Sunday, October 26, 2008


I am ruminating on some things. There are some possible glitches in a business situation, and it doesn't look like it will be resolved before it is time to buy my tickets for Africa. So I am really at a loss about what to do. I have the money to go because I have sold some of my valuables, but I can't help thinking that I would feel much better about it all if I knew that everything was going to be fine.

And then, there is the matter of the dog.

My parents brought us a dog from Newfoundland. He is a sweet, sweet, guy. A year old mixed breed with a very gentle nature. But today, when we introduced him to the rabbit for the first time, it was clear that this is going to be a LONG process. Theo has been moved to Emmett's room and is being separated from the dog (Ziggy) by a series of baby gates. Honestly, I couldn't tell if Ziggy was ready to eat him, or just wanted to play with him, but either way it was not to Theo's liking. At. All.

Which means that we live in a house divided at the moment. Theo was so upset after the encounter with Ziggy this afternoon, he actually bit Emmett this evening, which has never happened before. Emmett was utterly devastated and I feel very sad indeed.

What do a trip to Africa and a new dog have in common? Patience, I think. And courage. And trust. God, grant me peace in all these areas so I can just turn them over to you and know that you are in the midst of it all, no matter how it turns out.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Backstage with the Song and Dance Ensemble of West Africa. My teacher is wearing the white hat.

An unexpected day off gave me some time to go to my drumming teacher's house and hang with his musician friends from Mali. They are in the area for just a day. Sidy drove 2 hours to pick them up last night and will bring them back this evening.

I think Malians are very good at hanging out. Even with a major language barrier (my French is beyond atrocious and their English is non-existent) we had a great time watching home videos and eating fine African food and drinking tea and teaching each other the words for grapes, water, what is your name?

At one point, Makan started playing the djembe and Ladje began to dance. They faced off in Sidy's tiny living room. Makan would play a rhythm and Ladje would listen for a moment, then begin a complex series of movements to match the sound. They told a story, together, really. Sidy videotaped the whole thing while my friend Lisa and I just watched with idiotic grins on our faces. The whole thing went on for nearly 20 minutes... it was absolutely extraordinary.

We had vague plans to bring the visitors to see the beach, which they have never seen before. But cooking and chatting and tea and dancing went on so long that in the end, we never got around to it. Maybe next time!

Hangin' with the Africans. Yup.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Who is cuter?

Theo: Lagomorph. 3 years old
Emmett: Homo Sapien. 8 years old.
Sofa: Shopus Thriftus. Lord only knows how old it is....

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The peace of God

Tonight's Eucharist at Grace church was very sparsely attended. There were only 6 of us in the pews and the two priests. Our music director was called away on a family emergency, so we sang all the music a capella. It was beautiful, really, in a candlelit church, to sing together and hear our voices and smell the sweet fragrance of Sunday's altar flowers still drifting in the air.

I have been spending the last few days struggling over an issue that finally came to resolution today. Do you know how that feels? To go around in circles in your head over and over until finally, in a moment of clarity, you say, wait a minute... What would God have me do? What is God asking me to do? Am I struggling because what God is asking is difficult and I don't want to do it? In this case, I think the answer was a definite yes.

A friend helped me clarify things. And the moment of clarity was so focused and forceful I felt filled with gratitude. Yes. Yes, Lord. I want to do your will. Yes.

After the service, I was alone in the church. Alone with God. I walked up to the chancel and lay down on the floor, face down, in front of the altar. I felt the cool tiles against my face. It took a moment for my breathing to relax and calm. My eyes were closed and I just lay there for a few minutes, thanking God. Asking him to always help me have the courage to do his will, even when I know it will be difficult. Even when I know that people will not understand. But Lord, I begged, give me the courage to do your will. I only want to do your will. Thank you, Lord, for your blessings.

I got up. Set the alarm. Let myself out the back door.

A half moon.

A clear night.

Psalm 128

Happy are they all who fear the LORD, *
and who follow in his ways!
You shall eat the fruit of your labor; *
happiness and prosperity shall be yours.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine within your house, *
your children like olive shoots round about your table.
The man who fears the LORD *
shall thus indeed be blessed.
The LORD bless you from Zion, *
and may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.
May you live to see your children's children; *
may peace be upon Israel.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Oh, wow.

My friend Amy just emailed to say that after only a few weeks, her friend received a heart.

Isn't that incredible? I tell you, God is working overtime these days. Prayers are being answered.

Lord, thank you.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Collect of the Day: Pentecost Proper 22

Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear than we to pray, and to give more than we either desire or deserve: Pour upon us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things for which we are not worthy to ask, except through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Savior; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Sarah Palin is entertaining

OK, Guilty pleasure:

I am having a great time surfing youtube for the latest Palin/Tina Fey tag team videos. CNN actually has one that shows them each responding to the bailout question using the exact same words. It is so funny.

I watched the VP debate the other night, half expecting her to crash and burn after all the gaffs over the last week, but nope... she was articulate and pulled together, even if she didn't actually answer any of the questions put to her.

People far smarter than me are doing much more incisive analysis, but as for me, I am finding the clips on youtube to be a great diversion from the real issues going on out there.

I wish I could like her, God bless her. She's so down-homey and Christian and pro-life and all. And really, she did great at the convention. But gosh darn it, I just can't see her as potential president material.

Can you?

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Miracles abound part 2

Yesterday morning things were bleak for our financial situation. I prayed with Nguyen that God would take care of us and by later in the afternoon a solution appeared from such an unexpected source it really could only be a miracle. Love is a miracle, isn't it? Selflessness. Generosity? All miracles.

Today, more miracles.

I decided to go pray outside the Planned Parenthood clinic in Providence. It was my first time doing such a thing. I was afraid, but prayed to God to give me courage. I said the rosary with the other people there and blessed those who cursed us and at some point ceased feeling fear and felt only love.

This from evening prayer tonight:

“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who mistreat you.

Tonight, for the first time in his adult life, my husband confessed being a Christian.

Lord, I am humbled to be receiving such gifts and blessings. Truly I know that I have done nothing to earn them. You give them freely, and I thank you. Tonight I pray for my husband, I pray for my friend Carl, I pray for my dear P+ and I send special prayers for the woman who changed her mind at the Broad St. clinic today. Bless her abundantly Lord. She heard you...