Earth Gratitude

earth day card jodi gehr

We need to care for the earth so that it may continue, as God willed, to be a source of life for the entire human family.
~Pope Francis

Card name: Earth Gratitude

I am one who believes in the Divine birthing of our planet and the life-force that is poured out for us by our mere existence in this dynamic, evolving, growing, breathing earth home. I am one who exists as part of this environment, receiving the mysterious flow of energy and outpouring of nourishment with open hands. I bow my head at the splendor of shades and shapes, the rebirth of nature through the sacred spirals of the seasons, the purpose and patterns that are sometimes evident and always sought after. The waters of life flow through us—cleansing, renewing, blessing us with existence. Nature gives to us without hesitation. I am one who receives with awe. Continue reading “Earth Gratitude”

In God’s world every day is Earth Day.

nature GodGod has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools. ~John Muir

Celebrate the 45th annual Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22, by combining your love of nature and creativity in a project called “Soul Collage® and the Environment”.

Create a collage that represents your feelings toward our environment and/or your feeling about how humans interact with the environment.

Be creative!! Show your love, anger, doubt, concerns, joys, gratitude… however your creative spirit leads you. After you create your collage, post in the comments or email a picture and a few sentences explaining what it means to you: jodigehr@gmail.com OR jessicamgehr@gmail.com Continue reading “In God’s world every day is Earth Day.”

We are made in the image of God

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy” ~Rumi

We are made in the image of God; we are created to create.life a work of art

Perhaps you doubt whether there is a creative bone in your body, but you would not be giving your Creator the benefit of the doubt. Everyone has an Inner Artist, but often our Inner Critic expresses itself more ardently. And we believe in the voice that whispers (or screams), “I’m not creative. I don’t have talent. I’m too self-conscious to create in front of others.”  Continue reading “We are made in the image of God”

Just float…Gently down the stream, Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, Life is but a dream

When you feel like you’re sinking, just float.

Lie back and rest.

You will be held.

float struggleMade in the image of God, we are created to create. We are meant to DO something with what we are given—our ideas, our talents and our dreams. God planted them within us for a reason. They are conceived without our knowing, but we sense it. Something is happening within us and we must take notice. Continue reading “Just float…Gently down the stream, Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, Life is but a dream”

Altars: A Sacred Space

“Altars can be very powerful…We acknowledge an incarnate God who speaks through symbols and the things of our everyday lives, and responds to our longings. A personal altar is a sacred space where we can re-center and reconnect with the Holy Presence dwelling in our midst–a place to honor the desires of lives with beauty. Altars help give voices to the longings bubbling up within us, long before we can put them into words.” ~The Artist’s Rule, Christine Valters Paintner

DSC_0959

I have to confess that having an altar was not my idea. It was a gift of love from my daughter, Jessica, and my friend, Joyce, when I was going through a difficult time. I came home from school one day to furniture rearranged and an altar created with some of my favorite sacred objects, as well as some new ones Continue reading “Altars: A Sacred Space”

Wise or stupid? A Journey to Wisdom

I am spending time this week preparing a retreat called Journey to Wisdom. Sometimes I am so sure I know what is wise and what is not-so-wi….well, stupid. I can be pretty quick about making that determination in a variety of situations. In educational jargon, I would say I am proficient at determining wise vs. stupid. I am particularly adept at examining the dilemmas or behaviors of others. Actually, I give myself an A+. I’m fairly certain, even, that I’ve done some not-so-w, well, stupid, things myself. I guess we can all have our stupid moments.  So what does it really mean to have wisdom?

Wikipedia tells us, “Wisdom (sophia) is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense and insight, with good intentions.” Having knowledge presumes there is some seeking and hopefully, some finding. Knowledge and experience (according to my experience) come from learning, reading, living, asking questions, trying something new, keeping an open-mind, listening.  And insight can come from reflection, observing, asking, seeking, creating, listening, discussing, meditating and praying–I imagine not an exhaustive list.

Seeker1So can we ever have wisdom? Knowing all, experiencing all, understanding all–sounds more like the definition of God, than of myself. I do not know, experience or understand very much, truth be told. Yet still, I seek.

“The monk, a universal archetype of the search for the divine, represents everything in you that leans toward the sacred, all that reaches for what is eternal.” -Christine Valters Paintner, The Artist’s Rule

This seeking, as a spiritual journey, is never complete. And despite my accuracy in judging wise vs. stupid, I believe it is a journey of a lifetime. I will continue to search, to seek, to lean toward the sacred. So this is what I do with SoulFully You. I seek. I seek to know more about myself and God. I seek so I can share.  I read, learn, discuss, pray and create. I consult my inner monk and inner artist.

The inner monk and the inner artist are archetypes that we will explore on the Journey to Wisdom retreat. I will share more with you on a future blog post (after the retreat.) Sharing too much beforehand would not be wise…well, it would be stupid. 🙂

Card name: Seeker

Journey to Wisdom: Using SoulCollage® for Prayer and Reflection

journey

Awakening your creativity using the SoulCollage® process is just the first step in discovering parts of Self and Spirit. Images chosen to create a collage card hold a special place in the moment and time you are co-creating with God. As you are gathering images, cutting and pasting, rearranging and reflecting, your images will guide you to a new awareness and reveal a deeper level of thoughts and feelings. This is the birthing of a SoulCollage® card, but giving birth is just the beginning of a journey.

“You can never step into the same river; for new waters are always flowing on to you.”
-Heraclitis of Ephesus

Your creations continue to bring new insights and wisdom as you return to them in reflection. Think of your creation as the river with water flowing over it, bringing new ideas, experiences and God whispers from sacred listening.

Using one’s SoulCollage® cards for prayer, meditation and reflection is a process called “reading” your cards“The intention of a SoulCollage® reading is to provide a way that our personal and powerful card images can actually speak aloud to us about important life questions. Images have a way of bypassing the chatter of our logical minds and nudging our deep Soul wisdom where intuitive answers can be found and spoken. Doing a reading in a supportive, small group is especially powerful because Souls love the silent embrace of witnesses.”
~ Seena B. Frost

Using journaling, individual reflection, group interaction and “I am one who…” statements, you can deepen your spiritual life using your collage cards. Cards made during unique, special or difficult times of your life, circle back to bring you wisdom as you continue on your spiritual journey.

Anticipatory Joy ~ Vorfreude!

Vorfreude, a German word meaning “anticipatory joy”, captures that bursting-with-excitement, overflowing-with-enthusiasm, oh-my-God-I-can-hardly-wait-for-the-awesomeness-to-come state of being. Sometimes there really are no words to explain our feelings. Lucky for us, there are different languages, perspectives, experiences and images that can bring us closer to understanding ourselves and the Divine.
Where does this bubbling-over joy come from?
Is our joy from the anticipation itself? Perhaps. Sometimes.
The Germans have a saying, “Vorfreude ist die schönste Freude!” which means “The greatest joy lies in the anticipation.” How wonderful it is to look forward to something with this kind of joy!
I believe this joy can be sustained for longer than that experience we are looking forward to.
As we stand in the flow of Divine Love, we receive the anticipatory joy to live our life on purpose, with passion and creativity, born for loving God and others.
I love this new word, Vorfreude.

Vorfreude. It’s how I feel about a lot of things right now.
About a Benedictine Pilgrimage to Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic this summer.
About Benedictine spirituality and “ora et labora”, my prayer and work.
About writing and finishing a project started years ago.
About SoulFully You retreats and practicing SoulCollage®.
About contemplative prayer and photography.
About a new school year (only after a joy-filled summer, insert smiley face).
About the new babies coming into our family this year.
About “Jessica becoming”, watching my child grow into a woman.
About my family, my faith, my friends.

Yes, I love this new word, Vorfreude.
More to come. Join me for the JOY!

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