Sunday, January 29, 2006

silver linings

Home at last! After a week on the road it's good to be back within proximity of my routine! There are still some things to be put away, and the chaos I left behind when I departed so abruptly last week for the funeral awaited my return! Never a shortage of things needing attention around here.

I'm attempting laundry, but the washer isn't consistent when it comes to spinning, and now the dryer sounds like its get up and go has got up and left. It's always something, eh? I still need to go through mail, and the dust has increased one hundred-fold in my absence. My work is cut out for me.

I'm grateful for a day through which I can simply amble, even with things that need to get done. The last week has been filled with the richness of relationships, and I am enjoying letting the experience of it sink in and mellow. I need to thank my mother (and her mother, before her) for setting the example of maintaining relationships. There's a reason that she sends out more than 300 Christmas letters each year. She values her friends and spends time nurturing those relationships, often by visiting when she's on the road herself. Those relationships enrich her life, and the breadth of her friendships keep her spirit open and growing.

I was reminded, through my own experience in these last two days at our annual diocesan convention, of the value of that same diversity in my own life. Though aligned with some because of shared theological views, there are others I have gotten to know during my years of ministry here that I enjoy and care about. Because of issues and controversies facing our church, we are divided along some lines, but our affection for each other transcends those differences. In some ways it is helpful that there are topics of conversation best left alone, because we then focus on other aspects of our lives and our relationships that might otherwise suffer neglect. Life is full of opportunities and experiences, and we are each individuals whose layers and complexities contribute to the richness of humanity. In our encounters with each other we are given the chance to discover aspects of our own being in unique ways, and it is those exchanges that stretch us and invite us to be as fully alive as possible. How sad it is when we choose to surround ourselves only with those who share our viewpoint or don't challenge the way we look at things.

On another note--a benefit of being gone for Elaine's funeral also gave me some time to work on some layouts that I had hoped to complete over that weekend. Not being on home turf relieved me of the usual distractions and tasks that might have interfered with that objective had I actually been home. These were layouts that I had been asked to contribute for inclusion in an upcoming publication on faith scrapbooking. It was an opportunity not to be squandered, and I am so grateful to have gotten them done in time.

Following the lead of other scrappers I have created a blog for the sole purpose of sharing layouts or other work. The link to it is http://scrappinchaplain.blogspot.com/ , but I have also included the link on the sidebar of this blog for future reference (notice the clever description, LOL!).

Enough for now, there's dusting and vacuuming to be done. Too bad Dooley's tail doesn't sweep the ground when he wags it. He could be mighty helpful right about now!

4 comments:

samtzmom said...

Glad you are home safe and sound even if there are dust bunnies to shoo away and things to organize! I often wonder where that "middle ground" will be in our church, and wonder if indeed one will be found. Talk about the Lifeboat Theory at it's best! I am very jealous of the beautiful scrapping you do, and think I would just not have the patience, but I can live vicariously through your lovely creations! Welcome home friend, welcome home... Love and hugs to you aplenty!

madcow said...

I'm so glad you're home although I don't begrudge you your trip and time for reflection/reunions. Amazing isn't it that just when the spirit needs revival we are sent on an unexpected trip (whether long distance or a new challenge) and find some answers! Chat soon. Love & hugs

Gail said...

I see you are following in your mother's footsteps, or maybe tire treads? I agree it is very nice to have a wide range of relationships that come from different areas in common with people. It makes life much more interesting.
Gail

Pam in Moncton said...

If you can teach your dog to sweep the floor instead of shedding hair on it I want the secret! Anyway, glad you are back and I agree that it's important to value friends and aquaintences for who they are and not just that they agree with you on everything.
Pam

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