Mary Beth writes:
"Following the image above, I like to think of the spiritual disciplines as vessels that prepare us to ride the wave of God's amazing love and presence in a new way.
For today's Friday Five, please share with us five spiritual practices or disciplines from your experience. They can be ones that you have tried and kept up with, tried and NOT kept up with, ones that you flirt with at various times, or even practices that you have tried and found are definitely NOT your cup of tea. Let us know what's worked for you...and not."
1. Every night I end the day in prayer. Every morning I begin the day in prayer. I always begin my prayer with "I am so sorry to be such a disappointment to you." I say this because things in my life have been relentlessly difficult. Which is a huge disappointment to me, so I can only imagine how God feels about it. And then I feel ever so much better. And then I pray for friends who need help and healing and maybe some potatoes, or a nice pasta dinner.
2. Whenever someone is thoughtlessly rude to my face (and these days it happens at least two or three times a day), I take a deep breath and an imaginary step back to regard them as having nothing to do with me aside from sharing a ridiculous human experience. Then I am able to inject humor and maybe even some compassion into the scenario. Though there is one situation where I am finding this enormously difficult.
3. I consider my Facebook alter ego a spiritual practice. If the girlfriend goes viral, as I'm told by some that she will, I will do my best to remember this.
4. Sunday School. I have tried in more than one place to get my son into a Sunday School program and then support him there. I cannot tell you how abysmal and idiotic they have been to date. We like our current church, but the Sunday school program has been run by an untrained mom as youth "pastor" (not ordained), and her kids bully the other kids, while they make crafts and learn how to do some songs in "sign language." So he sits in the sanctuary with his friend and her family and us and plays games on his Nintendo or iPod. Yes, I am one of those moms. At least he listens to the sermon.
5. Humor. I find humor a spiritual practice for me. If I can elicit an honest laugh, I have transformed a moment into something better. By "honest laugh", there are rules: 1. not at anyone's expense; 2. not mean, no mean jokes; 3. it must lighten the mood in a positive way; 4. folks must walk away feeling better.
I have been remiss on Bible studies. I am hoping to start a new class soon. But I am really really tired right now. So pardon me while I catch a nap. Which I find to be another really good spiritual practice.