The Weekly Breather: Knowing Yourself and Knowing God

Settle Yourself: Release

Take a few deep breaths. Relax your body. Hand your stresses and cares to Jesus.

Reflect on these quotes:

Still, Christian spirituality has a great deal to do with self, not just with God. The goal of the spiritual journey is the transformation of self. …This requires knowing both our self and God. Both are necessary if we are to discover our true identity as those who are “in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:177) because the self is where we meet God. Both are necessary if we are to live out the uniqueness of our vocation.
(David Benner)

Our wisdom […] consists almost entirely of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves. But as these are connected together by many ties, it is not easy to determine which of the two precedes and gives birth to the other.
(John Calvin)

If I find God I will find myself and if I find my true self I will find God.
(Thomas Merton)

Creative Time with God

Copy the following format to create a poem to help you to know yourself. (Adapted from the work of Original Poem: Where I’m From
By George Ella Lyon)

I Am From Poem

Use this template to draft your poem, and then write a final draft to share on blank paper.
I am from ______________________________ (specific ordinary item)
From ________________________ and __________________________ (product name) (product name)
I am from the ______________________________________________ (home description)
___________________, _________________, ________________________________ (adjective) (adjective) (sensory detail)
I am from _________________________________________, (plant, flower, natural item)
______________________________________________________________________(description of above item)
I’m from ____________________________ and ______________________________ (family tradition) (family trait)
From ______________________________ and _________________________ (name of family member) (another family name)
I’m from the ____________________________ and ______________________ (description of family tendency) (another one)
From _________________________________ and ________________________ (something you were told as a child) (another)
I’m from ___________________________, __________________________________ (representation of religion or lack of), (further description)
I’m from _______________________________________________ (place of birth and
family ancestry) _____________________________________________________ (a food item that represents your family) (another one)
From the ______________________________________________________________ (specific family story about a specific person and detail)
The _________________________________________________________ (another detail of another family member)
_________________________________________________________________ (location of family pictures, mementos, archives)
__________________________________________________________________ (line explaining the importance of family items)

Now reflect on your spiritual roots:

But the truth is:
I am from________________________________________________________
(Use the following lines to describe your spiritual roots)
I am from ________________________________________________________
I am from ________________________________________________________
I am from ________________________________________________________
I am from ________________________________________________________

The following is an example:

I’m from the suburbs where you “keep up with the Joneses;”
From cases of 7Up stored in the corner of Grandpa’s garage and Buster Brown patent leather shoes shined every Sunday night by my dad.
I’m from my safe place; Nana’s house where there was unconditional love, the antique clock ticking on the fireplace mantel and laughter over washing dishes together.
I’m from crab apple trees which provided the perfect reading nook and birch trees whose bark I peeled like sun burned skin.
I’m from barrel makers and butchers and piano tuners;
From the outrageously eccentric women to the men in tailored suits.
I’m from bookworms and perfect house keepers;
From “you could be a secretary and marry a doctor.”
I’m from those who love Christ and those who ridicule Christ.
I’m from Mennonite and Dutch country and Effie Stoner’s famous apple pie, pickled eggs, and “Seimaage” (stuffed pig stomach);
From the mom who would never reveal her agonizing pain and the dad who enabled her.

But, the deeper truth is:

I am really from God my Father.
I’m from the thoughts of God even before creation.
I’m from a God who planted nature in me as my spiritual pathway.
I’m from both Adam and Eve and the unlimited grace of my God.
From the roots in the Church of Christ to Methodism and the prayers of my Nana,
I’m from the example of Jesus shown to me by my husband.
I’m from “you are nothing” to “you are something.”
I’m from the source of love that pours into me every day.

Pray:

Lord, let me know myself; let me know you.
(St Augustine)

Kathy Milans

Kathy has experience as an elementary educator, teacher trainer, adjunct professor, and has served as Family Resource Director for a major hospital. Kathy is a Kentucky Licensed Pastoral Counselor and is credentialed as a Registered Play Therapist/Supervisor by the American Association of Play Therapy. She is owner of a private practice, Path of Life Ministry, in Wilmore, KY.

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