On the eve of my 70th year: a Psalm 90 meditation

The span of our life is seventy years,
perhaps in strength even eighty;

Today is my birthday eve.

My favorite coffee spot has sent me a coupon for a free cup of celebration coffee. I’ll drop by and perhaps treat myself to something yummy to go with it.

Satisfy us by your loving-kindness in the morning; *
so shall we rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.

Later today I’ll hop on a plane and fly to Dallas to spend my birthday with my family. United upgraded me to first class for the easy flight.

So teach us to number our days *
that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.

Tomorrow morning I’ll drive to Southlake to worship with one of my dearest friends, the Rev. Alan Bentrup. The church had already reached their Covid capacity but he said he’d find a place for me.

May the graciousness of the Lord our God be upon us; *
prosper the work of our hands;
prosper our handiwork.

And I’ll be praying and pondering: how will I celebrate the gift of another year that is most loving of God and loving of my neighbor?

Our church today

It’s Sunday and my Bend family is kind of between churches. I checked around, and Bend still has COVID safety protocols in place (yay! everyone masking). But that meant there wasn’t much in the way of church that would actually be worship for a third and sixth grader.

Still it’s Sunday. So I looked around for how to do church today. First, I reminded my grandboys why we do church ( well, lots of reasons—but one is to give God a gift of our time).

We said the Lord’s Prayer, put some kid’s praise music on, and and drove to a nearby labyrinth at the Lutheran church and walked our worship.

As is their labyrinth walking custom, the boys ran the path in, paused at the center, and walked a straight line back out.

While I walked my more contemplative prayer, my ears were filled with the sounds of my grandsons running and playing and laughing around the church’s beautiful prayer garden.

Nearly an hour later, when we left, one grandboy said, “That felt good.”

And God said, “It is very good.”

Evacuating to Peter Rabbit….

A year or so ago, my grandsons were watching a movie with me, and it turned kind of scary. One of them said, “Evacuate to Peter Rabbit!!!”

So we switched to a more calm, funny, comfortable movie.

It’s become a catch phrase for me whenever things get a bit too much.

Today, as a tropical storm/hurricane approaches Houston, I’m evacuating to Peter Rabbit.

My son and daughter-in-law are going on a 13th anniversary trip this week, and I had offered (such a sacrifice) months ago to fly to Oregon and work remotely and be with the grandboys.

The plan had been to leave tomorrow, right around when we were expecting the tropical storm to hit. The Diocese told us to work from home today and tomorrow (which is what I’ve been doing for a year and a half), so I changed my flight, and all connections working, I’ll have evacuated to my office in Bend, Oregon.

If I hadn’t already been through my share of hurricanes and floods, I’d feel a little bad. But I had promised to be there for my family, and I wanted to be sure I could keep my commitment. I think it may make my children feel better to know I am out of harm’s way.

As I boarded the plane, the walkway to the plane was starting to hold water, and there was a leak I had to walk under to get onboard.

So Peter Rabbit prayers for us all as we navigate whatever challenge floats in front of us today.

Here’s a carrot.

A twenty four hour lark in Iceland

With twenty four hours between flights, my friend and I rented a car for an anything can happen twenty four hour lark in Iceland.

We had planned to go on a scenic road trip, but the weather was too cold and rainy. We sat in the warmth of the car, listening to music, and enjoyed watching the rain.

Our challenge was that we had not made an alternate plan, and we had no internet. We decided to get on the road and see what happened.

It was gray, wet, and chilly as we left the airport. The view outside the car was dreary.

We decided we would drive to Reykjavik for lunch. Using information found on photographs on our phones from prior trips, we were able to return to a favorite place from years ago. I had Arctic char and skyr mousse with rhubarb. It was beyond delicious.

We then went to church and prayed. The hushed quiet in the beautiful Hallgrimskirkja was a grace-filled gift.

The rain stopped, and we had a stroll around downtown Reykjavik.

We then walked to a favorite coffee roaster and had afternoon coffee.

The sky began to clear as we drove back to our airport hotel. It’s was a fine day—and we have sixteen hours left before we board the plane to return to the United States.