Wednesday, November 11, 2015

making the shift to choose grace

Wadi Rum
© María Ruiz Scaperlanda 

Today I read, Even when I am sometimes impatient or unwilling, when I face conflict and heartache, I’ve begun to accept that even the impossible is a possible opportunity to thank God, to experience the goodness and grace of the Giver of all!

There is always only more grace.

And it’s always more than I expect…

Praise him for the unexpected and the unlikely, for the daily and the difficult, and the graces in disguise. The more you count, the more gifts you will see. Do not disdain the small.”

~Ann Voskamp,
as quoted in today’s Magnificat.

Reading this reflection… once, twice, three times today, made me stop and notice the obvious truth that is right in front of me.

I have so many things converging, all happening right now, that it is easy to let myself feel burdened by the busy-ness and details of it all.

Yet I truly and wholeheartedly believe that God doesn’t waste any details—and that all that is before me, therefore, even that (especially that!) which I find difficult, is good and blessed and full of graces.

But in order to shift from esoteric ideas to the tangible Truth that I can now notice, let me re-name with you a few of the things that are going through my head:
  • I am feeling way behind on writing about my incredible pilgrimage to Jordan. Other than the posts I was able to do on social media as I traveled, I have yet to write about my experience, either on this blog, or for print media.  I don’t like being behind… 

Shift to grace:   I went to Jordan! I walked where Jesus walked. I stuck my feet in the water of the River Jordan where Jesus was baptized. I looked out over the Promised Land, as Moses did, from the top of Mount Nebo.  I climbed Madaba, the hilltop fortress where John the Baptist was held in prison and eventually beheaded by Herod Antipas.  I know I was meant to be there, and I’ve been blessed beyond words by the experience already. I have to believe that the Holy Spirit will help me put all these things into words when the time is right.

*   *   *
  • It is difficult to publish a book with a small Catholic publisher when I work solo out of a home office. Much of what a publicist does falls on me as the author. And I am struggling with the difficulties and details associated with marketing and publicity of a book, my least favorite part of publishing.

Shift to grace:   I wrote a book! It is being published!  And as of today, it is being shipped out.  I have generous friends and colleagues in Catholic media who have not only already written endorsements for my book, but who also are willing to help me publicize and review the book in their blogs, magazines, and newspapers. I am richly blessed!

*   *   *
  • The weather is shifting, which means frequent cold fronts, and weather patterns and storms from the north have already begun—and my body (and my joints) are already a mess. I don’t like to hurt, especially when there is so much that I need to do!

Shift to grace:   This is a tough one. And it seems to be one of those lessons that I have to learn and re-learn over and over.  If I am where I need to be… if I am doing what I’m supposed to be doing, then I must also trust that everything about who I am – including my physical struggles – are exactly as they need to be in order for me to function. Being achy makes me slow down. It helps me pay attention to detail. It demands that I trust God with every single detail of my life, big or small.  What a beautiful grace!
*   *   *

Shift to grace:    I have kind, bighearted, and very generous friends who want to help me spread the word about my book and help me spread the knowledge about Father Stanley Rother, the martyr from Oklahoma. I don’t have to do this all by myself! I am not all by myself.

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You will keep hearing about this – my book is out!  You can order directly from the publisher for a quicker arrival—or if you prefer, you can pre-order on Amazon here.