Lent 35: Extravagance

19 03 2013

Still reflecting on John 12:1-8. Mary poured expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet, and, in a move that likely made everyone else tense up with awkwardness, she then wiped his feet with her hair. Lent 35: ExtravaganceHer actions were extravagant. One of the definitions of extravagance is “exceeding reasonable bounds; unrestrained; extremely abundant…” (from The American Heritage Dictionary, Copyright 1982.) I am not sure how extravagant I ever have been with my adoration of Jesus. And, I think, one of the most abundant, unreasonable, extravagant gifts I could and should give to God these days is my time.





Lent 33: Barbie’s balance

18 03 2013

Yesterday, Kajsa had her Barbies packing into this Barbie jeep. Two of them are in the seats, seat belts on. She asked me how to get a third one in the jeep, since there were only two seats. I put it in the back, and told her

In real life, we don’t do this… you have to have a seat belt on, and if there’s not a belt in the back, there’s no place to sit in the back.

She kept playing, while I did something else in the other room. Lent 33: Barbie's balance

Then she called me in to look. “Look at Mommy Cathy” she said.. (“Mommy Cathy” would be the Barbie on the jeep’s hood). “In real life, she can’t do this, because there’s no seat belt.”

I laughed, and said, “I hope she doesn’t fall off!

Oh she won’t“, Kajsa said, “Mommy Cathy has a great sense of balance!

A few seconds later, thanks to to some rugged driving, perhaps, the Barbie fell off.

This week’s Lenten “Signs Along the Way” theme is “Dangerous Intersection”. The gospel text for yesterday was John 12:1-8: where Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with oil… her extravagant gift, compared with Judas’ response. Judas was “concerned” about the poor, though, the text says, he wasn’t really. When faith and life intersect, we are frequently faced with tough choices, challenges, and frustrations. We seek balance, but often are misguided, or over-guess/under-guess… balance is hard to come by.

Sometimes I think I am balanced–much like the “Mommy Cathy Barbie”. Or, much like her owner, rather… I perceive balance when, in reality, I’m not at all balanced, and I fall off the hood of the jeep.





Lent 32: not happening

18 03 2013

Well, frankly, there’s not much I can think of to say about this photo, spiritually-thinking… Lent 32: not happeningI took it for some reason. But, as has happened before, I’m blanking on why that was. So, for now, it’s just a photo of Kajsa dressed in a princess/dance outfit, trying to get Abby to come up the ramp instead of barking for me to go lift her up onto the porch.

It wasn’t happening.





Lent 31: the Rocking Chair

18 03 2013

Rocking chairs have always held a certain appeal for me. Even the ones that are too high for me to rock in comfortably. When we bought this rocking chair at a garage sale many years ago, I expected many nights of rocking Kajsa to sleep.  Lent 31: the Rocking ChairWhat I didn’t expect was how much she and I would both long for the rocking chair at other times.

It started a couple of years ago when, after a particularly hard day, I carried her to the rocking chair, and simply rocked. I think she was still a little frustrated with me at that point, and wasn’t eager to be rocked. But before long she calmed down. I sang one of our favorite songs (Skidda-ma-rink-a-dink-a-dink, skidda-ma-rink-a-do), and pretty soon she was asleep. The story repeated itself a few times.

Then the story changed. She began asking if I would rock her. And so we rocked. And rocked. We have rocked ourselves calm (that sounds strange) too many times to count. When my five year old or I are having a difficult day, she is often the one to ask to be rocked. The rocking chair has become one of the many methods we use to quiet ourselves, to hug each other, to adjust attitudes and frustrations, and to move on. I love this time.

Reflecting back to last week (!) and the Prodigal Son story, I imagine that God loves the times with us, when we have quieted down, when we allow God to hold and comfort us, and to welcome us back into God’s arms.





Lent 29: new creation

14 03 2013

A new creation. Of sorts. It’s no longer new to us, because we finished this DIY project many months ago. But it is a project that created something new out of some things old. It took months to complete.  Lent 29: new creationIt involved washing out coconut milk cans after a homemade Thai meal; painting the cans inside and out; picking out an old cookie sheet to use for the project and collecting magnets to hold the cans to the old cookie sheet. Then, gathering some of the multitude of crayons and colored pencils we have to fill the cans with their respective colors.

For the artistic types in our house, the project was fun to create, and continues to inspire creativity. We love colors here (again, the artistic types at least), and we love the multitude of colored pencils and crayons. And I love creating something new out of something old.

I wonder if God finds similar joy in creating something new out of us, when we allow him to do so?





Lent 27: Detour

11 03 2013

Detours. Some are great, and actually enhance a journey. Others aren’t so great, and prolong the journey.Some are circumstantial; others are chosen by us, or by our actions/inaction. Lent 27: Detour





Lent 25: fruitful?

10 03 2013

This photo was supposed to be of our blueberry bush. I thought of it a little late. Dusk-ish, to be exact. So as I was trying to focus on the blueberry bush branches close to my lens, I accidentally snapped this photo of the cherry tree branches instead. I don’t know if we have even tried any of these cherries. I don’t know if they’re edible or not. I’m assuming they are, but I’d best not assume until I confirm. But the funny thing is, even though I love cherries, we haven’t focused our efforts on these trees. I’m not sure why–maybe because cherries have pits? Maybe because the birds pretty much hang out in the trees from spring through late summer? Maybe because we haven’t confirmed whether or not these are edible cherries? I don’t know.  Lent 25: fruitful?

The blueberry bush, however, we’ve spent a lot of time on–especially this past summer. Trying to outsmart the squirrels and birds, Jim and Kajsa created a pretty clever net/cover. But the blueberries, too, we learned, require more work than we always have time or energy for. Still tasty, we still love them… and I’m already researching how to outsmart the critters for this summer.

Most of the time, I’m guessing, fruitfulness–bearing good fruit–requires work. Certainly in the parable of the fig tree (Luke 13:6-9) from last Sunday, the gardener would have work to do, in order to save the tree. The vineyard owner was ready to cut it down, but the gardener was more patient… or saw more potential… or was simply more gracious of a person.

Blueberry bushes and cherry trees aside, I hope to take the second/third/fourth/etc. chances that God has given to me… and produce good fruit, in my life. It might require more work than I often feel like doing–but hopefully, if it’s something I feel God calling me to do, or to join, or to reflect on… hopefully, I will be faithful, and bear good fruit.