Matthew 4:18-22 SLOW Word Lectio Divina

Friends, I’m hearing multiple questions in this Matthew 4:18-22 passage today, questions to stay present to this week.

It’s journaling time.

1. In what way am I divided and continue to go back to what’s familiar? The disciples fishing and mending their nets had already been following Jesus for at least a year. Yet, they didn’t have a vision for a total change of life, a vision which was profound enough to keep them focused. Do you think that maybe they didn’t know that the listening would be transformed into action…action they would be asked to take? So here’s another question: 2. In what way am I a passive follower of Christ?

3. What is Jesus asking me to set down in order to follow Him unencumbered? Fascinating, huh? We are weighted down by a to-do list that’s too long, expectations that are undesirable, an ego that is never satiated, fears which demand our obedience, and other people’s ideas of who and what we should be. No wonder we can’t answer His “Come Follow Me.” We’re a bit busy juggling our own heavy problems.

4 and 5. Where or to what is Christ asking me to follow Him? Perhaps you’ve been sensing a nudge into brand new territory. Perhaps you’ve seen something which you can’t unsee, something which demands you show up with intention to love, to fight, to humbly serve. Perhaps we can just simply ask the question, Jesus, what breaks Your heart? Then we follow Him there.

Finally, 6. Is there a person Jesus wants me to invite to meet this Christ? 

Lord, open our ears to hear Your voice and make us brave enough to follow. Amen.

 

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John 1: 29-34 SLOW Word Lectio Divina video

#MondaysAtJesusFeet

Every Monday and Thursday find a SLOW Word Lectio Divina video right here.  I’m an audible learner. You too? I’m finding there are lots of us out there. Subscribe on the right to have these slipped right into your email…and find other tidbits there as well. Perhaps you know someone else who may want to sit at Jesus’ feet with us?

 

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On the Journey toward Self-Acceptance + *SLOW Word video*

 

My holidays were straight up gluttonous.  Baked brie oozing out of its pastry crust.  Chilled mimosas for breakfast with crepes carefully folded over nutella and strawberries. Then later, Balsamic Roasted Beef, smashed potatoes, and peas and pancetta for Christmas dinner. With wine. Always with wine.

And that was just the first 24 hours. My people take feasting seriously.

Then gluttony took on a deeper level. I. DID. NOT. WANT. TO. STOP. for sleep, for exercise, for bathing (it’s getting real people!), for breathing. I wanted to bathe in joy, to seize it and ride it home. I sat Indian style with little ones on the floor, eating imaginary eggs from tiny hands and rolled onto my back to surge a curly headed nephew up into an airplane ride with my feet. I went on every excursion. I watched movies on the couch late into the night my brother reciting the lines of Chariots of Fire before they occurred. Then I stayed up later to journal. Each morning there was more coffee and less of me. Repeat for three more days.

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I tried to remember to stop and inhabit the present moment, to listen, to drink deep.

 

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Two days in, I slid into cruise control and held my breath.

Here’s the problem. I’m an introvert and a four on the enneagram. I only have so much energy, lots to process, and then I crash and push through until I hit a wall. Every year it happens. Every year I forget. In the past, I’ve shamed myself. Why don’t I have more to give? Why can’t I just be like_______ and dance my way through? Shame and I are close acquaintances.

But, it’s time to grow up, to slide into the wider spaces of self-acceptance.

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This quote by Parker Palmer curated by Leanna Tankersley on her Instagram whispered a kind of quiet truth that made me come back…and back to listen again:

“They decide to live “Divided No More.” They decide no longer to act on the outside in a way that contradicts some truth about themselves that they hold deeply on the inside.”

Palmer’s words echo this quote by Fr. Romano Guardini which I’ve come to circle so often these last few years.

“The act of self-acceptance is the root of all things. I must agree to be the person who I am. Agree to the qualifications which I have. Agree to live within my limits…The clarity and the courageousness of this acceptance is the foundation of all existence,” Fr. Romano Guardini.

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If Guardini’s words feel like an invitation to self-acceptance, my one-word for 2014, Parker Palmer’s words feel like a line in the sand. It whispers with a deep magic to this recovering people-pleaser.

Self-acceptance is a choice to be whole, not frayed. And no one else can make that choice for me. I’ve decided it’s time for me to grow up. It’s time to be “divided no more.”

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(Christmas morning selfie by my daughter. Love her.)

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He is doing a new thing *SLOW Word video*

Every Monday and Thursday we listen to the Word using a Lectio Divina. Subscribe on the right to get the word slipped into your inbox twice a week.

 

It’s now 2017. My witty sister-in-law Heather and I had a little New Year’s bubbly at midnight though our guys had to work for it…with power tools. Here’s the link to the video. After they went back to their game, we thought we’d put on pj’s and ring in the new year with a SLOW Word. Join us? I think you’ll discover as much hope as we did for our new year in Isaiah 43:19-21.

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Philippians 4: 4-7 *SLOW Word* Lectio Divina

Welcome to my kitchen, dear ones. I’m so sorry I’m late with this SLOW Word video. On our 13 hour drive up north in and out of spotty wifi all my technology decided to strike, but it’s never too late to soak up the Lord’s Presence, right? It’s never too late to turn our hearts away from the noise and back to this pilgrimage to the manger. This may seem like an unusual  “Advent” scripture but on this busy week full of a great big helping of magic and crazy, this deep breath may be just the thing you need to remember who really IS the GIFT.

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Poem: A Conversation with Mary *and SLOW Word video*

(Deep at the bottom of this quote is the SLOW Word Lectio.)

I feel more at home in the roomy world of poetry. I can be bare and human. I penned this poem last March in the silence of my first spiritual direction residency when the words were bubbling up faster than I could catch them. That evening I found a friend in Mary who while bearing the gift of God-with-us, understood all too well that our waiting and even our painful laments enlarge us.

Eugene Peterson translates Romans 8:22-25 this way and it’s been preaching to me from books and mentors:

22-25 All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.

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Praying with the Icon of the Sign: Emmanuel

 

She stands in orans, hands raised,

worshiping the one contained

in the round universe of her body.

She’s a pomegranate cut in half

revealing God as infant,

right hand raised in blessing.

She looks toward me placid

but inside a holy storm is brewing.

 

I wonder if His head

forced your womb high

against your lungs

making you gasp for air

as mine did me?

 

I wonder if He stretched your skin,

a hundred silver birch branches

grasping at the full moon

as mine did me?

 

And through each ascendant joy,

each searing grief,

the stretching magnified

expanding your heart for collected treasure.

What answer do you carry for me

an ordinary Christ-bearer,

who says a thousand quotidian yeses:

Will this stretching pain ever stop?

 

Perhaps it is the price

of this resplendent nearness.

 

I search for an answer

in her almond shaped eyes.

 

She looks at me

but only has eyes for Him.

 

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