Monday, September 23, 2013

Green Chili Love

I am sitting here in the airport
going home...
Yes, I said it
for now, Pennsylvania is my home
(who knows, maybe the next time I say it the "for now" will non-existent)

I really thought that a 10 day visit 
would be plenty of time to see everyone that I wanted to see
But I was wrong
It was way too short and I had many friends that I barely got to hug
and some that I did not even get to see

If you are one of those
I am sorry
and I promise when I come back
you are at the top of my list!

In my new home
things are very different
some I have adjusted to
some I will never adjust to
enjoying good Mexican food
We have yet to find it

The last time I came and went
I took 12 large cans of my favorite enchilada sauce back with me

This time....
I have a small ice chest full of green chili
I am over the moon with excitement
you can not find hatch green chili
I also have some very special red chili powder
my mouth is watering
and I can not wait to share my stash with my new friends

Several family and friends contributed to my ability 
to bring my treasured items to Pennsylvania
it was a true act of love
I am most thankful

They loved me 
and each time I open my freezer I will remember

I have many friends offer to ship me whatever I need
so sweet

I have never been in the position of the receiver of such love
I am more comfortable being on the giving end of things

Being a receiver is humbling and such a blessing
As a giver I always get a charge out of doing it

Plenty of times I have had to tell a friend 
who felt funny about receiving 
that they would be robbing someone of the joy of giving, 
if they said no thank you.

And now, here I am
"Miss Independent"
Learning the lesson of humility 
and of allowing others 
to feel the joy of giving
to me

this trip has been a whirlwind of craziness

I have managed to feel every emotion possible
I laughed till I cried and cried till I laughed
I have hugged tighter and talked longer
I have made time count
I have made sure that my words were clear
and that I said what I meant, and meant what I said

All in all
it was great
but great

As believers we are told to serve one another
my green chili is an act of love and service
from those that thoughtfully knew
I could use a dose of Arizona in the coming months

There is nothing like Green Chili love
in my mind 

John 13:34-35
The Voice (VOICE)
So I give you a new command: Love each other deeply and fully
Remember the ways that I have loved you, 
and demonstrate your love for others in those same ways. 
Everyone will know you as My followers 
if you demonstrate your love to others.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Apples and Oranges

It is silly really
trying to compare
and yet, I find myself doing it all the time.
first it starts with the little things...
comparing the weather
comparing the roads
comparing the grocery stores
comparing the TV stations
comparing the vegetation
comparing the people

Why shouldn't I compare?
All I am doing is trying to make sense of all the differences
harmless, right?

Now I am not so sure

For, if I am really honest with myself
at the root of comparing
is the question of whether I am content or not

Is it okay to "miss" driving on a grid?

and miss other things that do not exist in my new place?
like a decent Mexican restaurant 
or chorizo at the meat counter?

(which has a totally different meaning here,by the way)


I can truly say that in the missing

my heart is not longing for what was
more than being content with what is

my heart is not longing for what was
more than being willing to be invested in what is

my heart is not longing for what was
more than being open to letting go of the familiar 
and replacing it with different 

There is no room for contentment 
when I am comparing what was with what is
In fact, as long as my eyes are scanning for comparisons
I have no room for the Holy Spirit to reveal His presence where I am

oranges will never be apples, although I can eat either

flat land will never be hills, although I can walk either

dry heat will never be rainy days, although I can feel either

barrel cactus will never be poison ivy, although I can be hurt by either

Safeway will never be Giant Eagle, although I can shop at either   
Arizona will never be Pennsylvania, although I can live in either

There is no comparison
So I am going to stop trying

My time is better spent in the everyday joyful expectation of discovering
new places
new habits
new friends
new foods
and joining in where God is at work here where I am!

Isaiah 43:18-19
The Voice
Don't revel only in the past,
or spend all your time recounting
the victories of the days gone by.
Watch closely:
I am preparing something new;
it's happening now, even as I speak,
and you're about to see it.
I am preparing a way through the desert;
Waters will flow where there had been none.

1 Timothy 6:6-8
The Voice 
This is ironic because godliness, 
along with contentment, 
does put us ahead but not in the ways some imagine. 
You see we came into this world with nothing, 
and nothing is going with us on the way out! 
So as long as we are clothed and fed, 
we should be happy.

Lamentations 3:21-23
The Voice
Gaining hope,
 I remember and wait for this thought:
How enduring is God’s loyal love;
 the Eternal has inexhaustible compassion.
Here they are, every morning, new!
 Your faithfulness, God, is as broad as the day.