Friday, August 5, 2011

Denying myself, sowing the seeds and reaping the harvest

Jesus said to his disciples,
"Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father's glory, and then he will repay each according to his conduct. Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here
who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom."
--Matthew 16:24-28

For all that I am and all that I do in a given day, I do not know if I truly give my life over to others. I like to believe that do and would give of myself anything to help another human or life on this earth. I was better at this in the first half of the year, for sure. When Mom was diagnosed with cancer and received her initial treatments in the hospital, I gave up preserving my work. Though I struggled with what I felt was a personal deficiency in my commitment to my profession, I look back now and see the falseness of the profession, or at least with professionals I encountered in the workplace. I was given the security of a paid leave, but questioned its validity from the beginning. I did not trust. I did not have faith in the procedure and policy.

As time moved forward, I do believe I gave of myself. I no longer cared about the procedure and policy of the workplace, I no longer cared about what turned out to be empty promises that turned on end time and again. My faith in God's love, in Christ's strength were real. Each day when I gave more, I received more. I was able to feel the love and support of prayer coming from those who were giving of themselves for me and for my family. I did not dread my days.

I found comfort in the reading above, from Friday, August 5, Living Faith: Daily Catholic Devotions. I also found reassurance in this reading from today:

Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
--2 Corinthians 9:7

What a demonstration of simplicity and pure love this can be. I wish all could know the joy in finding and living that purpose and its beauty and reward for faith. In the days and months ahead, I plan to dedicate my time to the purpose in my heart, cheerfully, joyously and with grace.

An exercise in appreciative living:
I have been remiss in my weekly self appraisal, according to The Joy of Appreciative Living.
1. I am a professional woman, committed to a job well done in all that I do. I recognize that I do not always hit the mark.
2. I maintain a balance between home and professional life which honors God, my husband and myself.
3. Each day I wake up, hoping for more hours in a day. I learned a new tool for shifting my perspective from my Spinning trainer during Saturday's class. It relies on changing one little letter in one little word: Instead of saying, "I've got to." I embrace the fact that "I get to." Powerful and amazing what that small change can do!

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