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Posts Tagged ‘spirituality’

Be sure and check out the Friday, April 4 podcast at CraftyPod. Host “Sister Diane” interviews Amy Kleene, an artist who makes altars, altar cloths, prayer beads and prayer boxes for people. My favorite part of the interview was Amy’s discussion of creating a sacred space – how it is different for each person, but must always represent the sacred in your life. I feel that way about my studio – despite its awful mess.

Amy Kleene\'s prayer beadsAmy also discusses making prayer beads, something she is new to. Like me, she didn’t grow up Catholic so prayer beads were totally new – and revelatory – for her. Listen to what she says about how the beads can be as individual as the user. She and Denise also talk about how the time you spend crafting can be sacred – I SO AGREE! They talk about how the state of creative flow resembles the flow of meditation.

Sister Denise was kind enough to put a link to my books, Bead One, Pray Too and Fabric of Faith.

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shakira-brown.jpgSometimes, you find wisdom in the most unlikely places or when you are least looking for it. This morning, over my breakfast of peanut butter and celery (South Beach diet, anyone?) I was reading last Friday’s New York Times. As I said in an earlier post, I am always behind the curve when it comes to my reading. I came across this sweet feature story about a New York inner city middle school teacher who had been chosen by a scientist to accompany him and his crew on a science expedition to Antarctica. She was chosen so she could return and inspire her students to study science – a sort of inner-city Krista McAuliffe (with a happier outcome, I am sure)
I’m reading along when I come to this quote from the teacher, Shakira Brown, who was relating how she went from studying to be a doctor (big bucks) to studying to become a teacher (little bucks). She is all of 29 years old, and this is what she said:

“I prayed over it, and that’s where I was led,” she said. “When you pay attention to where you’re supposed to be, when you operate inside your gift, it just becomes easy. I found my gift; my gift found me.”

Right in the middle of a crunch of celery, there it was – a lightbulb moment – “When you pay attention to where you’re supposed to be, when you operate inside your gift, it just becomes easy.”

It made me think how much time I spend NOT paying attention to my gifts – worrying that some job or task is beyond me, or that I’ll never achieve this or that. I am sure I am not alone in this.  What might we gain – in terms of our faith, in terms of our personal accomplishments, in terms of our service to others – if we “paid attention” and “operated inside our gifts?”

I wish Shakira Brown all the luck and happiness and success in the world. In looking to serve her students, she has given me something to think on, and – again, in her words – “pray over.”

Does anyone out there have a story to share about how they learned to operate within their gifts and what they learned from that?

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