Thursday, February 25, 2010

Toward Newness

I started this blog as a way to connect with people in the pews during the week. Since that time, I have found other ways to meet that need, I think. Lately, God has been prompting me to change the purpose and format of this blog somewhat. It has been a struggle to find things to write about at times because I have tried to make this a min-sermon type of blog. I feel now God is leading me in a different direction... and here's why... I have never had a good relationship with numbers. They mock me; the elude me; I do not like them. The written word, on the other hand, inspires me, fills me, brings me joy. And I have been neglecting that burning need within me to write--I have made this about forming the right words rather than letting the words that are already there come through me. Also, for me, writing is a spiritual discipline. Much as people sit in a quiet room and pray, I find sitting in a noisy room and finding my center through a few meaningful words to be a very prayer-filled exercise. Writing is a way I ground myself in the whirlwind of thoughts that fill my mind. On another note...for several years, I have been toying with the idea of writing a book. I haven't yet figured out the definitive form of this book--and I'm not even sure it happens that way (setting out with an idea in mind and making that idea come to life). So, this blog will now be my personal reflections, musings, ideas, thoughts, prayers, poems, maybe even some images that I find inspiring. I will not be speaking in any particular role: pastor, wife, friend, daughter. I will just be myself, speaking whatever comes to mind. I will not "censor" my thoughts to see if they are mini-sermon worthy. I will simply let the words flow through me and see where God leads me. You are welcome to come along for the ride, to eavesdrop, to ponder, to comment, but know that this is now primarily about how I feed myself. If you are able to find a morsel, as well, that's a bonus, but not my goal. Thank you for following and reading, and I invite you to continue. May you, too, find that something that burns within you and draws you closer to the divine.

If you are looking for that spiritual food, you are welcome to join the discussion group on Facebook (Center-Salem SermonTalkBack).

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


This video captures what I think we all know but need reminding from time to time. God is neither male nor female, yet has characteristics we associate with being male and female. I know this, but still, I find myself picturing that old white guy with a beard. I guess I found it comforting to think of God like a protective grandfatherly figure. This God seemed safe and approachable. This God seemed knowable. But this God(the one I had created in my mind), became harder to relate to. How could I ask this old Grandfather to help me raise my children, balance my life, find rest and Sabbath, relate to my husband, enjoy my girlfriends? How could this God actually know what it is like to be stressed out in the way women are often stressed out? How could this God possibly understand all the demands on me as a wife, a mother,a woman in ministry? I found myself thinking, "Yeah, I know you are there for me. But you are one of them. You're not like me. I know you feel for me, but you've never actually been here, so I guess there's nothing to say about this." I didn't, I couldn't see God as a woman, because that would be just as bad as seeing God with a beard. So, that's where I stopped for a while. But then, I began to make some important connections. That unconditional love you have for a child who just looked at you defiantly and did something you told her was bad for her. I could see God scooping me up and embracing me even though I had broken his trust. That gut wrenching feeling when you see someone you care about in pain. I could see God weeping and wailing, frustrated and feeling helpless. The moments when your heart gets ripped open by a harsh word, an argument, someone's judgments about you, or any of the other ways people let us down or go out of their way to break us down. I can see God's disappointment, agony, feelings of betrayal. Compassion, healing, comforting, patience, trust, hope, unconditional love. Gifts we women get from the God who created us in God's image.