By Unknown – illuminator [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
On Sunday we spent time with John 20.19-31. It’s the story where the Resurrected Jesus appears to the disciples who have gathered themselves behind locked doors. It’s also the story of Thomas and his doubts.
Doubts are real. They are part of our human existence. They can also serve a purpose when we hold them humbly and allow God to transform them and shape our faith.
Check out Surviving the Winter of Disbelief.
And we’ve talked about doubt before. Revisit these previous posts:
Challenging Our Ideas About Doubt and Doubting Thomases Populate the World.
The final pathway of our series on growing an emotionally healthy spirituality is to go “the Next Step and Develop a Rule of Life.”
This discipline has been used in the church from some of its earliest times, but is perhaps most widely connected to life in monasteries and other intentional faith communities. Bottom line: They intentionally guide your growth towards God.
Need to be inspired to understand the power of a rule of life? Consider Mother Teresa.
Already practice a few spiritual practices? Use this reflection to help you think through changes.
All of this seem too much? How about focusing on one thing to do or one goal to keep in mind?
Finally, wondering what a rule of life in a community can look like for ‘normal’ people? Check out Awakening of Hope.
We’re entering the home stretch of our journey of discovering emotionally healthy spirituality. This week we learned from Jesus as he talked with a lawyer about who should be considered a “neighbour” as we love God and our neighbours. (Luke 10.25-37)
To be able to have an extended definition of “neighbour” is a sign of “Growing into an Emotionally Mature Adult” (the sixth pathway).
Here are a couple more modern day examples to inspire you: one from Brian and one from Sarah.
And here’s something to work through as a family.
By “Discovering the Rhythms of the Daily Office and Sabbath” we take another pathway to growing in our emotional and spiritual maturity.
Here are a just a few of the free online resources available for you to use to practice the Daily Office/Divine Hours:
Pray the Hours (choose your time zone to get the prayers for that hour)
Common Prayer (choose from the side menu which set of prayers you want to offer)
This discipline is meant to help you slow down throughout the day and take the time to commune with God. Read a little more about it.
Look forward to more on the Sabbath in a month or so!
Building on the previous week’s discussion of the “walls” we encounter in our maturation, this week we considered the possibility that great growth and transformation can happen in times of pain, grief, and loss (including coming to terms with our limits).
Pathway 4 to Emotionally Healthy Spirituality is “Enlarging Your Soul Through Grief and Loss.”
Here are 8 limits common to all of us.
In “On Grief and Growing Up”, Lee helps parents understand that what they feel guilty about may actually be grief over their kids growing up…
And, get a glimpse of one family’s journey to have their soul enlarged through the grief of losing a young mom.
We’re continuing to learn how Jesus invites us to a healthier place emotionally and spiritually in all circumstances. This week, we considered how the hardest places in our life’s story can also be the places of great growth with Christ as we Journey Through the Wall.
To think a little more about what the wall is, read through “Deep in the Dark: Abiding During the Dark Night of the Soul.”
Or, learn these spiritual lessons from newborns… you might be surprised at how useful they are!
And to continue to think about what happens to your way of thinking because you’ve journeyed through the wall, here’s a short piece from Think Christian.
Go Back to Go Forward.
Everyone has something they drag along with them from their family life. It’s being willing to work through that baggage that allows us to grow into the future with Christ. This week we learned that lesson with Joseph– who grew in maturity as he worked out with Yahweh the pain his brothers had caused him. (see Genesis 50)
This week, you’re invited to spend time reflecting on your family of origin. What were/are the relationships like? How might those dynamics have effected you? Use this free genogram resource from Emotionally Healthy Spirituality to get started.
Or, read this story from Jessica about how to keep boundaries with family members whom you also forgive.
To encourage you to a different way of being with your family, there’s this piece on seeing parenting as “The Season of Sowing.”