Too Much Tuesday: Simplicity in Spirituality

While rereading Dom Hubert Van Zeller’s outstanding Holiness for Housewives (and other working women), my primary Advent spiritual reading this year, I ran across the following words of wisdom I thought worth sharing. So often we make growing in our faith a complicated matter and are discouraged when we don’t seem to make much progress. Or, alternatively, we can become complacent and coast along in our spiritual practices and not really bear much fruit along the way.

I believe this holy Benedictine priest nailed it when he wrote this book as his way to holiness is, in Benedictine tradition, one of stability, obedience, and ongoing conversion–all the while balanced by moderation. I hope his words–summed up in his phrase “religion is yielding to Christ” are helpful to you as well during this time of waiting and preparing for our Lord and Savior’s birth.

“Training in spiritual things…can be done only by the combined activity of God and yourself. Concentrate on the service of the will…Obedience to God’s will is…is all that religion amounts to. Religion is God. Religion is recognizing God in His own setting. The setting is provided by Him, not by us…Religion is yielding to Christ.

The only thing that really matters in life is doing the will of God. Once you really appreciate this truth, and act accordingly to its implications, you save yourself a lot of unnecessary heart-searching [overthinking] and resentment.”

The Weaver

 

My life is but a weaving, between my God and me,

I do not choose the colors, He worketh steadily,

Oftentimes He weaveth sorrow, and I in foolish pride,

Forget He sees the upper, and I the underside.

Not till the loom is silent, and the shuttles cease to fly,

Will God unroll the canvas and explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful in the skillful Weaver’s hand,

As the threads of gold and silver in the pattern He has planned.

B.M. Franklin (1882-1965)

Found in Corrie ten Boom’s Tramp for the Lord.

Thoughtful Thursday: I’m Not God

Today’s post is from a friend who has nailed it. For anyone dealing with the “stuff” of life that can clog up your heart or mind, this essay–along with good counseling/therapy and ideally a support group like Celebrate Recovery–can help you begin to clear out the muck and remember (or perhaps see for the first time) some timely truths.

http://beckismswithasideofbacon.blogspot.com/2016/06/im-not-god.html

 

 

Getting Things Done with Chronic Illness: Lupus edition

Today’s reblogged post is written by someone who knows the ropes when it comes to managing her lupus. Thanks to Sara Gorman’s innovative, comprehensive approach–detailed in her outstanding book, Despite Lupus: How to Live Well with a Chronic Illness (my all-time favorite book on living with chronic illness)–she has been able, over the years of learning to live with lupus, to write a book, blog (Despite Lupus), have two children, and start a home-based business related to her lifestyle (Sara Gorman’s Pillbags). Despite what you might think, she’s no superwoman but rather an extremely realistic person who has accepted her limits and learned how to manage her health so that it supports her life’s priorities, all one step at a time. I thought this post might appeal to my readers who are chronically ill and/or are writers who are chronically struggling with finding time to write.

http://despitelupus.blogspot.com/2016/04/finding-time-to-manage-lupus-just-put.html

Living with a Rule of Life

Eleven years ago–in my continuing saga to learn to live in the present moment–I read and tried to implement a rule of life. Ultimately I was unsuccessful at sticking to one and became frustrated with my search for greater spiritual and personal stability. Over the years as I tried rebooting my attempts I used two very different resources on this subject;  unfortunately neither one provided me with the ability to create something that I could stick to for the long haul.

I’ve come to finally realize that it was probably not in any way due to the books being inadequate but rather a result of the combination of my ADHD and OCD tendencies, in addition to deep-seated perfectionism, and, probably most significantly, an extremely challenging season of life that included multiple chronic health issues that sabotaged my attempts. Now that my health is improving I am optimistically embarking on a reboot of a rule and have decided that it has a greater chance of sticking if I share it here and therefore insure some measure of accountability!

My primary resources for developing a rule are those two books that have helped me in one way or another over the past decade. While I don’t agree with everything the authors have written I’ve gleaned what makes sense to me and feel both books have more content that is worthwhile than not.

The first book I read was one devoted exclusively to the subject, Holly Pierlot’s A Mother’s Rule of Life:

http://www.amazon.com/Mothers-Rule-Life-Bring-Order-ebook/dp/B005D9IDZ2/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1459767168&sr=1-1

The second and ultimately most helpful was Jane Tomaine’s St. Benedict’s Toolbox: The Nuts and Bolts of Everyday Benedictine Living:

http://www.amazon.com/St-Benedicts-Toolbox-Everyday-Benedictine-ebook/dp/B010EINBZS/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1459767086&sr=1-1

This book was greatly expanded and revised last summer so a few months ago I treated myself and was not disappointed. What was already an exceptionally good book was made even more outstanding and although it has only one chapter specifically devoted to developing one’s rule it is packed with helpful insights and practical instruction.

So, gentle reader, join me as I share my ongoing journey of developing and living by a rule of life–all for the glory of God!

 

 

Too Much Tuesday: Too Much Stuff

To the tune of “Three Blind Mice”

 

Too much stuff, too much stuff,

More than enough, more than enough.

It’s out of the closets and filling our space;

It’s growing and spilling all over the place;

We’re tripping all over, a terrible case

of too much stuff.

 

Too much stuff, too much stuff,

More than enough, more than enough.

The piles are staring us in the face;

They multiply at an alarming pace;

And soon we’ll be buried without a trace

in too much stuff.

 

Too much stuff, too much stuff,

More than enough, more than enough.

It isn’t easy to run the race,

With all this stuff slowing down the pace;

I think I need some additional grace

for too much stuff.

 

Marjorie Morrison shared via Elisabeth Elliot on “Gateway to Joy” over a decade ago.

 

 

 

Do not be afraid

An excellent summary and reminder for all of us from my favorite blogger: we are imperfect but are loved by a perfect and awesome God.

Aquinas, Etc.

It happened that he was standing by the lake of Genesareth, at a time when the multitude was pressing close about him to hear the word of God; and he saw two boats moored at the edge of the lake; the fishermen had gone ashore, and were washing their nets. And he went on board one of the boats, which belonged to Simon, and asked him to stand off a little from the land; and so, sitting down, he began to teach the multitudes from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, Stand out into the deep water, and let down your nets for a catch. Simon answered him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and caught nothing; but at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had done this, they took a great quantity of fish, so that the net…

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Simplicity

This is simply a great post, no pun intended.

http://blueprintforlife.com/blog/why-simple-works/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Why+Simple+Works&utm_content=Why+Simple+Works+CID_b123804ed34e0de7fba260d5ff7edd4a&utm_source=TodayMail&utm_term=Read%20More

 

 

 

Just Be

All that is necessary is to just be. That’s all that is truly necessary. So simple. So not easy. So, a few more breaths. A few more sentences. And then life must go on. Moment by blessed moment.  Sacred heartbeat by Sacred Heart beating within mine.  So full of love, so full of grace, so full of mercy for all of us in desperate need of it. For all around us who experience our “mess” landing on them, God help them! And He is, He most certainly is; thanks be to God! Yes, thanks be to God for His indescribable gift (2 Cor. 9:15).

Reading in any amount is good therapy

“And when I read, and really I do not read so much, only a few authors, – a few men that I discovered by accident – I do this because they look at things in a broader, milder and more affectionate way than I do, and because they know life better, so that I can learn from them.”
― Vincent van Gogh

Who of us couldn’t use more of this perspective? Well said, Vincent; well said. Rest in peace, brother.

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