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Beyond Blue

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I’m big into leading with faith these days. I guess it’s because I have no other option. When you have two adults in a household whose jobs are majorly affected by the economy, you either panic or pray. I’ve panicked for plenty long already. Now it’s time to pray.

 

Instead of rushing from one job to another, I have decided to take a few weeks and try to center myself, list the values and priorities in my life. As different writing possibilities surface that could provide additional sources of income, I return to the same phrase: But I don’t want to be stressed out.

That’s how I’ve been living for the last year or so. Working my tail off in order to afford date night, lunch with the girls, a train ride to New York, coffee at my favorite café. And it’s resulted in more health conditions than I care to go over. Just today my dentist told me if I don’t stop clenching my teeth, my back molars will begin to fracture.

I’m to the breaking point where, if I want something–a latte or a dinner out–I ask myself, “How many hours do I have to work for that thing?” Because, the way I look at it now, a pair of shoes isn’t worth four hours of hard work. When the kids ask, “Can I? Can I?” I do the math and figure out how much time away from them that thing demands. And I tell them to save up their allowance.

God has definitely showed up the last week or so to take care of us. I feel his presence in a way that wasn’t there before. But I also realize He doesn’t care so much about the extras in life. He’ll provide the bread and water, but not the ski chalet.

This morning, I read the following reflection by Catherine De Hueck Doherty:

Faith is to believe without understanding, without seeing. God has blessed us with the gift of our intellect, and up to a point we understand many things about ourselves and the world around us. However, when you begin to move deeper into faith, something very strange happens.

You have been walking in the sunshine of your intellect. God has helped you and encouraged you to use it. Then, just like in the tropics where there is no twilight and day becomes night within minutes, so God plunges you into the night. He says, “Put your head in your heart and believe! For now there is no answer. I am the answer. You won’t see me in the dark. You will have to follow me in faith, without knowing. Arise and believe!”

I’m trying very hard these days to put my head in my heart and believe … which means pursuing the type of writing that fulfills me and makes me feel as though I am contributing my part to the common good, not necessarily the most lucrative. I’m trying to believe that God will take care of me and my family if I put my energies into the activities that he created me to do. 

I’m trying to consider the flowers of the field, as Sister Madeleva Wolff, CSC, president of my alma mater, Saint Mary’s College, from 1939 – 1961 wrote about in the following reflection:

I have considered flowers of the field 

And how they dwell 

Silent, at peace, and beautiful, 

Each in a wind-walled cell.

And I have thought on wild, 

unlettered birds,
Song-silver things,
Free on their little leash of air;
I have considered wings.

I have dreamed petalled peace, and wilding flight
Into the sun.
Whose is the ultimate blossoming?
Whose the empyrean?

I know the Maker of all birds, all flowers.
He understands
The bud that breaks, the bird that flies
To freedom in His hands.

Illustration by Anya Getter.

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