18 September, 2009

"Hello? God? This is Amberly calling..."

God calls us to answer our baptismal call. For me, this is anything but easy.

How am I supposed to be mature, holy, concerned with the common good, sharing my gifts and an extension of God’s blessings all in the same day? I can barely remember to brush my teeth and grab the baby’s bottle before I leave the house in the morning!

And then it occurred to me…

- I maturely spoke kind words to the loan specialist about the loan coupon booklet that neverarrived and reversing the subsequent late fee.

- I shared holiness and patience with my son by singing along to his Bible songs CD during an unusually long traffic delay that postponed his suppertime bottle.

- I responded to the common good by taking the time to e-mail back a flustered friend withwords of affirmation and to follow up on a state health provision that could negativelyimpact thousands of marriages.

- I shared my gift for healthy cooking by making a balanced meal for my husband and sistereven though the last thing my stomach could tolerate was cooking beef.

- I was a conduit of God’s blessings as my exhausted husband sighed and opened our nightly devotional and I said quietly, “I’ll read tonight”.

Upon this reflection, I’ve deduced that the key to answering my baptismal call is being aware of my baptismal call in my everyday life. Specific and intentional responses to our baptismal call are important as well, but I believe that most importantly, God wants us to be thinking of our call within the context of how we live our everyday lives.

And the best way to awareness? A direct line with God by way of a practical, but regular prayer life.

For me, this means prayer time from daycare to work and devotional time with my husband before bed.

If you have trouble carving out time for prayer in your life, here is a method to consider. Presented in this form by author Trudelle Thomas, the Ignatian Examen is a daily practice of spiritual reflection that has been used by Christians for centuries. In essence, it consists of 2 questions.

- What am I most grateful for today?

- What am I least grateful for today?

Sometimes formal prayer can be daunting. These two questions can bring you a greater awareness of God’s presence in your day. These questions can take other forms if you prefer:

- When did I give and receive the most love today?

- When did I give and receive the least love today?

- When did I feel the most alive today?

- When did I feel the most life draining out of me today?

Just remember, however you get there, a direct line of communication with God is the key to answering your baptismal call.

Now, stop reading and go listen.

13 September, 2009

Life Maintenance...

I saw the phrase "life maintenance" on a friend's profile today and it got me to thinking, what maintenance do I need to do in my life. And then I got overwhelmed...

Maintenance in family life is constant. It is not something you relegate to one or two evenings. It is not something you ever complete. This realization was a hard one to accept. I am a recovering closet perfectionist who still cannot live life without a calendar and a list. I take GREAT pleasure in crossing things off my list when they are complete. After welcoming John Ross into our life I had to come to terms with the fact that just because I cross a task off my list doesn't mean that I won't have to do it again tomorrow or next week. At this point, I am less concerned with completion as I am with category of frequency such as daily, weekly, monthly, and my self-coined "when I can" category.

For my own stress relief, I will list them here. Just kidding...I know we all have our lists and no one needs to spend any extra time reading mine.

Here's the problem. When I wrote my lists, prayer didn't cross my mind until I got to "when I can". I'm not sure how I should feel about that. I mean, I'm the kind of gal who believes that prayer is key to a calm and collected life even when it gets crazy. I am also the kind of gal who believes that God meets me at the sink, the washing machine, or on the highway. That said, it seems that when I don't have prayer built into my daily "life maintenance" I have a hard time remembering to meet God at our designated oasises.

A friend of mine lovingly challenged me to look at my prayer life as one cause for my manic-ness this past week. In addition to a severe case of hormones, I had to admit to her that my prayer life sucks!!!

Okay friends, how do you build regular prayer time into your daily life maintenance? I'm looking for practical ideas that will work as built in reminders. When I was little, my mom always kept the family meds (we have some serious asthma issues in our family) in the drinking class cupboard. That way, anytime we went to the cupboard (especially at mealtimes like breakfast and bedtime snacks) we would see them and be reminded to take them.

Where do I put my regular prayer so that I am always reminded of it?

09 September, 2009

Women Unite!

Good morning all!

Again this morning I was affirmed in my call to serve women. So many women are looking for a safe and open place to find acceptance, understanding, and healing. So many women are looking for a place to explore relationships, sexuality, spirituality, and most importanly, how to get the laundry done.

Thank you to all the beautiful women in my life who have shared their lives, their needs and their support. I am so blessed to be able to serve with you as we live life.

I am preparing a list of speaking topics for upcoming events and inqueries and once again, I need your help. So, I have a question...what is it that you need TODAY?