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~

 

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~

Blessings

“Bless a thing and it will bless you. Curst it and it will curse you…If you bless a situation, it has no power to hurt you, and even if it is troublesome for a time, it will gradually fade out, if you sincerely bless it.”  ~Emmet Fox, Sara Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance

My morning readings have taught me a lot since I began this daily practice.

Today the prayers recited throughout the day by the Unity Minister, Stella Terril Mann, were shared:

Mornings: Blessed be the morn for me and mine.

Noon: Blessed be the day for me and mine. 

Evening: Blessed be the night for me and mine. 

Could prayers really be so simple?

The long and the short of it is–yes.

Help me be a friend today, Lord, and see the needs on the faces of those I know and love. ~Jon M. Sweeney, Daily Guideposts, 2019

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

Thank you, Jim and Ann Doner, for allowing me to use your picture in today’s story. I love you.

 

 

It’s a Small World

“Friends can make you feel that the world is smaller and less sneaky than it really is, because you know people who have similar experiences.” 

Lemony Snicket, The Austere Academy

Today I began listening to a book I’ve been meaning to read for about ten years. I found it as a recorded book so I thought it was a great opportunity to finally hear this story. The book is, The Girls From Ames, by Jeffrey Zaslow.

I have to admit, the only reason I was originally drawn to it because I figured it had to be about girls from Ames.

For once, I was right. It is about girls from Ames but it’s about a lot more. At least it has been for me.

The book chronicles the lives of eleven women over the course of their forty year friendship. The stories shared are hauntingly familiar to those of my own younger days. I’ve had to go back and repeat parts of the book because my mind gets triggered by one story or another, putting my ears on hold as it pulls up one of my own long lost childhood memory. My emotions have been all over the place. One minute I’m laughing, the next minute I’m in tears.

The main thing I’m feeling this afternoon is gratitude for the people in my life I call friends.

Heavenly Father,

I am thankful for the gift of friendship. You have positioned souls along my path who have added brilliance, depth, and texture to the tapestry of my life. You have blessed me in ways I am just beginning to understand. Each person, in their own individual way, has helped me believe and trust in your goodness. Each day my awareness grows. Please, God, help each person see how valuable they are to me. I ask you to keep them safe as you surround them with peace and love.   Amen. 

~Barbara Jo Burton Hibdon, November 7, 2019

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

Thank you, Judith Weitzel Wilmink, for this great picture I’m using as part of my story today. God bless you. I Love you. 

 

Lighting a Candle

It is a Jewish custom to light a memorial candle year after year on the anniversary of a loved one’s death. The candle burns for twenty-four hours and is a reminder of the life that was lost and the love that will never die. I recommend this ritual to all those who are searching for a lasting way to sanctify the memory of a loved one.                                  ~Rabbi Naomi Levy

I’ve been at a loss for words this week, searching for some way to talk about the loss of yet another young life lost too soon.

As the days passed and memories streamed across my mind, I prayed for her family.

In reality, that’s all any of us can do.

When I read about the Jewish tradition of lighting a candle on the anniversary of the loss of a loved, I felt so much peace. For me, this seems like the perfect way to remember a loved one. As All Soul’s Day is tomorrow, I think the timing is perfect.

Maybe this tradition will give you peace as well?

A Memorial Prayer  

I haven’t forgotten you, even though it’s been some time now since I’ve seen your face, touched your hand, heard your voice. You are with me all the time. I used to think you left me. I know better now. You come to me. Sometimes in fleeting moments I feel your presence close by. But I still miss you. And nothing, no person, no joy, no accomplishment, no distraction, not even God, can fill the gaping hole your absence has left in my life. But mixed together with all my sadness, there is a great joy for having known you. I want to thank you for the time we shared, for the love you gave, for the wisdom you spread. Thank you for the magnificent moments and for the ordinary ones too. There was beauty in our simplicity. Holiness in our unspectacular days. And I will carry the lessons you taught me always. Your life has ended, but your light can never be extinguished. It continues to shine upon me even on the darkest nights and illuminates my way. I light this candle in your honor and in your memory. May God bless you as you have blessed me with love, with grace, and with peace. Amen.

Levy, Naomi. Talking to God: Personal Prayers for Times of Joy, Sadness, Struggle, and Celebration (pp. 220-222). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. 

I am…

B…simply being. 

~Peace~

 

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~