Wednesday, March 28, 2007


My father passed away in August 2004. He is buried at a family plot in Belfalls, TX. It's a small, country cemetery near the thriving metropolis where he grew up, Oenaville (pronounced "oh-ee-na-ville"). I love this place. It's quiet and peaceful there. Last year, late in the winter, I planted bluebonnet seeds over his grave. Daddy loved the Texas wildflowers. He and his wife would often travel to the Texas Hill Country during Springtime to enjoy the beauty. Traveling on the motorcycle, of course. The bluebonnets are blooming now in Central Texas and they are stunning! So, I drove to Belfalls Cemetary to see if those little seeds had managed to grow. And they did. Two big bunches of flowers had already bloomed and there were lots of tiny little buds waiting to pop. They were so beautiful and I cried. I was so happy!! Losing my father has been the saddest thing to happen to me. And I miss him so much. Over the last 2 and 1/2 years I've taken many opportunities to remember him and honor my own grief. Planting bluebonnet seeds on his grave was one of those efforts. It brought my heart so much joy today; and today I needed it. (That's another post.) Even planting those seeds offered me an amazing experience and today it became full circle. This little cemetary is smack in the middle of farm land. The ground is black and rock hard. When I traveled to plant the seeds, I took a rake, shovel, pick, hoe...I expected to really work this ground in order to plant the seeds. To my surprise, it wasn't much work at all. A year and a half after his burial, there was still a pretty good mound on top of the ground. When I started raking back dirt, I found that it moved very easily. This mound of dirt wasn't hard at all. So, I continued to rake and little by little I keep seeing these green spots. The more I raked, the more I saw. I finaly bent down to see what they were. They were little green shoots. Little green shoots, probaby weeds, growing in the middle of the dirt pile. It was one of those moments where I was clear God was with me; showing me; opening my eyes. I sat down on the grave stone and wept. God was near and I felt it. In this place marked for death, there is life. Death was not the final word, even for a burial site. Today, life was apparent again...vibrantly! Daddy would love them.

I hung out for awhile, even lying on a blanket watching the clouds. I'm thankful I hang out with teenagers so much...they remind me to do stuff like that. I wish I took more moments like this to just take in life. While I lay there, the lyrics of a song went through my head. It was a song I sang at Daddy's funeral. He picked all the songs at his service. A bunch of songs from Cowboy Church services he listened to on the radio. This one is called "Place Where I Worship."

O the place where I worship
Is the wide open spaces
Built by the hand of the Lord.
Where the trees of the forest
Are like the pipes of an organ
And the breeze plays an Amen chord.
O the stars are the canvas
And they light up the mountains,
Mountains are alters of God.
O the place where I worship
Is the wide open spaces
Built by the hand of the Lord.

There's a carpet of green
And the sky-blue roof above
And I'm welcome there alone
Or with the One I love.
In your heart take a good look
If you follow the Good Book
You're sure to find you reward.
O the place where I worship
Is the wide open spaces
Built by the hand of the Lord.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Here we go!

My first blog post...ever. This is going to be fun.

Today's Bible Study at church was supposed to be the story of Jesus healing the 10 lepers. Unfortunately, we didn't get it to it. We needed to talk about some church stuff, some of which was about Youth Camp this summer. Some of them don't want to go because we're going with a bunch of other churches and they don't know anyone. The last 2 years we've only taken retreats or extended weekend trips by ourselves. So...change is upon us. They'll be fine. They will make friends and have a great week. They just don't know it yet. Anyway, this story. As I was doing some research, I discovered that this another story about a Samaritan. There were 10 lepers. Jesus said "you are healed go show the priest." Nine took off and one stayed long enough to say thank you. Luke seems emphasize that fact that this "one" was a Samaritan. So, now I have all kinds of questions about this story. It no longer seems like Jesus was trying to make a point of being thankful (which is such a powereful practice) BUT...maybe there's more to it. First, why were Jews and Samaritans hanging out together? Does being an outcast remove social and religious barriers? Where did the Samaritan go and "show himself?" Certainly not the same place the now-healed Jewish lepers were running off to. Why did the others not stop to say thank you? Maybe another statement from Jesus that God's grace is for everyone. For the listening Jewish audience, is this another jab at their separation from the in the story of the Good Samaritan?

Just some questions. I'm no scholar. I'm not educated in anyway theologically. I studied music in college.

By the way, I have no idea how to do all the HTML stuff to make my site look cool. I just read some stuff and I don't get it. I'm a right-brainer. Maybe I'll work on it...later.

Allow me to introduce myself

I grew up in church. I mean the “every time the doors were open I was there”, grew up in church. A good Southern Baptist church at that. I knew all the stories. I knew what they mean. I have dozens and dozens of verses memorized. Faith and God were all were very neat and tidy until about 1993. I started going this church where the pastor talked of “being saved” as an ongoing, repeating process, instead of one trip down the aisle to shake the preacher’s hand. There were staff members who had been divorced and now remarried. Like the church’s pastoral counselor. Hmmm, I was taught it was a sin to divorce and adultery to remarry. Three years later I would go through my own divorce. I later learned that my now ex-husband was gay. I had to deal with divorce for me; find God in this. I was taught that homosexuality was wrong. Now it had touched my life in a very intimate and unique way. I had to search out how God fit in. I grew up being taught that having sex outside of marriage was a sin. My beliefs challenged my life as a 30 thirty-something woman in a relationship. I was taught Christians don’t drink. And I didn’t until my thirty’s. Today I love good wine and margaritas. And all along the way, even back to college, unsuspecting men and women found their way in my path offering me different perspectives of God and faith. Their God was bigger than mine. Authentic lives of faith with less rigidity. Some of them took the stories of my childhood and turned them upside down. Often times, exploding my God view, my “Christian” view. Over the past few years, I’m discovering I don’t really know all the stories afterall. They don’t have “an answer”; or only one point to make. With so much of Scripture, I think that the church at large has completely missed the point. I don’t have all the answers. God is not neat and tidy. And it’s wonderful. It is perhaps, my salvation. I lead a Bible Study each week for the teenagers at my church. It’s a small church, not like the big ones I grew up in. I like it. The kids are really not like me when I was their age. I find this delightfully refreshing. It’s also a tremendous challenge. Each week I'm faced with stories I thought I knew. I try to look at them in new way and offer them something we can kick around for an hour. The discussions we have are amazing. These young men and women are intelligent, savvy and insightful. I don’t have to have “all the answers” for them. Thank God. But you can’t just wing it with them. They smell bullshit from miles away. As their “teacher”, I’m also a student. Most of the time a very willing one. They are always teaching. Now, I've come to this place...a blog. I love to read them. I know some cool ones. This time I'm coming for myself. I’ve come to process, write through, and articulate what I’m learning. Kick around with you my life on a spiritual journey. And I’m an artist. I love to sing and I’m pretty good at it. I also love to write. My writing has mostly been for me. I feel tugged to use my creativity and love for writing in new ways. We’ll see what this place brings me. And I want to hear from you. Leave me your thoughts!