29 September 2009

For Georgia: A Prayer for the Waters

I dream in prayers. I dream about prayers. And I dream about writing prayers. I can see the words floating before my eyes. The words flow around me. Swirling. They craft themselves into sentences. I see hands reach out. My hands grasp the words. Hold tight. And then rearrange them. Perfecting. Creating holy, sacred texts. Spirit inspired clauses.

Creator God, You parted the waters from the land. And then you let the rains come. They came and covered the lands. The people were hopeless. They waited. And we wait. The sun is starting to peak from behind the dense clouds. The waters consumed the land. The rains consumed our homes. They waited. And we wait. The warmth of restoration is no longer beyond sight. We listen for the flicker of a dove's wings in the stillness of each day. They waited. And we wait. May the branch of peace be ever near. Though the rains were consuming, we know You were with us. Draw us close, to you and one another. Be ever present. They waited. And we wait for the rainbow. In the renewing calmness of Jesus the Christ's Spirit. Amen.

I dream in prayers. I dream about prayers. And I dream about writing prayers. When I do, I sleep well. It sounds restless. Tiring. Exhausting. There is a peace. My sleep is full of peace.

I hope those dreams come more often.

27 September 2009

What I'm Not

I have a habit of saying what I'm not...

I can tell you what I'm not. I'm not a scholar. I'm not skinny. I'm not terribly peppy. I can continue. Don't make me.

Looking back over some posts, I think it is easier to identify the areas in which I lack. Not even areas where I need to grow, but parts of my personality and abilities that are less.

So much for positive thinking?

Sure. Process of elimination. But that could be a long process.

It's not about boasting. Or carrying on. At some point I gotta claim it. Right?

I want to know who I am. And what I can do. When I do know, I should be able to say it.

It may be easier to say what I'm not. I think I need to work on saying what I am.

What I am,

25 September 2009

Photo Friday

Megs and Laura Loo
Chapel Hill, NC
Fall 2006

Because the leaves are a-changing. And crisp mornings are soon to be.

24 September 2009

Tell Me About Your People

Who? These people?

I've got this person, too.

And let's not forget about these folks.

I kinda like these people, too.

I got lots of people.

I have some new duties this year at my internship. I will be making pastoral visits and calls. This mostly involves older adults and the homebound. Yesterday I visited three different assisted and nursing care living centers. I even gave a homily at a communion service. Is it strange that I feel more...comfortable? Energetic? Joyous? When I am with the older folks. Not because they are old(er), but because they get it. Life is for living. And for sharing. Smiling. Laughing. Honesty. They tell it like it is. I appreciate that. I really, really do.

My last visit was with one feisty lady. Walking in her apartment, I thought I was meeting the Godmother. She was sitting at the end of the room, surrounded by photos and plants. She was sitting high in her chair. She waved me over. Told me to sit. (And I did.) I was with another minister, but the Godmother focused on me. Looking me up and down through her good eye, we carried on a casual conversation. About 15 minutes into the visit the Godmother abruptly says, "Tell me about your people." My response, "My family?" The Godmother huffs and says, "Yes. Your family. What is your background? Their trade?"

My people? My background? Their trade? The Godmother is a unique blend of Southern Belle and elitist socialite. I loved it. I love her. After answering her questions, she looked me up and down again through the good eye. She declared, "I'm going to pray for you."

That's my job. I'm the one supposed to pray. I'm the one supposed to listen. It was a nice turn of events. I got to talk about my people. People I love and adore. And I was blessed with a sincere prayer.

I've got good people.

22 September 2009

For Us: A Prayer for These Days

God of abundant life, be present. Make us known to your presence. Let us remember how Jesus welcomed the child to sit in his lap and said, "Do to the least of these and you will be doing unto the One who sent me." In every moment we are the child and the doer. Give us the compassion to hear our friends. And give us the clarity to ask for strength. Make us known to those who are experiencing stress. And make us humble enough to share our heavy hearts. Whether in thought, prayer, or deed, guide us in grace, and grant us wisdom. Because of Jesus Christ made known through the Holy Spirit, we are sustained and redeemed in everlasting love. Amen.

Because in every moment we are the child and the doer,

18 September 2009

Photo Friday

Georgia Belle
Athens, GA
September 2009

These were waiting for me in my inbox last night. Georgia Belle is the Brother's puppy. Georgia, the state this time and not the dog, has been receiving enormous amounts of rain the last few days. Georgia, back to the dog, loves it.

Play on, Belle. Play on.

14 September 2009

The Dad

If you happened to review the comments from my last post, my father was not too happy that I called him grumpy. Or insinuated that I get my grumpy demeanor from him. Let's be honest. I do. Bless his heart. And bless mine. And Lord knows I don't like to admit it, but I am my father's child. As is my brother. For some reason the dad cannot (for the life of him) see the connections. I am grumpy, impatience, and straight talking. These happen to be some of the most endearing qualities of the dad. Now, let's not tell him. I have prided myself on keeping this a secret from him. (Our similarities and such.) I like to keep him guessing. And oh-the-joy when he describes us as opposites.

These qualities, the ones that I believe should restrict him from talking on the phone*, they are the visible and in front of your face qualities. They do not completely, nor accurately describe my daddy. (Yes, I said daddy.) Out of the four of us, he has the big heart that gives love and shares compassion. I could make a list. It would be kinda long. But the dad knows a thing or two about taking care of his neighbor. He physically aches when his business is slow because it decreases his opportunity to provide jobs, money, and food for his employees. Those he feels responsible for and accountable to. He's a big softy. He is.

So, I'm grumpy. And I get it from the dad. But I hope there is more. I hope there is more of him in me. I hope I am more...loving, compassionate, thoughtful...and...well, brash and ballsy. The dad is a complex mixture. Yeah, I hope I am a complex mixture.

But don't tell him. I have to keep him on his toes. You know, because we never see eye-to-eye.

Grumpy and lovable,

*My daddy should never be allowed to answer the phone. Nor leave messages. It usually goes something like this. Ring. Ring. Ring. The dad: "Hello." (In your briefest, sharpest, most unpleasant tone.) Me: "Hey, daddy doodles." The dad: Audible huff. Puff. "Yeah..." Or ring. Ring. Ring. Voicemail picks up. The dad: "Blair. It is 5:15. 15 after 5....(message)...(repeat message)...it is 5:16...(repeat message for the third time)" He's going to be upset I included his commentary on this phone etiquette. I do love him. I do.

11 September 2009

Photo Friday

The Dad, BEAT, and the Mom
Nashville, TN
October 2007

UGA beat Vandy! Go dawgs! And the parents made me hold up a hometown newspaper. This picture was later featured in said hometown newspaper. I have proud, supportive parents. This picture fully captures the personalities and essence of the parents. Do you see where I get the grumpy? Can you sense the joy for life? The nose? The height? The matching color scheme? I have inherited so much from both of them.

How cute are my parents? Lovely. Lucky. And blessed. I can't get over it.

Go dawgs! Beat Vandy.

ps: UGA doesn't play Vandy for a couple weeks. I am just preparing.

09 September 2009

Music of the Moment: Day Two

Will Hoge
"Even If It Breaks Your Heart"

New favorite. There is this AMAZING radio station in Nashville, Lightning 100. And as the slogan says, "Not Country, Not Corporate." It's true. No country (praise God!). It features many local acts. L100 keeps me up to date on good new music. Check out the "Recently Played" list to see what I'm talking about.

I can hear him playing...saying...even if it breaks your heart...

08 September 2009

Music of the Moment

Covering The King of Leon's "Use Somebody"

I love this version. And this damn song is everywhere. This is a good rendition from what I hear every five minutes on the radio* and the tv.

Someone like me...

ps: So, I love the radio. There, I said it. Love morning talk shows. Love waiting to hear what will be next. Love searching for new stations when I drive five hours. None of this XM stuff. The radio. The real radio. Try it out!

04 September 2009

Photo Friday: Bestie Edition, Part 1

LaGrange, GA
April 2003

When life was simple. And we were still innocent. Right?