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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Day of Reflection



A few times a year, the monastery north of us in Mt. Angel offers a day of reflection.  It includes a few short talks from one of the nuns, and several hours of quiet time.  This past week I took a friend and we joined in.  I came away with a few new ways at looking at some of my issues and questions, along with a lighter heart and a more rested spirit.

One talk focused on preparing for the birth of Jesus during the Advent Season.  I started to think about all that this season usually entails - preparing special meals, Christmas parties, choosing gifts and decorating the house among other things.  It always is a time when I really feel that need to take control of my schedule since every minute can be busy with activity. 

But our teacher suggested a better way to prepare.

...Instead of focusing on physical preparation, focus on spiritual preparation. 

...Instead of planning every moment, be open and receptive to how God chooses to show up in my moments. 

...Instead of worrying whether I’ve checked everything off the list and put every decoration in place, be alert to God’s surprises, delays, and plans.

This certainly is the year to take this message to heart.  For many weeks, Bruce has been working on refinishing our dining/living room floor.  It’s a big job and has been much more involved and time consuming than we expected.  Our son, his fiancé, and her little boy are arriving here in two weeks, with their wedding a week later.  And we are not ready – yet. 

Some days I get anxious about the “doing”, because this is the season of doing.  The morning at Mt. Angel reminded me again to focus on God’s presence, and to be receptive to whatever He has for me each day. 

This is the way to prepare for the birth of Jesus: to joyfully experience being in the presence of Almighty God. 

Oh come let us adore Him – Christ the Lord. 

-          Julie