Day 21 . . .

Right.  I know.  There are not enough posts between my last and current to count to 21, but I do have several prayers penned in my moleskine.  When I get more than 10 minutes, I’ll enter them on my blog.  For now, tonight was too momentous not to mention right away.  So let this count for Day 21.

Dear God,

Keep teaching me.  Keep infusing me with your Spirit.  Keep surrounding me with those who share wisdom, just enough so that they don’t even know they’re doing it.  This life is amazing, and I give my humblest thanks.

I am trying to walk the path to best serve your will.  I am trying, discerning, and I know I could not do it alone.  My path has converged with so many wonderful people; I have been blessed with a tremendous family and unimaginably compassionate friends.  Of course, each of us has a flaw or two, and from them we learn the most about ourselves.  I can’t imagine it any other way.

As I’m continuing along, help me to be mindful.  Help me not waste a dozen or more waffles because I forgot about them keeping warm in the oven.  I have enough, but there are so many without.  Help me be present to recognize the needs of others and to pay attention to what is at the heart of the matter.  Help me to hear the truth in my own heart.

And always, dear God, help me be grateful – for your love, for the gifts you’ve given me, for my friends, and for the gifts of others.  Help me remember how sweet these tender moments are with the children and how wonderfully supportive my husband is.  May they know my love for them is unconditional and greater than I will ever show.  Help me at least try to embody unconditional love.  I think I’d like to try.

Grant me the strength to do the work set before me, and may all the glory be yours.

Amen.

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About Day 18

I have no doubt that we are all working as hard as we can, but like the little puppy that tugs and tugs on the toy that the master’s not going to let go of, we could be using all of our energy in vain.  Dare I say we might even be wasting it.  I do mean wasting energy because if our intention and priorities are in the wrong place, we could just be spinning our wheels.  Often I feel like my tread is worn thin.

If we’re doing the best we can at any given moment, then I figure there’s grace present, and there’s insight to be had.  Maybe what I’m doing right now isn’t the most I can do, but there is value in it.  During the day I can listen and do my best to make others’ lives and work go smoothly.  At home, I can help create our sanctuary, our place of rest and comfort.  For me, it at least has to be tidy.  Every once in a while a deep clean is needed, but so long as everything has a place and there’s not too much clutter, our home is a cozy, secure place to be.  (I can’t wait until late fall and winter when it will be time to have a fire in the evenings when we’re all at home!)

I don’t even know what my life feels like right now.  Are there words to describe it?  Is this middle age?  What if I only live to 66, and this is my mid-life?  I can’t say I’d do anything differently.  🙂  I am where I am.  I still feel like I have much to do, so I’ll just keep trucking along.

I visit those who are homebound and/or sick.  I see our good, sweet dog Bodhi getting older every day.  Lord, fill my heart with compassion, and help me bring to others what You would offer them.  I am ever your humble servant, asking for your blessings and guidance, now and always.

 

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Day 17 ?

In my dreams last night there was a kitten in one and a round-trip journey in the other.  Feminine energy emerging and a path traveled but not without complication. Makes sense to me.

Didn’t last night I ask for guidance?  My prayer remains.  Which way would You have me go?  Even more importantly, how would You have me get there?

This life is so precious, and I have extraordinarily precious lives in my care.

Grant me guidance and wisdom and clarity of vision.  May You bless us all with kindness and acceptance.

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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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