Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Five: Positive Potpourri

Will smama writes: As I zip around the webring it is quite clear that we are getting BUSY. "Tis the season" when clergy and laypeople alike walk the highwire from Fall programming to Christmas carrying their balancing pole with family/rest on the one side and turkey shelters/advent wreaths on the other.

And so I offer this Friday Five with 5 quick hit questions... and a bonus:

1) Your work day is done and the brain is fried, what do you do?
I go to Taekwon-Do - then brain and body can both be fried!

2) Your work week is done and the brain is fried (for some Friday, others Sunday afternoon), what do you do?
I engage in Holy Nappage on Sunday afternoon.

3) Like most of us, I often keep myself busy even while programs are on the tv. I stop to watch The Office and 30 Rock on Thursday nights. Do you have 'stop everything' tv programming or books or events or projects that are totally 'for you' moments?
Cleveland Indians baseball

4) When was the last time you laughed, really laughed? What was so funny?
I laughed good and hard Tuesday at a political joke my husband sent me.

5) What is a fairly common item that some people are willing to go cheap on, but you are not.
Coffee - we drink Leelanau Coffee, which magically appears on our doorstep once a month. Of course the bill for it magically appears on our credit card too - but it is soooo worth it!

Bonus: It's become trite but is also true that we often benefit the most when we give. Go ahead, toot your own horn. When was the last time you gave until it felt good?
Last Monday evening at our local March of Dimes fundraiser and a week or so before that as Spiritual Director of our area Via de Cristo weekend.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Five: Location, Location, Location

Singing Owl is anticipating her daughter and family moving to stay with her for awhile. SO... this post, appropriately, is about locations. She invites us to tell us about the five favorite places we have lived in our lifetime...

I have lived in more than a dozen places, but I will comment on the most memorable ones here:

1. Louisville, Ohio

Our family moved to this northeastern Ohio town of 8,000 or so in the late '60's and I lived there through graduation from high school in 1978. L-ville is still a small town with some beautiful old Victorian and Georgian-style homes, and a "Friday-Night Lights"-style obsession with high school football. We lived in two homes while I was there, the second being a wonderful home my father built for us. I loved my room; it had a wonderful window seat dormer and my first and only walk-in closet!

2. Numazu, Japan
I spent my junior year of high school as an exchange student, living in this seaside city at the foot of Mount Fuji. I absolutely loved my year there - I lived with four host families over the year, accommodations ranging from an apartment above a pharmacy and a penthouse above a private orthopedic hospital, to a sprawling country home with a separate bath house fed by a hot spring.

3. Columbus, Ohio
University and seminary study led me to this capital city, which in the seven years I was there was speedily morphing into a sophisticated artsy metropolis. From cozy dorm rooms to a half-double on 16th Ave that deserved to be condemned, to more dorm rooms, to the "white house" on Parkview and finally another half-double in Clintonville, my homes in Columbus were places where my worldview and my vocation were shaped and confirmed.

4. Toledo, Ohio
First call led me to this city of 250,000 over 23 years ago. I rented a small bungalow, and then purchased my first home, a ranch-style. But the Toledo home that I hold most dearly is the 1916 Dutch Colonial that I purchased as I began my second call. I dreamed of the distinctive two-directional oak staircase before I ever saw it. The house had been held in a trust for nearly a dozen years, and looked like the Money Pit when I first saw it: oriental metallic wall paper in the foyer, and a kitchen whose colors made you want to run screaming out of the house (avocado, grey, yellow, and scarlet). But the man who would become my husband and my parents convinced me that we "could do this" and we did - turning this house into a showcase. Our marriage was begun here, our children nurtured here.

5. Sylvania, Ohio
14 years ago I was called to this community, a suburb of Toledo. We wanted to live in the community I would serve, and so we began looking for a home. Most of the housing cost far more than we wanted to spend, but we found a great home, and have slowly steadily made this two-story our own. We've opened the kitchen into the family room, added a front porch, and decorated some of it to reflect our love for Northern Michigan. The wall paper in the half bath makes you feel as though you are in the middle of a birch grove!

Bonus: In "retirement", we want to live in Northern Michigan in the Leelanau Peninsula. Here's a picture of the fall colors I took on a visit there last week.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Friday Five: Saint Francis of Assisi Day

This week's host, Sally, dedicates our Friday Five to St Francis of Assisi, whose feast day is October 3rd.

1. Saint Francis experienced a life changing call, has anything in your journey so far challenged you to alter your lifestyle?
My year as an exchange student in Japan challenged me to think of myself as a citizen of the world, rather than merely of my homeland, the United States. Studying Taewkon-Do for the past three years has reinforced that mindset.

2. Francis experienced mocking and persecution, quite often in the comfortable west this is far from our experience. If you have experienced something like this how do you deal with it, if not how does it challenge you to pray for those whose experience is daily persecution?
Learning about our forebearers in faith who have stood in the gap with those who suffer inspires me to become more aware of God's call for me to go and do likewise. I have begun to meditate on Mother Teresa's Simple Path:
The fruit of silence is PRAYER
The fruit of prayer is FAITH
The fruit of faith is LOVE
The fruit of love is SERVICE
The fruit of service is PEACE

3 St Francis had a female counterpart in St Clare, she was influenced by St Francis' sermon and went on to found the Poor Clares. Like the Franciscans they depended on alms this was unheard of for women in that time, but she persisted and gained permission to found the order. How important are role models like St Clare to you? Do you have a particular female role model whose courage and dedication inspires you? If so share their story....
Svetlana Cholvadova Ottney is a skilled artist who emigrated to our area in the face of persecution for her faith. She works with clay to create murals that tell the faith stories of many worshiping communities in our area. This is a mural of St. Clare that she and her supervising instructor, Sr. Jane Mary Sorosiak, created for Lourdes College.

4. Francis loved nature and animals, how important is an expressed love of the created world to the Christian message today?
Love for the world God has created and entrusted to our care is central to my theology. Our place in God's story begins with creation in Genesis 1, not with sin in Genesis 3.

5. On a lighter note; have you ever led a service of blessing for animals, or a pet service, was it a success, did you enjoy it, and would you do it again?
Yes, we have led services of blessing for animals. They have been only sparsely attended, but those who have participated have really enjoyed them. I would do it again.