Though we sometimes are drawn more to the dramatic experiences of spiritual formation, I have often found myself focusing on the day-to-day experiences of the mundane that impact us as spiritual beings. This leads me to wonder about what the daily hammer-blows of my spiritual life are.
My 2.5-year (so far!) marriage with my wife, Sierra. The work I do as a clinical psychologist, where I am shaped by the work I do, by listening to what I recommend to my clients, and by learning from my clients’ experiences. The service work I do, whether that’s working with children at church, volunteering at my church’s youth group, donating blood, or donating time at a clothing closet. Weekly communal worship services. Time spent in nature. Giving of my time, money, and presence. Stories, including Batman, Star Wars, and Les Misérables.
Though not all of these occur daily, they are consistent, ongoing experiences in my life. How could they not shape who I am and my spiritual life?
I want to work to be more mindful of these daily hammer-blows and cultivate them in a way that lets God’s image shine all the clearer in my life and to give to others out of the blessings these daily hammer-blows bring.
What are your daily hammer-blows? And how can you recognize and better utilize the humdrum of the everyday to grow in your spirituality?
Justin T. Neiman Westbrook
Justin T. Neiman Westbrook, Ph.D., is a Teaching Psychologist at the Internal Medicine Clinic at Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, OR, who helps people with a range of mental health issues, as well as with issues in daily living, including spiritual concerns and self-care. Justin serves as Eden Spiritual Care's secretary/treasurer.