We are officially half way through – how is your Holy Week going? I am going to be honest – mine has been awesome in the sense that I have really found focus in carrying my faith with me. But in doing so I discovered how much my day to day interactions, reactions, and practices could use a serious wake up call. My faith is my rock and you better believe that I turn to God a lot. All of my success, all of my blessings, all of my survived seasons I give completely to Him – but I find the street can be a little one way or quiet. Sure when its tough, I am the first one to turn to prayer….. but when its not soooo bad in this life, do I still communicate all day long? Do I still talk to him and ask for his guidance and opinion? In fact, when I think I know what steps to take to I even involve him at all? How are my words and actions ….. reflective of Him? This week I have chosen to try and answer those questions all day long and have found – I need to be turning to God even more.
So today I wanted to share a few tools I find really helpful to get over the hump of just connecting with God. Plus I too need to remember that faith is a muscle, I gotta workout to make it stronger and if I use it more often, it will become second nature.
Clearly I process by writing. If you have ever been with me in a class or work meeting you know for me to assure I have it committed to memory – got to write it down. Or during seasons of really struggling, to find the why or just the path forward – writing always helps to unclog the mind. Well guess what – praying and faith can benefit the same way! Do you find your prayers are repetitive or more about memory than true communication? How about when your prayers are just like that of a little kid: a long list of things you want? Is your heart’s desire for a relationship that lets you get it all out for a chance at finding clarity or maybe even a little advice? Journal!
Taking the time to pour out your heart on paper or on your computer will take you through the exercise of feeling and then sharing with God. You might be surprised the time you dedicate because you have started to truly open up and share. Or you may be able to even witness God’s divine intervention in your life if you choose to write regularly. Oh and the best part: it is the ultimate no pressure writing because he already loves you unconditionally – so missing a day or month – no big deal…. just come right back and both God and your pen will be waiting.
Worship Play List
Music is a big part of the world here at the Bessette home. We have playlists for getting pumped up before hockey, playlists for the gym, playlists for holidays, playlists that represents certain seasons (like our wedding year or transplant)…. so this Holy Week I decided to put together a play list for the car or for quiet time when I am done praying, but want to sit with God. It could be another aspect of regular life that could serve as a reminder of what this week is truly about and to keep checking in on my words, actions, and thoughts through my faith filter. I have been pleasantly surprised at how much I have listened and how much I have loved this reminder!
Songs not his list include favorites from mass, or Christmas or just religious based music that I love the message. These tunes represent the beauty of a faith that has been a part of different times in my life – one from my grandpa’s funeral, one from our wedding mass, or one I always like from Christmas services. God’s prescience has been a thread that moves from decade to decade with me and provides a sense of belonging and knowing. Isn’t that what Holy Week is about?? Jesus died for us to belong – to become Christians. It has been powerful and if you are interested in mine, you can find me on Spotify under JackieBessette and the playlist is “Worship”.
Tonight’s final tool is actually a goal for me: meditation. The importance of taking time to be still and just be with God can’t begin to be defined. How often do we just sit and marvel at God from His creations in nature to His work in our personal lives. It is vital for us to grow in love with him and to strengthen our faith the space must be created to make that connection and I think meditation (a mix of both at the adoration chapel and home) can do just that!
Over the last year I have heard several times of the importance this practice – but a few instances I have been encouraged to go even further: ask Jesus to explain parts of your life through meditation with him. It sounds pretty surreal, yet I have been told if you give the time and truly ask Jesus to show you where he was in a particular moment or why it is you struggle so much with this particular feeling/emotion/memory – He will do just that. If this isn’t making a lot of sense to you or you would like a good example check out Jamie Ivey’s podcast interview with Holly Christine Hayes (found here) and you will be blown away at what she shares about this practice.
So there you have it folks- the tools I am using right now…. and probably need to turn up the heat on as we enter the final few days of this Lenten season. I would love to hear from any of you some tools you are using to make this week really focused and enhance your faith journey. Please feel free to share in the comments.
Thank you so much for reading and remember to make it a great day!