So far in this summer journey of reading and exploration I have shared with you
- The making of the art journal itself
- How I prepared the art journal pages
- The summer reading list I had been hoping to get through - although it looks like the one I already finished and this will be IT since this is proving to be so engrossing.
- The Journal Spots I also made and the pages for the first 3 chapters that introduce what the rest of the book is about
- My Art Journal page on the introduction to the first season of the journey and my pages on the 2 chapters for the first word or "spiritual practice", HERE!
- My art journal pages for the two chapters on the next word or "spiritual practice", THANKS!
- The next two pages in my art journal for the 2 chapters on O! or worship.
- The introduction to the 2nd season or stage, the Summer of Complexity and the first 2 pages on Sorry!
- The idea of petition, of asking God for what we need to meet life's challenges, rather than asking for the challenges to shrink to meet our capacity as we see it with HELP!
- How the ache of petition can move us to the compassion of intercession with PLEASE.
The season of perplexity takes us from summer into Autumn. From the times of simplicity and then struggle into times when sometimes there is no winning and there are no answers in sight. In this season what matters most, more than being right, more than being effective, is being HONEST, authentic, even brutally so.
For all its angst there is beauty in perplexity. there's the strength of ruthless honesty, the courage of dogged endurance, the companionship of the disillusioned, the determination of the long distance runner who just will NOT give up.
And so, we come to WHEN and the questions of, what happens when, pray as we might, vicious cycles spin and spin, gears grind and grind and we get NOWHERE? The coping strategies that have carried us this far in our journey of faith no longer work. And we are left with what seems to be nothing but questions.
WHAT IF when we pray we think we are just talking to ourselves, or when we read our bibles it seems like a nothing more than a bunch of legends, of when we are at church we find ourselves thinking it's all a bunch of group make believe? What if we don't want to think these things but we just CAN'T HELP IT?
What comes after this is fear, the fear that this will never end. And so we move to survival.
The when of survival is one of aspiration morphing into desperation. And yet, above it all the flag of hope says "again", as in psalm 42. Hope in God for I again shall praise Him. it doesn't dare to be brave enough to say "SOON", it just manages a more modest "SOMETIME". And so with that repeated mantra of when? again! when? Again! When? Again! we survive for one dragged out moment at a time. We survive through delay, frustration, hardships we feel we cannot endure for one more minute, and our desire is tested and stretched. Do you really want this? How much longer are you prepared to wait?
And through it all, day after day we SURVIVE. So we hold our WHEN or HOW LONG or WHERE before God, we make space for it, we allow ourselves to feel it rather than fear it, we let it out like an OUCH!
Check back soon for more pages from this art journal, although they might be slightly delayed as we have holiday club (VBS) next week.
You can check out the sites I link up to over in my sidebar. Before you go, why not check out my recipes index page, or my craft projects index page, I am sure you will find something there to interest you.