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!

 

 

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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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The Power of 15

The following post on the power of 15 minutes is one I could have written myself. For those who don’t read comments, here’s what I had to add. I’ve found another thing that works well with using this approach is to take a quick pic of the area(s) I’m working on before and after the 15 minutes. Seeing the difference I can make in this concrete way really helps motivate me to keep on going with this “one bite at a time” approach. Additionally, using a timer–(I like the Time Timer app for my phone–http://www.timetimer.com/)–is helpful in making these 15 minutes happen for me. I need help both in starting and stopping! 

https://unclutterer.com/2015/08/24/the-power-in-15-minutes/

 

 

 

 

 

Writers’ Wednesday

Madeleine L’Engle on Writing

One of my long-time favorite authors–going back four decades now!–and writing mentor (via her written words) always has such sage advice for writers. In fact an article titled “Words of Wisdom” in the June 2002 edition of The Writer was information collected and reprinted from the book I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this blog–Madeleine L’Engle: Herself–Reflections on a Writing Life (published the previous year). Here is a small excerpt of her advice to writers taken from that article. I think it is timeless and spot on. Not that I always follow it, but it’s great to aim for!

Three Recommendations

Read at least an hour a day. I try to read something I feel I ought to read for most of the time and then for a little bit of the time I read something just for sheer fun. [I do just the opposite these days, although for a long time it was the reverse.] Fun reading is important, and I think we underestimate reading for fun…

Part of your technique of writing is built by writing, and with this you should also have fun. I do think that keeping an honest, unpublishable journal is helpful. Include what you are thinking, what you are feeling, what you are responding to. Include what you are angry about that you heard on the news. Don’t talk about the news in terms of politics but in terms of your own life. What does this mean to you?

Write every day.

 

 

Monday Musings

“Nothing will ever be completely done.” – Anonymous

For those who don’t know, I’m a seriously uptight chick (and recovering perfectionist!) and definitely a work in progress by the grace of God. However, I think if I’d heard that quote or realized its truth before I was middle-aged things might have gone a lot smoother over the last decade in particular. I’m glad I was a young mom in my 30s as that was an awesome decade for me personally. I believe that’s because I was more able to live in the Present Moment with my husband and our son as we had so much rejoicing to do, as we had to wait seven years before he showed up.

The longer you have to wait for something you desperately want, then it is all the more precious when you finally receive it. Then, whoosh, time flies by and you can’t believe your son will be leaving home sooner rather than later. I’m reminded of that today in particular as a dear family friend turns 18 today and is quite the fine young adult himself (and I’m not just saying that because I love his mom so much!). So enjoy living in the present, remembering the past’s fond memories (like meeting this young man shortly after his birth), and looking forward to seeing what blessings the future holds for him. Happy Birthday, Justin!

“God is always good, and we are in His hands.”  –  James Jarrett

Seeking Perfection

Seeking Perfection.

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