Generous Grace

Soooo – Hello!! Long time no blog!!! It’s not that I haven’t had an abundance of life events to report, that’s for sure! And its not like I haven’t had some extra “free time” on my hands with the Covid-19 Pandemic of this last year… If anything, I was maybe trekking outside more (if you can even believe it!?!?). Maybe it was because I became more devoted to creating and preserving a safe bubble of my immediate family – since we welcomed our Super Star first grand baby into their world last August and established several opportunities to congregate safely – though that special arm of our family lives a 13 hour drive from us in San Francisco. There is without a doubt ample to blog (or is that blah blah blah) about on that topic!!! Peeps told us we would love being grandparents and they were surely right on!!

Grand baby Gianna
and her Daddy Darrell – Photo Credit: Lindsey Denman Photography

Yet the impetus for today’s check in is an upcoming adventure – Another Camino!! That’s the whole reason I started blogging in the first place – to let my family know what I was up to while trekking across Spain! This will be my 5th opportunity to “Camino” (new verb) and since, I have blogged about those adventures, other fun trips and local trekking as well. Until I didn’t. So, today the focus is remembering how to do this gig.

Great Grandma Mary Ellen meets Gianna for the first time!!!

As I pondered what to write about in “practice” mode – I was overwhelmed with the very long list of all I have to be grateful for.  I was honestly uncomfortable to write on this – so many have been and continue to suffer from a whole host of conditions and afflictions.  Then I went to my online church (a crazy offshoot of the pandemic, and frankly, one I  love) and was totally WOWED by Pastor Sara’s sermon!  I want to share some of the points she made.  I took copious notes so I hope this doesn’t come off as plagiarizing.  My faith gives my hope, perspective and a yearning to grow and be transformed – and especially to emulate my favorite mentor, Jesus.  You may not be of the same mind, yet I hope you might be inspired by some of these insights.

Sara likened our time of sheltering in place to being in the wilderness. The Bible documents time Jesus spent in the wilderness and we are led to wilderness times ourselves to be still and to know God, to reflect and to grow. To get lost and make discoveries. Now comes the bumpiness of reentry – now the practice of encountering others. Yet, it’s not the same world, we are not who we used to be and nearly every relationship has changed. There is so much to navigate! All of our rough edges are exposed and so are everyone else’s. Plus, we are highly suspicious of humanity!

Jesus taught and exampled the (spiritual) practice of encounter and practiced what he preached. He did not limit himself to people who acted and were just like him. Generous Grace! Can we extend it to ourselves and to those we encounter? Everyone is doing their best and mental health is so declined. And, here’s a point I found very profound – we need one another To Save Us From The Temptation Of Our Own Self Sufficiency… We need others to help us forget about ourselves -we do not need to be self-absorbed. What a balm to remember this now! And It helped me put into perspective that my gratitude list is fairly long right now, because I have been keeping to myself and have been quite self-absorbed. This sermon message was a good wake up call!

Wilderness

Here’s a thought Sara posed – have we participated in relationships only to use, change, help, fix, save, enroll, convince, and/or control? Now is a great time to humble ourselves and go to our neighbor, to Love One Another. A perfect time to spring ourselves from the prison of oneself and to gather in community. Its as frightening as it is liberating! Love of neighbor is love of self and love of God

Sara offered a useful hack to get started reaching out to others – ask open ended questions.  Here’s one of the questions from our August sermon series – “What saved you and served you in Covid?”

May your learning and reflecting continue and Thanks be to God for all he has worked in us during this Wilderness time of Covid – to be more like this Jesus we serve, formed in the wilderness to continue to be God’s salt and light in the world.

Tuesday I leave for Madrid, Spain!!!!! Yabbadabbadoooo!!!

Grand daughter Gianna and Marlo the Husky welcomed me to California! Photo Credit: Lindsey Denman
Cousins!! Photo Credit: Lindsey Denman Photography

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Ted Van Geest says:

    Hey Robbie! Great to read your blog again and thanks so much for sharing your Pastor’s very wise words! Have a great trip to Spain, be safe and we look forward to reading all about it. God bless. ❤️Ted & Marge

    Liked by 1 person

    1. robbidenman says:

      Thanks, as always, for your support!

      Like

  2. Janet Nicholas says:

    Robbie, I love your letter and your glorious photography. You have written on our hearts with the gift of the Spirit of the living God. What a treasure you are my friend and a walking partner in Bellevue, WA. …Janet

    Like

    1. robbidenman says:

      Oh Janet!! I treasure our friendship as well! I’m glad you felt a connection to the Holy Spirit through me when you read this blog!

      Like

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