Haven’t blogged in months- no time. Or so I think. Is it no time or no time taken.

Time is pressing lately. Seems unbelievably swift right now. The last four weekends have been jam-packed: trip to Nashville for Rodney’s 40th, Kait’s 10 birthday weekend of revelry and ear-piercing, Easter with all the youth busy-ness, Rod’s actual 40th birthday weekend and now Mother’s Day weekend. I feel like I have been on fast-forward.

But tonight I take the time to record some of these times. They have been lovely-all special in their own events and memories. Treasured time with family or doing work in God’s family. Crazy busy but not one I’d trade for any calm weekend!

So now I look ahead at four weeks after Mother’s Day and I see that my Jake will have graduated. Most schools will be out of school for the summer and I’ll have just a few fluffy days left. Ichthus and Sonshine tour will be knocking on our door. Zoo camp and swim team will be firing up.

So, how will I protect time to reflect? How do any of us protect any of our goals? By putting them first- not hoping to still have time left at the end.

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The Walking Neighbor

There is a lady (actually two but I want to talk about one in particular) who walks laps around our block.  She is out every morning and walks for about an hour each day.  In the rain she carries an umbrella.  Today she had on gloves and a hat since it is getting a bit chilly on some mornings.  She wears colorful saris and sandals and walks on the asphalt of the street rather than the concrete of the sidewalk.  I think she fears the dogs that seem to reign free in my our area though most are restricted to their yards by invisible fences.  She has been walking (when she is here in the country) for years.  She was gone for awhile this winter and spring and I was happy to see her when she returned this summer.  She used to avoid any eye contact or acknowledgement to or from any of the other walkers/runners/early risers in the ‘hood.  Slowly she has begun to wave and smile and sometimes I even get an accented “Good morning” from her.  I think she sees how I speak to my golden retriever to encourage his good manners so he won’t spook her at all.  I find something comforting in her ritual.

       This summer she has added the absolute bravest thing to her walk.  At the top of the street, she pauses and faces the rising sun in the eastern sky.  She takes off her sandals and bows her head and prays.  Not for 10 seconds while furtively glancing around.  For long minutes at a time- fervent and focused prayer.  I felt that I was treading on her sacred ground the first time my dog and I were walking past that corner of the street when she was in prayer.  We slunk by her so as not to disturb her.  I was transfixed.  She created a sacred space of worship in the middle of the bustle of morning while standing barefoot on the pavement in a neighborhood filled with adults and children, singles and marrieds and families and grandparents all springing in to action.  She created calm.  That is cool.  That is amazing.  That is FAITH.

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Surf’s Up!

I am on vacation and reading a book called Beach Music by Pat Conroy. There is a sentence that I have to share: “Throughout his life, Jordan’s greatest fear was that he would be buried alive in that American topsoil of despair and senselessness where one felt nothing, where being alive was simply a provable fact instead of a ticket to a magic show.” Wow. I know people who are just watching life go by rather than participating. I bet you do, too. People who are scared to engage, afraid to try something new, who refuse to try a new restaurant or food… To steal a phrase from Dave Albert- “Let’s not be that guy.” I don’t want to miss it. I don’t want you to miss it! Let’s get strong enough and audacious enough to get in there and play/learn/try/taste/feel/run/jump/sing/shout/speak our thoughts/be!
I am now going out to the salty Atlantic with a boogie board and some good friends and my family. I am not going to just watch. I will jump the waves and taste the salt and point out the pelicans and feel the sand and get thrown off my boogie board and tumble in the ocean. And then I will do it again. :-) It’s YOUR story people-How will you engage the world today?

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Being a novice

The volunteers advisors came over for dinner and helped me with ideas for the upcoming year in youth activities at Bethel.  Jen reminded me of my last year’s goal to start blogging.  So here goes nothing! 

I am conflicted about blogging at all.  What is it that I think I have to say that is so important that I need to publish it?!  But that is only one direction of blogging.  I want this to be interactive.  I hope to push some buttons (literally and figuratively!) to challenge some faith journeys.  I want my yutes and volunteers to feel like they can add their ideas and issues and struggles as I add mine.  I want this to be a safe clearinghouse for open debate for everyone connected with or passionate about Bethel youth.  I want it to be a place of deep thoughts and trivialities and curiousities.  So, join in, won’t you?  :-) Keri

Here is the big idea today- saying no rarely improves your story.  Saying yes makes you risk yourself.  Saying yes puts you in new situations and new mindframes.  Saying yes makes you available to God’s work.  How will you say yes this week?

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