I’m waiting like a child at Christmas for this scenery. Day 20 of my 40 days of commitment passed this weekend. I’m doing pretty good with it though the last week it felt like I was not. It was the kicking the caffeine thing. The only thing I’ve dropped from the list is goal five. I can’t possibly keep a 10pm bedtime and still spend time with John or have the “me” time I need. So, I modified it to “rest when I’m weary.”
In church Sunday, we had a lesson on loving our brothers and sisters. It wasn’t only about loving Christians (I am firmly against bigotry), but loving everyone – absolutely everyone – including those we are tempted to hate. The lesson discussed what love/hate is, and what it looks like – that love is not words, but exists in action and truth. But, what really spoke to me is that love requires time, and for most Americans today, time is a huge sacrifice.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
– Jesus (John 13:34)
Whether we are looking at Jesus as a spiritual or historical figure, as do so many religions across the world, it is hard not to acknowledge that he showed ultimate love in laying down his life for those who despised him. He commands his followers to love like that.
I think about how that applies to me and what I love, and what I feel like I am called to do in my life. The things that, if I had them all squared away, I give most of my time to and thus the things I love dearly are…
- My Creator and my spiritual life (my study of religious texts, prayer, meditation, yoga, and fellowship with other folks of faith)
- My children/parenting/homeschooling
- My husband/our home/homesteading
- My family and friends
- My homeland – Appalachia
- My writing
- supporting natural childbirth and breastfeeding
I believe the first three to be perfectly tied together. My marriage is a spiritual commitment and therefore keeping it strong also keeps me in need of a close relationship to the Creator. Being a mother is the ultimate example of a spiritual duty. I am responsible for raising a child who begins life so connected with the natural world and spirituality as she eventually comes into awareness of humanity and helping her make sense of it all, be confident enough to make her own choices in life, and to love others. Man! It never stops flooring me to think about it. And this particular part of my life is where that lesson on love really hits home.
In yoga and mothering circles, we often say – “this too shall pass.” It will. Now, is the only time I have. I want to be present for my children, my husband, and I want to know myself. If I begin there, then I can be a better lover of my family and friends. I can volunteer and speak for the issues facing eastern Kentuckians. I can write, and I might even have time (at some point in my life) to help the women of my region with their birthing and breastfeeding goals. I will be able to do those things without stress because I’ll know my responsibilities to the family I created are taken care of. Not only that, but I can take care of these responsibilities from a place of joy.
I rocked Ivy to sleep tonight, and used that as my meditation time. I have come to believe it is a time that God has given me. I tried to be like her, completely dependent, still one with me. I sang my chant Sa-Ta-Na-Ma, and she drifted off. It was lovely.