The Blessing of Prayer Support

praying. handsIt is hard to believe we are five days from Christmas.  Wow!  This month has flown and I have hardly written anything.  Things have been busy and I haven’t been inspired.  I hope to be again soon.

I have a lot of loved ones on my mind and heart who are suffering, are in pain, or have recently lost loved ones.  The holidays are supposed to be fun but are also hard for many.  So, I appreciate the blessing of prayer support.

There is nothing like the support of friends and family who pray in times of need.  We can do so much by lifting up one another in our thoughts and prayers.  May we remember to do that throughout the year, and not just at the holidays.  And may we remember to always be kind.

There are loved ones who are having a Heavenly Christmas.  These are my friends and family and those of some of my loved ones — Malachi, Wayne, Erika, Kelly, Glada, my grandparents Dick, Artha, Fran, and Crawford, Uncle Claude, Michael, Diggy, Uncle Davey, Uncle Danny, Judy, Joel, Mike, another friend Wayne, other friends, and other family members.

Some have passed away this year or in recent years, and others a few years ago.  All of them are loved and missed and thought of fondly.   All were amazing people and lit up everyone around them.  All meant a great deal to those who loved them.

Other friends are sick — Bob, Roland, Warren, George, Megan, Ralph, Marilyn, several parents of high school friends, and other friends and family members.  I am lifting them up as well.  I am praying for healing.  If that is not to be, I pray that people have a chance to say goodbye.  I pray that they and their families can enjoy the Christmas season.

May we remember one another with love and kindness and always be there to support each other.  May we also enjoy our times together and take the time to be with our loved ones.  May we remember those who we have lost and celebrate those we still know.  And may we tell our loved ones that we do love them and how special they are to us.

God’s blessings to you.  And, may prayer support bless you as well.

TGIF! Time for rest and fun

I don’t know about you but I am so thankful that it is Friday!  I am so ready for the weekend and for us to have some time for fun and relaxation.  The last month has been really hard and I have had a hard time focusing on my writing.  That is frustrating.

So much sadness has been going on recently that putting together coherent thoughts has been difficult.  A friend passed away, another one is now in hospice care, a former co-worker’s son was found dead, people are suffering and hurting, and several friends are undergoing chemo treatments now.

That is so very much to deal with and my heart has been heavy.  However, I still try to find the good in life and be positive each day.  That is hard some days, but I continue to pray, and have been touched by all of the prayer support for these people.  So things are starting to get better.  When they are, I hope to have the desire to write again and more frequently.  I do miss it when I don’t.

This photo is one that calms me and helps me to remember fun times with family and friends.  It is lovely and one of my happy places.  So that is why I decided to post it for today’s blog.  Hope you also have a happy place or things that can help you when you are down.

Also, it is heartbreaking to see so much hate in the news and online.  We seem to have real and extreme problems with those we don’t agree with and I just don’t understand that.  What happened to having differences of opinion, compromising, and respecting someone else’s opinion and ideas?

I grew up learning to appreciate another person’s take on life.  It was enriching and not scary to me.  These days, people seem to be scared and filled with hate towards others.  This has to stop.  We have to be a people again who love others and show kindness to our loved ones and those we don’t know.

As a mother of a child with a loving heart, I don’t want him to grow up thinking it’s okay to be mean, hateful, and judgemental of someone who is different than he is.  Instead, I want him to be loving, kind, and willing to listen to differences and respect them.

A few quotes about hope:

  • “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” — Desmond Tutu
  • “My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.” — Maya Angelou
  • “Hope is like the sun, which as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.” — Samuel Smiles
  • “You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.” — Michelle Obama
  • “Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from today.” — John Wayne
  • “What gives me the most hope every day is God’s grace; knowing that his grace is going to give me the strength for whatever I face, knowing that nothing is a surprise to God.” — Rick Warren

May we always remember to be loving, kind, compassionate, willing to listen to others, and respect those who are different from ourselves.  May we have this weekend to recharge and have some fun.  May we have hope despite all of the pain and suffering.  May we remember that our Lord is there with us through everything.

Prayers and Praises

graceBe still and know that I am God.   I so need that comfort today.  I have so many loved ones on my mind right now who need prayers and love and support. I can’t help but tear up when thinking about some of them and what they are going through.

And, I know that God is there with me and my loved ones every step of the way.  He promised to be with us through everything.  I take comfort in that incredible fact.

The son of a family friend had a stroke a few weeks ago and wasn’t expected to make it.  This young man is only 47 years old.  Since we found out the news, quite a few people have been praying for him. This afternoon we found out that he was able to move his finger and his feet.  And, the report is that he will be okay.    So I must say,  Praise the Lord!!

Another friend from high school said today that her 10-year-old daughter Lily has bone cancer.  I cannot even imagine how my friend is feeling right now.  I would be an absolute wreck.  I read this in her posting asking for prayers for Lily of family and friends.  Wow, what an amazing mother she is.  She is doing the best thing for her daughter — putting her in the Lord’s hands.

A relative is struggling with some major health issues and her family is trying to figure out what to do to help her.  Another friend’s child is recovering from surgery, a dear pastor’s wife is battling her second round of breast cancer, and several other friends just finished chemo treatments.

It is so easy to get almost overwhelmed by all of these needs of prayer.  Yet, by placing them in the Lord’s hand and asking for His protection, guidance, comfort, answers, and support, we are doing the best thing for them and their struggles.  We don’t always know the answers of why or the outcome, but praying is still the best thing to do, in my opinion.  Also, I think it is important to let those loved ones know we are praying for them and that we can help them if they need us to.

In addition to all of the sadness and hardships, there are also things to praise the Lord for.  One relative just received a clean bill of health after cancer treatments, another had a baby shower for her daughter who is due soon, and another is expecting her first child and will find out the sex when the baby is delivered.

I also want to praise the Lord for traveling mercies, for special times with family and friends, and for celebrations of life and our relationships, and that my son prays regularly. Praise also for two friends who suffered major losses and are now healing and discovering new relationships and friendships.  And, praise for the ability to laugh with our friends and family and the chances to share funny stories.

There is an amazing hymn that is coming to mind today — “It Is Well With My Soul.”

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Refrain:
It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

Refrain

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

Refrain

And Lord haste the day, when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Refrain

Isn’t that song amazing?  It was written by a man named Horatio Spafford who suffered some great losses in his life.  The fact he was able to craft these words still amazes me today.And, it is so comforting and inspirational as well.

I want to close with a prayer:

“Lord, please watch over my loved ones in all that they do. Please stretch out your healing hands on those who are sick and suffering.  Please give us comfort and help us as only you can. Please help to us be there for one another and show the love that you have taught us.

“Praise and thanks to You for all of the gifts You provide for us. Praise to you and thanks so much for your love that You shower down on us. Praise also for our friendships and relationships we have. Praise to you for giving us the ability to love, laugh, and forgive.

“Thanks so much for life and liberty and freedoms. Amen.”

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.

Love You Pam and Bob

Patti and PamLife is so very precious!!

This thought crossed my mind last night as I heard about my cousin Pam’s husband Bob.  He’d had a mild heart attack and was at the hospital.

I was concerned, worried, and my mind reeled and the praying began.  Last night, he had surgery to repair his aorta.  As of this morning, Bob is doing well and recovering.  That is truly an answer to many prayers!   And, I must say how relieved I am.

My cousin said that he made quick friends with one of his nurses who later dropped down on her knees and prayed for him.  Isn’t that awesome?!  I sure thought so.  The prayer support for them and their daughters spread like wildfire!!

Pam is one of my absolute favorite people.  We have been close since we were teenagers!  The picture is of the two of us at the beach in San Diego a few years ago.  I love her like my sisters.  And, her husband is one of the nicest, friendliest, and funniest people who I have ever met.

I remember the first time that Kirk and I met him, it seemed like we’d know each other forever.  Have you ever met someone who you instantly clicked with?  We had that instant connection with Bob.

Thanks to the good Lord above, and a great staff of doctors and nurses, and much prayer support that Bob came through this ordeal with flying colors!!  I too am so happy for Pam and their beautiful family.

Love you both so much!!  I am so looking forward to seeing you in a few months and enjoying many laughs!!