The gift of the present moment
I don’t know what’s in the water, but I sure know what’s in my podcast feed this week: the sacrament of the present moment. Fr. Mike, Abiding Together, Poco a Poco, Dr. Mike… it’s everywhere! So I figured we could spend some time chatting about it here.
I’m a big daydreamer. This can be good, because my creative juices are often flowing, but it can also be bad, because it sometimes means that I’m a little less present in the here and now than I would like to be. My theater friends used to call me “space cadet” because I would get so bored during rehearsals that I would retreat into my own little mind and make up new stories and ideas for myselfn and then completely miss my cue.
Ten years later, there are more ways to escape the present moment than ever before. Social media, YouTube, podcasts, Netflix, alcohol – it’s limitless. There have been days where I have spent more hours with headphones in my ears than not, mornings where I wake up and immediately plug into a podcast or call a friend and don’t have a moment of silence until I lay my head down to sleep. During days like these, the present moments are whizzing by and I barely notice because I’m not *really* there.
Needless to say, I get it. Sometimes the present moment is really hard. Sometimes the cross that we are carrying is so heavy that it feels like the only way we can make it through the day is with a bit of distraction. Distraction from racing thoughts isn’t always bad – it can often lift us out of ourselves and reconnect us with the present moment in a roundabout way. But when we miss the present moment, we miss the best part, because the present moment is where God meets us.
God is always in the present moment, the here and now. The enemy is always trying to pull us into the past or the future, the two places where God is not and where our minds can wander wildly with fear, worry, and regret. God is always calling us back to the present moment, where He desires to meet us with every grace we need – in abundance! When we run into the future with worry, we miss what He has for us here. When we ruminate on the past, we miss the ways that He is redeeming those experiences and making a new way now.
Here are three things I do when I find myself losing the present moment:
- Remember God’s faithfulness – He is unchanging, and He has been faithful in the past and will be faithful in the future. Therefore,
I don’t need to worry! I have abundant evidence that He is good and He is taking care of everything.
- List ten things you’re grateful for today – This is a great practice if you find yourself losing your footing a bit. There are countless things to be grateful for, but I find that listing ten is a great mindfulness and gratitude practice. It also makes me more aware of the gifts I have that I so often take for granted!
- Ask yourself, “If I believed that God was taking care of everything, how would I live differently?” – When I’m getting anxious about the future, I have a tendency to get a little grasp-y and fight to figure things out on my own, instead of just having fun and doing what I love to do and trusting that God has it under control. It’s a good thought exercise!
What do you do to stay in the present moment? I would love to hear from you! Reply to this email and let me know 🙂
What we’re loving lately:
Podcasts on Presence
- I know you’ve been waiting for these links since the top of the email, here you go:
- Poco a Poco: The Battle
- Abiding Together: The Sacrament of the Present Moment
- Fr. Mike Homily: You are Here
- Dr. Mike Rosary Meditation: Living in the present moment
Who do you pray to?
- I love asking people in my life who they speak to in prayer – Jesus? God the Father? The Holy Spirit? I typically pray to Jesus the most, but recently I’ve been praying to God the Father and it’s been fascinating how much that has shifted how I pray and what I pray for. I want to hear from you! Also, maybe try praying to another part of the Trinity this week and see what it brings up for you in prayer. It’s a good experiment!
Reminder: Join our virtual Fall Book Club! He Leadeth Me
- We’re officially doing it: a SundayMonday book club!! We’ll be doing two Zoom book discussions (in person if you’re in the DC area!) on November 12 (ch. 1-10) and December 10 (ch.11-end!)! Please get the book and sign up here if you haven’t yet!
A fantastic Thai red curry recipe
- I had a hankering for curry last week and this recipe was delicious! Perfect for this new fall weather situation…
- For peace in the Middle East and Ukraine
- For a friend who has been in labor for a week!!
- For the gift of vocations to marriage and holy orders
- For all of us to be joyful in the present moment!
If you or a loved one need prayers, just reply to this email or reach out and I’ll include them in next week’s newsletter!
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Some snaps from the Malvern Retreat Center- so beautiful!
Fr. Mike’s homily from this week is also a phenomenal resource on this topic! I highly recommend you give it a listen, here.
What we’re loving lately:
Oops I did it again
- Y’all I found another icon on my retreat that PERFECTLY completes my set!! I’ve had the Holy Family icon for a year, and got the Good Shepherd icon last week – so when I saw this Holy Family farm icon, I just knew it had to be mine!! I love that they’re all slightly different styles but tell such a beautiful story. If you have ideas for how to display them (the first is on a wood block, and the second two are 8×10 prints) please lmk!
- Yes, this may have been inspired by the Taylor Swift/Travis Kelce situation, but I watched the Kelce brothers documentary this past week and wept three times. It’s such a beautiful story of family, hard work, and passion. The language is a bit wild BUT I still highly recommend it!
Announcing our Fall Book Club! He Leadeth Me
- We’re officially doing it: a SundayMonday book club!! I couldn’t think of a better book to choose than this one. It’s the true story of Fr. Ciszek, who spent almost 20 years imprisoned in Russia. It’s his story, but filled with incredible wisdom that’s so applicable to anyone who finds themselves asking the hard questions in life: “Why me?” “What did I do to deserve this?” “I wish that XYZ were different, then I’d be happy.” It’s an incredible book about God’s Will in the present moment!
- We’ll likely be doing two Zoom book discussions (in person if you’re in the DC area!) on November 12 (ch. 1-10) and December 10 (ch.11-end!)! Please get the book and sign up here so I have a sense of who is joining us 🙂
A little giggle
- I had a bit of a battle with my landlord this week, and a friend sent me this meme that had me in stitches for 10 minutes… if you’ve been there, you know!
- For peace in Israel
- For a loved one walking through a miscarriage
- For those praying for their vocation
- For friends praying to conceive!
- For Fr. Swink’s healing
If you or a loved one need prayers, just reply to this email or reach out and I’ll include them in next week‘s newsletter!
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