Day 10 . . . Again

Day 10 I honestly didn’t do anything.  I rested the whole day, and for that I truly give thanks.

But if I take into consideration what I have done this day, may I remember that today is a feast day.  The Transfiguration.  Today I watched seven women become baptized members of the church.  I felt the Spirit move between and among us.  We got to wait in quiet contemplation and in a little uncomfortable silence.

Lord, bless these women.  Help them in the paths that lie before them.  I don’t know what choices they’ll have to make, what obstacles they have to overcome, but I give them love, though this love I extend compares naught to the infinite power of Yours.

Our community is so small, but I hope the impact of all the little acts of kindness, the abundance of tender mercies, and the radical hospitalities that appear when we least expect it radiate a greater power than the sum of all that is done outside of Love.  May goodness overcome all evil.

Thank you for all my blessings.  Bless my family and my home.  Bless all those I love dearly and those I love whom I shall never meet.  The glory is Yours.

Amen.

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Days 8 & 9

This feels like it might be pushing it a bit, but I’ll count it anyway.  🙂

Thursday, Holy Eucharist at the noon-thirty service at St. Martin’s, the UA Episcopal campus ministry.  I enjoyed my lunch in silence, staring out at the ivy.  Prayer is mostly listening.

Friday, I retrieved a child from camp.  In so-doing, I got to attend the mountain-top chapel service at Camp Mitchell, our diocesan camp grounds.  Yes, it was already over 90 degrees F at 10 am, but it was lovely to be with all the youth and witness all the sweet reunions.

Many petitions for rain, for safe travel, and for enough.  Our wants are many, but may our needs provide enough through Your abundance.

Amen.

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Day 7

A prayer for the mothers, to the young just learning the maternal ways and to the elders surrendering the responsibilities to their children.  To those who birthed and lost.  To those who birthed so that others might share in motherhood.  To those in the thick of it like I am, trying to hold the invisible and ever-wavering balance.  To those of us who slip and fall, may we know that we never fall away from Your Love.  To those who continue to radiate your Grace and Love, may they be an example to us all.

Wherever we are and whomever we are, our work is never done.  May our works and our lives be blessed.

A house burned today, yet the family survived.  Your mercy be upon them.  They are dear and have suffered so much even before this day.  Be with them.

I seem to have misplaced my written prayer list.  I thought I saw it yesterday.  It apparently has disappeared with my phone, and I’m beginning to wonder if there are, indeed, house elves.  Perhaps it’s time for a new list.

Bless all our families.  Protect all families.  Be with us, your children, for we are quick to whine, clumsy, and selfish . . . yet so full of potential.  May we all grow into the image of our Creator.

Amen.

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Day 6

Divine and mysterious God, I do not know your ways, nor can I comprehend your depth.  Your currents are swift and often beneath the surface.  Sometimes I do not even know where my own head is, but I trust that all will be well.  Thank you for this faith.

I lose things.  I forget things.  I do stupid things in fear or anger.  You love.

I have moments of grace, of joy, and sometimes even of sincere compassion.  You love.

No matter who we are or where we consider ourselves in relationship to You, we receive love – a love that knows no bounds, no conditions, no limitations.  As I read over my prayer list here in a moment, may I imagine a love like that for each of these persons.  Surely that kind of love has the power to heal, to forgive, to overcome, to bring peace.

It is so hot here.  I do not know how many are suffering in this heat and have no relief, but I hope they are safe and able to survive.  So many of us are blessed with air conditioning, and we selfishly complain when the thermostat pushes 80 degrees F.  Yes, I am a spoiled and whiney child at times, too.  Thank you for your Mother-love.

As our paths continue to flow in your Will, as the currents converge and diverge, seen and unseen, continue to grant us strength to persevere.  Thank you for providing me dear souls with whom to share my journey and from whom I learn so much about life, laughter, and love.  I am so blessed.

May I ever be surrounded in your Love and Grace.

Amen.

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Day 5

An evening prayer, not nearly so comprehensive as that of the Daily Office.  Thanks for Mission St. Clare for making the components of the Office so readily available.

At the close of the day, I cannot help but wonder more than a little whether or not I did all I could do this day.  Most likely, no.  So again I ask forgiveness and for strength to rest well and to do better tomorrow, if I am to be so blessed as to have another day’s chance.

I remember being so proud of memorizing the child’s prayer when I was younger.  The old picture with the glittered words was faded even then.  I don’t know if I have it stored away in my cedar chest or not.  The words, repeated often and before sleep, would draw me gently to a deep peace and an assuredly safe place, even though those very words suggested I might die in my sleep.  It’s funny, isn’t it, that I’m not so keen to teach the original verse to my children.  I haven’t exactly taught them to memorize any prayer.  I guess I hope that they will learn the prayers on their own, following the example of the rest of our church family, eager to learn the words themselves.  I know.  I’m a wishful thinker.

My sleepy prayer this night is that you would bless the children and protect them.  Indeed give us parents strength and patience.  Maybe give the kids a dose of obedience; I do get tired of repeating myself.  That’s my weakness, though.  I’m not a perfect mother.  I get tired.

Even in our fatigue, we are able to find inspiration, to be touched by Spirit in such a way that we might be inclined to live into our fullest potential.  To do so would be to live more fully into Your image.  O God, give us strength, and may all our work be so inspired.

Always, thanks be to You as we live and rest in your Light and Love.

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Day 4

Holy and Gracious God, I rejoice this day in gratitude for your Love and Grace.

Thank you for this day of rest.  Thank you for the friends and family with whom we have shared the weekend.  Thank you for our abundance of blessings.  At the service this morning, I could not think of just one or two things to be grateful for, and even now, mere words cannot enumerate the blessings bestowed upon my family and me.

Most importantly, O God, thank you for opening my eyes to see, my heart to feel, and my mind to know.  Thank you for bringing someone into my path to serve as yet another wonderful teacher.  The best teachers encourage us to tap into the wisdom within. The most compassionate people are open, willing, and most importantly loving, but at the core, they know who they are and allow you to be who you are.  Indeed, I have met another teacher, and there were butterflies galore.  (I hear this is a good sign.)  🙂

I have much to learn about my religion and practice.  I have plenty of room to grow into the best I can be.  It is good to know with all my heart, though, what lies at the core of my being, my life, and in all of humanity — Love.  God is Love.  Oh, that all my ways would be in Love, with Love, and through Love.

To the Glory of God, Amen.

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Day 3

Glory to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

You’ve given me to be one of those people who get headaches, and I’ve had all kinds.  Dull, ice-pick, tension, stress, heat, sinus, barometric, migraine.

You’ve also given me a gift of healing.  Now, I know how that works.  The truth is, I don’t do anything.  I just call upon you.  I tend to practice this gift with others.  I’m not very good at using it for myself.  That seems to take extra energy, extra effort.  How quickly I forget that you are ever-present and that strength through you knows no bounds.

I’m reminded of your love and compassion in the faces of those who are guests in our country this weekend, especially in the one who is our guest in our home.  Their people have known suffering I cannot imagine, and she practices and lives in her faith and beliefs in a way I can only admire.  Somehow in her journey she has found part of Your Mystery, has reached a point of not understanding, and yet the trust in You is called upon and overrides any slightest hint of doubt, if, indeed, there ever was any.   She doesn’t falter; she does blossom.

I was asked questions, too, about my beliefs.  What it boils down to is that I have more to learn about the Bible, about our history and creeds, but I have a solid grasp on the core of my faith.  I truly believe it’s the core of any faith, that God is about Love — love to God, love to self and others through, for, and as God.  This is practiced and appears as compassion, and it is Good.

Thank you for showing us the way of compassion through the great Teachers, Christ and Muhammed be praised.

Bless our home with radical hospitality.  Bless me with strength and healing.  Bless us all who strive to walk in your way, whichever path we take.

As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.

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Day 2

Gracious God.  You know my heart.  You know my ways, and yet you continue to bless me.  I continue to ask forgiveness and humbly receive your blessings.

I know my faith will be tested — some big ways, some small.  My prayers don’t have to be typed and published the same moment I’m thinking them.  I can write.  Isn’t that part of what I’m supposed to be doing anyway?  You know my heart.

What I didn’t expect was to have so many prayers answered in one day.  My husband had a relatively pain-free day, and he received word that he got the job, with other work in store.  A friend received hopeful words from a tech running a test.  I received a call from a friend who’s been on my heart; I’ve been on hers, too.  Coincidences all in one day?  That was Day 1.

Today is Day 2 (typed into the computer and post-published due to network disruption), and I have a confession.  I’m afraid of prayer, God.  I’m afraid to fully tap into the divine connection with you because I don’t kow if I’m asking the right thing.  I know I’m not good enough, and I don’t know if I can do all you ask me to do.  I guess I’m afraid of the power of ultimate love.

Yet I believe in it.  Yet I show up.  And I ask for strength.

This evening we’re opening our home to an Afghani woman through the University’s international program.  Tomorrow we open our home to host a dinner for a friend’s family.  Sunday we take a child to church camp.  Thank you for the gift of hospitality, for us and for others.

All honor and glory and praise to You, now and forever.  Amen.

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21 Days of Prayer

Does it still take 21 days to create a habit?  If so, I need to make one.  It almost worked from Lent a few years ago, but the only thing that remained from making prayer my Lenten practice was my prayer list.  It’s time to get serious now.  Let’s see what I can do in 21 days.  I trust you to help hold me accountable.

Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you; for the community I live in, for the children who love me unconditionally, for the husband who upholds me, and for the home we share.  Thank you for your Grace.

Thank you for giving me the faith to ride through all that which I don’t understand.  I don’t know why some people get sick, get diagnosed with stage 3 or 4 cancer, their life turned upside down and those they love thrown into the ensuing chaos.  I don’t understand mental illness and why it’s so hard for our society to allow these people a place.  I don’t understand why some have so much and others nearly nothing at all.

What I know of Life and Love, though, are that nothing is so sure except these.  The world around me teems with life.  In this comfortable morning hour, when the sun promises us a scorching day; the birds are busy, the butterflies about, and the children, cat, and dog waking.  Even the trees and plants seem more at ease, and we are all alive, save for the scorched plants that couldn’t survive the summer heat.  Death is as sure as life — part of the cycle.

So Love, then, is the foundation of my being, the rock of my faith.  Why does it take so long to get there?  Love sees us through the impossible, takes us through the darkness.  Even when it seems like we don’t succeed, if we have walked in the way of Love, at least no one else was harmed and Christ’s example upheld.  Thank you for giving us such an example, showing us our full potential.

Help us, O God, to walk in the way of Love.  Help me to continue to trust, even when Life doesn’t make sense.  And thank you, again, for the beautiful people you have surrounded me with to share in my journey and I in theirs.

Give me strength to delight in your will and walk in your way, to the glory of your name.

Amen

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let me smile

I do not ask to bare my teeth to you

In kindness.

Lips dry and cracked or

Glossed in rosey hue,

I frame my greeting in sentiment

Pure and true.

Without a word

I hear your ache and loss,

Your fear.

Do you dare respond with such vulnerability,

Heart wide open?

Does it help if

I also feel your dreams and joys and

See the light in you,

however dim and disguised?

Please.

Let me smile.

Accept this token given freely, not even my own.

This grace.

God’s love.

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