Weary

“Her eyes look tired, but it’s her soul that’s truly weary.” ~Liz Newman~

 

I’ve taken some time away from my desk so I could do some quiet reflection.

Like so many I’d become weary.

Weary of extremes I encountered everywhere throughout my day.

Weary of having to use caution in how I talked with valued friends because they may or may not share my political opinion.

Weary of hearing how many people died of Covid-19 in our country today or how many have died since this whole nightmare began.

Weary of not seeing my family who live far from me because I worry we make each other sick.

Weary of being isolated.

Weary of not being able to hug people without questioning if I’m doing the “safe” thing.

Weary of asking for things to be repeated because I cannot hear what’s being said behind the masks or no longer to read lips.

Weary of people who do not respect each other’s compromised health issues.

Weary of people not just putting on the damn mask.

Weary of not seeing smiles.

Weary of being afraid I, too, may get sick.

Weary of being weary.

So, I took some time to observe all the little miracles that happened all around me every single day.

I’ve seen the sun rise in the mornings as I became aware of its march across the sky as the seasons marched on.

I’ve seen the sun set in the evenings as we’ve sat outside waiting for the air to cool while the deer stroll by with their fawns and the bats come out to devour a few mosquitos.

I’ve seen birds migrate across the skies, moving north this past spring and coming back our direction now that Fall is approaching.

I’ve watched our youngest puppy, Eli, grow and become the new companion for our old dog, Bud, and a playmate for our other puppy, Abby.

I’ve become aware of how much I have grown spiritually as I’ve limited my outside influences and concentrated on investigating my own beliefs.

I’m learning how I think about things really does influence what I see.

I’m learning to open my mind to ways of thinking I never would have considered.

I’m learning to be still–I have a LOT of work to do on this lesson.

I’m learning to choose my words more carefully–do I really know this or that never happens or always happens?

I’m learning to think before I speak–words cannot be erased by an apology. A few moments spent in thought may save years of regret.

I’m learning that adage what people think of me is none of my business is true.

Let it go.

I’m learning to stop over thinking EVERYTHING.

Let it go.

I’m learning to forgive those who have hurt me.

Let it go.

I’m learning to forgive myself.

Dear one, let it go.

God sent me here for a reason. My job is to figure out what MY reason is. I cannot learn if I’m paying attention to things that are not part of MY lessons.

I’ve been so lucky because I’ve been given time to think about this and work on finding my path. It takes time and patience.

I am grateful.

I’ve been lucky to have people who have walked beside me on my journey. Some for a short time,, others for a life time.

I am grateful.

Once I started thinking about all the miracles I’ve witnessed in my life, my weariness dissolved.

I am grateful.

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

Gracious God, in the busy-ness of my day, I sometimes forget to stop to thank you for all that is good in my life.

My blessings are many and my heart is filled with gratefulness for the gift of living, for the ability to love and be loved, for the opportunity to see the everyday wonders of creation, for sleep and water, for a mind that thinks and a body that feels.

I thank you, too, for those things in my life that are less than I would hope them to be. Things that seem challenging, unfair, or difficult. When my heart feels stretched and empty, and pools of tears form in my weary eyes, still I rejoice that you are as near to me as my next breath and that in the midst of turbulence, I am growing and learning.

In the silence of my soul, I thank you most of all for your unconditional and eternal love.

Amen 

~Tam Worth~

Talking with God

I’ve been talking with God a lot these days.

It’s a good thing He is used to some of the language popping out of my head and mouth in moments of disbelief and frustration.

Here is a little bit of the conversation I had today:

Dear Lord, Please help me be still and listen–really listen–before I respond. Help me remember the power in silence.

Help me remember all my family members who sacrificed so much of their time to help my family. Help me to find a way to help others in that same spirit of true compassion.

Father, help me use the lessons I’ve been given and successfully learned to help others. There are many who are facing some of the same problems.

Please help me continue to learn and grow as I face what feels like overwhelming challenges daily. Help me stay strong and in connection with you.

In this crazy world, I believe in the power and forgiveness of you, my God. Please guide me to where I am needed and help me understand what I am here to do.

Thank you for listening, God. Thank you for never giving up on me and for always–always–loving me–unconditionally.

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

Thank you, Debbie Long, for sharing your beautiful photo with me to use in today’s story. I treasure you and send you thanks and much love. xoxo

Re-calculating

“Some things cannot be taught; they must be experienced. You never learn the most valuable lessons in life until you go through your own journey.” 

Roy T. Bennett

Writing these past few  months has been nearly impossible.

From what I’ve read I don’t think I’m not alone.

Part of my problem is I’m a born helper.

Because I’m retired, I couldn’t be there to help during this pandemic. Watching CV-19 make its way around the world and across our country has been very difficult. All my life I’ve been a caregiver. Watching from afar did not/does not set well with me.

I felt old and useless. That, my friends, was and is a very hard pill to swallow.

Little did I know this was just the beginning. More “stuff” was on the way, held back by one little line of rocks precariously balanced along the rim of a very deep canyon fed by a river that grew more turbulent by the day.

As I sat on the sidelines, naively debating whether or not it was best practice to wear a mask in public, one senseless act of power courtesy of an OFFICER OF THE LAW in Minneapolis, pushed those proverbial stones away, releasing decades of damed up frustrations and emotions.

I’m not feeling very well prepared to write about this but my heart says get something out there.

As usual, my recourse is to turn to prayer.

My prayer of choice today is this beautiful prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Holy Virgin of Guadalupe, Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas,
We fly to you today as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son, as you did at the wedding in Cana.

Pray for us, loving Mother,
and gain for our nation and world,
and for all our families and loved ones,
the protection of your holy angels,
that we may be spared the worst of this illness.

For those already afflicted,
we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful,
wipe away their tears and help them to trust.

In this time of trial and testing,
teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.

We come to you with confidence,
knowing that you truly are our compassionate Mother,
health of the sick and cause of our joy.

Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
keep us in the embrace of your arms,
help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

 

 

 

 

Just Like Gram Said

During difficult times, you move forward in small steps.

Do what you have to do, but little by bit.

Don’t think about the future, not even what might happen tomorrow. Wash the dishes.

Take off the dust.

Write a letter.

Make some soup.

Do you see?

You are moving forward step by step.

Take a step and stop.

Get some rest.

Compliment yourself.

Take another step.

Then another one.

You won’t notice, but your steps will grow bigger and bigger.

And time will come when you can think about the future without crying. Good morning

(Elena Mikhalkova, “The Room of Ancient Keys”)

These words reminded me of my Grandma.

She was so special to me–my Gram.

As I read I pictured myself sitting beside her.

Oh, I miss her.

Like so many, I’ve had time to think about many things these past few weeks. I’ve been one of the lucky ones–my only job has been to stay home.

It’s been hard to watch my friends suit up in whatever protective gear they had and go to work knowing I could not be there to help.

I have helped in the only way I could–I have prayed.

My prayers continue.

Most merciful and Triune God,
We come to you in our weakness.
We come to you in our fear.
We come to you with trust.
For you alone are our hope.

We place before you the disease present in our world.
We turn to you in our time of need.

Bring wisdom to doctors.
Give understanding to scientists.
Endow caregivers with compassion and generosity.
Bring healing to those who are ill.
Protect those who are most at risk.
Give comfort to those who have lost a loved one.
Welcome those who have died into your eternal home.

Stabilize our communities.
Unite us in our compassion.
Remove all fear from our hearts.
Fill us with confidence in your care.

Jesus, I trust in you.
Jesus, I trust in you.
Jesus, I trust in you.
Amen.   Author Unknown

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

 

 

Like Mom said, Pray to St. Jude

“Don’t be afraid of being scared. To be afraid is a sign of common sense. Only complete idiots are not afraid of anything.” 

Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Angel’s Game

The second candle began burning out my prayers yesterday morning. I didn’t know when I bought several of these votive candles how appropriate this particular candle would be.

The numbers quoted are beginning to pick away at my anxiety.

I am afraid.

As I tried to go to sleep I heard my mom remind me to pray to St. Jude–the saint of lost causes.

So this morning I found the prayer I wrote down years ago to share with you.

Thought you might need it as much as I do.

Most holy Apostle, St. Jude Thaddeus, friend of Jesus. I place myself in your care at this difficult time. Help me know that I need not face my troubles alone. Please join me in my need, asking God to send me: consolation in my sorrow, courage in my fear, and healing the midst of my suffering. Ask our loving Lord to fix me with grace to accept whatever may lie ahead for me and my loved ones, and to strengthen my faith in God’s healing powers. Thank, St. Jude Thaddeus, for the promise of hope you hold out to all who believe and inspire me to give this gift of hope to others as it has been given to me. St. Jude, Apostle of Hope, Pray for us.

I am…

B…simply being. 

Peace be with you.

Extraordinary

“Extraordinary people survive under the most terrible circumstances and they become more extraordinary because of it.” 

Robertson Davies

Yes, we are living in extraordinary times.

I began my day today by saying a prayer for our world while lighting a votive candle.

I was surprised at how much comfort this gave me.

Maybe it would be for you, too?

Memorare       

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,

that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection,

implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided.

Inspired with this confidence,

I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother.

To thee I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.

O Mother of the Word Incarnate,

despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy, hear and answer me.  Amen.

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

 

Warnings

“Fear is a part of life. It’s a warning mechanism. That’s all. It tells you when there’s danger around. Its job is to help you survive. Not cripple you into being unable to do it.” 

Jim Butcher, Dead Beat

These days our world changes by the hour.

I’m torn between limiting my exposure to world events and wanting/needing to know all the latest developments. Do I get my news first thing in the morning and dampen my entire day or do I wait until the evening and risk a restless night?

I’ve chosen the evening which means I can listen with a glass of wine.

I’m not relying on that alone, though. I’ve added a second coping mechanisim–prayer.

It’s my usual practice to fall back on my Catholic background. This experience is no exception.

I am thankful I have Pope Francis to lean on right now.

Pope Francis’ Prayer to Mary during the coronavirus pandemic 

O Mary,

you always shine on our path

as a sign of salvation and of hope.

We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,

who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain, keeping your faith firm.

You, Salvation of the Roman People,

know what we need,

and we are sure you will provide

so that, as in Cana of Galilee,

we may return to joy and to feasting

after this time of trial.

Help us, Mother of Divine Love,

to conform to the will of the Father

and to do as we are told by Jesus,

who has taken upon himself our sufferings

and carried our sorrows

to lead us, through the cross,

to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.

Under your protection, we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God. Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial, but deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

Tough Times

“Tough times don’t last, tough people do, remember?” 

Gregory Peck

Just when I thought our world couldn’t get any crazier–it does.

Michael and I watch from our house on the hill as Covid-19 forces our community and our world in directions no one could have predicted. National and state news conferences appear to be the new normal, updating us on the how many new cases there are across the country and how many have lost their fight. It eerily reminds me of the Viet Nam death tolls I remember as a kid back in the 60’s.

I’m not sure where all this will take us. I do know we Americans are very strong, very smart, and very tenacious. It seems we do our best under stress–it brings the best out in us–I feel a sense of unity similar to those days immediately after 9-11.

This experience will force us all to change the way we do things–from doctor visits to going out to dinner. Telemedicine will be used and fine tuned very quickly now that Medicare will pay for those visits. Communities are working on ways to lessen the financial impact to local businesses. The city of Austin, Texas, just passed a city ordinance allowing alcoholic drinks to be part of takeout orders. I’m thinking that would never, ever have happened without this level of economic stressor. With the required time off work, many employees will get some much needed rest and down time. Maybe these rested souls will return to the work place with a renewed appreciation for their work. Maybe families will actually get to have quality time together not sandwiched between soccer and dance practice? Maybe we will get to know that lady across the street?

Maybe I’m an optimist?

It’s very hard to watch and not help. I’m telling myself the best thing I can do is stay home and stay well. I can pray for those working hard to find the answers we all need to fight this virus and those working hard caring for the sick. I worry and pray for my friends who are healthcare providers.

Pope Francis and other religious leaders have called for world prayer. As a way of doing this, I’ll be sharing some prayers over the next few posts–some old some new.

Please join me in praying for ourselves, our families, our friends, and our world.

Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument
of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred,
let me sow charity;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, truth;
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 to ourselves that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

Mom Prayers

“The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.” 

Soren Kierkegaard

In this self proclaimed year of “self,” I’ve found great comfort in prayer.

For me, the most soothing are the prayers I remember from my childhood–those prayers practiced and memorized while sitting beside my mom. Today, as I’ve done for the past sixty-something years, I began my day with the following:

Good Morning, dear Jesus, this day is for you. I ask you to bless all I think, say, and do. Amen.

Angel of God

My guardian dear

To whom God’s love

Commits me here

Ever this day

Be at my side

To light

To guard

To rule

To guide. 

Amen.

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

 

 

Learning About Prayer

“Lord, make me a blessing to someone today.” 

Jan Karon, At Home in Mitford

A big part of my morning reading includes prayers and affirmations–some traditional and some less formal and more modern. Regardless of the format, I was beginning to understand there are many different ways to pray.

I’m not sure why I thought a prayer had to be this long, formal written collection of words. I think it’s a hold over from those prayers my sisters and I had to memorize when we were growing up Catholic.

As usual, I’ve made the simple very complicated.

Today when I pray my prayers are more like having a conversation with an old friend–a friend who knows all about me and loves me anyway.

One of my favorite prayer suggestions comes from Sarah Ban Breathnach’s, Simple Abundance, the reading dated January 24:

“Bless a thing and it will bless you. Curse it and it will curse you…If you bless a situation, it has no power to hurt you, and even if it is troubles for a time, it will gradually fade out, if you sincerely bless it. ~Emmet Fox

A powerful set of blessings that I learned from the teachings of Stella Terrill Mann, a Unity minister who wrote during the 1940s, encourages us to greet the morning with the affirmation ‘Blessed be the morn for me and mine.’ At noon declare, ‘Blessed be the day for me and mine,’ and in the evening, invoke this prayer: ‘Blessed be the night for me and mine.’ As you about your work at home or int eh office, affirm, ‘My work is a prayer for good for me and mine.’ These affirmations of good will bring many blessings into your daily life, as they have in mine.

Then start to count your blessings.”

I don’t think God cares about formality, word choice, or the length of our prayers. Like anyone who loves us, He is pleased we’ve taken the time to reach out and talk with Him.

“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.” 

Meister Eckhart

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

Thanks, Sue and Al Rogers, for letting me use your picture as part of my story today. I love you.