Peace for your Path...

"peace. it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart." (unknown)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

so good to be back at the Good Shepherd labyrinth today!

faith can be colorful


carrying hope

candle prayers and sea glass

Broken. I am broken. Truly...

Perhaps we all are, in our own ways, as broken and as beautiful and as precious as discarded glass washed in from the sea after years of being tossed and tumbled and refined. Our brokenness is our gift. Our brokenness is our treasure.

This morning, I was flipping through my study bible, looking for a particular verse. Usually, I make it a personal practice to avoid using scripture quoted out of context to support an argument or a viewpoint. I just don't think God intends for His Word to be used in such a self-righteous way.

Yet, I was feeling particularly sure that in this one particular situation, I was completely and particularly RIGHT. So, there I was hobbling around my kitchen on one leg bible-thumping like mad and fuming at what I considered to be a true spiritual injustice. I was intent on finding the location of the line of scripture I wanted to send in an email to the person who had totally hacked me off.

I found the verse I was searching for in the concordance and flipped angrily to the Book of Joshua. On my way, a tiny yellow slip of paper between the pages caught my eye. There, printed in my friend's own handwriting was her name. 

The name of my friend who taught me how to use breath prayer. The name of my friend who encouraged me to introduce myself to another soul mate when I was hesitant about doing so. The name of my friend who introduced me to the life-changing spiritual formation study called Companions in Christ which just happened to begin on September 11, 2001. The name of my friend who first brought the labyrinth to St. Paul United Methodist Church that same year. The name of my friend who, as a going away gift, gave me and my family a replica of her beautiful Circle of Friends candle holder which we always lighted at the beginning of each meeting of Companions in Christ. The name of my friend who encouraged me when I felt prompted to pursue my labyrinth training with Veriditas yet didn't fully know why. The name of my friend who brought that same portable labyrinth from St. Paul to the Louisville Seelbach Hotel two years ago for a workshop I was in town leading and then stayed to help us pack it up, not getting home until way after midnight. The name of my friend who dropped everything and picked me up last fall at The Louisville Presbyterian Seminary for a last minute dinner when I didn't have a car, and then sat listening to me blabber on and on late into the evening regarding whether or not I should take over hosting The Wisdom of the Labyrinth radio show. The name of my friend who never, ever gives advice but just practices Holy Listening. The name of my friend whose soft, southern voice sounds like an angel's, and who I was talking with on on the phone the very week before she collapsed unexpectedly at almost the exact same moment that I broke my ankle. The name of my friend who is in the hospital at this very moment battling leukemia.

The name of my friend....

Virginia's name has been living in our family's bible for years. It was placed there by one of us when either my husband or I were matched up with her as a prayer partner. Neither of us can remember which one of us it was, as we have both shared so many bible study classes and so many prayers together over so many years. Virginia is more than a pastor, more than a spiritual director, more than a prayer partner, more than a friend. Virginia is a section of our beating hearts. She is a part of our living prayers. She is our Virginia. She is a human embodiment of Christ and of the Sacred Feminine to us.

Sister Kathleen Deignan gave me a beautiful phrase to meditate upon a couple of weeks ago: "Wise as the Serpent and Gentle as the Dove." The moment I saw Virginia's name, I felt a whisper of understanding in my soul as to what that verse meant to me. Thankfully, I stopped in my tracks and did not send that extremely self-righteous email which I surely would have regretted and which had nothing at all to do with Christ's teachings or His love.

Instead, I carried Virginia's name with me to the labyrinth and placed it in the Center. I held it close from the wind with pieces of broken sea glass found on our family beach walks over the past six years of living here in Florida. Soon, other labyrinth walkers arrived and added their own written names and pieces of sea glass to the base of the candle.

We walked with prayers of healing in our hearts. We walked in our brokenness. We walked in our Hope.

Thank you, my Wise and Dove-Gentle friend. Scott and Dylan and I send soft wings of Love to hold you now as you heal.

Be well. Be wholly well. Be Holy Well...

I love you,

to the labyrinth with healing prayers

I have an amazing story to share with all of you later, but for now,
please pray for our precious, treasured friend, Virginia.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Jack Johnson - Hope

I am learning...slowly...but learning, learning, learning my lessons. This song is my anthem.

-HOPE from Jack Johnson's album Sleep Through the Static

Your shadow walks faster than you
You don't really know what to do
Do you think that you're not alone?
You really think that you're immune to it
It's going to get the best of you
It's going to lift you up then let you down

It will defeat you
Then teach you to get back up
After it takes away
All that you learned to love

Your reflection is a blur
Out of focus but in confusion
The frames the sun did burn
At the end of a roll of delusions
A ghost waiting its turn
And now I can see right through it
It's a warning that nobody heard

It will teach you
To love what you're afraid of
After it takes away
All that you've learned to love

But you don't
Have to hold your head
Higher than your heart

You better hope you're not alone

Your echo comes back out of tune
Now you can't quite get used to it
Reverb is just the room
The problem is that there's no truth to it
It's fading away too soon
Your shadow is on the move
And maybe you should be moving too

Before it takes away
All that you've learned to love
It will defeat you
Then teach you to get back up

Because you don't
Have to hold your head
Higher than your heart

You better hope you're not alone

*Song written by Jack Johnson and Zach Rogue, Bubble Toes Publishing (ASCAP) and the entire album SLEEP THROUGH THE STATIC was recorded  using 100% solar energy (how cool is THAT?!)

Please visit and support:

calf + ankle = cankle

Meet my new standard of Beauty.

God is calling me today to fiercly love the unlovable especially
because she is part of my own precious body for I am "fearfully and
wonderfully made."

"I love you, Cankle." Robin

Saturday, September 11, 2010

fishing, singing, dancing - our sweet boy

back at the beach!

I made it!

After a glass (OK, it was actually two) of nice red wine, I accepted the kind invitation of my husband and son to accompany them on an evening fishing trip to the beach. At first I had said no, as I had another bad case of the "poor me's." However, after I watched them getting ready, and I thought about the sacredness of this ninth anniversary of our country's tragedy, I decided I totally needed to get a grip....

The Glad trash bag I grabbed from under the sink covered my NASA issue moon brace just fine, and I held it all together with a yellow chip clip. My crutches worked just fine in the sand, and NOW here I sit in the open air listening to the surf and the seagulls saying my OceanPrayers.

God is Good.

loving prayers of peace to all on this sad anniversary...

Remembering all our fallen heroes....Kyrie Eleison

beauty framed - living in the present

I noticed this beautiful bird of paradise flower the other side of the screen reminding me to STOP focusing on the past and worrying about the future, and and rather really see the Grace around me right NOW in the presnt. Unfortunately, I am not doing a great job of this - yet - but I know the acceptance and practice of this will be what heals me faster than anything.

PT, Lily, on the case!

Lily provides close supervision of my hydrotherapy

Lily is my ever-present encourager

tiny bubbles

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

true love times twenty

You know you have married your true love when he goes to three stores to find you non-skid bath mats so that you can safely shower without falling after you are responsible for ruining your real anniversary plans with an idiotic athletic mishap AND he comes in still smiling and bearing you beautiful flowers....

Scott, I love you so very much.

Thank you for these past twenty years together. I fell for you the minute I saw you (and they had to stop the entire ski lift to scoop me up), and I am still falling now....(only now, I break bones). Love hurts.

Still, I am deeply blessed and truly grateful to be growing old beside you.


The Perfect Stillness

Love is
the perfect stillness
and the greatest excitement, and most profound act,
and the word almost as complete
as His name.

- Rabia of Basra (c. 717-801)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

a new mountain to climb...

I am trying to understand how my little chicken ankle could carry me nearly half way up Mt. Rainier a couple of weeks ago and then snap like a twig in a friendly pick-up soccer match on a pancake-flat Florida field.

And yet, here I am with this new mountain to climb.

To all my home health physical therapy patients over the last twenty some-odd years, I issue this formal apology and plea for forgiveness:

"I am so sorry for all the times I came into your home all perky and energetic when you felt like you'd been hit by a truck. I am sorry for saying it didn't matter one bit that your house was a mess. It did matter because I got to leave and you had to sit there looking at it and feeling even worse because you couldn't get up and fix it the way you wanted to. I am sorry for teaching you how to use your assistive devices like it was a piece of cake. Crutches suck. They are hard as heck to use especially at 3am when it is dark and you need to pee. I am sorry for telling you to ask for help. It doesn't matter how much your family loves you or you love them, it is really hard to ask for their help to do the tiniest tasks like carry a glass of water from the kitchen to the sofa. It is also terribly depressing when you see dishes in the sink and you can't stand long enough to wash them without needing to sit down and rest. It is no fun at all having to have someone help you get dressed and not being able to take a shower whenever you want really, really, (really!) stinks. Yuck. And spending the same amount of money on an orthopedic brace that you and your husband were going to spend in a super nice hotel celebrating your 20th wedding anniversary (which happens to be tomorrow) really, really, really sucks (OK so that never really happened, but I am feeling extra sorry for myself and just needed to throw that in). Thanks for listening....Next time I will do better. Next time, I will shut up and just listen and love you in your sorrow. Next time, I will...
With Love,
Your humbly reformed and extremely empathetic caregiver,

Monday, September 6, 2010

honey-colored prayers please....

View from my couch where I have been praying for patience today and
crying lots of pity-tears over my badly injured left ankle. I just
noticed my finger labyrinth, my toes and my soul-girl, Lily, are share
the same shade of honey-hue in this late afternoon, thunder-light....

This will be the color of my Hope.


Thank you for your prayers, friends. I do need them - desperately - as
I post this spiritual S.O.S.

"For my power is made perfect in your weakness...." - God

Friday, September 3, 2010

Living the Great Work: The Sacred Music and Ministry of GreenFaith Fellow, Sister Kathleen Deignan

Living the Great Work: The Sacred Music and Ministry of GreenFaith Fellow, Sister Kathleen Deignan

Thomas Merton Workshop

I am thrilled to announce that Sister Kathleen Deignan, CND of Schola Ministries and several other wonderful speakers will be in Louisville, KY on October 16th for a special lecture at Bellarmine University hosted by The Thomas Merton Center

Listen to my interview with Sister Kathleen on The Wisdom of the Labyirnth to learn more about her music, her ministry and her mission....

Click here for the full conference brochure

Thursday, September 2, 2010

letting go...

"At each stage of learning we must give up something,
even if it is a way of life that we have always known."
- Ginevee: Australian Aboriginal

This seems to be my life theme at the moment.

Can I please switch it for something a little easier, God?

I didn't think so....