Sharing Monday

 **Just a little note to say a humble *thank you* to all of you for your kind and tender words regarding my last series of posts. It’s been difficult to write since…I’ve felt a bit emptied out. I am so grateful for this community who loves with such abundance. You sure do look like Jesus. He sure is beautiful on you. My love to you all.

And don’t forget to join us over at The High Calling for the second week of our book club discussion on The Spirit of Food. There is some good conversation going on over there…

I am up at five in the morning so I can do my reading and practice Centering Prayer. It’s hard, but it’s worth it and I have been trying to do this since the new year began. Some days, I am not so successful, but I try and the effort yields better results than if I didn’t.

This morning there is snow still on the ground and it reflects an eerie light upward into the liquid sky. I look out the window, press up against the glass. There are no stars. The sun came out yesterday—a weak imitation of its summer self. Still, it brought joy unspeakable, and I spent some moments of the afternoon at the kitchen table watching the shadows of my Maple trees fall over pressed white.
The sun will not show its face today.
I read two chapters of Forgotten God, the book I have chosen as my latest morning read.  Francis Chan makes me weep with his innocent questioning…with his pure desire for God. And especially because I know the new chapter in his life, I pay close attention to his words about the Holy Spirit.
I close my eyes and pray the prayer of Keating:
Come, Holy Spirit, pour out the depths of the Trinity a ray of Your Light—that Light which enlightens our minds and, at the same time, strengthens our wills…
I fall asleep during my Centering Prayer and I dream of two hands held out with fingertips and thumbs gently touching. The space between the hands forms a circle and there is a light inside of it. The hands turn into stone and the circle becomes a cave—dark and cavernous. Then the cave turns into an eyeball and I awaken with a start…wondering if I really was asleep.
My time is up.
On the way to school I tell the boys about the journaling I’ve been doing.
At the end of each entry, I say, I make a list of the things I’d like to get done that day. And it seems to be helping me be more productive. Like my painting, I say. I wrote down that I wanted to work on it, and I did. I haven’t worked on that painting in months.
It’s a good thing, Teddy interjects. Because dad was complaining about it not being done and being in the way and stuff.
At his words, I try not to, but I have that fantasy again. The one where my beloved and I are happily married (as we are) but we live in separate houses. Side by side. In my house, my walls are covered with paintings and it is filled with quaint flea market finds. I have turned the office into a studio and I can paint anytime I want instead of having to pack up my paints every time we have company and need to use the dining room. He would rarely come to my place because he doesn’t like to move carefully. I would have lit candles everywhere in my house. (And I remember what Lauren Winner says about candles in Mudhouse Sabbath: You don’t find candles lit in frenetic houses; you find them lit in houses where people are trying to pay attention.) Things would be so much easier if we had a duplex. When I would want to watch a movie I would go over to visit his big-screen TV. He could leave the toilet lid up all the time. And because it’s his place, I won’t complain…
I shake my head.
The point is, maybe if you wrote down some goals each day, you would get more done. Like…READ YOUR BIBLE (I try not to preach) or practice your guitar, say.
I keep forgetting to do that.
Exactly.
But I know it goes in one ear and out the other. My friend Laure asked me not too long ago if I thought I could let some things go. I’m not letting others take responsibility for some important things, she suggested.
When she asked, I felt fear clawing at my heart.
But, what if…
Panic welled up inside of me.
Come, Holy Spirit, pour out your light…
So. I have. Let go. Of some things. Some things, I miss terribly. Some will rise to haunt me in on the dark mornings and fear taunts.
Come, Holy Spirit…
But I am trusting. And making lists. And now, I must go exercise. Because it’s on the list.
Sharing this Monday with L.L. Barkat. Join us?
On In Around button
Monday is also gratitude day (isn’t every day?) and I join with Ann in counting blessings.
**Sunshine shadows and muted colors matted in white.
**WinterJam—a rock concert festival we went to Saturday night.
Francesca Battistelli
David Crowder
The Newsboys
**Wonder on a boy’s face at the sounds of rock and roll.
 
**Lists of things to do. Dreams and realities, laundry and paints.
**Letting go and resting in Him.
**Our Centering Prayer group and watching thoughts sail by like the hulls of many boats.
**Today. I am so thankful for today. For my man and this house we share. For raised toilet lids and a TV always blaring sports when he’s home. For this love…I wouldn’t trade it (Or move into the house next door to it). 

Comments

  1. says

    Laura,
    This is a beautiful Monday meditation. I understand list making and trying to keep the important in forefront and on top. You’ve inspired me to pause a moment, enjoy the shadows on the snow outside and rest in His presence.

    Love and prayers,
    Kelli

  2. says

    I stopped by today, from L. L. ‘s site. Your previous post on giving your dad a Bible — on waiting for a nudge from the Holy Spirit — was touching! I’m happy for your sake that you were able to follow through on your intentions to give your dad a Bible and even more importantly, to have a meaningful conversation with him, a father-daughter exchange.

    Regarding this post, our lives couldn’t be more different. I’m not a list-maker. I don’t write down goals of the things I have to do (or should do) today. Because I never know if I can DO ANYTHING on a given day.

    The line about going to exercise because it was on the list, bothered me. But I’m glad you put “painting” on the list, and if it took a list to get you to work on it, hurray for you!

    I’m an artist with big dreams of creating something beautiful, but often wonder why bother to push myself to create an artwork that I will then have no room to display or store, and which no one but me would be likely to see (for me to share it with), and I can see so many creative artworks in my mind’s eye, maybe that would be good enough— It isn’t, but sometimes I’m happy to settle for that. It hurts so much to actually “do” things (I have a serious chronic pain problem.)

    But I have some things out on my dining room table — in fact, there’s just a hole cleared for me to eat at, the rest is covered with craft supplies, newspaper clippings I’ve clipped to save, other things that haven’t gotten put away yet. And one day I may get a tiny twig glued on a jar lid I’m making into an ornament, and the next day dab a couple dabs of glue and stick on the pistachio nut shells I painted into ladybugs a few days before that, and then maybe today I’ll get the teeninsy bit of Spanish moss dyed a brighter color and flattened somewhat, and when that’s dried, get it glued to the ornament. But if it doesn’t happen today, maybe next week. And if not at all, then I will have had the pleasure of dreaming about making art.

    I wrote this as my expression of your post, Laura, it having a lot more to do with my feelings than with your lifestyle and thoughts. But it just dawns on me that this may become the post for L. L.’s “On Mondays.”

    Thank you for the “Gratitude” list! Now, THAT’s one list I approve of heartily — a “Thank you God” list of gratitude for little things and large matters, and living things, and hopeful matters.

  3. says

    I too struggle with trying to control things for others. And I struggle with my crafting taking up living space in our little home. Your post inspired me to get moving today (in fact, I went and threw a load in the washer before writing a response). Thank you for always being so honest. I delight in reading the words because I know I am seeing your heart. ~Jessica

  4. says

    I find myself in a season where it is SO EASY to do only what He speaks…to let my abiding with Him take the forefront of my thinking. To let Him take care. It wasn’t always so. I laughed at your duplex idea…I have a few friends who would like that idea.

  5. says

    Reading the Bible is on my daily “to do” list, but some days it still doesn’t get done.

    I’d like to hear more about the Lauren Winner book. Wasn’t she converted from Judaism to Christianity? If that is who I’m thinking of, I’ve read another of her books and it is very good.

  6. says

    All the chasing after Him grows such fruit in our spirits. It can feel like chaffing and scraping, but that is merely growing pains. As long as we keep our eyes on His Face, we will grow more and more into His Image. The dying doesn’t hurt so much when our eyes are riveted on Love.

  7. says

    I love the duplex idea.
    My poor husband lives in a home filled with roses and dolls and teddy bears and stuff he would love to remove, the bedroom we share is full of ‘little girl pictures and more teddies’. Old book shelves filled to the brim of old books never read, magazines saved for a new day of viewing.
    He is patient and over looks the ‘non male theme’.
    But I also love living together and the history channel is on when he is home and the football game chatters at high volumne and I tell myself I can always go upstairs to my own tv corner. It keeps the peace for us.
    His space, her space. For 37 years it has worked.

  8. says

    I am so glad to know someone else who falls asleep while praying, and has visions. I used to get so upset with myself about not being able to stay awake. Then a friend suggested that maybe it was God. Since then I have learned to welcome these precious moments and pray into them. God speaks in amazing ways to us. Like you, I have seen images of caves becoming an eye and visa versa. I believe God is inviting us into deeper places in Himself.

    Also, I love the duplex idea. I had to laugh because I have the same troubles with my painting. Right now it’s all packed up in the basement thanks to husband.

    What would we do without them?

    Thank you for sharing your Monday with us. I leave here blessed! Blessings to you, Laura.

  9. says

    I probably should make a list of goals, but I’m not that organized. I prefer the chaotic feeling of impulsiveness with a little bit of organization for balance. This allows spur-of-the-moment things like walks, a show on tv, laughter, joy, innocent prank pulling, or a bit of unexpected quiet moments where I can read and stare…out the window at the lady who rocks vigorously back and forth in her arm chair…extremely fast. LOL. Did I also mention spur-of-the-moment distractions that allows me to gather information for future characters?

  10. says

    So many things Laura. I have printed out the little “list-maker” too. The hard part is deciding which three. I will have to let some things go too. I will have to be brave and begin something new.
    I smiled at the duplex too – because there are some days….

  11. says

    Laura…

    I loved this. It made me laugh. Your dream, that is. 🙂

    I’ve been married all of 2 months, and I don’t have that dream, but hey… I can see your point. 🙂

    You’re one of my favorites, Laura, and so I wish you get your dream. So you can write… and write… and write… and your husbands locked in the other duplex. 🙂

  12. says

    Beautiful snow picture, and such sweet, heartfelt, honest thoughts. I love to hear you sharing with your boys, too.

    Blessings on your day!

  13. says

    Ah, the fantasy of two homes, yet still happily married. This is one of my favorites. I haven’t told God about it, I am afraid what He would say…. It seems He has purposes in the things that frustrate me….(grin)

  14. says

    Oh Laura, this makes me smile. Laugh, actually. The audacity to say out loud what many of us feel at different times in life. Lately, my fantasy is about my boisterous children living less boisterously.

    The point about candles? That speaks to me too and my need to remain attentive.

    And by the way, some mornings I remember to light a morning candle of peace, carry it with me and think of you as the flame glows.

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