Monday, August 10

Centering prayer yesterday had very noticable effect on the rest of my evening. I did what
David Muyskens recommends (a la Tozer) and visualized an inner space opening to receive God. Whenever I felt frazzled the rest of the evening, I was able to return to that habit of pausing and breathing and visualizing myself as filled with God’s love for those I was interacting with. There is a strange balance of this metaphor of emptiness. I’ve never wanted to be an air-head, empty etc. Yet this practice of emptying in order to be filled with the simplicity of God’s love–for me and for the world, is a drawing towards simplicity that is at the same time very powerful in its intentiality and self-discipline. There’s a paradox for me in writing these words about emptiness that hints at the complexity of trying to live simply, or not complexity perhaps, but depth of conviction and understanding.
I had this desire at Wheaton: for all of my studies to eventually simplify down into one meditative word. No one there introduced me to centering prayer. There were so many words to learn, so much to sort out.
Now as I strive to be a writer, and my head is filled with words to string together, I find myself longing for this centering prayer practice.
So when in my days do I make time and space for these things: 1) Centering prayer and the devotional reading to accompany it, 2) writing and scholarly reading to accompany it, 2) meal planning/preparation, and 3) exercise? I want to give my children a lot of attention and time noticing them. What can my routine be to get all of this done–and time teaching, administrating, and being with Steve and friends too?
Perhaps the first thing is to start. Centering prayer comes first. Exercise comes second. Writing comes third. Meal planning comes fourth–in priority, if not in chronological order.
Beginning the day with prayer seems difficult because I’ll be tempted to fall asleep I think, though those who do so say that it does begin to work for them.

Today at least, I have begun writing, putting my fingers on the keyboard–about myself albeit, but it is a starting place towards this daily discipline. It’s 10am. I’ve gotten Margaret off to summer camp and Caroline down for a nap. Prayer and then more writing til Caroline wakes up. This much I know.