Day . . .

I don’t know what Day it is in my effort to create a habit of prayer.  I have about three handwritten ones I’ve written before now and will add those to my count soon, purely for my own benefit, of course.

While ironing tonight I realized that I feel extraordinarily tired.  A full weekend to be sure, but it didn’t seem to include much time to rest in mindful, prayerful, and attentive silence.  As ever, most of my prayers occur on the go, in between activities, or mid-thought.

I cannot imagine You much appreciate the prevalence of the sayings these days, but “Really?!?” and “Seriously?!?” come to mind quite often and are said just as much.  We seem to be walking around in a state of surprise at the reality that surrounds us.  Could things really be this way?  Do others truly believe what they say?  Is this life just getting ridiculous?

I realize that it’s probably our attachment to a certain view or way of being that limits a greater understanding and results in our being “shocked.”  It usually reflects moments of condescension and/or judgment, neither of which are flattering characteristics.

I am a weak creature; I realize this.  Surely when I think I’m getting stronger, something happens to change my view.  I am not self-sufficient in any manner of speaking, and this is a harsh reality.  There are hurdles in my life, puzzles to figure out (and a box with the bigger picture would be tremendously helpful), and kids to raise in the meantime.  There are friends to love and support, family to maintain connection with, and bills that have to be paid.  Whose idea was it to add more to the mix?

God, I trust that you wouldn’t have rang unless there was a message to be left.  You call; we answer, as I understand it.  We do our best.

I pray for guidance and understanding.  I give thanks to all who enrich my life so much, creating such a sense of abundance, and to all who are so patient with me.

You’re churning the soil, it feels like, and right now I need to keep both feet on solid ground.  May the roots run deep.

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Day 15

A walk.

I thought maybe forcing myself to pay for reserved parking further away from our department’s building would help me get exercise.  In actuality, it’s less than a ten-minute walk, but twice a day that increases my walk time by a few minutes, at least.  I tell myself it will be good for the car to be garaged.  🙂

I give thanks.

For my discernment committee who asks the questions and gives me permission to consider that which I previously thought I shouldn’t.  For my church, for it’s a wonderful one.  For my husband’s and for my job that provide for us what we need; hopefully abundance is ours to tap.  For our friends and family that make so much possible and enrich our lives tremendously.

I pray for those in despair, those who feel lost and/or confused.  may they find the way of Love.  May you keep them and hold them tenderly and in safety.  May those who feel invisible be found . . . by themselves, by You, and by others who realize the beauty of their light.

Show us all your way and give us strength to persevere.  I ask especially for guidance as to what my mission is or should be.  I’ll need to have a clue when I start filling out applications.  I give thanks and ask this all in your name.

 

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Day 14

Apparently I’ve given myself permission not to be consecutive.  Also, I must have forgiven myself for being an over-achiever.  I’m allowing myself to rest more these days.  Of course, now I feel cautious because the last time I was fully aware of the luxuriousness of my “free” time, it was right before I began working full-time outside of the home.  I know I have hard work ahead of me.  If we continue to grow, don’t we all have work to do?  That doesn’t mean it has to be awful, it just means we have to put some energy into it . . . and not into the junk that wastes our time.  (I’m pretty sure that watching Glee isn’t in my top 10 nourishing things to do, though it is mindlessly entertaining.)

I had a dream the other night about moving a part of the lawn and garden at this house, presumably ours, and finding where the chickens had built a nest in the trees/shrubbery above our heads.  There were nine eggs.  Some got broken, but I was tickled to find them.  It was about twilight, just before dark.

Eggs to me symbolize fertility, potential.  The #9 means something, too.  (In India’s numerology, the #9 sounds like it fits me to a tee!)

A month ago in this place, I felt rather unstable, insecure.  Now at least I feel I can breathe.  It could be that school is starting.  Mostly, though, it feels like faith.  Everything is working out.  Energy is still moving – forward, even.  We will be okay.

This doesn’t mean I don’t feel like a failure as a mom.  I’m selfish with my time, but if I didn’t take time apart, I would be worse.  Life, in general, could be so much worse.

Thank you for seeing us through our lives, for providing enough and more.  I am immensely grateful for the beautiful people in my life.

All thanks, honor, and glory to YOU!

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Day 13

I know.  I’m slipping.  I’m not taking time to put my fingers to the keys or the pen to the paper . . . at least not for prayer, not in meditation.  Thankfully, life doesn’t rely on me.  Miraculously, prayers continue to be answered.

It rained.  It cooled off a bit.

Your grace abounds.  My friends need this.  I need this.

We need to know that when life seems like it cannot get much worse or any harder – and then it does – that we will make it.  We need to know that no matter what, we are loved, we are strong, and we are with You.

When we’ve been hurt, when we are hurting, it is so hard to overcome the pain gracefully, let alone compassionately.  But Christ didn’t look over at the thief who wasn’t sorry and say, “At least you deserve to die.”  No spite.  no anger.  A bit of doubt, maybe.  I imagine a touch of desperation.  But Will and Love prevail.

We all die ultimately, giving up this physical body, but we die many deaths.  Innocence, virginity, naivete.  Roles we play or lives we lead.  Eras our life come and do, and we mourn (or not) accordingly when they pass.  Sometimes the death of a loved one can mark a time in our lives, too.  With them we lose not only who they were to us but also what they represented to us, what their life meant in our life.

We are simple creatures.  We cling to the faintest glimmer of light, whether or not it is True.  Give us discerning hearts.  Awaken us soundly, and help us . . . always.  There are so many of us in this community and world, crying out to you.  May our supplications be like a song and not a whine.  Thankfully I believe your patience and presence are infinite.

Continue to bless and keep us.  For this I am grateful indeed.

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Day 12

God bless Brenda Ueland; may her soul rest in peace.  Her words from decades ago resonate loudly to me, reminding me why I do what I do, putting in print the cries of my soul.  Sit a while, Sara.  Dream.  Write.  Gaze into the distance and feel.  That’s what my soul says, and I think Brenda would nod approvingly, maybe even give a sly little wink.

Every blessed moment when plans change or tragedy strikes or life seems all off-kilter, we still have a choice.  Thank you for providing us with this choice.  Sometimes I do just want to be a hedonistic sloth or wallow in self-pity.  Thankfully, I don’t prefer this for long.  What it does provide me with is a broader perspective and a greater appreciation for when those other holy, enlightened moments of peace and contentment come.  These aren’t the same as the moment of ecstatic joy (though those are lovely, too).  Moments of peace are like when you realize you’re floating on the water and relax into the flow.  Life is good.  All is well, and I feel it in the core of my being.

I’m convinced this peace does dwell within and through us all.  Our awareness of it is what changes, blinding us with ignorance of its presence.  Help us to know and to feel.  Help us to show this peace to others . . . and to see it in them, too.  Awaken us to the Peace that surpasses all understanding.

Thank you for the rain.  Thanks for protecting my children and animals (yes, even the chickens).

Continually guide us all onto the path that lives into the greatest compassion for everyone, however great or small that may be.  Hear us, O God, in our time of need.

Thanks and glory to You, now and forever.  Amen.

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Day 11

Wow.

This life is so full.

I fill a page with a schedule for the children for the day to come.  Nearly every minute is occupied, even if with the designation of “free time.”  Every moment of my day is occupied, too, from early morning to late at night.  Even then the unexpected tasks get wedged in between the standing commitments.

I’m reminded of the demonstration of the jar being filled with rocks (the obvious priorities), then smaller pebbles (the commitments and responsibilities), then sand (the everyday stuff), and just when it looks like it’s full and can hold no more, then you add water (I think of this as Spirit).  There was still room for water, a necessity of life.

Somehow in my daily life I still have room for prayer.  I need it.  I need to take the calls from friends.  I need to do the healing work, the holy listening.  I need to play a supporting or even a leading role in various ministries.  These nurture me and in some delightful way, it can help others.  It helps keep me balanced.

Today I felt out of whack.  It could be because I didn’t get up when I should.  I didn’t start the day with prayer.  It could be the whacky weather.  It could be our family routine being turned upside down.  It could be stress.  It could be the striking images I saw in the magazine of the most significant photos of the past 100 years – space, science, society (the Challenger, a growing baby en utero, starving children, a lynching).  It could be any combination of these things or of other things I have yet to consider.

There is so much in this life.  Dear God, I know you don’t expect me to hold it all, to understand it all, so help me to let it go, all of it.  Cleanse the thoughts of my heart . . .

And I give thanks for the rich life I lead.

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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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