Tag Archives: friends

How we deal with storms

Last summer I had four flight cancellations due to weather, which may explain why I wasn’t too upset when my flight from the west to east coast today was delayed three and a half hours. It was still going and it was a direct flight for me, no connections. No worries.

Of course those with connections were no doubt put out as their carefully constructed plans fell apart. I get that.

But I was fresh off a mini break weekend at the Oregon Coast with a friend I have somehow already known for 28+ years. I was renewed, mostly grumpy free, and a bit zen. I had just watched the choppy waves of the storm one day become beautiful shining waters the next day.

The plane ride itself was uneventful, until, that is, we started our descent just as the sun was setting above the skies and the storms brewing below. Breathtaking.

We landed into mid storm, with lightening strikes and tornado warnings. Ground crew were grounded, so it took awhile to get to the gate. But we were safe.

My positive attitude lasted the next hour while we waited for our bags. Remember those storms? Baggage crews were also grounded, not able to go outside and take our bags off the plane.

Bags started finally to come out of the gate and make their run around the circle. Bags from Aruba and Chicago, but none from Portland. Then the bags stopped their ride around the belt, and no new bags appeared. For quite a while. Admittedly, my positive attitude had lost some of its shine by now. But there was bonding with the other passengers. Two of us embarked on fact finding missions. And one or two walkie talkie messages later and magic … bags!

Storms come, and sometimes a grumpy or angry response is warranted and appropriate. But other times going the grumpy annoyed route just makes you grumpier. How we approach the storms of our lives makes a difference it seems.

And of course it always helps to be coming off of a three day weekend of friendship, fun and fabulous walks on the beach.

Grumpy antidote

I don’t know about you, but from time to time I turn into a Grumpy McGrumpypants.

What they say about waking up on the wrong side of the bed has some truth to it.

As does the reality that sometimes life is just hard, or at least seems that way.

Listening to the news exposes us to violence and toxic conversations on a daily basis. We are steeped in a social and political soup that I experience as increasingly divisive, polarizing, and awfulizing. This cannot help but seep into our daily lives and interactions.

And so we may be forgiven for waking up on the wrong side of the bed from time to time.

This morning I am not quite sure which side I woke up on. I sat with my coffee and pondered the tasks ahead for me this day, and reflected on the challenges of this past week. I read the news and prayed with the grumpy inducing happenings near and far.

And I listened…

… to the bird song outside my window …

… to the call of God within to act justly, love tenderly, and walk in the way of peace…

… to my own inmost desire, etched into the silver ring I received at my first profession of vows, to live with an open heart.

I soaked it all in and remembered what a good friend of mine likes to say …We’ve got this.

So I breathe into this day, ready to love, ready to live into all it holds.

Breathe. Live. Love.

God is with us through it all.

(Even when we’re grumpy. )

Love > Fear

This morning, after reading much disheartening news on the domestic and international front over breakfast, I spent some quiet time with today’s Scripture readings and my friend Julia Walsh, FSPA’s latest Global Sisters Report column.

In Hosea, I read: “What can I do with you, Ephraim? What can I do with you, Judah? Your piety is like a morning cloud, like the dew that early passes away … For it is love that I desire, not sacrifice, and knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.”

In Julia’s column, I read: “In this fearful age, God can transform all of us and the ways we feel about each other. We can love in radical ways, guided by our faith that each of us — even the person who scares us the most — are truly children of God deserving to be loved and cherished. Then, freed from the fears that plague our conversations, news, and dynamics, we can powerfully love one another just as God has loved us, sharing transformative mercy and hope.”

Both can be summed up by this equation:

love-greater-than-fear

Worthy of meditation and practice, I think.

It is also important for me to stay abreast of current news and the currents of political discourse. But I can’t let that weigh me down. Fear is not stronger than love. Suffering is not insurmountable. Hatred is a symptom of broken relationships and isolation. We are called to something greater, to community and connection.

We must give voice to love in the face of fear, through our words, our actions, our hopes and desires. Not just in the quiet contemplative moments but in all of our interactions and in our ordinary lives. That is how change happens and how love spreads to dispel fear. Don’t you think?

Prayer on waking

Sometimes like Jacob I wrestle

with my demons, my doubts, my frustrations,

my wondering how it will all work out.

But maybe that is what it takes,

those moments of struggle to make it

through to the other side,

to joy and wonder and awe and light and love.

And laughter. Don’t forget the laughter.

Or the tears.

God is present to us and with us and for us

through it all.

God is present through our friends and family

and community.

Together we struggle. Together we live.

And on waking I am content

in the loving

 (if sometimes mischevious)

presence of God.
Inspired by Genesis 32 and Psalm 17