You Are Mine

Worry
is the first sign.

I’m attached
to an outcome.

What if
the bus is late?
What if
I get to the airport
and the planes don’t fly
and the buses don’t run
and I’m stuck at the Kelowna airport
which isn’t in Kelowna.

It takes a while to sink into
“I will be with you always.”
and
“I have called you by name,
you are Mine.”

I take a deep breath,
let it out slowly.
I open to the possibility
of things going differently

and all being well.

All shall be well,
and all shall be well
and all manner of thing shall be well.
–Julian of Norwich

∗ ∗ ∗

Love Mischief for the World

It’s not too late to join the Radical Compassion Challenge hosted by Tara Brach. It’s free from now until January 30. Each day includes 1) a teaching session and guided meditation on topics such as embodied presence, self-compassion, and self-forgiveness,  2) a daily compassion-in-action assignment, and 3) interviews with 10 thought leaders and visionaries such as Jon Kabat-Zinn and Krista Tippett. I particularly like Tara Brach’s RAIN meditation which is similar to the Welcoming Prayer.

What love mischief are you and God doing for the world?
Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.

Credits and References:
“Pieta House” by Joe Houghton. Used with permission.
Butterfly photo from pxhere. CCO Public Domain
Compassion image by Susan von Struensee. Used with permission.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2020.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013-2020.  http://www.estherhizsa.com
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Snow Days

“Why don’t we wait until the snow melts and see if your wallet is there,” Heidi said, looking at a snow-covered patch of grass we couldn’t shovel. “I’ll keep an eye on it. No one’s going to find it under all that snow before we do.”

It had been fourteen hours since my wallet went missing, so I wasn’t as frantic about losing it as I first was. The day before, we had finished having dinner at our daughter’s house and looked out the window to see if the predicted snowfall had started. It hadn’t. But an hour later, when we finished playing a board game, so much snow had fallen that the roads were impassable, and Fred and I couldn’t drive back to our place, 3 kilometres away. During our attempt to get home, I discovered both my cell phone and wallet were missing.

We left our car at Heidi’s and walked through the snow to the Skytrain. In my mind, I retraced my steps from when I’d last had my wallet and phone in my hands until I noticed they were missing. How could I have lost them?

Google Timeline showed that my phone was still at Heidi’s place. There was no action on my phone or on my credit cards. No one had stolen them. But where were they? Heidi and Jeremy looked for them again, but it was difficult in the dark.

Meanwhile, it continued to snow.

At five in the morning, Jeremy sent Fred a text. Their tenant had found my phone outside their house. I went back to sleep and in a wakeful moment, sensed God’s comfort. Whether I found my wallet or not, it would be all right. Finally, what I knew in my head, my heart believed.

I returned to Heidi’s place in the morning, and we continued the search for my wallet. When our efforts were fruitless, I decided to take Heidi’s advice to wait until the snow melted and trust her watchful eye. In our coastal climate where snow can come and go within days, I wouldn’t have to wait long.

It wasn’t safe enough to drive our car home, but I could clear snow off the roof and windshield. There, on the floor on the front passenger side, was my wallet. It must have fallen out of my backpack when I was looking for my phone the night before.

I enjoyed the relief I felt as I walked home along the Brunette River. The ground, bushes and branches were covered with thick, soft snow. Beauty hushed my soul and ignited a childlike delight in this fresh, white world. While I was glad I’d found my wallet, my mind returned to Heidi’s words and the thought that the snow would keep something of mine safe, and I could trust that Love would wait and watch for me.

That was on Monday. More snow days followed with events cancelled and spaciousness lavishly given. I didn’t have to wedge my life between deadlines. I love the slow pace of waiting to see what treasure will be revealed and knowing that God is keeping a watchful eye out to celebrate what’s found.

If it were not for You, O Beloved,
You who make all things new,
Fear and chaos would reign
in every heart; in You
will I trust forever.
–Psalm 124:1,2
Nan C. Merrill,
Psalms for Praying:
An Invitation to Wholeness

∗ ∗ ∗

Love Mischief for the World

Heidi, Jeremy and Hadrian are avid cyclists, committed to living sustainably and caring for all living things. So it wasn’t surprising to me that Heidi spoke up at a recent New Westminster Council meeting advocating for safer, uninterrupted routes for pedestrians and cyclists, a budget where walking, cycling, and transit comes first and meaningfully collaboration with the Sustainable Transportation Advocacy Committee and HUB. You can catch her speech here at 1:17:30. I’m so proud of her.

What love mischief are you and God doing for the world?
Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.

Credits and References:
“Snowfall” by Ed Suominen. Used with permission.
Snowy Trees” by broombesoom. Used with permission.
Photo of the Braacx family used with permission.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2020.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013-2020.  http://www.estherhizsa.com
Posted in Aging, Reflections, Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Activate Your Humility

“There are so many moments in our yoga practice when we have a chance to be humbled and for it to be a positive experience versus something we’re just trying to blow through. So . . . activate your humility,” Adriene said on Day 4.

Her gentle voice stayed with me as I thought about what was difficult for me right now. This Saturday at Living from the Heart, I will be presenting material that I have heard a number of times but haven’t taught before. It takes time and intentionality to find my voice and let it shape the words and concepts I want to convey.

The subject is the False Self and, not surprisingly, I’ve become a work in progress. My false self wants to have the material down with a gratifying fluidity. It’s important to put the effort in so that participants comprehend this slippery concept. But what if “nailing it” isn’t within my grasp?

Ooh. I felt something as I wrote that. My heart space softened and up crept a hint of tears. What’s going on? I wait and then the words come: I recognize a tense desire to do it perfectly and a relief that it’s okay if I can’t.

I smile as I recall a quote I will be sharing on Saturday. St. Augustine once said, “There are three things that are the most important in the Christian life.  The first is humility. And if you ask me, the second is humility, and the third is humility.”

This morning I unrolled my mat and met Adrienne on Youtube for Day 5 of my 30 day yoga journey. Today’s word was Soften. Adriene asked, “Are you working harder than you need to?” And then, as if she were reading my mind, she added, “Not just on the mat but in your life?”

What if I soften my expectations, prepare adequately and then activate my humility? What if I trusted that Brent and Audrey, my co-facilitators, will fill in the gaps needed? Or trust that if participants leave with questions unanswered that living those questions will be better than having all the answers.

Adriene offers this pro-tip: “Activate your breath–and let it do the work for you.”

Yes. Breathe in Ruach. Breathe in the Breath of God–loving all, sustaining all, enlivening and transforming all. Activate your humility. Trust that Breath.

The Spirit of God has made me;
the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
–Job 33:4 (NIV)

∗ ∗ ∗

Love Mischief for the World

As of January 1, 2020 business license holders in Vancouver are no longer permitted to serve prepared food in foam cups and foam containers. Vancouver banned the use of styrofoam in a movement toward becoming a waste-free city in 2040. Next to be banned will be plastic drinking straws. This ban will take effect on Earth Day (April 22, 2020). People in Vancouver will still be able to buy styrofoam containers and plastic straws for personal use. But we don’t have to. If we stop buying them, stores will stop selling them. Every small step we take to care for the earth counts.

What love mischief are you and God doing for the world?
Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.

Credits and References:
“Yoga girl” by Todd Dailey. Used with permission
“Flood Tide” by SwaloPhoto. Used with permission.
Image of styrofoam containers from FastCasual.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2020.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013-2020.  http://www.estherhizsa.com
Posted in False Self, Reflections | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

God’s Favourites

“When you turn to your partner for the next part of the dance, don’t make a meal of it. There’s another partner waiting to greet you. The Divine in them and wants to bless the Divine in you,” Allaudin (aka Sandy) instructed at the Dances of Universal Peace.

By the time the song was over, I had danced with half the people there–everyone that was going in the opposite direction around the circle. A few I knew well, but many I didn’t. The dance invited me not to play favourites but to treat each partner equally and honourably.

A similar “dance” happens every Sunday as we pass the peace in church. I turn to each person, look them in the eye, shake their hand or hug them, and we say to each other, “The peace of Christ be with you.” I don’t scoot around to my favourites. For this dance, we share God’s reality that we are all favourites.

This feels so counter-cultural in a world where we choose special people to receive Christmas cards, gifts or invitations to dinner. We collect BFFs on Facebook. The unstated message is that we are somebody if we have at least one best friend.

I don’t. Not counting Fred of course. Many of my friends enjoy best friends, but I’m not their BFF. I felt a little melancholy about that until I remembered that God gives me everything I need. If I need a BFF, God will assign me one. Years later, although I have very good friends, I still don’t have a special one that rises above the ranks of the others.

When I attended my first Dances of Universal Peace, I looked around the room of strangers to see which ones I might connect with. Without a second thought, I categorized people into those I thought would be more interesting (or, if I’m honest, more interested in me) and the others who would be ignored. But the partner dances didn’t bow to my ego or listen to my worries about fitting in. They didn’t ignore anyone.

We were all part of the dance. God was incarnate in each of us, and together we sang and clapped, stepped and twirled that reality.

They are all God’s favourites–every single one of them.  Could they be mine as well?

This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty.  . . . Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you. –Matthew 5:45, 48

∗ ∗ ∗

Love Mischief for the World

Dances of Universal Peace are embodied prayers. When I pray with my body something good happens at a deep level that I don’t understand. It makes me curious about what else I have been missing out on. A friend sent me this link to an On Being podcast in which Krista Tippett interviews Bessel van der Kolk about how trauma lodges in the body. It was fascinating to hear how movement can bring healing in ways that talking doesn’t. Both Tippett and van der Kolk had high praise for yoga. Another friend put me on to Yoga with Adriene, and I’ve started the 30 Day Yoga Journey. Adriene says, “Yoga offers up a way for us to see a world that is working for you instead of against you. Yoga reminds me that everything is connected so we must live, act, breathe with awareness.” I feel like the Spirit has led me here. What wonderful love mischief.

What love mischief are you and God doing for the world?
Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.

Credits and References:
“Dancing the Sardana” by chany crystal. Used with permission.
Kinderreigen (1872), Hans Thoma [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2020.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013-2020.  http://www.estherhizsa.com
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Say No

I don’t like saying no.

I don’t like disappointing people, missing out on opportunities, and not being where the action is. Saying yes gives me a sense of purpose and solidifies my identity as a valuable person.

It can also leave me exhausted with little space in my life to rest and be kind to my body. Rushing from one thing to the next lessens the enjoyment of what I’m doing. More and more I notice that I like checking some things off my list more than actually doing them.

I’ve been discerning whether to take another year off from directing the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in Daily Life with the Jesuit Spirituality Apostolate of Vancouver. It’s good work that I love doing, but it takes a fair bit of time and energy.

When I thought about saying no I realized I was afraid. I was afraid of disappointing people, missing out, and letting go of a solid part of my identity.

But as I held that no in my hand longer and imagined letting it go, I felt more than fear, I felt liberated. I felt like God had put another Saturday in my week.

So I said no.

Then I said no again to something else I thought about doing even though I know someone will be disappointed.

“I need to disappoint people more,” a directee of mine said recently. He has embraced this new freedom as a divine invitation.

I think I can too.

Ask [God for the grace] to be free enough to be influenced only by this one value: which alternative will give most glory to God and be expressive of my own deepest self, my authentic self?
–Jim Manney, SJ

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Love Mischief for the World

Jim Manney, SJ outlines a step-by-step process of discernment for decision-making that Ignatius of Loyola included in his spiritual exercises. Perhaps you’ll find something helpful in it when you have to make a decision. I am so grateful that God is glorified when I listen to my deepest self.

What love mischief are you and God doing for the world?
Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.

Credits and References:
Just say no is from pixabay. Creative Commons.
Indecision by madamepsychosis. Used with permission.
Image of doors form pxfuel. Creative Commonss
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2019.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013-2019.  http://www.estherhizsa.com
Posted in Ignatian Spirituality, Reflections, Resource | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Advent IV: Say Yes

The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
1 Kings 19: 11-13 (NIV)

The Lord said,
“Go into Advent
and open your heart
for the incarnation of Christ
is coming.”

I said, “Yes, Lord.
May it be to me as you
have said.”

My neighbours
put up twinkling lights
and a tree full of memories,
sent cards to dear friends,
and baked sugar cookies.
But I didn’t want to do any of those things.

Others held Christmas at bay,
tightened their belts,
and sat vigil,
while I filled my calendar
with yeses.
But the Lord didn’t need a room in my inn.

Advent was almost over
when I arrived once again at the corner of
Not Doing It Right
and
The Fear of Missing Out.
I turned around
and saw
God
incarnate
in everyone
I said yes to.

Ready my heart for the birth of Immanuel
Ready my soul for the Prince of Peace
Heap the straw of my life
For His body to lie on
Light the candle of hope
Let the child come in
–from Ready My Heart 

∗ ∗ ∗

Love Mischief for the World

Fred and I have been doing less Christmas shopping because we don’t want to buy gifts that will eventually end up in a landfill. We are giving experiences instead. On Saturday, we took our twelve-year-old grandchildren to a “nerd bar.”Everywhere we looked in the Storm Crow Alehouse, there was memorabilia from fantasy and science fiction movies and books. From the shelves of board games, we chose Dominos then moved on to Kittens in a Blender.  We ordered fun non-alcoholic drinks and “potions” made with dry ice and glowing ice cubes and delicious food including a Greta Thun Burger with chickpea fries.

We’re not the only ones who celebrate Christmas this way. The community on Kingfisher Farm have a White Elephant gift exchange. Each person finds something at home that they’d like to give away and would make someone laugh. Then they wrap it up in newspaper or reuse a gift bag and voilà. We tried it with our contemplative group at our Christmas potluck. Finally, I knew what to do with my handmade ornament of baby Jesus in a walnut shell with the head missing.

What love mischief are you and God doing for the world?
Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.

Credits and References:
“Advent” by Christopher Bulle. Used with permission.
Ready My Heart was written by Lois Shuford and performed by Steve Bell.
Picture of the nativity from Piqsils Public Domain.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2019.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013-2019.  http://www.estherhizsa.com
Posted in Advent, Christmas, community, Poetry, Reflections, Songs | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Advent III: Retreat

Three cancelled appointments and a no show at Bible study
gave me the breathing room I needed.
I know that was You
looking after me.
Sometimes You’re about as quiet as a three-year-old
trying to sneak up on mommy.

Then I go on retreat
to be with you alone.
I let myself be bored,
refuse to be distracted,
turn off the lights, scrunch up against the window
and watch the moon
slip behind the clouds and out again
while the earth turns
slowly.

You have my full attention
yet, You don’t
say
a word.

So I go to bed early.
I rest well
the first night
and the second.

When I awake,
You are still
silent.

Not a word do You say
as the light caresses the land,
clouds huddle on the shore,
the wind gently wakens the sea.

Not a word do You say
as I pack up my things
lock the door,
and walk through the trees to the ferry.

I return to the noisy city
and my busy life.
I come through the door
and something has
changed.

The moon, the rest,
the light, the trees
the silence
have followed me home.

I see You,
eyes twinkling,
smiling like a three-year-old
who is immensely proud of herself.

Maybe you could spend some time today getting low:
renew your outlook or alter your vantage point
or change your posture
so you can see again the ordinary things
you may be overlooking.
God may meet you there.
–John Pavlovitz

∗ ∗ ∗

Love Mischief for the World

I have been using Low: An Honest Advent Devotional by John Pavlovitz for my daily advent readings. I’ve been surprised by how often his words resonate with my life. “  

What love mischief are you and God doing for the world?
Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.

Credits and References:
Photo of the moon by Josh Kelahan. Used with permission.
Quote from Low: An Honest Advent Devotional by John Pavlovitz, p.27
“Bark Cabin Natural Area” by  Nicholas A. Tonelli. Used with permission.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2019.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013-2019.  http://www.estherhizsa.com
Posted in Advent, Poetry, Prayer, Reflections | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Advent II: Choose

God comes to you disguised as your life.
–Paula D’Arcy

It wasn’t Jesus who thanked me for not to giving up on him. It was God in disguise. God in my neighbour, my body, my Christmas cactus. God invites me to open myself to this moment and love God who is incarnate in whatever and whoever is before me.

In this season, we typically hear the message to slow down, clear the clutter, and make room for God. Sigh. The “clutter” in my life needs my attention, and it seems to be breeding.

What if the clutter is God? What if making room for God is simply a choice, a choosing to welcome God in this task, in this feeling, in this person.

The other day I was rushing to get things done and irked by something Fred had done or not done. I can’t remember what, but I know I thought about bringing it to his attention. But for some reason, I had the capacity to let it go and chose to.

A few minutes later, I was filling a jar with sesame seeds and bumped my elbow. Sesame seeds spilt all over the floor. I decided to finish what I was doing and clean it up later. But before I could, Fred came into the kitchen and, without a word, swept the floor. I was grateful for him and the choice I’d made.

This week, I listened to an interview with David Steindl-Rast. He was talking with Krista Tippet in an On Being podcast about the practice of gratefulness. He said that first, we need to stop. It doesn’t take long, he says. Sometimes a split second is enough to look and see the unique opportunity the present moment gives.

I found that when I do, choosing to be grateful, doesn’t seem like a choice at all. It just happens and loving God, who is no longer disguised, seems to follow.

[Our daily existence] is an ever-unfolding trip through a day we’ve never been to, where we notice beauty, move with compassion, have grace revealed, and within a wide and expansive space–we get to choose.
–John Pavlovitz

∗ ∗ ∗

Love Mischief for the World

In BBC TWO’s Winterwatch, Chris Packham goes bird watching with Joe Harkness, author of Bird Therapy.  In this video clip, they discuss mental health, suicide, birdwatching, nature in general and the five ways to wellbeing.

What love mischief are you and God doing for the world?
Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.

Credits and References:
Advent 2 by Susanne Nilsson. Used with permission.
Sunset@ Gandipet by Vijay Bandari. Used with permission.
Quote from Low: An Honest Advent Devotional  by John Pavlovitz, p.11
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2019.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013-2019.  http://www.estherhizsa.com
Posted in Reflections | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Advent I: Step into this Season

Do not run or fly away in order to become free.
Rather go deep into the narrow space given you.
There you will find God and all things.
–Gustave Thibon

It’s Thursday morning, and I’m just sitting down now to write tomorrow’s blog post. The narrow space given is the next hour and a half before my first directee of the day arrives and life follows without many empty spaces in it.

This week I spent five days with my sister who lives in Quebec. We visited family and art galleries, planned our biannual siblings’ bike trip, and surmised how best to help our ageing parents while I showed her a bit of the British Columbia coast. Out of my regular routine, I went from one moment to the next, one conversation to another.

I travelled through joys, disappointments, sadnesses, beauty, surprise, awkward moments and wonderful ones on a steadily moving train of time.

The afternoon she left, I went to the Wednesday Lunch Club, an outreach for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. After we’d had something to eat, we gathered in a circle to remember a First Nations friend who had recently passed away. It was only after we lit the candle that I remembered that we needed to acknowledge that we were on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Kwikwetlem nations, but for the life of me, I couldn’t remember the names of those nations. But our priest did, and we muddled through.

I left there and muddled through my weekly chaplaincy visit with a ninety-four-year-old woman in a care home. As is our routine, I read a Bible passage and reflection, prayed with her, and we sang a hymn together. She struggles to express her thoughts; I struggle to make sense out of what she’s trying to say. As I listened again, she said clearly, “Thanks for not giving up on me.”

Without a second thought, I said, “I love coming to visit you.”

Just as my internal voice kicked in to challenge the truth of that, she looked at me and smiled. I smiled too. It was a beautiful, holy moment.

I look back on the past week in which God never got my full attention even in the hour at church, and what do I hear from Love? “Thanks for not giving up on me.”

That’s what I heard God saying to me.

The good news is we don’t need to discard our messiness
to step into this season,
and we couldn’t even if we wanted to.
Bring every bit of your flawed self
and all your chaotic circumstances to this day.
–John Pavlovitz

∗ ∗ ∗

Love Mischief for the World

The New Media Gallery at the Anvil Centre in New Westminster, B.C. has innovative and unusual art exhibitions. The current installation Carooney explores the impact of animated cartoons. “The seven artists in this exhibition don’t create cartoons, they deconstruct those that already exist; from Looney Tunes to The Simpsons to Charlie Brown. They exploit this potent material to reveal the inner and outer workings of our human world. . . For example, Andy Holden’s Laws of Motion in a Cartoon Landscape is a two-channel audio-visual installation in which Holden becomes a cartoon avatar, giving both a lecture on cartoons and a cartoon lecture describing how our world is best now understood as a cartoon. This five-year project incorporates Greek philosophy, Stephen Hawking, critical theory, physics and art, the financial crisis and Donald Trump while adapting 10 laws of cartoon physics to create a theory of the world and a prophetic glimpse of the world we live in.” (New Media Gallery).

What love mischief are you and God doing for the world?
Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.

Credits and References:
“Looking Back” by Lisa E. Used with permission.
“The First Sunday of Advent” by Susanne Nilsson. Used with permission.
Quote from Low: An Honest Advent Devotional  by John Pavlovitz, p.7.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2019.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013-2019.  http://www.estherhizsa.com
Posted in Advent, Reflections, Wednesday Lunch Club | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Grateful

“You looked so happy,” Fred said Friday night after the book launch. We were sitting in front of a crackling fire with a glass of wine.

I was happy. We had a good turn out of people excited about Seed Cracked Open. I read portions of the book that made them laugh and feel a tear or two.

“You cover a lot of different topics in your book–prayer, listening to our emotions and our bodies, caring for the earth and the poor. Is there a central theme in all of these?” asked Joy Borthwick, my excellent interviewer.

“Yes, that God loves us and is present in all we do, leading and opening us to what to do next and how to do it. In it all, God transforms the world and frees us to be who we were created to be.”

I loved being able to talk about God’s love and was grateful that I got to be a part of God loving all my readers.

That was Friday night. Gratitude spilled over all weekend. On Saturday, I attended a workshop with others from St. Stephen’s. At lunch, a fellow in our church I hardly knew shared about what was going on in his life right now. He seemed to materialize before my eyes. I was grateful to get to know him and that he shared so honestly and vulnerably.

That night was a family games night at St.Stephen’s. Three generations of Hizsas were there eating pizza and playing Exploding Kittens and Buzz Word Junior. When it was all done, we got in the car to go home and the engine light came on. The black car, as Hadrian calls it, was not happy. Fred babied her home. I was thankful this didn’t happen when I was on my way to Abbotsford for Living from the Heart or while travelling to the Sunshine Coast with my sister. I was grateful too for Fred who saved the day again. He was able to diagnose and fix the black car and not miss his Tuesday morning date with our daughter.

I love the way God takes care of us, shows us how amazing each person is, and is invested in us becoming ourselves. I love that God trusts that who we are is enough–enough to do all that needs to be done in this world. We are being “filled to the measure of all the fullness of God,” and that makes me grateful.

There is no closer bond than the one that gratefulness celebrates,
the bond between giver and thanksgiver.
–Brother David Steindl-Rast

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Love Mischief for the World

Brother David Steindl-Rast is a Benedictine monk and the founder and senior advisor for A Network for Grateful Living. His books include GratefulnessA Listening Heart, and a new autobiography, i am through you so i. Krista Tippet interviewed Brother David for On Being. An Anatomy of Gratitude.

What love mischief are you and God doing for the world?
Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.

Credits and References:
“Flames” by Tassoman. Used with permission.
“Joy Is Measurable” by Funkybug. Used with permission.
Quote by Brother David Steindl-Rast, from
The Way of Silence: Engaging the Sacred in Daily Life
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2019.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013-2019.  http://www.estherhizsa.com
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