Sacred Pauses

I almost laughed when I saw the item squeezed into my ridiculously long to-do list: "write Sacred Pauses post." It was just too ironic.

There haven't been many sacred pauses in my life lately. This is one of the reasons why I plan to read April Yamasaki's book by this name, which is subtitled Spiritual Practices for Personal Renewal.

I've always been more active than contemplative. In recent years I've come closer to accepting this about myself - thanks in part to another book, Parker Palmer's The Active Life: A Spirituality of Work, Creativity, and Caring.

Living to the glory of God will, for me, always include a ridiculously long to-do list. Many items on that to-do list are cause for great joy. Some are hard, but meaningful. Some are little more than drudgery (that reminds me, I need to clean out the cat litter), but are the small price to pay for related pleasures (Hennessy is sitting on my lap and purring as I type). Lately I do feel stretched in an awful lot of directions, but can't quite imagine which piece of the beloved chaos I could forsake.

It is so easy for me to descend into a tirade of "shoulds" with myself. I know I should have a richer prayer life. I know I should spend less time following fascinating links on Facebook. I know I should do more. I know I should do less.

I never, ever win that battle.

Writing this is my sacred pause tonight. In a moment I will put the diapers in the dryer, and reply to a few emails, and tidy the shoes by the door, and gear up for another day of ministry, motherhood, writing, and advocacy. But right now I am typing:

Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.


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