There! The last book review has been sent in. I finished on time, if just barely!
I had a lot to do today. It is Grace’s 19th birthday, or was since I see that this is going to be posted after midnight. We had a wonderful supper together, just the two of us, at Amy’s. It is probably the most dignified place she is going to be tonight. She turns the legal drinking age and she wants to party. I am playing babysitter for her big evening out. And praying she will be safe.
Eric is in Regina and Leo happens to be there for meetings as well. Eric signs the register Monday. Officially he will then be a lawyer. I guess every family needs one. It is good to see him at this milestone finally. I hear there is some potential that he will be able to make a living at this job. One kid all the way out of the nest? I sure hope so. My nest is pretty crowded.
I wonder how long I’ll be able to keep it up. Today I took an hour or so to go to a quiet place and just be. Last week end I did the same but inside. This evening I went out for a short walk down by the river. Being quiet like this refreshes me mentally and spiritually. As it gets colder I will try and continue to take this kind of time – likely up at our church’s prayer room. It seems to give me a sort of stability I need.
I lay back and watched the grey clouds scudding across the sky above me and was surprised at how quickly they changed to a collection of cloud lower on the horizon with the grey blue sky of the evening sky dominating the scene.
I wonder what it is that makes us relate to God in these kinds of ways. I am closest to his presence in the outdoors and in the quiet of being alone.
A second good thing was started today as well – meeting with another woman for spiritual direction. It is required for the course I am taking but although today was only the begining I think this will be good.
This morning I was sitting in my favourite spot drinking coffee and having some quiet time with God. One of our assignments this week is to imagine what a sanctuary for us would look like. Last night I was doing that and most of what I would have in my sanctuary is from the outdoors – grass, trees, a mountain stream, etc. I also would have a comfy big chair and a good light for reading. Now I think I should add a really good cup of Bison quality coffee. I enjoy coffee, the flavour, the warmth and probably the caffeine.
I generally pray the morning office from The Divine Hours by Phyllis Tickle, and did so this morning. Lately, I have been breaking just before the Lord’s Prayer and reading a Psalm and a passage from the gospels. I know she has portions of psalms and Gospel readings already in there but it seems like not enough. I was contemplating the words of the Lord’s Prayer “Forgive me my sins as I forgive those who sin against me” and then picked up the book I am reviewing next for the course, Women at the Well by Kathleen Fischer.
Her words in the introduction speak of the “pervasive…results of sexism” in women’s lives. Instantly, into my mind leapt the memory of an incident I had. A colleague who did not agree with the way I wished to practice put me down using the term “sweetie” as he addressed me. That doesn’t sound much like an insult does it but I was not a sweetie to him. In fact I was his senior and had more experience in my field than he did. I have never really forgiven him.
It is the fact that I have never really forgiven him that God seemed to be confronting me with. Why, I don’t know. I mean, why would God care? The guy insulted me and was trying to put me down as “only a woman” who was out of touch with the realities of the profession, that the “boys” were really the ones who made the rules.
Sometimes God digs in there where it still hurts. He squeezes as he moulds me to his own image. He makes me stop and pay attention to what he really said.
Words can have a lasting effect. Wonder what words I have said that hurt in much the same way?
Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.
Had my second string bass lesson today. It is fun. Imagine that from a person who long ago persuaded her parents to let her stop taking piano lessons. What a difference it makes when you really want to learn and when you are old enough to pay for your own lessons!
I think I am figuring out what those guitar chords all mean too. I am actually going to understand some stuff by the time I learn to play this thing. And I will be able to play some songs, I think, without having to read all the notes. I still will be learning them too but it is more of a challenge reading the bass clef than the treble one at this point. In other words, I read them very slowly so I would have to play very slow songs at this point.
So, anyway, it is fun.
The end of this week is the deadline for the book reviews for the Spiritual Direction summer intensive course. I have one review to go. I got a long spell today where I had no patients so got a fair amount of work done. I think I will make it. Then I can start reading for the next class which is going on already. This one is a journaling practicum. Since I have been blogging, it is a familiar exercise for me and enjoyable. The biggest challenge of this course is that since I have started it a million little things have started demanding my time. The course demands time and deserves my good and alert time if I want to let God shape me through it.
Henri Nouwen writes:
How do we live in creation? Do we relate to it as a place full of “things” we can use for whatever need we want to fulfill and whatever goal we wish to accomplish? Or do we see creation first of all as a sacramental reality, a sacred space where God reveals to us the immense beauty of the Divine?
As long as we only use creation, we cannot recognise its sacredness because we are approaching it as if we are its owners. But when we relate to all that surrounds us as created by the same God who created us and as the place where God appears to us and calls us to worship and adoration, then we are able to recognise the sacred quality of all God’s handiwork.
One of the things I regret about becoming so busy is that it has taken away the time I need to enjoy God’s creation. I haven’t done any photography of anything for weeks. I haven’t gone for a walk for weeks. I pass through God’s creation without being able to take the time I need to “recognise its sacredness” and so I miss out on the presence of God in it and on the way he communicates with me when I am present to him in it.
So, I resolve to take some time today, in the misty rain, to notice God’s presence around me.
Today was the first of two days off. The last bit of my summer holidays that I had deferred for reasons that have since changed, not the least of which is that the retreat we considered holding this weekend became impossible. I seem to have already filled these two days up so that the time will be gone way too fast.
Today Massa, Yaunde and I went down to the multicultural centre to arrange for an interpreter for the written driver’s test. That took a whole lot longer than I had planned. The woman filling out the forms was soooo slow – she could have done the hunt and peck technique on an old typewriter in the Congo faster than she filled the forms out by hand. But it is all arranged. Now the guys are studying like crazy!
A good part of this day has been spent doing homework. Finished one more book review. Posted my first journaling exercise. Worked on some more stuff. There will not be enough time in just two days I’m afraid! Well, I have till Oct.1st. Time goes more quickly than it should when there is homework to be done. I had forgotten that fact since school days.
I did get my hair done today – nothing unusual or radically different. Just less grey and a bit less hair. Tomorrow I get the eye’s checked. Will see if my ptosis is severe enough to warrant getting my eyelids lifted from where they hang over my eyes. I wonder if my old eyes are still changing. Some days I get very frustrated by my forced dependance on glasses.
The last few days seem to have had an abundance of birthdays. I was just counting up the people I know and in the last four days there have been at least five and this next weekend will be my Aunt’s birthday as well.
Yesterday we celebrated some important ones – Birdie’s eightieth and Massa’s thirty-fourth.
A thirty-fourth usually doesn’t rate a big party but in actual fact this was the first birthday party ever thrown for Massa. We got a big cake – way too big for us to finish in one eating. Since there are leftovers, you would be more than welcome to stop by for a taste.
Massa loves music so the gifts he received kind of centered around that – a CD player and a years worth of guitar lessons.
So, tonight the lesson’s begin.
I will admit to some ulterior motives – I start taking lessons on the string bass tonight at the same time. It will be handy having someone to help me manipulate my bass from house to car, in to lessons and back to home again.