What's Keeping You Grounded?

Surely God is in this place: we stand on holy ground
— from Common Prayer

Flip flop feet on hot concrete,

Hello Summer

We try to keep cool and light; 

take flight on vacations

push off and up into the air from the high dive

leap over the sprinkler

soar on a swing

climb the tree to make a fort on the highest branch

pluck blueberries

pick off tomatoes

slow down for summer so we can proceed to lift off and cool off and take off time to rest.

We have popsicle push-up, bomb-pop, snow-cone, ice-cream treats, to beat the heat

the sun, the soil. the gravity, the toil, we know

but we remember too; the ascension, the spirit, the wind, the living water, the heavenly hosts.

As we remain grounded here on earth, knowing

It's not only as it appears; the soil, the gravel, the dirt and dust; because He sent His spirit that rides upon the clouds, to remind us that

our work here is a prayer, our rest is prayer, our play is a prayer and prayers lift and drift towards heaven. 

We remember these words;

Surely God is in this place; we stand on Holy Ground
— Common Prayer

In the memoire Lab Girl award winning scientist Hope Jahren describes soil as "a funny thing, in that it isn't really anything in and of itself but is instead the product of two different worlds coming together. Soil is the naturally produced graffiti that results from tension between the biological and geological realms." Two different worlds coming together like heaven and earth combined, like the physical and the spiritual. Just dirt, but holy. Just ordinary, but sacred. Ephesians 4 reminds me of this idea too;

But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says:

“When he ascended on high,
he took many captives
and gave gifts to his people.”
(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
— Ephesians 4:7-16

Out my 2nd story window the shift into Summer is apparently clear too.

The rooftops, the green trees with swaying leaves, the sunset view of solitude was serene, but yesterday I laughed to look out and find company. Hello high school neighbor boys, with ropes and planks of wood. Their feet dangle from way too high branches. I'm nervous I might be calling an ambulance soon. One turns his head and looks straight towards my desk. It's awkward, distracting, yet quaint/charming. It reminds me of my own Summertime adventures.

With Oliver's 4th birthday at the end of June, we 've been browsing swing sets for the backyard. 

"I never get tired of swinging" my mom tells me this week. "I still love to swing." 

But my friend warns me "The package says it takes 6 hours to assemble, yet it took us double the time." Since Jeff is weary of projects, we wonder if maybe the swing set gift idea can wait a while. We will see.

Today after breakfast Oliver went to a blueberry farm with his Grandmom. His tiny fingers plucking off the berries with eager joy to fill the little pail. And now they are baking blueberry muffins in her kitchen. The taste summer.

As far as vacationing goes this summer, after a year of not living in our own home, we decided to stay home instead of travel. Maybe there will be a last minute trip or two, but the idea of being home sounds nice.

These are the latest happenings for us as we enter into the liturgical season of Ordinary Time. I learned the themes for this season are ordinariness, faithfulness, commonness, and Church. 

“The season after Pentecost is a season of Ordinary Time. The season is ushered in after the Church is given the gift of the Holy spirit as a companion and is tasked with the charge of carrying out God’s work in the world. 

— Sacred Ordinary Days Planner

It makes me imagine being there as Jesus ascended into the sky.

Afterwards I imagine feeling the weight of gravity even more, still grounded on earth.

Then He sends His Spirit for comfort and gives us a purpose for our days, but I imagine the heart still sighs thinking about His departure.

It's a familiar feeling often accompanied with transition. It slightly reminds me of Spring turning into Summer;

The way children might feel saying goodbye to their friends on the last day or school, or the college student dismantling their dorm room and packing their car to the brim, then pulling out of the parking lot for the last time. The way a mom might feel underlying anxiety in the face of summer; the school year over and all the kids are home for all the hours and all the days.

Transition can stir up so many feelings. So to counter act this feeling I embrace the slowing down that often occurs in summer. I visualize the settling down of stirred up things; like a jar of water taken from a stream, first shaken up then calming down, debris resting again at the bottom of the jar, water looking more clear again. When work wearies the soul a little or a lot, when longings of heaven and heavenly things heavy my heart, God whispers to me; Surely I am in this place; you stand of holy ground. Their is joy and communion with Christ that is hidden and found even and especially working, resting, playing on earthly ground. 

4 grounding things I am doing this summer

  1. A prayer I am praying for my summer is psalms 91: 17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us-- yes, establish the work of our hands. 
  2. A question I am asking myself this summer; "How can I bring grace, beauty, and order to each day?" -Sally Clarkson, Own Your Life
  3. An audio book I am listening to that serves to settle my soul; Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God's Transforming Presence by Ruth Haley Barton
  4. And a quote I am remembering about being grounded;
May we keep company with children,
low to the ground.
Help us to freely form the crayon circles
and not be so particular about coloring within the lines.
May we breathe in their slowness,
keep pace with their rhythm,
embrace their smallness,
and let it be our own.
— It's Simply Tuesday, Emily Freeman