a new diet, a new year, a new me?

For a number of reasons that I’m not prepared to go into right now, I am about to embark on a low-histamine diet. It’s been a tough thing so far this week, because it seems to be all about the nots so far. There are so many things not to eat, and I’m not eating those things so that I will not be in pain, and even the “good” foods are described in phrases like “any vegetable not on the bad list.”

At lunchtime yesterday, I went to the grocery store to pick up something for lunch and some snacky foods to have at my desk. I started in produce, and I picked up some nice apples and pears – organic, because those weren’t waxed – and did some label-reading. First stop, salad dressings. Continue reading

dear barista

We’ve seen each other at the Starbucks a lot, so you’ve seen me on unwashed-messy-hair Saturday mornings and on business-ultra-casual workdays and on Sunday mornings when I’m in my formal habit. So you asked me yesterday about my status in the church, and I told you I’m something like a nun, and then you asked me a really important question.

If a person kills themself, and it is totally and completely by accident, like, they didn’t mean to do it, are they still forgiven?

Yes, absolutely, I said. Even if it was intentional suicide, they are forgiven.

Oh thank you. That helps a lot.

And then I asked if this  had happened to someone you know, and you said that a friend had been careless when working with a weapon. I told you I was sorry for your loss – and I am – and that I will keep you and your friend in my prayers.  You thanked me for that, and I pulled away from the drive-through with my skinny mocha and my (definitely unskinny) lemon cake, and left you behind.

The thing is, I haven’t been able to leave you behind. I’ve been thinking about you for a day and a half now, and I wish I had stopped to offer you something a little more than a promise of prayer. I have prayed, and I continue to pray, but I feel like I should maybe have done something a little more for you. Of course, you were working the drive-thru. At Starbucks. Just outside the military base. At 7:30am. You probably didn’t have the time for me to come in and talk with you and see how you’re really doing.

I picked up a coffee again this morning, but didn’t see you. I’ll try again tomorrow. Because I’m concerned for you, and I want to make sure you’re okay.  Because, as I told someone recently, I love and I pray – that’s what I do. That’s the job of a Sister or Brother: to love and to pray.

I want you to know that you are loved and you are being held in prayer. I want you to know that God grieves for your pain and grief. I want you to know that, regardless of what their life was like here, your friend is in a place of great joy and amazing wonder. I want you to know that they are surrounded by the Great Light that heals and makes whole and gives life. I want you to know that they are cherished completely, loved infinitely, and held to the bosom of Jesus like a precious jewel.

I want you to know as well that you are cherished completely, loved infinitely, and regarded as a precious jewel. And if you need someone to journey with you for a while, to listen and support and to love and to pray, I am willing to be that person for you. You may already have someone like this, but your question made me wonder. I heard the yearning in your voice, the deep desire to know that all is well, that all will be well. Because it will – that has been promised to us.

Now that we have passed the solstice, called Yule, the light of the sun creeps back into our days again, a little bit at a time. And the Light, the Word became flesh who brings life to all people, is with us. We will celebrate that becoming-flesh tomorrow night and Friday, with parties and big meals and gifts for each other. We will celebrate the Light, the Word, the Life. As much as you may miss your friend, they also are celebrating the Light with the great feast that never ends. And one day, dear one, you and I will both join in that amazing celebration. Because you are a precious jewel, reflecting the image and likeness of the God who is Love.

Love and prayers,
sister hedwyg

god and food

I am working on a story for telling.  I know that sounds weird, but Biblical Storytelling is a thing, and I’m working on putting together my first story to tell. It is the story of the man with the withered hand, whom Jesus heals on the Sabbath.  I’m thinking about telling this story from the perspective of the man’s wife or daughter or mother, because I think I can tell it better from a female point of view.  And so I found myself researching how Shabbat was observed during the time of Jesus, how a woman would prepare home and family and meal each week. Continue reading

rejoice

Rejoice!

If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of your God in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.

Matthew 18:12-14


Actually, it was the word “gather” that kept coming to mind before I drew this, but I couldn’t find a lectio divina to go with “gather” that resonated for me.  So it may come another day.  Part of the image that came to mind for “gather” was of gathering up a flock of sheep, or gathering up your coins to go to market, and that took me to the parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin. And in both of those parables, we rejoice that what was lost has now been found, just as God rejoices every time we turn Godward. That turning, it’s a constant thing, and it’s a lifetime’s work.  We never stop (intentionally) turning Godward, because we never seem to stop turning away.

So even though my heart is not in a rejoice place right now, I know that God’s heart is. So that is the doodle for today, to remind me that even as I lean on God who is strong and has patience, even as God simply abides while I am scattered, even as God has peace and is gracious, even as God will strengthen and enfold and comfort me, even as I am as tiny as a mustard seed — in every moment, God will rejoice.

abide

abide

Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit.

(John 15:4-5)

A new prayerdoodle has taken its place in my cubicle, along with Strong, Patience, Strengthen, Enfold, Comfort, Gracious, peace, and Mustard Seed.

My prayer is to abide where I find myself.  The abode is my home, the place my heart finds rest. My heart is troubled, unquiet, right now, so there is work to do in my home.  Among the rocks and the vines and the branches and the roots and the leaves and the blossoms, there is life, and there is abode, and there is home.

And that, as the Author of all that is says, is very good.

tmi warning: this story includes pee and pee-related themes that may be unsuitable for children or adults

So today was the appointment with the pain management specialist.  It’s the appointment I’d been anticipating for a couple months.  I took the very first appointment available, even though it was at a terrible time in the middle of a workday.  I packed up my med bag this morning, rescheduled an interview with a job candidate that had gotten booked at the same time as my coveted appointment, hit the ladies’ room on my way out to relieve the overfull bladder, and went to the doctor.  On my way, I stopped to pick up lunch, including about 20 oz of water.

When I arrived at the doctor’s office, the receptionist remembered me from four  years ago, which was nice.  She gave me my paperwork to fill out and made copies of my ID and insurance card.  I sat down to my work and had filled out about two-thirds of the forms when my name was called.  First stop: the restroom, for a urine sample.  They have to trust that you are not misusing, abusing, or overusing pain meds or psychoactive meds, and that trust has to start in empirical evidence.  But there was a problem: there’s a minimum sample size required, and I didn’t have it.   Continue reading