Sunday, November 27, 2005

somebody special is coming!!!!!

someone is coming ...

who could it be???


it's ... JESUS!!!!!!!!!!


he's so cool! i'm so glad he's coming.

get ready!!!

happy advent,
sr. m.a.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

music, my golden retriever, and rocco, the neighbor's dog.

turn it over to god

i have heard that there are basically two prayers. one is "help me, help me, help me" and the other is "thank you, thank you, thank you." yesterday i had one of those "help me" moments.
there are new print ads in nyc for the aspca which show a picure of a brick, and underneath that a sack, and underneath that a puppy. the slogan is "whatever you can imagine, we've seen worse." it really freaks me out and i plan on adopting an older dog as soon as i'm done babysittin my neighbor's dog, rocco.
i saw that ad in the subway on my way home yesterday and started to freak out. earlier i had heard on the radio a story of a 7 year old girl in foster care who was given back to her biological father who then beat her to death. i focused in on that and soon went down the path to my own childhood abuse. i felt really vulnerable and alone. i got scared and couldn't "think" my way out of it. i asked god to help me, help me, help me.
i have episodes like this maybe a handful of times per year now. i once heard someone at an al-anon meeting say, "i've worked damn hard to feel this pain." that holds true for me. i was out of my body until i was 30 years old.
this morning, i took my dog, music, and rocco for a walk in the park. it was a beautiful fall morning with bright yellow and red leaves and warm sun and other dogs to play with. i felt much lighter. on the way home, i stopped by my church for a sit down with god.
i sat down and read the prayers in the book of common prayer from pages 814 - 841, my favorites. when i finished, i looked at the stained glass windows and meditated. i didn't think about the experience of the day before too much, just sat with god and was open. then, i heard that voice in my head that is familiar, but not my own. she said, "your childhood is over. now you are working with children, some of whom are in turmoil."
sometimes i feel like i'm living a very sheltered existence. i'm a very optomistic person, generally, so when evidence of torture and evil are made clear to me, i almost can't take it in. yesterday i felt like my optomism was really naivite, which is what pessimists always tell me.
yes, there is repellent behavior in the world. horrible acts are done all the time. but, i can "let it begin with me." i can create peace in my heart and in my classroom. i have students that i suspect are being abused in some way, shape, or form. the statistics alone say that it is so. there is one girl in particular who is totally not in her body. she is not just daydreaming, she's simply not present in her life. she bought a book at our school bookfair recently that, i swear i am not making this up, had Barbie, as a princess, figure skating and RIDING ON PEGASUS, THE FLYING HORSE!!!! this book was like romance novels, escapist literture for second graders. this kid is living in la-la land. i know, i used to live there too. it sure beat where i was living in reality.
the best i can do is to make my classroom a safe place, to be present for my students, to make it clear that i love them. i know i can't "save" any of them, that's not my job, that's god's job. but, i can be kind. i remember my kind teachers. they had a real impact on me.

Friday, November 11, 2005

heaven on earth

last week my boyfriend and i were "having a lie in" as the irish call it, sleeping late. my dog, music, the golden retriever, waited patiently for us to wake up. i am babysitting my neighbor's boston terrier, rocco. he's not so patient. he stands up at the edge of the bed and stares at us with big googly eyes and snorts. we told music to "hop up, pup" and she crawled in between the two of us on the bed and snuggled in for petting. rocco started to whimper and cry (sounds like whale song, i swear) so we pulled him into bed with us. music doesn't think much of this but tolerated it. we all lay down for dozing and snoring and i said to john, "this is like heaven."
i have a visual meditation i like to do when i am feeling stressed. i imagine myself as an adult, resuing the three year old me. i go to her, wrap her in a warm, soft blanket, and take her away to a big, white, soft, warm bed with flannel sheets and we have on flannel pyjamas. every dog i've ever had in my entire life is in the bed. it's one BIG bed. three year old jenny and i climb in and eat cocoa pebbles cereal and watch cartoons. then i imagine god is holding that bed in her arms, surrounding us in an embrace.
i spent most of my life terrified of men. the fact that i have a boyfriend right now is a miracle and due entirely to surrendering my will and life to god and then working my ass off with god's help for several years. to feel safe with john, cozy and warm in the bed with all the dogs is a blessing and a gift. it's like a salvation from perpetual victimhood and prejudice against men.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

sin and the postmodern girl

i'm still working through my concepts on sin and salvation. i think i need to see my spiritual director. i have been getting some really great insights since i opened up to this contemplation though. i went to an al-anon meeting yesterday that's on the third step (made a decision to turn our wills and our lives over to the care of god as we understood him) and the speaker talked about searching for parents who would take care of her (unlike the actual parents she had growing up) and how that puts her in the position of being a little girl, being a victim. that really hit home for me.
i have meshed in my mind the concept of sin as being bad and i can't "think" my way out of that. part of the reading from yesterday's meeting included a quote from Aurelius Augustinus which said, "understanding is the reward of faith. therefore, seek not to understand that thou mayest believe, but believe that thou mayest understand." i have been trying to intellecutalize or analyze my way out of this stinking thinking and it's not going to work.
this is where my trust in god really has to come in play. i used to know a priest who said, "how big is your god?" is my god big enough for this? to write on my heart a new understanding of sin and salvation?
the speaker from the meeting yesterday said that she's no longer looking for surrogate parents, but she is looking for a god of her understanding. sounds like this is a good opportunity for me to look at how big my god is and let her be bigger.