Friday, July 7, 2017

Comfort Zones

It is nice to be back with the Spiritual Journey First Thursday crew. Pat from A writer on a Horse and Dog has the round-up this month with the topic of "getting out of our comfort zone."

"We all have those moments in our life that fill up time and space with both darkness and light, both happiness and sadness, and it is in those moments that we are all defined and changed.  We can look at those moments, those minutes and hours, and come to the realization God changed us and marked us in those moments."

These words appeared in a column in our local newspaper this week.

My community shuffled in and out of their comfort zones this week as they laid to rest a young man whose life of 15 years was cut too short. I know of his family, and my husband has worked with his grandfather for many years.  But neither of us knew Jacob.

What we have learned was that Jacob had a very strong and visible faith. He shared his faith with others, and many described him as a true servant. When it came to his faith, he was in a comfort zone where many teenagers, as well as some adults, find themselves uncomfortable. Openly sharing their faith at a young age is not an easy thing to do, but Jacob lived like Jesus. Jacob found his comfort zone.

And that is how he is remembered.

His mother told my husband at the visitation, "Tomorrow, I will be one day closer to him."

That is faith. That is truly living in a comfort zone.

Living my faith is something I have struggled with several years for many reasons. That is one of the reason why I started this blog.  Seeing my community go through this experience has made me think not about getting out of my comfort zone, 

but finding it and living it instead. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Rise Up and Pray

Well come to our second Spiritual Journey First Thursday!  I am hosting the round-up today, and I thrilled that you are here to share about my one little word RISE.

This is my fourth year to choose a one little word, and is something I have fully embraced each year.

When I chose RISE for my OLW and "Embrace Challenges" for a monthly motto, I had no idea how it would play out so quickly in my personal life.  I began to think about God's influence in the choosing of our OLW.

Does He put those words on our lips and in our minds?  Does He place us in experiences that cause our words to choose us?

Each year that I have chosen a word, I believe He led me to those words.  This year is no exception.  Just a few days after I posted about my word, I learned that my sister had cancer.

I believe that God knew what was going to happen and led me to that word.  

I believe He knew that I was going to have to RISE for my sister.

I believe that he knew this was a challenge that I was going to have to embrace, and he wanted me to TURN toward him in these times of trial.  He wanted me to RISE up and pray.

Image from I Will Trust in You
What part has God played in the choosing of your one little word?

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Rise - One Little Word 2017

It is hard to believe that almost a year has passed since I posted on this blog, which was created when my one little word was turn.  I wanted to turn more toward God, but that is a constant struggle for me.  That is why I appreciate the small community of bloggers who write for Spiritual Journey Thursday.  Holly Mueller at Reading, Teaching, Learning began the community, and it slowly grew.  We took a hiatus for awhile, but Irene Latham at Live Your Poem has brought the group back together.  Each month will feature a different topic from a different blogger.  This month's roundup about our One Little Word is hosted by Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink.

When I chose Rise as my one little word this year, I knew I wanted to make a positive difference in the lives of others.  I knew I wanted to..

Rise each day with
love on my lips
hope in my heart
thankfulness in my thoughts
...always in my actions.

At Catholic mass we make the sign of the cross on our heads, lips, and hearts before the reading of the Gospel.  This is a way of praying and inviting the Word of God to be "in our minds, on our lips, and in our hearts."

I was not thinking about this part of mass when I wrote my words.  (Honestly, I wrote "hope in my heart" and was trying to use alliteration.)  It wasn't until much later when I realized the connection between being positive and opening my heart to the Word.

My first day back at school I became frustrated with a colleague about being negative.  As I was talking about it with a different colleague, I realized I was doing the same thing.  If this had been a resolution, I would have broken it four days into the new year.

This is the power of one little word.  It is a guide, and we do not have to feel as if we have failed when we have a set back.

I also have created a purpose for positivity for each month.  This gives me ways to use words other than rise.  

January is "Embrace challenges."  I think back to the book of Exodus when the Israelites were escaping the Egyptians.  When God led them out of Egypt, he didn't make the journey easy.  They experience challenges as they traveled through the dessert and reached the Red Sea.  And when they were being chased by the Egyptian army, they were afraid of what may happen if they were caught.  But Moses told them, "The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still."  Exodus 14:14

It is when we meet these challenges with God's Word is in our minds, on our lips, and in our hearts, that we can Rise above them.  I ask you to embrace the challenges with me, knowing that God will fight for all of us.
My 2017 Manifesto