Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Oh the thoughts I think while sipping coffee, with music playing in the background, facebook in another tab, and a mental checklist of what’s going with me today. I’m heading off to a friends to baste a quilt (or two – not sure yet), enjoy each other’s company and imbibe in chocolate cake with butter cream frosting. Yes, I did say imbibe in chocolate cake, because that’s what we do.
As the baker of said chocolate cake I can assure you no alcohol was used in the baking of this cake, a wee bit of coffee powder yes, but alcohol no.
Scrolling through facebook the Three Minute Retreat caught my attention, it’s a feature on a Jesuit website that I saw at some point and when it comes through my feed I stop and pray with it for a moment. So for a long time I’d go sit in the Church, in the quiet, journal in my lap, pen in hand and start with:
Take Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and possess. Thou hast given all to me. To Thee, O lord, I return it. All is Thine, dispose of it wholly according to Thy will. Give me Thy love and thy grace, for this is sufficient for me. – St. Ignatius
Letting God lead is a long-standing desire and prayer. And yet I tend to borrow worry. I’ve borrowed so much worry against the future I could stop borrowing right now and still have enough for several lifetimes. I can assure that this worry leads me into all kinds of thoughts, feelings, and places I’d rather not go. Worry is burdensome, it’s heavy, and takes both hands to carry. When worry is carried in both hands, peace is far from the mind and heart. This is experience speaking here. I know better. I do. Really. I know better, and still I keep borrowing worry. As I borrow worry decisions about what I should do next are made in fear.
As decisions are made in fear there are things that happen: I’m unwilling to let-go of where I am in this moment because I’m afraid I’ll lose something very important like friends, or creativity, the words to speak (write), or something else important. Making fear based decisions often happens impulsively, without a whole lot of thought, or prayer and don’t always work out so well. I do learn a lot from these decisions and have the skinned knees to prove it. Okay so maybe not exactly skinned knees, I trust you get the point though.
We, as a couple, had an amazing, challenging, beautiful experience in ministry when we said, “yes” and moved where God was leading. It wasn’t always easy, however I can still draw sustenance from that experience. It is in this experience that I learned to pray the prayer of St. Ignatius working on making faith-based decisions. Somewhere along the way…
And here I am (we are) in a moment where I’ve been praying for months, well years really, for something, even having that ugly cry in front of the Crucifix in my studio wondering where God is leading. I’ve been struggling with both prayer, and quilting, both have seemed elusive, far off, like an mirage in the desert promising water and not really there. Deep down the reality is the prayer is there in the desire of my heart to pray. The desire to quilt though is just coming back. Little bits and pieces are coming back, whispering in my ear, tugging on my heart, opening my eyes, leading the way back to that creative, restful moment.
I’m not sure that I exactly sure where this is leading, but I’m game. I can no longer bear the burden of the worry, so handing this off to God is the plan, one that will need frequent reminders, and an act of the will on my part. That prayer of St. Ignatius will end up on the inspiration wall, in front of the sewing machine, next to the Cross.
As I reflect this morning I am more at peace about a “No” received about something I really wanted. Thought I wanted.
I’m off to ice a cake, gather my quilt(s) for basting, and go visit a friend.