Oct 29, 2009

Head versus Heart

One should not read more than he can pray.

Such a simple sentence.  Such a difficult path.  I thoroughly enjoy reading books, articles, and opinions.  There is something energizing about considering new thoughts, new perspectives, or new explanations.  I feel like I’m growing as a person and increasing my mental capacities.  We can easily be deceived into thinking that reading scripture and tackling theological debates define spiritual growth and maturity.

But how much of a difference have these viewpoints, perspectives, opinions and explanations made in my inner life?  How many of them have made the journey from my head to my heart?  Have they changed how I relate to my husband, children, coworkers?  It’s so much easier to grab another book and learn something new or different.  But God is concerned with heart change – not head knowledge.  Heart change is usually painful, exhausting, and time consuming.  No wonder we recoil from the process.  There are no instant results.  The rewards are not evident.  Heart change makes us uncomfortable and requires humility.

This is where I am right now.  I have been a Christian 40 years.  I have accumulated a considerable amount of head knowledge.  God has now focused his floodlight on my heart, and I am painfully aware of how little my heart has been changed.
O Lord, grant that I may greet the coming day in peace. Help me to rely upon Your holy will in every moment. In every hour of every day, reveal Your will to me. Bless my association with those who surround me. Teach me to treat all that comes to me with peace of soul and the firm conviction that Your will governs all. In all my deeds and words, guide my thoughts and feelings. In unforeseen events, let me not forget that all is sent by You. Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering or embarrassing others. Grant me to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring. Direct my will. Teach me to pray, and pray Yourself within me. Amen.

- St Philaret of Moscow


Oct 19, 2009

A weekend of firsts

KL got her first taste of 'adult' food this weekend. She had chicken tetrazzini, lasagna, potatoes, and ham loaf. Oh yeah, and homemade applesauce. Very good stuff! She was so excited to eat what Mommy was eating.

She bonded very quickly with all family members here, which was wonderful. She's been playful, talkative, and opinionated (no surprise). The nights have been tough though. She made it very clear that sleeping in the portable crib was not an option. Since this is such a new place, she gets upset if she can't see me. So, she's sleeping in the king sized bed. She is getting great sleep while I'm back to getting the amount of sleep I received in the first weeks after she was born. I'm SO tired. So far I've managed to trip over and smack into a wide variety of items. I'm sure I have bruises head to toe. Though my crowning moment of glory was when I leaned over to give something to KL and neglected to realize my knees don't bend that way. It was pretty pitiful to see me faceplant into the backseat of the car. Though my Mom found great humor in it.

Aside from bumps and bruises, this weekend has been full of firsts: adult food (as I've already mentioned), standing (with support) and taking steps all the way down the hall - complete with end-zone dance, and the concept of cl'apping. The 'first' I could have done without was - to put it nicely - doing her "business" in the bathtub. ewww. It would have been nice if she'd saved this for the house, where I have my disinfectant. But no. It had to be here. So, out came the hand sanitizing wipes. I guess it's a good thing I brought an entire box.

We head home tomorrow. Pray for good health, a sleeping baby, and a safe trip.