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

Friday, March 25, 2011

Week II - Integration/Review

The Open Cup
Last night, between wakefulness and sleep, I thought, "I am surely done with The Cup of Life! How much more, how much deeper can I go?" My next thought, "San, this is only the end of Week II, there are four more weeks!"

I cannot begin to imagine what else Joyce will find to challenge and nudge me to consider, yet...according to the Index, there are four more weeks.

As I begin these moments of reflection on The Open Cup, I listen again to one of my favorite songs, As The Deer  AMEN and AMEN.

God of Abundance, help me remember your presence that has grace my life this past week, as I reflect back on this week of Openness. AMEN.

I invite you to reflect along with me...journal...leave a post, OH! By the way, the posts come to my g-mail account and I have periodically replied from the g-mail account, not realizing they are not going anywhere.  You do remember I am a novice at this blogging thing! Feel free to check back, another might have built on something you have written...we can blog together and learn from one another, just as the Wednesday Lunch Bunch.

"What is some of my inner clutter?"

I find myself resisting referring to some of my stuff as "clutter", yet this week I have come to acknowledge that whether it is "good" or "bad" in the eyes of the world, it is still clutter that is keeping me from the one thing I most desire.

Early on I shared a quote from Eat, Pray, Love:
"God dwells within me as me."
As I consider this thought again, not only does my clutter keep me from God, it keeps me from my true self.  How sad that I, and many others, race through our days without ever stopping to acknowledge "me".

My inner clutter is my packed schedule, the many commitments I have made; that I am beginning to accept the reality that I cannot keep well.  I hate that admission!

I hate it because I do not like to produce shoddy work...BECAUSE it makes me "look" the eyes of the world.

Ummm, San, who is it you live for?  Remember that Audience of One?

That kind of thinking is also part of my inner clutter.

"How do you experience 'listening' in your prayer?"

Robert Wicks really caused me to pause: "When we pray, how often do we say: 'Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening'? More often, I think, we say: 'Listen, Lord, for your servant is speaking!"

I have become much more aware of my prayers this week! The notion of giving God a laundry list of "to do".... I do not want my prayers to be a list.  It may take more than another four weeks, yet my awareness has been heightened, which is one small step.

"Does the cycle of 'emptying and filling' relate to your life experience?"

Again, a visual image that caused a deep ah-ha to rise up in my heart. I am a farm girl.  I understand and appreciate how everything in nature has a cycle of being empty (dormant) in order to once again be full (fruitful)...yet I had not thought of connecting that understanding to my own own soul.

"Be empty, and you will remain full..." ~ Lao-Tsu

"What helps me to trust God?"

Things like this study....knocking some awareness into me!

I trust by learning to see the grace that is around me and within me.  I trust by re-learning I cannot live life on my own.   Again, that illusion of control that is illustrated so well within this comic:

Seems as though I remember something about TRUST being the foundation of LOVE.  The more I am intenational about be present with God, the more I am aware of his presence throughout all my life...the more I will be able to let go of my fears and insecurities and be with him...trusting.

How great will that be!

"Have you been able to find solitude in your life?"

Geeze, are not a miracle worker and I am a slow learner!

Still, I am in such a different place this morning than I was six days ago.  I feel as thought I have been stretched, yet I think I have been emptied a little instead of being made larger in order to hold more.

In our Western thinking we often think of being "Supersized".  It is a very different notion to be "Emptied" in order to be more "Open".

"I" am becoming the unique and gifted
child God created me to be!
As the deer panteth for the water
So my soul longeth after thee
You alone are my hearts desire
And I long to worship thee

You alone are my strength my shield
To You alone may my spirit yield
You alone are my hearts desire
And I long to worship thee

You're my friend and You are my brother,
Even though you are a king.

I love you more thank any other,
So much more than anything. 

I want You more than gold or silver,
Only You can satisfy.
You alone are the real joy Giver,
And the apple of my eye.


Many Blessings ~ Sandi

1 comment:

  1. This was taken from the on-line devotional that you sent me at the beginning of the year, and I feel like it fits with this study.
    "Is everyone born of the Spirit really like the wind, blowing here and there? After all, we’re taught a lot about roots. Roots in family, church, friendships, and God’s love. We’re taught that we shouldn’t be like a ship lost at sea.
    What if Jesus meant something different? What if he meant that we’re like a child flying a kite? We only know to run where the kite tells us. As the kite rises and our hands grasp tight the string, the direction it travels is the right one to keep the kite up. So it is with those guided by the Spirit. The life journey might seem unrooted, but its traveling direction is born from above.

    Anne Lamott writes about her congregation in California in Traveling Mercies, “Traveling mercies...this is what they always say when one of us goes off for a while. Traveling mercies: love the journey, God is with you, come home safe and sound.”

    God speed! Traveling mercies! God be with us! "

    Andy Watts and Amy Dodson-Watts

    The above words are not my own, but they remain in my thoughts and prayers- may I be still enough to listen to God's voice and follow where the Spirit leads me. Help me to be rooted in God's word, so I may enjoy His mercy on the journey. May you also enjoy your journey and rest in His mercies.