It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones, just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.
“Praying” from Thirst: Poems by Mary Oliver
And for me, the voice is His. And I strain harder. Press in closer. Most often, He comes by way of a whisper.
So He said, “Go forth and stand on the mountain before the LORD ” And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19:11-13
photography: gina | bright and blithe
In the early morning light, I sit. Her words, tapped out across miles and space, hours before, stare at me framed in pitch. Bit by bit, I take them in. Savouring. Lingering. Once through, and then again. I swallow hard. Blink back salt. Whisper thanks. On this day, in these tasks, I will worship.
One of the best gifts of a journal is that it gives you a place to show up.
As you write, you may discover where you actually are.
Do you journal? Is it online or on paper? Or both?
Do you journal daily or is it sporadic?
What helps you to maintain the discipline of journaling?
What are the greatest hinderances to journaling?
Do you encourage your children to journal as well?
How has journaling shaped your life - as a person, a wife, a mother, a friend?
If you don’t journal, but would like to, what is holding you back?
†Helen Cepero, Journaling As A Spiritual Practice, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2008), p.32.
God is already present in the hidden depths of the present moment;
it is just because we were skimming along across the surface of what is happening
that we were unable to know and rest in that presence.
How much do I miss because I am only skimming, too rushed to pierce the surface and discover what lies beneath? How much more would I see of Him simply by slowing down?
†Gary Moon, “Experiencing the Presence of God: A Conversation with James Finley,” in Conversations 4, no. 2 (fall 2006): 21
Quoted by Helen Cepero, Journaling As A Spiritual Practice, (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2008), p. 20.
Loving yourself has a lot to do with slowing down…
Rather than adding one thing more every day, why not try adding one thing less?
…Try editing your days; craft them to sing concisely like memorable lines of poetry.
…Rushing is anxiety in motion.
- Mike Mason, Practicing the Presence of People
These words stopped me in my tracks, turning my eyes away from the face of the clock and onto the face of my little girl. Life will afford us many opportunities for rushing and busying ourselves, running here and there and everywhere. So today, let’s enjoy the slowness. Let’s celebrate your being small and free. Let’s just be.
†Mike Mason, Practicing the Presence of People (Colorado Springs: Waterbrook Press, 1999), 79.