- time away
- the sound of waves and promise of love that never ends
- sunsets that glimmer
- sunrises (from the comfort of the couch!)
- K2 & JP
- home made salsa
- books and journals and colored pencils and doodles
- hours in the pool – hours!
- my brother
- truth that is stronger than
- sun-touched skin (even with 30 spf!)
- really good coffee
- space to be
I drove what was my mom’s car, this time she was in the passenger seat, to help her get her Ohio ID card. Nope, not a driver’s license – she gave up driving last summer. It seems like forever since my brother and I noticed that things weren’t quite right. We thought – maybe wished – it was just a normal part of aging but when some trusted friends started calling we knew we had to do something. Since then she has gone through days of testing, given up her gorgeous home and view of the Pacific Ocean (from a distance, but still!) moved across the country and settled into a 2 bedroom apartment.
Today was another marker on the journey. Giving up one’s driver’s license can’t be easy. I can still picture the sign my mom had made that was tucked inside the little trashcan that sat on the floorboard of her Dodge Dart Swinger. My dad picked me up from school, tossed me the keys and there it was: “Good Luck, Kerri, I know you can do it!” And I did.
Now I’m driving my mom’s car – another generous act on her part – and encouraging her as best I can as she walks through some challenging times. Today was a gift. We chatted and laughed as we filled out paperwork, wandered through Target, and checked out the knitting store near her place (maybe now is the time to finally have her teach me how to knit the Scottish way!).
I’m never quite sure what each day will bring – but I suppose none of us ever do.
I’ve been using an intriguing book to help me focus a bit each evening/morning: A Pilgrim’s Almanac: Reflections for Each Day of the Year by Edward Hays. It is a quirky compendium of tidbits tied into cultural seasons and the liturgical calendar. Part of yesterday’s reading came roaring back to mind as I tried to speed my daughter along through the getting-ready-for-bed process.
A devout and holy rabbi once said, “in my youth, fired with the love of God, I thought I would convert the whole world. But soon I learned it would be quite enough to convert the people who lived in my village. I tried that for a long time, but I was unsuccessful. Then I realized that my program was still too ambitious, so I concentrated on reforming the members of my own household. But I couldn’t convert them either. Finally it dawned on me that I must work only upon myself. But I have stumbled in my attempts to even accomplish that.
Another stumble. But tomorrow is a new day.
My parents wanted to call me Laurie (#42 0n the most popular names list for 1962) but my big brothers refused. They had received Christmas gifts from their pen pals (do people still have pen pals?) in England – trucks, which are called lorries across the pond. They refused to have their baby sister named after a truck. Instead, I was named after a character in a book my mom was reading – she can’t remember the book. I love having a unique name. My mom went to all sorts of efforts to make sure I had magnets and stickers, even a license plate for my bike – all those important childhood mementos with my name inscribed upon them. It bugged me at times to have a name that I couldn’t find at Disneyland or Magic Mountain on some cheesy pen or hat or other such overpriced merchandise.
I have absolutely no idea what name I would use for a day. I never even had a bar name during college!
I like the name Kerri and on most days I like the Kerri that I am.
I’m not sure what the author of this prompt intended – did she want me to talk about how I traveled or where I traveled. Two very different questions, if you ask me. I’ve pondered both but first, the stats:
Travel for this upcoming year will include:
- Orlando to cheer on my buddy as she runs the Disney World Half Marathon
- Boston (twice) – Leadership in Ministry workshop
- Washington, D.C. – Clergywomen’s Preaching Roundtable
- Atlanta – Columbia Theological Seminary S3 group
- SoCal – Calhi 30th reunion (yikes!)
- vacation(s) TBD – we’re considering Chicago, NYC, Gettysburg during spring break – suggestions?
Now for the how…There are times when the travel is simply a means to an end. Sometimes the travel is a pain in the a**! As wacky as this is, I remind myself to pay attention to my feet – it slows me down and reminds me to me mindful of those around me. It gives me a sense of place in the midst of rushing. That cranky traveler who is demanding and oblivious to anyone else around them might be flying to say goodbye to a loved one who is dying (been there, done that). That TSA agent is doing their job (even though I’ve encountered a few here and there who seem to have taken their authority to unwarranted levels).
My feet have taken me to holy places – and not just those commonly understood to be holy.
We traveled at Thanksgiving this year and with the concerns around “increased security” we gave ourselves plenty of time to get to the gate (a unique experience for the PDs)! As we entered the security line, an older couple came in behind us and their worried daughter gave them specific instructions, hugged them goodbye and stepped aside. I thought of the countless times I’ve done the same with my mom. I know she is quite capable of getting herself to the gate but worrying nonetheless. I could have ignored this couple. I could have been grateful that they were behind me rather than in front of me (you know what I mean, right?!). Instead, I decided to engage them in conversation and help them through the process. It didn’t take anything away from me and it gave me a holy moment, a sense that I was paying back to whoever has helped my mom through those lines during her trips. Holy moments, indeed.
Bless to me, O God,
The earth to my foot,
Bless to me, O God,
The path whereon I go;
Bless to me, O God,
The thing of my desire;
Thou Evermore of evermore,
Bless Thou to me my rest.
Day 21 – Future Self. Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?) (Author: Jenny Blake)
I’m in a list mode – maybe it is the season (I’m making a list, and checking it twice). This is a wacky prompt. I think 5 year plans are somewhat useless. I’m all for having a direction, but if you ask me where I’ll be in 5 years I’ll tell you that I’m hoping to be a faithful child of God in whatever situation/location/career I find myself. But, I signed on for this Reverb10 thing so here goes:
- exercise, exercise, exercise. No more excuses girl. Running isn’t it, and let’s be honest, that is for the best. Make the time to care for yourself
- read more
- do the stuff you love to do – time is too short
- make those 3/4 day trips out to California – now
- K2 will be driving in 5 years – now is the time to be fully present with her
- Remind K2- daily – that she is smart, gentle, loving, beautiful and that you love her more than she can imagine. While you are at it, remind yourself of the same.
- keep golfing – even if you have a lousy handicap!
- date nights – plan, schedule, do it
- save money
- plan those pilgrimages – don’t give up the dream. They’ve made a difference for you and for the folks who have walked with you.
- do what you want to do – not because you should but because you want to do them
- be present to the moment
I’m skipping the bonus question – because I can!
Day 14 – Appreciate What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it? (Author: Victoria Klein)
My brother. S is the epitome of “big brother.” He has always been present in my life. When I wanted a pair of Adidas tennies, before my feet had stopped growing and mom and dad said no, he bought them for me for my birthday. He showed up for the league finals in my freshman year when I was running for the championship (and I won!). He called and gave my mom a “talking-to” when he was worried about the senior I was dating (my mom’s words: “not all seniors are like you!”). He sold our car when we left for seminary; trusted me with his newborn son; picked us up at the airport when my dad was dying with a hug only he could give; sends me silly notes; listens to me vent; cares for my daughter as if she is his own; calls me just to talk; worries about my mom with me. I could not ask for a better brother.
Shared history and a future that will always include each other. Thanks be to God for you, big brother.
Day 12 – Body Integration This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn’t mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present? (Author: Patrick Reynolds)
Bedtime ritual with K2 – check the teeth, snuggle in bed, tell Mollydog to stop licking, listen to K2 laugh, tell Mollydog to stop licking, listen to K2 laugh, read a story, tell Mollydog to stop licking, listen to K2 laugh, prayers…
Sometimes, more frequently than I’d like to admit, I don’t take the time to enjoy the moment and am rushed to get through it all as if it is one more task to check off the list. One night last week I remined myself to be fully present as I helped K2 get ready. She listens to music to fall asleep and lately it has been Christmas music. Some cheeseball song came on and she started singing along using her hand as a puppet and I joined in. We laughed, she grinned and I soaked it in. Fully present.
I’d like more of those moments.
Day 11 – 11 Things What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? (Author: Sam Davidson)
The Fiercely Independent 5 from our Ghost Ranch Pilgrimage walked the labyrinth at the neighboring church this morning – after taking about an hour to shovel the snow off of it! That is dedication. I pondered today’s question as I prayed and walked. Here goes:
- sensory overload – time for quiet in each day
- self-doubt – enough said
- too many nights out in a week – stick to my rule of no more than 2 meetings per week
- focusing on what I can’t do (like run a marathon) – focus on what I can do
- stress – regular exercise, date nights, time away
- judgement – a reminder that those I judge are God’s children, too
- stop “shoulding” on myself and others – awareness is the first step
- winter inertia – put an extra sweatshirt on and do something
- staying up too late – turn off the TV!
- clutter – think before I buy; clean out cupboards, unpack boxes
- procrastination – eat the frog