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Monday, August 4, 2014

Are You a Leaner or a Lifter?

What is it that causes us to make things more difficult than they need to be?  I heard a wonderful message on Sunday from a retired United Methodist pastor.  It is to important to keep our ears open to the wisdom of those who have walked this earth longer than we have!  He was talking about our tendency to be a "leaner" more than a "lifter."  When I choose the hard way, the worrisome way, the anxious way, the distrusting way, the doubting way, etc. everything in me leans and becomes a weight on myself and on others.  That is not how I have chosen to live my life these days.  To be a lifter is to choose being in the present, trusting that God will provide the right thing at the right time, and inviting hope more than doubt.  It is a daily beginning again to choose this better way to live.  

I am growing into my artist self (she is definitely a "lifter"!) and there have been times that I have made the creative process more difficult than it needed to be.  I recall one day last spring so incredibly beautiful that I had to capture it somehow.   I tried to paint it but God's creation so overwhelmed my senses that day that everything I painted was inadequate.  I then chose the simple way to capture only the colors of the blooms that caught my attention.  When I look at this picture below, I remember the colors, the warmth of the sun on my skin, the smell of spring - it all comes back.  Rather than leaning in to create a perfect image, I am now lifted whenever I see this image.

I am also relearning how to pray in a way that is "lifting".  Poet Mary Oliver shares that desire so well …


It doesn't have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don't try
to make them elaborate, this isn't
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

~ Mary Oliver ~


Thank you, Bob, for a "lifting" message as I continue to re-create a more life-giving way of being present in the world.  Thank you Mary for always stating the truth so simply.

For those who have not visited our Facebook page recently, we are now posting a Friday morning blessing if that would be a support for your journey.

May you choose an attitude of lifting for this day and may you, then, be equipped to lift others. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Judy for this "lifting" reflection. You have given a wonderful reminder of the power within the contemplative path of being present and open, of trust and hope. This indeed is a better choice for living one's life...