Any Given Sunday

I serve as a Hospitality Minister at my church.

On the Sunday’s that I am assigned, I greet people at the doors as they are hurrying into mass. Our initial meeting is usually very brief, rarely allowing for eye contact. They are busy searching for available seats, often shaking off their umbrellas, taking off their coats, or gathering their children together, trying to leave their chaos at the door.  I have two children of my own, so I know how difficult it can be to get all of us ready and out of the house on time to get to church and seated for the very start of mass. Like those I am observing, it usually takes us a while to get centered and truly focused.  Leaving the outside world behind can be very challenging.

I stand in the back of the church during these particular Sundays and I watch from behind.  As time goes by I see husbands and wives reach out their hands to each other, even for a moment, as a sign of their unity.  I see others kneeling down in prayer or stretching their hands upward to the heavens, truly living in the moment of praise.  Peace and tranquility have triumphed.

But then as I move to the front of the church and lead each member of the rows out to receive Holy Communion, I am allowed another very special and important view. I see their faces. Faces no longer hurried.  Faces no longer searching.  Faces that have settled into their surroundings.  Yet the outside world has NOT been left behind.  Each face clearly shows the years that have passed.  Some are bright and smooth, young and vibrant. Others are old and wrinkled, aged by experience, loss, and hardship.  But all of these faces are full of hope.  As they enter into the most intimate encounter with their God, they are able to bring all their troubles and fears, pleasures and comforts along with them, however chaotic.

I am humbled as I bear witness to this connection of God calling his people to Him. God invites every part of us to His table.  Nothing needs to be left at the door and the seating is plentiful.



Traces of Her

Our son. 

Does he have her smile or does he mimic mine?
Does he share her stubbornness or is he an independent strong willed child?
Does he enjoy her skip or is that a reflection of his day?

So many things I don’t know about the woman he would have called mommy.
Too many things I do know.

He had a rough start at life due to her choices.
He continues to struggle every day since.

Did she face similar trials? 

Did she laugh often too?
Did she have someone read her a bedtime story also?
Did she love to tell knock-knock jokes as well?

Did she feel loved like he does?

So little is known, yet he is proof that she existed.
She has left her mark on this world.

Our son. 

It’s all About Time(ing)

I love those moments of clarity and confirmation when the universe is boldly letting you know you are on the right path. 

I went on a long overdue matinee movie date today with a girlfriend.  We had been trying to get together since the end of September to celebrate her birthday, but it took this long for our schedules to line up. Having such a small window of opportunity to watch a movie while the kids are in school means needing to choose one that starts in the eleven o’clock hour.  We had decided Friday would work and she sent me a quick text to let me know that there was indeed a movie that sounded decent showing in our timeframe. Perfect! I trust her judgement, so I did not check to see what the movie was about.  I got to the theater ahead of her to purchase our tickets but couldn’t remember the name of the movie. There were two starting at 11:00 am, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, and About Time. Assuming we are not the ‘Jackass’ kind of gals,  I correctly bought the tickets to About Time.  

Well, well, well, let me just say that it has been a long time since my heart felt so full from watching a movie. 

I want everyone I know to see this movie and I don’t want to give away details. I will only say that it is beautiful!  It is about birth and death and choices and love and living our lives!  And recognizing that the little things in our everyday life ARE actually the big things!

I posted my first entry to my Blog yesterday morning about committing my life to noticing it’s daily wonderments. And then within 2 short hours I received a blessing that made my heart swell and my spirit dance. I wanted to stand up at the end of the movie and shout out a confirming YES!

It truly is About Time!  I was to see this movie at the precise time that I saw it.  My heart was long overdue to experience the many emotions embraced by the movie.  It gave me the affirmation necessary to continue down the road that brings simple joys everyday. 

And this morning somehow the sun seems brighter!

The Little Things

The recent death of a family member has me thinking a lot about life lately.

As I listened to friends and family reminisce about him during his memorial service, the term “bucket list” came up, a list of things you want to do before you die.

I don’t have a bucket list. I’ve never even thought of having one, until now.

I envy the people who know what they want to do, where they want to go, and people they want to meet. My circumstances in life have often changed quickly and drastically, so keeping a list without crossing out and changing items would be close to impossible, and I may run the risk of feeling like a failure.

Instead, I’ve decided to try to focus on the many wonderful things that happen in my life daily; the people I encounter, the personal growth I experience due to facing and overcoming challenges, and the many opportunities I’m given to try to make the world a better place.

I’ve started this Blog to document these parts of my life journey. It’s something I have always wanted to do (write), which is why I have titled it “1st Check Off The Bucket List”.

I’ve had some incredible little experiences, with pretty huge outcomes and worthy of mentioning. That’s not to say I won’t find myself traveling the world or the country with my family one day. But my highlight won’t be on the destination, it will be on the path that gets me there. And I hope to write about all of it here.

There is lots of joy to be had in simply living our lives!

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
~ Robert Brault