Discovering the Spiritual in the Everyday

Dear Reader:

I know that I am one of those weird people who actually likes to pay the monthly bills…I just can’t help myself. I find such a deep satisfaction in paying my bills in full…while gleefully picturing the frustration on the faces of big companies who want to be able to charge interest for minimum payment customers.

Some of my bills are deducted from my bank account but I am one of those obsolete ‘hanger-on’ers” who really still likes to write checks. (The type of customers big companies roll their eyes at…because they probably have to keep extra staff help around to go through those checks each month. From my perspective I am saving jobs! 🙂

Yesterday morning Facebook took me back down memory lane to January of 2015…and I found myself staring at my ‘baby’ grandchildren…lost in reverie and wonder about where the time went.

I came across thoughts from Gunilla Norris…an author who looks for the spiritual in the ordinary rituals of everyday life…even simple chores around the house.

As I skimmed through samples from her book (Home: Discovering the Spiritual in the Everyday) what did I come across…but?


“Paying Bills”

“Here are the bills again.
I always dread them a little.
They are familiar presences:
first in the mail box, then in the bill drawer,
now on the desk. Services Rendered.
My life is dependent on services rendered.

“Somehow I am glad to pay Richard
for the plowing, Chic for the plumbing,
Walter for fixing the roof. I know them.
They make my life possible.

It is harder to pay the faceless ones
— the ones behind these white envelopes.
Here are the lives behind the heat,
the light, the telephone

— behind the counters and computers.
I want to learn to feel a friendliness toward them.
I want to acknowledge them.

“When I write my checks I want to feel
that I am returning energy in the form of money
for energy given in the form of service.
It is all Your energy. We are only each other’s way
to share in that great service which is Your life
poured out continually for us all without exception.

“Guard me against the arrogance of privilege,
against the indulgence of feeling
that I don’t have enough, and the poverty of spirit
that refuses to acknowledge what is
daily given me. Keep me truthful in knowing
where I spend, where my values actually are.

“Let me not skip this monthly knowing.
Instruct me in judicious spending
and in gratitude with no holds barred.
I want always to give thanks and acknowledgment
to the ones I know who help my life
and to the faceless ones whom I will never know.

This month my challenge was a six month car payment (which in SC is always a lot…apparently South Carolinians don’t know how to drive..we have one of the worse records for wrecks in the country)

In addition to that my American Express bill was really LARGE since this card is attached to gifts I order on PRIME Amazon for the grandchildren and other family/friends. (Cough, cough!)

But I was determined to pay them all off in full which left me a quite challenging (rather severely) limited number to make it through the month. I was about to talk myself out of paying everything in full…but then stopped myself.

“Becky, you have had a lot less than this when you were teaching with three other mouths to feed and you did it…don’t go soft on me ole’ gal…you can do this…and I am! By the end of the month I will be back on track…with Christmas paid off in full! My belated Christmas present to myself! 🙂

So until tomorrow…I loved these mundane observations Gunilla Norris made while finding a spiritual moment in each…

…While washing, the author prays, “Help me scrub my face free of its masks / so I can return to the true self you gave me.”

While looking at herself in the mirror, Norris hopes she will be able to mirror the will of the Holy One. While arranging flowers, her dialogue with the Creator turns to thoughts of how she and the flowers share the states of blooming and dying.

Taking out the trash reminds the author that waste is inescapable, and mending reveals that everything gets frayed over the course of time.”

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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