FROM THE PASTOR – JANUARY 2022

Welcome to 2022, the Year of . . . ???

Happy New Year!!! We made it through another year! And we wish each other well as we begin anew this next leg of our life journey!

What will 2022 be the year of?!?

According to the Chinese zodiac tradition, 2022 is the year of the Water Tiger!
‘Known for its power, boldness and predilection for doing everything big, this year is all about going big or going home!’, says author Susan Levitt.
‘Expect tempers to flare, drama and excitement to reign, and crazy dreams can become reality! For some people, the water element is liberating and they should take the risk. You always wanted to be a chef? Learn to cook this year! You always wanted to be a writer? Take that writing class!’

For us in our home, 2022 is the year of healing and wellness, listening to our hearts, and taking action in the direction of our hearts’ strongest callings and wildest dreams!
Foot surgeries, healthy intuitive eating, regular mindful yoga practice, and lots and lots of walking with the trees! Mixed with plenty of learning- reading books, taking classes, traveling! Developing practices of honoring and living in peaceful harmony with Mother Earth and the plant, animal, and spirit worlds!

We’re tired of not listening to our hearts’ deepest desires and dreams, and/or not taking action in the direction that our hearts have always been calling and leading us! We’re tired of making excuses! We’re tired of cowering in fear and doubt, and giving up at the first sign of difficulty!
We are ready to go big in 2022, to listen intently to our hearts’ deepest longings, and to risk taking action in the direction our hearts point us!

How about you?!! What will 2022 be the year of for you and your home?!!

Ezekiel, the Old Testament prophet, had a year, as related in chapter 36 of the biblical book with his name. Perhaps it was a Water Tiger year too (only happens every 60 years). But whatever year it was, Ezekiel and the people of Israel had been going through some challenging times, and they had grown weary, as evidenced by their hearts hardening into stone. When Ezekiel tuned in and listened to his heart, as the story goes, the Voice of Love/God called him into a new life: ‘A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh!’

Our hearts harden into stone when we don’t listen to them, when we judge and criticize them, when we don’t act because of fear or doubt or some other excuse. And ‘new’ hearts of flesh, tender and compassionate, emerge when we listen deeply to our hearts, when we accept and honor all that arises within our hearts, and when we take action towards what our hearts are calling and leading us into!

So, perhaps, we can call 2022 The Year of the Heart!

Perhaps, we are being invited, as was Ezekiel and the people of Israel, into something new – a new heart! A heart that we listen deeply to, honor without any judgment, and risk taking action in the direction it points! A heart that becomes more and more tender and compassionate, bold and courageous!

It won’t be easy. The journey will surely present challenges of all kinds. But, together, we can do it! Together, our hearts can support one another! And together, our hearts’ craziest dreams will become reality!

Breathing in and out Love from my heart to your heart, from your heart to my heart, together with all our hearts!

Love, Love, Love!
Pastor Jeff

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