Abundant Resurrection Living

IMG 1774 - Version 2

Unecumbered (Encautic Medium on Wood Panel)

Steeped out of the deep wells of a life-giving Lenten season, which was grounded in spiritual practices that fostered shalom, balance, and peace, I am compelled to continue the abundant life-giving way.  What  does this require for the long haul?

The practice of intentionally slowing down and being present in the moment you are in are key to the abundant resurrection life that we are called to embody as Easter people.  Take on less.  Busyness is not the hallmark of abundance.  Multi-tasking is not the stamp of success.  Lessen and let go of the things that are unnecessary.  Manage your areas of growth, yet live into your strengths.  Be willing to say, “no,” so that you can say, “yes" to abundant life.  Our choices matter.  Know your gifting.  Allow that gifting and passion to be used to meet a need in the world.

Make time to pause throughout the day.  Breathe deeply.  Dwell in the moment.  Observe the wonder around you.  Embrace the stillness and so called lull.  Be willing to not immediately jump to do something.  Cell phone games, social media, television, or whatever your tools of distraction are, are not the end all be all, and are many times the coping mechanisms we use to not face life, fully, and to bury the emotions we are feeling.  Put down the smart phone, the tablet, the laptop, etc.  Savor this moment.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.  Again.  This very moment is a gift.  Embody a lifestyle of savoring more and more moments throughout the day.  Be present in your life, not always looking to the past or the future.  

Rediscover the wonder and freedom of dancing, just because.  Have you ever watched a child twirl, unencumbered  in the glistening sun.  Embrace the wonder.  Allow movement to be life-giving and freeing.  Let music come from within or play music that allows you to live more fully.    

Recapture the importance of meals as an event to be savored, alone or with family and friends, not just something to be scarfed down in the car, between meetings, in front of the television, etc.  Are there times when this scarfing occurs?  Absolutely.  Yet, may this practice not be the norm but the exception.  There is much abundance to be found in savoring even the simplest of meals.  Once again notice the taste of a warm sunkissed, juicy peach as the flavor bursts in your mouth and the juice runs down your chin.  

Acknowledge where you are emotionally.  When you are grieving, take time to process the grief, not just ignore it and stuff it down, so that it can later resurface like an overpacked trash compactor.  When you realize you are angry, notice what got you to anger.  Were there signs of annoyance or frustration before the emotion escalated?  Ask yourself will this still matter in 2 weeks? A month? A year?  Step back.  Gain perspective.  If it is a justice issue that you are passionate about, use the energy spent on anger to work toward good in the world.  When you are happy, enjoy the happiness, relish the time, and share it with others.  When we accept where we are emotionally, we are much more likely to truly move through the emotions and not get bogged down.  Life is not just about sludging through the mud.  Rather, life is about acknowledging the mud, getting the mud off our proverbial boots, and moving beyond the mud.  Haven’t you ever noticed what happens when you trudge through the mud?  You can get some of the mud off by just keeping walking and ignoring.  Yet, when not really dealt with there is always residue of mud caked on.  Residue of mud on boots is doable.  Residue building up on our souls is a whole other issue.  

Yet don’t be afraid to get dirty, physically.  Play in the garden.  Let dirt run through your fingers.  Roll down a grassy knoll.  Take up some sort of artistic expression like pottery, painting, or collage that involves your hands and is messy.  It is these kinds of practices that ground us and help us to live here and now. 

Listen to your body.  Eat when you are hungry.  Take breaks as needed.  Go for a walk.  Remember the gift that your body is.  You are made in the image of God and are a vessel of God.  This knoweldge is something to be celebrated and acts as a foundation to abundant life.  

The path of discipleship is an ongoing journey, not a destination.  Jesus lived his life on the way.  He was constantly journeying hither and yon.  Yet some of his most profound moments of ministry are experienced along the journey.  The hope is to learn to journey better, to travel more lightly, to make more space for loving God more deeply and loving self and one another more authentically, and to grow to know yourself better.  May the journey of discipleship be a life-giving path, and may you meet God at work, all along the way.

A Blessing for Abundant Life:

May you experience the warmth of the shimmering sun, 

The renewal of the falling rain, 

And the wonder of gleaming snow;

May you encounter God in the mud and the paint, 

The clay and the grass;

May you pause, often, and breathe deeply;

May you find what makes your heart soar;

May you love profoundly;

May graitutde permeate every fiber of your life;

May you recapture the joys of seeing the world 

Through the eyes of a child and 

May the breath of the God envelop you as you twirl about;

And may you experience the love and abiding presence 

Of the Holy Spirit who lives and reigns in you, guiding you,

All the days of your life.

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