Right so about that letter thing. Apparently its over, and I wasn't following the rules anyway (shocker I know!) so lets just drop it and get back to our irregularly scheduled ramblings shall we?
One of the major admonitions of many religions is the need to slow down and listen for the voice of Deity. In the Christian Bible Psalms 46:10 says "Be still, and know that I am God". The Koran urges "Therefore wait patiently for the command of your Lord". And the ancient Egyptian sage Ptah-Hotep wrote "God loves he who listens".
Now, if you're a Mom like me you are saying to yourself, "well, that's all good and everything, but who the heck is going to take the kids to..." And then starts the list of the 1,000,000,000 and 1/2 things that every good Mom has to take care of on a daily basis. There is the shopping, and the errands, and the cleaning, and delivering kids to school and picking them up. Then after school there are sports, orthodontist, cooking, bathing, and let us not forget that lovely thing kids sometimes do to all of us "Mom, I have this project due tomorrow! Could you please provide me with a shoe box, eight pounds of plaster, three pipe cleaners, and a camel?" And then of course the toilet gets backed up, and the printer won't work, and the DVD player dies because the baby threw Deity only knows what in them and...well you get the idea.
To add extra fun into the mix lets think about all the pressures that go along with being a a Mom today. We know we have to cook....are we using whole grain, organic, free range, gluten free, vegetarian, guaranteed pesticide free meats? Are our kids doing the after school activities that will grab them a spot in the ivy league college of their choice? Are we using the perfect parenting style for each child so no one grows up to be an axe murderer or worse an accountant? It's enough to give any thinking, reasoning woman a nervous breakdown. Then again I'm fairly convinced that I lost some brain after each labor...but that's another blog altogether!
OK back to the point of this whole thing, and I think I had one at some point. Ah yes, listening for Deity. I grew up being told I should have a prayer time. I never found time. As I grew older I realized just how much time I really had then, but hindsight etc. Then when I took up religion again I grew irritable at all the "rules" for quiet listening time. Some people say you need a holy book, others think you should contort your body (I couldn't get into the lotus position before I had kids, let alone after!), some people need certain smells, insist you much have a list asking for things, the dark or sunlight, chanting or silence....the list goes on. So, being myself I decided to make up:
Mommo's List of Rules for Hearing Deity!
2. umm...that's pretty much it
Of course just saying OK I will listen randomly probably isn't going to work too well. At least it didn't for me, because you see all the other things in my life kept getting in the way. So after a great deal of thought I came up with
Mommo's Guidelines for Hearing Deity
1. Set aside time to listen. It doesn't need to be a solid time, a Mom pretty much HAS no solid time of peace unless all the kids are in school, so when there is a lull in your day take a few minutes and be still. If you get to the end of the day take a few minutes before you drop off to commune with your Deity.
2. Leave things around your house and car and purse (I can carry 6 fireman and a dog in my purse, but that's a whole other kind of inspiration /wink) that inspire you, or put you in a listening mood. Get a thought a day calendar, daily emails from a source you like, put a devotional on your kindle, or in desperation put a joke book on the back of the toilet...whatever floats your boat. That way when you get a minute alone you can easily reach for something to put you in the right frame of mind.
3. Figure out where you feel closest to your Deity and try and go there as often as you can. Maybe for you it is a church, or a specific park, or a gathering place of like minded friends.
4. Keep your mind and heart open even when you are out and about. My family and I went to the Japanese Gardens last year. One of the areas was a rock meditation garden. We all just kind of stopped and settled onto the benches and had a bit of quiet time. It was beautiful, and I could almost feel Deity moving through that space bringing peace and comfort to everyone there. Remember after an experience like that to talk to your kids. What did they see and feel? What do they think about Deity? Did they remember to give thanks?
My boys meditating for a little in the Japanese Garden
My life has changed a lot since I made the determination to keep my mind open to my Deity as much as I can. There are many lessons and ideas and sheer beauty out there waiting for us if we just take a little time and hear and see what Deity brings us. Be blessed friends -=)