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A little update:  Last week my husband and I celebrated our 10th Anniversary.  We had a lovely dinner at La Grotta in Unionville and afterwards took a little stroll through the old part of town.  There we found a cute little gift shop of handmade knickknacks and other items.  So our anniversary gifts to each other were these gorgeous mugs:

The patterns are inspired by 19th century textile designer William Morris.

The patterns are inspired by 19th century textile designer William Morris.

I realize that I probably won’t get many more mornings like this, with a baby due in about 5 weeks, but I thought I’d just share a moment with you.  Breakfast time is usually my quiet time where I get to muse, read, journal, meditate.  Yesterday I had decaf English Breakfast tea with a slice of lemon, a pear and rice cakes with some peanut butter and some homemade wild raspberry jam I received from a friend.  I felt rather indulgent 🙂

Paisley's in her couch pouch keeping guard

Paisley’s in her “couch pouch” by the window keeping guard.

I am currently reading a book called The Holy Longing by Ronald Rolheiser.  At first glance it reads like kind of a “Christian Basics” book, but it really is so much deeper than that.  For me it has been quite insightful and challenging.  I’ve been a Christian most of my life, but this book has taken my understanding of faith, spirituality and it’s context in today’s society of indifferent secularism (or spirituality without community) and challenged me to step out of my comfort zone and take my faith into the world more.  Specifically, Rolheiser describes the Essence of a Spiritual Life (regardless of religion, really) in 4 pillars:

  1. Private Prayer and Private Morality
  2. Social Justice
  3. Mellowness of Heart and Spirit
  4. Community as a Constitutive Element of True Worship

Rolheiser really is a beautiful writer.  His language is accessible yet poetic, challenging yet engaging.  A summation of the book might be found in the second chapter:

Each generation has its own dark night of the soul, its own peculiar temptation to despair, as it tries to find peace of soul and make peace with its God.  Our own dark night of spirituality is very much shaped by our naivete about the nature of spiritual energy; by the conspiracy against depth and prayer caused by the narcissism, pragmatism, and unbridled restlessness of our age; and by our inability to hold together in tension a series of dualities.
How do we walk forward and at the same time be realistic and take into account all the unique pressures of our age?  What vision and what disciplines do we need to creatively channel the erotic, spirit fire inside of us so that its end result is creative days and restful nights and an enduring peace with our God, each other, and within ourselves?

As I continue to read this I am more and more inspired to re-invent my life and live out my faith in a more tangible way that will make a positive change in the world, however small that may be.

Thanks for reading!