Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sleeping with Bread: with Dread and Longing

I'm cheating. It is actually Sunday night but I don't think I'll have time to bake my weekly bread tomorrow. I have a very short paper to write, a house to get in shape before the babysitter comes, and processing the church contributions for the week, and class at 7:00 p.m.

As I sat down to ponder the last week, I realized that my "best" thing and my "worst" thing were both on the same day, within an hour of each other in fact. The best way to put it is...

In the last week, when did I feel most alive?

After taking most of the summer off, my small group at church met on Friday night. Knowing that leading the group will be a challenge while I am in school, I brought a choice of materials for us to go through. Both books were from the same publisher, Renovare', a publisher which has amazing material that easily allows for people to take turns leading. We chose between a book called Living the Mission and one called Prayer and Worship. We sampled a little of the one we ended up choosing, Prayer and Worship, and it was during that time I felt most alive. Why? The lesson led us through a Psalm, 42:1-8. It is the one about how one longs for God the way a deer pants for water. As a group, we discussed longing for God and it was a wonderful time sharing with others whom I've been in community with for a long time. Good company and good conversation. I loved it. Really stunning was this quote from St. John of the Cross:

"The longing in your soul is actually His doing. You may feel only the smallest desire for Him. There may be no emotion about it at all. But the reason your desire rises at all is because He is passing very near to you. His holy beauty comes near you, like a spiritual scent, and it stirs your drowsing soul. (Living the Flame of Love, Stanza 3)
I think God's holy beauty came near and woke my drowsing soul as our group shared and prayed with one another.

Sadly, shortly after I was feeling something completely different in my soul...

When in the last week did I feel most drained of life?

After the meeting was over and some of us were just hanging around visiting, I realized I was feeling a sense of dread. Saturday morning was going to be one of those days with pictures for soccer, a baby shower, stopping by the church office to unlock it so someone could get in, a soccer game, Paul preparing to go out of town. Saturday would be shot and Paul would be on a plane first thing Sunday a.m. for business. The dread was from antcipating the lack of down time over the weekend which woud be followed by a busy week without Paul's help.

I survived Saturday, Paul left this morning and I managed to make today productive without overly stressing me or the kids. I still have a long road to travel this week but after years of Paul traveling I have learned that my anticipation of a tough week is almost always worse than the actual week itself. Still, in the moment, it did feel like my soul was draining away, leaking from multiple holes.

I'm glad it was just for a moment.

Other SWB posts are linked up here.

P.S. During my busy Saturday, I got some cute pictures of Marley at her soccer game. I used one to create a new banner for my family blog. If you just have to see them, go check out So-So Cal Cinema, the Mary-LUE family blog.


Julie Pippert said...


I understand that feeling. I wonder...if you were so nicely filled from your group that you were able to weather it better.

May this week be easy and fast.

I love the SWB.

Using My Words

atypical said...

I, for one, have a lot of the old dread feeling when I look at an upcoming weekend that has something (anything) scheduled for BOTH days. So, um, I'm sorry for your weekend. I am, however, extremely grateful for your post.