Encountering God: Receiving a Mission

Encountering God: Receiving a Mission

Reading:

“Moses was minding the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, priest of Midian. He led the flock along the side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in the flame of a burning bush. Moses noticed that, although the bush was on fire, it was not being burnt up; so, he said to himself, ‘I must go across to see this wonderful sight. Why does not the bush burn away?’

When the Lord saw that Moses had turned aside to look, He called to him out of the bush, ‘Moses, Moses.’ And Moses answered, ‘Yes, here I am.’ God said, ‘Come no nearer; take off your sandals; the place where you are standing is holy ground…’

The Lord then said, ‘I have seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard their outcry against their slave-masters. I have taken heed of their sufferings and have come down to rescue them from the power of Egypt…I will send you to Egypt…I will send you to Pharaoh, and you shall bring my people out of Egypt.’

‘But who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’ God answered, ‘I am with you…’ (From Exodus 3:1-5, 7-8a, 10-11.)”

 

Biblical Note:

Earlier in his life, Moses had showed his readiness to sacrifice for his people. He had killed an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew slave and then fled, finding refuge in the land of Midian. At the time of this passage he had just adjusted to the life of a shepherd. Now he meets God in the form of the messenger Angel in the flame. Moses is awed, but also receptive. He is modest; therefore, he experiences some doubts and frustrations at receiving this mission. But God promises to be present. It is clear that this is God’s project, not one left to Moses, and God enables Moses’ modesty to be transformed into the humility of faith.

 

Meditation (to be read slowly):

Close your eyes. Become quiet and take a few slow, deep breaths. Become aware of yourself as a shepherd walking along tending your flock…you are walking along, and you notice something which catches your attention because of its awe…you turn aside, and as you turn, you hear God speak to you…God speaks your name…you respond…God tells you to take off your shoes, for this is holy ground; you do that…God tells you that he has seen some concern in your life or the life of others. He mentions this and you listen…He informs you that you can do something about it, and you listen…you question what you can do…

Allow yourself to ask any questions that you want…share any doubts that you might feel or any other concerns or hopes…allow God to reassure you that He is with you always…allow yourself to sense this…communicate anything else that feels necessary…

When you are ready, finish your dialogue with God and continue herding your flock…as you are tending your flock, think back on what has occurred and let it soak in…when you are ready, open your eyes.

 

Debriefing

Give attention to the guidance received for action and take the next step…

(Source: Opening to God: Guided Imagery Meditation and Scripture. By Carolyn Stahl.)

 

Looking for more support? Please reach out to me at laura.lies@streamsgrace.com

 

The Gift: A Guided Visualization of Epiphany for a New Year

The Gift: A Guided Visualization of Epiphany for a New Year

Ask the Spirit of the Beloved to open your being, to quiet you…

Picture the scene of Three Wise Ones coming to offer homage and gifts to the Christ, the One sent by the Beloved…

See yourself as one of the Wise Ones…

You come to offer a gift…

There is a wonderfully wrapped gift in your hands…

Inside the gift are aspects and qualities of your life that you most enjoy and appreciate. Reflect upon these aspects and qualities…

Which are especially meaningful to you?

Which have been most apparent in the past year?

Which have seemed hidden or absent in the past year?

Gather these qualities into your gift…

Visualize yourself coming and presenting your gift-wrapped package…

As you offer this gift of yourself, see the love, joy, delight with which your gift is received…

Now, visualize a gift being offered to you. It too is beautifully wrapped…

There is a note card on it with a special message from the Beloved to you…

Imagine what is written on the note card…

Receive the gift, open it, and ponder its meaning for your life…

Offer thanks to the Beloved for this gift of the new year…

(Source: Out of the Ordinary: Prayers, Poems and Reflections for Every Season by Joyce Rupp.)

Please email me at laura.lies@streamsgrace.com to discuss the possibility of working together in Spiritual Direction.

 

 

 

Embracing Your “Open” Nest

Embracing Your “Open” Nest

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.” (English Proverb)

Getting ready for her to leave: Is she my best friend? Do I make day to day plans solely dependent upon her? Does my day revolve around her schedule? Does she tell me everything going on in her life? Do we spend most of our time as parents talking about her?

I cannot depend on her to continue to breathe life into mine.

Moving from pitcher to catcher, with her at bat.

To transition as a parent, at the same time that she transitions to adulthood.

To allow myself to go through the stages of grief.

“There is a fallow time for the Spirit when the soil is barren because of sheer exhaustion.” (Howard Thurman)

From here on in, there are things that I will not be able to control about her life and future.

How?

  • Take a lot of long walks.
  • There cannot be change without loss. Imagine me without her living here.
  • Reconnect with who I am in addition to being a parent.
  • Step out of my comfort zone more often.
  • Progress, not perfection.
  • Give myself permission to let the spotlight shine on me.
  • Move forward into my New Normal. Closer toward my True Self. Step by slow step.
  • Return to my playful spirit.
  • Build a bridge to the other side.
  • Say Yes to new things.
  • Allow a year of preparation and change. A Sabbatical. A new kind of pregnancy.
  • Seek out mentors and role models.
  • Await the next assignment to find me.

“You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” (Author unknown)

“The one who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it.” (President Woodrow Wilson)

“I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run! —on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.” (St. Paul. Ephesians 4:2-3 The Message Translation of the Bible)

Welcome the invitation to this new chapter of my life.

(Source: From Mom to Me Again. By Melissa Schultz.)

Envision your Future

Envision your Future

“Every day, your creative work calls you to the edge of the unknown, to the frontier of what you imagine is possible. It can feel like standing at a cliff’s edge in a gusting wind. Dangerous. Compelling. Hurtling you forward into the adventure even as your primal brain, whose job it is to keep you from being eaten by dinosaurs, screams in frantic alarm.

Run away! says Primal Brain.

No! Let the wind take you! There’s magic to be made here! says Creative Heart.

Primal Brain: Are you crazy? What’s the matter with you? Turn around! Run away! Run, before the wind blows you over the cliff-edge and smashes you on the rocks below!

(Here Primal Brain serves up several graphic images of you, flattened and bleeding at the base of the cliff, very, very dead, while gulls circle your body, waiting to swoop down and devour you for dinner.)

Creative Heart: I can’t hear you! I’m wa-a-y out here, sailing across the sky! You should come — it’s the most fun you’ll ever have! You can see the curvature of the earth from here!

Sound familiar? No wonder you’re exhausted, as your Creative Heart pulls you to your deep desire, while your Primal Brain feels left behind, terrified, shivering and bereft, doing its best to drag you back to safety.

Civil war is a bloody business.

You may not always be so acutely aware of the conflict raging within you. You may experience the effects of it as feelings of being overwhelmed, stuck, physically ill or simply uninspired, spinning your wheels, your big dreams held hostage by habitual cycles of short-lived enthusiasm followed by collapse, stagnation and procrastination…

Because you’re often traversing unmapped territory, you may feel under enormous stress, uncertain, small, bewildered…

Because you’re opening your heart to the stars, your boundaries may be fuzzy, and you may find you need more and more time alone just to recover from being with people…

You may feel spun around, ping-ponging between exhilaration and despair at the seemingly unbridgeable gap between the way your life is right now, and the way you long for it to be.”

Hear the invitation of the Beloved to rest into a time of Silence and Solitude. To discern the way He would have you to go. When it is time to go.

From Hiro Boga at https://hiroboga.com/

Is your life asking these questions of you?

Is your life asking these questions of you?

  • What has brought you to this place in your journey, this moment in your life?
  • What gods, what forces, what family, what social environment, has framed your reality, perhaps supported, perhaps constricted it?
  • Whose life have you been living?
  • Even when things are going well, do things feel not quite right?
  • Does so much seem a disappointment, a betrayal, a bankruptcy of expectations?
  • Do you believe that you must hide so much, from others, from yourself?
  • Does life seem a script written elsewhere, and you barely consulted, if at all?
  • Does the idea of your soul trouble you, and feel familiar as a long-lost companion?
  • Is the life you are living too small for the soul’s desire?
  • Is now the time for you to answer the summons of the soul, the invitation to the second, larger life?

From: Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life: How to Finally, Really Grow Up. By James Hollis.

If you would like to consider these questions further, please feel free to reach out to me at any time to discuss the possibility of Spiritual Direction. Reach me at laura.lies@StreamsGrace.com

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