- Lord, Thou knowest better than I know myself that I am growing older, and will some day be old.
- Keep me from getting talkative, and particularly from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.
- Release me from craving to try to straighten out everybody’s affairs.
- Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details–give me wings to get to the point.
- I ask for grace enough to listen to the tales of others’ pains. Help me to endure them with patience.
But seal my lips on my own aches and pains–they are increasing and my love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by.
- Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally it is possible that I may be mistaken.
- Keep me reasonably sweet; I do not want to be a saint–some of them are so hard to live with–but a sour old woman is one of the crowning works of the devil.
- Make me thoughtful, but not moody; helpful, but not bossy.
- With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all–but Thou knowest, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.
—From Little Book of Prayers
(by a Mother Superior who wishes to be anonymous)
Hello Friday is a look over my shoulder at the events of the past week. I notice what was life-giving and then share it with you, a week-ending examen. Maybe you’ll find something in it that brings you life, too; maybe even try your own.
- “The Beast” is progressing! I’ve been walking Lewis most mornings. He is more mystery than manners at this point, but he raised the bar for himself this week by demonstrating his ability to wait quietly while I unleashed him upon our return so he could rejoin Boo in their kennel (which we moved to the nut grove when the temperatures soared to sustained triple digits). Otherwise, his norm is to spasm a little too enthusiastically at the door. It’s good to be winning the courtesy contest, if even a teeny bit. (And speaking of courtesy, photo by Mr. S)
- The classic definition of stress is being presented with a challenge one feels they haven’t the resources to meet. My pastor preached on it a few messages ago in a sermon titled, When God Asks Too Much. I listened to it again this week. If you feel like God is stressing you out by asking more than you feel you have the resources to meet, this one’s for you. Stick in your ear buds and take your beast for a 25 minute walk or push back the recliner and rest (audio is messy for first 30 secs; fine after that).
- I spent a few delicious hours in a mountain retreat with a friend. Our lives are busy these days; in many ways, not our own. But we found a date when the white space on our calendars synced, and squeezed in a few hours to meet and catch up–reminisce, share current status, look forward, laugh, lament, and listen–deeply. Feeling oh-so-grateful.
And I came away with a new resource to recommend: Seeking God’s Face.
I’ve talked before about my favorite Blue Book, A Guide to Prayer For Ministers and Other Servants. This one may bump it to second. Another prayer-book, but with some brilliant features:
- 15 years of actual dates in a little box at the top of each page. I don’t have to know where I am in the Christian year as long as I can remember (or find…) today’s date! It does ALL the thinking. You’re welcome.
- No second book needed, includes all scripture text.
- Prayers are in accessible, meaningful language that facilitates integration of spiritual thought with current, lived experience.
- Eugene Peterson’s thoughtful Forward.
- Format that engages both heart and mind.
Yes. It’s that good.
- Though I am ambivalent about this one, there is life here. My tongue-in-cheek critique of Beth Moore’s book, Get Out of That Pit, had more to say about the condition of my own soul than it did about her authorship. I ended up recommending the book, but also telling the truth about what were, for me, its less-than-glowing aspects. Unflattering truths are hard for me to speak, but it felt good to do so honestly…if I’m honest. My spiritual director suggests God may be inviting me to move beyond my fear of approval by “growing a pair”–which you may or may not approve of my saying. Sorry…I’m practicing.
- I transported a couple of family teens and their seven over-stuffed bags, water bottles in hand, to catch their ride to the hospital 2 1/2 hours away where a family member is recovering from a heart transplant.
It felt like summer camp drop-off day with my own then-teen girls. I’ve been going through old pictures this week, trying to “minimize” (which is apparently more fashionable to be doing than old-fashioned “down-sizing” was, or “throwing away junk” was for generations prior). Anyway, I’m doing IT and found THIS. The one on the far right is celebrating a 16th wedding anniversary today! Mamas, don’t blink.
- I ran into a music buddy at the home improvement store on the weekend. “Keeping up your chops, aren’t you?” he said. I had to confess I wasn’t, but it reminded me that for a week or two I had felt an impulse toward playing once again, which has been absent for a time. On Monday, I found myself singing: (I know…ancient…)
You are the rock of my salvation.
You are the strength of my life.
You are my hope and my inspiration.
Lord unto You will I cry.
I believe in you, believe in you.
For your faithful love to me.
You have been my help
in time of need.
Lord unto You will I cleave. (Maranatha! Music)
- This is a good place to mention that the week ended with this coming across from Gretchen Rubin about new beginnings. She’s good for me.
Podcast 129: September Is the Other January, the Fun of Post-It Notes, and What “They” Think.
- And last, the week ended on a high note having lunch with a treasured friend, nurturing a valuable relationship.
- I’ve been thinking a lot about obedience as cooperation. I love and live better when I remember that “trust and obey” just means I’m cooperating with Some-thing/-one good beyond myself. And it’s easier to trust when you believe that Someone has your best in mind. Thus, these words have been chock full of meaning this week:
The Lord is trustworthy in all his promises and faithful in all he does. Psalm 145:13b.
What are you letting go of as summer comes to a close? And what promise might those endings hold?
I was suprised to discover how long I have been away from the blog–apologies for the unexplained silence. Life happens and… Boom! Two months is gone.
It’s amazing what comes to mind when you’re mindlessly picking raspberries on a relaxed Sunday afternoon in the hot summer sun. So I ran inside when my bucket was full and wrote down what I was thinking. Only after I had thrown down a draft did I look at what and when I had previously posted. Then I laughed out loud. All by myself. The last post was on recovering from injury. Apparently I need to chill because…
Sam’s Bridal Shower
Oops! I did it again (start at 0:51 to karaoke!)
Played with my whole heart
Got lost in the game
O bummer, Baby
Oops! It’s pickleball love
Not sent from above
It just LOOKS innocent Continue reading