Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Flowers in Bloom

This summer I planted flowers at my living residence and at the St. Cloud Starbucks to give a touch of Benedictine beauty and presence to the coffee drinkers and fellow workers. Every morning when I jump on my bike to pedal to morning prayers, they greet me with color, life and sometimes a thirst for water if Mother Nature has not come through. My heart smiles! After prayers I give these flowers some affirmation and encouragement. I dead head those who have moved on to flower heaven and thank them for their time of beauty and their willingness to die for new life to come and bloom. It's a cycle I know quite well in my life and ministry.

 In my ministry, I love to plant, water, encourage and empower students to grow into their faith and leadership. My heart smiles when I watch these students "bloom" into full color as they take the leadership reins, empower students, give talks because they have a message, and find the joy of nurturing and blooming souls to become leaders.

 Saturday afternoon I met with two women who will be seniors at the College of Saint Benedict to plan a women's retreat and to raise up a leadership team. These two women have been a part of my retreats since their first year. They have been nurtured, tapped and encouraged to lead. Now they are in full bloom, planning and organizing this retreat. My job is to get out of the way and let them lead. It makes my heart smile. They are bittersweet about planning this retreat and being at the helm of it and so am I. This will be their last retreat as seniors, which feels unreal to them and me. Yet these women are passionate about their vision for the future, raising up leadership and making room for new bloom and beauty. This is Benedictine hospitality, receiving all as Christ and making room each soul to bloom.

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