A powerful, thought-provoking insight....

Give me a well-trained tongue that has been borne out of silent listening in the sanctuary of my heart.

~ sevensacredpauses by Macrina Wiederkehr

Friday, November 12, 2010

"Ever notice"

Ever notice that when you're tired, you invest more in emotions than in reason? Ever notice that when you're tired, a good friend's compassionate advice is hard to hear?
Ever notice that when you're tired, you're less likely to go to bed early?

All of these things have found a home in my head lately. I'm getting better about going to bed immediately after I wake up on the couch! Our household has been in a bit of an upheaval lately due to my husband having knee surgery a couple of weeks ago. He's doing great! However, the "normal" routine in our household is now different.

I find it's interesting that when something happens to my routine to necessarily change it, I go all introspective. Narcissistic is what it feels like. While I'm caring for my husband (although he's an easy "patient"), I keep wanting to be the one in the spotlight. Yuck--not something I'm proud of in the least. Because of that, I've been second-guessing a lot of my motivations over the last couple of years (yes, years!) So, when venting to a friend of mine, I was reminded to roll with it and not invest so much energy in analyzing what's happening. Ouch. Yet...really good advice. I can always count on this friend to tell me the hard truth.

So at the risk of investing more energy in analyzing what's happening, I think there's a lesson here. A lesson revolving around my authentic relationship with Christ, my sometimes inordinate need for attention, and my penchant for paying attention. My relationship with Christ makes me consider others before myself. My relationship with Christ also requires me to be sure I am fed so that I may feed others. My relationship with Christ also opens me to an awareness of the work of the Spirit in the world, in myself, and in those I love.

My husband's surgery and recovery is going so well that my caregiving efforts are not all that heavy, but just enough to point up a lesson or two. I am aware of the fact that both my husband individually and our family as a whole have been lifted up in prayer by many, many people. God's healing and comfort are a huge part of how he's feeling, and we're coping as a family. Personally, centering prayer and healing prayer opportunities, as well as worshipping with my community of faith--communion in so many ways--have offered much needed food for my soul. Remaining aware of the Spirit's work around me has presented opportunities for ministry in and through what is going on in my life. Ministry has happened in spite of what is going on in my life. So even though I am feeling out of balance, there is Spirit at work in and through our family...which is actually pretty balancing.

My awareness of everything I have to be thankful for helps me sleep at night. Practicing what I preach (in a ministry to caregivers) is helping me keep what caregiving responsibilities I do have in perspective. Friends in my life--placed there by the Holy Spirit--are keeping me honest. Ministry will happen whether I'm in an office at the church, at my dining room table, or the orthopedist's office waiting room. As my friend said, "So many good things are happening, even and especially in the midst of crises and change and classwork. Celebrate the healing ..., body and soul. Enjoy the moment."

The funny part is that this odd feeling of being out of balance seems to be helping me to find a balance! Perhaps I'm weird, but I learn a lot of my lessons like this. So, as my friend suggests, I will continue to "[s]eek the center, the core in the midst of this blessed whirlwind in which [I] find [my]self. Be calm. Be [my]self. Be present and allow the Spirit to continue its loving activity in and through [me]." Therein lies the balance.

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