This is not a God post. I wish it were. I haven’t written a God post for ages. I long to write something witty and heartfelt and spiritual and profound. But you just won’t find that here. I’m sorry.
I look back at the God posts I used to write, Soul Diet and Mary, Help of Kitchens and Clomp, Clomp, Clomp. What gives? I used to be so spiritual, so tuned in to my faith. And Mrs Monk. Did you ever read Mrs Monk? I was so holy when I wrote that. I wanted to “transform my home from domestic to monastic in eight easy steps”. I totally wrote that.
I guess I’m just not like that at the moment. I think that’s why I haven’t written a God post in such a long time. I don’t feel like I have anything to offer.
It’s not like there’s something very wrong. I’m not having a crisis of faith (I’m really not that interesting a person). God and I are still on good terms. I’ve just lost the sort of rich, fragrant faith that permeates everything I do and everyone I meet. Instead, I have something a bit stale and cold. Kind of like the toast you put on for breakfast, but then forget about until the end of the day when you happen to look at the toaster again.
It wasn’t some big, dramatic change either. Bit by bit, I’ve somehow lost all of my prayer habits. I used to be in this lovely mum’s prayer group that met every week, but that stopped running. I used to meditate as I hung out the washing, but when rainy weather came, I had to resort to clothes horses and dryers (and wearing dirty clothes) and sort of fell out of practice. I used to get up early each morning and read the bible and pray, but – and this one’s really embarrassing – when the house next door was demolished, a mouse moved in downstairs (lured in, no doubt, by the smell of abandoned toast). I was so terrified of spending alone-time with this small, nocturnal beastie that I stopped getting up before dark and gave up on my morning prayer ritual. For the record, the mouse’s sojourn was very short-lived, but the damage had been done. This is why I always maintain that mice and rats are the DEVIL’S CREATURES. Ugh!
I can sort of see why the Church insists on Sunday Mass attendance, much as it makes her sound like a bossy parent. It’s like an anchor when all else falls away. If it wasn’t expected of me, if the deal was “Come along whenever you feel like it” or “whenever you feel up to it ” or “whenever you feel holy enough“, then that would be the end of it, I would keep sliding away until I had nothing.
So what’s the solution? How do I find butter for my cold-dry-toast faith?
Well, I guess part of it is in what I’ve just done. I had to overcome my pride to write this awkwardly-worded post. I say I talk about ‘God in the Mess’, but I would rather avoid the mess. I would prefer to have it all together all of the time. To be such an awesome Christian that I don’t even need God at all. The rest, I suppose has something to do with little things. In building back gently what has been so gradually eroded.
There might even be a God post in that.
Kate, when you say, “God, I don’t know what to say. I don’t have anything to give. I am empty and cold, and wish I were on fire for You,” you are praying already. To be in a place where you know how much you need God, and how little you are on your own, is to be closer to Him that when you think you’ve got it all together.
Remember God our Father says, “A broken and contrite heart I will not despise.” He is always waiting for us to respond to his love. He is always bursting with eagerness to be near us. He doesn’t care so much that we fall but that we don’t get up again to reach Him.
So be like a little child, who brushes the dirt off her dimpled knees, and keeps running back to her Father. He just waiting to scoop you up for a hug.
And while you’re there, ask Him to help me pray better, too! 🙂
“He doesn’t care so much that we fall but that we don’t get up again to reach Him”. I’m going to try to keep this in my mind. Pride, it seems, is my constant stumbling block. It’s embarrassing how many times I have to learn the same spiritual lesson! Thank you for your lovely comment, Anna, you are a constant inspiration to me, and always in my awkward prayers!
Thanks, Kate! You’ll be in mine, too…and I totally understand how tricky it is to pray with little ones….you have to do it over the kitchen sink or in the shower…covert operations! 😉 But keep at it…we moms need all the grace we can get!
And as for pride, we all have it! There’s a saying that pride dies 24 hours after the body! Darn…
This was a beautiful GOD post. I love your analogy of looking for butter for your dry toast. Continue your journey lovely lady.
Thanks, lovely Mum!
Have you tried reading an inspirational book?
I do try that sometimes (it can be hard to find a good one), and also I like to listen to podcasts of MGL sermons. But, when I’m in a spiritual slump, it takes me such a long time to realize I’m in a slump, and then even longer to do anything about it. What do you recommend?
Your desire to get back to a higher level of faith & commitment speaks volumes. Anything worth having in our lives requires work.
Thank you, Keke! You’re right, it is worth working for. I just took a little jaunt over to your blog (your profile still has your old address, but your gravitar has the new one). I’m loving the lace doilies and collars and swooning over the snowflakes! I have a small obsession with crocheted snowflakes!
Aw thanks for visiting :). & for your kind comments! I have an obsession with crochet lace snowflakes & detachable collars!
This was a beautifully written post. You are not the only one this happens to. I fell into the same trap? Habits? I’m trying to find my way out and create new habits and rituals that allow me to connect with God again not just in an emergency situation, but constantly.
Thank you! I think I need to fight my perfectionist streak and start really small, even if it seems inadequate.
Dear Laptop on the Ironing Board,
Your writing style is personal and very conversational. I like the way you write. I wish you all the best and hope you continue writing.
Thank you, Neo! I visited your blog too and you raise some interesting food for thought. I used to believe, like you, that all angels were metaphorical, including Satan. In the past few years, though, I’ve changed my views. I don’t think evil is merely an absence of good. I think it’s healthy to be on my guard against mischievous forces, but not healthy to obsess over them. But I wouldn’t say I’ve properly worked out exactly what I believe on this.
God bless you on your journey!
Thank you for your comments. God bless.
i think you probably see yourself differently than God sees you. Just really think into each day as you live it and how much more easily you interject God into your circumstances…probably much more often than you think now. You have growing children and you daily life is so full at the moment. This is your “now” job. And there is not always time in a day to set aside time for “rituals” as you put it. But does God go unseen in those moments…I doubt that….”Train up a child in the way he should go and he will not depart from it”…those scriptures are within…they are lived each day now…where before you learned now you live them. This is all a part of what life with God is about. So you honor God in your life…maybe not so much in rituals but in what you are doing…and what by your actions you are teaching your children…so do not discourage over the rituals…as long as what you have previously learned is in your actions….this honors God more than rituals…and I think you have it…do not be discouraged..keep on living as you do..with God in your actions…
Thank you, Sandy!
You remind me not to divorce my time raising children from my time with God. I have a tendency to think I need to be quiet and by myself to pray. I once felt God say to me “you need to learn how to pray whilst holding a child’s hand”, but it seems it’s the first thing I forget. God is in the mess. God is in the every day.
Kate!! I understand exactly what you have written! We all go through dry periods and wonder “where is God?” but He is in the same place He always was, right beside you, just waiting for you to turn to Him. To acknowledge Him. I think that is what is so easy to do in any given day. the busier we are, the more this is true. My daughter has 3 girls 12, 10, and 5 1/2. Plus a full time job and husband. Her life is a merry-go-round. My life use to be like that.
I just spent a week with her. I am hoping that she can see that there are some different choices she can make NOW in her life versus waiting until her mid 50’s, when she thinks it might slow down a bit. Mine is certainly not truly slower at 63, I just have different responsibilities. I have to make the CHOICE to turn to my Father and say “help me.” I have to make the CHOICE to have that quite time with Him. IF you are an at home mom, I would urge you to get into a formal Bible study. that will change your life and you will find less and less dry times. Bible Study Fellowship International ( https://www.bsfinternational.org) is a non denominational Bible Study I have done for years. Beth Moore is another. What I like about BSF is studying a book in the Bible for a year. Or right now, studying the life of Moses. Quite an exciting study!
Whatever, at least you have come back to your writing and your blog and hopefully Jesus.
Thank you, Cindy! I like what you say about God being in the same place he always was, waiting for me to turn to Him! I might have a look around for a suitable bible study.
thanks for understanding what I was trying to say Kate! and thanks for following my blog. I always feel really privileged when someone does, yet I can’t imagine why? But I know I write what God puts in my heart and my fingers… sometimes too fast for my own good!
Every Christian who has ever lived has had these times. Probably even Paul. You are not alone, and your awareness of the issue is the first step to finding the way back.
Thank you, Cheri! It’s so reassuring to look at the lives of the saints and realize that they also suffered dry periods!
I was led here by a crochet related search (or was I?). Just today I had a similar conversation with a friend about feeling off balance, not meditating, not eating well or exercising, not praying/reading. How easy it is to slip from the habits that make us feel whole. Personally, lack of sleep has got me off track. I think your post is very inspiring and well written. Now I shall poke about and see what you’re crocheting (and then to bed!). God bless. Xx
Thank you for your comment. I like to think that crochet is a path to God!! I agree – when one part of my life is off balance, all the rest tend to go off too (spiritual/physical/emotional etc) And I think that many problems can be solved with a good night’s sleep!
I had a peek at your blog – what a find! I’ll have a better look later with a cup of tea and no children!
I believe that god is all around us in everything we do. I believe that god is real and all you have to is pray for the help you need. I have seen this work in my own life and it brought be happiness to know that he is always there to help me. I hope you enjoy this video about how trails bring us to god. https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2012-01-014-the-will-of-god?lang=eng
Thank you so much, Samantha!
Lovely, witty post. And I think it is a God post! Because it’s all a cycle, right? Even when it doesn’t feel like it, your spiritual life is active. Best, Rachel
I like the idea of a cycle. So many things in life go through ups and downs, so it kind of makes sense. Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Rachel!
I love this post! It describes something we all understand…drifting away. And I think hit the nail on the head when you said that about wanting to be such a good Christian you wouldn’t need God anymore. Most people just wouldn’t be brave enough to say it, but that’s pretty much what’s behind us trying to be independent and good enough. I’ll pray that you’re blessed with even more closeness and renewed passion!
Thank you, Sarah (did I get that right?)! Pride trips me up so often, it’s embarrassing. “Look, God, I’m doing it all by myself! No hands!” and then I crash. And do it all over again. I know we’re all supposed to be just workers in the vineyard, but I have a compulsion to be Employee of the Month. And then I get this insight, and somehow it doesn’t sink in and I end up tripping over my pride again. And again.
I should pray for humility, but I’m not sure I really want it. Be careful what you pray for: God will provide in abundance!
This is a fantastic post! Everything you say echoes in my world. You are an awesome mom and child of God. So glad to read your posts!
Thank you so much, Amy!
Pride and humility… Ah, there’s so much to contemplate and be on the look out for… I’ve just read the joy of the gospel by pope Francis… Excellent, hopeful, challenging! Love and light to you!
That sounds like a good book! I’m a big fan of Pope Francis!