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They tell me that
You know my limits,
that You will never push me too far.

Help me believe
that with You
by my side,
holding me
in the palm of Your hand,
standing behind me
and above me,
I can endure all
and see You
working in the world.

Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

God has blessed me with great love, major milestones, total transformations,

and also with a comfy chair, a paperback, and a cup of coffee.

The small blessings are just as important.

I had a constant canine companion.

She added small moments of utter sweetness,

sitting next to me, leaning her head on my lap.

Constantly ogling the mini-muffin on the table.

I went to the kitchen to get my java.

When I came back, only crumbs remained on the plate.

She smiled, as if to say, oh….was that yours?

But now she’s gone.

She put herself through so much to stay with us just a little while longer.

I got to return the favor by taking care of her

even when it was back-breaking and gut-wrenching

just to get her through one day.

We’re blessed with those we love until it’s time for them to go.

It might just be that simple.

She had to work and toil and struggle every single day

so now she is blessed with rest.

And we are blessed with her memory everywhere we look.

Love endures, through all.

 

 

 

I’ve become resigned to it: We’re never gonna figure it out. Not while we’re here on earth, anyway. How does anyone make sense of tragedies, senseless deaths, injustice? There are those who would say it’s a matter of perspective; squint your eyes and look sideways and you’ll see God’s hand in everything.

Balderdash.

No one is enlightened enough to look at 9/11 (for instance) and see God’s hand, unless the God you worship is the sometimes-bully of the Old Testament, obsessed with smiting, drowning rain, and turning people into pillars of salt for looking over their shoulders. No all-loving and all-merciful God wants people to hurt.

I prefer to believe that when bad things happen, God grieves with us and sends us strength to keep going. Maybe someday, if I’m lucky enough to join Him in Paradise, I’ll see a bigger picture.

But for now, I do believe in tragedy. I do, I do, I do.

There is so much wrong here,
so much pain,
so much agony,
so much anger.

Lord,
I don’t know what to pray.
I don’t know what to ask for,
what goal to keep in sight.

So I will pray
the only thing that I can,
Strengthen me
to do what I can and
open my eyes
so that I will see the opportunity
even through my tears.

Amen

This  has been a tough week prayer-wise.  A friend of a friend was killed in a hit-and-run.  One minute, he was alive and well.  The next, sprawled on the pavement.  Doctors kept him on life support only briefly, but it was long enough for a call to go around.  “They’re shutting off the machines.  Please pray.”

How  do you pray when someone isn’t expected to live?  Do you pray for a merciful end? Or for a miracle?  Or do you rage at God, ranting about the injustice and the waste?

I prayed that he would feel the comforting presence of God surrounding him.  That he not be afraid.  That, instead, he feel Love and Courage and Strength.

I prayed for the medical staff.  I prayed that they see him as more than a chart and a collection of symptoms and an end waiting to come.  I asked that they remember he is loved by those who are haggard and worried and shrill and that that is why these people are haggard and worried and shrill.

I prayed for his family and his friends and most especially for my two friends.  I hope that last bit isn’t selfish but it’s the reality so I might as well admit it.   I’ve been praying that they all, but my friends in particular, feel the loving comfort of God and that they be able to draw on His strength throughout this horrible ordeal and the weeks that follow.  And, I’ve been praying that they feel the support of those who love and pray for them.

Is it right?  I don’t know.  But it’s the best that I could do.

–SueBE

I’ve long felt that my ministry is to encourage others to pursue their dreams.  Life has led me to people on that path and I’ve felt privileged to be able to cheer them on.

A friend sent me a card thanking me for encouraging her to pursue her dream of writing for faith-based outlets.  She’s doing it, and finding soul-enriching and wallet-filling gigs.  A computer repairman told me his dream was to have his own business – I gave him the ole Ruth Rockne speech and told him to go for it.  He sent me a grateful email the other day to let me know that he had taken the plunge and started his own consulting firm.

These things should put me in a positive frame of mind, but somehow it left me feeling… I don’t know, left behind.  As if I’ve poured my energies into other peoples’ dreams, but feel like no one’s cheering me on.

Considering all the deadlines I needed to check off my list today, I started the day with prayer.  I asked God for a sign that I’m on the right track.  What is my true calling?  How should I use my gifts?  Where will I find the zhoozh, the mojo, the oomph to keep going?

Then I opened my email this morning.  I got a very clear nudge from above that I’m on the right track.  A great blog I subscribe to, “faith sweat & tears,” sent this prayer prompt:  “Are you an encourager? Find an opportunity today to lift up someone’s spirits.”

Some days I’m thick as brick, but the message got through:  keep lifting people up.  Oddly enough, I felt lifted up by that realization.  You know what, people?  You can do it. And now I know like I know:  so can I.

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Have a Mary Little Christmas

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