I guess it will be obvious even if I don't spell it out that this idea was inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert, both for the obvious reason (to follow) and because her ideas on creativity have convinced me that I have an obligation to my creative impulses to act on them. I've been pondering and pondering what to do next, and this was one (of several) answer(s).
I liked Eat, Pray, Love. I was late to the game (because I'm grumpy like that), but I think that Gilbert had some lovely things to say about belief and self care. When I brought it up to some mom-friends, though, I got an almost unanimous "Hated it." Because not everyone has an editor to pay for lovely vacationy rehab. Because she's probably very lovely, but Gilbert comes off as a little saccharine. Because of the insinuation that you have to travel the world, leave your relationships, etc etc to find enlightenment.
I'm interested by the Early Christian/pre-Christian ascetics--those who left civilization behind to see for Truth in the desert. I'm a desert/mountain girl and so the stark landscapes appeal to me. But I'm also a Mormon. Community is important in Mormonism, family in particular is important. We don't take Paul's lead and marry only because it's better to marry than to burn, we think family is a central piece of the plan. So often it appears that family obligations get in the way of the reflective time necessary to draw close to God.
But I wonder if there's another way to see this. Can we find God in nitty-gritty of every day? In my case, the knee deep nits and grit and sometimes mindnumbing routine of motherhood? I'm in this routine anyway, is there a way that I can make this time feel more holy?
For the next 4 months (unless longer maybe) I want to wrestle with four topics, in turn, that I think are things the motherhood and Godhood have in common: Prayer, Play, Work, Witnessing. I'm going to take these topics in turn and study how God views and uses them, how they play into my mothering, how I might improve my mothering and my relationship to God through them.
For those of you following: it's going to get super Mormony around here, so play nice, huh?