Sublime, Just Sublime

When you've had days of rain, this is the song you want to sing when you face the morning light:) Not that I mind the rain - it can be lovely and it makes for a lot of wonderful summer greenery, to say nothing of the good it does for the crops for local farms and the water supply for the rest of us!


Since we were last together, dear 2.5 readers, I have simply plugged away at a few things. Nothing much exciting to report. Life goes on and I suppose that's a good thing.  John is getting better every day, the little guys are growing as they should and the adult "kids" are making their respective ways in life - each traveling the path unique to them. 

I take it back: this weekend was glorious - in ways I never imagined it would be. Saturday morning, I was involved in a training to be a facilitator of a Stephen Ministry group.  No big deal - just in case they need me to be the one to organize a meeting and report to the group leadership. I figured why not learn just in case? Jenny - our Stephen Leader - did the training/presentation and provided food (always welcome  - hey I lost weight, but I didn't stop liking to eat, LOL:)).  She did a fine job. Also present were some SMs (Stephen Ministers - people! Be nice!) from other church congregations.  It was really nice to meet them and to hear how they do things in their churches.  Stephen Ministry is a program where members of a church congregation are present one-on-one to a member of the church going through a crisis.  That crisis can be something like grief after the loss of a loved one through death or divorce, the birth of a new baby, serious illness or incapacity, job loss - you name it. The Stephen Ministers go through approximately six months of weekly training  before beginning a caring relationship and afterwards meet monthly to check in and discuss their care receiver's situation (without disclosing his or her identity). The purpose of the monthly meetings is to provide supervision, assistance and accountability to the SM and to assure the care receivers are receiving proper care without overstepping the boundaries of the relationship.  For example, where a care receiver needs psychiatric help, we are not there to be therapists, but to refer to resources in the community or to clergy who can be of better assistance in such instances. In our area (Central Merlin), there exists a Consortium of churches who provide Stephen Ministry training and supervision.  The training program is an experience in and of itself.  I know I met a lot of wonderful people from a variety of churches. So getting to see others from the consortium this Saturday was a delight.  I suggested to our leader that we try to get all the groups together at least once a year. It's funny.  When we're all involved in caring and helping others, how whatever differences we might have fade into the background!:)

Anyway, that was one great experience and I am grateful for it.  But the best was yet to come:)

You may have read in the past about a service I attend on Thursday mornings.  It's a Eucharist (Communion) service with healing prayers for others in our congregation.  The cool thing about it is it takes place at 7 a.m. In some of the winter months, we actually see the sun rise as we arrive - really cool:) It's a great way to start the day, whether I have a docket (as I usually do on Thursdays) or on the odd occasion when I have no hearings that morning and can follow up with breakfast at the diner with a great bunch of people. 

Anyway, it's a small group of really nice folks, some of whom have had their own experiences of sorrow and sickness. I have come to believe that their prayers make a difference, especially the prayers of healing:

_____, I lay my hands upon you in the Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, beseeching him to uphold you and fill you with his grace and strength, that you may know the healing power of
God's love. Amen.

It's a little prayer, but it packs a whallop. The clergyperson (be it a priest or our deacon, Mimi) goes from person to person, and sometimes we give them a list of people for whom to pray.  Then we as a group lay hands on the clergy offering up the same prayer.  Over weeks, months and years, it creates a bond among us.  I like to think that bond, that spark of love that keeps growing, is God's Presence among us.

One of our group has been ill.  A big old guy from Texas. As a friend of mine called him, a Real Man - you know the type - tough as nails, hates reading in public, but gentle and sweet and married to the love of his life, a woman he remembers as though she were still with him, but who died a number of years ago. Now it's his turn and I do believe, he is looking forward to seeing her again. He's in hospice care now and the docs say it's a matter of days.  He might be gone as I type this. He is surrounded by his family who have come from far and wide to be with him as he makes this final journey.

On Saturday, he was surrounded by us as we took the service to his bedside.We all lay hands on him and each other and prayed that prayer and gave each other Communion with deacon Mimi leading us. As you read this, it might seem sappy, but you're going to have to trust me on this, it wasn't. We each got to say good bye in our own way and he truly seemed to be at peace.

Safe travels, my friend!In the meantime, from the sublime to the ordinary:)

Yesterday was quite a day - had court in the morning as I usually do on Mondays.  Got a chance to argue passionately but hopefully not overly dramatically for a client. The docket went a bit later than usual, but I was done with court fairly early in the afternoon. Since it was time for a late lunch, I decided to take a quick walk before heading back to the home office to get my paperwork done. I walked by myself which I do about half the time and that was just fine. It was a bit drizzly when I started but was pouring at the end as I got home. As usual on cloudy days like this in summer, the colors had a particular vibrancy about them.  I had to take pictures. 

I was greeted at one point by a tribe of geese, the males of the group not particularly welcoming in their demeanor, as evidenced by a bit of hissing on their part.

The rain started to get a bit more insistent and I had brought my umbrella, car keys and cellphone in case I was needed at the office and of course to take pictures :)

Although the sun did try to come out a bit at the end of my circuit of Wilde Lake, the clouds won out.
And this was my view heading into the drive at home.

Glorious in its own way:)

Last night was one of our monthly supervision meetings. It was a lot of fun and moving in many ways.  I checked in about my two CRs and there was a lot of good thoughtful discussion on how best to help. The bad news was, there were not one but TWO tornado warnings, and flash flood warnings as well. A tornado did touch down in Woodbine, Merlin - about twenty miles away - and that was disturbing, though obviously NOTHING like what's been happening in Tornado Alley in the midwest.  Luckily, we had a midwesterner among us, so we got a quick education in what to look for (at least during daylight). Unfortunately, that education would not have helped us during our twister experience which happened at night. Every time I think of that night, I realize how incredibly LUCKY we were!


On the knitting front, I have been working a little bit at a time on A Mysterious Shawl by Romi (Rosemary Hill) but not much progress to post. Once I'm done with Clue 3, the colorwork begins and I've found the perfect yarn in my stash to complement the Uhuru multi-colored yarn - Stroll sock yarn in Rouge by Knitpicks - leftovers from the Westerwick Cardigan I knit for Nancy a few years ago:)!

 Am on Clue 4 of 5 for the GoddessKnits Spring Mystery Shawl 2013. It's so bunched up now on the needles that I'm almost flying blind - the pattern is truly becoming a mystery to me, LOL:) I think I've got PLENTY of yarn to finish this and am really looking forward to seeing how this blocks out! It's going to look a lot different from the actual pattern because remember, I'm using nupps in the place of beads.

Have just begun Tetiana Otruta's Leaf Evolution Mystery KAL but am really loving the wool and the pattern looks to be quite pretty:)! Am just on Chart B of Clue 1, but am looking forward to doing a wee bit more work on this baby when I'm done with a little bit left on my current clue for this next beauty:

As I stated in previous posts, I really really love the way this shawl is knit - the bulk of the knitting done at the beginning (or so it seems) with the more immediate gratification happening at the end. I am knitting this fingering weight wool on US4 needles as opposed to the US6's for which the pattern calls for two reasons: (1) I tend to knit a wee bit loosely and (2) I like the gauge I'm getting on the 4's. It may mean the shawl will need more strenuous blocking at the end, but that's a price I'm willing to pay. It's just lovely and I'm sailing through the clues.  Well done, Wendy:)! Oh yes - forgot to say which pattern this is - it's Wendy Johnson's Summer Mystery Shawl:)! As you can sort of see from the picture, I'm four rows away from finishing Clue No. 2.  The rows get shorter and shorter, since we start by casting on the bottom two edges of the shawl and knit up with two triangles on either side of a center stitch, decreasing four stitches every other row.  When we're done, we'll have a large triangle with what starts out as the edge stitches of each end becoming the top (neck) stitches of the shawl. That's how I've planned my most recent two prayer shawls and it's how I prefer to knit them.  In fact, for the same reason it's why I prefer bottom up sweater knitting to top/down. When I begin a project, I am full of enthusiasm: New yarn, hopefully good needles, maybe even a new stitch pattern or a color I like. Isn't that when you want to get the boring-ish yards of stockinette or garter or whatever stitch pattern done? Then before you know it, it's time to make those decreases and do that shaping and whatever boredom has set in before is dispelled by renewed enthusiasm as I see the garment begin to take shape and the hours of knitting are brought to fruition. Pure joy:)
Well those of you who don't knit have been put to sleep by now.  But you fiberistas out there get it:)
I haven't forgotten about the Norwegian Rose Cardigan.  That's a bit of slaving away from which I needed to take a break, but I am keeping it in the active projects corner of the den to work on whenever I have an hour or two. There's something about knitting mystery shawls that seems to make the summer pass happily!

Well, better get myself back to work.  I have a number of client visits this afternoon and evening, which means my work day will be afternoon to night today.  And that's OK.

I figure at this point I should do a bit of explaining.  I've done it before, but it probably could stand repeating.  I write in this blog about my experiences, as a complete human being - a professional person (to the extent ethically permitted), a family person, a knitter, a musician and a spiritual person. None and I mean NONE of what is written here is intended to foist my opinions and beliefs - be they political, spiritual, or any other type - on anyone else.  This is a free forum.  All I ask is that we respect each other and try as best we can to live in peace with each other. When I say my signature line, it is simply my way of wishing you peace, joy and the presence of the Holy, however you might envision it - or not as the case may be:)! Whatever you believe or don't believe, I wish you peace and health and the joy in the big and little things of life.

In the meantime, dear readers, God be with you 'til we meet again.+
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