Saturday, January 31, 2015

Moments (and a few links!) of Joy

Chatting at the Sky: "The Spiritual Discipline of Wearing Better Pants"

"One of the casualties of my good girl detox was shedding my misconceptions about the spiritual disciplines. I needed to give myself permission not to practice them for a while because I couldn’t figure out how to do them without thinking I was earning something. 
"The past several years have been a re-entry of sorts into the world of the spiritual disciplines. It’s different now – kinder, gentler, tender, and more free. My definitions have changed as has (I hope) my demeanor."

"Ever so slightly, my mood began to shift. I started feeling irritable, discouraged, and not great about myself. When I retraced my steps, I realized why. My jeans were making it hard to breathe. 
"And because I’ve been thinking about my tagline a lot lately, and because I’m always aware of how the outer life affects the inner life, I quickly made the connection between breathing in my soul and breathing in my body. 
"In order to let my soul breathe, it’s good to be able to actually breathe. Literally. In my diaphragm. 
"Y’all, I’ve been wearing clothes that hurt me and it has got. to. stop."

"In those few moments in my bedroom, I was profoundly aware of the kind presence of Christ, that he doesn’t stop being relevant just because I’m cleaning out my closet. And while I still value taking care of my body and engage in other practices to maintain my health, I also want to be honest about my own expectations of myself and be careful not to compare my health to someone else’s. 
"I struggled with feeling oddly guilty about making something as trivial as getting rid of pants that are too tight into a spiritual practice. But then I remembered how life with Christ is about being a whole person, not pieced out into important parts and non-important parts. 
"In this one day I can carry both serious concerns in my soul and a pile of old clothes to the car."

Zen Habits: "The Contentment Habit"

Originally (ish), I couldn't remember what I was going to say about this. But then I saw the link I'm including after this, and wrote the words that follow it, and this link made sense to include.

"You feel you could be doing more. You’re rushing around, doing a lot, but there’s always a feeling that you could be doing more. This never ends, because there is always more you could be doing. You can never do everything, so there’s always more that you’re not doing than there is that you are doing."

A Holy Experience: "How to Roast the Fattened Calf of Perfectionism & Start Celebrating Your Life"

I read this a couple days ago, and sat down (well okay, I was already sitting... pulled up another tab) and wrote:

I've been cooking this morning, a crock lasagna recipe that's new to me. I have all these new resolutions I'm turning over in my head, where I'm going to use my crock pot more often, and crock pot or not I'm going to do any kitchen cleaning or dinner prep that I can early every morning, first thing after my morning writing and routine.

The dishes had gotten bad, and they took a long time last night and this morning to clean up. Still not done, then I needed to switch over to cutting up an onion, dividing up ground beef, browning the meat and onion...

Took a little break.

Read this.

Hmm. Yes, I want to cook more often, and doing more in the morning when I'm fresh will probably help.

But maybe that's not what I need to keep dwelling on this morning.

Maybe, this morning, I just need to enjoy this food here today, this process, these delicious smells in my kitchen right this minute. Breathe in. Thank God. Breathe out.

Turn around and enjoy the light on my kitchen floor (yes, it's a hardwood kitchen) via my phone's screen.

This morning I went for a quick run to a neighborhood park and back. Or at least it would have been quick if I hadn't kept stopping for pictures.

It frosted last night.

And there are things sprouting in my flowerbed that I didn't plant. Things other than weeds. I think. They look suspiciously non-weedish.

It makes me think of verses like Joshua 24:13, "I gave you a land on which you had not labored and cities that you had not built, and you dwell in them. You eat the fruit of vineyards and olive orchards that you did not plant."

The flowers (?) coming up won't be physical sustenance, but... they're a pure little blessing. Superfluous goodness. 

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