Wednesday, February 27, 2013

40 Prayers of Lent: Day 12

Today's prompt: Today's prayer prompt takes its cue from Jeremiah 9:23-24 (NRSV): "Thus says the LORD: 'Do not let the wise boast in their wisdom, do not let the mighty boast in their might, do not let the wealthy boast in their wealth; but let those who boast boast in this, that they understand and know me, that I am the LORD; I act with steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight,' says the LORD."  In what do you boast? Where do you place your confidence and hope each day?

Galatians 1:10: now am I trying to win the favor of men or of God? Do I seek to please men? If I were still seeking popularity with men, I should not be a bond servant of Christ (the Messiah)

Why do I forget? Why do I continue to seek approval from man so I can boast in myself? My talents are not given by man but by you. You and you alone can take credit for who I am and where I am and what I have done. I have not done these things alone. You are always with me. Help me to remember to give you the glory. Let me boast in you and you alone.

40 Prayers of Lent; Day 13

The prompt:
"The LORD is my strength and my might,
and he has become my salvation; this is my God,
and I will praise him. ... At the blast of your nostrils
the waters piled up, the floods stood in a heap,
the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea."
(Exodus 15:2 and 8, NRSV)
What floods threaten to overtake you today? Or perhaps, what floods are you witnessing in the lives of others?
Lift me, oh Lord,
Lift me from the muck, from the mire
Lift me from the depths to stand with you
Take my hand, oh Lord,
Take my hand and lead me from this place
that threatens to overwhelm me.
Let me see, oh Lord,
Let me see the path you have chosen
and keep me on that narrow way.
I am overwhelmed
I am ready for the next step
I am ready for your road map
I am ready to follow
Lift me, oh Lord,
Lift me from the muck, from the mire
Lift me from the depths to stand with you

Sunday, February 24, 2013

40 Prayers of Lent, Day 9

Writing prompt, the name of God: Isaiah 9:6 for unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be on his shoulders and his name shall be called Wonderful. Counselor. Almighty God. Everlasting Father. Prince of Peace.

Exodus 3:14: God said to Moses, “ I am who I am . This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘ I am has sent me to you.’ ”

I have sang praises to your son, gladly and eagerly. I do so love to sing "The Messiah" and the one about how your son shall be called. I cannot hear the verse without singing it. But your name is different. You are your son, yet not. You are who you are. YHWH. There is nothing extra, no flourish. Just the breath, the act of breathing in and out. You are my life breath and your very name cannot be said without breathing in and out. We say it each and every time we breathe. Our very continuance is praising you. Heavenly Father, keep me mindful through the following week that each breath is your name and none is wasted.

Friday, February 22, 2013

40 Prayers of Lent, Day 8

Today's [or actually, yesterday's] prompt:  We must -- at some point along our Lenten journey -- be candid about death. Lent begins with the reminder of our mortality, with the ashes from which we are knit together, and the season reaches its climax in the crucifixion of Jesus.The truth of death is painful, which is why (as I wrote here) it is important that we keep one another company in the shadows of death. Even Jesus, praying at Gethsemane before his death, asked his friends to keep him company. "Then he said to them, 'I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here and stay awake with me.'" (Matthew 26:8, NRSV)

Death confounds me. In September I sat with Wiconi (our dog) while she died. I comforted her. I cried tears over her. She was sick and it was time, yet the unknown of death still causes discomfort in my soul. Her death is different to me than Nala's or Otis's as I was not with either of them. My heart hurts for Otis who passed on his own.

My faith tells me that I am never alone, even in death. Yet, my human, analytical mind wants more. During these times of doubt and wonder, I search for Jesus more. And the final verse of this Untitled Hymn brings me comfort:

And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory's side, and
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

40 Prayers of Lent: Days 5 & 6

Day 5: In your prayer-writing today, wrestle with God against the temptation to see life as "all about you."

I am selfish, so selfish
I cannot see beyond my own needs, wants, desires.
I want others to do it my way.
Show me where I am selfish and remind me about others
Where I see only despair for me; show me how this raises another
Where I may see ruin for me, show me the treasure for another.
Where I demand my own way, show me your better way.
Take me from outside my dark, shadowy, comfortable spot and
Let me be a beacon of light on others.
Use me for you, let my voice praise you for your sake.
Give me the strength and courage to see others as you see them.
Let me love them as you love them.


Day 6 :Today's prompt begins with verse 6 of the familiar Psalm 139 (NRSV): "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it." The psalmist's use of "high" here indicates "expansive, beyond reach" . . . but what inspiration and insight might we find today if we literally gaze at high places, at nearby mountains, for example, or at the sky?  Look up today. Let the high places catch your eye and your imagination. Be full of wonder as you pick up your pen to pray.

Let me travel to the mountain top to bask in your glory. To see the blue expanding ever to the horizon and beyond. To see you.  A rainbow around the sun, pushes back the clouds, leading me back to your wonders, created for this world, for this moment, for Maggie & me to share.  The moon shining into my window, showcasing, reflecting the sun. Let me be like the moon and reflect your light.  I want to return to the mountain top. Literally. Figuratively. To refresh my soul, my heart, my head. To clear out old thoughts and selfish desires.

Valentine's Day Fun

So my husband is the best gift givers. His gifts are always thoughtful and sometimes something you never knew you wanted. For Valentine's day this year, he brought up going to Canvas Creek as they were having a couple's evening with wine & snacks.

And so we started, each putting down a word about what our marriage means or what we like most about our marriage.
And then we painted.
And ended up somewhere completely different from where we started and from where we thought we were headed (a couple of times), but really liked where we ended up.
Which is a lot like our marriage.

Monday, February 18, 2013

40 Prayers of Lent: Day 4

Day 4 prompt: Throughout the Gospels, Jesus leans on metaphors (especially parables) to teach fuller understanding of faith and of God. Here in Luke 13, a metaphor demonstrates the keenness of his love for the people despite the strident tone of his speech. For your prayer-writing today, create a new metaphor for Jesus.

No song escapes my lips that can match the song of life.
The music of your presence.
And so I will be silent during this time,
I will listen more intently,
more earnestly for your song to come through me so it can be all for You and Your glory.
And not my own.

Friday, February 15, 2013

40 Prayers of Lent: Day 3

Psalm 62:1 & 5 (NRSV): "For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him."

No radio.
Nothing but the sounds of the modern world around me.
Distractions abound.
But I must be still
Be silent
And wait for You.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

40 Prayers of Lent: Day 2

Isaiah 10:21 "A remnant [the remainder, the rest] will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God."

Abba, you need only a small part of me, only a remnant, to make me whole.
Draw me wholly to back to you.
Embrace me as I attempt to embrace you.
Rebuild me
Take this remnant and make me into who you need me to be.
Refresh my soul.
Let these days be a renewal.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

40 Prayers of Lent

In this temporary, dusty form,
I seek Your face.
In this temporary, dusty time,
I seek Your light.
In this temporary, dusty life,
I seek your grace.

Prepare me, my heart, my soul for your glory, for the true experience of Easter and your son’s, your sacrifice for me.

This Lenten season, I am taking a challenge of writing for these 40 days along with Rachel Hackenberg who is sending out daily writing prompts. I'm seeking a new way to look at worship, instead of thinking as music and singing as my only worship. In reality, everything we do is worship. And this is something I need to learn.

Friday, February 8, 2013


Dats my baby Not youse!

Dats yucky ... For people

Baby touch my leg.

Mommy's butt ... Smells like underpants!

Ou Usty! Usty up! It Usty! No paw! (And he does listen to her -- on occasion.)

My Little Girl Scout!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Day 2692

Seven and a half years

Two thousand, six hundred, ninety-two days

With this delightful girl

Who continues to make us laugh

Amaze us by her memory and smarts (100% right on her first spelling test!)

God gave us such a wonderful gift in Maggie.

Friday, February 1, 2013

1000 Gifts, New Year, New List

As the new year began, I anticipated continuing with my list as I had before. It was a good process. I would list out my gifts as they come to me, sometimes on paper, sometimes on Twitter. And I still do that. But I needed a little more "help," and so while following Ann Voskamp and One Thousand Gifts on Facebook, I decided to take her challenge to the next level and download her daily prompts.  Her prompts are for 3 gifts.  Sometimes it is easy to see the gift and, as usual, sometimes the gifts are trickier to find.  So I decided to change how I was posting my gifts, and will now post monthly, following her calendar.  I will still list gifts as they come to me on Twitter, which if you are there, feel free to follow me and start your own list there.

1000 Gifts. 93 Gifts in January

3 Gifts heard: Jessica's laughter, Maggie's singing, Rocky's snoring
A Gift outside, inside, on a plate: Beautiful blue skies, returning to work after a long weekend, leftovers for lunch!
3 Graces overheard: Praise songs playing in the background, prayers that will be said, "If we are the Body"
A gift old, new, blue: Leftovers, a new leather chain for my cross, my new travel coffee mug
Something you're reading, making, seeing: The Confident Woman, prayer journal, a prayer I needed at the right time.
One thing in your bag, your fridge, your heart: A coupon book, a bottle of bubbly wine, ability to forgive
3 Graces from people you love: Snuggles with Jessie, giggles with Maggie, another chance from Rocky
Dusky light, surprising reflection, lovely shadow Watching the sun rise as I take Maggie to school, catching her eye in the rear view mirror, the shadow of Rusty - always ready
A gift held, passed by, sat with Maggie's hand, passing by the crowd at the press conference at work, sitting by the tub as the girls play
A gift sour, sweet, just right Sourdough toast for breakfast, my husband's sweet kiss, date night
3 yellow gifts of fresh mercy Looking for yellow clover seeds (flowers blooming as a sign of renewal), the sun hiding behind the clouds as the snow falls, the lemon in my water - refreshing!
Something above, below, beside The bright sun shining from above in the cold, Rusty at my feet -- nibbling at my socks, sitting beside my husband on a date night
3 things about yourself you are grateful for My faith, my voice, my curiosity
3 startling graces of God  The bitter cold wind - for I am safe & warm in a house with a working furnace and plenty of food!
A gift worn, given away, shared My W2E cross a reminder of the weekend filled with grace; giving my gloves to my daughter who left hers in school; sharing music with Maggie on the drive to school
3 witnessed blessings seeing Rocky at his work, Maggie & Jessie sharing a bowl of chips, sunset
A gift bringing laughter, prayer, quiet Friends in prayer group, first day of counseling, sleep
3 Gifts from God's Word Isaiah 43:2, Job 37:5, Mark 11:24
3 gifts that might never have been Jessica (we would have someone else if I had not miscarried), our marriage (if someone else had been chosen to go to HOBY from my school or Tammy's), who I am today (if not for Christ)
3 gifts only seen close up Details on my W2E cross, words in my Bible, Clover seeds
A gift in sky, water, memory The moon & Jupiter, so clearly seen; cold refreshing water, summer camp
A gift wrinkled, smoothed, unfolded: the lines on my face, the comforter on my bed, the laundry that needs to be folded (so blessed to have so many clothes!)
3 gifts found in Christ comfort in his Word, joy in Christmas & Easter, time of reflection as we approach Lent
3 things Blue: Rocky's eyes, my coffee mug from the girls, the Montana Big Sky
A grace borrowed, found, inherited helping at W2E, our new awkward attempts at communication, the love of singing his praises (inherited from my grandmothers)
A gift before Dawn, at Noon, after Dark The full moon shining in our room, lunch with my family, date night!
3 Gifts in the Kitchen planning, cooking, tasting
3 Graces found in Friends Diane, Alyssa & Chris who can be my electronic confidants -- quick responses via text or social media; My prayer group -- understanding without judgment; Michelle, Lori & Shannon -- godly work friends
A song heard, a soft word, light seen Majestic! by Lincoln Brewster, Jessie's soft "wake up Sissy!", a meeting in the Commons
3 Old things seen New hand-me-down clothes, marriage, South Dakota
A gift on paper, in a person, in a picture Maggie's story about her future cat; Rocky helping out a friend; Maggie & Ainslee being silly at lunch.