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Work 1: Work

Question:

Is replenishing your being a priority in your life?

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Transcript of Video:

One of the great joys of life at Emery House is that we’re surrounded by this wonderful countryside. And over these past years, we Brothers have become more and more aware of the importance of sustainable farming: that you don’t take out more from the land then you put back. And I think that principle is really important for the way that we lead our lives. I think so often we take and take and take, we work and work and work, and we slowly, in agricultural terms, degrade ourselves and become more and more tired. And we don’t give enough thought to putting back what we’re taking out, and so for me – I would call that the importance of sustainable living. To ask ourselves: “How much am I giving back? I know how much I’m working at the moment, but when do I take time, when do I take leisure and rest in order to replenish what has been taken out?”

And in the monastic world, in St. Benedict and the monastic tradition, that principle has been central to the monastic understanding of work: that we don’t run ourselves down into the ground so that we’re in desperate need of vacation. But that we have such a balance to our day and our week that we have times of work, but we also have times of rest and worship and replenishment, so that we remain centered. We remain balanced and we remain sane.

-Br. Geoffrey Tristram

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86 Comments

  1. Rosemary Lule on March 3, 2016 at 09:04

    Yes, it should be s priority

  2. Helen Chandler on April 1, 2015 at 09:12

    My practice is to replenish my being on a daily basis, balancing each day with a time relaxation. What becomes disordered about this is hat it is not always an intentional time of nourishment – more a time of “not working” – and it sometimes leaves me feeling guilty about taking a full day off – as if I have spread my days off throughout the week. I am not good at taking vacation; it is one of those concepts that I have not wrapped my head around!

  3. suzanne robinson on March 19, 2015 at 19:08

    Holy Eucharist first thing in the morning, with a mini
    congregation, at a Parish nearby, fills me with delight, redirects me toward the One God, though Jesus Christ in the joy and power of the Holy Spirit in whom we live and move and have our being; lifts the burden
    of my self centredness; reminds me that in community
    we are truly fed and empowered to go out and proclaim the Good News through active service and
    presence to others. By responding to Jesus’ invitation
    to “Come and See,” I am saved and fall face down
    before the wonder working power of Christ’s healing love which offers radical Truth…”Of mine own self I can do nothing”.. “He must increase.. I must decrease.”
    And to think it is all sheer gift!

  4. Lisa on March 16, 2015 at 09:43

    I take time to replenish my being through prayer and meditation in the morning. Working my physical body through exercise (biking, weights, swimming, walking) is a high priority for me. It revitalizes me to exercise in a moderate amount frequently throughout the week. I spend time with my husband and friends throughout the week. Right now (and it certainly changes throughout time) there is time and intention to replenish my life.

  5. Christopher Engle Barnhart on March 15, 2015 at 07:42

    I feel replenished early in the morning reading the Daily Lectionary and other meditiations including SSJE.

  6. Faith Turner on March 14, 2015 at 15:26

    Meditation for me. I feel God all around and within me.

  7. Mary-Carolyn on March 14, 2015 at 11:28

    Absolutely!

  8. Susan Zimmerman on March 14, 2015 at 10:20

    …sleeping with no dreams or getting up

  9. Muriel on March 14, 2015 at 05:42

    It has been a priorityfor me for some time but in practice it has been ‘on’ and ‘off’ . I pray , meditate and read the bible regularly and listen to radio programmes related to religious topics and in this way hope to grow spritually thus achieving some degree of replenishment.
    I make sure I have some ‘me’ time to look inwardly and to put back what I think is missing.

  10. Kimber on March 13, 2015 at 15:38

    Yes, I think of this as a high priority in my life. I spend a lot of my days in “off mode” or having “down time.” In fact, at this stage of my life, I think that I’m unbalanced the other way—to much “me time” and not enough work and doing for others. While it feels great to have less stress in my life, to be free to do what I want when I want most of the time, I think I run the risk of not having enough structure to my days. And also when I really look at how I spend my free time, I realize that more often than not I’m missing the opportunities that I have for real soul replenishment. In other words, with this gift of free time, I wish to be spending more of it in intentional presence with God.

  11. Louise on March 12, 2015 at 18:50

    It has not been a priority for me to “replenish” myself. I have been too busy taking care of loved ones. As a result, not only am I exhausted; but other family relationships have suffered.

  12. Elizabeth S on March 11, 2015 at 09:44

    I recognize that replenishing my being should be a priority in my life. I do things that replenish a little bit at a time. It is very rare that I feel totally or completely replenished. And sometimes I do things that are supposed to replenish, but don’t really work. Like getting a massage. I enjoy it, and it feels good at the time. But I walk out feeling as if I’ve now set myself back with all the other should-have-done’s. Clearly that’s in my head and something to work on. On the other hand, maybe there are things that are better replenishments at this time in my life. Like time spent outside, walking, hiking, breathing, being quiet with God. That works. I have to do something! Recovering from a divorce, having two young kids, and keeping up with a demanding job – I will not do any of that well if I don’t take care of myself.

  13. Lisa on March 11, 2015 at 08:56

    Replenishing my life is a priority for me. I have retired from full time work and have a part time job. Work is a comfortable place for me. I know that I need to grow in areas that I have not nurtured through the years. Learning to emphasize areas that are growing edges is not easy and takes self discipline. I replenish my soul through meditations and disciplines such as this, exercising, nurturing friendships. So, yes, replenishing my life is a priority.

  14. Lissa Davis on March 10, 2015 at 11:18

    I would have to truthfully say no. However, I am striving to simplify my life and today’s message will be a great encouragement when I feel stuck.

  15. Susan Dredge on March 10, 2015 at 10:59

    The answer to the question for me is “no” at present. I thought I was busy when working but in retirement, when I thought I would never say the words “I don’t know how I had time to work” but this has proved to be the case. This is through my own doing, by not being able to say no, to keep volunteering and offering as a way to think that I am needed or wanted. Every now and again I get a feeling of resentment, of being used, but this again is my own fault and I think after today’s session I must give a priority to replenishing and giving back. I do make the time to pray and give thanks to God but he deserves more, and so do I, to just stop, step back, take time.

  16. Randy Ruffin on March 10, 2015 at 10:44

    Doing much better since retirement. At one point in my life, I thought that “giving my life to God” meant “go, go, go” because there was an urgency to all that needed doing. I realize more all the time – perhaps in part due to an awareness of my own decreased energy! – that must work in God’s way and God’s time and that this includes stewardship and replenishment!

  17. Mimi on March 9, 2015 at 20:12

    My answer to this question would have varied so much over the course of my life. For several decades, I worked in a job that required 50-60 hours per week and a huge amount of international travel, which sounds glamorous but can leave you living jetlagged all the time. That was when my two kids were growing up, also. I found that to meet the needs of my job and my children, I had to keep making my life smaller and smaller until there was no room for anything that might be called replenishment. Now I’m retired, and the opposite is true. I try to walk outside every day, I do yoga in a class four times a week, I read a lot, I sleep as much as my body wants to, and I even take a nap once in awhile. However, with the gift of time, it becomes easy to spend too much time on things that don’t truly replenish – playing electronic games, going on Facebook, watching too much tv, and doing email. I find it’s possible even with a lot of free time to not nourish your soul if you don’t spend a lot of time consciously selecting the activities that take up most of your time.

  18. Ray on March 9, 2015 at 16:54

    I’m getting better at replenishing my being. It has been a powerful revelation to realize that as my Creator and author of my Owner’s Manual, God made me to work better when regular Soul and Spirit maintenance are attended to. It’s not really an option, any more than doing regular maintenance on my car is optional.

  19. Susan on March 9, 2015 at 15:52

    I know very well how important it is to replenish. When I was in my twenties I burned out very badly and made myself unwell and since then the level at which I become sensitive to overload and burnout has been pretty low. But I do really struggle to get enough rest and down time, still. And the quality of my work, my interactions with others, my ability to be present and loving, my ability to rest and connect with nature – all of these things suffer when I am overworking, over stretching myself. I think that there is a problem of feeling indispensable, of thinking that my contribution is so important that things won’t go right without me, which is pretty deluded. And then I think there is something about the way that I work, the attitude that I bring to work that is a bit anxious and overstretched – worry about doing enough, about being good enough, which might make work more taxing than it needs to be.

    So I think that resting, down time built into the day, week, year is terribly important. But also within work itself, a pause, a willingness to let go, to practice not knowing, to allow God to be in charge is also really important to cultivate.

    • Ray on March 9, 2015 at 16:56

      Well said.

  20. Winifred on March 9, 2015 at 15:25

    This is such an important post – I am so glad to think about “sustainable living” and being kind and considerate to ourselves and to our home here on magnificent planet earth.

    Every 5 days or so, I so “need” the replenishment I derive from the quiet and mind/body practice of yoga. It is my personal indulgence and balancing time, and I am grateful for it –

  21. Joan on March 9, 2015 at 13:20

    I try at various times – for the past month or so I have had a physical pain ailment and have found most of time centered on getting through the days and doing as much of usual work/pastimes as possible, – but not anytime on priority on relaxing – but as my pain is slowly leaving me the urge to “just relax” is getting stronger – this Lenten series is helping me to focus on my “insider” self and not my “outer”.

  22. Terri on March 9, 2015 at 09:18

    I believe I take time to replenish my being each weekend prior to the following week. Since my unemployment, I tend to be busy searching for a job with minimal response, in the afternoon, I take time to read or watch a program on Netflix to help me relax. While watching Netflix I am cutting found vouchers for a local outreach program my parish sponsors.

  23. Michael on March 9, 2015 at 07:37

    It has become much easier for me to find a balance since my retirement, but I have alway had a strong inward streak that keeps me I touch with my needs. I thought it kept me too attuned when I was young, but I have slowly discovered that it was God’s way of protecting me from me. Staying centered requires time a patience and a certain willingness to accept that God knows more than we do. Hard to accept sometimes, but even harded to understand

  24. Lucia S. on March 9, 2015 at 06:54

    Finding balance in my life has been a lifelong goal, and struggle. Like many of you, I tend to view taking care of me as a ‘guilty pleasure’ rather than the necessity it should be. This Lent has been so very, very good for me, though! I got very sick two weeks ago, and in that forced down time I have been taking the time to read and reflect on a daily basis. The challenge I have now, though, is to carry this practice on through the rest of Lent, now that I am well again, and beyond Lent. The positive benefits I’ve felt – spiritually, personally, emotionally and physically – I hope will help me remember why this is such a necessity, NOT a guilty pleasure!

  25. Tom on March 9, 2015 at 06:17

    I had a guide dog my last two years of work. We took potty/stretch breaks every two hours. This was not only necessary for the dog, but became very beneficial for me. I found this to be a perfect time to recite the Anglican rosary, sometimes focusing on the needs of some of my work-mates.
    it also cleared my brain so I became more energized when we returned to my office.
    Now retired, I actually look forward to a top-to-bottom cleaning/disinfecting of our two bathrooms on Friday mornings. I also do it with joy and a sense of fulfillment.
    If I ever moved to a monastery, this would be the work for which I would ask. When the cleaning is finished, my dog seeks me out and reminds me it is nap-time, the best source of replenishment ever!

  26. Julie on March 9, 2015 at 04:30

    I have recently begun learning to replenish. To do this for my soul, my mind, my body. I notice and reflect on God, nature, meditation and prayer. I rest and reflect each night with a spiritual reading of some sort as I sit on my couch with my husband. Most times I share my readings with him and it spurs some meaningful conversation between us. Aside from our daily talk of schedules and what we need to do. I am also learning to just…..be quiet. I like to call it “Silence in Prayer”. Fellowship at church and doing….is also replenishment to me. We must rest. I think God commands that of us.

  27. Roderic Brawn on March 9, 2015 at 03:22

    To keep my life in balance is a goal of mine. As a retired individual, I wonder what my work ought to be. I do walk at least 10,000 steps each day. When I walk I take just my clothing and myself. Though I may not know it, I think about many things while walking, because in order to make my commitment of 10,000 steps I have to leave the confines of my house and walk about an hour a day at least. The activity of walking restores my body by circulating my blood. I think I circulate things I need to think about as well.

    • suzanne robinson on March 19, 2015 at 18:55

      Thank you for this reflection. Being three months out of a total knee revision, I am grateful for every step I take, each one of which moves in
      steadfast hope ever onward toward 10,000. I am touched by the simplicity of your taking” just yourself and the clothing on your back.”.. by limiting yourself to the basics, if feels as if you free yourself up to receive whatever it is that God is wanting to give along the path upon which you trod… A compostela of sorts… not one which celebrates the Feast of St. James, but one whose spirit celebrates the blessing of original you. Deep Peace

  28. beth on March 9, 2015 at 01:10

    No. I allow my demands as the primary breadwinner, Mom, caretaker for a husband battling depression, and my call to serve our church to maximize my time. I struggle to find time replenish.

  29. Verlinda on March 9, 2015 at 00:35

    It should be–I recommend this to others all the time, but I find it difficult sometimes. Sundays–which used to be delightfully lazy days–have now become among the most hectic. Sometimes I think God must be saddened by what the Church has done to that day, because most of the things that make me feel like a mouse in a wheel are done at church or for church.

    The discipline of these daily meditations and responses has helped me; by committing to this, I’m taking the time, and even something as simple as listening to the reflection and commenting helps me to replenish my being.

    • Mimi on March 9, 2015 at 20:04

      This is so honest! A few years ago I did an exercise that involved saying what you want more of and what you want less of, and at that point in my life I wanted less of church! I had gotten sucked into some activities I didn’t really feel called to and that didn’t really suit my skills. It’s hard to realize that church can be a drain if approached in the wrong way.

  30. Maria on March 9, 2015 at 00:25

    Living with and observing my dog(he’s now 11) has taught me so much about replenishing. When he has energy, he plays. When his hips begin to hurt or gets otherwise tired, he lays down—with no self-imposed pressure to get up. When thirsty, he drinks—not more and not less than what he needs. He knows when he needs human connection and doesn’t hesitate to seek it out 😉 And he knows when he needs his space. It’s been quite the lesson. I try to follow his lead, but I don’t make myself a priority as much as I indeed need to.

    • shawn on March 9, 2015 at 09:25

      Thank you for that. Isn’t nature awesome? We humans complicate everything.

  31. Karen Fast on March 9, 2015 at 00:21

    Replenishing my being has not been a priority for much of my life. Even in retirement it is easy for me to over book and over expect myself. But I am learning. It is now time to get to bed early, with a grateful heart.

  32. Jana Everett on March 8, 2015 at 23:47

    I don’t do enough of that

  33. Karen on March 8, 2015 at 23:04

    Replenishing has NEVER even been a thought; one year ago I don’t even think I could have understood the concept. I know now that I’ve gained most of my self-worth in helping and doing for others; always, and I mean always turning down any offer of help to me. Though I truly feel joy in helping others, I am coming to understand that I need to also take time for me. I’ve done this a couple of time in the past few months and so enjoyed it. I don’t know how replenishment will manifest itself for me, but I do know that I need it, and am actively taking steps to do it.

  34. Susan Zimmerman on March 8, 2015 at 22:41

    …my life is the spiritual and the practical life ִis a life of a
    גַלוּת http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0007_0_07029.html

  35. Paul on March 8, 2015 at 21:31

    Yes, it is, in several ways (as of this date):
    — 20 minutes of prayer first ting in the morning.
    — Taking time every day to read something meaningful that stimulates my thinking.
    — Spending focused time with my wife and with my son.
    — Singing in my church choir.
    — Talking (&emailing) with my friends.
    — Phoning my mother long-distance. (She'[s 90)
    — Writing in my journal.
    — Pursuing interesting hobbies.
    — Getting enough sleep every night.
    — Eating healthily, in the main.
    — Try to do some exercise every day.
    — Doing creative work in the arts.
    I must note that I am retired and wish I had had a more balanced life during my working years, but I am doing what I can do for myself now, and it’s very rewarding.

  36. NA on March 8, 2015 at 21:24

    Since one of our businesses is a small family farm on which we grow sustainably and organically, the metaphor of putting back into the land really resonated. I know all the many things that we do to achieve this, the hard work and planning, and what it means to the land. I even help others learn how to give back to the land in the organic gardening classes I teach. But do I do as much for myself?

    All that really boiled this morning’s question down to a very simple question: Do I treat dirt better than I treat myself? And, sad to say, I have to say yes, yes I definitely spend more time, effort, energy, and thought on making sure the soil has what it needs than I do on whether I have what I need.

    Ouch. Double ouch. But it’s a good kind of ouch, the kind that focuses attention where it is needed so disorder can become order.

    Apparently,this Lenten series is part of a fairly widespread divine conspiracy on God’s part to get this time-rest-care message through to me. Everywhere I turn up pops the same message, just variations on a theme. I’m listening! Okay! I’m listening! 🙂

  37. Mark on March 8, 2015 at 21:15

    To be honest no. I’ve been working over 40 hours for several weeks now. I do still pray and read but as far just resting I’ve grossly neglient I hate to admit the rest I get is when I’m asleep

  38. Jeff Lowry on March 8, 2015 at 21:13

    I ead s bit surprised when Bro. Geoffrey said that worship was a tome of refreshment for tbe brothers. Yes worship should be. However prayer and service require
    Time and preparation. Prayer and services are a big parpart of their vocation.

    Personally, my personality fits well in the range of the Jungian archetype of the Caregiver.
    One of the pitfalls of that archetype is that caregivers have go make tome for themselves but often do not. Br. Geoffrey hit my nail squard on the head when he said thst ot shojlf not be allowed to vet to gbe point of NEEDING a vacation. More on thsn not that is tbe postio in wbich I find myself.

  39. Sophfronia on March 8, 2015 at 21:07

    Following this Lenten series has made me aware of how the time I thought I had reserved for myself for replenishment, for my Sabbath day, is not really a replenishing day because of all the activities I do in connection with my church. So I have recommitted to replenishing myself, to choosing a true day of rest, and giving myself the gift of much needed time to do something enjoyable or to do absolutely nothing.

  40. David Cranmer on March 8, 2015 at 20:58

    Replenishing my being is something that I have been learning to do only gradually. It first came to my attention when a friend pointed out that I was a “doing” person and really needed to have more of a “being” orientation to life. The next step was to realize how I “punished” myself for any failure to live up to my expectations. I was able to stop the punishment and also more recently have come to learn that God’s standards are my goals. If God knew I could attain them, then there would have been no need for Jesus to come to pay the penalty for my inability to live up to God’s standards. And more recently I have added slowing down and taking more time to do little relaxing things. I now set up my work day so that I can be more relaxed in the morning. These all help me to replenish.

  41. Jennifer on March 8, 2015 at 20:39

    I have a chronic medical condition that requires replenishment to help avoid illness. It has helped me appreciate the importance of replenishment in all its forms. Like our “daily bread,” replenishment can’t be stored up for the future while we go without today, this week, this month. Vacation two or three times a year is not enough. Sleeping in on the weekend is not enough. Prayer in church on Sunday is not enough. Rather, my rhythms of *daily* life need time and space for replenishment.

  42. Jane on March 8, 2015 at 19:21

    The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament establishes God’s handiwork.-quoted by Marta. It’s psalm 19 that I heard at church today. I replenish myself through prayer daily, personal reading for enjoyment and swimming to keep my old body less stiff. In spring I look forward to being in the garden too in the midst of God’s creation.
    .

  43. Libby on March 8, 2015 at 19:05

    I really can relate to this section of replenishment . This is something I have been struggling with for some time. I am really enjoying this series as it is helping take time & connect with The Lord & realize how important it is for me to do this.
    I would love to learn more about St. Benedict & the monastic way of looking at things. How can I do this.
    Thank you for your work!

  44. Susie on March 8, 2015 at 18:11

    Replenishing my being is not a priority in my life. But I’m REALLY beginning to understand that it needs to be! Thank you for your message.

  45. Lorna on March 8, 2015 at 17:49

    I try to do a devotional reading every morning before I start my work day. I must admit I have times when I fail. I do find I have a much better day when I take that time to replenish before I start my day.

  46. Dee Dee on March 8, 2015 at 17:17

    I think I do take time to rest and savor the world around me. However, I have never thought of it in these terms before — “replenishment of my being.” It has always seemed like a guilty pleasure rather than a necessary part of caring for myself. I am so thankful for this chance to see stillness and “down time” as a positive, even necessary, part of feeding myself and my needs.

    • NA on March 8, 2015 at 21:09

      Necessary. Even essential. I, too, tend to treat replenishment as a guilty pleasure, as if it is in some way selfish when it is really the opposite. I tend to be a caretaker and can easily get too caught up in making sure others needs are met before I feel like it is okay to meet my own needs. I do realize that is nuts. Even on an airplane they tell you that you need to put the oxygen mask over your own face before attempting to help others, the idea being that what good are we to others anyway if we’re passed out?? Replenishment of our emotional oxygen is actually how we can be most fully present to others.

      • Lucia S. on March 9, 2015 at 06:44

        Amen!

  47. gwedhen nicholas on March 8, 2015 at 16:48

    Yes , I replenish. Reading the Bible and other books
    really helps me. I am very selective about what I read and watch, and since I don’t distinguish between “sacred” and ” secular” even novels give me pause for meditation and prayer. These things give me God, so that I can give Him to other people. An afternoon nap really helps too; and journaling, which also feels like prayer to me.

    • David Cranmer on March 8, 2015 at 20:52

      Thank you for mentioning that you do not distinguish between sacred and secular. I make a similar non-distinction since I believe everything in the creation is sacred to God. And our whole realm of activity is sacred to God.

  48. Mary Ann Ryan on March 8, 2015 at 15:42

    You are asking just the right questions! Thinking about my week, I realize that I do replenish by walking in nature, visiting my little grandsons in Baltimore, and reading for pleasure. However, I am still more often tired than rested. I need to work on balance, but I think I’m headed in the right direction.

  49. Nicki on March 8, 2015 at 15:27

    If asked this casually, I might have said,”Oh yes!” Replenishing my being has a lovely ring to it. Id be talking about nourishing myself, but replenishing my being includes that and more. I like the principle of St. Benedict’s monastic tradition, and am grateful to see it so simply put. I’ve been afraid of even trying something similar, for fear of setting myself up for failure. But the idea of following this recommendation of self-kindness, replenishment of my being, appears to allow time and energy for and giving out and helping others without overdoing, as well. I’m not afraid to do this! Thank you for presenting it this way!

  50. Norm Anderson on March 8, 2015 at 14:21

    I have been quite aware of the need to replenish energy, the importance of taking time off to re-charge batteries, to rejuvate my soul and ability to be present to others. My practice is, of course, not perfect, but I am always striving for the perfect balance and I need constant reminders to do so.

  51. Elaine on March 8, 2015 at 13:50

    No, but I realize more and more how vital it is to replenish body and soul. Working on it!

  52. Judy on March 8, 2015 at 13:31

    Short answer – No. But it certainly needs to become one.

  53. Mary Ann on March 8, 2015 at 13:05

    A sporadic priority, I now realize. I need to take a little time daily, sometimes probably hourly, to renew myself. Thank you for this insight.

  54. Kim on March 8, 2015 at 12:06

    I know the importance of taking time to care for yourself. But it seldom is a priority. It’s something I havecto really plan to do and schedule it.

  55. Rev Tom Calhoun on March 8, 2015 at 11:52

    A few years ago, I was treated for advanced stage renal cancer. As a part of survival, I was forced to redetermine what success means; to judge our own successes, we must take a more introspective view. We must look at what we’re being, not necessarily what we’re doing. This concept has become central in my life, and I attempt to teach it every day.

    • NA on March 8, 2015 at 21:03

      You put me in mind of a book I read recently called, “The Four Things That Matter Most: A Book About Living” by Ira Byock, a longtime hospice doctor. Naturally, not one of them was work, money, success, prestige, position, security, or any of the other things we too often seek in our Doing. While many of the stories dealt with people facing life-threatening situations, the point was about how that causes all the things we think are important to get boiled down to what is really important, to the business of Being.

  56. Janet on March 8, 2015 at 11:50

    I can speak to the need for balance in life. I have lived through several years of family stress, where as a mother, I felt it my job to keep everything together. God sustained me through this, and I felt His presence with me. But my body suffered from the stress, and it is a slow process building my strength and energy back to what it was. And now, at almost 70, I know I have to accept a new vision of what is possible for me to achieve.

  57. Karen on March 8, 2015 at 10:57

    I have been taking much more than I give back, and it exhausts me. Then I have days in which I’m too exhausted to work, and I get behind, perpetuating the cycle. I want to have a set time for work and the ability to let go and take care of other priorities the rest of my day.

    • NA on March 8, 2015 at 20:52

      Amen. This is a process, and sometimes I, too, feel a bit behind the learning curve. You are not alone!

  58. Louise Howlett on March 8, 2015 at 10:13

    In this second half of life I am finally learning to live a more balanced life where I enjoy outdoor time and rest and recreation, and do not feel that sense of desperation about needing a break that I used to. Partly because I am not actively raising children anymore and am setting my own schedule for work, but also because I am not seeking validation of my importance through “busy-ness”. Letting go of that ego need has been liberating and allowed me to feel more content and blessed.

    • NA on March 8, 2015 at 20:49

      There is definitely an ego boost to being the one always in demand. I think it is one of those subtle temptations where we believe we are doing good but can too easily wind up focusing our energy in a less positive direction. The amazing thing about the validation aspect is that when we finally let go of trying to achieve it, we find that it was there all the time. We were always beloved, always cherished, always essential, because our Creator chooses to love us so.

  59. Linda B on March 8, 2015 at 09:02

    No, that is an area I need to work on. I tend to fill my day with work and leave very little time for rest and relaxation. But now that I am aware I plan to set aside an hour or two each day to just relax.

    • NA on March 8, 2015 at 20:44

      You are not alone. I’m working on it, too. 🙂 This series sure is helping me think in a new way about time and how I have existed with it. Thanks be to God!

  60. Cheryll on March 8, 2015 at 08:51

    Yes, it is and always has seemed to be a “natural” requirement for me personally.
    I also believe you should not use or take more than you need or can replace or give back.

  61. Kenneth Knapp on March 8, 2015 at 08:29

    I think that I can honestly say yes to this one. Much of my attraction to monasticism and Benedictine spirituality comes from my desire to replenish. I haven’t always honored the priority, but I have tried.

  62. John on March 8, 2015 at 08:25

    Striving for he kind of balance Brother Geoffrey speaks about is built into my daily work schedule…but achieving the desired balance? I do give priority to shutting down work each evening and for most of a day on weekends… The positive effects of rest and reflection on the quality of my work is obvious to me, so putting back has a place in my work…

  63. Christopher Engle Barnhart on March 8, 2015 at 08:17

    I receive replentiment of my soul when I am in the mountains and forests in the quiet of the early morning watching the sun rise.

    • Ralph on March 8, 2015 at 09:39

      Sounds exactly like me.

    • NA on March 8, 2015 at 20:42

      Oh, yeah, that’d do it. I love the mountains. Where I live I settle for the sunrise across the fields or through the trees. Nature is a wonderful restorer.

  64. Marta e. on March 8, 2015 at 07:27

    The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament establishes God’s handiwork. Breathing it all in with our breath, eyes, walking pace, is a constant reminder of God’s glory. This series is also very helpful to establishing a better habit. Thank you.

  65. Christopher Epting on March 8, 2015 at 07:21

    Since a mid career near burnout led me to build in a weekly “sabbath day” in addition to my day off, I beleve that repenishing by being has become a priority. .. in this and other ways.

  66. Linda H. on March 8, 2015 at 07:11

    Yes, definitely. Last year my husband needed a lot of care taking, especially in the summer before he went to a nursing home. I ran myself ragged trying to meets his very real needs day and night all the time worrying that something terrible might happen to one of us if I didn’t just keep on going. By the end of most days, I was exhausted and angry and grumpy as could be. I became the person I didn’t want to be. It was such a good lesson in the importance of replenishing, one I try not to forget.

    • Patricia on March 8, 2015 at 18:07

      When we are going through I don’t know how we care givers take good care of ourselves. I do take some time now and then to replenish and yet I am wearing down and a bit grumpy — particularly when my husband is grumpy. On the other hand, yesterday we participated at Lenten Quiet Day at our church. He did really well even though he wasn’t very quiet — he did speak quietly to me. I thought about how much I was not getting out of the reflections and then it occurred to me that I was able to really listen to him with no distractions. That was my replenishment yesterday.

      • NA on March 8, 2015 at 20:40

        My prayer for you both, and for all those who are in the primary caregiver role, is that you would have people willing to come alongside you to ease the burden — and that you would be able to accept that gift without any misplaced guilt or shame poking at you unnecessarily. Having someone else take a shift just so you can sit and stare, shower without worrying, take a nap, read a book, go for a walk, or whatever will replenish you is essential, not optional; it is a need, not a want. We all need times when we can rest knowing someone else has this shift, this time. I will pray that this gift of time and respite comes to you both soon.

      • Ann on March 14, 2015 at 11:52

        I learned first hand some years ago that it is a gift we give to others to allow them to serve us. It is not defeat, but bravery that permits us to reach out and call for help from another. There are many small ways others can give respite to caregivers – perhaps just enough for a hair appointment, a stroll in the park or the mall, – a NAP! I encourage you to consider the benefits to all.

  67. Bobbi on March 8, 2015 at 07:03

    Taking time for prayer every morning and evening replenishes me.

  68. Sarah Acland on March 8, 2015 at 06:39

    Replenishing, putting back, is certainly a priority in my life. But I think that maybe I approach this in ways that do not truly feed my spirit.
    I will give more thought to having periods of meditation, of ‘stopping’, even of retreat. While the countryside round about here is not perhaps as serene as I remember at Emery, it is possible even in the city to find havens of peace and beauty. And I have space to create beauty for myself and others even in my own yard.
    Thank you for this thought and for the whole series. You have been, are being, very helpful

  69. bob on March 8, 2015 at 04:03

    As I start the 13/13 straight days working its a great question to ask!

    Much of my replenishment comes from the dog, the commute and the minutes of rest before sleep. But I should diarise more !

    • Cameron Coley on March 8, 2015 at 12:50

      I pray either every morning, evening, or both, but that is all I do. I could do more. I will try my best to do more quiet meditation /contemplative prayer time. Thanks so much for this series.

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