Beginning a Journey…

And so the journey begins…

I have decided to join EYSJ this year, a program offered by the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan for spiritual discernment and discovery. I have mulled over this decision for three years and I’m finally doing it. It’s a program required by the diocese before lay people are recommended for seminary school, but through the program you discover what God is really calling you to do, which may not be ordination but some other ministry. So I am open to whatever I discover and thrilled to meet some new friends along the way! Also excited and terrified in a good way! Wish me luck or prayers! ☺️

The book of 1 Timothy

“For we brought nothing into the world and we can take nothing out of it.” ( 1 Timothy 6:7)

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We came into this world naked. Our souls encapsulated in a body not of our own choosing so we can learn lessons from the journey of that body and it’s DNA, lessons built only for us. And the body is privy to certain things of the world, but the soul always thirsts for God. The further from God the more sickly our soul becomes. The more we embed our lives with God the less time we will want to spend away from Him. But the less time we spend with Him the more we will push Him away, and by this time we have a tiny feeling he will reject us if we return to Him or we won’t enjoy our time with Him because He has become so foreign and incomprehensible. I think we must realize our nakedness and live into our nakedness with Christ. The wealth of the soul is all that matters, and this wealth is of things not of this world, invisible to the eye, and felt only in the heart

The Cooking Gene by Michael W. Twitty

As a student of the American Civil War I realized to my shame that I have not one book about the African American experience. Studying military strategy and the life of soldiers kept me from really SEEING this special part of the story. So I thought I would pick up a book. Of course there are plenty of books out there about race, and I hope to read some of those too, but for the beginning of my journey I thought I would start with food. I found this serendipitously while searching for colonial history and thought it would be perfect. Michael W. Twitty is a culinary and cultural historian, he’s a TED fellow and speaker and has appeared on/in NPR, The Guardian, and has been a participant in many talks abroad.

“As he takes us through his ancestral culinary history, Twitty suggests that healing may come from embracing the discomfort of the Southern past. Along the way, he reveals a truth that is more than skin deep—the power that food has to bring the kin of the enslaved and their former slaveholders to the table, where they can discover the real America together.” — Harper Collins (publisher). It has excellent reviews. I’m so excited to begin my journey here!

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The book of Proverbs

“Truthful lips endure forever,

But a lying tongue lasts only a moment.” (Proverbs 12:19)

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. “Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil,

But those who promote peace have joy.” (Proverbs 12:20)

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Most of Proverbs was written by Solomon, known to be the wisest man who ever lived. In Hebrew, the word proverb means to rule or to govern. This book is written in poetic couplet form and contains words of wisdom with which we should govern ourselves. Both proverbs above are about truth. The top one is understood if we look at it in a broad sense. The truth is we should love each other and promote mercy and empathy, the lying tongue is the one who tells us certain people should continue to be marginalized, this argument will not endure, because it is nothing but a frivolous lie coming from those who refuse to love with their WHOLE hearts.

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The second proverb can be understood from an individualistic point of view. Like those who are protesting for peace and justice in the streets all over the world right now I’m sure feel joy in their hearts when they see how many others are doing the same, and they go home feeling uplifted and inspired because they know, with every core of their being, they are fighting for truth and for good. No part of their soul feels heavy or burdened by the lie, because the lie died with them, it went no further, it was barricaded by the truth they amplified. So, by this we could in fact change the world if we stop the lie when it comes to us and instead promote peace and truth. We all need a little more courage in that

The Book of Revelation

I’ve been looking forward to sharing this book. For many, the book of Revelation is one of the most frightening books of the Bible. I too was afraid to read it thinking it would destroy my faith out of fear. But I read it…carefully…and was fascinated by it. It is one of my favorite books now, because it is so colorful, dripping with allegory, and Jesus is alive & speaks again, so I’m immediately inspired. There is so much to study and make out if this book.

We have the Apostle John who has seen a vision of Christ and is told to write down all he will soon see as a prophecy of things to come. “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.” ( Revelation 1:17)

This quote said by Christ sums up everything: He said this to His faithful servant, John, someone who meditated and gazed on the face of Christ consistently, in everything he did and Christ tells him to not be afraid (because to you, John—we could insert) I am the First and the Last. We must begin our faith with Christ and continue our faith with Christ throughout our days, make Him first and make Him last, the first thought in the morning and the last thought at night. Make Christ and His truth your everyday, and you should not be afraid of anything you read in Revelation (or life’s trials), but only be in awe and marvel at the mystery of it yet to be truly understood

Can I talk about my flowers? Feature: Sweet Woodruff

Can I talk about my sweet woodruff? I only grow it because Vita Sackville-West suggested it in her many garden books. It is one of my favorite flowers in my garden now. Not only can it be used in tea & scented sachets, I also use it to make simple syrup for cocktails. Today I made May wine!

Cut 20 sprigs, rinse and toast them in oven at 275 degrees for five mins. Immediately drop them into a bottle of cheap white wine, sweet wine I’m told works best. Shelf it in cool dry place for three to five days, and you’ll have a nice little drink for spritzers or whatever you’d like!

Journaling and prayer. What are your thoughts on homemade communion?

Finished writing in an entire journal yesterday, and it’s time to begin a new one! These are my prayer journals, the worn one on the left is the old one. Took me a little over four months to fill every inch with essays on prayer and spiritual journeying. Also if you swipe you’ll see a little communion sacrament I made and gave myself this morning. Though our priest can not bless it, I said a little prayer and took it as a symbol of what we would do in church, which I feel is ok.

What are your thoughts on homemade communion during the stay at home order? .

The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross

I like to follow the breadcrumbs of authors I admire. If an author quotes another or happens to really like a certain book or person then I investigate whomever they suggest. St. John of the Cross is one of those breadcrumbs. I’m so excited to read his work. This book is 800 pages, not exactly something I can take to bed with me, however the task of reading it at my desk will feel very much like a joyful study. His writing is often quoted by some of the most inspiring theologians of all time including Thomas Merton and Saint Therese of Lisieux, so I’ve been looking forward to reading his work for a while now. Can’t wait to dive in!

Journal or Diary writing..

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As you can see, I do!! I started keeping a diary when I was about 9. Most of what I wrote was complete nonsense, and more than once my friends would chime into the pages saying obscene things to be funny. I think I will burn all of these someday, but for now they stand as proof of my journey through the ups and downs of my life, through immaturity to semi-maturity 😄, to all kinds of human relationships, marriage, kids…you name it. The words written inside them are merely my ‘outer-sheddings.’ They do not represent who I am, but rather where I’ve been and some of the dirt I collected along the way. I would like to think I’m cleansed of all the yuck now. Please burn them upon my death. (That line is stolen from my grandma)

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Pictured are the diaries of my life in chronological order, except the left hand side with the deer are all my Bible journals. Some of them have been tossed.

The Book of Acts

“Because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of Jesus.” —Acts 8:16

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Like most babies I was baptized a couple months after I was born. Was this so I didn’t go to purgatory or hell if I were to die? Or was it just for tradition’s sake? I don’t know. I’ve always felt God was close to me since I was little—like a trusted friend I could tell my problems to. But it wasn’t until I worked the soup kitchen at a church in Detroit recently that I really felt baptized in the Spirit. God went from living outside of me to living IN me in one day. I’ve been back to the soup kitchen every month since. Christ lives with the suffering. If you want to see Him, feel His presence, experience the Holy Spirit, go be with and help the suffering. Any living sufferer will do—this could be nature, animals, water, humans—Whatever touches your heart and makes you weep, but try to see God’s face in your work. For me, I found that my soul is drawn to the homeless. Search your heart for your calling. God is calling for your REAL baptism this way. The lay theologian, William Stringfellow, once said, “care enough to weep.” I will take this a tad further and say IF you care enough to weep, maybe you’ve found God’s call for you. And that is the voice of the Holy Spirit which lives in all of us. Awaken it! .

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