Sunday, 08 September 2019 13:38

Practicing The Regulars

Written by  Priscilla K. Garatti
Photo by morleys from FreeImages Photo by morleys from FreeImages

The most sophisticated people I know--inside they are all children.~Jim Henson

I began reading a new book this week, It's Never Too Late to Begin Again, by Julia Cameron. Ms. Cameron assigns various tasks throughout the book. One of the first: "Describe a sound from this period in your life (age 0-5)." 

I imagined my four-year-old self getting up each morning, yawning, my ponytail askew, still in pajamas. I could see my mother filling a blue ceramic bowl with Cheerios and pouring milk over the mound of circles. She'd hand me the bowl and I'd trot off to watch Captain Kangaroo on the black and white TV. When I heard the theme song for the show, pleasure coursed through me as I knew I was in for an hour of laughter and surprises with no one to interrupt me. The Captain and Mr. Greenjeans were my friends who greeted me each morning.

As a preschooler, I was beginning to "practice the regulars." Discovering ways to consistently be filled with messages of love and acceptance.  I first heard this phrase when Graham Cooke, author and speaker, used it in one his podcasts. He spoke of finding a verse or two in the Word that is easily memorized, a phrase even, that one goes back to again and again when facing difficult circumstances or making critical decisions. Living everyday life.

When I was hunkered down, without power, riding out Hurricane Dorian, I got my flashlight and my morning pages I'd written over the last six months. (Morning Pages is a concept Julia Cameron promotes. Writing three pages of handwritten, uncensored, stream of consciousness material before starting the day). Morning Pages is in itself "practicing the regulars" for me. I've been writing them since I learned of the idea in 2012. Some "regulars" to practice emerged from these pages. I wrote:

"Peace is a requirement."  I struggle with feelings of anxiety at times, often getting stuck. I remind myself to walk back toward the peace of Christ. Tell Him every detail of your life, then God's wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ.~Phil. 4:7, The Passion Translation.

"I will build an architecture of positive words up and around my life as a sancturary that I live inside. Negativity is a nemesis in my life." ...nothing brings the soul such sweetness as seeking His living words.~Psalm 19:10, The Passion Translation

"God's brilliant light is my location to abide. God pulls all the circumstances of my life into a gorgeous, magnificent whole in this light." ...they will walk in fellowship with me in brilliant light.~Rev. 3:4, The Passion Translation

"I must keep practicing to reform my thinking to a place where I expect God's goodness and favor. He holds the keys that open the door to a life of grace." ...these are the words of the Holy One, the true One, who has David's key, who opens doors that none can shut and who closes doors that none can open.~Rev. 3:7, The Passion Translation

Sixty years later, my four-year-old self reminds me to listen to the theme song of God's love and acceptance, peace, light and grace for me over and over, again and again. Practicing the regulars.



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What Readers Are Saying

In Missing God Priscilla takes a brave and unflinching look at grief and the myriad ways in which it isolates one person from another. The characters are full-bodied and the writing is mesmerizing. Best of all, there is ample room for hope to break through. This is a must read.

Beth Webb-Hart (author of Grace At Lowtide)

winner"On A Clear Blue Day" won an "Enduring Light" Bronze medal in the 2017 Illumination Book Awards.

winnerAn excerpt from Missing God won as an Honorable Mention Finalist in Glimmertrain’s short story “Family Matters” contest in April 2010.