Days shortening. Skies darkening. Leaves falling. Time slipping like sand through the hourglass. As we enter autumn and limited daylight, we ask: How are we to spend our days? What to do with our brief time on earth — whether we’re one or ninety-one? We pray. We plead. We petition for wisdom. How then shall we live?
Knitting is a hobby of mine. I’m currently working on a shawl that is probably the most complicated thing I’ve made so far. It’s not terribly difficult, but it involves some stitches that were new to me. I’ve had to follow the pattern very carefully. Even with that, I wasn’t paying attention one day and knit half of a row backwards. It took me awhile to figure out where I went wrong. I ripped out three or four rows before I finally discovered where I had made my mistake, which was honestly due to lack of attention at the moment. Once I got back on track, I was careful to double-check my work at regular intervals.
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Daniel, my baby-turned toddler, is a destructive force these days. At 18 months, he is a study in superlatives – seeking the tallest slides, biggest toys and making the loudest sounds. Lately, I have taken to thinking of him as Mr. All-In. Like many new toddlers, he leaves a trail behind him of broken toys, open cupboards, and an absurd amount of cracker crumbs.
“Bless them. Change me.” I came across this phrase a couple years ago and try to repeat it to myself whenever someone annoys me, whether it’s another driver on the road, one of my little ones or even my husband (who is — since he’s reading this — normally flawless).
“Temptations prove thee.” A line from a prayer book I read this morning stopped me in my mental tracks. I had been talking the night before with my daughter about the value of professionalism in our world and how important it is to apply the concept to our thoughts as well as our actions. The words struck a chord, reminding me of the value of intentionally directing myself rather than being swept along by roaring currents.
I recognize the power of the sacraments, Scripture, and the rhythms of the liturgical year as core to on-going development, so each year I choose a word for the liturgical year in order to aid in the process of intentional personal growth with a specific connection to the universal call to holiness. If you do not already choose a word for the liturgical year, I invite you to join me and to document your reflections and growth along the way.