A Prayer


Back in Oregon:  A Neighbor’s Magnolia Tree in Bloom Today

A Franciscan Benediction

May God bless you with discomfort…

at easy answers, half—truths and superficial relationships,

so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger…

at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people

so that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.

May God bless you with tears…

to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war,

so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness…

to believe that you can make a difference in their world,

so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.


Blessings on your day,


Spending Time With Cool People


I’ve been enjoying time with my daughter and her family in the sunny weather around the Bay Area!  This is my daughter, Hayley, pushing Matilda on the swing!


Matilda playing in the plastic tube!


Matilda at the steering wheel!

15-2-22 Tilda 1

15-2-22 Tilda 2

15-2-22 Tilda

Pictures of Matilda on the slide were taken by Hayley.

Hope you’re having a great day!

Visiting The Bay Area


 A Tangerine Tree

I saw this little tangerine tree while on a walk with my daughter, Hayley, and her family. Although many parts of the United States are battling snow and cold temperatures, the Bay Area is sunny and warm. The size of the tree with  eight or more pieces of fruit on it reminded me of the verse in 1 Timothy 4:12, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers…”  Many young people are successful and produce good work!  I admire the work of the youth today!  I look forward to seeing the fun things my grandchildren will be doing as they continue to grow!

Seeing the Beauty


 A Peony Flower

I took this picture a few years ago of the bud of a peony flower found in our family garden.

Seeing the beauty in a moment requires simply slowing down and noticing what is going on around you.

Yesterday, I was caught in rush hour traffic on Marion Street in downtown Salem, Oregon.  Marion Street is a one way street with three to four lanes of traffic headed west with what feels like fifty lights, but in actuality it probably only has eight or more.  As only one or two cars moved forward with each light, I became lost in the time warp of standing traffic. While I was stopped at a light waiting for my turn to go forward, I began  wondering if my car was compact enough to pass through an intersection without blocking a crosswalk. Just at that moment, the driver of the car to my right caught my attention. The man at the steering wheel had drumsticks in his hands. The driver was probably listening to music, but instead of gripping the steering wheel, he was moving the drumsticks with great rhythm on the dash board of his car, his torso moving side to side; his head was focused, yet lilt and relaxed…like drummers move when they’re playing their instrument. Seeing this, I instantly smiled, and thought to myself, “What an interesting idea, I would have never thought of using the time sitting in traffic to practice an instrument.”   I found the driver with his fast moving drum sticks very relaxing to watch.  In the flash of a second, the light turned green, the cars got reshuffled, and the driver with the drumsticks was gone, but the joy of the moment is still with me.

Something on My Heart


I was thinking about a post I read recently on a blog written by Pete Earley. These words have come back to me several times since I read them a few weeks ago, because I think they are so true. The title of the post was: The More Sensitive, The More Susceptible: A Son’s Words.

I (Pete Earley) am drawn to what Sander Pick, the son of Jessie Close, said during a speech a few years ago.

“I’ve always thought that the more sensitive a person is, the more susceptible they are to mental illnesses. A sick joke in our universe is that the more it allows a person to see its beauty and deep connectivity, the more difficult it becomes for that person to maintain good mental health.

     “In our culture, we tend to treat this tradeoff with a fierce double standard. As long as they are sharing with us beautiful insights into humanity, we will love and cherish them as heroes, but if they fall into substance abuse, depression or any other form of mental illness, we tend to say, ‘It’s not our problem.’

     “Classically, these are artists, musicians, writers, etc., but, of course, they come in all sorts, unsung or not. These people tend to add value and meaning to our lives. At their best, they are the types who make us laugh and cry, to learn and to take risks and to love. They are brave and it angers me that as a society, we abandon them when their skies darken.”  -Jessie Close

It would be so good to know what to do when another person’s “skies darken.”  There is a lot to learn on how to help someone in their time of need. I feel I have so much to learn.

To find this post and other things written by Pete Earley click here:  Blog: Pete Earley

Hidden Pictures


A Hidden Picture Challenge


Can you find these 15 pictures in the classroom drawing above?

Hint:  The shoe is the hardest to find.

Several years ago, my daughter, Hayley, drew the above picture and made a key of items for me to find as a Christmas gift. This drawing is made with several shades of black and grey markers and has been a special item to me ever since. Hayley’s goal was to create the ultimate classroom.

The saying on the wall of the classroom is, “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”   This famous line is attributed to Songwriter Eden Ahbez and found in the movie Moulin Rouge!

Happy Searching!

Loving Another “Within Its Unique World”

P1030147Beautiful Women I Met In Vientiane, Laos

“In love, it (the subject-subject model) takes the Other seriously and strives to know it as it really is “in itself.”  In humility, it opens itself to learn from the Other those realities only the Other can teach.  Far from romantic sentimentality, it requires us to pay loving, detailed attention to the Other within its unique world.”

P1020433A Dock in Laos

“A subject-subject model is embodied, rooted in touching and being touched.  It “rests on the assumption that the world is composed of living, changing, growing, mutually related, interdependent entities, of which human beings are one”.”

P1020446Dinner with Friends in Vientiane, Laos

“The subject-subject perspective is profoundly relational, and signifies that the other has value, in and of itself.”

P1020704Collecting the Boats After A Group Trip Floating Down the River in VangVieng, Laos

“The process of adopting a subject-subject mentality demands maturity, fearlessness, and discipline.”

I believe this subject-subject concept is true in relating to people and is also true in caring for the environment where we live.  How we care for one another and for our environment matters.

All quotes were found on page 40 of Introducing Evangelical Ecotheology:  Foundations in Scripture, Theology, History, and Praxis by D. Brunner, J. Butler, and A.J. Swoboda.

Pictures taken by my son, Ben, and me.

Flowers in Winter


This wall hanging is called Grandmother’s Flower Garden Quilt. Even though it is winter, this top is bringing color and flowers to my day!


This top is from my collection of antique pieces.  It is all hand pieced and is 42″ x 48.”  When it is finished being quilted, it will be for sale by clicking the STORE button found at the top of this post.


If you’re interested in this top, email me at marionberryquilts@gmail.com.

Hope you’re having a great day!