Music owns me. Nothing lets me lose myself like a powerful song. As a writer, I can often envision entire scenes in my head between my characters just because of a melody or refrain. Music soothes my soul or revs me up or inspires me or becomes a companion when I need it. Simply put, I love music.
I’m five weeks into my “official” study of Judaism (official because I’m under the tutelage of a rabbi) and every single week, I learn something new or discover something about myself and my own beliefs that tells me I’m on the right path.
My biggest realization, thus far, is two-fold: 1) I’m completely falling in love with Shabbat; and, 2) Shabbat preparation is challenging.
This post is hard for me to write, but it’s a long time coming.
I’ve spent the last several years on a spiritual journey, and I’ve ended up in a lot of dark corners, dead ends, and places that feel suspiciously like Knockturn Alley (from the Harry Potter universe.) I always enter a new part of my journey hoping with a sincere heart that, this time, I might find the answers I seek. So far, though, I only end up with more questions or, as I’m facing now, total disgust in the journey itself.
I’ve made many posts about my spiritual journey (here, here, here, and here just to select a few) so I’m not going to rehash all of it. To boil where I’ve been so far down to a single sentence, let me just say that I’ve been from one end of Christianity to another and, through all of it, I have continued to try to be a good Christian because that’s what’s expected of me. I’m from the Midwest, where conversations about Jesus flow as frequently as discussions on corn prices and the state of the summer crops. Being a Christian is expected. Asking someone where they go to church is as normal as asking about the weather. However, the reality is that I’ve reached the end of the line now and it’s time to make some changes. To put it simply: I’m out.
As I walked into the grocery store this morning, I noticed that I was following a uniquely-dressed older woman. She had on a long, loose cotton dress, which was slightly cinched at the waist and accented with simple white shoes. Her grey hair was artfully twisted and secured into a bun with several shiny barrettes. Continue reading “Standing for something”→
This past Saturday, the Women’s Fellowship of our church held its annual Spring Tea. The hosts this year were yours truly and my pal, Brenda, who came down with food poisoning the morning of the event and couldn’t join us, so I was on my own. The great thing, though, is that I wasn’t really on my own because I had so many wonderful women to help me!
Now that Easter has passed (and the swelling has gone down in my fingers enough to allow me to type) and I’ve spent time reflecting back on previous Easter seasons, I realize that most of the impactful memories of mine surrounding this holiday are from my childhood. Overflowing Easter baskets from a very generous Easter Bunny who must have had Santa on speed dial since he brought me stuff I had been wanting. Ham dinners at my grandparents’ house, followed by Easter egg hunts and the hope that I’d find an egg or two with a dollar inside instead of candy. (Even at six years old, I’d choose cash over sugar.) Continue reading “The journey continues – Easter 2015”→
I was asked to give the devotional at our Women’s Fellowship meeting this past Saturday, and although I had three weeks to prepare, I couldn’t find a devotional out there online that worked. Most of them that I read were far too preachy, way too judge-y, and basically… well… they sounded nothing like me. The worst thing I could do was sit in front of those lovely ladies (and our guest speaker, Pastor Mark) and read something that preaches a message of expectation that we all become perfect June Cleaver clones that live the type of sinless Christian life you only see in Hallmark Christmas movies. That’s not me. So I came back to my own blog (because I certainly write enough) and read through past posts to see if anything might work. I settled on this post from 2013 and, after modifying it heavily, created my very first devotional, which I’m sharing below.