Intro…

Mary Ann Matthys- Artist, Color of Woman Teacher, Intentional Creativity Coach.

Bara 600Spiritual Practices

…are the backdrop by which we draw close to God.

Think of Spiritual Practices as a way of stepping into your faith, much like stepping into a body of water…

I love to walk along the beach at the water’s edge.  Sites, sounds, and sensations abound as my feet are tickled by the water’s touch.  Waves in the distance are reduced to a gentle whisper as they push water gently over the sandy shore.  Clear water flows over the sand, caressing my feet.  Shells glide along, weightless in the tide.  Clams burrow into the sand as tiny crabs skitter quickly across the surface looking for their next meal.  There is safety on the edge.  One can take in the beauty of the ocean, the waves, the wetness without being engulfed by the water.

My former pastor, John Stephenson, is an avid surfer.  John knows what it is like to be in the water.  This is part of his description of surfing…”The thing about surfing is that you glide across the water powered by the energy present in a wave. It is an energy that comes as a gift from far away. As that energy reaches the shoreline it dies on the sand. It is an honor to dance with that energy in its final moments. The memory of that dance, the ride, stays with you and it has a transforming effect over time. It breeds humility because we know we don’t deserve that honor. It breeds respect because we know that energy has the potential to take our life as it loses its own. It breeds gentleness because you learn you don’t “make things happen”, you learn to go with the flow and receive with gratitude the gifts that come. It breeds joy because it is just ridiculously fun to ride waves.”

One of my most vivid memories of my husband, Curtis, is of a moment on a family vacation when he took an unexpected plunge into 33 degree water in the Great Smoky Mountains.

  • Imagine water formed from thawing ice caps on the Smoky Mountains…
  • Imagine an experienced water sportsman, Order of the Arrow Eagle Scout, father, husband, wilderness enthusiast…
  • Imagine an inner tube with a wooden platform on top that makes your center of gravity entirely too high…
  • Imagine the look on Curtis’ face when instead of gliding atop the icy water he flipped upside down into rushing water…

For a moment the water literally took his breath away.

So whether you are ready to let the water tickle your feet at the edge, glide along on the energy of a wave, or take the plunge that takes your breath away!  Take the first step on your faith journey.  The water is fine…in this water you will find refreshment for your soul!

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