Sacred Space – An Interactive Journey in Lent

Lent, as I wrote about recently, is an opportunity to make deliberate space in our lives to be with God.  It is a time to reflect on where we are in our lives – our whole lives – in relation to the person God created us to be.

Yet it is really hard to schedule in the time, at least in my stage of life.  Two very active young kids, two busy adult lives, and now, four cats (I’ll write about that in a few weeks).  I avoid making a list of all the things I am doing, knowing that the length of the list may make me spiral into some state of disassociation.  Instead, I move ahead each day find space for God.

But blessing of blessings, Grace-Trinity gifted me with an opportunity to be with God, and all I had to do was show up!  On Wednesdays in Lent, Grace-Trinity Community Church in Minneapolis (Uptown) is hosting Sacred Space:

I wasn’t exactly sure what it would be like, but knowing the creativity of the Pastor and other members of the congregation, I expected great things.  I was not disappointed.

Grace-Trinity transformed their vintage sanctuary into a unique labyrinth.  Directed by the voices of congregation members and perfectly chosen music on the audio player, you are led from one station to the next.  By the second station the whole world had been blocked out, leaving only the music, welcoming voices, and meaningful interactions.  I was led to open my mind and spirit to a deeper understanding of Pslam 23, let go of things that have been holding me back from a fuller relationship with the Spirit, and find myself renewed with a spiritual energy.

I admit that some stations spoke to me deeper than others, but that is the joy and gift of a spiritual practice such as this.  People come as they are and experience it as they need.  At times I replayed the music for a particular station, allowing myself to linger as needed in prayer or silence.  Others I skipped through quickly.  But in the end, approaching the abundance of the communion table lighting the candle were perfect steps back into the reality of our walk between and within “real” life and the spiritual life.

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I invite you to schedule time on your calendar to take the journey of Sacred Space.

It will be worth it.

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Unexpected Grief

Grief made an unexpected visit to our family last Friday.  It was not uninvited, as whenever one brings living joy into their life, you also invite the possibility of grief.  But we did not expect it to come so soon.

Thursday night we went to bed as always with the chaos of children followed by quiet.  We planned or Friday morning to be normal…but it wasn’t.

After ignoring my 4 alarms and laying in bed, Nick woke me up before 6am with “Something is wrong with Frosty.”

I immediately got up and went downstairs to see the sight he had found.  Our little white kitten was laying in the laundry room by the garage door.  Her normal gregarious body was barely moving.  She responded slightly to my touch and voice, but she seemed weak.  Her breathing was a bit labored, but otherwise you would think she was just resting.

Within half an hour I had her to an emergency vet (yes, such places exist and are open 24-7 for the concerned pet parent).   Tests and observations led to a final diagnosis: her nervous system was shutting down.

There was no warning.  In less than 10 hours she went from playing, to being unable to control her movements.  She spent her last minutes in my arms with the children and their dad nearby.

Frosty

We adopted her in November and never thought she would be with us for only 3 months.

Frosty was – is – our 6 year old son’s (Builder) cat.  His 4 year old sister (Princess) claimed her too.  But she spent most of her time with me, generally trying to sit on the computer keyboard or on my lap for attention.

And now, instead of a routine day and weekend, our children and family faced an unexpected grief.   Builder and Princess both continued to share their observations and thoughts with me throughout the day and weekend.  Builder in particular had many questions and comments.

“I didn’t know someone so young could die.”

I let them take it easy, already late for school, Builder stayed home.  My plans were replaced with being fully available to address the children’s needs, and sit with my own grief for awhile.  I grieved over the loss of a companion for our children.  I grieved over the fact that our son was having to process the death of something so young.  I grieved that I had not taken tons of pictures.  And I grieved over the loss of a life.

With this on the heels of Ash Wednesday and my internal ruminations on Lent, some thoughts which were shared in an earlier post, this death had eerie timing.

From dust, everything came, and to dust, everything will return.

Embrace each moment as an opportunity for love and joy.

And today, I embraced the moment by letting Princess use me as her canvas as she transformed herself into a make-up artist.

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