Recently I’ve started doing some volunteering at local nursing home where, among some other things I do on the days I go there, I get to sit and help the wonderful activities co-ordinator, Magda, as she encourages some of the residents to maybe exercise or do some artwork. Well, two weeks ago I noticed that Magda was wearing odd socks. Thinking it was a mistake I made no mention of it, but when last week the same thing happened I just had to ask her why she was wearing them? Her answer?
“Because I can, and it makes me happy!”
I LOVE IT! I love that she, working in a very structured environment where for the residents routine is both important and necessary, and where all staff members wear a specific uniform, depending on what job they do, Magda in wearing her odd socks, breaks those same ” structured boundaries” in a gentle non-offensive way.
All of which got me to thinking once again of expectations and how, as one friend said to me, we can sometimes lose our very God-given creativity because we are afraid to step beyond our “safe space” boundaries. For some of us who grew up with a “good child” mentality in order not to upset the status quo, where we did what was “right,” and where we walked away from confrontations rather than disturb the peace, I do think we can sometimes in danger of “doing” in order to get God’s approval rather than “doing” because we are resting in His love of us. And in order to try and de-stigmatize the word “counselling”, I, who will be 63 soon, am quite happy to reveal that it took several months of sitting with my wonderful Christian counsellor to even see that this “doing to get approval” way of acting had become a built-in life time norm for me. Now I am learning, and only learning mind you, to do things “just because I can,” and especially if they make me happy. And in case you might wonder- yes-just because I can, I plan on wearing odd socks the next time I visit the nursing home.
Another thing which I’ve been thinking about LOTS are the “spaces” we occupy, physically, mentally and spiritually.
The muddled spaces we too often allow our anxious minds to occupy. The breath freely spaces we can know when we allow ourselves be still knowing He is God. The fearful spaces we occupy when we don’t know how things will work out, or we wonder how to move forward from this one space into another. The empty spaces around a table when folk, for many reasons, are not physically present, and more.
And because I’ve been thinking about these “spaces,”‘ this time instead of ending with my usual prayer, I want to leave you instead with a prayer pondering which I wrote earlier today…..
A blessing for the “Space”
Into each part of the space you occupy right now, I pray His peace.
Into all the unknowing of your space, I pray His knowing.
Into the sorrow of your space, I pray His comfort.
Into any wounded memories in your space, I pray His healing.
Into any muddledness or confusion in your space, I pray His clarity and wisdom.
Into the questions in your space, I pray His guidance; and,
Into all joys within your space, I pray a thankful heart.
So then, breathing deeply of His love and grace,
Receive His rescuing, His carrying, and His sustaining, (Isaiah 46:4)
Knowing that, as you turn and lean into Him,
He will be your shelter and your
strength in every space you dwell this day.