Discernment is the practice of holy listening, often as it relates to decision-making. This week's focus passage is the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000. There are lots of opportunities to talk about discernment as it relates to this passage:
*How do we know when and where to set boundaries around self-care? (vs. 13-14)
*For whom is God calling us to advocate and how? (vs. 15)
*To whom should we look for healing and hope? (vs. 13b)
*What is God calling us to do to alleviate distress for those around us? (vs. 18)
This week, as you wrestle with this passage and with the spiritual practice of discernment, learn to pay attention to your gut and trust it. Perhaps God's Spirit speaks to you through butterflies in your stomach or through tension in your body or through your tears. It took years for my spiritual director to convince me that my tears were not being overly emotional as I had oft been told, but a message from within that something wasn't right. I have learned that paying attention to signs from my body as messages from God that I need to slow down and re-evaluate what is happening in my world and check the messages I am hearing from others or even from myself that dismiss the warning signals in my brain and heart.
As you meditate on the questions posted above in relation to what is happening in the world -- or in your personal realm -- do so with acute attention to how your body responds and then engage in conversation with scriptures, with God, and with trusted friends about what you are experiencing to test what you are hearing in your hoy listening practice.
Julie participated in the 25th Seminar for Certified Zentangle(R) Teacher Training in June, 2019, trained by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. In addition to creating art as a personal spiritual practice, Julie also incorporates the Zentangle(R) method in Prayer Art Retreats in a variety of contexts, including church groups, friend gatherings, and at a local art gallery. Check out the Upcoming Events page for a calendar of events, or use the Contact Us page to inquire about scheduling an event with your group!
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