Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Growing Edge

I enjoyed two accidental discoveries this week. The first was Tiger Lilies coming up outside my bedroom window. My landlady had mentioned them to me when I moved in, but of course it was fall and they were pretty sorry looking. I didn't remember then how powerfully the signs of life impact a person after the winter is done. Walking in from the garage and spotting these on one of the first warm days this spring made my heart sing.

The second delightful discovery was a quote from a 20th century theologian whose wisdom I had not visited in a long time. Hello, Howard Thurman. You are brilliant as always!
"Look well to the growing edge. All around us worlds are dying and new worlds are being born; all around us life is dying and life is being born. The fruit ripens on the tree, the roots are silently at work in the darkness of the earth against a time when there shall be new lives, fresh blossoms, green fruit. Such is the growing edge! It is the extra breath from the exhausted lung, the one more thing to try when all else has failed, the upward reach of life when weariness closes in upon all endeavor. This is the basis of hope in moments of despair, the incentive to carry on when times are out of joint and men have lost their reason, the source of confidence when worlds crash and dreams whiten into ash. The birth of a child — life's most dramatic answer to death — this is the growing edge incarnate. Look well to the growing edge!" —Howard Thurman
Some days I feel as though I have been at the growing edge for the past 16 months. Hope and expectation have sustained me; the certainty that life is a circle, not a straight line, has kept me moving forward into the unknown. And now, as spring approaches and new life pushes up from the recently frozen dirt, I know that I was RIGHT, not just a cock-eyed optimist.  Thanks be to God!

Saturday, April 5, 2014


I went galivanting last weekend so didn't get around to blogging. I attended a shower for my niece Liesbeth. One of the best parts of being up here is being able to spend more time with various family members. It was so much fun. I felt like I already knew some of her friends from watching them interact on Facebook, but it was great to meet them, and some of my sister's friends, as well as cathcing up with members of her extended family who I have seen many times over their 30+ years of marriage. It was a lot of fun, and a road trip with my cousin Jane too.

Here's my big accomplishment from the weekend: I ran into people from Blooming Prairing in South Dakota and a) recognized them, and b) could summon up their names!!!  I have been so overwhelmed learning faces and names since I got here that this is a major milestone for me. I think it means the learning curve has finally started to level off.

Tuesday I had a thoroughly enjoyed visit from Beth and Niel Wiegand and was able to demonstrate to them that, unlike their previous visit, I can actually find my way around without having to start from either home or the church. It was great to catch up with them. I haven't been going to Rochester much since it got so cold. I guess the hints of spring are getting us all moving a bit more.

Yesterday I had my first stamp camp in Blooming Prairie. There will be an evening repeat on Monday. Here's what we made (because no event is too minor to talk about or post pictures.)

Again, it felt good because everyone who came had been here for my open house, knew the way, and where to park. And I, although almost too late, remembered to shovel the sidewalk (we got about 4 inches of wet, slushy snow on Thursday night.)

I guess you could say I am feeling "embedded". I am starting to carry this community with me when I go places, and to be one who welcomes besides being welcomed.

Tonight I will be taking kids to Mankato State Campus Ministry for a Lock-In and next week I will be at the Synod Office in Rochester for some training. Gracie and Tony will be coming for Easter. My connections are strengthening each day. I guess I've been planted and have finally put down enough roots to grow a little bit. Or maybe it's just the promise of spring talking. Whatever it is, it's worthy of celebration!