Friday, July 30, 2010

RevGalBlogPals' Friday Five: Love the One You're With

In an attempt to keep up with this blog, I'm going to do the RGBP thing... From their website

This Friday Five will post while I'm at the beach which for me is more than a vacation destination, it is a trip home. I have found it quite easy to wax nostalgic about the places I used to live (well, except for one) and have begun to wonder what it is I like about the place I'm living now? For instance I sure do love the beach, but this picture was taken about 30 minutes away from my house - not too shabby!

And so I ask you to please name five things you like about where you are living now... and as your bonus - 1 thing you don't like.

This is an interesting friday five for me...I have 31 days left in my current home, and then I'm moving to become a novice in southern California!  So, with a bit of sadness at the coming move, I answer:  

Five things I like about where I live now:
  1. It is easy to get places.  I'm in St Louis, Missouri--not exactly a huge airport, but I can get to the east coast in a couple of hours, or I can get to the west coast in a few more than a couple of hours.  I think I notice this right now because moving to California means being a great deal farther away from my friends in the East.  Perhaps that is a good thing, but right now that mental picture is a bit challenging. 
  2. St Louis is full of free things to do.  There's the Saint Louis Art Museum (FREE!), the Saint Louis Zoo (FREE!  And a great zoo!), plus all of Forest Park.  
  3. And there are other good places to visit too, at a slightly greater distance....Pere Marquette State Park across the river (the river=the Mississippi, of course!) in Illinois, the little town of St Charles across the Missouri River (with its park dedicated to Lewis and Clark, celebrating their exploration of points west).... I could go on and on.  There are simply great fun things to do in St Louis. 
  4. The history of the Society of the Sacred Heart rests here as well.  St Rose Philippine Duchesne first brought a group of nuns to St Charles in 1818 and started a boarding school and a free school for girls.  As a historical theologian, I absolutely love that connection to the history of my religious order.  Philippine's Shrine is in St Charles, and her presence is an inspiration and support in my own journey. 
  5. I think I like St Louis most because it has become my home over the last 10 years.  I was not born here, did not grow up here, but I have been welcomed by this community and have come to be at home here.  

All the more reason why it's hard to be leaving soon.  But there is one negative thing I can say about this place:  it's too far from both the ocean and the mountains.  I guess that's one thing California can give me that Missouri cannot!

Thank you, RevGalBlogPals and Kathryn for bringing these thoughts to me!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Potter and the Lump of Clay

My friend Sister Susan has some great thoughts on lumps of clay over at her blog!

My reaction to the morning's reading was a little different from Susan's.  I've never taken a pottery class, though I think it would be fun--even if it is hard to make anything less earthy than a lump of clay!

Jeremiah says:

I went down to the potter's house and there he was,
working at the wheel.
Whenever the object of clay which he was making
turned out badly in his hand,
he tried again,
making of the clay another object of whatever sort he pleased.

"He tried again."  My life over the past few years has been so full of changes, both external and internal.  I'm not a big fan of change, but I am very aware that the only way we become better people is by changing.  That God tries again calls me to patience with myself and with the changing world that is within and around me.

God has a particular purpose for each of us, but we sometimes live without attending to that purpose.  And so we are formed and reformed, allowed to grow in our unique and freely chosen ways.  If we actively seek to follow God, we must sometimes go back to our lumpy, earthy beginnings and try to find that right path anew. The only way that I can become more the woman God wants me to be is through changing, through trying again.

The image has its limits:  I don't think most of us every "turn out badly" and need to start completely from scratch.  Yet, it shows that God is persistent, working in and through our mistakes and foibles to create the human person God desires. 

There's another reading of the text that I've been thinking about as well.  In just about a month, I become a novice in the Society of the Sacred Heart.  I've been living the life for a year now, and the noviceship is the next step.  One of my wisdom figures said to me that being a novice is about discernment, asking the question "What am I supposed to do with my life?"  When I read about the potter forming and reforming the clay, it reminds me that this question, which I've obviously asked and answered several times already in my 31 years, is the question that I will be asking myself again and again for decades to come.  No doubt as a novice this is a very serious thing.  It's not just about what I want to do with my life, but what God wants me to do, and how willing I am to make a life-long commitment to this life.

I'm glad I don't have to think too hard about that for at least another month!

Time to jump back in

The summer has been a whirlwind, and so my blog has suffered...but I'm going to make the attempt once again to keep going!  I will be posting a reflection later today, on the potter and the clay, from today's first reading.  I hope someone is still out there who might want to read it!  Check back later!