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Monday, July 14, 2014

What Energizes You?

As a Benedictine Oblate, I focus on maintaining balance with work, study, prayer and leisure.  This past Saturday I led a retreat helping men and women develop a life-giving balance within their particular circumstances.  The one area that seems to often be lacking is that of leisure, rest, refueling.  It can be hard to carve out seemingly "nonproductive time" for something that is fun and infuses fresh air into our schedule.

With our recent move and all of the details that flow from such an undertaking, I have become very aware of my need for leisure.  Last Friday, my husband and I continued our annual tradition of almost 9 years attending a local festival, Lily Fest. Because we had such a full day of things still to complete, we were only there a few hours.  It was a challenge to keep this commitment in the midst of other tasks grabbing at us.   But those few hours, well spent, were incredibly life-giving.  Visiting with artists amidst the beauty of these beautiful gardens filled the dry places in my soul from these recent months of intense work.

Part of this annual visit always includes listening to the music of Mark Thunderwalker whose concert takes place in a garden surrounded by water lilies and dancing dragonflies.   Mark is a gifted musician who plays the Native American Flute as well as crafts them.  His wife, Sheila, is also a gifted artist.  I purchased one of her pieces in addition to a few of Mark's CDs as gifts.  To listen to some of Mark's music, here are a couple of  YouTube links 

Following Spirit 
Today We Begin

You can order his CDs by visiting Mark Thunderwalker.

Identify those activities that energize you and get them on your calendar.  In those places where you may feel limited in what you can do, where you can go, etc. ask God to show you what is within your means for refueling.  Lily Fest is always one of those "big" things.  I also have smaller activities like sitting in my favorite chair and listening to quiet music that energize me throughout each day.

May you make space in your day today to "waste time with God" by simply inviting the Spirit to nourish you.


  1. I don't think my initial response posted, so will try again in the hopes that I am not repeating myself!
    Thank you Judy for this beautiful reflection and invitation to "waste time with God." The music of Mark Thunderwalker is absolutely beautiful, and just what I needed to listen to this morning. I have been having a number of sleepless nites due to my chronic nerve pain and other health issues. Your reflection reminded me of one night a couple of weeks ago as I lay in my bed unable to sleep. I felt this deep inner nudge to get up and get out my water colors - which I had not used in over a year... The nudge was an invitation to "waste time with God" as I painted and allowed the Spirit to flow through me to put down on paper what has been floating around in my head. The life-giving energy that I received was not the energy of productivity, but of creativity and simply being present to God's presence. I was given a choice that night, to keep feeling sorry for myself or to engage in a life-giving moment.
    I have been aware that last few days of starting to slip back into feeling sorry for myself, so this reflection and invitation comes just when I needed it most; allowing me to let go of what drains me and invest more into what fills me. Your reflection and invitation helps me to be aware of participating more in "wasting time with God" throughout the day. I have a feeling that the more I consciously make this choice during the day, I will likely sleep better at night.
    So thank you for this timely reflection and expression of your own journey.

    1. Michael, I love when thoughts find their way to me at just the right time :) Praying the Hour of Vigils with watercolor - I think you may be on to something!