When I blogged about my unofficial hiatus back in early September, I had hoped it would last no more than a week or two. But here we are, nearing the end of October, and the writing at Not Strictly Spiritual is still sporadic at best. More than a few friends and colleagues have suggested that perhaps it’s time to call it quits on NSS officially. After all, I’m blogging almost daily at OSV Daily Take, and NSS is not “productive” in the worldly sense — it doesn’t bring in money, doesn’t add to my professional portfolio, doesn’t sell my books. But the truth is that NSS is productive, at least for me, in so many other ways.
I can’t give up NSS because I really love being here, talking with you, sharing my spiritual journey (and sometimes my family photos), and hearing about your own faith experiences. I don’t want to give up this blog because, to be quite honest and somewhat selfish, my own spiritual life would suffer for it. Talking about my struggles and my questions and my occasional spiritual “successes,” if we can call them that, is in some ways a form of contemplation for me. I sit and ponder all the things going on in my heart so that I can share something with you. In doing that, I usually discover something about myself and the path I’m meant to be walking.
So….at the suggestion of another blogger-mom-friend Roxane Salonen over at Peace Garden Mama, I am going to take up a regular but not daily blogging routine. I plan to blog here at Not Strictly Spiritual on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. (Roxane blogs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, so if you bookmark us both we’ll get you through almost the entire week!)
I actually have so much to share with you and often craft posts in my head but never find the time to write them down in this space. I’m hoping that will all change now with the new schedule. I am still plodding along on my spiritual journey, moving one step forward and two steps back. I’m doing great in the spiritual reading department, not so great in the daily prayer department, and that’s backwards, so I need to flip it around. I have become much more aware of the various things that tug me away from a prayerful attitude and leave me feeling spiritually unfulfilled. Hopefully we’ll get to all that in the coming days and weeks. For now I’ll leave you with a reflection I read before bed last night. It sure hit home for me.
“Resentments cast a cloud over your prayers. This is why Christ told us to leave our offering before the altar and first go to be reconciled with an enemy. If you collect injuries and resentments and think you can still pray, you would probably put water in a bucket full of holes!
“Learn patience, and your prayers will be joyful. Sometimes, even in prayer, something will occur to you that will seem worthy of anger. But anger helps nothing. Think of ways to avoid displaying it.
“…You are crazy if you love prayer and give in to anger or resentment. This is as ridiculous as one who wants to see clearly scratching his eyes. If you desire to pray, stay away from everything that harms prayer. This will clear the path and allow God to walk with you.
“…Much of the time, however, we struggle between prayer and disturbing thoughts. Our emotions get in the way of our prayers. Keep trying. If we knock on the door hard enough, it will be opened.” — Evagrius Ponticus: Chapters on Prayer
Wow, it’s good to be back. That felt good. Stay tuned…I’ll be back with another original post on Sunday (although you may see re-posts of my OSV Daily Take writings in this space on the “off” days.)