*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:


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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Gratitude and looking toward my lesson this Sunday

Gratitude and looking toward my lesson this Sunday


I was looking at the church newsletter Wednesday morning. I knew I was teaching this weekend, but had forgotten which story.

Hannah and Samuel.

I wrote this earlier this year. I won’t be teaching this lesson this way to the preschoolers and kindergarteners on Sunday, but Hannah’s is a story that gives me chills and pause:

Could you pray to God to give you the one thing you want most, and in the same breath offer it back to him?

Day 3 — Gratitude (Monday, 18 February – Monday, 4 March, 2013)

And sorry for the silence, but my move has been — in a lot of ways — a tough transition. Grace and peace to you. — VKS

What defines you?

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


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

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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Looking ahead?

From the sister blog…blessings for your Sunday — VKS

St. Val the Urban Monastic


I’m sitting in my new place, home alone tonight, thinking and studying for my lesson tomorrow: I’m teaching “Joseph’s Later Life” to the 3-to-5 set.

I could tell you the story of Joseph upside-down, inside-out and backwards, as I’ve — oddly — taught it almost every single year since I’ve been teaching Sunday School at all.  Joseph’s story (see Genesis 37-50) is the story in the Bible on providence (apart from, of course, Christ’s story).

I have a lot to be thankful for this week, but I’m afraid my life has just been a muddle of disordered affections in recent days.

The life of a man like Joseph is easier to read when you know how the story ends.  Uncertainty is harder to deal with in day-to-day pieces.

In so many ways life overwhelms me right now (not the least of them being crazy Santa Ana winds…

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Its Not Easy: Building Community

As an introvert, yup. This is a good field guide of sorts for introverts.

Dorothy Day Center for Faith & Justice

2013-05-29 19.45.37

A few weeks ago I wrote a piece on this blog about not going alone in this life and the importance of community.  But I also know that building community is not easy.  When I put the microscope on my own life, I realize that I am a classic example of how we all struggle to seek, create and nurture authentic community.  So I want share about what I am learning, mostly through my own mistakes, misgivings and fear.  Creating authentic community is always a challenge, but I continue to seek it because it fills my basic human need for deep connection with others, and I believe that it is the key ingredient to a sense of solidarity or the understanding that our fates are bound together with others’ on this journey.

First, I am introverted, which means that I gain energy from being alone, being still, being quiet.  And…

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