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Showing posts from 2013

Write your story in hope and joy

Earlier today I stumbled across a quote concerning the coming new year that filled me with hope instead of a desire to reach for a mountain of impossible resolutions - "Tomorrow is the first blank page in a 365 page book. Write a good one." Brad Paisley. We all have an ideal that we strive for - even this uphill idealist. But what if we looked at each day as writing ONE page instead trying to write ALL PAGES in one day? One day = one page.  Each day we have one page to celebrate, struggle, hope, strive, aspire, dream and wrestle with our ideals - and then in joy write them down. Write your own story, you are the only one with that unique perspective. Each day, each page - write a good one. Even in what seems impossible and unchangeable. In hope and joy this is the kind of story that I resolve to write and live in 2014. Happy New Year to all! What story do you want to write in the new year? One day = one page - with hope and joy. Shalom - Tara 

We all have a gift - open it!

When I was 12 years old, my college-age brother bought me an amazing gift – a stereo system complete with turntable, cassette deck, radio, speakers and a vinyl album of “Synchronicity” by the Police. The giving of this gift required lots of working overtime and thoughtfulness on my brother’s part but the receiving of this gift was one that still makes me smile years later. The memory of that Christmas is one that makes me feel a sense of home, even though the tangible gift is long gone. We all have a longing for things in life to become whole or complete, but we live with the reality of that tension that things  aren't  quite right.  In recent reading of “Undone” by Laura Sumner Truax with First Lutheran’s True Sisterhood group , I have been learning about the tension of living in-between the spaces of Saint and Sinner.  Laura writes, “(The creation story) framed and ethic and a worldview. These were stories that helped explain why brothers had a hard time getting alon

Board the Ubuntu Bus

Image found at My Hero Project There is the idea of "No man or woman is an island.” The philosophy of Ubuntu lifted up by South African culture to promote balance of relationships within community, says we are not complete when left solitary. “South Africa's first black president and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela has died at the age of 95. Mr. Mandela led South Africa's transition from white-minority rule in the 1990s, after 27 years in prison for his political activities.”( BBCNews Article ) In honor of Nelson Mandela’s life and his death this week – it’s timely to ponder the importance and meaning of “Ubuntu”. President Mandela was a man that risked everything in order to stand up against the injustice of Apartheid. This challenge was not one without fear, but fear did not keep him from stepping into the fray - for the restoration of justice for others. "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he

Jesus - the missing peace

Image found at: achurch4me Story of missing puzzle piece – When my daughter was almost one and a half, I was working on redecorating her bedroom. I bought some bright colored fabric and sewed some curtains and bought a new comforter for her new toddler bed. To complete the decorations I found a puzzle that matched the design of her curtains and spent many evenings working on it. I filled in the sky, the houses and all the people in this colorful parade scene. But when I got to placing the last piece of the puzzle, it was nowhere to be found. I searched our apartment from top to bottom, emptied the trash, a vacuumed every corner. I even checked the vacuum cleaner bag – but the missing piece was nowhere to be found. I had planned to seal the finished puzzle with puzzle glue, frame and hang it on my daughter’s bedroom wall. But now, my plans - along with the last piece of the puzzle were lost. For a day or so I sulked about the missing puzzle piece. I considered going a

Creamy Pumpkin Curry Soup

Ingredients: 2 Sweet Onions 1 stick butter Curry power Flour Vegetable Stock Garam Masala Spice Block winter squash Can of pumpkin  Pint of heavy cream Silken tofu Salt Fresh thyme Directions: Melt butter in large non stick pan. Thinly slice onions and place in pan. Cook till glossy and translucent. Add generous helping (to taste) of curry powder.  Add handful of flour to thicken mixture. Slowly add 4 cups of vegetable stock. Add Garam powder to taste. Add squash and pumpkin. Let simmer until thick and comes to a slow boil. In a separate bowl, mix tofu and heavy cream till blended smooth. Combine veggie base and cream base. If you desire a very smooth soup, blend mixture together In blender. (Suggested approach) Add additional garam, curry and salt to taste.  As a last touch, add fresh thyme and a tablespoon of white sugar to blended soup. Depending on desired thickness of soup 4-8 cups of veggie broth can be added to cream and veggie mix. Enjoy!

Pictures of hope

A few months ago, I asked friends for pictures of hope for a mini "Ted" version talk on the importance of Art and Faith. Today I put together a few pieces to be submitted for Women Create's upcoming show for 2014. It is a juried show, so I have no guarantee that these pieces will be selected, however I'm happy to have the opportunity to show these pieces for consideration as well a hopeful that for someone they will shine some light, whimsy and joy into their day. Raven's Dawn A Woman's Vision Mother and Child

We can be ourselves or not...

"The lakes hidden among the hills are saints, and the sea too is a saint who praises God without interruption in her majestic dance. The great, gashed, half-naked mountain is another of God's saints. . .  For me to be a saint means to be myself. Therefore the problem of sanctity and salvation is in fact the problem of finding out who I am and of discovering my true self. Trees and animals have no problem. God makes them what they are without consulting them, and they are perfectly satisfied. With us it is different. God leaves us free to be whatever we like. We can be ourselves or not, as we please. We are at liberty to be real, or to be unreal. We may be true or false, the choice is ours." —Thomas Merton,  New Seeds of Contemplation "We can be ourselves, or not." A tree can only be itself. As for me, I can try to hide - discard - and  diminish my true self. I can desire myself to be smarter, more organized, and way more affluent ( in whatever kind of curre

Roots of Renewal

There are days that feel out of sync. They jumble, rustle, and rattle your center until all gravity is gone. The ravens of change caw and cause you to shudder as you walk along the path ahead. Are you really blazing a trail or just settling for a scenic route to avoid the potholes. But each day, I'm told, is brand new. And the restlessness can be a sign that something exciting and purposeful is growing here. That flock of black birds could be calling me to pay some mind to the dew on the grass and the harvest in the fields that surround me. Each step could be backwards, but there is movement. There is progress. Obstacles are being faced and filled in. Rome wasn't built in a day, and roots don't grow deep overnight. Renewal sometimes needs to be wrestled with, wandered around and waited for - until one day something just fits. There are days that feel out of sync - but this day something settled in with hope and will dig deep. The ravens told me so. M

Naming the blessing - for All Saints Sunday

Image found at Oregon Idaho UM Conference There is a great deal of power in a name. At birth we are given a name by our parents and that becomes an identifier of who we are. It’s the means of getting our attention, engaging us to participate and giving us a place to interact with others in community. When we have a name, we have a place in a family, at school or work. Our names become a vehicle of interacting with people. Even after death, our names remain to be a point of connection and blessing that carries on well beyond our lifetime. On this day of the Saints, we honor and remember those that have died and can take encouragement from their lives of faith in God. Their lives and our lives are a tapestry woven together by God’s grace and love; in the joys and the sorrows of life. Our names give us a place in this world, but not all of the places and experiences of life initially feel like blessing. Martin Luther speaks of the tension of living with the effect of sin, as Chris

Flick or Treat Family

Saturday shuffle. Child wrangling. Appointment keeping. Long nap cuddling. Blustery wind pressing. Accidental Halloween Parade mixing. Soft pretzel sharing. Youngest son's film screening gathering. Pizza noshing. Rice cereal and lavender baby bathing. Latte sipping. Laundry sloshing. Homework nodding Living room piling. This flick or treat is delighting. T. L. Eastman  October 2013

Yellow Leaf

This yellow leaf,  once was green with promise. It was connected, nourished, and alive. Hints of the fall were all around: Crisp evenings, rushing winds, and shorter days. But this yellow leaf fell in silence.  There was no sound as she surrendered to the swirling water. Her story was not collected, heaped up or leaped into. She twirled,  calmly, quietly and silently; so as not to cause a stir on the surface. But the space she left behind was deep, wide, and shouted of her absence. Yellow leaf had curly raven hair, ice blue eyes, fair skin and freckles - that showed themselves when you stood close. Silence should not claim your life. So today, I shared the story of your death and the dream of our goodbye  that gave me hope to keep on living. Yellow leaf,  no more will you float in silence. You should dance on the wind,  swirl dramatically into your favorite wood, and be swept up over and over again:  for leaping,  laughter  and your loud, love of  life. By: Tara

“Nada te turbe”

Image taken by Nigel P. Eastman from Gorilla Shark Pictures Let nothing disturb you ; even when your heart pounds, aches and yearns - warm sand,  the calming rhythm of the waves and a skirt-tugging breeze. All thing are passing; even when the weight of care seems like something you'll always wear - feeling  dowdy, looking tattered and out of season. God never changeth; even when the ground rumbles with tremors of uncomfortable impossible things -  vertigo inducing, balance shaking and hope rattling. St. Theresa knew that we all need reassured at times to: "let nothing disturb you" and allow the gentle surf speak peace to your restless heart. For "all things are passing" , this moment is not eternal. Because, "God never changes" but is the constant, current, past, present and future where love resides and grace runs deep and wide -  Just like the ocean your heart longs to surrender to. T. Eastman October 2013 This

The crazy power of gratitude

My friend Kristen is good at reminding me about gratitude. In the last year she and her husband have changed vocations, had a new baby, cared for their active two-year-old boy, self-published a book called “Hyper and happy – 225 toddler activities that work” , and just six months ago relocated from Jamestown to their hometown of Nashville, Tennessee.  Earlier this week, she found a rare moment of quiet in her home and posted a photo that caught my attention. In the picture, I saw a few tree branches that had been collected from her yard that had been artfully placed in a vase, and had small paper leaves had been tied onto the makeshift tree. When I looked a bit closer, I noticed that the leaves were covered with writing. Each leaf was a statement of gratitude and thankfulness. The simplicity and beauty of her picture took me off guard. In the midst of the transition, challenge and hyper but happy atmosphere that Kristen was experiencing; she remembered to make a premed