Posts Tagged With: prayer

One of Those Phone Calls You Don’t Want

When your phone rings at bedtime or after and it’s one of your siblings, a jolt of lightning shoots through your chest. It’s best to sit down before you say hello. Important to remember to keep breathing.

Whatever niceties you normally say, you say them, even though you know that’s not what the phone call is about.

You hear pieces of words, not full sentences. You try to put it together like a puzzle dumped out the box before you’ve seen the picture on the box.

You want time to move backwards to ten minutes ago, ten days ago, ten weeks ago, ten months ago, ten years ago. You want this not to be happening.

Not my favorite place. But glad they exist.

Not my favorite place. But glad they exist.

Not again.

Another stroke.

A different kind this time. Ischemic.

Ischemic, not hemmoragic. What does that mean?

A million questions. Very few answers, mostly uncertainty.

Tests to run.

Prayers to offer up. That’s all I can do from this many miles away.

Calls to make.

Decisions. Patience while hoping and praying, always praying, for the patient to improve.

The patient.


That one word sends the tears cascading and threatens to spill what little logic yet remains all over the floor making a huge mess of things.

Grateful for group messaging to communicate with siblings quickly, easily and clearly.

Hours later you read words that calm the pounding in your head and heart.

Resting. Stabilizing. Talking. Leveling. Normal Function. No clots so far.

You write not in first person because you need the distance created by the preposition “you.”

You write because sleep seems incomprehensible.

You write to have something to do about frayed nerves and the ache burning through you.

You write because surely you want to, should be able to, create a happy ending.

You write as a sort of prayer through the fingers. A keyboard rosary. Each keystroke a pleading for intercession.

Hoping for the best.

Hoping for the best.

Still praying.

Still praying.

Still praying.


“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




Categories: Family, Hope, physical health | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The People Who Stand By You

It’s Gratituesday! Today I’m thankful for the family I grew up with. What a wild bunch Mom and Dad had on their hands. What a crew we still make!

photo-18 copy 22We don’t often all get together since a few of us scattered with the wind a couple of decades ago. In fact, when the batch that live near Mom and Dad get together and post the inevitable Facebook photos or videos I admit I feel a bit jealous. Those days I wish for Star Trek abilities of teleportation. “Beam me up, Scotty,“ I wanna yell. Scottie was the name of our first dog, who long ago left for wider and wilder playgrounds, so it seems a pretty reasonable request.

But this week will not be one of those wishing days.

Thursday will be one of those rare days that we’re all together for a few fleeting hours before schedules, and jobs and planes and children and a million other commitments scatter us again.

Seven Siblings and Dad and Mom. Solid. Bound up in a crazy mess that is us. We don’t come close to perfect. Are you kidding? Four sisters, three brothers, and two parents who, not so surprisingly, happen to be very human.

Ages ago, when my big brother and I hit the teenage fan and all crap let loose, a set of twins and a sister were caught in the crossfire, followed not so closely by the two babies in the family, a girl and a boy. How Mom and Dad kept their sanity I know not.

I can guess.



And Love Anyway.

They didn’t believe in giving up. Thank heavens. And we don’t either.

So, today I want to thank Kent, Kathy, Nyles, Nyla, Kelly, Becky, and Mitch and JoRae.

Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum: Gift ...

Original model of the Enterprise from the 1960s’s “Star Trek” TV series (Photo credit: Chris Devers)

Thank you for being tangled up in my DNA and my mental pros and cons. Thank you for loyalty and faith and laughter and realness. Thanks for the family I needed then and that I love now.

May you all “live long and prosper!”

Categories: Family | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On Attempts at Keeping the Unwieldy Tamed

Sunday Quotes

I’ve found I don’t always make clear transitions of logic that others can follow. That’s particularly true if I’m not well, or slightly medicated, which is the case today. So please bear with my leaps of sensibility and know that it made sense in my mind at least for a time.

I’d never read this poem by Robert Frost until this week. Not sure where it’s been hiding. Thought I’d share it with you today.

                  God’s Garden

photo-19 copy 10“God made a beauteous garden

With lovely flowers strown,

But one straight, narrow pathway

That was not overgrown.

And to this beauteous garden

He brought mankind to live,

And said “To you, my children,

These lovely flowers I give.

Prune ye my vines and fig trees,

With care my flowers tend,

But keep the pathway open

Your home is at the end.”

~ Robert Frost

Isn’t that a lovely picture as we wander and wonder through life, pruning and pinching back the wildness around and in us?

photo-18 copy 16Then I found this thought, which seemed to fit with my week of pain and impatience.

“We tend to use prayer as a last resort, but God wants it to be our first line of defense. We pray when there’s nothing else we can do, but God wants us to pray before we do anything at all.  Most of us would prefer, however, to spend our time doing something that will get immediate results. We don’t want to wait for God to resolve matters in His good time because His idea of ‘good time’ is seldom in sync with ours.” ~ Oswald Chambers

Never been much of a fan of God’s timetable. But then, sometimes, usually I’ll admit, God’s timing is perfect. What else would it be. It’d just me thinks the timing is off. Patience is not one of my strong points. Especially if pain is involved.

Also, never been a fan of Stephen Covey, but this rang true to me. Not sure if this idea fits with the previous two, but I like it anyway and so it gets inserted here:

photo-23 copy“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically, to say “no” to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside. The enemy of the “best” is often the “good.” ~ Stephan R. Covey

I think what I like about this is the “pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically” approach to saying “no.”

And clearly, this brief paragraph by Beryl Markham (aka Karen Blixen from Out of Africa fame) doesn’t fit with any of the three thought preceding it. But, I feel I’ve reached past the fourth day of unkempt and wild and thought I’d share the sentiment in her poetic words, with which I’ll close today’s post.

“I had never realized before how quickly men deteriorate without razors and clean shirts. They are like potted plants that go to weed unless they are pruned and tended daily. A single day’s growth beard makes a man look careless; two days’, derelict; and four days’, polluted.” ~ Beryl Markham

photo-20 copy 4

Categories: Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A Reminder to Myself


Categories: Hope | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Needing the Power of Words

It’s Gratituesday! Today I am thankful for the power of words. That may sound silly until you think about words in varying contexts.


(Photo credit: mojoey)

For instance, the power of words spoken in a prayer. I’m not thinking about rote prayers, repeated utterances we make with little thought. The words I’m thinking about pour out of a place deeper than a person’s mouth. Words birthed in loss and heartache and heaviness. Words searching for a foothold. Words struggling for sense in a senseless situation. Those words carry power and heft and potential healing.

Sometimes the mere act of placing words into the heavens is all it takes to see things clearer, to feel enabled to keep going forward. Sometimes a need requires action words added to the spoken ones. Sometimes answers arrive in unexpected packages. Sometimes answers seem elusive. But the power of the words remains unchanged.

what are word for?

what are word for? (Photo credit: Darwin Bell)

Power rides on the words we speak or withhold. Expressions of love carry a potent, almost magical strength that binds and seals. Failure to let words work such charms can leave a vast emptiness that a lifetime may never fill.

Words accompanied by music make up life’s most power-filled elixirs. Nothing else prompts action, conveys emotion, shares thoughts as well as music with words. Better than a prescription, well-chosen words combined with a perfect tune can make a gray day brighten.  Carefully placed words in a melody that touches the heartstrings can open doors long shut with hinges rusted over.

I haven’t even touched on the incomparable time-traveling properties of words, or the artistic nuances available in poetry and prose. And laughter? What elicits a laugh easier than a few just-so words? Words offer condolence. Words may lift an aching heart. Words connect, intertwine, link and hold fast.

Such powers that words possess will lift and heal and hold me today. And everyday.

Categories: Gratitude, Gratituesday | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Dear God, Please




Dear God,




Send Help.



Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Pledge, A Prayer and a New Math Concept


Classroom (Photo credit: Willow (Chengyin))

Every school day began the same way.  Every day but one.

Every day we stood behind our desks, placed our right hands over our left breasts, recited the pledge of allegiance to the flag hanging in the corner of the room near the door between the pictures of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.  Then we sat, arms folded or hands clasped while someone recited a prayer.  The chairs scraped linoleum and papers shuffled and books opened and knowledge spilled out over us.

Every day, that is, until that morning. That morning the fluorescent lights were humming overhead to compensate for the lack of sunshine that usually poured through the wide slatted blinds. That morning the blinds hadn’t been opened at all.

Oddly, the teacher wasn’t in the room when the bell rang and we ready to stand and pledge. We did stand, but we waited, our allegiance hanging midair, unmoving, like the flag in the corner.  There was a moment of uncertainty and then the click, click, click of heels in the hallway.  The doorknob turning, hesitating, then opening into the room.  Our teacher’s presence breaking the silence.  We scrunched into our chairs, pulled up to our desks, expectant, curious.

I caught only snippets of words as she spoke.  “Stanley” and “heart” and “sleep.”

I heard confusion and felt a buzzing sort of talking.  This new thing baffled and stung.


This meant no black rimmed,  curly-haired Stanley. He was the one with the ready hand, the right answer, the toothy grin.

Having never encountered this new thing in my seven short years of life, uncertainty and questions swirled around me.  I did understand the empty chair and the paperless desk, sort of.

Every school day after that one was the same again.  Predictable.  Reliable.  Regular as the clock ticking above the teacher’s desk. Except, he was absent.  Always absent, not even on the roll call list.

We never did vow our allegiance to the flag that day.  Or pledge, our hands over our hearts, to the republic.  We did, however, pray for Stanley, for Stanley’s Dad and Mom.

And somehow, silently, we each prayed in our own way, for understanding of this new, very hard concept to take in.

What subject, in second grade, does “death of a child” fall under?  Social Studies?  Biology?  Math?

Ah, yes. Math.





Categories: Death | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

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