Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Morning Prayers by Keith

Keith Haverkamp (my father) has created a blog called MorningPrayerKeith.

Each day he posts his morning prayers, which, as he explains, begin simply as a word or an image during a quiet moment of meditation. These prayers are sent to everyone on the Norris Religious Fellowship email list, but now they are available to the general public. 

Keith's words paint mental images meant to challenge and cause to reflect, and relax and inspire. It is a wonderful way to start each day! Enjoy!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

prayer from dad (keith h)... appropriate for the holiday

Dear Lord and God,
  Sometimes we live on the abyss of surprises and disappointments.  Our fears take control and we totter on the edge and even fall.  Our prayer is loud to you that we be saved.  We can no longer help ourselves.  We need your sacred touch to support us and hold us and carry us.  As you help us, may we help one another and be your hands that reach out.  Even when we don't know what to do or what to say may we be guided by your grace and do our parts in the caring for one another. In Jesus name we pray, AMEN

Saturday, January 5, 2013

It's that time again!!  Yep, that's right, HID is back! As January 5th is coming to a close (it's 8:30 pm and i'm at work), I'm going to post my thoughts now, however scrappy, so at least i've gotten things started this year:


1) professionally (which, thankfully, as i am a social worker, can have great and important social ramifications)-- redirect my career to address another population and/or another setting-- as this is a public site, i will be vague-- but who pops to mind (due to setting my heart on fire) is:

 -- those who are homeless (making a showing for the fourth consecutive year on this site!)
 -- those who are dying
-- those who are low income facing numerous obstacles to equality and social justice (i currently work with these folks, but i am not satisfied with numerous facets of the context in which i work and the types of assistance i am charged with providing.)

reasons for this intention: i am rarely set on fire at work, which means i am not personally satisfied. my gifts are not of sufficient use here, which is a waste. this has gone on long enough.

 2) on a more personal, intimate level-- regarding my ENERGY-- focus on FOSTERING PEACE internally, and focus on EMITTING BRIGHTNESS outwardly. i think continual dedication to these two goals-- soft yellow on the inside, poppin' brights on the out-- would aid me, you, and them. this is for our country.

Friday, January 6, 2012

evergreen's commitment

so i think this is actually my first year to take full initiative in HID.
i could list a number of things that i would like to do, and hopefully will, but for now and officially im only picking one.

and that is recycling at my college campus branch. when i was at my main college campus 2 years ago, there still was not really recycling.

i've contacted some people at my college branch and learned that recycling has now started throughout the whole main campus.

this is great news, but still there is not recycling at my lil branch, and the soda bottles and paper pile up in minuets.

i've written a letter to some "higher up" people at my school- faculty and students, as a start.

school doesn't actually start till next week, so im just going one step at a time and waiting to see how people respond.

so hopefully by the start of next year we will have a full recycling program instituted.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

hannah's commitments

my mission for this year is simple

1.i plan to buy “green” products.
2.i plan on using a compost for all compostable waste, and i eat a lot of fruit.
3.i want to buy more local produce once it is in season.
4.i will make more of an effort to unplug electronics when not in use.
5.i am going to clean out my closet and donate them to the local goodwill.
6.i would love to say that i will not use as much gas for my car, but unforunately i like to travel often. but while i am at home, i will try to bike and walk more often.
7.my one big goal is to travel to a distant land and volunteer to hopefully make even the smallest contribution to even one person. i sometimes find that making a little difference in one person;s life, can in turn make a difference in someone elses life (i believe they call this “paying it forward”- but i really don’t like to promote that movie).
8.i am just starting my masters in midwifery (hopefully this will better who i am educationally)--this is hopefully to give more to-be families their choice in how they choose to have a baby.

this is just a start, i am sure there are more that i am not even aware of, that perhaps i am even doing. i know at first, i said it was simple, and i believe most of my goals are. but i do intend on following through on all of them. keep me in check

Second Anniversary of HID!

ok, third time's a charm...

i finally made progress with my goal to help address homelessness, although it kind of fell into my lap without much effort...
a social work colleague at work emailed a brochure of homeless shelters for baltimore to everyone in the department.
i simply printed it out and added additional resources and contact numbers and made copies.
i keep them in my purse which sits on my passenger seat.
when i hit a red light walked by an individual with a sign reading something so sad that my heart wants to break, or with a leg oozing diabetic sores, or a woman with a morose expression and hopeless eyes, i offer them the brochure.
most say they are already aware of the shelters in the city; they say that people steal their stuff, or they are all full.
sometimes i have additional information to offer of which they were not previously aware.
the conversations are brief.
and i don't know if they lead to anything significant for them.
but they always, without fail, express appreciation.
and i feel better, albeit only a bit, for having offered something.
i still need to find a way to help out in a more definitely effective manner.

my original kiva donation, gifted by my father last christmas, breeded another donation. this time i gave to a woman in burundi who sells bananas. kiva is a very solid organization that provides important information on the individuals in the program and the financial details related to the capital and loans. they keep you updated as to the progress of the individual's (or group's) business, and inform you when you have earned back enough money (through interest) so that you can donate again. giving cannot be made any easier.

still not riding the bike like i've intended. can't make any new excuses about that one. just gotta amp up and slow down.

new commitment for this year...

[well, other than refusing to support anything lady gaga-related because i thoroughly disagree with and am disgusted by the way american media and pop culture feed off people who have mass appeal due to their major issues... like these people (lady gaga, charlie sheen) are soulless toys we think we can whimsically ogle at with no tangible or energetic consequences...]

i guess i'll go for an oldie but goodie, and one i could stand to revive with intention; that is to say:

say something positive to people when asked how am i, what's new, how's the day going, how's work...

it's far too easy for me to share a sarcastic quip or complaint. even if they're justified, and even if they point to issues that should indeed be addressed (e.g. the supremely dysfunctional systemS that perpetuate baltimore's desperate state of oppression), i exude negativity which may not always be counter-balanced with something bright.

so, more positive comments, more brightness when you ask me the simple question, "how are you?" i had a storytelling professor in my funky spirituality school in california who said that we should always have a mirror handy so we know what we look like (the subtext being that we should always look our best, which of course should be lookin' good), and we should always have an interesting story, at least comment, with which to respond when someone asks us the age-old question, "how are you doing?" these positive and interesting quips, told through a smiling and bright expression, drop a pebble in the pond which emanates ripples of good stuff.

that is my new commitment.

what's yours?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

One Year Anniversary for HID!!

today marks the one year anniversary for homeland improvement day-- yeah!!!! the first year produced questionable results in terms of involvement and, apparently, inspiration, but that's ok, being that it is what it is. it was the first year, and, as i will elaborate below, i suspect that it created changes yet unknown.

however, i want to report on a couple changes that were definitely inspired by last year's HID:

1) i, hilary, did indeed join my local produce co-op. i shared a basket with my friend and we stuffed ourselves with healthy, organic, nutrient-rich, and mainly GREEN vegetables for 20-something weeks. once the program had completed, i went to the grocery store to buy produce, and i literally wandered in circles, not knowing how to buy produce anymore from the cold, sterile, mass produced aisles. i've basically avoided the grocery store since then.

2) i just learned on christmas day that my father was inspired by HID and without ever telling hannah or me, he donated to the program KIVA. KIVA sets up micro-loans for individuals in underprivileged countries; you actually choose the individual you would like to donate to (guided by sex, country, service, product, values, etc.). then, the individual pays back some of the loan and you in turn donate again to another individual of your choosing. it is not only sustainable; it is self-regenerating. totally awesome program. i believe my father donated to people in uganda and mongolia, assumedly because he feels connected to those countries as i and my mother have volunteered in those countries, respectively. so, the good news is that he donated to KIVA, he was inspired by HID, and because i did not know this until last week, i believe there is a good chance that others made commitments last year without reporting it on the HID blog or facebook pages. this is exciting because it is important to realize and vital to believe that changes are made, seeds are sown, and branches and entangled constantly and often without our knowledge. i am a clinical social worker and i know that the changes being made in my clients are often glacially slow and often do not emerge or become obvious until some future time; i may not even witness the product of the change but the work faithfully continues. so, dad, thank you for donating to KIVA.

3) where HID meets KIVA produced another exponential growth; my father donated to KIVA in hannah's and my names for this christmas. we will now choose people to donate the gift of sustainability to and it will regenerate again and again and again.

as i've reflected on the progress i made with my HID commitments i made last year, i admit i did not do so well with the other two (not driving often and combating homelessness/unemployment). the problem with driving is my busy lifestyle; i am so rushed that i consolidate trips and driving makes the most sense. i'd like to bike more but there's always another trip i have to tag on to the first and driving makes the most sense; either i don't have time to ride or i am going too far. so, i still need to work on this one. in terms of homelessness/unemployment, i have access to information on resources through my job, and i have pathetically not tapped into those. i think i feel so overwhelmed and discouraged by homelessness that i have avoided jumping into this one. every time i see a person begging for money on the side of fayette and the jfx in baltimore, it just kills me. but i feel disempowered and i have allowed myself to sink in that and that is poor of me. i will re-commit to this one and be more diligent.

i've learned that we are creatures of habits and pattern, and making change can be darn hard. it takes not only an initial commitment, but every day, a re-commitment. it takes re-prioritizing. it takes humility and a broad perspective. i empathize with the sad state of things in the world because i have some understanding of how these things develop and are perpetuated. that's why i need to be even more serious with homeland improvement day this year; it's simply a tool to increase awareness and jump-start or jump-continue us into action. thank you to everyone for all you already do to try to make this country, yourselves, and this planet a better place. every single one of my family members and friends live with awareness and intention as they walk this earth in the most loving way possible. i know this.

please make comments on this post or request to be added as an author so you can write at will anytime. the more we have conversations and share, the more we develop the potential to deepen the roots and tangle the branches...

with love and peace to all (from all and through all),