Lets get religious!

You’ve heard the saying “it’s a relationship not a religion” when referring to being a Christian, which is true in some sense.  Being a Christian isn’t some set of rules or regulations you keep.  You aren’t more Christian because of the things you do or the amount of time you spend going to church.  Being a Christian is about being called by CHRIST to follow him, it means to have your heart set on the reign of Christ in your life and allow the Holy Spirit to transform you by His sanctification process, creating you more and more like the pure and blameless Son of God.

BUT…sometimes you need to get a little bit religious.  You have to be purposeful about your relationship with Christ.  Sometimes you have to set up a check list of things to accomplish for the Glory of God.  Sometimes you have to be self-determined to set out to seek Him diligently.  Sometimes that takes religious effort, a setting up of disciplines that take you to the higher places. I am doing just that.  I’m Gonna get religious on ya.

You can blame it on Jen Hatmaker and her books “Interrupted” and “7: an experimental mutiny against excess”.  These books led me to “Seven Sacred Pauses: Living Mindfully Through the Hours of the Day” by Macrina Wiederkehr.  Macrina opens the monastery door and invites us into the monastic traditions of praying through the hours of the day.  Opening your lives up to remembering God in each of our moments.  Being “religious” about prayer and mindful about God.

The moment I picked up this book I knew God was calling me to this journey.  I would love to  leave for the monastery today and spend a month there, but the reality is I’m not free to do that so, I’m being called out to spend the month of September taking 7 Sacred pauses and begin a journey in the monastic way of life.  I will set the bells to go off on my phone, hereafter known as “The ringing of the bells” and attend to remembering God in the moments of my days.

I’ll walk along side those that have given their lives to the Monastic way of life.  I will renounce worldly pursuits (to the best of my ability and to the extent that I’m able while living in the world, being a business woman, a mother, a wife, etc.), and I will devote myself to the spiritual.  I will not be dressed like a nun or carry around incense or take a vow of silence (sorry family), but I will be purposeful about pausing and waiting and turning to God.

Over the next 7 posts you will read about the 7 sacred pauses, The Awakening Hour, The Blessing Hour, The Hour of Illumination, The Wisdom Hour, The Twilight hour, The Great Silence, and The Night Watch.  I’m excited about these 7 pauses.  I’m excited about what they will bring to my days and what the days will bring to my month and how this month will transform my year. 

Join me on the journey, lets get a little religious and see what happens.  I hope it teaches me to be attentive, to emphasize quality of prayer rather then quantity (these pauses are pauses not hour long prayer vigils) and to move through the day with grace.  I hope to un-crowd my being by getting rid of doing and be filled with reverence.

Greet the hours with joyful awareness.  Greet the hours with faithful presence.  Greet the hours with reverential bow.  Greet the hours with a sacred pause.

Reverence each hour as a small stepping stone on your pilgrimage through the day.  Receive the gift of seven sacred pauses.  Practice waking up seven times a day.  ~Marcrina Wiederkehr

Resetting the Rhythms

Have you ever felt like you have no rhythm?  Like somehow your beat got weak and your patterns are a little off?  Well, I have the fool-proof way to reset your rhythm..

Go to the beach!

Today I went here:

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And sat here:

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And watched this:

 

We arrived when the tide was out and sat and simply watched until the tide came in.  We knew when the tide was in because the waves came right up over the edge of the ledge we sat upon and touched our toes.  For over 3 hours we sat and watched and breathed and were mesmerized by the rhythm of the waves. 

Tomorrow is our Birthday! 

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Today we spent the last day of our 42nd year resting, preparing, breathing.  I can’t think of  a better way to end a year and tomorrow we can’t think of a better way to start a year than letting the waves send us forth with balance and a freshness to our soul’s. 

I love that God built this auto-tuner into His creation.  I love that we are free to partake in the divine and called to be a vessel for God.  I love that the beach is close the where I live and that my God is closer.  I love that the seagulls know just the song to sing and that the waves don’t forget what they were made to do. 

Reset.

Five Fridays

Sand in my toes, breeze through my hair, waves crashing on the shore…heading out today for my 5th Friday.  The beach is on of the secret places where God meets me for deep thoughts and inspiration.  He uses the beach to balance my inner being and give me strength for my tomorrow’s.

**on a side note I just got up for the 5th time to turn my coffee machine back on.  This has been the story of my year.  Always needing to get up and go restart ‘the machine’, not much rest for the weary.  But seriously, this coffee machine is on its last leg and its putting me over the edge. 

Five Fridays has been about reclaiming the year.  I consciously put all of my time, effort, and affections into my business starting January 1st.  We were making an important transition and I knew I’d need to pour my whole being into it until Mid-April.  Come mid-July I had still not made the transition out of this mode.  It was time.  Thus ‘Five-Friday’s’ was born out of necessity.  It was time to stop getting up and turning back on the machine and just get a new one.  I was in search of balance, in needed to get rid of the insanity of over-working and get things working the way they are supposed too. Yes it meant delegation and restructure and trust but it was time.

It has been my mission to take every Friday off in August.  At first it was just a necessity to my very life but now it has become sacred.  This has given me some balance that was needed but it was also used by God to do some important things.

1st Friday:  SERVE

~Its true I served at a women’s retreat, baring my soul, laying out God’s word and offering my time to the one’s who dared to come.  Yes it was a time of service but as always the ones that serve get a bigger blessing then those that come to be served.  Its part of God’s economy.  The “last shall be first” type of accounting and somehow this first Friday off of work and the subsequent weekend turned into God’s resting place for me.  A time where He filled ME up and allowed me to find a little bit of myself that had been set aside.  God met me and made it all about Him Loving me!

2nd Friday: Family

~Our family of 4, plus the 3 furry family members….took off for family camp with our church.  We have been a part of this church family for almost 2 years now and are finding this to be the place where God has called us.  My husband and I are participating in the biblical counseling training, with the intention of serving the community through mentoring and loving on others.  Our son volunteers to help in the sound booth and our daughter met a bunch of young ladies her age at camp.  This Friday was used to bond our family.  We went and shot guns and arrows and ate meals together and laughed and rested and sang songs of worship and got into the Word.  God was continuing his plight to use these Friday’s for His good.  Family.  Mine is broken and imperfect and the best!  God worked it together for good and I am blessed.

3rd Friday: Generations

~This Friday my daughter and mother and I took of for a whirlwind tour to Portland.  Girl time!  Grandma, mom and daughter.  Three generations of strong willed women, blessed to be a blessing, peacemakers, lovers of God and lovers of life.  We smiled a lot and it reminded me that I come from a family line that teaches their women to work hard and be courageous.  I see it in my mom as she came out of retirement to help our business get back on track. I see it in my daughter as she jumps into the pool each week and strives to meet her goals.  I heard about it in my Great-Grandmother who although I never met, I know she passed on her tenacity and determination to the generations ahead.  What a Friday! What a legacy!  All Glory be to God!

4th Friday: Order

~OOO boy this was a close one.  It didn’t look good at work.  I really was concerned about the work getting done and me taking my 4th Friday off.  I didn’t have anything pressing scheduled and so I almost set it aside until Father God reminded me:  we are doing something here…don’t miss it. I took this Friday to clean my house.  No need to elaborate…if I was working non-stop for months you can imagine the state of my dwelling place.  It was beautiful Friday night!  2 teens, 3 dogs, small house…dirty now, but last Friday!  Blessed!  **confession:  I worked Saturday and Sunday.  But Friday, o that Friday!

5th Friday: New Birth

~HAPPY BIRTHDAY BREK DANIEL!  Saturday is his birthday (and mine) and we are going to celebrate!  We are headed to the beach today for a much needed extended weekend together.  There are plans for reading and writing and sleeping and eating(my plans). and there are plans for hiking and kiting and dog playing and adventure(his plans).  Somehow I have a feeling God is going to do more then our plans with this Friday but whatever it is, I am all His!  Trusting God with His time in My life is the most important lesson I’ve learned this year!  My life always starts new on the day of my birth, it is the beginning  of Autumn(my favorite season) for me.  The boots come out, the kids go to school and I start another year of life.  It’s a new beginning.

Let it be Lord, let it be!