Friday, June 19, 2009

Life is a Verb: Friday Five

Revgal Jan offered this Friday’s Five:

Jennifer recommended this book, which I got because I always value Jennifer's reading suggestions. The author of Life is a Verb, Patti Digh worked her book around these topics concerning life as a verb:
• Say yes.
• Be generous.
• Speak up.
• Love more.
• Trust yourself.
• Slow down.
As I read and pondered about living more intentionally, I also have wondered what this Friday Five should be. This book has been the jumping off point for this Friday.

1. What awakens you to the present moment?

The clock radio! NPR slides into my consciousness while I am still comatose. I have always appreciated NPR. Their news speaks the truth the best, I think.
They usually have thoughtful ways of presenting and keep me up to date. My natural inclination is to avoid the national and international news. Their version of the news isn’t snarky and I can usually find something in the news that reminds me of my Lord and I can begin my day with prayer.

2. What are 5 things you see out your window right now?

I can’t see much out my window from where I sit with my laptop, but I can see the screened in porch which is my “summer tree house”. I do see the grape vine that clings to the side of our house. I can also see the thermometer that tells us whether to wear long johns or not. There is a rainbow mobile that turns in the breeze and a wind chime. But most of all I can hear the birds who whistle their presence in my life. I can hear a squirrel chipping at the presence of the cat who just went out his cat door. And I can feel the breeze as it breathes on the porch. All is right with the world for the moment.

3. Which verbs describe your experience of God?

IS---it is really the only word I need. It is God’s constant presence that makes my life worthwhile.
QUICKENS—this is an old English word that I identify with God. It means to make lively.

4. From the book on p. 197:
Who were you when you were 13? Where did that kid go?

I was a very frightened and depressed girl. I hated school and skipped a lot. It was a very unhappy time in my life. That kid finally was able to grow up and take control of her life and finally allow Christ to have control of her life. And after years of good therapy she finally got healed and lives within me. Her sadness still comes back, but I am able to give her some happy times by reading, or sitting by a stream and playing in the water.

5. From the book on p. 88:
If your work were the answer to a question, what would the question be?

“What’s for lunch?” I think that I nurture folk. I give them food for thought. I try to be there to provide what they need to move on in their lives. I try to teach them how to be open to God’s nurture.

Bonus idea for you here or on your own--from the book on p. 149:
"Go outside. Walk slowly forward. Open your hand and let something fall into it from the sky. It might be an idea, it might be an object. Name it. Set it aside. Walk forward. Open your hand and let something fall into it from the sky. Name it. Set it aside. Repeat. . . ."

I think I am pretty spontaneous. It drives some of my German parishioners nutz, especially in liturgy. But the Swedes seem to appreciate it. But with all the birds in my yard, I would be a bit leery of doing this exercise!

This kind of spontaneity has always marked my life for good or ill. It may be the way that I pray—that kind of meditative prayer that allows me to be more present to God that allows me to live this way.
I know when I am not being present to God, my life becomes too predictable. I am probably not as sucessful as other people but that doesn't really bother me. At this point in my life---who cares?


Nik said...

Ah, John Knox is my homeboy. Not a bad old curmudgeon to hang out with!
5 000 words down, 20 000 to go...

'is' as a verb for God - yup, that does it nicely!

Jane said...

Keep on being spontaneous - great to read you

MaineCelt said...

Congrats on your link-ability! Really enjoyed your post. "Quicken" is indeed a wonderful old word!