Sisters in Scripture
Daydreams of Acoma    8/26/2020
Have you traveled anywhere.....?
Have you been in contact with anyone...?
In a word, NOPE

But, these stay at home days are good for pulling out the travel photo albums and recalling some stellar trips. For me and perhaps for you, it's not the places we went as much as the memories made and people we met, even the lessons learned. Some stay with you for a very long time.

Some years back, on a trip through the Southwest, my husband and I made a stop outside Albuquerque at a pueblo that has been continuously inhabited for over 1000 years, the longest period of human habitation in North America.  It is Sky City, a pueblo sitting atop a mesa in the Acoma Nation. The Acoma people were farmers as well as hunters and gatherers but nearby tribes, like the Apache and Navajo, were raiders who took their crops as well as women and children. So they moved to the top of the steep, cliff-faced mesa, farmed and hunted in the valley below, but stored their bounty and built their village hundreds of feet above the raiders.  

At the foot of the mesa, a modern museum and tourist center tells the Acoma story and prepares visitors for the world they are about to enter. A small tour bus winds up the backside of the mesa on a road constructed just a few decades ago. It delivers you to a world remarkably unchanged in 1000 years, a world without electricity or running water, a silent world suspended in brilliant color and endless vistas. Those whom the tribe has chosen as spiritual elders live there and never leave the mesa for the duration of their office. Artisans and others, usually grandparents, also choose to live there and families return for feast days and celebrations to their ancestral homes throughout the year. 

Discouraging Day    08/14/2020

Today discouragement came to turned out to be a pretty good day. 

The invitation was the smallest of things, just a breakdown in communication—but a breakdown again, despite effort, despite successes. Sometimes old habits still win out over newly honed, best efforts.
Then, like a waft of breeze, came the awareness: I am discouraged.

I can do that, I thought. It’s not depression, it’s not despair, it’s not failure, it’s just discouragement. I am not paranoid, unreasonable, or over reacting. There’s ample cause to feel this way.

"Thank you,” I said, lifting a prayer heavenward. For, once I knew who had come to call, it was no stranger and had no magical power over me. Just come to visit for a spell.

I nodded in recognition, "Pull up a chair,” I said and leveled my gaze. "I think I will contemplate you.” 
"A long, loving look at what is real,”—that’s the definition of contemplation I’ve been using of late. I’m not so sure about the loving part. A lot of things that are very real are not particularly lovable, especially these days. But look, yes, I can do that. Long, yes--better for discouragement to stay right here where I can keep an eye it.

"I don’t want you visiting any of my kiddos,” I warned in my best grandmother voice. "You just stay right here with me.”
So, I looked Discouragement square in the eye for a moment. It stayed put and blinked back. 

I could pull out the elixir of encouragement. Powerful stuff and mighty good, encouragement. But if you use it all the time, it dissipates, is not honest. And sometimes, "should” tags along for the ride.

Back to contemplating "what is real” before to summon a way to love this unwelcome guest?
"Not sure I can love you,” I said. ‘You make me sad and tired and make me think it’s my fault.”

"But it is your fault,” said Discouragement.
A Real Romance Story - A Summer Memory    8/11/2020

I am re-publishing this, because, who doesn't love a good LOVE STORY?(KMK)

The summer I was 13, I discovered the kind of love rarely found in a romance novel.  I didn’t learn about love from a new boy in town or a bronzed lifeguard, but from a forty-ish father of eight—my dad.
The family was moving from the East Coast to Arizona.  Mom flew ahead to Tucson with the baby and my next sister.  The rest of us piled into the station wagon for the long cross-country drive.  I tried to "mother” my five younger sisters and brother from the front seat as I helped dad navigate.  After four days of turnpikes and highways, we arrived—punchy and tired, in Sioux City, Iowa, my mother’s hometown.
We were all ready for a break.  Visiting and playing with our cousins for a couple days was just what we needed.  On the last afternoon of our stay, Dad took me aside.  "Let’s go for ride,” he said.  "Just you and me.”  He didn’t have to ask twice.


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