Why?

My heart is heavy.  I know I’ve been quiet for a while, but with so much happening in the past 2 weeks, I had to write.  So much tragedy this month makes me wonder, why?

June 12, 2016, a man…ONE man shot and killed 49 people at a night club in Miami and injured many, many more.  So much hate.  A man that has a past…  was on an FBI watch list.  How did we fail so many people?  What can we do to share more love and block out the hate?  I don’t have the answers, but I wonder and I know if we somehow we are able to do this, it’s what is needed…more love and less hate in our world.

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June 14, 2016, a little boy is dragged from a Disney lagoon by an alligator and his with his family watching and his father was unable to save his child.  Again, so many are blaming this poor family’s parents.  Really?!?!  They just lost their son!!!  Where is your heart?  Parents share photos of their children in this same spot where the child was taken.  There were no signs warning of the wildlife, just “no swimming”(this has since been rectified), which this child was not doing.  Now, many of us familiar with Florida know that where there is fresh water, there is a risk of encountering reptiles and alligators.  I would think these folks were not, or we confident that Disney would take measures to ensure the safety of their guests (not knowing, this can be impossible).  These people were on a vacation, enjoying family time.  Happy time.  Now, they’re living a nightmare and I’m sure, hoping to wake up to find something different.  Please, less judgement, less hate and more love.

June 19th, a 17 month old drowned in a nearby town on Sunday, Father’s Day.  His mother found him and was the one who started CPR.  This was the family pool.  Celebrating Father’s Day, attending other children…the 17 month old was lost track of.  Tragic.  Heart breaking.

Also on June 19th, a 4 year old girl at a Swim and Racquet club also drowned in another nearby town Sunday, Father’s Day.

So much tragedy all around us.  So many stones to throw and so much blame to hand out.  BUT, there’s so much suffering already.  Can we not just love?  I don’t know any parent who is perfect.  I know more than not have been right there when our little loves have fallen or gotten hurt…when you lose sight for 2 seconds and suddenly your breath is taken away.  Why do so many people have to suffer, have to hurt?

Then I saw this posted on Facebook the other day and the tears just came. 16. Why does a 16 year old girl have to fight ovarian cancer? But look… in this tragedy, there is hope…there is light…there is love…

Resiliance.

Thank you for hearing me.  Thank you for reading what’s on my heart.  More love.  Less hate.  More tolerance.  Less judgement.  Lets help each other more and ignore each other less.

God’s Peace to you.

 

 

 

What do you say?

What do you say
when words aren’t enough
and the pain they feel
wont go away?

What can you do
when there isn’t a thing
that can bring a child
back to you?

How should we love
when a piece of their heart
has flown away
with the doves?

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It is with deep sadness that I share with you, that Jesse has gone to be with the Lord. He is no longer struggling or feeling pain.  Jesse died in the arms of his mother on December 26th, surrounded by love and comfort.  Please keep his moms in your prayers during this is a devastating time.

 

For my dear friends,
This is something I wrote and sang to myself over and over when I suffered my own loss.  My love to all of you…

Rock Me, Rock Me

Holy Spirit, God Divine
Come and hold this hand of mine.
Rock me, rock me in your peace,
Until my soul can find relief.

Holy Spirit, guide and friend,
With a love that never ends.
Rock me, rock me from above,
Until I feel your endless love.

Holy Spirit, Father God,
Welcomes children from earth’s sod.
Rock me, rock me in your might,
Until I feel you hold me tight.

Holy Spirit’s boundless love,
Fill my soul from up above.
Rock me, rock me in your grace,
Until my heart has found its faith.

A Celebration and a Baptism

Announcement

Our story in a nutshell, but it’s so much more.

We had a beautiful celebratory Father’s Day weekend.  A first, for us!  Saturday we had a “Welcome Home” party in lieu of  a shower for our little miracle, our gift from God.  We are overwhelmed by the love and support people continue to give us as well as their presence at these events.  We are so blessed.

Shower1

Another mommy calming the wee one!

Shower17

Enjoying the festivities…as long as he’s constantly fed!  It truly amazes me how much this guy eats!  His favorite is still Mommy’s milk!  By the way, breastfeeders to be…I love these bottles!  They’re great for transitioning back and forth from bottle to boob or boob to bottle!

Christen1
Preparing for his baptism…

Come to me, come. Let the little children come.  Come and receive the kingdom of God.

May all of you find the blessings and promises of God as I have this first Father’s Day weekend.

Surprise!

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“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” ~Jeremiah 29: 11-13

Do you like surprises?  I generally like surprises, specially if they bring automatic joy.  Sometimes surprises bring uncertainty and shock.  That’s kind of what my Saturday was like. 

I got an email on Thursday afternoon that there would be an URGENT Executive Session of the Vestry this Saturday.  Now, I should preface that this is my third and final year on Vestry, and this has never happened before.  There was no other explanation, just a sense of urgency to be at the meeting.  I have to tell you, this left me with some anxiety regarding what this meeting would be about. 

I would like to tell you about my rector and priest at Church of the Holy Nativity, The Rev. Aimee Eyer-Delevett.  Yes, you can click on the link and her bio will appear, but that is not the same as hearing personal stories.  The first time I met Rev. Aimee in the Fall of 2007, I was trying sneak in to this little church that kept compelling me to “check it out” after I had moved to the area.  I tried to sneak in, but there is really no place to sneak in this church.  I did my best and sat in the middle near an elderly couple.  As the processional started, I noticed the priest was walking in, in sneakers.  Wow, I thought, this is a really casual church.  Now after the service, the lady next to me put her arm through mine and asked if I would have a cup of coffee with her. Now remember, I was trying to sneak in and sneak out…but who am I to tell sweet little Harriet, no?  Needless to say, I found myself sitting down to a cup of coffee.  As I sat people started sitting with me and introducing themselves and next thing I knew Adult Formation was starting.  (I can’t just get up and walk out in the middle of a “talk!”….I thought)  Well, so I stayed.  As I listened to the speaker, I realized she was familiar.  So I kept staring and staring until I placed her.  I had taken care of her before in the Cardiac ICU.  She looked great!  She was thriving!  Suddenly it dawned on me, connections, God brought me here.  I was already connected in so many ways to the body (the people) of this church.  Oh, and that strange priest that led the service in her sneakers…she was prepared for Crop Walk Sunday!  This was the beginning on my journey with CHN or Church of the Holy Nativity.

Through the years, as you might imagine, I’ve gotten to know Rev. Aimee so much more and on a much deeper level.  Not only is she my priest, but she is also my friend.  She has listened to my hopes, my fears, my struggles and has been there for the joys.  She provided my husband and I marriage counseling before our marriage.  She married us.  She blessed my womb before my first IVF and embryo transfer (that so many knew nothing about), and anointed me with oil.  What is special about Rev. Aimee, is that not only did she listen to my joys, challenges and hurts, but she shared hers as well.  Most certainly not all of them, but there is a vulnerability and authenticity that just exudes from her spirit.

Saturday morning, I found out that Rev. Aimee will be taking leave from her position at CHN as rector.  October 26th will be her last day with us.  She received a call from All Saints by the Sea in Montecito, CA to be their rector and accepted the call.  This is the letter that just went out to the parish (CHN).  We are so sad, but also know that God is working through Rev. Aimee, and that in our sorrow there is also hope.  Hope for us at CHN, but also hope for those at All Saints by the Sea.  As I said to Rev. Aimee, “I can only wish for you to grow and share your leadership, love and compassion to those who need you.”  Godspeed my dear, dear friend.  Know that you will be taking a piece of my heart with you, just as you are leaving a piece of yours.

Prayer2

 

I must give you up to God…

Well, it’s official.  We are miscarrying.  I guess you’d call it impending fetal demise.  We went to the doctor on Thursday.  The fetal pole is smaller.  We could see cardiac activity on the ultrasound, but could no longer measure a heartbeat because it was so slow.  We have stopped all progesterones (life support for new life), and are waiting for things to progress naturally.  I will see my regular OB/GYN on Tuesday and see how things are looking/progressing.  Currently, my HCG is 18, 198.  We will be watching for this level to decrease as well.

We are heartbroken.

It has been a long journey just to achieve pregnancy, and now this is lost as well.  In my mind, I know there are reasons this happens.  It is God and nature’s way of protecting us.  In my mind, I know the positive is that we now know it is possible for me to achieve pregnancy.  In my mind, I know that in the end, all will be well.

But, my heart hurts at the loss.

We ask for your continued prayers for peace.

I am not a poet or a lyricist, but these words have come from my heart in this time and in this space:

Rock Me, Rock Me

Holy Spirit, God Divine

Come and hold this hand of mine.

Rock me, rock me in your peace,

Until my soul can find relief.

 

Holy Spirit guide and friend,

With a love that never ends.

Rock me, rock me from above,

Until I feel your endless love.

 

Holy Spirit, Father God,

Welcomes children from earth’s sod.

Rock me, rock me in your might,

Until I feel you hold me tight.

 

Holy Spirit’s boundless love

Fill my soul from up above.

Rock me, rock me in your grace,

Until my heart has found it’s faith.

Thinking of you T.J., with Love and Peace

As my dear friend prepares for her open heart surgery today, and fear and worry can’t be helped, I wanted to honor her and ask for your prayers that God will be with the surgeons and my faithful friend during this time.

Matthew 18: 19-20

Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.  For where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them.

 

If you’re not familiar with Baylor University’s Christian Reflection, a series in faith and ethics, I highly recommend it.  T. J. introduced it to me when we served on the Christian Formation Committee together at CHN.  They publish a new series each month to reflect on.  These can be done in any order.  This month, for obvious reasons, I pulled out the series on Lent.  I want to share a song written by Eric Howell, a pastor from Day Spring Baptist Church in Waco, TX.

Come Near Today   ~  By: Eric Howell

The holy son of God descends

to human pain and need.

O Lord, to my assistance come.

Come quickly, Lord, to help me.

With love assured, your healing word,

the Spirit’s flame, your holy name.

Redeeming grace in this place –

come near today to help me.

Who is this man, the Great I Am,

who loves so fierce and free?

My Lord! You lived our suffering.

Come quickly, Lord, to be near me.

 

Refrain

The holy Son of God walks on

to darkened Calvary.

To bear his cross is now our path.

Come quickly, Lord, to lead me.

Refrain

Now may our prayer be joined with his

through life’s uncertainty.

O Lord, to my assistance come.

Come quickly, Lord, to save me.

 

Refrain

This was in my reflection this morning.  It comforts me to know that God finds a way to give words of comfort, hope, and peace.  A gentle reminder to come to him in our time of need.  May God, the healer, guide the hands of the surgeons this day and be with T.J.  Give her peace and calm as she awaits her surgery later today.  Be with P.G., that she feel the love and presence of God’s spirit, while she awaits word from the surgical team.  Be with C.J. Lord, as she tries to make it through classes.  Give her a clear mind and assurance that all will be well.

Psalm 147:3

He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.

 

Reaching for the Divine

 

While praying one day a woman asked,

“Who are you, God?”

He answered, “I am”.

But who is I am?

He replied, I am love,

I am peace, I am grace,

I am joy, I am strength,

I am safety, I am shelter,

I am power, I am the creator,

I am the comforter,

I am the beginning and the end,

I am the way, the truth, and the light.

With tears in her eyes,

she looked toward heaven and said,

“now I understand, but who am I?”

God tenderly wiped the tears

from her eyes and whispered,

“You are mine.”

 

~Author Unknown

So I’ve been browsing for different prayers, meditations, and guided spiritual practices for my own reflection. What keeps coming back to me is my own soul connected so tightly or closely to music. It is what at times has given me peace, allowed expression of joy and sorrow, and is a bridge for me to meander into different spaces that I might not otherwise be comfortable with or in. I believe it’s my soul’s language and allows me an openness and vulnerability that my own cognative mind won’t open on its own.   It’s funny, but as I flipped through the marked pages of my 4th Edition Maranatha! A music book of praise hymns and choruses, I noticed a distinct correlation to where I am and what kind of path I am on in my life. I should tell you these pages have been marked for years, simply because I find joy in them.   Today it’s different. It’s like I’ve been preparing for this time all these years, when I sit and play and find peace and comfort in these very simple songs.

As we seek your face,

may we know your heart,

feel your presence,

acceptance,

as we seek your face.

~Dave Bilbrough

Psalm 27:4

    Am I seeking?   Always.

I cast all my cares upon you,

I lay all of my burdens down at your feet.

And any time I don’t know what to do,

I will cast all my cares upon you.

~Kelly Willard

Psalm 55:22

    Have I intentionally left these burdens to God?  I’d like to say “yes”.  I can certainly say that I make it my intention every day and when I am tempted to fill my mind with fear and worry, I pray.  Prayer keeps me grounded. God’s presence when I tell him to help me let it go, grounds me.

You alone are my strength and shield.

To you alone may my spirit yield.

From As The Deer

~Martin Nystrom

Psalm 42:1

I have sung this phrase in many languages and different songs, and no matter what the piece, it always speaks to me. There is someone to be strong for me when I am weak; someone to shield me when I need comfort. This simple phrase, this song of many is always with me.

May God be with you and bless you as you walk your own journeys.