thought of before, that completely changed the way I look at Joseph and his role in Jesus' life.

He said, "I can understand why the boy that Joseph raised would say something like You have heard 'an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth', but I say to you...'. "

"And I can understand why the boy that Joseph raised would not support stoning the woman caught in adultery but would instead say, let whoever is without sin cast the first stone." After all, that's what should have happened to his mother, but didn't.

I've never thought before about Jesus knowing that about Mary, or being influenced by the kind of person Joseph was, who could decide on his own that in spite of what the Bible said, it would be kinder and more loving and therefore, better, to protect Mary. To be raised knowing that story would be powerful, indeed.

And also, to have a father figure who clearly had a relationship with God and was guided by Him, instead of strictly following the Bible. Who could plot to outwit the ruler of the day because that's what God wanted him to do.

Someone on RevGals mentioned feeling like Joseph is sort of forgotten and undervalued. I remember reading her thoughts and sort of shrugging. Joseph seemed incidental in many ways. But today's sermon really helped me see how big a role he must have played in who Jesus became.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Healing Experience

Just had a powerful and interesting healing experience.

I was sitting out on my balcony, doing some reiki, and I could tell things were shifting, that I was letting go of beliefs and blocks. But that was all I could tell. Then, some affirmations came to me ... that I was willing, and that I was becoming ready. As I felt inspired to say them, I became aware of releasing the resistance.

Then, some thoughts came to me that I knew were expressions of the healing that was taking place...

I am becoming who I am. I am letting go of who I am not.

I am about to give birth to me.

I am one whole being. All of me is me.

The healing felt intense at times, and I had fleeting questions about whether or not I could "stand it". But also, I felt a really amazing sense of peace, a deep peace, and spiritual connection.

And as I was working on myself, I felt my body integrating in a way that it hasn't done before. Although I'm not sure what that means, I know that it's true. I even had a visual impression of parts of my body connecting to each other and becoming whole, becoming a tightly-knit unit, wholly connected.

I didn't know this was coming, but now, I'm glad I've had such a quiet, peaceful day.

And now, I'm even more curious about and eager to discover what's next!

Sweet Potato Pie

After a breakfast of champions, an apple cinnamon bar, sweet tea, a piece of sweet potato pie and a cookie, I decided to surf the 'net and watch another Christmas movie. This one, picked by my son, is called the Christmas Card.

"You've stood watch a long time now. Maybe it's time to find out what's next..."

Great quote from the movie.

I am eager to find out what's next...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Boxing Day Reflections...

On Monday night, my son and I went to our church's Christmas Eve service and it was magical!!

The liturgical dancers, the soloists, the readings, the dim lighting and the candlelight singing in the courtyard, even the clown, were all amazing.

On Christmas morning, he and I opened presents here and then, went to my mom's to open gifts. It was a 3-hour long extravaganza, complete with yummy pancakes, after which, I was quite tired and not inclined to see or talk to anyone for a while. I had planned to come back and watch Miracle on 34th Street, but instead, we watched Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus.

I wasn't feeling so good yesterday and I'm not feeling so good today, either! It's kinda getting me down a little. Though I love to choose to relax, I hate to be sidelined! And I'm a little worried, but trying to think positively.

Today, we had more gifts to open. Our presents from my wife were stuck in the apartment's office so we couldn't get them until this morning. Jonathan was SO excited to open them and then, so pleased with them, as was I!

That's him, above, looking through his new binoculars! :)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Long Day's Journey into *Tired* Night...

Whew! What a long day it has been!!

But good. We've been focusing on Advent in church these past few weeks, and today, we began to sing Christmas songs/carols. And to talk more as if the time has come. It was very exciting! And we were given these strips of cloth at the beginning of the season to carry around with us every day. I put mine on my purse. Well, today, we took them up to the altar area and laid them on top of the manger. I think during tomorrow's service, they will be transformed into swaddling clothes.

Well, I got chills from walking up there, seeing the manger and the strips! We've done it for the past couple of years that I've been going, but this has been the first Christmas season in years that I've been able to go every Sunday and really devote my full attention to anticipating Jesus.

So, I think it hit me harder than usual.

After church, we went to the natural foods store, to my mother's house for lunch and then, to the grocery store. By the time we got home, we were both worn out and I got to hang out with Whiny McWhiner until his bedtime!

Ahh, well...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas, Everybody!!

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New Year's Questions...

Here are the questions I've come up with, so far...

How shall I fill my days with magic?
How can I use ritual and ceremony to infuse each day or each week with comfort and warmth?
Which roles would I like to emphasize in my life next year?
What would I like to create that I haven't created before? (In myself? In my family?)
How might I nurture connection with family and friends?

And here are two of the questions my coach suggested...

What challenges would I like to overcome?
What specific visions would I like to bring into reality in 2008?

What About After Christmas?

I had a depressing thought last night and woke up thinking about it this morning...

I have been having a truly wonderful Christmas season!! And part of what has made it so wonderful is that I have celebrated every day. In little ways and big ways. With winter apple tea and cookies, with Shawn Colvin, with Christmas homeschooling, with decorations, with an almost nightly Christmas movie. And all of America and around the world has celebrated with me.

But in just two short weeks, that will all be over!

And then what???

I think that is usually what makes January and February a challenge. And I remember thinking about it briefly last year and the year before that, but I was still working part-time then and was so focused on the relief I would feel when the holiday rush was over that I didn't worry about it too much.

But this season has been nearly magical! ...

I need a plan!!

Some way to transition into non-holiday. A way to make garden-variety winter feel special. Maybe I will incorporate this idea into my thoughts about what I want for the new year. A way to have some sense of ritual, tradition and celebration all the time...

If you're reading this, and I wonder if anyone is, and you have ideas, lay 'em on me!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Celebrating Winter Solstice

I just went out on my balcony to look for the moon. I didn't find it, but the night smelled wonderful!!! I could hardly bear to come back inside. And I did catch a glimpse of light which made me think the moon was just out of my range of sight.

Earlier, I talked to my wife, and we decided that today would be the shortest day if the actual solstice moment occurs tonight.

So, around 4:30pm, after I woke up from a lovely winter nap, the sun began to go down but it wasn't completely dark until around 5:20pm. Here's what we did to celebrate...

1) Both my son and I made little speeches honoring the darkness and the light that is to come.

2) We both put our pajamas on early (before 5pm).

3) He created a little "winter solstice dance", which inspired me to do the same.

4) We sang "In the Bleak Midwinter", sung by Shawn Colvin.

5) We lit candles when it got dark.

6) And I made our favorite food for dinner: penne pasta alfredo. The picture is my son finishing up his celebratory dinner.

I love ceremony!! It was fun :).

Winter Solstice

I went to bed last night and woke up this morning to the pouring rain and a gusty wind, which made me ever-so-thankful for a warm comforter and a blanket. No sunshine on this cold winter solstice. I suppose that's appropriate!

But I'm having a great morning!

My son and I are burning a cinnamon apple candle, listening to Christmas music, reading Christmas stories and coloring last-minute Christmas gifts for Grandma and other family members. Well, he's actually doing the coloring, but it was my idea! :)

As a homeschooling day, I decided to mirror what usually happens on the last day of school before the holidays begin. So this afternoon, we're going to watch a Christmas movie, drink apple cider and eat Christmas cookies.

As it gets dark, we will probably do something to celebrate the winter solstice, but I'm not sure what that will be. The winter solstice actually will occur tonight at 1:08am, so the 22nd is the official date. I'm not sure which day will be the shortest day, so we will compare and celebrate both days.

And have I mentioned that I am officially on vacation?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Feeling Better

I took a wonderful nature walk with my son (we gave that name to our taking-out-the-trash adventure) and stopped in front of a group of trees to listen as they had quite an interesting conversation! While I was there, I was singing inside my head, "we will rock you, rock you, rock you, we will rock you, rock you now" from Shawn Colvin's CD and I got this image of me holding Jesus and rocking Him.

Now, that's the Jesus I'm anxious to meet. Tender, gentle, sweet! Although ostensibly, we celebrate the birth of a baby, we almost always end up thinking about a fully-grown man/God. But I need tenderness and innocence and wonder, perfected. And gentleness and sweet comfort.

And a child's wholehearted love!

Anyway, I'm feeling cheered.

One special reason is I switched tomorrow's client (after a cancellation) to this afternoon, and so, I now have met with my last client for 2007!

I am officially ON VACATION!!!! YAY! :)

Chasing Away Winter

My goal was to make my next post about what I'm looking forward to in the next year. But I have a far more important task at the moment! I am chasing away a touch of winter blues. I'm also getting to the end of this month's cycle. I imagine that has contributed to this brief touch of melancholy.

I was quite liberal this morning when I put on the soothing oil blend I use, aptly called Peace & Calming.

And I have fallen in love with Shawn Colvin's "In the Bleak Midwinter" and somehow, I'm finding it and all the songs that follow, quite comforting. I also have just taken a long bath, and had a mindful breakfast. This time I actually tasted the winter apple flavoring in my glass of iced tea!

I'm sitting out on my balcony, letting the sun warm me. Watching the breeze ruffle the trees.

"Christmas time is here..."

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My Year in Review

Have you taken a look back at the gifts brought by your experiences in 2007?

Since this is the year I got married and one of my best friends did, too, we've both said "what a difference a year makes" a few times this year!!

But other than that, I haven't yet taken a very careful, thoughtful look and today, I decided I would. My life coach, Ann Strong, who is a fabulous coach's coach, gave me a helpful list of questions to get me started...

Reviewing 2007:

Go wild! Acknowledge all your go(o)dness and greatness.One guideline: release criticism and focus on positives.

What did I accomplish that I am most proud of? Finding a wonderful new home to live in and going to Toronto to get legally married to the love of my life.

When did I have the most fun? Every time I was with Shelly. Even going to the grocery store is fun when we go together! (You think I'm in love?)

What experiences touched me the most? This question makes me think of my church. There have been so many wonderful experiences there that brought tears to my eyes!

What experiences were the most intimate? Looking into the eyes of my love and seeing her heart and her soul.

Most powerful? I have had some very powerful spiritual moments involving trees, moon, reiki, essential oils, nature walks, water, etc.

Most sacred? When we were saying our vows, in both the commitment ceremony in April and the legal one in November.

What difficult challenges did I meet successfully?
(1) I let go of a part-time job so that I would have more time to homeschool my son.

(2) I handled being outed at work by a co-worker.

(3) I found out that my wife and daughter weren't going to be able to move here this past summer as planned. We still don't know when they will be able to move.

In meeting the challenges, what did I do best? Relying on guidance and support in my relationship with God and in my marriage and support from my friends.

What lessons did I learn? That God is taking care of me all of the time, that He has good plans for me and that I can trust my life to unfold as it should.

How would I describe my power in those situations? I would say I did a lot of co-creating with God. The year as a whole was empowering!

But, you know, there are more questions that occur to me...

Here are questions I would ask as a healing practitioner...

1) What are you most grateful for that healed this year?
2) How did you become more of who you are at the core? In what ways are you living more from the essence of who you are?
3) What blocks were removed? What are you more open to, where are you more free?
4) Which limiting beliefs did you release? And what wonderful new beliefs did you develop as a result?
5) Were there any specific memories you remember healing? That you can now remember with peace?
6) How has healing empowered you this year?
7) In what ways did you surprise yourself that you would attribute to the healing work you've done?
8) What's next?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sick Day

Just got through eating a cookie at breakfast.

It's official! The days are a little too short for my constitution. Bring on the comfort food!

Also, my son and I are still a bit congested. So I've declared a sick day, or homeschooling lite, if you will. There might even be a Christmas movie-watching event!!

And plenty of Christmas lullabies, with a nap thrown in for good measure.

After a day of hiding under the covers, I'm sure we'll be ready again to face the world.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Surprising Christmas Pageant

On Sunday night, when I was already so tired, I could hardly bear to drag myself to the church, Jonathan was a cowboy shepherd in the Surprising Christmas Pageant. It was a great show, but I am so glad it's over!!

I was so tired I forgot my camera and am now waiting on the generosity of my friend, one of the other mothers, who took lots of pics and promised several to me.

Jonathan and I still haven't recovered and are both significantly more sniffly than we were before. Ah, well!

Hopefully, we'll both feel better in a day or two.

Airborne, anyone?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Missing the Moon

For about two minutes, I sat out on the balcony, looking at the place where the moon should be, listening to the pitter patter of the rain and lifting my face to the occasional breeze that drifted in and then, out, again. Before heading in, I wondered briefly why this afternoon's strawberry milkshake hadn't cheered me up more and fantasized about sipping from a glass of wine as I gazed moonward.

It's so cloudyfoggy outside and has been all day! Normally, I love the rain but today, I guess I needed warmth and comfort instead of fresh, airy freedom.

It has been a blah day, kind of mundane.

I miss my sweetie and I won't get to talk to her tonight because she has a day-long work conference followed by dinner. I am likely to be in bed by the time she gets home.

But in about 45 minutes, I'll be watching what I hope will turn out to be a mildly engaging, slightly-silly-but-romantic holiday movie. I've decided against the Hallmark epic romance I was considering, which would require more emotional energy than I want to spend tonight, and am opting, instead, for the family channel.

At some point, while watching, I will dive into my nightly bowl of cereal while looking for Brokeback Mountain or Sports Night slash to read.

And maybe later, I'll laugh while watching Will & Grace. I'm smiling just thinking about it! :)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday Five

I love reading the RevGalBlogPals blog and the wonderful groups of blogs it has referred me to in the past few weeks!

They posted the following "Friday Five" and I thought I'd play...

What makes you rejoice about:

1. Waiting? The sense of anticipation and curiosity. Who knows what wonderful thing might be on the way to my life?

2. Darkness? Getting to spend more time with the moon. Lighting candles and feeling cozywarm at home.

3. Winter? Apple cider, apple pie, hot chocolate, soups and casseroles. Also, curling up in front of a fire.

4. Advent? Getting to think about the gift of Jesus' birth every day of December.

5. Jesus' coming? That God reached out to us in love and gave us a way to see it physically and experience it with skin on.

A Winter's Nap

I have to admit I'm giggling a little about this title. Winter's Nap.

Although I did take a wonderful afternoon nap, with Shawn Colvin's holiday lullaby CD playing sweetly in the background, it is at least 70 degrees outside and was warmer than that before the sun began to leave. And yet, it did have the feel of a nap in winter!

My body definitely slows down as the days shorten and napping grows in its appeal. I think I enjoy naps much more during this season, even more than I enjoy nighttime sleep.

And doesn't it feel a little like the whole world is getting ready to take a nap? I can feel it!

There are these parallel tracks. On one, there's all this holiday hustle and bustle, with bright lights, sparkling, glittery colors and loud, festive music. Every other day there's a party to go to and people thrust out brightly-wrapped presents with really big grins. I'm not on that track anymore and haven't been for several years now. I buy my presents in the summer and fall and hand them out while everyone is still wearing sandals and shorts, or at least, before the first heavy jacket.

On another track, the days begin to start out with chill and sometimes, frost, and the heater is heard coming on and then, resting. People wear long sleeves. Apple cider gets passed around. We ever-more-reluctantly throw back not just covers but blankets and leaving the house becomes far less pleasant than returning. Colors fade and sounds soften. And there's a coziness that just has "nap" written all over it!

Another great day!

In our homeschooling, Jonathan and I talked about the different ways people celebrate the holidays. He was interested in celebrating Hanukkah and disappointed when he found out that that ship had just sailed. But there is an opportunity to experience Winter Solstice and he was quite interested in that, as well.

I'm not sure what all we will do.

I'd be interested in making prayer sticks but they'd have to be symbolic. And then, I'd have to figure out what the "ground" would that would receive them on the 21st. Neat idea, though. We will probably do some candle lighting. And a look back at last year's "darkness", the things we are less happy about in the grand scheme of things, as we prepare for more "light" and a better year next year.

Although I don't think we will combine the two in any kind of dramatic way, we have been celebrating Advent, too, and that provides a great opportunity to express hope for the year to come and our future, in general.

I love this season!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas on the Balcony

What a peaceful day it has been!!

Most recently, I've been hanging out on the balcony, feet propped up, surrounded by sunshine, listening to Shawn Colvin's soothing Christmas music, while Jonathan creates magnificent inventions on leftover paper from a homeschooling assignment. It felt and feels so wonderful, I had to share it in blog-like fashion!

Earlier, this morning, we took a walk around the apartment complex and talked again about how our favorite ways to connect with God. We both agreed on taking walks!

I only had three scheduled clients this afternoon, so Jonathan was with me all day, and he did "homework" while I worked with my clients. I love these days!! I have such a great time homeschooling him, but it's even better on full days like today, when I don't have to sandwich our time with the big thick meat of work in between.

The clouds are beautiful today! Big, thick, white and fluffy. There's a breeze, mostly light, occasionally a bit heavier and I love it when it makes the trees whisper to each other.

I think it's snack time now. I'm taking a break from the wonderfully healthy and deciding on bread-with-butter and apple cider. At least they will be natural (the bread) and organic (the butter and cider)! :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Feminine Face of God

I saw the moon today. In fact, I'm looking at it right now!

It's only a quarter moon, but still, I find it enormously soothing and comforting. I was staring at it and thinking about that a few minutes ago and thought, "the feminine face of God."

I facilitated a Sunday school class recently and asked everyone to write down characteristics of their ideal hero. And then, I had them flip the card over and describe their ideal leader. In both of my lists, I used words like "female" and "feminine".

Later in the class, I asked them to compare those lists to their experience of God. Does God seem to embody those ideal characteristics? He does for me, but I realized quite some time ago that I didn't really experience God as feminine and I wanted to, very much. So I asked for it.

Shortly after making that request, my love affair with the moon began!

I feel very connected to God when I see it. And I'm grateful for this added way of knowing God or experiencing God's presence.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Little House on the Prairie

I have had a very cozy past two days of homeschooling!! Almost as if my son and I spent our time in front of a warm fireplace wrapped up in a soft, thick blanket.

Normally, my days are divided. I start and finish with homeschooling, but in between, I have several clients and my son hangs out with Grandma. But my healing practice has been light these past two days, so I got to spend more time with him.

Though we didn't watch "Little House on the Prairie", we are reading the Little House in the Big Woods.

I'm also getting inspired in a few areas of my life...

First of all, I've gotten up earlier than I normally do these past two days so we could start our homeschooling earlier and finish sooner, as well.

I've been trying a few new recipes (if you could call them that--they aren't very fancy!) and they've worked well, so I've done some menu planning that I can't wait to try out during the next few weeks. Some of them involve mixes, but they're natural or organic, so good, yes? :)

And finally, I think I have a brand-new direction on what I want to do with my healing practice next year. Still not sure about the "minister" thing, but hey, I'm not rushing God. he can get back to me!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Christmas Party

I had a wonderful time!!

It was still so warm as we left to go, I was able to wear my short-sleeved red dress instead of the long-sleeved pullover with my camel-colored pants I'd had planned. Jonathan chose to wear green.

I think I have now had my fill of sweet potato souffle!! YUM!

We both took pics with Santa, and I told Santa that my wife and I are still working out the living arrangements and that what I wanted for Christmas was for it to no longer be a long-distance marriage.

He said he'd get right on it!

Here I Am, Lord!

We sing a verse of that song at the end of every service, using sign language.

"Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord? I have heard you calling in the night. I will go, Lord, if you lead me. I will hold your people in my heart."

Though I mean it when I sing it, I made a similar commitment during another part of the service today. After his sermon, the pastor offered us a chance to be re-affirm our baptism. He used a "shoot from the root of Jesse" :) and dipped it in water and then, sprinkled it on our heads. It felt like I was experiencing a moment straight out of Scripture because so many of were waiting and we'd talked about John the Baptist...

I am in the process of finding out what God means when He whispers the word "minister" to me and today, I told Him that whatever He wanted, I was willing. It was very moving!

Watching the others was moving, too.

It was quite a morning! I was the facilitator this morning for Sunday school. I used the passage in Isaiah 11:1-10 and had people do work around the "hero" concept. I got that idea from an icebreaker question in the margin for that text in the Serendipity Bible and I expanded on it a few times as we looked at the passage. I was nervous, but it turned out to be fun!

One thing I like about our question-and-discussion format is that even when you're the "teacher", if a really good discussion gets going, you will be as blessed as the others by it. We were talking about how peace would come in the new society described in that passage. And we were taking the amazing peace and harmony predicted for the animal kingdom and exploring what that would mean for human relationships.

We started talking about whether or not "change" would occur from the inside out or the outside in and someone brought up the innocence and wonder of childhood. We speculated that that might be part of the change that happens on the inside. I had not thought of that before and immediately fell in love with the idea.

When I asked what we could do now to begin to create that kind of peace and harmony, one of the suggestions was to try to reconnect with that sense of innocence and wonder. Great idea, I thought!!

Our church's Christmas party is tonight, in just a couple of hours.

We're going. But right at this moment, I don't particularly want to. I'm tired. I just want to curl up on the sofa and take a nap, and then, have a quiet evening with my son.

On the other hand, I'm looking forward to seeing all these people I have come to love and being able to hang out with them more than I do on a typical Sunday morning. We have Wednesday night suppers, but they are on hold right now for the holiday season.

Hmm. Maybe a short nap...

Saturday, December 8, 2007

I'm happy!

I was driving toward Kroger, soaking up the sunshine, thinking about what a wonderful day it was and it hit me. I'm happy!

I had just spent almost 3 hours nearly freezing at church during my son's rehearsal for his Christmas pageant, but I also got to talk to one of the other mothers, with whom I'm becoming friends, and I had just decided we'd eat at Fuddruckers after our brief stop at the store. Life's not perfect but it is quite good!!

After Fuddrucker's (not sure the chili cheese fries were my best choice), my son and I took a walk and then sat down to watch "Frosty's Winter Wonderland" with the voices of Andy Griffith and Shelley Winters. I admit that part of the time, I just watched him.

Several times today, my heart just filled with love for him.

Anyway, then, we watched "Little Bear", one of my favorite cartoons, while I addressed Christmas cards for the Christmas card exchange on GCN (the Gay Christian Network). Several of us have decided to send cards to each other and the most fun thing about buying and preparing them was writing my new married name on the envelope and signing them with both our names.

I'm a newlywed! What can I say? :)

Anyway, I have just put him to bed and once again, I'm listening to Christmas lullabies.

About an hour and a half ago, I watched through the window in stillness and with a deep sense of contentment as sunlight gave way to dusk and then, to darkness.

It has been a really great day!!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Christmas Music, Meal Planning

I am listening to our Christmas lullabies as I type.

Just a little while ago, I was reading more of the First Christmas, by Marcus Borg & John Crossan. It's a fascinating book, but there's a little bit of loss involved as we peel back the veil to uncover the mystery of the writing of the NT Christmas stories. I will write more about that as I get to the end of the book and do some reflecting.

Woven into our homeschooling this afternoon was earnest review of Jonathan's songs for the Christmas pageant.

We also took a trip to the new Target. I realized recently that Target had natural and organic food and for much less than I was paying elsewhere, so I figured I better go take a closer look. We came home with dinner! And a new appreciation for Target.

I would like to get better at meal planning.

When I was working two jobs, meals were often packaged and/or found at my mother's house! :)

Neither solution helped me learn how to put good-but-cheap organic meals together.

Though we eat meat, we don't eat a lot, so I need to plan carefully to make sure we get enough protein. And we no longer have a microwave, so I want to do more cooking, less heating up.

Once my wife and daughter are here, I think it will be easier. She likes to experiment, so I picture us both working together on meals. We've gone out a lot when she has visited in the past, but she likes to cook for me and says cooking together would be fun. I'm looking forward to it!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Christmas Homeschooling

I am having a wonderful day!

Jonathan and I have been reading Christmas stories, listening to Christmas carols on a lullaby CD, and having a great time together. We took a walk and right now, we're listening to the CD and having quiet time (I insist on it now that he doesn't take naps!).

He just presented me with a drawing he titled, "Jonathan and Jesus". I had given him a picture to color that I'd printed off the Internet which had a manger scene with Jesus surrounded by animals. On the back, he added himself to the picture, standing beside the manger. So cute!

Naturally, I had to share pictures! :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A Witness to Healing

I'm working at home today in my healing practice, and I just had the most wonderful session!

One of those that I wanted to be sure to remember! I've been working with this client for two years now and I am so thrilled to see her really getting to the core of who she is. All of the blocks and filters and white noise and limiting beliefs, everything that covered up and hid who she really was has healed and cleared. All those cellular memories at the root of what she wanted to change have healed.

And I'm just so excited for her!!

This really is why I do what I do!

She had taken a break from working with me for a few months and when we met this afternoon on the phone, I could tell immediately that the clearing which had been taking so long was complete. Her energy was entirely different! And the things she was saying, her thoughts and feelings, were completely transformed.

I had to remind her of where she started because she was puzzled by my excitement for her! She'd forgotten, as we all do.

Plus, she's kind of feeling the void right now. The space between what has been healed and the transformation (in beliefs and understanding of who she is at the core) that is coming or is still settling in, so to speak. The void feels kind of empty, so it's understandable that she was not quite ready to celebrate. But I know what's coming for her (and I'm just thrilled about it!).

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The First Christmas?

Dec. 4th...

Jonathan and I had a good homeschooling day today!

We spent part of it with the local homeschooling group in the Performing Arts Club monthly drama class. I watched them play and perform this afternoon and thought, "he is full of joy!". He was beautiful! (If I do say so myself).

Later we went for a walk around the apartment complex and I decided to talk to him about the Christmas story he's been learning as he prepares for the Christmas pageant. I have been reading a book called the First Christmas, by Marcus Borg. In short, it makes a pretty convincing argument that much of the Christmas stories, one in Matthew and a different one in Luke, were written as parables with the intention of making the point that Jesus was the Lord, the Savior, instead of Caesar Augustus or any other Roman ruler.

And I already had become much more liberal in my beliefs. I don't believe that the Bible is inerrant or infallible.

But this is the first time I've reconsidered the Christmas stories in light of this shift in thinking!

And I wondered what, if anything, to say to my 6-year-old son, Jonathan. As we walked, I decided to just make a brief comment or two about how sometimes people teach by making up examples that make a point ("if someone is hurt, you should help them", etc) and that point or lesson is important even if the story used by the teacher isn't true. Then, I said that the Bible does that, too, sometimes by using what's called "parables", and that it's possible that that is true even of the stories about how Jesus was born.

Yes, his eyes started to glaze over! :)

But I just wanted to plant that seed and move on and we did. We talked about what he has learned, so far, about the story. Who Mary and Joseph were, how Mary found out Jesus was going to be born, were Mary and Joseph able to get a room at the hotel?, what the angel told the shepherds, etc.

It was fun talking about it with him!

Our First Wedding Card!

Dec. 3rd...

We got a "congratulations" card from one of my friends from college. Quite the thrill, I must say!

She also is part of a lesbian couple, and she wrote that she is really happy that I found someone and that she could tell how happy I am from the pictures.

And you know, I agree!! I have never seen either of us look so happy. I really think I'm the happiest I've ever been.

The other wonderful thing that happened today was that Jonathan made me a Christmas present and surprised me with it right before he went to bed! It's a flower arrangement made with those fuzzy pipe thingies.

Here's a picture...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Wedding Gifts!

Shelly and I opened wedding gifts tonight--over the phone! :)

Not how I'd have wanted to do it, but still, it was wonderful. I received the gifts several days ago but wanted to wait for a moment when neither of us was stressed out or exhausted and could take our time talking about each gift we received.

I saved the gift tags and out them in my wedding scrapbook!

Anyway, we got an iced tea maker, a towel set and a bake set!!

Now, we have to decide on thank-you cards. We don't anticipate getting enough gifts for a pack of cards, so we may look for small sets or the kind of thing where we can order or buy the exact number we need.

The Christmas Extravaganza Begins...

Dec. 1st...

I decided to celebrate Christmas every day this month, even if it's just in a small way. We have an advent calendar and both Jonathan and I were excited to be able to start using it today.
When I got up this morning, I had iced tea with an apple cider flavor :).

For our snack this afternoon, Jonathan and I had gingerbread cookies.

This morning, we raced through traffic to get to the rehearsal for the children's Christmas pageant. I had helped Jonathan practice and learn the songs yesterday and they commented on how well he knew them! My other proud-mom-brag-moment was about one of the songs. The choir director offered him a solo of the first two lines of one of the songs!! Now, Jonathan gets shy in front of people sometimes, so we shall see if he ends up actually performing the solo.

But I'm hoping so!! He did sound awfully sweet if I do say so myself!

After the rehearsal, we joined another mom and her two sons for a lunch and afternoon playdate. She treated us to lunch, which was so kind, and then, we headed downtown to the riverfront for the day's festivities, called Christmas on the River. It was wonderful to be near the water and walk under some trees and the kids seemed to have a good time.

The highlight for me was a table with native American art, music, and toys. The man sitting behind the table was playing a song on a wind instrument--I have no idea what the name of it was--but it sounded SO beautiful! It was a familiar love song, which I recognized at the time but cannot remember now. But it sounded just incredibly soothing!! I was kind of mesmerized.
Seeing the water was soothing also, which was good because the boys were quite rowdy!

After all that walking, and the afternoon's excitement, Jonathan and I were both tired when we got home. We practiced and learned "Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming", quickly ran through a few other songs, and then, curled up on the sofa to watch "A Charlie Brown Christmas", which I had taped when it came on earlier in the week.

It was hard to make myself get up for dinner.

He's in bed now and I bet he'll be out like a light when I check on him.

This will be the first Christmas in many years that I won't have a retail part-time job (all of which are crazy during the holidays). So, I'll be poorer this year, but much happier! My church had a lot going on this season and I am thrilled that Jonathan and I will get to participate!
It could only be better if Shelly and Taylor were here, too.

Dec. 2nd...

"Advent's primary message is to wait, listen, get in touch with God, and prepare our lives and hearts for Jesus' coming. For speeded up, stressed out people (that would be most of us), this is an intriguing invitation. Observe Advent -- and get more in touch with God." ~~Upper Room

I just had my first moment alone today (it's 7:15pm) and let me tell you, it was precious!! I went out on my balcony and just breathed. I also did a little reiki, which I knew would be both grounding and soothing.

I've been irritable almost all day!!

I think it's because I was tired! I didn't really recover from yesterday before having to get up and do it all over again. And I couldn't get myself to go to bed until 3am, so I definitely didn't get enough sleep!

But there were good moments...

Jonathan and I did some healing work this morning because he was nervous about his Christmas pageant solo, and he did fine in choir practice when she asked him to sing it. I think my boy's gonna be a star!! :)

I made it to Sunday school on time and it went well. Next week, it's my turn to facilitate and I'm already nervous!

We had coffee hour after the service and I enjoyed that, though I was disappointed that they didn't have the chicken and broccoli casserole they usually have! Afterwards, I dropped by my mother's house and she was so glad we'd come to see her, even briefly. I've been wondering lately if she's lonely. I've tried to hang out there a little more and talk a little longer when I call her on the phone.

Jonathan and I had "pizza night" tonight, which is an occasional Sunday night tradition, and that was fun. But I was so tired by then, that I could hardly maintain conversation. Please God, help me take my tired self to bed at a reasonable hour tonight!!!

This blog may be temporary...

I have a family blog on, but it is inaccessible at the moment. Once all the repairs have been made, I'll leave word here :).

In fact, the address for it will be but there's not much to see there, right now. Major renovations needed!