Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Five: Signs of Hope

Thanks to Songbird from RevGalBlogPals for the invitation to hope!

My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
Song of Solomon 2:10-13

In the late, late winter, as the snow begins to recede here in Maine, we begin to look almost desperately for signs of spring, signs of hope that the weather has turned and a new day is on the horizon. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, Easter and Spring twine inextricably, the crocuses and daffodils peeking through the Earth as we await the risen Christ.

Share with us five signs of hope that you can see today or have experienced in the past.

1. More sunshine! :)

2. Flowers peeking through! ;)

3. "Wearing a coat optional" days! ;0)

4. Positive signs for the housing market - Lord please sell our house! :}

5. Just looking into those beautiful brown eyes and blue eyes of my precious little girls!

Easter is coming! :-0
Yellow Peeps are in the stores - yum yum yum!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

25 Random Facts + Bonus

1. I believe that Jesus is the only Way, the only Truth and the only Life! :)
2. I am madly in love with Dale, Little Miss Lou Who & Ray Ray
3. I have been extravagantly blessed by wonderful, funny, encouraging and loving family & friends - Thank You, Lord!
4. I have learned already that being a minister is not easy - but I LOVE it.
5. I do not think that I could work a Monday - Friday, 8 - 5 job anymore.
6. My life verse (yes some would say taken out of context) is Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
7. I love to travel - I have been to various places in the US, Ireland, Ukraine, Puerto Rico, St. Martin, St. Thomas, Bahamas, Bermuda.
8. I have worked in the travel industry, the insurance industry, the health care system, higher education and media.You
9. I prefer the mountains and the woods to the beach.
10. I love campfires - especially for the purpose of hot dogs & ooey gooey smores.
11. I am still learning and loving it!
12. I love music - as long as it is clean & semi-understandable.
13. A must for any car that I own - air conditioning (this did not always come standard) and good sound (for playing music).
14. I went down the Piney on my hiney. I love Slate Run!
15. I would really love to own an a-frame, log cabinish home with some decent land, that has woods and a stream that I can sit by, and a cow for Dale . . . someday. . .
16. I have way too many books that I have not read.
17. I am discovering, I hope, a poet inside.
18. I am horrible at regular communication - thank You Lord for above-mentioned, very patient friends.
19. Being with young people makes me feel younger.
20. I hope that the ministry that God has called me to brings Him more glory! :)
21. Believe it or not, there is a part of me that misses Lebanon.
22. I hope to build a lasting and loving relationship with my two beautiful daughters, providing a safe place for both of them to turn when life gets tough.
23. I married Tim & Nikki at Camp Seltzer long before Pastor Dan did. :)
24. I fell off a six foot scaffolding (thank you Pastor Dan for saving my life) and lived to ride horseback the next day.
25. I secretly wish that my brother Chris would move closer - I miss him very much!

Bonus - I love being called Andii by those who know and love me - thanks Mom & Dad. ;o)

Holy Silence

Wait = Weight
Growing ever more burdensome
Upon body, mind, heart, soul
How much longer!?!
The cry escapes...

An aching, a longing, a heart's desire,
to serve obediently
And yet - silence . . . stillness.

Your voice - Holy and True,
brings peace.
Cannot carry burden alone . . .
but with You, all is possible.

230 a.m. - awakened
to find that You hear my cry.
And You offer the answer,

"Give it back, that burden that you have been carrying."

You are here - have been,
and continue to be.
So I may find rest,
and hope for today and beyond.

Gratitude for You.
All glory is Yours.

Just one more thing,
please answer soon
And if I may be bold,
let it be yes and get a bit easier - lighter

For You bring Light and Life,
to those who present requests to You . . .

Joy amidst pain.
Peace amidst chaos.

Monday, March 16, 2009

My Life in Pictures...

- Go to Google image search.
- Type in your answer to each question.
- Choose a picture from the first few images.
- Use this website ( to make your collage.
- Save the image for use in this note.
- Post and tag all your friends.

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What is your hometown?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. What is your favorite movie?
6. What is your favorite drink?
7. What is your dream vacation?
8. What is your favorite dessert?
9. What is one word to describe yourself?
10. How are you feeling right now?
11. What do you love most in the world?
12. What do you want to be when you grow up?
13. What is your favorite song?
14. What is your favorite season?
15. What is your favorite animal?
16. What is your age?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Five: Mid-Lent Check-In

Thanks to Sophia at RevGalBlogPals...

The pastor of my grad school parish once gave a fascinating reflection, at about this mid-point in the season, called "How to Survive the Mid-Lent Crisis"! As I recall, his main point was that by halfway through the season we have often found it very challenging to live up to our original plans....But, he suggested--on the analogy of the healing and reframing of our life plans that can happen during a mid-*life* crisis--that that can be even more fruitful.

So here's an invitation to check in on the state of your spirit midway through "this joyful season where we prepare to celebrate the paschal mystery with mind and heart renewed" (Roman Missal). Hopefully there's a good deal of grace, and not too much crisis, in your mid-Lenten experience!

1. Did you give up, or take on, anything special for Lent this year?

I have been practicing the spiritual discipline of silence/solitude and though it definitely takes practice, it is time well spent and totally worth it!

2. Have you been able to stay with your original plans, or has life gotten in the way?

Yes! And I have been thoroughly blessed by my time with God. In addition, since I am now in my first year of ministry I am participating in a mid-week, community Lenten service and that has been wonderful as I experience worshiping in differing settings and being fed by my brothers in the ministry.

3. Has God had any surprising blessings for you during this Lent?

God has blessed me abundantly during the last few weeks with a depth of intimacy and a deep desire for Him that I have never known before...

4. What is on your inner and/or outer agenda for the remainder of Lent and Holy Week?

To seek God and to spend time with Him.

5. Where do you most long to see resurrection, in your life and/or in the world, this Easter?

I have been so blessed by this Lenten season my prayer is to see resurrection in the heart of the people that I am surrounded by - my family, my friends, my faith community...Nothing is impossible for God!

Bonus: Share a favorite scripture, prayer, poem, artwork, or musical selection that speaks Lenten spring to your heart.

See my earlier post from this week for a poem that God wrote through me. I have always desired to be a poet! :) Thank You, Father, Son & Holy Spirit!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Day Apart at the Jesuit Center

WOW! It was incredible. God is so amazing! Thank you.

I do not consider myself a writer, so I know this poem came from the Holy Spirit. Thank You Spirit!

Mindful of Life...

Life within
See Me in a new way.
I Am here.
You are NOT abandoned.
Life grows - deep and wide.

Set apart
you are called
to be with Me.
See the bones, the bud, the root,
Grows deeper still.
In silence be with Me.
For I Am calling.
An awakening, a renewal, a closeness never known -

Stillness . . . Quiet
I Am working even though you cannot see.
I offer rest - restoration.
Things are not always as them seem -
Look deeper - with your heart.

Life among the thorns
Be gentle with others and yourself.
Linger - do not rush - enjoy each step.
The journey has no end - wherever you are, I Am there also.
You cannot go too far - always
deeper, broader, wider, higher - ever closer to Me.

I will give you breath - breath of life.
A life lived with, in, and through Me.

Just as I give wind to make the leaves
dance and run, skip and twirl.

You've been inside far too long...
Come away with Me.

~ God

Friday, March 6, 2009

Time to Breath

Imagine Jesus directly addressing you, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."(Matthew 11:28-30)

This is an invitation for you to take time to rest, time to breath...take a deep breath. As you breath in, imagine that you are breathing in God, more of Him, more of His Holy Spirit. Linger there. As you release your breath, imagine that you are releasing to Him the heavy burdens that you have carried around for far too long.

When was the last time you pondered God? When was the last time you took time to allow Him to refresh you, to minister to you?

I have made many mistakes in this my first year of ministry. And I pray that I am learning.

I have realized the way I have been "doing" ministry has really become lazy. Yes, laziness in doing. God has brought me to the point of realization that "being" with Him is not at all lazy, but actually quite necessary. The more I am able to tap into the power of His strength, peace, grace, wisdom, the better equipped I am to do that which He has called me to.

How wonderful our Lord is. He does indeed offer rest and refreshment to the weary. He desires the best for us, and that is Him, above all. Thank You God for your awesome presence in our lives!