Saturday, December 5, 2009

What's in Your Cup?

Recently I started a new ritual that my husband and I have both enjoyed. I tend to go to bed a bit later than he does, and he usually gets up a bit earlier than I do. In the evening we do the daily readings together and have some prayer time, but most mornings, I’ll emerge from the bedroom long enough to say hi, then go back for my 20-30 minutes of quiet prayer time.
I’d been inviting Kevin to take some quiet time to pray as well. Both of us pray throughout the day, but there is a value beyond measure to meeting God alone. That’s why Jesus often went off on his own to pray. We are told that God will come to us in the silence, and in one of my favorite Psalm verses 46:10, we are invited to be still and know the Lord.
During my own prayer time one day, I got an idea. Kevin doesn’t read a lot of religious/spiritual books like I do, but he’s generally open to listening to the passages I’d like to share with him and discuss. Keeping that in mind, I decided that each morning I would start setting out some spiritual food for thought on the loveseat where he has his morning cup of coffee.
Lately, I’ve been leaving open a book called which has short Scripture reflections by C.H. Spurgeon. Below the two reflections, I open up a prayer book with one prayer on each page. When I began this practice, I used the prayer book I made for my dad which includes a culmination of my favorite prayers, quotes, as well as some prayers and reflections I’ve written. Sometimes I pull from other sources for the prayers. I also write Kevin a brief love note.
In order to prop the pages of the books open, I lay the porcelain frog and lily pad I gave him when he was on the Men’s Team last March. Russ, the rector of the weekend, taught us a few years ago about F.R.O.G. (Fully Relying On God), and in Kevin’s talk on evangelization for the March weekend, he took the philosophy one leap further. He emphasized the importance of F.R.O.G.P.A.D. (Fully Relying On God with Purpose And Direction).
Looking at the very relaxed frog reminds me of how we can be at peace and at rest when we are indeed fully relying on God. It seems to be a good reminder for Kevin as well. It also serves to remind him of a very special weekend when he was very aware of the Holy Spirit working in, through, and around him.
My mom gave me a soft-like-suede covered journal with the title Love Notes for my birthday. I started writing Kevin little love notes on small pads of paper we had lying around. Sometimes he’d flip them over or write a short message at the bottom in response. Eventually, I decided to write each day in the Love Notes journal. Now, Kevin responds with his own love note to me each morning.
Kevin and I have talked about how this has been an effective, yet cleverly sneaky way to get him to start each day with prayer. I dare say it’s made his fair trade organic coffee taste even better ;). I know I’ve had fun coming out and reading Kevin’s love notes to me each morning and knowing that he’s spending some time in prayer.
Lord, thank You for inspiring us to do loving gestures and acts of kindness for those closest to us as well as to those strangers who cross our paths. Guide us to come to You in the silence so that You can fill us up with the love and mercy You wish to shower upon us. Amen.
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