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Everyday Inspired June 8 – 14

By on Jun 10, 2014 in Everyday Inspired, Maria's Blog, Moms, The Creative Life | 0 comments

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June 8 – God’s will and our desires

Often is it said that believers must seek the will of God in their lives. It is a noble and profound desire, yet challenging to carry out, because it’s difficult to discern just what God’s will is for us. How do we know when we’re on the right track, or if we’ve gotten off course? And what if God’s will calls us to do something we’d rather not do?

“The will of God is not simply something imposed on us from the outside. Because we are created in the image of God, God is present to us at the deepest core of our being. We thus can discern the will of God in our deepest desires; this is Ignatius [of Loyola]’s novel insight. The [spiritual] exercises help us sort through superficial and fleeting desires and tap into deep, holy longings. God’s desires for us and our deepest desires are, in the end, not opposed but are one and the same.” — Kevin O’Brien, SJ

Acknowledging our desire gives us important information to understand God’s will in our lives. If we understand why we want something before we try to get it, we may realize that the thing we long for is not be what we’re really in need of. Perhaps the desire behind it can be satisfied in another way.

Consider:
What invitation is here for me, today?
Today I am grateful for:
My intention for today is:
My to-do list for today includes:

 

June 9 – Rock Concerts

A massive rock concert still rings in my ears. Much has been written about the ritual of the rock concert: the dimming of the lights; cell phones now shine where lighters once shone; the praise and adulation showered on the performers; the unison singing of lyrics that capture our collective experience; the faux finish followed by an encore or two. Thousands in the room, and yet the best of shows make it a personal experience for each individual there.
Bono From a spiritual perspective, rock concerts can be powerful experiences. The music finds a way into our hearts, and God knows us so intimately, that God’s grace can find its way to us during a vibrant and moving performance. New insights, new consolation, and perhaps a new vision for our lives may be communicated to us. We may leave the experience renewed and recharged, transformed by the music. That is one of the greatest potential miracles to come from a rock concert. Perhaps that’s why people pay the money they do, and endure tough weather in outdoor venues: to experience such a miracle.

Consider:
What invitation is here for me, today?
Today I am grateful for:
My intention for today is:
My to-do list for today includes:

 

June 10 – Procrastination

checklist
Three suggestions to help overcome procrastination (which I will read and reread later):
1. Remember that you’ve done this before. Chances are, the project you’re putting off is similar to one you’ve successfully accomplished in the past. Look back on those times and give thanks to God for the ways that we were creative and resourceful enough to finish the task at hand, and do it well.
2. Show up and do what you need to do. I’m a master procrastinator when it comes to my writing, so for me, showing up means sitting down and getting what’s been mulling around in my head out on paper. The grace of creativity can’t begin to help shape my work until I’m sitting down and actually doing it. What do you need to do to get your project going?
3. Trust that this work will get done, and that God’s grace and creativity will be present in the process. Dorothy Parker once said, “I hate writing, I love having written.” Remember how good it feels to get a project completed? How about the times when you look back over your work and see where it’s better and stronger than you imagined at the start? Trust that this can happen again for you, and that God’s grace will be there again to help you finish and succeed.

Consider:
What invitation is here for me, today?
Today I am grateful for:
My intention for today is:
My to-do list for today includes:

 

June 11 – An insight from The Shack

TheShackWilliam Paul Young, author of The Shack, speaks of how God enters into the constellation of choices we make in our lives. God enters into the milieu and always works toward the good. God is a loving Creator and deeply desires relationship with us, yet is not attempting to coerce or force us into doing anything that is out of alignment with our choices. God allows us to make our choices, enters into that arena, and finds ways to invite us into deeper relationship.
Some of the ways God does this is through music, or the beauty of nature, or the kindness of the stranger or a friend. Whatever those avenues might be, God is creative and generous enough to find a way to work in the circumstances of our lives and connect with us. How cool is that?!

Consider:
What invitation is here for me, today?
Today I am grateful for:
My intention for today is:
My to-do list for today includes:

 

June 12 – Creative time

Many of us have creative pursuits in our lives, and we lament the fact that we don’t have more time to devote to them. Yet, part of the creative block we may fall into is to deny our creativity by saying, “Well, I just don’t have time to be creative. If I had more time, I’d do it.” Like those wooden coins about the size of a quarter, we wait for the time to get “A Round Tuit.”
Julia Cameron writes in The Artist’s Way that we fantasize that there is such a thing as “good creative time,” in which time is abundant for us to “frolic in creatively.” The truth is, “no such bolts of limitless time exist for most of us. creative-clock-design-stickers-your-text-24495704Our days are chopped into segments, and if we are to be creative we must learn to use the limited time we have.”
Her observation invites us is to look for the creative opportunities within the circumstances of our lives. No matter where we are, if we have an eye toward creativity and seeking inspiration, we will find it. We are also invited to attend to our creative tasks and create time for them. For me, that means not allowing my days to stretch before me at the mercy of other people and their schedules. Sure, my family needs my attention, but if I’m honest with myself I know I can carve out a few minutes every day to nurture my creative self. It might be through taking a walk, writing in my journal, listening to music, reading a book, or continuing a project I’ve been working on—whatever it might be. I am in command of my time. I’ve discovered, when I do carve out that precious time, I have more energy and I’m more productive. What began as something I didn’t have time for becomes the essential activity to do meet the tasks of the day.

Consider:
What invitation is here for me, today?
Today I am grateful for:
My intention for today is:
My to-do list for today includes:

 

June 13 – The Duck Principle

birds-ducks-mallard_153152Every once in a while, someone compliments my calm manner. But I have them fooled, because I operate from The Duck Principle. That is, everything is calm and cool on the surface, but I’m kicking like crazy underneath.
My duck impression has improved over the years as my spiritual life has grown, and the duck has calmed down. I’ve come to understand how important it is to be in the present. I’m better at taking a deep breath or observing my surroundings to pull me back into the moment. The other night my husband and I had a spontaneous opportunity to see some dear friends who live out of town. There was a time when that situation would make me not only excited but anxious, too. When they arrived, I felt such gratitude for the chance to be together, I took a deep breath and settled in. I believe that peace is evidence of God’s grace in my life. The calm on the outside comes from deep within.

Consider:
What invitation is here for me, today?
Today I am grateful for:
My intention for today is:
My to-do list for today includes:

 

June 14 – Laundry spirituality

Doing the laundry is like our spiritual life. The stuff piles up, kinda smelly and dirty and maybe stained from the life we’ve lived. We take time to sort it into piles, by different colors and fabrics, and that gives us an opportunity to look things over and see where we stand. After that, we load it into the machine and turn it over to a cycle of washing and filling and rinsing, which clears the laundry of life’s dirt of life and brings us to a fresh and new start.
laundryThe spiritual life is like that. We come to God with just ourselves and say, “Here’s what’s going on; here’s the stuff in my life.” Perhaps we think we need the laundry all done and pressed before we turn to God. Yet, God is with us in the messy, stinky piles. God’s with us through the sorting, and in those cycles that rinse and clean and renew our lives.
It’s important to be attentive to the stuff of our lives and bring it to God regularly. When the laundry piles up and gets too heavy, the system breaks down. That can happen to us spiritually, too. We can be so busy in our lives, racing from one thing to the next and shoving aside issues that we don’t want to deal with. Eventually, it piles up and weighs us down. Likewise, if we go the other direction that we are so fastidious and washing our clothes every day, and are absorbed by the minutia of life we miss the big picture. So laundry time is a good excuse to slow down, and in the process of sorting, washing, rinsing, drying, folding and putting away, there’s are spiritual opportunities: to give thanks for the clothing, the people who wear these clothes, for the homes we live in, and most of all to give thanks for what we were doing while we were dressed in these clothes.

Consider:
What invitation is here for me, today?
Today I am grateful for:
My intention for today is:
My to-do list for today includes:

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