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~

 

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~