I took this picture at the Jesuit Retreat Center in Pennsylvania
May’s 30 Day Challenge is to identify the bright spot and the shadow of each day and look for the small ways that I experienced God in both. I’ll call this the Hi and Lo of each day for lack of a better term.
Behind my desire to reflect on the highs and lows is an ancient spiritual practice referred to as The Examen. Charles and I did an abbreviated version of The Examen with the kids when they were really young. We’d light a candle before bedtime and each share, in our own way, what the best part of the day was and the part we didn’t like. And then we’d talk to God about it all.
The discipline is meaningful in that it causes me to pause, and think back over the day. Otherwise, the days can easily blur into one after another. In the reflection, I also try to see how God was present in it all. So here’s the first week….
Monday, May 1st:
Experienced a deep sense of awe and gratitude around the beauty of the fresh, spring day.
Feeling a bit overwhelmed at all that needs to yet be done at the house we’re renovating to flip and lacking the motivation (and time) to work on it.
Thursday, May 2:
Celebrated Sylas’s 18th birthday, on the same day as the Academic Honors Banquet for those with GPAs higher than 3.7 in which we participated.
Got in touch with the grief associated with the endings/ new beginnings of Sylas’s graduation and then off to college next fall. Overall it was a roller-coaster of emotions kind of day.
Friday, May 3:
A good friend helped me to understand the meaning of a recent event that I sensed held some greater significance but I just couldn’t see it on my own. Breakthrough moment.
Sat through a high school baseball game that was nothing short of painful to watch as kids have lost their confidence and love of the game.
Saturday, May 4:
Got my mother in law moved to a nursing care facility where she will get more help with her daily needs.
Got a call around midnight that she being transferred to the hospital for breathing difficulties, which turned out to be pneumonia.
Sunday, May 5:
Going out for breakfast as a family and while not everyone was in a good mood, it was a gift to be together even like this.
Today was so busy that it ended up not being a day of rest at all; I’m not feeling very refreshed for a new week.
Monday, May 6:
Got together with a good friend with a big call on her life who understands, lives out and models Christ Centered leadership. Love the synergy of like minded friendships.
Said good-bye to Jeannette, my sister in law, who came out initially to help Gladys adjust to her new living environment, only to spend most of her time being with Gladys in the hospital.
Tuesday, May 7:
I’ve had a sense that I’m to be on the look out for little surprises lately and today received a gift card in the mail from someone as a Thank You. (God does stuff like this to encourage us and to simply say “I love you!”)
Disappointed in myself that I sometimes don’t know when to back off of something I feel strongly about.
Wednesday, May 8:
Proud of my senior nursing students as they are stepping up to new challenges in the clinical setting. So fun to be with them as they grow and expand as people and as soon to be RNs.
Gladys has taken a turn for the worse with her breathing and now abdominal pain.
Thursday, May 9:
I love that I can call my parents and check in with them often. Still, at this age, I value that connection more than ever.
Had many difficult decisions to make as a family regarding Gladys. It’s difficult to see this vibrant lady in the state she is right now.
If you’ve never tried using The Examen as a framework for prayer and reflection, I encourage you to give it a run! I linked to a post above that I thought gave some helpful background on it.