Everyday Spirituality

Everyday Spirituality

Picking up litter

posted by Cheryl Petersen

pick up litterOur spring may be slow in coming this year in upstate New York. The trees haven’t even leafed out yet.

Once the snow was gone, I picked up litter. Plenty of it, sad to say. The bags get so heavy that I leave them alongside the road.

Before I can get the pickup truck to go pick up the bags, someone had already picked them up for me.


Goodness exists.

“Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” –Romans 8, ESV



Time warp

posted by Cheryl Petersen

time warpAirplanes carry us around the world into yesterday or tomorrow. These experiences tweak my perceptions.

I see my mind traveling to yesterday or tomorrow. Probably too often.

I’d like to think I live in the now, but the infinite Mind doesn’t know “now” as I know it, with a past and future. The “now” to God must be the “only.”

I find a more effective prayer as I know the only, as I live in the only. The only law of harmony.



posted by Cheryl Petersen

The film, Happy, tells about the latest discoveries that happy people believe in something greater than themselves.

I have to agree because believing that what I see and hear is reality only brings a happiness that comes and goes.

Thirty years ago, finding fault with other people and organizations made me happy. Today, finding fault shames me.

happy penguinTwenty years ago, snowmobiling and water skiing made me happy. Today, those activities sound loud, cold, and tiring.


Ten years ago, a couple minutes of free time by myself made me happy. Today, in the empty nest stages of my life, free time can be unhappy time.

Last year, the birth of a baby made me happy. Today, the child’s growth makes me happy.

Happiness is independent, not dependent on any particular event or person. Happiness is unattached to money or status, so if we have more money or status, it doesn’t guarantee happiness.

“Happiness is spiritual, born of truth and love,” wrote Mary Baker Eddy in the 19th century.


Spirituality gets us through life with more success

posted by Cheryl Petersen

purseIs it the younger generation, or people with a greater awareness?

The trend to recycle, reuse, and reduce is becoming more and more apparent to me. At a Whole Foods store, I noticed a customer bring in empty containers and wait in the cashier line. When it was her turn, the cashier weighed all the containers and marked the weights on each.

The customer then shopped. She filled the containers at the bulk section with walnuts, almonds, steel cut oats, raisins, dried apricots, sesame seeds, puffed rice, whole wheat, gluten free flour, and fresh fish.


In other words, she didn’t use any plastic bags.

The containers were weighed again, minus the container weight, before placing them in re-usable shopping bags to be taken home.

The customer was younger than me and obviously savvier than me. I was unaware of the idea to reuse containers to purchase items.

But my lack of participating in this more sustainable shopping practice also comes from my entrenched habit of expecting the stores to have and provide plastic bags to me.

To be a more sustainable shopper, I will need to un-learn my habit and re-learn a new habit.

I’ve un-learned and re-learned before and realize it’s only successful when spiritually based. As I increase the spiritual qualities of patience and humility, my mind is more flexible. It can un-learn and re-learn more easily. Otherwise, I’m just a human being trying to force a different habit.


I’ve practiced utilizing spirituality to get through this human life with less footprint, more grace, and it has helped me with re-cycling. In the past, I’d buy new whatever I needed. But, now I question myself before making purchases.

For a year now, I’ve needed a bag for my reporting job. While visiting my daughter recently, I asked if she had an extra bag. She did and was willing to pass it on to me to use.

From 21st Century Science and Health, “On our spiritual journey, if we sympathize with mortality, we will be at the beck and call of error and follow a zig-zag course getting nowhere. If we travel with the worldly minded, we get sucked into a nasty cycle. A good example of this is randomly walking around the shopping mall, making feel-good purchases, and eating junk food with friends. We return home, thinking we had a good time and feeling satisfied. However, when re-thinking the situation we realize that too much time and money was wasted. So, we repeat the trip to the mall but buy books on time and financial management, or dieting.


Our moral and spiritual progress will be monotonously slow if we constantly bounce back and forth between futile habits and the hope of forgiveness. Selfishness and stupidity cause constant retrogression. We must wake up to Christ’s demand, however, the waking generally causes suffering. We feel like we are drowning. We struggle to stay above the water. And, through Christ’s precious love our efforts are rewarded with success.

“Work out your salvation,”[1] is the demand of Life and Love, for to this end God works with you, “Until I come back.”[2] Be patient, and “Let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right.”[3] Don’t go back to error, and don’t become apathetic or offended even though you are trying hard and there are no immediate rewards. The reward will come.”

[1] Phil. 2:12

[2] Luke 19:13

[3] Gal. 6:9 (Amplified)

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