Wednesday, February 28, 2018


Spiritual Journey Thursday has rolled around once again and it's time to chime in with some lovely fellow bloggers and talk about our pilgrimage through life. Our topic today is music. Karen Eastland is guest host for the round up over at Live Your Poem where her topic for the day is "Face the Music."

Sing, make a joyful sound!

It's the first line of an old hymn we sang at church when I was a kid. I loved the way the verses modulated a half step up to the next key each time we sang it again and again.

Sing and make melody in your heart.
These words come from a letter Paul wrote to a church in Ephesus in the first century a.d. It's evident from the context of the letter that Paul was in prison and suffering when he wrote it. Clearly he had experience with finding a joyful heart in the middle of difficult circumstances. joyful thanks...
This phrase was the heart of my weekly meditation for my yoga classes this week. It also comes from Paul in another letter, Colossians.

It's interesting to me how these phrases intersect along the idea of joy. Joy is an emotion. We don't have immediate control over our emotions. They are feelings that seem to come and go as they please. But we do have control over our actions. No matter my circumstances, I can sing. No matter what I'm suffering, I can find many things to be thankful for.

When I was a kid, we often went to my grandparents' house in south Georgia. Between the tiny (and I do mean tiny) town of Adrian and my grandmother's sandy driveway, a bridge spanned the murky waters of the Ohoopee River. My granddaddy called it the Hoopee. Just over the bridge on the left an artesian well bubbled up.  Someone had added a pipe to the crack in the rock, but there was no pump, just a constant stream of gurgling fresh water.

It delighted me as a child. Understanding that there was enough pressure below the ground to force the water up through cracks in the rock didn't alter my fascination.

The block is under the sacrum, not the tailbone or the low back.

With my students in supported bridge pose this week, we talked about allowing the belly to be soft like a deep bowl and imagine that artesian well bubbling up from within. I think this must be my favorite picture of what joy feels like. Enough pressure created from the choice to give thanks, from the choice to make music in my heart, and as a result joy bubbles up from the depth of my being.

So, my friends, sing!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Spiritual Journey Thursday: The Man in the Moon

Sometimes I think take ourselves way to seriously. We get caught up in our journey and finding our purpose and spend so much time in self-reflection and evaluation. Not that those things are bad, but I firmly believe God make us in his image and laughter must proceed from that making. In a pain science course I recently took, one of of the suggestions for reducing chronic pain was to laugh, especially with someone. I have several good friends who make me laugh and I love being with them. 
So when Donna's prompt for writing today's spiritual journey post from a snippet or poem or quote about the moon popped up, I went straight for Tolkein. I also happen to be reading a very thick book on the Inklings right now as a climb in be every night. (It's not funny at all.) So Tolkein is on my radar at the moment.
Anyway. Here is the poem. Laugh a little. The journey will be lots more fun.

Then pop over to our host today, Donna at Mainely Write, for more reflections on the moon.

The Man in the Moon Came Down Too Soon
by J. R. R. Tolkien

There is an inn, a merry old inn
beneath an old grey hill,
And there they brew a beer so brown
That the Man in the Moon himself came down
one night to drink his fill.

The ostler has a tipsy cat
that plays a five-stringed fiddle;
And up and down he saws his bow
Now squeaking high, now purring low,
now sawing in the middle.

The landlord keeps a little dog
that is mighty fond of jokes;
When there's good cheer among the guests,
He cocks an ear at all the jests
and laughs until he chokes.

They also keep a horn-ed cow
as proud as any queen;
But music turns her head like ale,
And makes her wave her tufted tail
and dance upon the green.

And O! the rows of silver dishes
and the store of silver spoons!
For Sunday there's a special pair,
And these they polish up with care
on Saturday afternoons.

The Man in the Moon was drinking deep,
and the cat began to wail;
A dish and a spoon on the table danced,
The cow in the garden madly pranced
and the little dog chased his tail.

The Man in the Moon took another mug,
and then rolled beneath his chair;
And there he dozed and dreamed of ale,
Till in the sky the stars were pale,
and dawn was in the air.

Then the ostler said to his tipsy cat:
'The white horses of the Moon,
They neigh and champ their silver bits;
But their master's been and drowned his wits,
and the Sun'll be rising soon!'

So the cat on the fiddle played hey-diddle-diddle,
a jig that would wake the dead:
He squeaked and sawed and quickened the tune,
While the landlord shook the Man in the Moon:
'It's after three!' he said.

They rolled the Man slowly up the hill
and bundled him into the Moon,
While his horses galloped up in rear,
And the cow came capering like a deer,
and a dish ran up with the spoon.

Now quicker the fiddle went deedle-dum-diddle;
the dog began to roar,
The cow and the horses stood on their heads;
The guests all bounded from their beds
and danced upon the floor.

With a ping and a pang the fiddle-strings broke!
the cow jumped over the Moon,
And the little dog laughed to see such fun,
And the Saturday dish went off at a run
with the silver Sunday spoon.

The round Moon rolled behind the hill,
as the Sun raised up her head.
She hardly believed her fiery eyes;
For though it was day, to her surprise
they all went back to bed!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

One Little Word for 2018


What does this year hold? There is no way to know, but we can begin the year with an intention to open our hearts to the people, circumstances, and challenges that we will encounter.

Over the last few months of 2017, I have often felt David’s instruction in the Psalms to “lean not to your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge him” resonate in my heart. I feel very conscious of how much I don’t understand. It is sometimes challenging to move beyond our own perspective and realize our limitations.

With that in mind as I move into this new year, I feel the Lord’s encouragement to grow, to open my heart without fear, to strengthen body, soul, and spirit. I have always loved the image used in Isaiah, chapter 54. Verse two says this. “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.” This was spoken to people who lived in tents. God was telling them to make room in their hearts, in their homes, in their minds, to make space, room to grow. Not to hold back even with all the challenges that might come along.

So that's my intention for the year--to grow, open my heart, and strengthen my body. To stretch in every way I can. 

Margaret hosts the Spiritual Journey Thursday roundup over at Reflections on the Teche