Last week, Terry, JT, and I took a trip to the Bay Area so I could attend some meetings in person for my consultant role. While we were there, we got the rare opportunity to go on a date alone, since Terry’s family could watch the baby. We like to check in with each other periodically on where we are in our spiritual journey, so we used this date to have that discussion. I shared with Terry how I had been feeling stagnant lately in my spiritual growth. I believed it was due to my lack of commitment to making time to do my usual spiritual practices: meditation and reading the bible. Terry pushed me to look for my connection to God in the daily practices I spent my time on. He was speaking from experience because he was in a season where he felt connected to God when he was working on our book (coming soon…) and felt God telling him to commit to that right now, while He handled everything else. I told him I felt connected to God when I was present with the baby, whether that be reading to him, playing with him, feeding him, or praying over him in his sleep, but it just didn’t feel like enough. I knew that meditation always grounded my spirit and created a space to communicate with God, but I hadn’t been doing that consistently lately and I also wanted to do more service in the form of volunteering but, with JT, I didn’t really have the time. With so many other things on my plate (consultant work, running the blog, contributing to the book, planning the wedding, keeping up the house, and being present with JT and Terry when they needed me), I realized that I had a lot going on and had the right to be exhausted. My fear though, was that if I wasn’t making time for my usual spiritual practices I was missing out on building a deeper connection with God or even worse, being ungrateful for everything He had blessed me to be so “busy” with. Coincidentally, we were in town with someone who has played the role of a spiritual compass and second mother to both Terry and I, Bibi. Terry suggested we continue this conversation with her to get a trusted perspective.
Her first reaction when I shared my concerns with her was to laugh. Not a grand, mouth wide open, stomach splitting laugh but more of a snicker. The kind that you accidentally let slip out when someone says something false. She quickly followed up her snicker with, “You know…the most important ministry in your life right now is this baby. Everything that you do for him is showing him the love of God.” She went on to say how she couldn’t imagine the time and energy it takes to raise a human being and yet somehow it’s belittled in our society as if it’s less work. She reminded me that I should never take for granted all of the things I do for him, because that is God’s work and I actually don’t have to do it. She accurately assessed that I was being too hard on myself and admitted that we’ll probably never feel like what we do is enough for God. She also went on to remind me that my spiritual journey will evolve over time. Right now it may be showing JT God’s love, 5 years from now it may be volunteering my time to read at a local preschool, and who knows what it will be 5 years from then. The most important thing is that I keep God, Terry, JT, and myself the top priorities in my life and if I want to take a nap when the baby goes to sleep instead of reading the bible, TAKE A NAP. She literally said, “Ask God to speak to you in your sleep. You don’t have to be up for God to speak to you.” I love it.
I soaked it up and I’m so grateful for the reminder that our spiritual practices don’t have to look like the typical images of volunteering time at a local shelter or kneeling down in prayer, although there’s nothing wrong with those forms either. But by harping on the things I wasn’t doing, I was missing God in all of the things I already do in service to Him. In addition to being a vessel of God’s love to Terry and JT, my hope is that this blog be a place for me to serve through providing information, inspiration, and empowerment to the people who come in contact with it. God is everywhere and it is up to us whether we look for ways to serve Him in all of the things that we do. It’s important for us to be open to all of the possibilities of spiritual growth and a connection to the divine so that we are able to fully experience it every day.
How have your spiritual practices changed over time?