Back a while ago — when the girls were young, and I was in one of my desperate seasons — I consulted my first spiritual director. She was someone I was friendly with at church, who had recently decided to add this skill to her capacious repertoire.
I was early on in my journey into intentional spiritual practices. I knew tuggings of “more!” but not much about how I might faithfully respond. As we met across a span of months, this friend gave me encouragement and guidance and reference material (! <3)… giving me what I could absorb at the time, and what helped me steady my footing in my faith. (Among other things? One of my all-time-fave devotional books, St. Benedict on the Freeway by Corinne Ware!)
One of the first practices she gave me came from a different book — one that I don’t recall at all aside from the sense-memory of holding it as I gazed at the open page. It was attractively laid out and phrased,
and what I remember is this jumble:
Pressed for time? Have an overly-full schedule? Take something you’re doing anyway — having a cup of coffee — and use that time to sit with God. Notice what’s in the cup, notice how it feels and tastes, and contemplate God… for as long as there’s still coffee in the cup. When it’s gone, go ahead about your day.
I have a longer, slightly more elaborate connecting-with-God practice these days. And also today I carried my coffee mug with me into my Cloud of Unknowing-inspired contemplation — held the warm ceramic — savored the bean-and-oatmilk — linked my now-self to that slightly frantic then-self.
I balance on the edge of yearning and enoughness. Then, and now.