July has given away to August. For many there are a few short days ahead before the schedule once again fills to capacity. There is one last trip to the beach house, the mountains, or even a little more holiday with extended family. All too soon the slower pace of summer will be a memory.
As these days are before us, I am reminded of all the people who have already rolled up their sleeves to prepare for another year of Sunday school and opportunities for faith formation. For most people this preparation has filled a good part of the summer. Each of these dedicated program directors, teachers and volunteers work diligently as they discover creative ways to offer God’s good news in classrooms and parish gatherings.
In all the preparation it can be hard to take “holy time” for oneself. I came across this video and offer it as a resource for time when some support might be needed– something to encourage a moment for your own spiritual care. May you find the time for refreshment and renewal when possible. May you always know that the work to organize and support teachers and other assistants is critical for the church’s foundation. May you be blessed in the creative prayers of your children and the honest searching of your adults.
Most of us learned the importance of these two words when we were very young. Somewhere in our years toward adulthood, we often turn our ‘thank you’ into anxious worry. This draws us inward and can certainly affect our well-being – both physically and mentally.
This article may be of interest for those considering the value of ‘thank you’…
Praying ‘thank you’ – author, Donald Schell – Episcopal Cafe
As I write this entry I am in my third day of retirement. Unexpected as it is, I’m grateful for the time to focus on rest and healing. It is often said ‘we make plans and God laughs’! For over a year I have listened closely to understand where my ministry was being directed. Even though I was certain what the next step would look like, I continued to be drawn to quiet places where normal ways of processing were conveniently removed.
There is much to be said for the comfort of companions along life’s journey. My assist dog, Lilly, has been such a companion for over eight years. We have certainly learned the importance of paying attention to one another and I have often found her quiet presence to be a strength and comfort. With all the emotions brought on by change, this patient friend has been by my side. The picture I share speaks to that relationship.
The labyrinth is a symbol of the turns we meet as we dare walk the road of faith. By my side, Lilly pays close attention to my turns while I ‘walk’ this path and soon she finds her own path next to mine. Trusting in our ability to sense one another’s movement, we journey to the center and return to our beginning point – spirits settled and trust strengthened.
This is about how we lead and how we follow. Nothing is simple when it comes to change yet the Companion’s gift to be near and compassionate helps to uphold us during transition. This is my experience – I welcome hearing about yours!
A prayer to share from deep within the Celtic green hills…
May you have –
Walls for the wind
And a roof for the rain,
And drinks bedside the fire
Laughter to cheer you
And those you love near you,
And all that your heart may desire
Read more at: http://www.faithandworship.com/Celtic_Blessings_and_Prayers.htm#ixzz1GuaMlzlG
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