My New Monastery

Micha Boyett has written that rare book that is both in the spirituality genre and also a total page turner. I’m tearing through it in the bath, wanting to linger on the meaty truths but unable to stop my eyes from flying across the pages.

Maybe it is because she is so near to me in age and stage and life experience– at home with two small boys, former church youth worker, living in San Francisco and finding her way into a deeper, more contemplative faith. Or maybe it is just because she is a great writer and so helpfully honest. And real.

Either way, I want to share with you this nugget from the book, Found. She writes on page 168:

“In the thirty-first chapter of the rule, Saint Benedict states something so remarkable that I keep coming back to it each night as I stack bowls and dry plates. He says ‘All the utensils of the monastery and in fact everything that belongs to the monastery should be cared for as though they were sacred vessels of the altar.’
All the utensils.
… With Benedict’s words, I feel my world is being reborn holy. Suddenly my life, all these small daily instruments I am packing in my home, and the very sippy cup I fill with milk and raise to my boy’s lips, is an instrument of worship.”

So it turns out that my house, neither clean or tidy, and driving me to despair once again, this is the very place in which God’s glory is revealed. And in my every day tasks — smearing suncream into edible-babyfat cheeks, emptying the dishwasher, frying sausages, folding laundry, teaching boys age 5 & 2 to play a board game — it is here that the sparks of grace and glory spray, here that the Word once again is made flesh and dwells among us. If only I have the eyes to see.

I have recently discovered that I have an actual sanctuary of beauty and perspective in my house, that I need only to pull down the ladder, climb into the roofspace and open the skylight. If this house is now my monastery, when I’m at that attic window I’m in the glorious stained-glass chapel. Why I haven’t until recently gone there to watch the sunset and listen to the birdsong I do not know! But mercifully I’ve discovered it and now I tear up the ladder at the first hint of a beautiful evening sky, to peer and gaze and breathe. To stop. And remember that at every moment God is writing his song of beauty and love and joy over all of our messy and frustrating lives.

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Thank you so much Micha, for being a sister and keeping it so real. Bless you Mama! And bless all of you as you seek to open your eyes to the holy in your ordinary, everyday lives.

Xxxx

Found by Micha Boyett

And thank you Annie for bringing me my copy! Xoxo

4 thoughts on “My New Monastery

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  1. Beautiful! Thanks for the book recommendation, and you know, I hope, that next time I’m round I’ll be after this view myself – reaching the parts most home tours never reach!

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