Hey everybody! How’s it going? Hopefully all y’all are having a great summer. It’s been busy here, but the house project is about to take a rest. I’m hoping it will be done by the time school starts. The current challenge for me is to be still sometimes. If y’all know me, that’s a very tall order! I’ve been blessed to read a really good book several times in my life, and it has some of the best advice.
The title is “Practicing the Presence of God” and the author is simply named, “Brother Lawrence”. You can pick up a copy on Amazon. Brother Lawrence worked in the kitchen of his community and was able to find God in the midst of the pots and pans and dishes, turning every little action in to an act of worship, an act of service to God and those in his community.
This summer has been crazy. Nothing new there. In the midst of the frenetic activity, the call to be still and quiet has intensified and come at me from every direction – friends, family, mentors and even my spiritual director. I realized that after a couple of fairly manic years, I wasn’t able to be still so well anymore. There was a day… long, long ago in a place far, far away…
So, I’m trying; but I feel guilty when I’m not doing something ‘productive’. August will be a month of rest. I even declined going back to Kansas to see family, as that would add more motion, money and stress simply in the travel aspect. I need to rest, to nest, to take time to deepen my roots in Jesus.
Another place I’ve been neglectful is caring for myself. Simple things like eating, sleeping and taking daily meds have gone by the wayside, due to the ‘tyranny of the urgent’. So, I’ve become more mindful of a realistic schedule. I have alarms set on my phone for prayer time and bedtime. I am more mindful of eating three solid meals a day, and taking my meds. I discovered something that I already knew, but had forgotten.
Since our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, our actions of self-care are also acts of worship in a sense. This morning, the Lord showed me that anything can be an act of worship – even taking daily medications!
I recently saw a quote by St. Frances of Rome: “It is most laudable in a married woman to be devout, but she must never forget that she is a housewife. And sometimes she must leave God at the altar to find Him in her housekeeping.” You can read the entire post by Lisa at “The Practicing Catholic” here.
That being said, I will make time for silence, prayer, study, meditation, journaling, etc. in the month of August. A time for rest. In the meantime, each action to get the house in order can be an act of worship. Each time I choose to eat a solid meal instead of snacking on chips, taking better care of myself. Each time I actually go to bed and go to sleep instead of staying up on Pinterest or the latest craft project. Even vacuuming the house can be an act of worship; it brings a more peaceful atmosphere when it’s clean. De-cluttering takes on a whole new meaning when the goal is a peaceful home.
Are there things you’ve taken for granted that you can turn into acts of worship or prayer? Are you thankful for the clothes you have as you do the laundry, and pray for those who are in need? Thankful for the house that needs cleaning, mindful of those who are homeless? Thankful for the noisy joy of a house full of healthy children? Or the shift work that means your husband has a job and can provide for the needs of your family?
Maybe your needs are more basic right now. Maybe you need to connect with Jesus to begin with. He is so gentle and gracious, so loving and forgiving, so wise and practical. We were made by God to worship, and we will worship something or someone. God allows us to choose! The best choice I ever made in my life was to worship the God who created it all, and sustains it all, and wants to be in a relationship with me!
If you want that, too, but don’t know where to begin, find a pastor or priest. They will be happy to help you start that relationship and help you connect with others who can help you maintain that relationship. They can show you how to have a two-way conversation with God. You can choose where to direct your own acts of worship!