Attentiveness: A Spiritual Word for 2013

During 2013, I hope to learn some new layouts and methods for posting on my blog. (This one is called “image” for a shorter post with a single image.)

Remember the blog post about choosing a word for your spiritual theme for the new year?  Here’s my word, sprawled out on a whiteboard design I created:

Whiteboard art by Julie McCarty (click to enlarge)
Whiteboard art by Julie McCarty (click to enlarge)

Yup, that’s my word for this year, “attentiveness”… I want to ponder the meaning of the word, how to live more attentively, and most of all, how to be more attentive to the presence and action of God in my life.

Thought question of the day: What or who in your life captures the most of your attention each day?  Your job? Your family? Sports? Facebook? Shopping? Or ??

How does your daily focus coordinate with the quality desires of your deepest, truest self?

Please think about it. I plan to!

Until next time, Amen!

P.S. Looking for daily spiritual inspiration? Read short spiritual nuggets and updates at Spiritual Drawing Board by Julie McCarty” on Facebook.

Creating things anew with God’s help–a look back, and forward

Some of you may remember that I selected the word “co-create” for my spiritual word for 2012. The spiritual word provides a theme or focus for one’s mind and heart over the course of time, an idea I learned from Christine Valters Paintner, the “online abbess” at the website Abbey of the Arts.

For me, “co-create” means to cooperate with God’s grace in making the world a better place. I found the word helped me to focus on trying new creative things, such as practicing nature photography and learning watercolor painting.

Downy Woodpecker underneath branch--photo by Julie McCarty, Eagan MN USA.
Downy Woodpecker underneath branch–photo by Julie McCarty, Eagan MN USA.

However, as so often happens when one takes up a spiritual practice, I was surprised at how many other, often deeper, meanings and ap-

Julie with her "Campfire" watercolor painting at Instructor-Student Art Exhibit --BTAC
 Julie with her “Campfire” watercolor painting (above) at the Instructor-Student Art Exhibit –BTAC
 

plications to “co-create” arose in my mind over time. These new understandings came to me through reading, talking with others, and thinking about my life experiences in journaling.

For example, when grieving the loss of my dad, the creative activities often consoled me as something new being “born” in my life. When waking up in the morning, I would find myself asking God, “What will we co-create together today?” As I did housework (something I dislike), I began seeing chores in a fresh light, as something that re-creates a beautiful, wholesome environment. While weeding the garden, it occurred to me that growing vegetables is also creating something good with God–good for me and good for others. 

From this year's garden
From this year’s garden

The year 2012 will be over soon. In fact, for Christians at least, the new liturgical year has already begun with Advent. I find myself wondering… hmm… what will be my “spiritual word” for 2013? What does God have in mind for me?

I invite you to ponder the same question with me. Is there one word or short phrase you would like to be your spiritual focus for 2013? Let us pray, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal a wise word to each of us for the good of our spiritual growth and service to others.

May the Good Lord bless you this holy season.

Until next time, Amen!

For more pictures from Julie’s watercolor class and other spiritual nuggets, visit Facebook’s  Spiritual Drawing Board by Julie McCarty.