Here is our discussion and prayer regarding the letter to the Church in Pergamum from Revelation chapter 2.
So this week has been…..
My mother fell down the stairs on Tuesday night. We were pretty sure she had broken her hip. She of course insisted she had not. It turned out the doctors and the X-rays agreed with her.
Y’know it is entirely possible for a person to have no broken bones and still be entirely broken…..
While Mom did not break any bones she pulled every muscle on her right side including her back and groin, and the bruise on her hip is massive. She is shuffling with a walker around the new bedroom living room we fixed up for her in the two hours we had while she was in the hospital.
I am so thankful for Jody Clapp who came to our rescue and helped us with our impromptu and o’er-rushed home improvement.
Over the last three days we have rearranged the entire front of the first floor into an open concept living room- bedroom/ dining room-office.
We have thrown away a couch, a hutch, six broken dining room chairs, a broken table, an old TV stand, three rugs older than me and about a truck load of bric-a-brac we didn’t even know we had. We have dusted, swiffered, swept, mopped and vacuumed every square inch of this area.
Today I hung privacy curtains which can be drawn across the arch into Mom’s space so I can receive congregants at home as the transition at Cornerstone progresses. I have begun moving my office and prayer center down into this front room so that I can work and help Mom at the same time. I have been sleeping downstairs on the couch so I can help mom with the bathroom at night.
We have met with a nursing agency who is beginning to care for Mom when the three of us are at church ( this will hopefully be temporary but better safe than sorry). I have hired a junk take away guy who is coming on Monday to remove the mountain of refuse from the stone deck. We have made about forty calls tom the doctor and pharmacy (maybe an exaggeration but it feels like that).
THIS ALL LEAD TO A PROBLEM….
In the emergency, my schedule left me. Routine vanished like summer snow. My prayer life became so cursory I hardly had time to say “Thank you Jesus! Amen”. The absence of my disciplines left me feeling like I was absent myself. It has felt like I was on the outside looking in at my life and very…very out of control, not of the circumstances ( I am painfully aware I have no control of circumstances) but of my response to them.
So last night I stopped and reminded myself of why I need my schedule. Why I need my prayer time….. It keeps me sane and keeps everyone else safe.
So today as we are mostly done with the first phase of the reset at The Vicarage I have begun to restore the patterns of mindfulness and prayer that keep me from becoming absent in my own life and keep me from being a totally unhelpful jerk.
What patterns of mindfulness do you practice to keep yourself sweet?
I find that particularly during the season of cold and ice, I need to find something to keep me busy that is productive but does not involve the structured planning side of my brain.
I need time everyday to just let my mind run wild, free from the constraints of schedule, housework, meetings, ministry and the needs of people.
I find such time in prayer.
Prayer for me is becoming an exercise in waiting on the Lord for inspiration. I do pray for people and things in my prayer time, but a vast amount of my time is spent sitting in the presence of the Lord listening to His Scripture and waiting on Him to tell me what He will. This I am coming to believe is the genesis of my creativity.
I also find the space of recreative freedom in reading.
I am learning to break my reading into two categories….Story and Improvement.
Improvement reading is the reading I do for work: It includes leadership books, ministry manuals, reports etc. I love this type of reading but it is decidedly not something that sets my mind free. This kind of reading creates the structures I need to be successful at work. I am just starting a new book called, LEADING CHANGE.
The type of reading that I need to do to set my mind to run wild and free is story. I have worked my way through several stories this year….
And the one I am currently reading….
But reading is not enough to truly set my mind free from the shackles the world creates for it.
Prayer leads me to creating something of my own from the depths of my own soul to offer the world.
Sometimes this comes out as sketches.
Sometimes it comes out as photography….
Most often it comes out as the written word, here in a blog or in a story or a poem of my own.
I heard from my editor this week and she said the edits for my upcoming book, PORK CHOPS WITH THE SENTINELS OF AZATAN are on target to be completed by early spring.
That book has been my creative outlet for several years and now it is about to enter the organization phase. I am sensing that as I subject this work to the publication process, I also have to prepare myself a new outlet for the creative side of my being.
I am already praying about it.
DO YOU EVER FEEL THE NEED TO LEAVE THE CONSTRAINTS OF YOUR ORGANIZED WORK WORLD? WHAT DOES THAT LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
I have been spending a lot of time in prayer over this holiday weekend…even more than usual. It is not because I feel insecure about things in the world. I don’t. That is not to say that things in the world aren’t troubling. It is to say that I feel secure in the knowledge of Him who loves me. Things are going to turn out just as He has said they would.
I’ve been spending time in His presence because I love to spend time in His presence. It has been my birthday present to myself.
We watched a documentary on the Lennon Sisters this weekend and one of their songs really expressed how I feel about the prayer place….
The prayer space is where all the magic happens for me. It is where I discover Who He really is.I am pretty sure it is not that way for everyone. I am also pretty sure it’s not meant to be. I know not everyone is wired like I am. God has lots of purposes and only on of them is to go up to the mountain and listen for the Voice. But it is one purpose and I am glad it is mine!