Rose Madrid-Swetman

— Random Thoughts, Stories of Life, and Questions about the Journey —


January 31, 2012

Waiting

Category: All Posts,Prayers,Random Thoughts,Stories of Life – Rose – 12:10 pm

For Christians that follow the liturgical calendar it is the season of Epiphany. However, today I find myself back in a season of waiting…
Waiting to hear decisions
Waiting to make decisions
Waiting, feeling powerless
Waiting, holding onto faith by a thread
Waiting, clinging to hope for dear life
Waiting, wondering what will be…

January 7, 2012

Writing Projects

Category: All Posts,Random Thoughts,Stories of Life – Rose – 2:05 pm

It is time for me to prime the pump of the writing well. I have different writing projects I simply put on hold after completing a four-year doctoral program. I sit in my home office today, reflecting, reading, thinking and trying to get some creativity flowing.
I started my blog years ago and committed to writing in it at least a few times a week to start a creative flow. Now, eighteen months post graduation, I am going to begin writing here on a consistent basis to develop my writing muscle.
Let the random thoughts, stories of life and questions about the journey once again commence!

July 24, 2009

Blogging Again

Category: All Posts,Random Thoughts – Rose – 1:08 pm

I haven’t been blogging for a few months. Too much going on.

Alex played baseball in the Spring and then made the All Star’s Team. We lost control of our schedule. He had practices 6 days a week and then game to game depended on if they won or lost the prior game. He is obsessed with baseball! It was a ton of fun watching him but March through mid-July was a bit long.

My mom passed away in June. That was a tough time. Once again all the unresolved issues that come up for a highly dysfunctional family came right to the surface. The farther away I get from her passing the more I am able to disconnect from all the negative emotions that come from having to interact with my siblings. I am actually relieved that I don’t ever have to interact with them again. And when I say that, it might seem harsh but there are some times when there is no hope for reconciliation because without change it’s dangerous to put yourself back into an unsafe situation. Now that my mom is gone there is no reason and that is a relief.

Rich and I took a short trip to Vegas to just get away for a few days. While we were there my daughter convinced me to play in a Texas Hold’em tourney. I did, there were 154 players and I won! I played from 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. What a surreal, fun, crazy experience. I was in shock for days afterward. Rich and I walked around Vegas for the next 2 days in utter amazement we kept saying to each other “how did that happen?”

VCC is going well. Some changes coming soon. Very exciting.

I am on the last leg of my doctoral journey. I am writing my dissertation. I have been a bit paralyzed and blocked thinking about the 260 pages I need to write. Someone gave me a brilliant idea to write 12 pages at a time. I am going to try it. I am also blogging again. It helps me get the creative writing juices flowing.

We are having a beautiful summer in Seattle. I cannot remember a time that the weather was this great and for so long. Back to writing…

January 5, 2009

Changes

Category: Random Thoughts,Stories of Life – Rose – 9:08 pm

Lots of really great stuff happening and lots going on. VCC is growing and healthy. We have some important decisions to make about how we will go forward. Lots of prayer and planning this month.

Alex turns 11 on Friday. I cannot believe he is already 11. Time goes by so fast. He wants to go to Tasters Wok for dinner with his brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews (this has become a tradition) and then on his actual birthday which lands on a Friday this year he is having 3 of his friends for a sleep over. What a joy he is to us. He is a good boy, sensitive and kind. I think he is a bit introverted which is so interesting to me because he has two very extroverted parents – well at least one very high extrovert (Rich) and me, I am more right on the mid-line…I get energy from being with people but I definitely need time alone, for silence, reflection and thinking. I see Alex a bit more like that. He loves being with people but definitely needs his down time. I so enjoy him. He makes me laugh and he makes me proud.

I am going to try to keep blogging but I am coming to the end of my course work and will have to really buckle down to write my dissertation so my blogging will be a bit spotty. I am, however, going to begin writing my story. I am going to write some of it as notes on my facebook page as I can control who is reading it there. A public blog seems a bit to vulnerable for that kind of writing so I won’t be posting any of it here for the time being. If you are interested in following that story you can find it on my facebook page.

I think 2009 is going to be a very good year. I am hopeful and expectant for what this year will bring while at the same time trying to live in the every day moments of my life.

I wish a very joyous, blessed 2009 to all of you.

December 21, 2008

Random Thoughts on the Advent/Christmas Season

Category: Advent,All Posts,Community,Random Thoughts,Stories of Life – Rose – 10:02 am

Advent/Christmas, the entire season is really my favorite time of the year. I love autumn but I really love this time of year. I have wonderful memories of Christmas through the years. My mom would make Italian Christmas cookies, candy and lots of pasta. Christmas Eve we would go to midnight mass and then come home and open one present before going to bed, always new pajamas!
My mom would set out milk and Italian cookies (scallini), divinity fudge but not just for Santa, she would tell us that Jesus and the apostles would come and sit around the table as well. Imagine as a small child thinking, “Jesus and the apostles are sitting at our table tonight?” That was just as exciting to me as Santa coming.
Christmas morning my parents would always leave a “big’ gift unwrapped out for each of us, this was our gift from Santa. One year it was a bike, another a Chatty Kathy doll (I loved that doll?) another an Easy Bake Oven…
Christmas meant, peace, giving, receiving, good food, family, church, very fond memories.
Somehow over the years I have grown to love the entire season, beginning with Advent. Embracing not only celebrating that Jesus came as a baby over 2000 years ago, but living in hope that He will come again and when He does, everything, all sickness, death, violence, war, mental illness, addictions, poverty, everything will be put to right. This is how I celebrate the four weeks of Advent and the season of Christmas.
Each week we as we light the Advent candles we have reflected on each candle and asked the question, “how can I give and receive the gift of hope, peace, joy and now today, love?”
Today we had to cancel our worship gathering because of weather, we would have listened to folks from our community tell a story of how the light of Christ came into some part of their darkness this past year. Then we would have had a talk on how to“ receive” this Christmas. We would have sang carols together and closed in prayer.
Today, in order to practice waiting for Christ to come in all His forms into my life, I will light the Advent candles with my family, sit in stillness for 15 minutes and receive the love of God into my entire being and then we will sing some Christmas carols. This week I will try to be mindful of how the light of Christ comes into my life moment by moment. As I drive around town and see Christmas lights I will look at them in wonder and allow them to shine into my soul and use them as moments of prayer to ask God to shine his love into the hearts of those that are suffering and in pain.
I wish you a wonderful, blessed Advent/Christmas season.

November 30, 2008

Advent Week 1 – Hope

Category: All Posts,Community,Prayers,Random Thoughts – Rose – 9:18 am

Advent is my favorite time of the year. Stepping just a bit out of the madness that accompnies the holiday season to reflect weekly on the Story of faith and the implications of what living in the continuing Story means brings a deep peace in my soul. Today marks the first week of Advent, the season of waiting and expectation married to each other to see how God will come. How will the light of God enter the darkness of not only our world but the places of darkness in my own soul. Expectant waiting, O Come O Come Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel…come to all the places that are held captive in our world, in the violence, in the greed, in the hate.
Today we light the candle of hope. Help us to offer the “gift of hope” as we go about our week in all our interactions.
The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.

November 27, 2008

What is my life to be about?

From Parker Palmer:

    Vocation does not come from willfulness. It comes from listening. I must listen to my life and try to understand what it is truly about–quite apart from what I would like it to be about–or my life will never represent anything real in the world, no matter how earnest my intentions.

Last Sunday at the Vineyard we felt like the Lord was saying to us as a congregation, “let’s all catch our breath” as I have been trying to do just that this week, I have been trying to grab moments of “silence” to just listen, to hear, to tune into the voice of God and what it means to lead in the midst of a faith community and a mission group. The truth is I get so busy I forget to listen. I am trying to intentionally practice “turning aside to look” to see God in all of my encounters, in all of life not just in church or in suffering but everywhere.

Especially listening to my life to understand what it is about rather than what I would like it to be about is more challenging and difficult than one might think. It takes courage to listen to what the voice of God might say…more later

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 4, 2008

Election Day in the U.S.

I think the majority of us would agree that today is historic in so many ways for the United States. Even so, I can’t put all my eggs for “peace and Kingdom living” into the basket of who becomes the next president. What has been amazing (and sad) to me is how divisive for Christ followers this election has been. The one thing that I hope is that however you vote (or not vote) you would be respectful of everyone’s right to their decision. Honestly I don’t think Jesus is for one side or the other. I hope you vote your values and your conscience and are not in the fray causing division. As exciting as this day is, I am looking forward to tomorrow.

October 20, 2008

On Retreat

Category: All Posts,Random Thoughts – Rose – 9:08 pm

Rich and I are leaving before light tomorrow morning to go on retreat with the Regional Leadership Team. We are going to Victoria and staying here. I am looking forward to our time away and hoping I can get somewhat caught up on my studies…I am going to really try Winn:)

I think in this season of life one of my favorite things to do is go on retreat. I am hoping I can do a semi-silent retreat in November and then our annual women’s retreat in May. I think 2 or 3 retreats a year is what helps me recharge my batteries and empty my soul of all the clutter that seems to gather in all my busyness.

That’s about it for now.

October 2, 2008

Reflecting on Psalm 112

Category: All Posts,Random Thoughts – Rose – 9:30 pm

The news this week has no doubt caused anxiety and fear to creep up in many. Today I reflected on Psalm 112. It brought the reality of what it means to live through times like these with some perspective.

Praise the LORD.
Blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
who finds great delight in his commands.

His children will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.

Wealth and riches are in his house,
and his righteousness endures forever.

Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.

Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely,
who conducts his affairs with justice.

Surely he will never be shaken;
a righteous man will be remembered forever.

He will have no fear of bad news;
his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.

His heart is secure, he will have no fear;
in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.

He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor,
his righteousness endures forever;
his horn will be lifted high in honor.