By this midpoint of Lent, I hope you’re finding your Lenten journey has been fruitful! It is amazing the things that can be revealed to us, as we sit quietly in the desert of our hearts.
I’ve had a bit of a startling realization myself this morning. Although, to be honest it really shouldn’t be that startling, because it’s almost always the same realization, shown to me in a new way: the realization that I have a real knack for getting in God’s way.
This morning’s realization came to me after finally writing out in my journal exactly what I’d hoped to accomplish when I began this blog last Lent. And when I wrote out those memories of what I’d hoped to achieve, I had to face the reality of what was wrong now.
Here’s what I remember about my reasons for the launching of The Mystic Mom:
1. To share with “the world” (which at that time consisted of my mom, my mother-in-law, and a few friends of mine–Hi, Faithful Readers!), how I “see” God working in my life all the time. Since I felt that the “mud had been wiped from my eyes” after reading several books by and about mystics (in various faiths…not just Christianity) I wanted to share how the Being that I call God really is a very ordinary and real part of our everyday lives.
And that’s it! That was the start and end of my list at that time for starting this blog.
But, here’s where I get in the way. Because as soon as I hit that “publish” button for the first time, a whole new list of thoughts began to form. You know, those sneaky little thoughts that you try not to even entertain, but somehow seep into your being and attach themselves to the other, simpler, intention? Thoughts like:
- Maybe someone would tell me how much my writing has changed their life.
- Maybe that person will tell some other people and one of those people will be a publisher.
- Maybe that publisher will want me to write a book.
- Maybe I won’t have an idea for a book, and my one chance for ever writing one will be gone!
- On the other hand, maybe I will have an idea for a book and it will be published, but not sell.
- Or, maybe that book will be a New York Times best seller!
- Maybe I will become famous for that best seller.
- Maybe I will have to travel the country promoting my book.
- Maybe I’ll have to travel the world!
- Who is going to watch my children while I’m traveling the world?
- Will my husband be jealous that I’m now traveling the world and the kids are more his responsibility than ever?
- Will our marriage survive this jealousy?
- What will we do with all the money, too? Will we give it to charity, or hoard it for ourselves and become all focused on riches and wealth and forget all about God?
- OK, Reality check. The book will never get written. The world doesn’t need another book. Especially a book by me.
- I’ll just blog sometimes. For fun.
- Or , when I have something really important to say. And that I know is coming from God.
- And also if I have the time to blog. If I don’t have the time that’s OK, too. God will surely understand that. I mean, he blessed me with motherhood three times over. Surely he knows how busy I am!
- God probably doesn’t really need me to say anything anyway. He’s got a whole slew of angels to deliver his messages.
- Plus, there are lots of better messengers than me. More gifted. More talented. Just…better.
- Why am I doing this again?
Do you see what happened there? Over the course of the past year, I’ve drifted away from my original intention of taking my enthusiasm for understanding God through mysticism to “the world” and convinced myself that I should fear failure, and success, and just about everything in between. So the posts have dwindled, the keyboard was broken, and The Mystic Mom was silenced.
And in that silence, God was able to be heard.
So this morning, when I asked God to walk me through this whole process again and show me what it is HE intended (if anything) for me on this whole blogging journey, he very conveniently pointed out how far I’d strayed from my original intention.
Then he very conveniently also pointed out the one thing I’d promised to “give up” this Lent…my excuses.
And I know from experience, that excuses can only be extinguished with actions. If I begin to act, then the excuses disappear. This type of action is called discipline (from the word disciple), and it takes a lot of effort–especially in the beginning–to follow, and trust, and allow yourself to be transformed in the being God intended you to be.
For me, the act of discipline is, in most cases, the same thing as forming new habits. I’ve heard it said that forming a habit takes only 21 days. I hope that’s true. That’s why I’m announcing today that I will now be forming the habit of publishing a blog post every Monday, Wednesday and Friday through the end of Lent. I will also tweet and post some other encouraging words on my Facebook page five days a week.
It’s a start. I don’t promise my posts will be good. And I’ll probably surely fail the schedule at least a few times. But, I promise I’ll get up again, when I do. Also, in the beginning at least, I’ll probably be doing a lot of sharing of other people’s writings and words instead of my own. But it’s the action of writing every day that I need in order to get rid of the excuses.
I learned a long time ago that what the Catholic church calls “sacraments” are really actions, not things. They are actions of God for people. We call them visible signs of invisible grace. They are not “received” by us, so much as they are “celebrated” by us. Because God is always everywhere, so is His grace ever-present. Sacraments are the principal action through which Christ gives his Spirit to Christians and makes us a holy people. We celebrate by affirming, honoring and praising our life in Christ through the sacraments.
With that reminder, I am now keenly aware that my writing…this blog, my journal, (a book?), whatever…is my sacrament.
My only real “job” here is to TAKE the experiences God gives me, BLESS them with a grateful heart, BREAK them into a lesson, and GIVE that lesson to others.
Why would I want to make an excuse for that?