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Thursday, 08 October 2020 07:00

The A-Z blessings of consecrated life as an MGL Sister

 2020.45.A Z OF BEING A SISTER.mel and alphabet

 

Have you ever wondered what the great things are about consecrated life … here is a whole alphabet of reasons why I love life as an MGL Sister

ADORATION and many other ways to pray – the first great thing about being a sister is so much time for prayer. Whilst that was confronting at first (and sometimes still is) I have grown to love it more and recognise it as the thing that sustains me no matter what.

BUCKET LIST – far from stopping me from living and realising my dreams, I have had the opportunity to knock things off my bucket list – things like travelling to the 12 Apostles, going to my first AFL game and going to prison (for ministry that is)..

CALLED and CHOSEN– As a sister, I have chosen to respond to the invitation of Jesus to give my life totally for him. He has chosen and called me, and my desire is to say yes with all that I am.

DISCIPLES OF JESUS – one unique thing about MGL is that we grew out of a lay covenant community called Disciples of Jesus which is comprised of people from all different states in life.  I love sharing the journey of faith with people of all ages and hanging out with the kids helps me not to miss my own nieces and nephews as much.

EVANGELISATION – It is a gift to share the message of God’s love with people in so many different places – schools, parishes, youth groups, summer schools, prisons, on trains, buses and planes, at shops and swimming pools – anywhere really – and to witness to people opening their hearts and lives.

FUN AND FRIVOLITY– I love the adventures that we share together as sisters, like 5 cent piece shopping challenges, mission trips, sisterhood holidays and even the every-day unexpected blessings.

GROCERY SHOPPING – I do the grocery shopping for our household, and whilst it is not so much the shopping itself which is great, the food we do choose to buy is just one expression of our desire to embrace and live simplicity in our lives. Simplicity, whilst at times challenging, brings surprising freedom and joy.

HOLY SPIRIT– we are a charismatic group of sisters, which means we are open to the gift of the Holy Spirit in a particular way. I experience times of praise and worship as a great opportunity to open up to the power of the Spirit.

INDIVIDUALITY – I love how we find ways to celebrate the individuality and gifts of each sister. One great way we love to do this is through personalised birthday cards with poems, songs or pictures that are particularly apt for a certain sister. It is great to be able to honour others in this way.

JOY FILLED JOURNEY– It is exciting to be able to share what the gift of being a sister is like – and to share my testimony of my journey into the sisters. There are many opportunities for this in so many different contexts.

KNOWLEDGE – I am grateful for the opportunities to study theology, and have discovered a real thirst for knowledge, and it is great to find creative ways to share this with others. Now that I am not in formal study, I still take opportunities to grow in knowledge.

LOGGING – whoops, I meant blogging but was finding it hard to find a letter to fit it in. Since we started this blog last year, I have writing to be a powerful way to express myself. It is fun to try to come up with creative and quirky ideas for what we write.

MGL SISTERS – the community of women that God led me to – it is very encouraging to share the gift of consecrated life with other women who are living the same call.

NOTHING LEFT- Even though it is N, this is the last letter I found something to write about for – I was struck by the idea that I had no ideas left. But it reminded me that on a deeper level, that when we think we have nothing left, God can still use what little we have in a powerful way.

OUTDOOR TRANSFORMATIONS – In the Melbourne house, some of the sisters have been busy transforming our garden, especially during this time of lockdown. It is looking great, and it is exciting to see it bringing them so much life as they plan and work together. This is one thing I appreciate about living in community – we all try to encourage each other to spend time doing things which bring us to life.

PROVIDENCE – We live our lives in a way that we totally rely on the providence of God. It is amazing to see the way that God knows our needs even better than what we do, and the way that he like to spoil us with countless surprises.

QUIET TIME – We are so fortunate to live a life where we dedicate one day per week to prayer. Another incredible gift of quiet time with Jesus is the gift of going away on solitude, a mini 3 day retreat every month or so.

RETREATS – Retreats are like having a holiday away with Jesus. They are a precious time for deepening in relationship. My 30 day retreat last year was a life-changing experience that I will never forget.

SNAIL MAIL– Living interstate from family and friends does have some advantages – it means I get photos, letters, and pictures in my letterbox when I least expect it. I love how God surprises me in this way.

TOUGH TIMES – I am reminded (often in hindsight) that even these times can be precious because they teach me to rely on Jesus alone.

U NEVER KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT – well this can be both exciting and confronting, but there is no doubt that it makes life an adventure. This is a great way to live.

VOWS – We make vows of poverty, chastity and obedience which are an expression of our desire to give ourselves totally to Jesus. I celebrated my Perpetual Vows earlier this year, and it was an amazing day of grace where I felt ever so close to Jesus.

WATERCOLOUR PENCILS – sounds crazy, but this is symbolic of the love I have found for art, drawing and scrapbooking in prayer – it really is true that a picture is worth 1000 words.

X FACTOR – No, I am not talking about the TV show, but the fact that each sister is encouraged and given opportunities to grow in their giftings, whatever they may be. Being an MGL sister is not a case of one size fits all.

YOUTH MINISTRY – is great, and where you find young people in the cities in which we live, you will often find MGL sisters. It is such a privilege to witness young people discovering Jesus for the first time and desiring to give their lives to him.

ZZZZZZZZ We start and end each day in prayer – in other words, we wake from sleep (ZZZZZZ), live our day, then return to prayer before sleeping again (ZZZZZ). Hemming the day in prayer in this way reminds me of what my first priority should always be.

Mel Edwards