How was your day?
Yesterday for me was a bit of bust. That’s not a fair assessment, it is better to say that there was a great many things that were done that were good. It is just that I had wished that all of it was done well.
But is that what God wants us to do with ourselves; only seeing the things that were going wrong? No! Why would He?!
Thinking about my day, any day, really, is a matter of putting myself in God’s presence. How would He see my day? Where there things that I should have done better; you bet! Are those things that did not go well something that should condemn me, no!
There is a biblical practice called replacement. It is also something you will find in therapy or counselling; it’s used mostly in Applied Cognitive Psychology when someone has something that they are battling: Phobias, compulsive behaviours, additions.
Both the biblical practice and the therapeutic practice have things in common. They both ask that we look at our behaviour and replace those thoughts, actions, beliefs that are holding us back. Ignatius would say to his novitiate to examine their day in light of what God was calling them to change, to strengthen. Ignatius asked them to review what they did, how and what they thought, and where they could have done better. All steps in replacement.
Let’s look at the steps:
First consider this bible passage: “Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right … Think about all you can thank God for and be glad about” (Philippians 4:8). God must have thought that our thoughts we were VERY important to how we perceive ourselves, our world, our family, our community.
Secondly Replacement: Our thoughts are very important, the more positively we can think, or turn our thoughts to the positive the better we will be. Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Remember when your Mom would say to stop and think about you are going to say, or to count to ten before you say anything – that is discerning or testing what you are going to say, is it Godly = Positive. If we take that time to think before we speak, any speech: self talk, direct talk, we will transform our minds to the positive. That will renew our mind/self because we will be starting to speak as Jesus spoke: positively.
Third Replacing: This brings us to some steps to that will help you replace thoughts.
- Write down those things that people have said to you that are positive.
- Write down all the things you are grateful for during the day
- Find bible passages that speak to you of God’s love for you.
The more we see those patterns of positive action, thought and love, those times of when God was active in our life; we will begin to see life more positively.
The last method: Look deeply.
We have to see our lives as they are. Write down everything in your day, good, bad and indifferent. God is present in all of these. Pray/talk to God about how you could have done things better. Write down what impressions of God you receive.
Over time you will feel more positive, see life more positively, and even as I experienced yesterday; life may not go smoothly all the time but even during those times there is God helping you through it.
Good morning fellow Mom:
I hope your Lent is going well.
As I look at the week past from Ash Wednesday to this day; I wonder if I can keep up my Lenten promise. Will I sustain this momentum?
It will be so if I can keep up the daily reminder that God and I are in a relationship to become a better person.
For so many years I have carried around so much weight; emotionally, spiritually. There are so many whys, but the most important one is the one I hear from so many moms: I am just a mom.
The Most Dangerous Words: “I’m JUST a Mom”: Understanding the Power of Language to Limit or Lift You
I may be a spiritual director, working with moms, but like many of the moms I understand the struggles they feel because I have felt them as well, lived them as well.
Lent is about preparing to become that new person. If I don’t or can’t keep it up, what does that mean for me? It means that I am not yet ready to commit to the new person God has been calling me to be. If I can’t, does that mean God will hate me? No, of course not. God invites, invites, invites until we say yes.
It means that somehow this life I have created, the old life, is giving me more rewards than the work it is taking to be the new me. It means that laziness, which is also a form of hiding, is trying to keep me a prisoner of my thoughts of worthlessness. I have to pray daily to God to help me keep going, not just for this Lent but for the rest of my life.
He wants the best for us. He sees moms as powerful women: I have to think of Mary. God is the ultimate cheerleader, guide, teacher, supporter. The work is hard, but God knows that when I am done, died to my old self, and successful He will be so excited that He got to work so hard with me to become new.
ek’wakik kr’trkkla ek’te’kau (to) Spock Ofereiksu
Eternal rest grant to Spock O Lord
I found this tweet on my timeline and thought: “How perfect a fit is this for the Gospel of today!”
The Gospel today is filled with ways we break covenant with our neighbours by judging harshly, calling them fool; and when we break this covenant with them, we break it with God MT 5:20-26
When our twinnies where in Kindergarten to second grade while they were at school I would arrange their favourite dolls so that they looked like they were reading books, or playing jacks with each other, or colouring quietly on the floor. Just recently our youngest twinnie confessed to me that that would “freak her out”. As a young girl she had come to believe that her dolls were alive and would listen at the door to see if they would be talking to each other or moving around, if she heard nothing she would go in; but then she worried that they were laying in wait for her.
But our other daughter, the eldest twin, she loved it! Well, just recently our eldest twinnie has brought that early tradition back with Cow. Here is Cow —->.
A few days ago I found Cow on my computer in my office, then at my place at the dining room table, so I put cow by our eldest’s college textbooks as if she was reading them, then put our daughter’s hat on Cow. This morning I found Cow in the pocket of my coat as I was searching for my keys as I was out the door for Mass.
It made me smile to pull Cow out as I muttered to myself: “What is this!”
This got me to thinking, being Lent and all and seeing that as a spiritual director my mind will just go this way, of the spiritual about this little game.
Each time we play this game we are forced to seek Cow out; as we are called to seek God out. Cow is hidden from our view, we have no idea where Cow is or where Cow will “pop” up, so it is a mystery. Just as God is a mystery in our lives and we have no “real” idea where He will pop up.
But when we find Him, when we pull Him out of His ever present “hiding place”, that place right before our eyes; aren’t we pleased when that happens? Don’t we exclaim in wondered tones: “What is this! Oh, its God!”
I ADORE Pope Francis. Just look at this picture! This man is so in love with his faith, his church, his God that the joy just beams out of his face! That is the face of a true follow of Christ!
Do you agree or what?
Yesterday I started a course at a local Catholic Parish, (not my home parish), called Alpha, click here to view the site and learn more about the program. Now Alpha is a nondenominational exploration of Jesus Christ the man, teacher, and Saviour.
I have been through many courses on Christology, Scripture, Dogma, as a spiritual director so I am not sure what to make of this course. I was invited to come by friends of mine at this other parish, and I was very excited to go. It is one of my Lenten promises to become more involved with my community. As some of you may remember I spent quite a bit of time gathering little chicks under my wing to keep them from the trauma drama that going on in our home. I stopped all contact with the outside world: no woman’s group, prayer group, going out with friends. I did what I had to do, but when I was home, I was home.
When this course was suggested I thought why not and went. Ah but God does enjoy pushing me out of my comfort zone and He surely did that last night.
As with most of these parish group courses you watch a video and then go back to a discussion group and discuss the video. And like these parish discussion group there is a wide range of spirituality; and that is where God really pushed me and pushed me hard.
In our group there people who are very pessimistic. They can not see the beauty of God, or feel God’s presence, His work within the world. There was one woman who wished/prayed that God would send the flood again to destroy the earth….really, really. If we are praying and wishing such things are we not disobeying our baptismal vows of working WITH the mission of Christ in bringing hope to the hopeless, freedom for the oppressed. Am I wrong in saying that we MUST be the change we want in the world?
These things trigger me and it is something I must learn to control. It brings me right back to living with my mom and dealing with other family members whose first response to anything was worry and not just fear of the future, but sheer panic! Panic that was so crippling that it affected the whole family; causing my father to be so angry, to terrify the children and to making the atmosphere of the home heavy, dark and hopeless.
Its that hopelessness that is so soul sucking! Why would you want to do anything, believe in God, work for change when your whole life view is life sucks then you die! That very world view is what I contend is the work of the devil. So, am I saying that these women in my discussion group are the devil, no. What I believe God is saying to me is be patient, not everyone is in the same place, and some are seeing God through lens coloured by lives filled with pain; as I well know from my own experience.
So, was/am I being the devil? In many important ways yes I was/am. If I can not let people journey as they must to find God then I am blocking them from lessons and opportunities that God has planned for THEM. He isn’t asking me for help with HIS job! And while I may have come to know that life is filled with miracles even in the most difficult of times, others may not see it that way and to deny them their personal experience of God is sinful on my end; it is my trying to control them and control their relationship with God, and that is sin of arrogance and pride.
Next week when I go into my small group I will confess my sins and ask for their forgiveness.