December 30, 2020

I’m pacing myself differently this week, in need of some down time after two very draining months. I’m giving myself space to write about my family of origin and look at photos accumulated over the years as a way to process grief in light of my sister Jane’s death. In reality, I’ve been dealing with ambiguous grief, grieving someone who is still alive, for the past five years as dementia has gradually and relentlessly claimed more and more of my both of my sisters.

I’m also giving myself permission to sleep in, which feels luxurious in this cold and dark time of the year. I’m taking time to play. Rod and I made a trip to Sugar Creek Snowy and Sweet, and have another excursion planned to Flour and Water later this week. Think of it as sending out the old year with carbs! We’ve seen two movies that I highly recommend. The first is Soul, a movie about Joe, “a middle-school band teacher whose life hasn’t quite gone the way he expected. His true passion is jazz — and he’s good. But when he travels to another realm to help someone find their passion, he soon discovers what it means to have soul.” The second is Wonder Woman 1984, a movie about Diana Prince who, “lives quietly among mortals in the vibrant, sleek 1980s — an era of excess driven by the pursuit of having it all. Though she’s come into her full powers, she maintains a low profile by curating ancient artifacts, and only performing heroic acts incognito. But soon, Diana will have to muster all of her strength, wisdom and courage as she finds herself squaring off against Maxwell Lord and the Cheetah, a villainess who possesses superhuman strength and agility.” We viewed both from the comfort of our family room, thanks to the wonders of streaming TV. Both movies are entertaining. Both also raise profound questions in ways that only movies can. They are New Year’s resolution/intention questions.

“What do you want?” Now there’s a scary question! My first and second and third answers don’t get to the very core of my being. That takes more digging and reflection, and vulnerability and prayer to get to the very core of my being, the place where my desires and God’s heart meet.

“What is your passion?” That’s a good one to discern in the new year, informed by all the experiences and challenges in this difficult year. Your passion is that place where you feel fully alive, and it is also where God’s heart meets you.

“What have you missed in pursuit of everything else?” This year has created amazing opportunities to be present to what is, not what you hope will be. Pursing what you want, or devoting yourself totally to that which you are passionate about can keep you from being aware and attentive to the present moment and all of its gifts.

Jesus asks, “What do you me to do for you?” How might you answer? ~ Anne

During this season of COVID 19, St. Paul’s UCC Woodstock, VA

offers these meditations as a service to the community.

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