During our next series, Going to My Inner Chapel, members from my book launch team will share how they have used wisdom gained from reading my newest book, “The Inner Chapel”, in their daily life. This week Heather Landry shares how she still makes time to go to her inner chapel even during the busyness of virtual learning and working from home.
On March 9, 2020, I received a blast email from Becky, seeking individuals to join her book launch team for The Inner Chapel. I remember hesitating but decided to go ahead and join even though I already preordered a copy of the book. Why not get it earlier and help? Little did I know how important that decision would be or how wildly things would change for me in a matter of hours.
Later that day, I received a call from my HR department and was notified that I would need to gather my things and leave my office to work from home. My husband and I had returned from an amazing vacation in Paris and London less than two weeks before, and my employer was taking all precautions possible as a result of the growing spread of the current iteration of the coronavirus.
I worked from home *alone* for a glorious week, before the children were sent home, and then we all had to work and do school from home. Together. Things did not go according to plan-well my plan at least.
When my book launch copy of The Inner Chapel arrived, I delved into it the next day and was led down a spiritual path that I desperately needed to embark upon. For years now, I strived for a deeper relationship with Christ and my faith. I had plenty of missteps along the way, but I was always called back to my faith and our God. Even though I knew I needed to go deeper, I didn’t quite know how to get there.
Enter The Inner Chapel, a book and a beautiful concept that took me on a journey which was familiar and new all at the same time. In the book, Becky introduces us to our own inner chapel and provides the recipe for prayer: time, place, and space. When do you pray; where can you pray; and how can you make your space sacred?
The nugget that stuck with me the most was to intentionally place myself in the presence of God and to name the grace I seek. You see, while I had been waking up before my household to start my day in prayer, I often would turn it into a task on a checklist that I simply needed to complete. In humbly placing myself in the presence of God and waiting for the Holy Spirit to arouse in me the grace that I might be seeking, I have been able to begin to really start to walk that path to a rich and deep relationship with Him.
Name the grace you seek. What word or thought comes to mind? Love, peace, trust, mercy, guidance, thankfulness, stillness, joy, generosity of spirit, calm…these are some of the graces I have sought over the last few weeks. Have there been missteps? YES! Sometimes I skip right to my devotional or scripture without centering myself. When you consider that I began my intentional prayer life in November 2017 over the bathroom sink while brushing my teeth in the morning with a very short daily devotional my mother gave me nearly ten years prior to the time I started to really read it, it seems totally reasonable.
My intentional prayer life looks different now. Today, I find it helpful to keep a prayer box – a grab-and-go toolkit – containing my Bible, daily devotional, prayer candle, journal, pen/pencil, tissues, various prayer cards, and some note cards (as I often am called to write to someone who came to mind in prayer). I learned I don’t have to have a beautifully curated space in my home in order to pray. I just have to intentionally visit my inner chapel each day and begin prayer by naming the grace I seek. God will be there waiting for me. Just like God will be there waiting for you!
P.S. For the record, I still read the devotional (Joyfully Living the Gospel Day by Day) my mother gave me over my bathroom sink while brushing my teeth.
Read my past blog series: No Time for God? Making Space for Prayer in a Busy Calendar
Check out Psalm 62: “My soul rests in God alone.”
Gather with Stephanie Clouatre-Davis & me for Prayer Tool Tuesday – Each Tuesday at 4:30 pm Central via Zoom- to learn a new prayer tool and join us in prayer. Follow my Facebook page for details.
• Online Busy Person’s Retreat Registration OPEN!! Wanting one-on-one prayer support during this time? Looking to dive deeper? Register for the Online Busy Person’s Retreat on June 22-25. You’ll be paired with an Ignatian-trained spiritual director to meet online for about an hour a day for four-days and given material and suggestions to support your daily prayer time. Register today!
• Join me for an online retreat and workshop on the Sacred Art of Listening with the Loyola Summer Institue for Catholic Educational Leadership. June 1: 9am-12pm CDT for a retreat on the sacred art of lisetneing in our own lives. June 2: 9am-12pm CDT for a workshop on how to apply the sacred art of listening. Registration is required.
The Inner Chapel: My New Book!
• My new book, The Inner Chapel: Embracing the Promises of God is now available! As a sincere “Thank You!” to all of you for your support, my publisher has extended a 30% off code for orders and preorders through August 13. Simply go to Loyolapress.com/innerchapel and use promo code 5207. You can also pre-order from Barnes and Noble and from Amazon for Kindle and paperback.
• SHARE WITH US: We would LOVE to see a picture of your reading The Inner Chapel. Please post a picture of you enjoying the book on your social media and tag my Becky Eldredge page on facebook or @beldredge98 on Instagram or Twitter.
• Did you know that The Inner Chapel is now available in audiobook, ebook, and paperback?!