Friday, May 07, 2010

Riding the Mission Trail

I've wanted to ride (bicycle) the Mission Trail here in San Antonio, for quite some years. From Mission Concepción to Mission Espada, eight (8) miles of dedicated paved pathways are reserved for the hiker and biker. There are five missions--The Alamo, Mission Concepción, Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan, and Mission Espada.

A friend of mine, was supposed to go with me, but he got sick. Right when I received that message, I looked up and said, "Oh man." My running coach was sitting across from me, and said, "What was that about?" So I said, "I was supposed to ride the mission trail today...I've been wanting to do it for years, but now I'll have to go another time." He then asked me, "How about Thursday?" and of course, I said, "Sure!" :) We worked out a time and I was set.

Coach and I rode the Mission Trail--it was beautiful. He told me all about race history, the Missions, Texas history, and all sorts of interesting information. I was so excited! I came home and told my Mom about the ride! I then told her that she had to go and bring a camera in the next few days. The Texas wildflowers are breathtaking right now! :) And the Texas heat, well, we're in the 90's.

So...Friday afternoon, Mom and I rode the mission trail together. We rode from Mission Concepción to Mission Espada. Below you will find pictures of our special ride. Happy Mother's Day Mom, I had fun spending time with you riding!

Historic Structure

Cool Hay Art

More Hay Art

My beautiful mother, enjoying some water. It was in the 90's!

We kept seeing cranes on our ride.

Mission Espada

I can hardly believe how short the doorways are!

Myself in front of Mission Espada

An upwards view of Mission Espada

We checked out the Espada Dam and Aqueduct

As you can see from these pictures, the flowers were just gorgeous and made for a lovely ride!

Mom and the flowers


Today was a special day. I went to a pottery place, to purchase my Moms Mother's Day present. I knew some of what I wanted to purchase for her, although, I primarily wanted to look around to find that "perfect piece." After looking at piece after piece, I chose four different pieces of artwork--all useful. :) A teapot, a tortilla container, a bowl with a lid, and a flower vase.

I was able to go to HEB and pick up some flowers to put in the vase. Mom came home, right after me, and helped me put the flowers in her new vase. We used a frog--so I learned about frogs. I'm not even sure if I'm spelling the word right, but I learned something about flowers. I was excited, because I had picked the flowers out by myself, and they look quite lovely if I do say so. :)

Bouquet of flowers in the lovely vase; the flowers are quite pungent!

The teapot

The bowl with the lid

The tortilla container

Back up...between the time I came home from the pottery store, and left for the closest HEB, I very carefully took each of the pieces out of the bags they were in, unwrapped them, washed them, and dried them. I then placed them on the dining room table, so that my Mom could see them when she got home. Mom was able to look at them quickly, before we went out for a bike ride together.

Our bike ride was fabulous, and I could not have asked for a nicer time with my Mom...I will share about the ride in another post. This post is about my beautiful mother and some pottery. My Mother loves lavender. In fact, she painted her kitchen a lavender colour. I know that my Mom owns some similar pottery from a local artist in Taos, and I wanted to surprise her with some fun additions, that would complement what she currently has and uses.

Later in the evening, I was carefully putting the lids on the pieces, and was going to move the pieces of pottery to another table, so we could use the table for dinner and eating purposes. In reaching, my watch caught the top of the tea pot, and I broke the lid! Not all of it, but part of it. I was devastated. Actually, I still am. Here I was being so careful with these items, and then my watch catches the end, and I break the gift that I had chosen so carefully for my Mother. I did all I could. I picked up the pieces. And tried not to cry. That never lasts long for me. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a crier. I cry. And I cried.

This is so you can see where I broke the lid. It is a clean break, so it should be fixable. Both the hat, and the little tea cup are broken.

Mom hugged me and told me it was okay. But it's not okay. She didn't even seem to care too much. Don't get me wrong, she was sad that I broke it, but she seemed more worried about how hurt I was. I care though...I tried so hard to find a good and useful gift, and then I have to break it and ruin it myself before she ever gets to use it. I guess now it has character--because I broke it. Way to go, Faith!

Have you ever tried so hard to find that perfect gift, feel like you've finally found something that the other person would enjoy, and then presented it to them, only to ruin it yourself? I wish I could describe how awful it feels. I know my Mother still loves me, and I know that she knows it was an accident and that it can hopefully be fixed somehow, but it will never be the same piece it was when I bought it in the morning. It's broken, and can never be made 100% whole again.

As I write this, I am still in tears, over a piece of pottery. I'm sure, someday it will be funny, although right now, it feels like the end of the world in so many ways. I should consider this year another unplanned blessing--I am able to spend Mother's Day with my Mom. I had originally planned on being in Ukraine right now, and then I was so sick, we really didn't know what was going on...Mom keeps saying that she is glad that I am here to spend the special day with her. The situation in my mind has not been rectified. I don't know how that rectification will come though.

My mothers response continues to blow my mind--"You're my mother's day present, that's just stuff, Faith." I see Jesus in my Mom. You read countless stories in the bible, how things just don't go how the disciples wanted them to or thought that they should be, but Jesus, He still loves them, and calls them His disciples, and teaches them to do and be better. My Mom didn't throw me aside, she hugged me, and held me, and told me it was okay. She gave ideas for fixing the situation at hand. I just wish that it had never happened.

I wish there was a happy ending to this post, but really, there is no least as of yet. I'm still crying, and wishing my watch hadn't caught on the lid. So...if I remember I'll update the blog post of how the situation was rectified in the end.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me

This weeks opening prayer for the daily bible readings uses one of the verses in the hymn, "Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me." I found myself reading, and re-reading the following words...

Thine wholly, Thine alone, I'd live, myself to Thee entirely give.

This challenges me. It's not so easy to give God EVERYTHING and EVERYTHING of/about me. There are so many things in life that "get in the way" or take me off course, that I do not give myself ENTIRELY to Christ alone. How do you give yourself to Christ, each and everyday?

Our sermon on Sunday was about community. It was about giving up our freedoms to be in community with one another. We cannot say to each other, that's not my job, because it is our job. By giving ourselves to Christ, we are NOT being devalued, although, all to often, we emphasize where our rank is on the ladder, as opposed to wanting to serve others--what God has called us to do. Why do you continuously rank yourself next to others? Why do you fear being devalued? The church is to be a place where everyone is loved, honoured, respected, and cared for. It is my job to give my ENTIRE self to Thee.