Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Beautiful days

I am so grateful for beautiful days. I think that I can tolerate lots of bad weather - including many days of rain or snow - as long as I can be promised a bright and sunny day when the worst is over. Because a beutiful day like today makes everything better. The mood lifts, the spirit soars, and suddenly, all's right with the world. Even in the dead of winter, a wonderful sunny day following a snow sotrm is like a tonic for the soul and we gladly pull on the boots and head out into the world. What a difference the weather makes.

On days like today I need to take the time to say thanks and enjoy a gift from God. Because perfect days are rare enough to be special and yet common enough to be taken for granted.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Morning church

There are many reasons that I attend church, among them are the opportunity for focused worship and fellowship with the community of believers. But another is the opportunity to learn from the teaching there and this morning I was especially pleased at the lesson I brought home with me. It was something in the liturgy (and I am not a big fan of liturgy so this is big for me!) that struck me. We were doing the "call to worship" when we read this line: We are here not to escape from the world but to be more profoundly involved in it.

Hummmm. I so enjoy my "escape" every Sunday to the peace of the worship service. And here I am being challenged not to think of it as an escape but rather a call to duty. How interesting!

Of course - our Christian walk is many things, and peaceful meditation is certainly one of them. But being involved in our communities and being the conduit for change is also one of them, and I think being reminded of that is a good thing. It is way too easy to sit back and allow others to minister to us. It is so much more difficult to reach out and minister to others.

It was a lesson that was worth repeating and I am glad I was there to hear it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Overwhelming grace

Dear God sometimes I am overwhelmed with your grace. I feel unworthy of the smallest gifts and yet you continue to give them freely. I don't know how to express my gratitude.

Help me to have a gracious heart Lord. Help me to not take things for granted. And allow me always to see your hand at work so I never assume that I am accomplishing things solely on my own merit.

Thank you God for my life, for my home, for my family. And thank you most of all for your touch. I am humbled by it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I'm missing my mother today. It's been less than two years since she died and occasionally there are days when the ache comes back and hangs on - like today.

I believe that God uses the people in our lives to mold us and shape us into the beings we are meant to be, and some of those people have more effect than others. Parents are especially important in the process, naturally. But I think that my mother was a stronger and more influential part of my life than most and even I did not realize her importance until she was gone.

It was that strong, moral core that I so depended on and now that it is gone I still feel a bit like I'm walking in circles trying to find my way out of something. It's an odd thing - and difficult to explain - but very much an influence on my life right now.

I feel God's presence every day. And every day I miss my mother's. I think that she represented God's presence for me many times while she was on this earth and now, with her gone, I long for that sense of "God in the flesh" that she gave me. It was as if she was God's spokesperson - I could go to her with questions or worries and she would always have just the right the scripture to give me, full of assurance and the fullness of grace.

Perhaps the time has come for me to be more of the person my mother was, to study the scriptures more fervently, to pray more thoroughly, to inhabit God more fully. Perhaps that is my lesson for today. And God is still using my mother to teach me.

What a gift.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Sometimes, Lord, I yearn for guidance. Oh - I know all the cliches out there, how I should get guidance from your word, from teaching and preaching, from my conscionse - I remember all the things I've been taught over the years. But sometimes it just isn't enough and I long for a conversation with you - in the flesh. I want to ask you point blank "What should I do?" or "What is this about?" and have you answer me so I know without a doubt what the truth is. There are so many puzzles in life.

I am sure that in your infinate wisdom you know that I am better off not having such direct answers and I accept that. But sometimes, Lord - I just want to know.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Storm clouds

Few things are truly "awesome" in life, despite the popularity of that word these days. But the power of the weather is one of them, and storms like the one quickly approaching us is surely an illustration of the word. Watching the visual evidence on TV, of a huge swirling mass of energy and destruction, well it makes us stop and take notice.

It reminds me of the scripture in the book of Job where Job questions God and God in turn says to Job something along the lines of "Where were you when I created all this...when the seas were formed....when the earth came from nothing?" It was God's not-so-gentle way of reminding Job that we really are wuite insignificant in the grand scheme of things - and the magnitude of a storm has that same effect on me.

And yet, God also tells us that he knows the number of hairs we have on our heads and cares more about us than we could possibly imagine. What a dicotomy. How divine. And how wonderful.

Bring on the storms.

Friday, September 5, 2008


Dear God - its an election year! Sometimes I find myself so befuddled over the nuances of tax cuts and social services and so confused about who is going to do what and which would be better for us as a country - could you help me out here God? Already I am losing sleep!

Sometimes the decisions we make in life, both big and small, are so complicated that my head spins. There have been many times when I have literally thrown the dice and just jumped in to whatever it was facing me, with no clear direction and no real heading. These are frightening times in our lives! Whether it is buying a house or disciplining our children, sometimes there are just no real reliable ways to make choices about things.

And now, an election. All we can do is pray for wisdom.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


When I start to feel cold every year, as the weather changes from summer to auntumn, I think about people who live in the cold all the time. Not those who necessarily live in cold climates, but those who don't have proper homes, or clothing - those people whom the rest of the world has forgotten, some of whom live right here in the USA. Sometimes we walk by them on city streets or see photos of them under layers of newspaper, sleeping on a park bench somewhere. Those are the people I am thinking of this morning. And I am also remembering that many chilkdren do not have warm houses to live in or proper winter coats to wear to school. Because if I am chilly here in my house, with plenty of blankets to grab when I need them, and more sweaters that I know what to do with, then how are those people feeling today? And how will they manage in January?

God help me to open my eyes to the people in the world who are suffering all around me. Help me to never turn a blind eye to the needs of others. And help me to always have an open pocketbook, no matter how many Christmas gifts I need to buy, or what kind of rug I want for my living room. Help me to see those people as your children and love them the way that you do.

Thank you for this cold morning and for reminding me that I have responsibilites to you and to the larger world.

Monday, September 1, 2008

A gift

This morning was a gift. As is the norm on most holidays, we lingered in bed a little longer than usual. Then we picked up coffee and bagels and went to sit on the bench at Main Beach just enjoying what is a beautiful morning. The sun was bright and the water, with perfectly forming swells which sent long foamy fingers up over the ridge to feed a little lake forming from the incoming tide, was a brilliant blue highlighted by the morning light which lit it with a thousand sparkling points. It was stunning.

It is easy to take such beauty for granted when you have lived your entiire life in a place like East Hampton, but on a morning like this one it was as if God was saying "Look! Open your eyes! This is really something to see!" I surely got the message today.

What a lucky place to be. I am forever grateful to my ancestors for making the arduous trip from Connecticut back in the late 1700s and eventually finding their way here to the very east end. And then for investing themselves in this community to help mold it and form it into this place.

It was a gift. And it keeps on giving.