October

“May you Fall in love with October

and all the beauty it brings,

May your life be as colorful as

the turning of the leaves,

On each blessed autumn day” 

Charmaine J. Forde

One this first day of October I find myself thinking back to other autumn days.

With little effort I hear leaves crunch under foot as I watch gusts of wind peel more leaves off the top of racked stacks and push them down the street. Closing my eyes, I step effortlessly into that long ago scene. It’s early evening and the light of the street light is dim. The persistent wind brings with it smoke from nearby bonfires as well as the subtle aroma of a pie cooling on someone’s windowsill.  Even after all these years, my mouth waters, making me smile.

O God of Creation, you have blessed us with the changing of the seasons. 

As we welcome the autumn months, 

may the earlier setting of the sun 

remind us to take time to rest. 

May the brilliant colors of the leaves 

remind us of the wonder of your creation. 

May the steam of our breath in the cool air 

remind us that it is you who give us the breath of life. 

 May the harvest from the fields remind us of the abundance we have been given and bounty we are to share with others.

May the dying of summer’s spirit remind us of your great promise that death is temporary and life is eternal.

We praise you for your goodness forever and ever. Amen.  ~Unknown~

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

The Gift of Friendship

There’s a miracle called friendship

that dwells within the heart

And you don’t know when it happens

or when it gets a start…

But the happiness it brings you

always gives a special lift,

And you realize that friendship is

God’s most precious gift!

~Author Unknown

As usual, as my birthday nears, I spend extra time being thankful for the gifts I’ve been given.

My greatest gifts have been the people who have been a part of my life. Standing beside me wasn’t always the easiest thing to do. I am grateful to you and for you all.

My friend, Ann, sent a package today which included the book pictured in my blog today. When I unwrapped it I was so excited. I don’t think I realized until then I’d become quite the collector of little prayer books. Thank you, Ann, for my newest prize. I will have a lot to share.

As the editor, David Schiller, says in his introduction: “…in an age characterized by its astonishing lack of humility, prayer offers a rare chance to put our inflated selves aside, and in the suddenly unburdened state that follow, rediscover the things that really matter. Which is perhaps why, living in the age that we do, we are also beginning to rediscover the need for prayer. ”

Blessed art Thou, Lord our God, King of the universe, who forms light and creates darkness, who makes peace and creates all things. 

Who mercifully sheds light upon the earth and upon all who dwell on it.

And who in His goodness, renews the works of creation every day continually. “How many are Thy works O Lord, in wisdom hast Thou made them all, the earth is filled with Thy creations!” 

Blessed art Thou, Lord our God, King of the universe, who with His word brings on the evenings, 

With wisdom opens the gates,

With understanding alters the phases, varies the seasons, 

And arranges the stars in their heavenly orbit according to His will. 

He creates day and night. 

He rolls away the light from before the darkness and the darkness from before the light,

He makes the day to pass and the night to come, and divides between day and night;

Lord of hosts in His name. 

A living and everlasting God, who shall constantly reign over us forever and ever. 

Blessed art Thou, Lord, who brings on the evenings. 

              ~Jewish Evening Blessing, “Birkat Maariv”, The Little Book of Prayers

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

 

My Friday Prayer

Heavenly Father,

As the winds blow,

Breathe in new life to my loved ones.

As the sun shines

Warm their hearts with your hope.

As the birds fly,

Lift their minds to see vision for the future.

As the plants grow,

Restore their bodies with new health.

As the rain falls,

Wash away the infection, disease and illness they suffer.

You are Lord of all.

We put our trust in you!

Amen.

Adapted from: living-prayers.com

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

 

Loud and Clear

“We need to be open to ways in which we are being spoken to and in which we are receiving some form of communication. Some people call them signs. Open your heart and allow yourself to be touched by them. They are often stunning expressions of your place in the universe.” 

Susan Barbara Apollon, Touched by the Extraordinary

There are days when I wonder about so many things in my life.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m on the right path. The hands of the clock spin faster every day.

Sometimes I wonder if God hears my prayers–some days the silence is profound.

God has heard my prayers. His message, unusual in form, was loud and clear.

Stay patient, open, and aware, my friends.

“Sometimes we’re persuaded to relinquish control, and when this happens, time becomes more synchronic and coincidence more profound. It’s the same cosmic force, but without so many restrictions. This is when guardian angels can roll up their sleeves to say, ‘Now we’ve got food and shelter done, let’s get to work!” 

Jan Golembiewski, Magic

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

Good Night

Prayer Before Sleep

Dear God, as I lay me down to sleep, relax the tension of my body; 

calm the restlessness of my mind; 

still the thoughts which worry and perplex me.

Help me to rest myself and all my problems in your strong and loving arms.

Let your Spirit speak to my mind and heart

while I am asleep, so that, when I wake up in the morning, 

I may find that I have received in the night-time,

     light for my way;

     strength for my tasks;

     peace for my worries;

     forgiveness for my sins.

Grant me sleep tonight, and tomorrow power to live. Amen

From God’s Spoken Word Ministries

I found this prayer years ago and lost it in my notes.

Today it resurfaced. I am so thankful and happy I’m able to share it with you.

Sweet dreams, my friends.

May God bless us all.

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

A Gift

This month two of my friends will mark the first anniversary of the death of their husbands.

Anniversaries are hard for many reasons. It’s been my experience very few people remember these types of uncomfortable dates, especially after the first year has passed–even fewer remember as time moves slowly on.

In fear of doing something wrong and/or dragging up more pain, most will opt to do nothing.

If, like me, know someone who has had a difficult loss, I believe the best gift you can give them is time.

With all the modern technologies literally at our fingertips, it’s so easy to pick up the cell phone and leave a voice message or send a text. This type of non-intrusive message gives the person the space and luxury of answering immediately or waiting until he or she is ready. Plus, in a matter of minutes, your grieving friend knows someone remembers and is thinking of them.

Reach out, my friends, because it’s a road we will all walk down in one way or another.

Help me, God, to listen with my entire being. When I am in pain, give me the courage to trust others enough to bare my heart to them. And when there is no one to listen, hear me, God. Hear me and heal me. Amen

Rabbi Naomi Levy, To Begin Again

I am…

B…simply being.   

~Peace be with you.~

 

A Monday Afternoon Prayer

You have blessed me with many gifts, God, but I know it is my task to realize them. May I never underestimate my potential; may I never lose hope. May I find the strength to strive for better, the courage to be different, the energy to give all that I have to offer. Help me, God, to live up to all the goodness that resides within me. Fill me with the humility to learn from others and with the confidence to trust my own instincts. Thank You, God, for the power to grow. Amen.

Levy, Naomi. Talking to God: Personal Prayers for Times of Joy, Sadness, Struggle, and Celebration (pp. 225-226). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. 

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~ 

 

Naps

“Here’s to the moments when you realize the simple things are wonderful and enough.” 

Jill Badonsky, The Awe-manac: A Daily Dose of Wonder

One of the blessings of getting older is the ability to slow down and appreciate the small things.

Summer returned today which made working in the yard short lived.

As you can see, Abby had no problem showing me how to take a break this afternoon. Bud, Abby, and I headed inside to take a nap.

This little girl is sets a great example and is an excellent teacher.

Yes, my friends, I think she’s a keeper.

The Test

Oh, yes, I’ve reached those golden days

You so much about;

I don’t feel any older yet,

But will one day, no doubt.

The sky is still a lovely blue,

The rose is just as sweet.

Each day is like another chance

To make my life complete.

Sure, there’s hardship, sorrow and pain,

Who thougth there wouldn’t be? 

But now I know it’s just a test

To find the worth in me.

Betty Irean Loeb

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

Observations

“If, then, I were asked for the most important advice I could give, that which I considered to be the most useful to the men of our century, I should simply say: in the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.” 

Leo Tolstoy, Essays, Letters and Miscellanies

I have been working in the yard these past few days. The heat of summer has moved in early. Even starting early in the day my energy level is zapped to zero by noon. The up side is I have had lots of time to think about what I want to write. The down side is I don’t have a lot of energy left for the writing and editing part of the deal.

Every day I am learning more about plants native to Texas. All those lessons are confirmed by my many scratches and puncture wounds. It seems most native plants have some form of protection–needles, thorns, spikes….the list of weaponry is incredible well as subtle. Just when you think something is safe to pull–zing–another lesson learned.

I’ve been observing my surroundings–remember my word for the year is ‘awareness.” There is a native plant here that wickedly painful to trim. As I tried to find a way to remove it without impaling myself, I noticed the wrens build their nests in this plant. It is so full of thorns it is a virtual fortress. After noticing them I decided it may be wise to work them into the yard by carefully trimming them. It was a win/win situation–I had something to fill space in my garden and the cute little wrens had a safe place to build their own homes.

One more lesson on taking the time to observe before taking any action.

My hope is the prayer I found to share today will speak to you as it did to me.

The Voice Within

I took a little walk today

To listen to God’s word,

And then I stopped to rest awhile

This is what I heard:

“Dear one, there’s someone waiting

To hear from you today,

Someone who needs your loving heart

To spread joy in its own way;

Never turn away my child

I bid you to press on.

Let your light forever shine

To reach this precious one. 

Who knows what happiness can come

From loving thoughts so true,

Go forth and spread your sunshine

Only good can come to you.” 

And as I left my quiet place

I felt such peace within,

Because I knew what I should do

To love and honor Him.

Jan Edwards, Bedside Prayers

I am…

B…simply being.

~Peace~

Unanswered Prayers

“Help” is a prayer that is always answered. It doesn’t matter how you pray–with your head bowed in silence, or crying out in grief, or dancing. Churches are good for prayer, but so are garages and cars and mountains and showers and dance floors. Years ago I wrote an essay that began, “Some people think that God is in the details, but I have come to believe that God is in the bathroom.” 

Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith

I’ve been thinking a lot these past few days.

Working in our yard is a wonderful time to let unfiltered thoughts flow through my mind. I’ve discovered I don’t overthink when I’m moving rock and rebuilding walls.

Songs tend to get stuck in my head when I’m outside. Yesterday the song playing over and over in my mind was Garth Brooks’ song, Unanswered Prayers.

This song always makes me remember the things I’ve prayed the hardest for and felt fell on deaf ears. Where was God and how could my prayer go answered?

Now, I smile and shake my head, thanking God for all those answered prayers. As I see the different scenarios play back, the “what ifs” congregate in my head, creating feelings of sadness, regret, insight, and, above all, gratitude.

I’m learning the best prayers may not be those I’ve memorized. Not that long ago I realized the words I said by rote were not the real words of the prayer. I had to chuckle. I knew I did that with some songs–singing words that were not even close to what the real lyrics. I never imagined I’d done the same with prayers.

I still start my day with the prayers my mom taught me 60 plus years ago. These days I say each word slowly, appreciating the meaning of the prayer as I remember her patience with me as I learned each word.

Lately I’ve been searching for new prayers, gathering them to share as well as using them as guides in hopes they can help me begin to write my own prayers to share.

Lucky for me, God seems to be encouraging me because I’ve found some of the best prayers are short and simple.

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

Jan Karon, At Home in Mitford

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~