A Lesson from Squirrels

The Holiday season is upon us. This time last year, the Christmas tree was up, decorated with our favorite ornaments and the African nativity set was brought up from the basement placed on the mantle where it could be admired. As of today, there is no tree and the nativity set is still in the basement collecting dust. Maybe tomorrow I will unwrap the tangled Christmas lights? Maybe? There is no rush.

I listened to car horns blowing in traffic, irritated drivers trying to reach the places that held the items they need to buy for friends and love ones. Unfriendly walkers moving at a fast pace, head down, not making eye contact with anyone, because they are on a mission to beat time. It is wonderful to see people out again and yes we are still in a pandemic and yes we must still be safe. And yes, we have returned to a sense of normalcy; the normalcy of once again, not seeing each other and the normalcy of only being concern with our single agendas, the normalcy of rushing that we end up missing the most delicate things of life. Maybe the squirrels can help us recall what it is to experience what it feels like to be fully alive.

Walking with all the car noise and chatter around me, I heard a ruffling in leaves that were raked in a pile. Two squirrels were running and playing with each other; jumping in and out of the pile of leaves. When I got close, they stopped and got quiet until I passed by. Once I passed, the squirrels returned to their joy of running and jumping, chasing each other and being free. For a moment, I was a little jealous of the squirrels enjoying the unseasonal warm weather. For a moment, I didn’t want to return to normalcy as I remembered it.

There is no rush!

Be Well My Friends!

Rev JacquiP


Hope: Again?

This is the first Sunday in Advent 2021 and today the word is Hope. I struggle with the word, hope. I don’t know if my hoping to have a better world or my hoping to complete my doctor of ministry degree really gets me motivated to create those possibilities, but I’m working my way through this thought. Here is why. About 4 years ago at a coffee bar, while this young man read poetry and played sounds on his folk guitar that made me feel like I could fly above the clouds, he said, “There is no such thing as hope.” Hoping for things in life or hoping to be something in life, it just doesn’t get you to the places you want to be. His thought was that hope is just a pipe dream that you can wish over and over again. I remember this night well. This was the night I realized and accepted that my Mom was not going to live for very much longer. She had stage 4 lung cancer and all I could do that night was turn to Hope.

Hope is breathing through the difficulties that life throws at you. Hope is walking through the storms, seeing the rain beating on your face, watching the hurricanes toss you around, but you move anyway. Hope is believing that there will be an end to this crazy pandemic! Hope is being vulnerable before something or someone that refuses to see you. Hope is praying for a sick friend or relative because they have no one else. Hope is loving a partner who is struggling with their own demons. Hope is reaching inside your purse and coming up with a few coins to buy a candy bar for your crying child who throws a tantrum and everyone looks at you like you’re crazy. Hope is praying that you will get up in the morning, ready to go to a job you don’t like, but it pays the bills, but one day it will get better, because you continue to hope.

I disagree with the young poet with the smooth sounding guitar. Hope pushes you to dream, to have vision, to imagine the possibilities.

Hope is where we start. In this season of Advent, my prayer for you is that you continue to hope for the very best for you and for others. Imagine us all hoping for the very best for and in our world. Imagine us now walking towards that hope.

Be Bless My Friends!

Rev. JacquiP

Christmas Tree or Not

We put up a Christmas Tree! Last year we didn’t and never missed it. Last year we opened up gifts, ate a lot of food, drank a lot of booze, attended church services; of course maybe not in that order. But last year we celebrated the day, no biggie, just the usual, with no tree. But this year is different. We needed a Christmas Tree. We needed to feel Christmas. We needed to see the lights, smell the fragrance of evergreen, take out family ornaments and the star; oh my goodness the star, how could we have missed putting up a tree last year with the star on top??!! We took advantage of last year’s Christmas which had become just a day where yes, we did a some things a little different, but we treated this special day with a sense of arrogance and privilege.

Last year, we took life for granted, but this year we can’t afford to make that mistake.

We are now forced, and it’s a good thing really, to live out loud; to live like we will not have another chance. We are now forced to live being ourselves, not wondering what others think of us, because everyone has been forced to do something that we have all failed to do for years; Live! A pandemic forced us to look at ourselves; to really see what it means to be who we are. Some of us were appalled at what we had become from years of selfish abuse and others were elated that they were able to love after years of trying to belong. We will not be the same when this pandemic ends. We should not want to be the same when this pandemic ends. We should not want to hurt, hate, kill, steal, or be a complete jerk when this pandemic ends. We are forced to be better, to do better, to live better, to love better. We can’t return to the past years. We can’t afford to return to what we once were.

So, do me a favor. If you don’t have a Christmas tree up by now, go get one. Get a biggest and tallest one you can find. Only kidding! String those big different color bulbs on it; only if you must. Sit and admire how great a decorator you are. Have a glass of wine or some sparkling water; smile and enjoy your tree. And be thankful you are not the same person you use to be. You are better than ever.

OK. If you don’t do Christmas trees, hey that’s fine. Just know you are still better than ever.

Looking forward to seeing a better you! Oh, and better me! Wow! Imagine a better world!! It is Christmas! Anything is possible!

Luke 1:37 “For nothing will be impossible with God.”

Happy Holidays!!!