Friday Five: Rivers in the Desert

Hooray! It’s time for this week’s Friday Five!

I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19, NRSVAs we near the end of the long journey toward Easter, a busy time for pastors and layfolk alike, I ponder the words of Isaiah and the relief and refreshment of a river in the desert.

For this Friday Five, name five practices, activities, people or _____ (feel free to fill in something I may be forgetting) that for you are rivers in the desert.

  1. A majorly important lifeline for me is the Magdalen online community. I’ve been a member of this group since early 2002, and a member of other online communities with many of the same members for about five years before that. There are some very special people in this community, who are always there when I ask for prayers or support. And they know who they are. 🙂
  2. MUSIC! I listen to a wide variety – from classical to sacred to rock, with a touch of jazz and some folk music for good measure. My all-time favorite bands are Carbon Leaf and Chicago. There are some songs on the about-seventeen “greatest hits” compilations that Chicago has put out that always move me. And, if I’m in my car, I sing. Sometimes, when I’m listening at work, it’s hard not to sing, but I know my officemates will know I’m insane if I start singing at my desk.
  3. Writing – I suspect that most of us will say this, in one form or another. Sometimes I write an email to a friend (see #1), sometimes a blog post, sometimes a journal entry, although I have little patience for writing longhand any more.
  4. The blogging community has been so caring and generous and supportive. While Cute Overload rarely fails to bring a smile, there are plenty of you brothers and sisters out there are are incredibly inspiring.
  5. And last but not least: prayer. Centering prayer, verbal prayer, the daily offices, intercession, the Jesus prayer, a rosary… just reaching outside of myself, to the Divine. When my daughter was in the hospital recovering from her surgery, and I was spending the long nights with her (sleeping very little, as it was a hospital), intercessory prayer made the nights shorter. Lifting up other people in prayer was a powerful help to me in a dark time.

Thank you, Songbird! I needed a reminder of the things that give me life.


15 thoughts on “Friday Five: Rivers in the Desert

  1. Prayer is good. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy (especially when it is sung) really touches my heart and opens me to God.


  2. Hedwyg, your mention was the first I ever heard of the Magdalen list; with a handle such as mine I have impulsively gone and joined… see you there?



  3. I think I first “met” Cute Overload from you before… 🙂 so thanks for that.

    My husband is a big Centering Prayer advocate…



  4. Magdalene – I’ll look forward to seeing you there! There is some testiness about the Primate’s Report and HoB response, but it’s a wonderfully supportive list and a very prayerful community. Hope you enjoy!


  5. I’m trying out the Magdalen list too. Thanks, Hedwyg! See you there.

    And chartreuseova…I didn’t think there would be anyone else in this group who’d heard of the chaplet! Too cool. I am not into it said but have happy memories of a sung version broadcast at 3 in the afternoon on KBVM when we lived in Portland


  6. Hedwyg – You’ve gone and done it now: You’ve listed the lovely Magdelen list, and this reprobate has gone and joined too.

    Your list could mirror my own. I just wish I had more time to collect my own thoughts, and truly journal at my blog. I need to work on it.

    And LOL @ singing at your desk. I do it, but luckily, my office contains just me and my secretary, and she knows I’m nuts.

    My son’s friend, Dan, once noted: “You people sure sing alot at this house.” What he meant was, “Crazy old lady, YOU sure sing alot at this house.”

    Last night, I was singing Amazing Grace to my daughter as she got out of the tub, in a contra alto. My daughter giggled, and told me she could feel my voice reverberating in the plastic foot stool she was standing on to brush her teeth. When she got done, we downloaded Mahalia Jackson singing it – my daughter’s eyes were like saucers. That’s the stuff life is made of.



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