Friday, September 11, 2009

Little By Little

"What I want to bring out is how a pebble cast into a pond causes ripples that spread in all directions. Each one of our thoughts, words, and deeds is like that."-- Dorothy Day

A few days ago, I hung my icons on a small, east facing wall by the red sofa of love, but I placed my picture of St. Terese, the Little Flower on the wall beside the front door. God is the head of this little house, but I've dubbed her its patron saint. My friend Bethany gave me the portrait of her cradling a bouquet of roses. The picture came to me just after I saw one of St. Terese's books in Borders, and was moved to pray right there in the aisle, "St. Terese, the Little Flower, send one of your roses to me. Pray to God for me."

The very next day the picture was in my mail box.

Did I tell you I fell in love with this house the first time I saw a picture of it on Craigslist? It's odd, but from that moment on I called it "my little house". Sure, I flirted with other houses, but none gave me the feeling this one did. And here I am, sitting in a miracle typing this.

We still have too many boxes. Honestly, that Ken Burney is a bigger pack rat than I am! Don't think tempers haven't flared as we've dealt with this radical change of life. But there is still love in the walls here. And we are changing. Change isn't always easy.

I've spent these eleven days changing my rhythm. Actually, I've spent them creating a rhythm out of the chaos that was my life. I'm now, unbelievably, a morning person. The long gone "breakfast" meal I so dutifully prepared as a newlywed, has returned. Breakfast was the first meal to go, lovies. But before the food gets cooked, I trudge down the street in the dark at 6:30 am for morning prayer with Lisa, every day except Sunday. At 7:00 I wake the kids for school and get them out by eight. I do whatever chores are necessary, and then I write. Three nights a week my family shares meals with the Samsons. And you know what, living in an intentional, new monastic community is far simpler than I believed it would be.

It isn't very romantic, though there are days, like Labor day, when we are fairly enamored of one another. I don't always feel like going to morning prayer, but Lisa and I are faithful. Shared meals requires that you come out of self-imposed exile and give of your time and self. In fact, so much of community is just that, giving of yourself. We don't always know what to do, and in those cases, we choose to love the best way we can.

But I've noticed it's the little things that are changing us. The big, dramatic movement is over. We are settling into the dailyness of this existence. We pray. We eat. We love. We watch for Christ's coming through the broken. We are Matthew 25 people, waiting to serve Christ the prostitute. We are pebbles tossed carelessly in a pond, amazed by the wonder of ripples.

It's a wonderful little thing.



Heidi Renee said...

mmmmmmmm, oh yeah.

savoring this sweetness on you this a.m. mair - these words are so good to hear.

doing a rhythmic, smooth, dance of joy with you this morning - so good to hear you settling in.

Brenda said...

I am so glad I found your blog, I think by way of Mystele's blog. Your words are very inspiring; I misinterpreted your last post. I thought you said that God gives you a new cup of mercy everyday. When I put that in my journal the next day the cup ended up being too large for the table that I drew it on. And, I thought, God's mercy is too magnanimous for a little cup. New mercies everyday, that is His promise. Thank you for the reminder.

Dee Hines said...

Hi Mair-Francis, I am new to your blog and blogging period. I had a grad class that required us to set one up and now I'm trying to use it for fun now that the class is over. I stumbled on your writing at the library with wounded. I was so moved by that book, I loved how the character would say share with me Jesus. I have read everything you have out now and can't wait for your next thing. I am amazed at your journey and am in awe at how you allow the Lord to use you. I was born and raised Pentecostal so I got a good laugh out of some of the scenes in Deadly Charm. My hubby of 19 years was attending a baptist church when we married so I converted so to speak but call myself a bapticostal. There are things I love about both denominations. Ok, I've gabbed enough, that's one of my gifts. Can you tell? I enjoyed your post today, it was refreshing and helps me to see how blessed we are and how little we really need. Thanks for your transparency.
ragamuffin diva: Little By Little

Rhonda Jeanne said...

Glad you're settling in! Love you girl!


Dee Hines said...

Thanks Rhonda I feel so welcomed.

ragamuffin diva said...

Thanks, ladies. And Brenda and Dee, welcome to my little slice of cyberspace. Many blessings.