Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Blue Tuesday


In one of my moments of not very quiet desperation, I asked a fellow St. Francis lover and friend if he ever suffered from depression. He hadn't. Ever. But his wife had. Then I asked if she ever felt conflicted about taking medication for it. Turns out she had, but she took it anyway because she knew what happened when she didn't. I get it.


I've been taking a medicine for fibromyalgia pain that is also used to treat depression. MERCY! Even if I could continue to endure the new onset of migraines and pummeling depression, call me crazy, but it just seems a little counter-productive if the pain is worse, too. Like, much worse. Sometimes finding relief from symptoms feels like I'm playing Russian roulette with my brain. It takes weeks before I realize the awful way I feel it isn't just me--how I am. It's actually the medicine that is supposed to help me feel better.


I don't have the money for alternative therapies, so I'm left with Medicaid, which I thank God for! I'm not a person who is opposed to pharmaceuticals, I happen to know a few saved my life. But I'm having a hell of a time, literally, finding a combination that's working. Currently, I'm on Wellbutrin and Savella. The addition of the Savella seems to be the trouble. I made an appointment to drag myself back to the doctor, and to the proverbial drawing board, but...


I don't know. I think I'll ask to see a pain management specialist.


My dear friends, do you have any other thoughts on what I should do? Do you know of someone I can talk to? Chime in anytime.


love,
mair

Monday, April 26, 2010

They Like Me! They Really Like Me!

Burney, Claudia Mair. God Alone Is Enough: A Spirited Journey with Teresa of Avila. Paraclete. Jul. 2010. c.176p. ISBN 978-1-55725-661-4. $16.99. REL
This is Burney’s (Amanda Bell Brown mystery series) first nonfiction title. She uses her practiced skill as a writer and narrator to tell the story of this 16th-century Spanish mystic and nun, expounding some of the trickier points of Teresa’s mysticism and offering a good deal of her own story in the process. VERDICT This refreshingly unstuffy book revitalizes Teresa and will appeal not only to African American women but to Christians across race and gender lines as well.



Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sunshine House Sabbath

Okay, so I saw a video clip of Lauren Winner  recently talking about the Sabbath. One of my publishers, Paraclete Press, published her book MUD HOUSE SABBATH, which she promoted with said video. Sabbath keeping has always eluded me. Like, when exactly does it begin? And when is it over? Does the whole "no work" thing mean you don't have to wash your dishes? I'm just sayin'. What did God do on his day of rest?

Of course, most of the details about Sabbath keeping--save exactly what God did--are all things that are easy to find out, if I were remotely interested in doing that on today, and sadly, I am not. But I did latch on to one thing Lauren said: to do something you enjoy. That I can handle.

On this cool Saturday, in the rain's aftermath, I'm resting in the best way I know how to, at least at the moment. I am doing nothing in particular. Now and then, I lift some prayers to my Beloved. I read a bit, sitting here in my bright blue, orange in pink undies, with no desire to put real clothes on, and I CANNOT believe I told you I've spent most of the day in my draws. I'm watching a movie on Lifetime, Lying to Be Pefect. It's about an insecure, fat woman who pretends to be someone else so she can write for the magazine she works for, and ends up taking her own alter ego's advice, losing weight, and becoming fabulous, only to realize she was fabulous all along. I'm ridiculously into it, which just goes to show you...

It's very painful to type. I have the misfortune of having carpal tunnel in both hands and wrists, so I can't do much work on the computer. But it's oddly very difficult to just stop all my cyber piddling, and even real writerly work, to simply rest my hands, just for a week! But sometimes doing nothing is the better part, even if you're not sitting at the feet of Jesus absorbing every word he says, but rather, watching television with him, and resting your mind. And um, your hands, except to write a short blog. Hey, give me a minute to get used to the idea.

Okay, enough typing. OUCH!

How is your Sabbath day, my dear friends?

love,
mair-francis

Friday, April 23, 2010

Rain and Tea

Today my lovie Lisa Samson's tea shop, Cuppa: A Tea Cafe is having its grand opening. I got there before the doors opened, and Lisa and I shared a quiet time of prayer while the scones baked. A short time later, as I drank coffee--she sells coffee, too--our neighbor Karen stopped by to be Lisa's first customer on her first "real" day in business. I sat near the window so I can wait for my husband, all swagger and milk chocolate fineness, to come into view. It's his first day of work. Not that he hasn't been working all along, creating this logo, beautiful murals--oh, you have to see them!-- and and replicas of the brushed-stroked tea cup stretched across the window panes near the front entrance. It is raining today. The air is cool. We would have preferred a sunny opening day, but isn't rain perfect for tea and scones? And you can have your pick of sweet or savory. Or both! And one of 52 kinds of tea.

Ironically, I had coffee at the shop, but came back home to the Sunshine House and drank a cup of my favorite blend that I purchased. It's the Cuppa Favorite pick this week. It's called Starry Night.
Dear Lord, I could bathe in it! I could wear it as my favorite perfume. It's as whimsical and evocative as the painting that shares it's name. And with a bit of cream on top. OMGosh! I wish you were here with me today. We could sip our starry night, and simply soak in the graces that come our way, even when it rains. Or maybe, especially when it does.

"We have all known the long loneliness, and we have learned that the only solution is love, and that love comes with community." -- Dorothy Day.

Much love,
mair-franics

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Sunshine Abbey

Hello my lovies!

I have so much to tell you. I've been thinking, and brooding about a new venture. Mind you, a lot of thinking, and brooding has been going on with bff Lisa Samson, and her fabulous Cuppa: A Tea Cafe swings open the door of hospitalitea (I couldn't resist) on tomorrow, April 23, 2010.  But I am preparing to open the doors of another kind of hospitality, namely, soulcare. Yes, lovies. You heard it here first, on June 1, 2010, The Sunshine Abbey will be offering one on one soulcare, workshops, and retreats, for creative, sacred living. Our first offering, besides the spiritual direction, will be Pray, Paper, Scissors, which teaches participants to connect with God through collage as the "art of prayer." The first workshop will be in Lexington, KY, but later, an online workshop will be available, and hopefully a book soon after. There will also be products, including ebooks, soulcare kits, and beautifully illustrated cards. I can't wait to show you. Unfortunately, you're going to have to be a bit patient with me, especially on my graphics, as my talented amazing hubby has been busy painting murals for Cuppa. So, imagine the picture above, only a better logo, with Ken's unique spin on a Peter Max, Beatlesish Yellow Submarine slash Abbey Road feel. I'm so excited, and I can't wait to share more, and to serve YOU!

Much love,
mair-francis,
Abbess of The Sunshine Abbey (okay, can you tell I'm gonna LOVE saying that?)

Monday, April 19, 2010

What Does New Life Look Like?

What does new life look like? Maybe it resembles a baby chick coming out of it's shell. All I know is I feel soft and curious, more alive than ever. Sure, I'm a little sore from slowly pecking through the hard shell of years of defenses that once protected me. And I'm not yet sturdy. I'm simply new, possessing all the stuff to become the solid, sassy woman full of hope and possibilities God knit me in my mother's womb to be. I'm looking at the world around me with my just-born eyes, and wow! All things are possible! I'm new enough here to believe it. The Creator, who spoke worlds into being, has said so. All things are possible; that's what new life--my new life--looks like to me.


How about you?


In love and hope,
mair-francis

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Christ is Risen!

Truly He is risen!

"You don't have to wait for the End. I am, right now, Resurrection and Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all. Do you believe this?" John 11:25, The Message


Shout out "Christ is risen," if you believe it.

CHRIST IS RISEN!