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Like so many other people, I’m going through a divorce, and the process has really been slow-going. The other day, I went to the Family Court office to pick up some papers and sat next to a lady who was in obvious distress.

Her stomach growled and she said, “Oh! Excuse me.”

I told her not to worry; “It happens to all of us.”

“Especially to moms,” she nodded.

And she paused, leaned toward me and added, “Especially to worried moms.”

Normally, my modus operandi is to encourage people and listen to their stories, but I had a recent realization that there are some things better left in the past.  Sometimes you can’t move ahead until you release the baggage holding you back.

My usual response to this woman telling me she was a worried mom would have been to say, “Oh, dear.  Are you worried?  Tell me what happened.”

My new approach was dramatically different. “Oh, dear.  Are you worried?  Don’t worry; it will all work out.”

She looked at me sharply, almost annoyed, responding with a disbelieving, “mm-hmm,” as if to say, no it won’t.

Up until recently, I’d let people tell me their troubles, thinking it might be cathartic for them.  As it turns out, when we commiserate with others, it actually prolongs and perpetuates problems.  It doesn’t help to tell everyone you meet a long list of your cares and woes.

Luckily, I got a leg cramp and had to walk it off, and strategically stepped away from this lady, but I overheard her talking to the woman on the other side of her.  There was a very long and sad story with graphic details. They talked intensely for twenty minutes and even exchanged phone numbers and emails.  In a way, they’d made a pinky-pact of sorts, to sit together and pick at soul-scabs until they bled again.

I was so glad I had stuck to my policy: I don’t commiserate anymore.  I’ll co-joy with you any day, but I won’t willingly co-sign your agreement to marinate in misery.

It took me years to learn this lesson, but now I know it in my bones. The only way to solve a problem is to do everything that you know will help and then release it, completely entrusting it to God. Traveling light and partnering with Providence is the only way to go.

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My dreams are so vivid and full of adventure that, in comparison, life can be dull as dishwater!  Sometimes when I wake up in the morning, my eyes are dried out from frenzied REM-ing as I try to follow the action in my dreams, and my feet are dog-tired.  As if I’d been traveling in the night!

I don’t always remember what I’ve dreamed, but the other day I remembered seeing a book, and a camera zooming in dramatically on the title.

Why I Called on God,” the book’s cover read.

But it didn’t seem to be a warm and fuzzy inspirational memoir – it felt more like some kind of exculpatory treatise, as if I was trying to justify my habit of praying and waiting on God to move things forward when I could well have done at least some of it my (darn) self.

(Pardon the almost-expletive!)

The title seemed to say, what? You want me to do something about a problem? Why? I called on God! He’ll handle everything!

Since this is a prayer blog and we don’t use off-color language (Heck, we’re so sweet and pure that we don’t even know any swear words! You believe that. Don’t you?) indulge me as I paraphrase and re-jigger a common “blue” phrase to make a point. Please don’t be offended.

Sometimes, we just need to… sit or get off the cot. Know what I mean? I’m saying it can often boil down to just getting up, off of our keysters, and moving in any direction. Think of prayer as a mobile app; you can pray while heading toward your goal, and God will get the day off for once. He’s spending so much time propping each of us up that there are sections of space and time that are getting kinda weedy.

Since I had this dream a few days ago, I’ve begun paring down my excessive praying (Help me catch this spider! How much spice in this recipe?) and ask God’s blessing as I use my own best judgment. I bought a “Bugzooka” – a kind of tiny vacuum – to help me catch bugs that dare breach the hull of my house (the brochure said it would rescue insects alive, but, well, I wonder how you say “condolences” in arachnid?)

And I’ve looked up recipes online to get the 411 on how much paprika to put into the dish I’m making for dinner (note to self: biiig difference between t. and T. in a recipe. Live/learn.)

I’m still living “prayerfully and positively” but I’m also getting my keyster off of the cot. If my dreams are better than real life, it seems I’ve got a lot of work to do!

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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