Happy Sunday Everyone! I hope everyone’s having a wonderful weekend!
In continuation of my Spirituality Sunday Series, below you will find my biggest spiritual takeaways from this week:
This week I tried a walking gratitude meditation. I loved it so much that I ended up doing it every day. There are a variety of walking meditations to choose from, but the one I selected took just under 15 minutes. This meditation encourages you to get outside in the fresh air; do some deep breathing; and reflect on what you are grateful for including: people, small things, and what you see around you while walking. There’s something about getting some fresh air and moving your body when you’ve been cooped up in your house or office all day; taking the time to notice the small things we take for granted; and reflecting on what you are grateful for despite the stress the busy work day has brought on. I did this meditation half way thru my work day, and I personally felt more joyful; less stressed; more energized; and I had more mental clarity (much needed for this crazy work week). If you are interested in nurturing your spiritual and emotional health; practicing more gratitude; and getting a little more movement in, I would encourage you to try a walking gratitude mediation at least once this week. Here is a link to the meditation I have been using: https://youtu.be/J9qTY8ttGUo . However, you know you best, so I encourage you to search around for one that best fits your lifestyle.
"Jesus Always" Daily Devotional by Sarah Young:
Page 27: "Relax, My Child, I'm in control. Let these words wash over you repeatedly, like soothing waves on a beautiful beach, assuring you of My endless Love. You waste a lot of time and energy trying to figure out things before their time has come. Meanwhile, I am working to prepare the way before you. So be on the lookout for some wonderful surprises---circumstances that only I could have orchestrated. Remember that you are My beloved. I am on your side, and I want what is best for you. Someone who is loved by a generous, powerful person can expect to receive an abundance of blessings. You are loved by the King of the universe, and I have good plans for you. As you look ahead into the unknown future, relax in my knowledge of who you are--the one I love. Cling to my hand, and go forward with confidence. While you and I walk together along the path of Life, your trust in Me will fill your heart with Joy and mind with Peace.
This passage really resonated with me this week (especially the parts I underlined). I don't know about you, but I can definitely relate to dwelling on what the future holds, and using a lot of time and energy trying to figure things out and have a solution for everything. I can think of several examples this week including: feeling the need to complete end of the year evaluations for my colleagues right now even though the deadline isn't until the end of next month; worrying and stressing about a difficult conversation I have to deliver next week to a colleague; feeling like I need to have everything set and stone for my wedding in October; already thinking about my long to do list for the month of February; etc. Most of us have probably experienced something like this before. The "unknown future" can be a scary thing, which causes us to feel like we have to have a plan and have an answer to everything, when in reality we are not the ones in control. Constantly stressing about the future is not going to get us anywhere, however relaxing and turning to Him for guidance will get us where we need to be. Next time you experience that anxiety creeping in when thinking about the future, I encourage you to consider stepping away; taking a deep breath; and asking Him to give you the strength and confidence you need, and to guide you through the next steps you need to take.
"I Heard God Laugh" by Matthew Kelly:
This week's chapter discussed six powerful spiritual lessons including:
Begin the Conversation: Page 69- "Prayer is conversation. Just begin the conversation. This is the first seismic shift in the spiritual life. Once the conversation has begun, it can lead anywhere. Most important, it will lead to places it needs to lead to....The first shift requires us to make the journey from the head to the heart, to turn from a thinking type of prayer to a relational prayer"....This week I encourage you to consider having a true conversation with God like you would with a loved one.
Ask God What He Wants: Page 70 - "When we start asking God for advice, direction, inspiration, and guidance, this is a significant moment. It marks a real shift in our spirituality. When we stop asking him for things, favors, and for our will to be done, we begin to open ourselves to much more than his will. We open ourselves to his wisdom"....This week I encourage you to consider asking God what he wants at least one time.
Give Yourself to Prayer: Page 71- "The is when we stop doing our prayer and start giving ourselves to prayer. Giving yourself to prayer means showing up and letting God do what he wants to do with you during that time of prayer. It means letting go of expectations and agendas for our time with God. It means detachment from the feelings that prayer provokes within us"....This week I encourage you to consider giving yourself to prayer by praying spontaneously, and when you feel called to. It's great if we have prayer on our agenda, however we want to aim to have it mean more than just marking something off of our to do list. We want it to be a true conversation and relationship.
Transform Everything into Prayer: Page 75- "Offer the next hour of your work for a friend who is sick. Offer the task you are looking least forward to today to God as a prayer for the person you know is suffering most today, and do the task with great love, better than you have ever done it. Offer each task, one at a time, to God as a prayer for a specific intention, and do with love. Pray for others as they come to mind throughout the day...This is how we are able to keep the epic conversation going, this never-ending conversation between you and God-by acknowledging him in the activities and affairs of our lives"...This week I encourage you to consider trying to pray throughout the day, whether it's for a loved one; something you see that you are grateful for; something that brings you joy in the present moment; when you start feeling overwhelmed with tasks; etc.
Make Yourself Available: Page 82- "The secret to supreme happiness is to strip away everything in your heart and set aside everything in your life that makes you less available to God, and then surrender yourself to his loving plans and care"...Page 79- "We fill our lives with with stuff-material possessions, social commitments, a disproportionate attachment to our work, and obsessive hobby. They cloud our heart and judgement, which prevents us from making great decisions"....The next time you feel like you are dwelling on something that truly doesn't matter, consider taking a step back and asking Him to help you focus on what is truly important.
Just Keep Showing up! Page 85- "No matter what, just keep showing up. I find it helps if we remember, it is not about what we are doing. It's about what God is doing in us, through us, and with us-when we show up". This week I encourage you to consider showing up and praying at least once per day, no matter how busy your schedule may be.
Thank you for stopping by! I hope you found some value in this, and have a happy and healthy Sunday!