Tweets by @morningblend56 According to Mary: March 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Fireplace Room

Today I am cleaning the tiny fireplace room. It is my favorite place in the house. (When you live in a house long enough, the rooms evolve into what they want to be. I can’t tell you how many of my rooms have fought me from becoming what I first intended and once they settled themselves, didn't want to be anything else.)

My friend, Linda, told me that the decorating choices you make usually have a reason…and I am leaning how to track down the memory that is stirred and enjoy it double, then and now.

The fireplace room is a tiny piece of my grandparent’s house in McBain, Michigan. A 1920’s to 40’s feel. It has a generous arts and crafts rocking chair similar to the chair that my grandmother rocked three times to push her over-plump body to her swollen feet. It has tall dark plant stand like the one by the seldom used front entry door. I remember wormy squiggly catus plants and other succulents with leathery leaves and snake plants and African violets in the entry way. (Up in the attic was a dried money plant and a vase of scary looking peacock feathers whose eyes terrified me as a little girl...I think I’ll go buy some…)

There was an old waterfall floor radio that made static or high pitched whiney noises when we tried to push the buttons or turn the knobs. I have a small 1920 retro radio that makes the same wonderful click when you turn it on.

My grandparents had a scratchy platform rocker in pinkish beige. I too have an old platform rocker in unfortunate green and gold stripes of a slightly more modern pattern but the right colors for my room. There was a small old book case with a glass door behind the rocking chair with wonderful saintly old books that my sisters would read on every visit. My fireplace room has a small bookcase with nothing published too recently.

I don’t have the cabbage roses on my carpet…and they didn’t have a fireplace. But they had a TV with rabbit ears. And I have my computer. The fireplace comes from other happy memories…

I don’t think I knew my grandparents as people very well, but I experienced a gentle contentment in their house that was a buffer from my real world that was heading toward the 1960’s and my personal world in which I would soon be a teenager. In my fireplace room, I created for myself a little of the magic that lived at my grandma’s house, a place caught between the marvels of electricity and homemade bread with jam every morning.

What is your favorite room?


Monday, March 23, 2009

Summoning God


Spring has come. Birds are singing outside our bedroom window in ways that make it very hard to get up. I just want to snuggle back down and listen. They make rotten alarm clocks.

I think about things...usually at 3:00 in the morning... fun things that I bat back and forth in my head until I arrive at the comforting conclusion that I don't have to understand everything about God and the universe and go gracefully back into that good night.

What! You don't have these early morning conversations with yourself! I forget that I am a 5 on the Enneagram scale. If you don't like nocturnal musings of a paradoxical nature you may want to leave this posting now...don't say I didn't warn you.

Here it is.

On the wall in the chapel where I receive spiritual direction is a sign. "Bidden, or not bidden, God is present." Jung popularized the saying, but it was discovered among the Latin writings of Erasmus. "Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit."

I find great solace in that sign for many reasons. It reminds me that God is sovereign, "above all praise", whose omniscience and omnipotence reach to the farthest imaginable recesses of this world. Those are good Calvinist words.

In response, all I can do is "come as I am," for it is I who need to be summoned. I need the grace to prepare and open my heart for the God who is already present because of the work of Jesus' death and resurrection. I am the one who needs to come close to celebrate his presence and to receive all he has for me, and ask for the grace to bring down barriers that block his presence from my life.

And yet, so often in church I sense we are waiting for God to "show up." How can that be? When we call on God, what happens? When we wait on God, what is it we do? I can feel so forlorn in those situations when we are singing, clapping, waiting for some movement from God. I look around me. Everyone seems to be trying so hard to bring God. Ernest, sincere people, hungry for God. Every week is the same. Desperate for God to come. And every week, I wonder who is summoning whom. (or is it "who.")

What if He is already there waiting for us...even before we begin to sing? What if all we needed to do is open our hearts to the loving Presence that is already waiting for us? Ready to bless, instruct, convict, heal...

Whom exactly are we calling to worship?

“Lord I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.”

Obviously, I need to think about this some more - realizing that it might just be semantics that I have become sensitized to or perhaps one of those paradoxes that I will have to accept - probably at 3:00 some morning.

Love you,