Kavanna House

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Jul
02

misidentifying joy

 

More often than I care to admit, I somehow miss experiencing joy, or maybe it’s there and it just looks and feels differently than anticipated so I don’t sense its presence. I know it is different from happiness and doesn’t depend on circumstances, but practically speaking, I’m not sure I live like that’s always true.

I think I tend to look for joy’s expression in grand quantities, when sadness and pain aren’t outweighing it. I expect it to feel glorious, like a rush of delight, gratitude, and holiness, all wrapped up around and coming from within me. But more often than not, for me, it is unbelievably tangled and layered in pain, loss, and tears.

I also want to be able to detect joy when there are only trace levels present. Or maybe the quantity doesn’t matter so much as releasing my expectation of what it will look like. Perhaps its voice is already here. It’s just waiting to be identified.

 

Photo Credit: Deb Turnow


Nicole Mills is an oncology nurse, cancer survivor, nerd, and contemplative. She has a secret desire to be a nun or double-dutch jump rope champion. Not being Catholic or able to jump two ropes poses significant hurdles, but she remains hopeful. Visit Nicole at www.noticeandwonder.com to learn more about her beautifully messy journey and her whimsically quirky spirit.

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Jun
18

masterpiece

Within the framework of my life

I see where your hand has moved.

 

With warp and weft, you create the

patterns in your weaving.

 

I am the loom, holding the tension

as you work.

 

Threads of light, threads of dark –

help me to accept them both.

 

Anything that was meant for evil

You blend just so and make all turn out for my good.

 

The entwining cords are struck through with scarlet,

the blood of the Savior who redeems my pain.

 

If I stand too close, I see nothing but distortion,

A jumbled mix of experiences, of joys and sorrows.

 

Cause me to stand back, and as I gaze at your handiwork

the masterpiece will emerge.

 

Photo Credit: Deb Turnow


Kim Yinger is a wife, mother of two, and an HR manager. She is a contemplative who also loves nature and writing Haikus. Touching other peoples’ lives with her musings, and glorifying the Lord with the offerings are her greatest desire. “When people read my poems, I’d like them to say, ‘hmmmm…… pause and calmly think about that.’ [Selah].”

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Jun
18

crystal moments

In unguarded moments, with the lightness of a feather caressing my soul, my entire being becomes alert to the goodness of life. This awareness is accompanied by acceptance of all that encompasses my life in the moment. The nanoseconds of peace are intimate, come unexpectedly, clear my perspective and stir a wordless gratitude. They breeze through my soul, bathing it in light, color, music and fragrance. I savor each occurrence.

It happened recently on a gorgeous spring morning talking with my neighbor after a brisk walk. As we were chatting, I was simultaneously aware, in the depths of my being, that life is holy and good. Sometimes it touches me when my hands are in the earth, pulling weeds and removing spent blossoms. Another time this consciousness came out of the shadows was when watching glistening water droplets dancing with the emerging hatch on a mountain stream, warm sun on my back and my love beside me.

I wish I could make these honeyed moments happen. I receive them as gifts from God and savor each occurrence.

I notice these graces show up in the quiet, unhurried days of my life. The days that start with a rested body and stillness in prayer are the days they are more likely to occur. Sometimes, in the midst of demanding scheduling, if I pause, breathe and pay attention to my blessings, I might sense a light grace touch my soul. Other times, it is the breath and pause that brings refreshment.

What I can do to open myself to these graces God gifts me is protect my life from living at a high speed of constant demands and stress. I choose, sometimes better than other times, to align my life with what I value:

-time for listening to God and my people,

-a simpler lifestyle,

-contentment with less, believing I have enough,

-resting even if unfinished with a task,

-letting go of needing to have everything perfect,

-playing and being creative,

-spending time in the outdoors and

-allowing time to putter and think.

I wonder if this is what the man and woman experienced in the first Garden in Time; when Time began and there was time for everything. No hurrying. No deadlines. Walking with the Holy Presence and being fully present. All was perfection and goodness and soaking in the extravagant love of the Beloved Trinity.

This is what I imagine when I experience the crystal clear stillness of deep-souled knowing that all is very well.

 

Photo Credit: Deb Turnow


Melanie Horning is a brand-new Grammy looking at life with fresh lenses through a baby’s eyes. She enjoys books, a good laugh, running with her husband and soft-serve ice cream. God is redeeming her perfectionism and control issues. She counts it a privilege to be a companion to people through spiritual direction and friendship.

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