“Keep going, it’s okay if you mess up, you’re only human,” I tell myself. God’s grace is on you, His glory is in you.*
I have the best writing friends. Their words arrive and bless me every day, even at 3:00 a.m. Especially at 3:00 a.m.
When I can’t sleep these days, I don’t fight it, I just get up, make some tea, maybe take a peek at my iPad on the desk in the kitchen to see if anyone called or wrote something I need to follow up with, then head to the middle bedroom so I won’t wake Todd. With my tea and the cat, I read and write, follow-up, ponder and pray.
Thoughts come quickly, I think it’s called the “examine”. It’s a Spiritual practice that I’ve naturally come upon like all my other Spiritual practices. I don’t set out to do them, they show up like friends, and have come to me over the years. For this “examine”, I simply reflect on the day, or the previous day, and let the Spirit speak.
Quite naturally, I go first to the places I feel I’ve messed up. It’s become easier to see where I’ve missed out on precious time with God, just going about my day, overlooking things that were intended as treasures along my path because anxiety and self-condemnation stepped in. I deal with that first. If I’m successful, peace like a river begins to flow and I settle into the grace that is always available.
Sometimes, I need a little help from my (WordPress) friends, and I’m never disappointed how God can use those He has brought into my life, to send words of Grace and Truth or a little Hope just when I need it.
Unless I recognize these Divine opportunities and appointments for what they are during my waking hours, I miss out on a big part of God each day. Every connection that is good and loving and kind and wise with Spiritual Truth and Life is such a welcome gift.
Like reconnecting with family over the holiday.
We don’t see each other as often as we’d like but we always pick up right where we left off. Except that the kids have grown a few inches. There’s that and also this sense that our love has grown deeper even though we’ve been apart.
It’s this sweet “legacy of love” in our family, “keep it growing, Lord,” my nephew said these words in his prayer at the dinner table and they planted themselves in me. We were going around the table as we held hands, praying before we ate our tacos. Not everyone prays as we move from person to person. We’re free to say “pass” at our table which always creates some shuffles, giggles and peeking. I know this because I peek.
We have this precious gift of sweet love—the River that runs through us—and it keeps growing deeper, whether spoken or unspoken.
Even the kids recognize it. “Yeah,” my (great) niece said, “It feels like I just saw you yesterday.” “You did!” her always witty older brother said. They’d spent the night because they didn’t want to leave after the family gathering when their parents left.
Do you know what that feels like when a child loves you so much that they don’t want to leave? It feels, well, it feels simply like the best feeling. It’s love at its best.
So the three kids stayed and spent the night with Auntie Debi and Uncle Todd and Fannie and Mary. Mary hides. She’s a feral. She only appears at night curled up by my side when we have guests in the house. Even that is love at its best.
The pictures say the rest.
Photos: Thanksgiving weekend
I Googled the examine and here’s what I found. (That I don’t spell it right!) It’s very similar to what I do.
“The Daily Examen is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and discern his direction for us. The Examen is an ancient practice in the Church that can help us see God’s hand at work in our whole experience.
This is a version of the five-step Daily Examen that St. Ignatius practiced that I found on Ignationspirituality.com.
1. Become aware of God’s presence.
2. Review the day with gratitude.
3. Pay attention to your emotions.
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it.
5. Look toward tomorrow.”
“Out of our connection, with God and with ourselves, we learn a simple but powerful truth about Jesus—that loving God and loving people exist in an unbreakable union.” (Matthew 22:37-40). Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day”, Peter Scazzero page 136.
*Gabriel & Hazel, thanks for the beautiful message this morning.❤️🌲🙋🏻