Sunday, March 25, 2007

random quotes!!

so, i have this cool sister.

she can do all sorts of amazing things. one of which happens to be writing programs. (which happens to be what she's doing for a living at the moment.) and she wrote a program to show a random quote. meaning .. i have a post with lots of quotes that i like, and now whenever you open this page you'll get to see one of those quotes. i think it's fun. it makes me happy. (especially since there's absolutely no way i'd be able to do it on my own!)

thanks, larq! (and if you're interested, she has a blog with various computer stuff. for geeks? nerds? geniuses? and i do mean that in the kindest way possible!)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

smiles today

one thing that has become more integral to my life in the past six months has been enjoying simple pleasures. taking delight in small things. searching for beauty. savoring life and vitality when and where i see them. so i'm taking time to share a few things that made me smile today.

-- the gentle sound of raindrops on the hood of my raincoat as i walked to our office

-- a young boy with super-curly light brown hair and a smile under his umbrella

-- a girl (high school? college?) with bright green rain boots on -- green with a giraffe (or duck?) painted on the outside of each boot

-- being told i must have been born in alaska since i actually enjoy cool (some might say cold!) weather

-- a piece of a cappuccino chocolate bar

-- walking home, and for one small section there is a short wall beside the sidewalk, where i walk whenever i have the chance, even though it's a bit 'odd'

-- more space on the sidewalks because of the rain and people staying inside

-- knowing how to judge the speed of cars so that i can slow down just enough that they pass me without hitting me and then i can walk right behind them (maybe sounds dangerous? it's rather normal over here and doesn't really feel dangerous to me anymore .. which might not be all that healthy?)

-- a long drink of yummy water after walking up the hill to the office

Thursday, March 15, 2007

relationship tree

last saturday we did art with our kids. the theme this month is relationships, so the project for art was to create a physical representation of our relationships. we had a variety of materials to use, including popsicle sticks and a glue gun (which most of the kids used).

this task was overwhelming to me. because of the life i've been privileged to live, i know many people. and it's important to me to stay in touch -- sometimes that just means a monthly update, but it also means prayer, phone calls, emails, letters, and missing people. so i asked God how i could do a tree that was honest and actually able to hold most of the people i know. and this is what came to mind. a many layered tree, with each layer being a portion of those i know (family, people from my college, people who i work with, places i have some relationship with, etc.). i really like the symbolism of that .. that my "tree" (or self) is full because of those i have known and do know.

a friend of mine says "the quality and content of our lives depends on the quality and content of our relationships with God, others, ourselves, and the environment." we are largely defined and changed by our relationships, and it's important to name them -- to realize who are important people and places and ideas. the symbol that each of us has a 'tree' or is a 'tree' is also quite nice. a growing, changing, being which goes through seasons and produces fruit or blossoms or thorns. having roots and leaves, presence in today and yesterday and hope for tomorrow. by the grace of God. i've been amazed at how i have some friends who i don't speak with that often, but when we do speak our relationship is stronger than before -- somehow God keeps growing us together.

most of the kids were able to write names of most of those they know. and in 6th or 8th grade, most people don't have a large circle of acquaintances -- family, schoolmates, neighbors, and people from activities. it was strange to see that contrast between their trees and mine. i wrote initials because it didn't seem like there would be room for names. (and i keep thinking of new people to add .. i'm not sure it will ever be 'finished'.) it means i have more people to miss, among other things .. but i somehow believe that God isn't done yet. with life comes more opportunities to know others, to know and be known, to love and be loved, and to see God reflected in beautiful unique ways in those we are privileged to know.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

wisdom distilled

ummm... so i haven't posted in almost three weeks. which is rather a long time. and i do apologize. i want to make a habit of posting once a week or so. so that you find something new when you happen to check every so often. instead of just the same ol' posts. thanks for looking again, though!

i've recently been reading a book called Wisdom Distilled from the Daily: Living the Rule of St. Benedict Today by joan chittister. and really enjoying it. i don't like writing in books (and this one i'm borrowing so have not choice!) but sometimes i just have to write down certain quotes or thoughts. and i have a small journal where i've done this with a few other books that had an impact on me. but i'm writing a lot of quotes down from this book, and wanted to share a couple.

the real monastic walks through life with a barefooted soul, alert, aware, grateful, and only partially at home. (p10)

to pray in the midst of the mundane is simply and strongly to assert that this dull and tiring day is holy and its simple labors are the stuff of God's saving presence for me now. (p31)

humble people walk comfortably in every group. no one is either too beneath them or too above them for their own sense of well-being. they are who they are, people with as much to give as to get, and they know it. (p64-5)

we need to learn that there are some things worth doing in life that are worth doing poorly, if doing them perfectly means we will have destroyed people for the sake of producing the product. (p91)

the problem is that either domination or dependence demands so much less of us than collaboration. (p115)