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there-is-lightI’m not going to lie to you. I’m rising to Lori’s challenge to write about the Election but I’m not thrilled about it.  How can I be?  I wasn’t thrilled with the results.  That said, I wasn’t surprised either although I was disappointed. My husband could easily tell you that Tuesday night I was more than a little bratty. But I more-or-less got it out of my system.

I’ve taken a deep breath and looked around me. As I write this, the sun has come up yet again.  The sky is blue.  The air has a glorious chill to it.  Fall is my favorite time of year. I take a deep breath and as I exhale I ask God to use me as He wills.

There are difficult times ahead. I won’t deny that I truly believe that.  But I also don’t think that they will all result from this election. I’m a historian and a Calvinist.  There are always difficult times ahead.

But do you want to know something funny? I mean ironic more than I mean laugh out loud but I have to admit that I laughed at the irony. This morning I read about a study that said that 85% of the horrible things we imagine never come to pass.  Eighty-five percent.  That’s a lot.  In an election 85% is a landslide.

What this means is that whether you’re elated at the results of the election or appalled, you need to take a deep breath.  Then take another. Now for the challenge.

Turn it into a meditation.  Inhale for a count of five.  Hold it for five.  Exhale for ten.  As you breathe, exhale the negative and the dark.  Then breathe in God’s Light.  Breathe in His Love.  Imagine it suffusing your body from fingertip to fingertip.  Feel it flowing from the top of your head to the soles of your feet.

Take that light with you into your day. Look for those who are scared and those who are angry. Don’t overlook the self-righteous. They’re hurting and scared too and are showing it through their actions.  As you find what is negative, exhale God’s Love and Light.  Let it spill out and wash over the darkness.

I’m not saying it will be easy. I’m not saying that solutions will be quick.  But it all starts when you take a moment and breathe.  Breathe in His Light.  Breathe in His Love.  Take it out into your day.  There is light even in darkness.

–SueBE

A-Manifesto-for-A-Simple-LifeLate Saturday night, I saw a post on Facebook.  “A Manifesto for a Simple Life.”

It isn’t a Bible verse or a religious saying but it is powerful stuff.  I’ve seen the evidence.

Over the last few weeks, even amid the unrest in our immediate area, we’ve repainted the dining room, refinished the floors and moved out some of the furniture. The clutter is gone and you can walk around the entire table.  That’s right.  All the way around.

What have I noticed about this leaner, meaner dining room?  It’s where we want to be.  I’ve taken to printing manuscripts out and rewriting in the dining room. My son does his homework in there.  My husband sits and reads in the adjoining living room.  That’s where I now knit.

This de-cluttered space pulls us in.

What does this have to do with simplicity and prayer?  Amid protests and riots and screaming headlines, I’ve found it very difficult, if not impossible, to pray.  I’m just to full-up with the misery of it all to pray.  I’m blocked with emotional clutter.

But as we’ve opened up this space in our home, I can move away from the television and the computers.  As I spend time away from the roar, I decompress.  I breathe.  And as I breathe, I pray.

Have you been having trouble praying lately?  Then think about what might be cluttering up your heart and mind.  Maybe you’re in conflict with a coworker or there are problems at your child’s school.  Maybe you are frustrated because you’ve jammed up your schedule to the point that you’re late to everything.

I’m not saying that it’s going to be easy, but find yourself a spot that is uncluttered.  It might be a bench outside your office building.  Or you might sit on the ladder leading up to your kid’s play fort.  Find someplace uncluttered that you can just be.

Take the time to breathe.  As you breathe out, give your heartache and frustration over to God.  As you breathe in, pull in His Grace and His Love.  Don’t wait until you have a free hour.  Start with a free minute or two.  Spend this time breathing.  Spend this time with God.

You’ll be glad that you found at least a few uncluttered, simple minutes.

–SueBE

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