On Pilgrimage

On Pilgrimage

One of the reasons for my silence in recent months…

St. Val the Urban Monastic

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I promised myself for Lent I’d write.

But what to write?

The Urban Monastic is on pilgrimage.  Okay, yes, but technically????

I’m homeless.  And have been.  Since the beginning of February.

Roving from shelter site to shelter site (literally a different site every night of the week) while the shelters last (we have no year-round shelters, so only ’til the end of March) is a pilgrimage right enough.  Granted it seems a bit like the kind of pilgrimage Pooh and Piglet took around a tree — following their own tracks in the snow and looking for what made them — but time is moving in a forward and linear direction, whether I seem to be moving in anything but circles or not.

Circumstances are complicated, nuanced, and more than I really want to get into on so many levels.  2013 broke me, plain-and-simple.  It is what it is, but…

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What’s that noise?

Extremely worthy of your time for a very good laugh from one of my favorite guinea pig blogs.

Cavy Adventures

At the end of this summer, I purchased the best product ever to store my summer clothes.  They were called “Space Bags”.  The bags were advertised as ‘space savers’.  You load you clothes or other items into it, seal it, and then vacuum out the air.  Easy.

The day I got the Space Bags, I packed up 99% of my summer clothes into them, sealed it, and vacuumed out the air.  I had these three flat bags that were about one-half of their original size.  I just needed a place to store them.  I decided the best place to put the Space Bags was under my bed in its ‘storage area’.  Summer clothing stored, space saved, and it was all easy.  Out of sight; out of mind.

*Fast Forward to December*

I was sleeping on Saturday morning when I heard a loud rustling coming from under my bed.  “Alfalfa,” I…

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For dear friends who are dear saints

On love and frirndship from the sister blog — VKS

St. Val the Urban Monastic

I posted this as my gratitude for yesterday on my Gratitude page.  I have a Gratitude page, did you notice this?  I update it daily, even when I’m not writing elsewhere.  I thought this thought deserved its own post.  Love you C & D!

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Gratitude entry for 22 NOV 2013

I am grateful for dear friends who are dear saints

There is a great grace in the gentle and quiet love of abiding friendship, among the communion if saints, amid a rising storm (that exact sentiment being exactly why there is a communion of saints).  There is so much grace in: “We will not try to fix you, to force you, we very much wish to just love you, please just be.”

But that can be a very difficult grace to embrace at times.

I’m getting better at it.

It is those quiet moments of love that Christ’s love is…

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Forgetting my first love

From the sister blog, Thomas à Kempis on the love of God, found praying on a dark day.

St. Val the Urban Monastic

I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have perservered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. — Revelation 2:2-5b (NIV)

Friday was a rough day. A friend of mine has been very ill with something very serious. I helped her decide to skive off work Friday and go to the ER. She was waffling, and I told her not to waffle. She left Friday morning, and I didn’t have much information until after I got home Friday evening.

Thursday night I was waffling on whether or…

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*KNOCK! KNOCK!*…ooooh, nevermind

*KNOCK! KNOCK!*…ooooh, nevermind

There really are times in life when I wish I didn’t require grace. Discipleship #FAIL

St. Val the Urban Monastic

First of all, this is to say that I do clean up well, and generally offer a touch of class to my Halloween attire.  I don’t do scary, I do classy, historic, period, clever, or literary.  I used to ride horses, I keep the helmet around for just such occasions, and I was dressed and pressed in four layers of clothing to suggest fox hunting.

Because that’s how I roll.

And again, I clean up well…but I don’t roll out of bed in perfectly pressed clothing, shapewear, hair product, and make-up.

So…that said…

Laundry day.  Home with the Ridiculous Creature (new roommates’ not-that-bright Papillion), sorting laundry upstairs, he’s downstairs.

Door.  Bell.  Rings.

The Ridiculous Creature takes off barking, with all ferocity, up the stairs to me:

“INTRUDERS!!! DO SOMETHING!!!”

I mentioned laundry day, right?

So I go downstairs in what I have on: white flannel conversation heart print pajama bottoms…

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What defines you?

Very worthy of a reblog, something that made me think this morning.

cookiecrumbstoliveby

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
e. e. cummings

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Pacific Rim Trail / Ucluelet, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada / Julie Cook / 2011

I imagine if you ask people what it is that defines who they are, most people would respond with something associated with their work or job. It is as if they are a product of the job. I had written an entire little preamble to today’s topic about work, jobs and identity..of how we tend to let work or the job suck up our identity but I really didn’t like where that seemed to be leading…feeling as if I began veering off base.

My intention and my thoughts here are to go much deeper than…

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God never tires of us

Still here, but trying to adjust (and cope) with just too much change and upheval in life. This is a good word, and it blessed my day. May it bless yours as well.

Keeping Company

Consider the following, from a recent report on the homily given by Pope Francis on 13th October, in the National Catholic Reporter:

Fortunately, the Christian knows that “we can be unfaithful, but he [God] cannot: He is ‘the faithful one,’” he added.

One woman in the crowd shed tears as Pope Francis said that God in his mercy “never tires of stretching out his hand to lift us up, to encourage us to continue our journey, to come back and tell him of our weakness, so that he can grant us his strength.”

“This is the real journey: to walk with the Lord always, even at moments of weakness, even in our sins.”

God never tires of us. Amen.

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