The peace of morning’s stillness
the peace of new beginnings
the peace of heaven’s kiss
to welcome this new day
to root us in this day
to free us for this day
that we may grow with the greening earth
that we may grow from the ground of glory
that we may grow in grateful wonder of You
Gracious Giver of this day
Great Giver of this new day.
Quote: John Philip Newell
Photo: Roger Hutchison
(thank you, Diana Butler Bass)
artist Roger Hutchinson
A bowl of cereal, a new caregiver and a stack of notebooks filled with bills and correspondence – what did these things have in common? They were all in the right place at the wrong time. . Too early in the day to have gathered my defenses, I sat wide-eyed and speechless as a bowl filled with milk and cereal, slipped out of my new assistant’s hand only to land upside down on an ordered stack of paperwork and notebooks. It was a moment when my patience and desire to be in control were challenged beyond words.
I spend a lot of energy creating ‘systems’ that keep the details of my daily life, both items and routines, accessible to me and the people who assist me. When someone has worked with me for a while these systems become familiar, reducing the amount of time necessary to give directions or search for things. It all appears logical and routine until a new person is added to the team.
Certainly the one most challenged is the new assistant. Already on the spot, it is easy to see the anxiety rise as new tasks are introduced.
At least that what I must say to myself. So many details in life are not in my control. If I focused on this fact for too long a wave named ‘overwhelmed’ could quickly wash over me. So I sit in my beautiful home taking deeper breathes to settle my nerves as I help to reassure my assistant and clean up the breakfast spill – one simple direction at a time.
‘I learn whatever state I’m in, therein to be content.’ What an amazing woman, Helen Keller. Her wisdom is my encouragement and for this I give thanks.
Memories of loved ones are like songs in our soul. Margaret Wakeley
It is that time if year- the time when memories of loved ones can meet us at every turn. Sometimes they greet us with gentle warmth as natural as the touch of a beloved grandmother or the wise words of a respected mentor. It is often hard to know what stirs these ‘visits’ but when they arrive we pause… to remember.
There are other times when memories are not a surprise and they arrive creating a mix of feelings. I have anticipated memories this week — memories of a day when we were stopped with disbelief as news of the Sandy Hook tragedy began to unfold. No one knew what to say or do. Our hearts were broken for all the loss and the grief that would follow.
Often shock of tragedy transforms into other emotions. I am certain that the Sandy Hook community has experienced every known emotion. Over time people have entered this town – invited to offer their support in various ways. These invitations are not random and have often become sacred as they unfold.
As a way to honor the memory of all who were lost on that day in Sandy Hook and to spread hope for continued healing for all who live in that community today – I share this article with you. Roger Hutchinson was one of the people invited to enter that town in the months to follow – offering his gifts and grace. To inspire and encourage —
Artist- Roger Hutchinson
Each year at this time I love to sit under the night sky’s canopy. The cooling fall air most certainly encourages this annual practice. Drawn to night-after-dusk, I can be found reclined in my wheelchair searching for the furthest star – child-like in wonder and awe.
I wake this early morning of September 11, and remember. This day, 12 years ago, we watched in dis-belief as our skies filled with pain and devastation. It was a day completely out of our control. A day when things unknown and unimaginable would change our lives forever.
This morning I look into that same sky, large enough to be filled with wonder and danger – I honor the many people whose lives were lost, whose hearts were broken, and who gave all they had to aid with compassion, prayer and strength.
It is September 11- a day to remember. The sky above is humbling in its vast expanse. I am grateful it is large enough to hold all the memories and prayers that will be offered like “…whispers that pass between the stars…” on this day. Let us take a moment to look up and remember all the innocence surrendered. May God extend mercy and peace.
(quote by Steven Charleston)
I want to sing like the birds sing,
not worrying who listens or what they think.
This week a group of Christian educators/faith-formers have joined one another in the mountains of North Carolina for a conference filled with inspiration and resources. Everyone has brought something to enrich the experience. With music, art and reflection we have learned new skills and shared our own insights.
Through the patient guidance of a gifted and faith-filled artist, Roger Hutchinson, I told a story today with finger paint and a white canvas. As we began, I turned with a smile and said – ‘really Roger, finger paint – for someone with little use of their fingers!’ In the midst of this ironic fact, I knew I was game, always have been, and so the painting began.
Limitations are often self-designed. Be it self-conscious or fearful, many opportunities are refused with statements such as ‘I can’t do that’. Yes, it takes courage but as time moves on the need for courage often changes into a healthy dose of curiosity.
We form in faith with one another. Through trust and the stir of God’s spirit, a vision can be born and nurtured into life. I am grateful for those willing to be companions in this journey of faith.