Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transparent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. ~ Sara Ban Breathnach

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Week II - Day 4 - Readiness to Receive - The Evening Review

Kid's book with a great message
for young and old.

I discovered a quote today by another spiritual teacher that spoke to me as I continue this Lenten Journey.  It reminds me of a wonderful little book by Margery Cuyler that I have used for a couple of children's message:

"In this crazy world, there's an enormous distinctionbetween good times and bad, between sorrow and joy.But in the eyes of God, they're never separated.Where there is pain, there is healing.Where there is mourning there is dancing.Where there is poverty, there is the kingdom." -Henri Nouwen
So much of my stress and anxiety comes from a judgement that something is either good or bad.  More than once I have struggled wondering where God is in situations such as the disaster in Japan to a child living in poverty to a mother of young children with breast cancer. 

Where is God!
I do not know what to do in these situations!  And sometimes, I take on things that God has never asked me to take on...and I become tired, discouraged, sad, sick...and I wonder where God is in this situation...

Know what, I know where God is not...within me. 

How could he be when my cup is overflowing with all the stuff that I have poured into it?

How can God respond to my cry, when there is no space for me to listen?

Today, Joyce asked that I graciously receive an offer of help with gratitude.

This was not difficult for me today! My youngest daughter came to dust and vacuum so things will look nice when her two sisters and brother-in-law come later this week.  Only thing....I decided to clean out my old wood stove since her young son is so adept at opening the thing.  I was being so careful, thus I was surprised when I turned around to discover the entire room was fogged with soot and ashes. Sigh~~ 

I also allowed my mom to "take care of me" by bringing me a chicken pot pie for my dinner.  That was a win/win. Mom loves doing things for everyone, but most especially her children AND it was good.

How open or aware was I to the presence of God in my day?

Actually, I nearly missed it because my mind gave me a thought and then I felt defensive and then....I managed to stop, take a breath, and consider God was reaching out to me.  A friend, concerned because I am not shaking this bug, asked if I might be interested in learning some  things he has been learning about stress management.  I almost missed the grace that was being offered within open hands, because I thought I was being judged.

Does anything need to be emptied out in order for me to be at peace tonight?

Even though I THINK I am doing a good job holding everything I have to do this week, I suspect it is buried deeper than I appreciate and that it may even be a contributing factor in my feeling so bum!

For what do I thank God as I prepare to enter into sleep?

I thank God that I am not hopeless!

I thank God for his love and his grace within the act of dusting and sweeping from my daughter, in the smile of my youngest grandson as he once again opens the wood stove, in the nourishment of the pot pie that my mom brought, in the offer to share some learning from my friend, and...

Sometimes I miss God because he does not come to me in the flash of a burning bush, or the roar of a lion... I sometimes miss God because he comes to me within the whispers of the ordinary... Ummm, seems as though I have already reflected on the grace of the ordinary!

See, I am not hopeless!

God, thank you for your grace and for your love that comes through my "ordinary" family, my "ordinary" friends, and through the "ordinary" things of a day like brilliant sunshine.  Help me to empty my cup, so that you can replenish it with all that is of Life.  Bless each one of us with good rest so that we can begin this journey with you tomorrow...

Many Blessings ~ Sandi

1 comment:

  1. Praise be! You allowed others to be the hands and feet of Christ and to minister to you. I pray that in your gracious receiving of help; others were able to have their cups emptied of self and filled with the Spirit.
    Sandi - may you get rest and may your cup be emptied of the discouragement and clutteredness that can so easily consume and fill us. "...By this I will know that God is for me." - Psalm 56:9
    Thank you again for providing a study through the wilderness and wandering of the Lenten season.