Summer of 7: Stress less

Welcome to week 2 of the Summer of 7, where we're looking at 7 areas of excess, and ways to reduce the waste.  Week 1 was about food.  Week 2 is about stress. I am all about less stress, particularly this week.

So far I have sent #3 child off to Brazil for a month to stay with one of his friends.  Styled a wedding for one of my daughter's besties.  Yesterday, post-wedding coma.  Tonight, bridal shower for another little chickie close to my heart.  Tomorrow, #4 child is off to visit his cousins in Tennessee for two weeks.

If there's anybody who needs a some help with stress this week, it's yours truly.

Last week what I got from God is this:  "Receive with gratitude, give freely.  I am enough for you and everybody else.  Look in your pantry if you need a visual reminder of this."

So, receive with gratitude.  Give freely.  What does that mean for stress-less week?

Well, in order to give what needs to be given this week, I've got to do some serious receiving.

And wouldn't you know it, one of my favorite kiddos just showed up at my door, needing a place to hang for the day.  Crew for today!  I receive with gratitude!

What I actually planned for this week is to looooooooooooooosely follow the monastic tradition of 7 pauses for prayer and meditation each day.  I'm pulling from Jen Hatmaker's book, 7, and Macrina Wiederkehr's book, Seven Sacred Pauses.

Here are the traditional pauses, related themes, and one psalm I'll be using for each.

  • Midnight:  The Night Watch, Psalm 42 - receiving God's blessing for those who are waiting for Him to move
  • Dawn:  Awakening, Psalm 19 - receiving the gift of creation for the new day
  • Midmorning:  Blessing, Psalm 121 - receiving God's help for the work of the day
  • Noon:  Illumination, Psalm 34 - receiving the knowledge of God's power and presence
  • Midafternoon:  Wisdom, Psalm 90 - receiving the gift of surrender to God's purpose
  • Evening/Vespers:  Gratitude, Psalm 139 - receiving the blessing of rest, acknowledging God's goodness at day's end
  • Bedtime:  Silence, Psalm 23 - receiving God's shepherding care for the night

OK.  Caveat.  I am not getting up at midnight on purpose.  I need my sleep, peeps.

However, given increasing age and a bladder apparently the size of a pea, I often wake up in the night anyway.  When I wake in the night, I will observe the night watch.

The other thing I'm working on is a brief verse or word from each psalm that encapsulates the idea for that particular pause.  Because there are just times (like today, tomorrow, and every day this week) when my schedule is predetermined and I need something brief and in the moment that so I can receive on the run.  I'll share those later.

I'm not quitting life in order to do the stress-less week.  I think that's a good thing.  It's reality, anyway.  We'll see how it goes.

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