As long as I live

I started my blog earlier this summer. I said and truly thought I would be posting daily. It was a challenge but also a delight as I love to write. Then things changed. School began and for me that meant both student and teacher. Two moves for close family members were in progress. Needless to say, something had to give. My posts began to be days apart, then unfortunately weeks. I truly miss posting daily but realized I needed to be in the present moment, attending to the people and situations most pressing. I had to give myself permission to drop into bed without it being done. It was disappointing but real. I was the only one who had set the bar and I could be attentive to those who needed me if I was more available. So posting dropped from the “must do” to the “like to do” column.

Today I felt a push to write – a push to talk about the joy of being in relationship with God. Two areas of my life are very prevalent these days. I am both student and teacher. As student, part of my daily homework is meditating on a scripture verse assigned by my instructors. I’m now in my fourth week in doing this and I have to say it has been an interesting journey of discovery. We are given a theme for each month – the first was God provides for me; the second God chooses to make me. As a teacher, I am helping nine 6-9 year olds prepare to receive the sacraments of reconciliation and holy communion. We began in Genesis and the garden of Eden. How uncanny that what I am preparing these little ones for is what I am going back to in my studies as well!

I’m blown away by the simplicity and greatness of the works of God. Creation – well just wow. Right now in Illinois where I live, the trees are turning color; the days are crisp; clear, colder yet inviting. All are in a state of movement – birds, squirrels, winds, leaves, clouds, sun and moon, light and darkness, children and adults. The wheels are moving in life and although it is different, we are advancing in time – and inevitably towards the end of each of our lives. I am so thankful for today’s meditation – Psalm 104 – as it truly puts so much in order. This verse (14/15) tugged at my heart in it’s simplicity.

You cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plant for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart.

Yesterday I watched a farmer harvest soybeans in a large field behind my house. Today I went to Mass and received the body and blood of Christ in what looked like bread. It surely strengthens and satisfies the hunger in my heart for God.

And yet I know there are many other places far more beautiful than what I look out to from my porch. There is more to learn, read and seek than what I have completed in my life. I struggle to know whether this is my place since my dear husband passed, yet our Lord knows the plans he has for me. This is my third year as a widow and I feel it’s been a good time of “waiting.” I’ve come to recognize God loved me when I was far away and lost; He loves me still as I am draw near. I know my time here on earth is but a fleeting glance in the scope of all time. I am not afraid to die but only to be close to my Lord and God all the days he gives me to live. I am saddened by those I love who seem to not recognize the call God places in all hearts. Confused with pleasure, power or possessions in our material world, they are deaf to Jesus saying “take nothing, not even a second pair of sandals, and go out to all the world, telling of the Kingdom of God.” They do not hear the words “follow me.” I pray their hearts are softened so they too can have the joy God desires to give to them.

And so in saying this, I pause and wonder, do my ears need a cleaning? Will I hear his call to change if it comes in a way I am not ready to hear? Could I make a move if this is what he calls me to? Will I settle and work being faithful in my journey as I am now? Am I ready to die if this is his desire (no, I’m not sick or expecting to die anytime soon). My Lord and My God. Anything for you Lord. And everything. As a friend recently said to me, I gave Him a blank check. You know me better than I know myself. Especially in such a time as this. Do with me as you will. Here’s my blank check too.

I urge you to read the whole Psalm, not just verses 14/15. Below is a bit more. What does my future hold? Him. That’s all I need to know. He’ll figure out how to fill in the rest.

What is your view, your desire in seeking him with a heart that doesn’t just meet up with him at some point in your day but all day, every day, in multiple ways. As Dan Burke of Spiritual Direction.com said this past summer –
“if you’re not all in, you’re not in at all.”

O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Yonder is the sea, great and wide, which teems with things innumerable, living things both small and great.

There go the ships, and Leviathan which you formed to sport in it. These all look to you, to give them their food in due season.

When you give to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.

When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their spirit they die and return to the dust.

When you send forth your Spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the earth.

May the glory of the Lord endure forever, may the Lord rejoice in his works, who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke! I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being. May my meditation be pleasing to him for I rejoice in the Lord. Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more!

Bless the Lord O my soul, Praise the Lord. Amen. Alleluia.

About Cathy Trowbridge

A faith-led people-person, daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, great- grandmother and friend, I am a Catholic Christian striving to union with our Lord. I hope to bring you encouragement to live a closer relationship with Christ, discerning direction in the path to Him, with Him and in Him.
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