I had an incredible week starting my days with Molly @becomingfilledwithless reflecting on the morning prayer of Metropolitan Philaret. My prayer book calls it, “Morning Prayer of the Last Elders of Optina” and is slightly different version from hers.
Molly gave me much to reflect on!
These are some of my favorite parts, ones I need to read again and again, so that my heart and mind can come together and bring some fruit from it:
“We wake up spiritually hungry. Too often we just mindlessly fill that hunger with what is fast and easy. Scrolling through social media, binge-watching Netflix or news, shopping online. These leave us hungry later on. Intentionality is all about stocking our lives and schedules, with more nourishing tools and habits. Habits that are sustaining and energizing and beautify us from the inside out. It is about becoming vigilant about creating and protecting a bubble of calm around our souls.”
I love the idea of intentionally stocking my day with nourishing options rather than life-sucking ones.
When she was reflecting on the line “Teach me to treat all that comes to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with the firm conviction that Thy will governs all.” Molly said something very powerful to me. “Everything is usable for our growth and salvation.”
This is probably my favorite part:
“If I focus on God and His will for my life I remain open and receptive to all kinds of opportunities to grow in love, patience, humility, etc. Opportunities I miss out on when I am distracted by worries or holding on so tight to my own will that any disruption to my best laid plans feels disastrous instead of divinely orchestrated for my own good.”
*Just*Wow* Boy did I need this! I feel like so much of my parenting was spent in this way. BUT, I found myself many times the last 2 days asking God, in the midst of a trial, “Okay, Lord, what might you want me to learn from this. How can I grow in this?”
Because as Molly encouraged, we need to change our mindset from “How can I just get through this day?” to “What can I learn from this day?”
“It [changing your midset] infuses your life with purpose, meaning and fullness. That kind of spiritual fullness produces joy and courage! And a heavenly contentment!”
This is what the Kindler of Joy journey has been all about learning to do!
Oh, Molly! You have no idea how you have helped me to flip my perspective on it’s head…something that is so incredibly difficult!
On the last day, Friday, she focused on “Give me the strength to endure the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring.”
Every day we are fighting a great spiritual battle.
“This is why intentionality is so important to us @becomingfilledwithless. We believe that a constant awareness of the spiritual battle taking place helps us to rise early ready to fight against hopelessness, against slothfulness and divisiveness, and against pride and self-loathing. That awareness fuels our desire to incorporate into our lives the tools, habits and disciplines that will help us defeat darkness and despair by turning all our efforts and all of our attention onto what is peaceful, productive, joyful, healthy, light, and beautiful. Starting my day with prayer and stillness puts me in the right frame of mind to make the healthiest choices possible.”
After spending this week with Molly reflecting on this beautiful prayer, I had determined that I really needed to start thinking about being more intentional. But as I have been reflecting back on the week to write about it I realized I actually have been working on that without giving it that name.
Kindler of Joy was started out of necessity to work hard to turn my thoughts “onto what is peaceful, productive, joyful, healthy, light, and beautiful”. During this week of spending my mornings with Molly and gleaning from her these golden gems has made me realize I have a long way to go in living an intentional, simple life. BUT I also realize that when I started Kindler of Joy two years ago, it was the beginning of that intentional life that is so desperately needed. My Resurrection Reminders, Maxim Mondays, Letter Writing Wednesdays, seeking the God of creation IN creation…all of it…they are all efforts to be intentional to find the Risen Christ each and every day and to turn my mind “onto what is peaceful, productive, joyful, healthy, light, and beautiful”.
Thank you, Molly, and all of you at Becoming Filled with Less, for giving me these gems to reflect on, for helping me see I have grown, and I am on my way to intentional living.
You won’t regret it!
Blessed Feast of Dormition! And Happy Weekend!