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Friday, January 2, 2009

Beginnings and Endings Friday Five



The following comes from RevGalBlogPals. Conveniently, the questions are things I was reflecting on yesterday:


This Celtic Mandala represents life, noting how days and years turn from one to another. As we have stepped from 2008 into 2009 some of us look back with joy and others with sadness; probably most of us with a mixture of the two.

As we look back we may come to understand how God has worked in and through us in joy and sadness. how we have grown against what may seem impossible odds. As we look forward we may do so with expectation, and we may do so with fear and trembling. As we look back and forward in New Years liminality I offer you this simple yet I hope profound Friday Five in two parts:

First list five things that you remember/ treasure from 2008

Then list five things that you are looking forward to in 2009

As you read one anothers blogs today I challenge you to leave a word of encouragement and pause to pray for each member of Revgals as we step into a New Year. I leave you this New Year Blessing from the Iona Community:

We stand to face the future:
God behind us in the past
Christ before us; the way ahead;
Christ beside us in this moment;
Christ beneath us in our weakness;
Christ above to shield us-
beneath the shadow of his wings we are safe;
Christ between us to bind us in the unity of his love;
Christ in us equipping us with his all sufficient grace.
Thus armed and guided, and protected we face the new year.
Now we arise and go forth on the journey before us,
knowing that, where Christ leads, life is a journey home.
Therefore we travel in faith, in hope, and in love,
in the name of the Father/ Mother, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
May the blessing of God
be upon us
all this year
and into eternity. Amen.

Five things I remember and treasure from 2008:
  1. Beginning and going through the application process for the RSCJ. It's been a long road that's not over yet, but I have learned so much about myself. I think also that in the process I am becoming a stronger person and more confident in who I am.
  2. Spending time with my best friend as she prepared to have her first baby. I will meet the baby next week!
  3. Becoming more at ease in a new place. I moved here in 2007, and 2008 has been a year of greater comfort, more friends, and finding a place in this community. It is good even though I will be leaving this community over the summer.
  4. Spending time with the sisters at the retirement facility in California. I spoke with one sister for awhile and she said some things about religious life that I will never forget. She said that you have to "date God" and never stop. That this is a beautiful thing, and one that brings great joy. She also has the gift of tears, and she simply radiated joy and love. It was a very special conversation, as were others with those sisters.
  5. I am thankful for the many weeks I have been able to spend with the sisters. Each time I am with them, no matter where it is (New Orleans, St. Louis, San Francisco, Chicago....) it feels more and more like the place I want to be for the rest of my life. I am grateful that I have had the many opportunities to stay with them and to become a part of their lives as they become a part of mine.

Things I look forward to in 2009:

I'm ignoring the whole "five" thing just to explain what I look forward to. I'm hoping this year will be one of profound life changes, as I become more and more who I am and who God wants me to be. It's exciting and a bit scary at the same time, but for today at least, I am up for the adventure!

The year of new adventures begins (I hope) with acceptance into the Society of the Sacred Heart. I should hear the final word in February, and so then I can begin to think more about the next year, as we discern together where I will go and what I will be doing. The possibilities are pretty open, though I hope to continue teaching at the college level for the next year as well.

I'm looking forward to living in a house, in community with the sisters, even though I know it will be a challenge.

I'm looking forward to a new city, a new job, a new form of life. Again, these things are challenging, but they are also (I hope) full of blessings.

So, this year will be one of blessings, one of friendship, one of growing relationships. And one of hope. May each of you have a year full of God's love as well.