Tuesday, August 1, 2017

a guest post: reflecting on babies, fasting & spiritual health

"When a new baby is around, it's very rare for the softness of their skin NOT to be remarked upon. Why? Because, quite simply, it's remarkably soft & smooth. Worthy of remarking upon. When caring for the skin of my sweet boy today, the contrast between his skin & mine was easy to see. 
I'm more weathered, & my first thought was to lament my aging skin. It's been around for 37 years, & my freckles, scars, stretch marks, & fine lines are here to tell many tales. However, I was able to turn my lamentation into thanksgiving & appreciation. My eyes' fine lines reveal a lifetime of emotions experienced, the good & bad. The lines around my mouth & the grooves where my dimples hide speak of countless smiles. The stretch marks on my belly are scars from many victories & one terribly painful yet life giving loss. The callouses on my hands & feet are from hard work & adventuring, game playing & dancing, writing & being stepped on by the precious ones always at my feet. 
My second thoughts were of how hard we strive to take care of our skin as we age. We notice wrinkles, discoloration, dry skin, & yellowing teeth, so we buy creams for our eyes, use oils, put hope in lotions that promise intense moisturizing results, & hunt for the ultimate whitening toothpaste. 
If only we noticed the signs that our souls are taking a beating or being neglected just as easily! We look closely at our hands, feet, hair, face, teeth, & bodies so often, but do we really take the time to look closely at the condition of our souls?
 I strive for nightly reflection, but I will certainly admit to occasional weeklong neglect when it comes to deep contemplation. 
Would I ever not brush my teeth for a week? 
Certainly not! 
How dry, wrinkled, & stained have our souls become? May we notice the signs & care for our souls, for they are lasting! For they are so much more precious than these bodies we will leave behind! Let us nourish them in the Lenten Spring! One thing is for sure, I'm hoping to make it a point to brush my teeth & apply rosehip oil to my face as reminders to care for my soul from this day forward. So let it be posted. So let it be done!" ---Susan Deane

This reflection is perfect for the beginning of the Dormition Fast! Thank you, Susan!