Prayers

prayingToday I wanted to share some prayers.  I have several dear friends and family on my heart to lift up in prayer. They are dealing with a lot of things.  I hope they know they are loved and that friends and family are there to lift them up and help them through their tough times.

I also want to pray for people in DC in the aftermath of the shooting this week, and the people being affected by horrendous weather in Colorado and New Mexico.

There are also the fires in New Jersey, the hurricanes in Mexico, and many other things going on as well all over the world.

There are a lot of things to be concerned about but also much to be thankful for.  Although at times, it is difficult to see that.

Lord, please stretch our your loving arms around those in pain and dealing with loss of loved ones, homes, lives, and livelihoods.   In your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord, thank you for your love and devotion and being there for us always, if only we will ask.  This is a great comfort.  In your mercy, hear our prayer. Amen.

And, I wanted to add a prayer that my son often says before we eat, “Apples are big, grapes are small, Thank you Lord for making them all.  Amen.”

Here are a few quotes about prayer:

  • “Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.” — Mother Teresa
  • “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.” — Abraham Lincoln
  • “Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” — Mahatma Ghandi
  • “The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.” — Soren Kierkegard
  • “Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
    Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
    Where there is injury, pardon;
    Where there is doubt, faith;
    Where there is despair, hope;
    Where there is darkness, light;
    And where there is sadness, joy.  O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
    to be consoled as to console,
    to be understood as to understand,
    to be loved, as to love. For it is in giving that we receive,
    It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
    and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”  — St. Francis of Assisi

Prayer for Texas too

graceThis morning I heard about the terrible explosion in West, Texas.

I want to lift up the residents of this town as well in my prayers.

It is so sad to think that so much of the town was leveled and so many people killed and injured.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord, stretch out your healing hand upon the people and community of West, Texas.

May they be comforted by you and each other.

May injuries heal quickly.

May you guide them as they grieve their losses.

May we help those around us.

Amen.

A Prayer for Boston

prayingIn light of the bombings during the Boston marathon, I wanted to post a prayer.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Please protect all of those impacted by the events this week in Boston, Mass. 

May those who sustained loss be covered by your love and care. 

May the injured be healed. 

May the city and its residents also heal – physically and mentally.

May the city of Boston come back from this stronger than ever.

May we not be afraid to gather at events such as the marathon because of fear.

May things such as this not happen again.

May time, love, and friends and family help in the healing process.

In your mercy Lord, please hear our prayer.

Amen.

This prayer isn’t just for those affected by this event but for all who are dealing with loss, pain and suffering.

Say What?!!

questionHave you ever been told something by someone who so floored you, you were speechless?

I had that experience recently.  And, boy was it a surprise.

A week or so ago I mentioned that I have a negative person in my life.   Well, this person recently told me during a heated argument that I am an extremely selfish person and all I think about is myself.  The person didn’t say this to me, but instead yelled it to me.

My first thought was “that sure is the pot calling the kettle black” since this person is borderline narcissistic.  After that comment, I was so stunned, I honestly didn’t have anything to say in return.  I did think to myself, I often put my husband and son ahead of others in my life.  Is that being selfish or being a good wife and mother?  That in itself is something to ponder.

My next thought was, am I selfish? I have never thought of myself as being selfish.  By no means am I perfect, but this was a shocking thing to hear.

I am bad about sending out thank you notes in a timely manner, I don’t keep in touch with friends and family as much as I would like to, I get busy and often forget to contact loved ones, I procrastinate about things, I am messy, and sometimes lazy, and the list goes on.  But, I have always tried to be kind to and considerate of others.

Prior to this argument, I had been worried about the health and well-being of several family members and friends and have been praying for them.  My mind was focused on them but my actions and words apparently did come across as I wanted them to during this heated discussion.

Having been yelled at, I was livid, as you can imagine.  But you know what my third thought was?  A person like this is the very one that I am called as a Christian to love and pray for.  Jesus told us to love all people, including those who frustrate and anger us.

I have to admit how hard that is to do with this particular person.  The more you keep hearing something negative from someone, the harder it is to like and even talk to the other person.

I do know, without a doubt, that I need to try to do just that.  I will only be able to with the love and heart of Jesus.

There are some extenuating circumstances at work here.  This particular person eats a lot of carbs and sugars, drinks wine regularly, and very little protein.  And, there seems to be stress and other health problems at work for this person.

I have been praying for the person for a long time now and will continue to do so.  Lord, please give me the strength to do that and keep trying to love this person.  Amen.

How about you?  Do you have someone in your life who is difficult?  How do you deal with it?  I’d love to hear from you and hear about some suggestions.

On Happiness and Sadness

In the movie Steel Magnolias, Truvy says, “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.”

That is a bit how the weekend was.  We had the celebration of my grandmother’s life and the following day found out we lost one of our dear sweet family members.

How does one’s mind get around such extremes — of happiness and then sadness?  I don’t know the exact answer and so wish that I did!!

Grams’ party was a lot of fun and she loved my blog that I’d written.  My cousin read a really nice poem and then a funny one, gifts were opened, and great food and cake were enjoyed as well.  It was a great evening.

Then the news of the loss.  Losing a loved one is always difficult.  Crying and prayers and hugs and love are about all I know of to do in times like this.

I saw a picture this morning on Facebook that resulted in some tears — “I wish there were visiting hours in Heaven.”  How I wish that were true!  And, how I wish I could visit our loved one.

There is an expression, “time heals all wounds.”  How much time?  With some losses it feels like that will take a very long time to be true, if ever.  Another is “take it a day at a time.”  On some days, that could be changed to “take it a minute at a time.”

I found some quotes about sadness, loss, and happiness:

  • Tears are God’s gift to us. Our holy water. They heal us as they flow.” ~Rita Schiano”
  • “I don’t know why they call it heartbreak.  It feels like every other part of my body is broken too.”  ~Missy Altijd
  • “If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden.”  ~Claudia Ghandi
  • “I dropped a tear in the ocean.  The day you find it is the day I will stop missing you.”  ~Author Unknown
  • “Happiness is never stopping to think if you are.”  ~Palmer Sondreal
  • The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.”  ~Mark Twain

Lord, please hold my family close and watch over us.  Hugs and love to my family.

Remembering 9/11

I remember exactly where I was 11 years ago today.  I am sure that you do as well.

This was a day that I never thought I would see.  And, even as I watched it unfold, it was hard to imagine.

I was at work when the events began to unfold.  I remember being stunned when the second plane hit the tower.  It was clearly not an accident and done purposely.  Then we heard about the Pentagon and also those brave people who crashed an airplane to save it from more destruction.

That day we learned about bravery, sacrifice, love of others and country, and how important it is to let our loved ones know that we truly do love them.  And, we learned that not everyone likes our way of life in America. It was an end to an innocence in a way.

The odd thing is that I don’t remember what I was doing on September 10 since it was a day like any other.  What this tragedy made me realize is that days aren’t to be taken for granted.  Each one is important and so full of possibility.  And, since this happened, I have tried to make the most of each day and appreciate all that I am given.

My thoughts and prayers are with the families who were directly impacted by the tragedy we know as 9/11.  For all of those who lost loved ones in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, my heart goes out to you.

I wasn’t directly affected, but all of us were in some way.  I pray for our continued healing.

May the Lord bless you on this day and each day.  I hope you can remember your loved ones and thank the Lord for those you still have in your life.  I will be doing just that!

What a Week!

The last seven days have been amazing and so full of blessings.

I have felt such an outpouring of love and care with all of the prayer support that I received!  (Please see my posting on Wednesday to read about my trip to the ER)

Yesterday afternoon, I went to my regular doctor for a follow-up visit.  My blood pressure was normal (yeah!) and I was so happy about that.  And, he gave me a medicine to help my stomach / GI tract to settle back down.

He also told me that doctors often can’t tell you exactly what is wrong with you but that they can tell you what isn’t wrong.  That is something profound, don’t you think?  It is also frustrating when you want to have an answer. As I found out this week, however, that isn’t always possible.

We then discussed diet and some changes that I need to make.  He mentioned that healthy eating has to be a new lifestyle choice and not considered a diet.  As you know from reading my blog, I am trying to lose weight but am still not having much success.  This doctor reminded me that it’s all about portion control, eating fewer carbs, and avoiding fried food (for my stomach mainly but a good idea for overall health).

I thanked him for his advice and the medicine.  Then we came home from the doctor, took the medicine, and made dinner — salmon, mashed potatoes, broccoli, and biscuits.  DELICIOUS!  And, I had no stomach, etc. problems.  For the first night in a while, I slept very well through the night and without almost no pain. Thank you Lord.

This week has truly been a wakeup call and has shown me how far from the healthy food choices I was. I thought I was doing well but got off track the previous week. I am working now each day to make healthier choices.  And, to exercise as well.  I am tired of feeling lousy and ready to feel better and back to a fun and healthy weight.  After all, I have some great clothes that I want to be able to wear again.

My husband and son have been so sweet and attentive to me. My hubby has been helping a lot around the house (something he does anyway) and been making sure that I have been getting rest and what I need.

In addition, my son has been very attentive. Ian has a doctor’s kit and last night he gave me a checkup.  He checked my heart and said, “there is a robber in your heart trying to get the pain out,” meaning he wants Mommy’s pain to go away.  He has said several times, “It’s okay Mommy,”  and “I hope that you can lose weight Mommy.”

It means a lot to have my own cheering section!  And, I feel truly blessed to have such a loving and caring set of family and friends who provided such amazing prayer support and concern.  That has meant the world to me this week.  Thank you Lord for watching over me!

How was your week?  I hope and pray it was full of blessings!  Please share with me and other readers.

Another Week of Thanks

This has been another week of items to be thankful for and for enjoying the little things.  Not to say the week has been great the entire time, because it hasn’t been.

I have been worried about and praying for several friends and family members dealing with a variety of health issues.  A few are very serious and others are less so, but still worrisome and in need of prayer.  Dear Lord, please wrap your love around them and stretch out your healing hand upon them.  Amen!

Note: This photo was taken on Easter morning 2011 at the sunrise service.

I hope that you too have had some time to enjoy your week!  Please share some of the moments that have meant so much to you!  I would love to hear from you.

My blessings/items to be thankful for are:

  • Seeing Ian’s excitement over learning how beans turn into sprouts.  My mom started the experiment last week and we have been checking each morning on the changes.
  • Sleeping over at my parent’s house and hearing my father play with Ian.
  • Listening to a sermon that God will never abandon us.  “I will never leave you nor will I forsake you.”  What an incredible promise.
  • Enjoying an old song by Don Francisco during the church service.
  • Eating blueberries with my oatmeal.  This is a treat that I haven’t had for a while since blueberries are so expensive.
  • Finding out that I had the highest likes ever on one of my blogs.
  • Gaining several new followers for my blog. I truly appreciate your interest!!
  • Beaming with pride while Ian tells two stories during a family dinner and another one right before bed.  I am truly moved that we have another storyteller in the family and so love his creativity.
  • Cuddles in the morning with my son.
  • Starting and finishing the book, “150 Pounds,” by Karen Rockland, a book of waists and measures as it says on the cover.
  • Losing 3 pounds after feeling I was getting no where in my weight loss journey.
  • Savoring the perfect blend of coffee and creamer in the morning.
  • Watching the sun rise after a day of heavy rain, lightening, and hail.
  • Having a house with a garage during two bouts of hail.
  • Praying for my family and friends and knowing I can talk to the Lord anytime that I want and He will listen.
  • Being entertained as Ian sings part of an Abba song “how can I resist ya…”
  • Reuniting with my husband after his business trip.

May the Lord bless you this week!  I hope that you too can have some time to stop and smell the roses and be thankful for the amazing things in your life.

Pray Often, Laugh More, Love Much

Pray Often… Laugh More… Love Much

These six words are on the shower curtain at my brother-in-law’s and sister-in-law’s house.  I noticed it when we visited them last night and realized how much these words really mean.

Pray Often — the Bible says to pray without ceasing.  Now, clearly, you probably can’t pray all day every day without some strange looks from people, but the point is to be in the attitude of prayer. We are to regularly communicate with God.

We are teaching Ian about prayer and it is so beautiful to listen to his prayers.  He has a few great ones and my favorite is, “Dear Jesus, please help me stay out of trouble.”  I think we could all benefit from a prayer like that.

Laugh More — the medical community has been saying for a while now that laughter is good medicine.  And I must say, I love to laugh!  Whether it’s watching “I Love Lucy” or “Psych” or talking with a funny friend or family member, I have found some definite ways to laugh.

I think it’s important to be around people who make us happy and able to laugh.  I hope that you have people in your life who you can laugh with.  I am blessed to have several and even a code word with a few friends.  We have always loved to laugh or giggle.

Love Much — It is important to let your family and friends know that you love them.  At my first job as a reporter, I met a wise paramedic who advised me to never be a grave hugger.  His advice has stayed with me ever since.  He wanted me to be sure and remember to always tell my loved ones that I loved them and never to let the words go unsaid, since you don’t know if you’ll get the chance at a later time.

I am fortunate to love some dear family and friends and be loved in return.  I hope that you too have that blessing.

I wonder if we can truly remember to Pray Often, Laugh More, and Love Much.  I will certainly give it a try – how about you?