Wednesday, February 22, 2012

You're my dust

Remember that you are dust. And to dust you will return.
Genesis 3:19

I was fashioned by the Divine and created for eternity, but I'm temporary and sometimes I need reminded. Even in my most spiritual moments, I'm human.

Ash Wednesday always gets below clogging my pores and soaks into my soul. Deeper than I'm comfortable with, really.

So, tonight I'll kneel at the alter and feel the rhythm of the liturgical year embrace my heart. I'll participate in repentance knowing there's not enough time to rehash all the ways I've fallen short. And I'll find grace.

I'm embracing prayer in this season of Lent. Just this morning I prayed, "I'm a dead man walking. Marked for death. I am dust and to dust I am returning." And maybe just because I have a reverently amusing relationship with the Almighty, I'm pretty sure I heard him whisper, "Yes, you are, but you're my dust."

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Coming Soon.....Lent

Still formulating how I plan to spend Lent this year and aware that I need to hurry.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Loneliness of Transformation

I'm not gonna lie. I find the spiritual life excruciatingly lonely sometimes. In my (somewhat limited) experience, God shows up in the quiet. The lessons learned in the dark last longer in the light. And true growth appears in those moments when you know it's God. He's the only one who was there.

Can I just say as spiritual as it sounds to say, "God and God alone!". . . I don't always prefer it?

Lately I find myself at the center of a transformation vortex in so many areas.

Physically I'm spending 7 hours at the gym a week and at least 4 hours at yoga on top of 75-80 hours of work. I'm watching my body and mind transform. I have the best personal trainers and the wisest yoga teacher, but at the end of the day, I have to do it. I'm responsible for the change.

I have to go for the long run. I have to complete a zillion repetitions. I have to not just show up for yoga, but participate in the renewing of my mind. I have to find the link where downward dog, cobra, downward dog, pigeon, downward dog, plank, downward dog, side plank, downward dog, warrior I, etc etc. connects with Breathe in peace and breathe out fear, anxiety and stress. That doesn't just happen because my teacher says so. I can and will downward dog/make a grocery list just as easily.

And maybe most importantly, my spiritual framework is being restructured. What I've known all along has been called into question and left me unsettled and afraid. Untangling "absolutes" is exhausting. I've gotten the best advice from the wisest spiritual people in my scope of reference. I'm eternally gratefully for their help, listening ears, and kind compassion in mass confusion. But, as much as I admire their walks and aspire to be just like them. . . . they can help, but they can't meet my spiritual desires for me. I have to pray the prayers, study the scriptures and seek God largely alone.

I'm settling into the loneliness in this season and finding it to be more friend than foe. I'm trusting that as God calls me away from distractions, he's drawing me closer to his heart. I'm even more grateful for those who come alongside me on this journey. I'm not exaggerating when I say I cherish every one. But, if I have to, I can survive alone with him. His grace is sufficient in the full times and in the lonely ones. When we're surrounded and when we're alone. When transformation is evident and when the process is painfully slow. He's there.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cursing Cupid

Oh, calm down. This is not going to be another "rant from a single person" about how much I hate Valentine's Day. I'm not going to get on my soap box and carry on until I reach my dramatic conclusion, "Remind me. Was Jesus married?" I could. But, I won't.

In and out of relationships, the whole Valentine's Day thing makes me nauseated. It's too much red and pink and for a person who doesn't consume sugar, kinda pointless. It's just not as romantic to insist on organic strawberries not chocolate covered preferably blended into a delightful protein smoothie.

Cupid can keep her arrows. Christians can please keep their comments like, "God still loves you!" Hallmark can keep their cards and florists can save their flowers for something to actually celebrate. Oh, I think genuine love is wonderful. I just don't think we need a calendar to tell us when to love people.

Every year I'm more and more grateful for friends, single and married, who don't associate being single with the plague and don't assume I've "missed God's best" because I'm not at the bar looking pitiful.

And I especially appreciate a friend who called me this morning to say, "I know doing life alone must be hard sometimes, but trust me when I tell're the smart one."

I like to think so.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Books! January 2012

Even more than, "Are you ever going to get married?" the question I get asked is, "What are you reading?" Since I'm not reviewing as frequently, I'll try to do a month in review post of the books I loved. Here's my top 2 for January!

Flunking Sainthood by Jana Riess is a great memoir of one woman's journey to master spiritual practices. It's filled with good intentions and the graceful reassurance that no one is perfect when she falls short of her goals over and over again. Lighthearted and genuinely honest, it's a memoir that made me laugh out loud, tear up and nod in agreement. If you need companionship on your spiritual journey, this book is for you.

And, sad for you, this book isn't available yet. It was predictably great. But! If you haven't read her other books, now is your chance. Lis Wiehl has taken the Christian fiction market by storm and is quickly securing her place in the top must read mystery authors. Releasing mid April, you have until then to catch up on her other work and then read this one. You'll be glad you did!

To Reading!