Yesterday I attended a socially distanced, masks optional, great scones and coffee class on prayer journaling. One of my favorite parts was using a scrapbooking technique to decorate a page in our journal. We cut up magazine pics or phrases, words, whatever was inspiring. It was fun and enlightening. Some people are so incredibly talented and creative; I am not. I am good at writing, but I do like decorating, doodling, making collages, journey boards. I find whenever I take on a project like this; the same words or images appear.
We journal, write, and meditate to draw closer to ourselves, and also our Heavenly Father. In time we can see the progression of our walk in faith.
Do you journal? Are you crafty and do a neat bullet notebook? Do you use your phone calendar for daily living and a customizable journal type book at home? Please share! Inquiring minds want to know!
Proverbs 3:3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.
1 John 1:4 These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.
If you are person living with a fur; dog, cat, ferret, heck-even fish – the you know the importance of this kind of love. It’s completely non-conditional, they want nothing from you, except for love, but they don’t expect it. They may “talk” to you, but it will be more like baby talk-woof, meow, purr, or bubbles in the tank!
The companionship of an animal helps alleviate stress, loneliness and I’ve found to be a very gentle form of healing.
I wonder when Jesus was a child, did He have a pet? Were animals domesticated yet? I know the Queen of Sheba had many cats!
Have you found compassion with an animal? Do you live with a furry creature?
We already are a people that expect change to happen fast, problems to be solved and pain to dissolve.
But in light of the pandemic, we’ve had to slow w-a-y down! We’ve been forced to stay at home for our own well-being and that of others. And perhaps we started eating out of boredom. Binge-watched reality TV, or on the other side of the spectrum, began cleaning and sorting and packing to give away belongings.
But through it all, where was our faith? I found mine slipping away silently from lack of church services and activities. Coffee visits with friends I had relied on for my mental health were now gone “just like that.” Sitting became the new cigarette and (over)eating became the new weight gain.
Discontent is the tool of the devil. He uses it to distract our perspective and attitude. It took a few weeks for me to discover just how deep into discontent I had become. What does the Bible say about this kind of thinking/living?
I first read the book “Hinds Feet on High Places” in my teenage years. In my morning meditation I was pleased to come across Habakkuk 3:19; The Lord God is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, And makes me walk on my high places.
It reminded me how much I enjoyed this book and have since ordered. I hope the copy I receive is well loved with dog eared corners.
Hannah Hurnard wrote this book in 1955, it has since been revised. If you haven’t, I encourage you to find at your local library or online.
Below are the various covers the book has seen in 65 years!
Some churches have opened with specific rules, smaller groups, masks. I have still not felt comfortable to make this journey. Instead my Sundays looks a lot different. I do not “honor the Sabbath,” I do chores and grocery shop and pull some weeds in the garden. I intentionally find time in the Word, with Mother Mary, Jesus in podcasts and prayer. I cling to my rosary beads with a new passion. As a new-two year Catholic, I find the pandemic to be incredibly hard, relating to my faith. I miss the social groups, in-person bible study (not a fan of Zoom/video chats), working in the physical church, praying Adoration on Tuesday, checking out books in the library. It’s a new normal. I am not adapting well!
There will always be prayer that needs to be done, and that can be accomplished anywhere. I am hopeful for the future, that our entire world can heal from this virus and can find the space and comfort in which to worship. Me included.
1 Corinthians 14:26
What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.
I think every blogger on the planet is writing about the tragic and strange times we are living in. I miss seeing the smiles on people. Masks may keep us safe, but they are a deterrent to social interaction. Although I can say with a smile I know quite a few people who like masks for this exact reason! 🙂
And then, the social distancing. It makes me feel like I’m standing on hopscotch squares waiting for my turn. Although that was a lot more fun!
Life has we know it, is unlikely to change any time soon. And when it does, it will look very different and I’m sure it will be strict going forward. As the world changes, we are to remain steadfast in our faith and be a beacon for those who cannot see the light.
Our own light will dim at times, and as the flight attendant says: “Inthe event of emergency, put your oxygen mask on first.” Self care is important so that you can care for others without burning out.
In the every day, I find the various pieces of my life. There has been a lot of anguish for a hurting world, but in my own space, there is grief. At times, overwhelming. I am surprised that I have managed to survive the loss of a brother and sister in just a few months. A redeeming component is that I will see them again and secondly, Jesus walks with me every step. He reminds me with a beautiful sunset the ways in which my loved ones are still with me. He brings forward to memory, good times, special moments. And although I spend a lot of time sighing, remembering, grieving, I know it’s merely temporary. I will see them again.
Wherever you are in the various stages of grief, I can attest that some days are easier. And joy does occasionally visit! Hurt is a feeling. God reminds us that feelings come and go, but the light of our life, the salt of the earth, the comfort of a Fathers’ love is right here, right now. Not fleeting.
There is so much unrest in our nation. It started with Covid19 and and only five months into 2020, the world is once again fighting an invisible enemy. Racism and police brutality. There is a lot of opinion, but on this page, today, I’m not sharing mine. Instead I’m making some suggestions to change the narrative and how we, as believers can support hurting people.
1. Educate yourself on a particular movement.
2. Work on your own habits and beliefs.
3. Research the local presence.
4. Take action in your community.
5. Go to a protest or demonstration.
6. Use social media.
7. Volunteer your time.
Lastly, choose to have conversation in a calm manner. Many social injustices bring out anger and hostility in people. Pray first, maybe even ask to pray before the conversation begins. Show your faith, not your emotions. Be a guiding light. Keep it real.
The Pieces book was written from scraps of paper (pieces). Living through Covid19, we are learning all kinds of new words. Social/physical distancing. Stay safe at home. Coronavirus. Flatten the curve. Pandemic. Self quarantine. Face mask. Ventilator. And my NOT favorite: PPE (personal protective equipment) i.e. mask, specialized clothing or equipment.
We have a friend living in Iowa, who’s neighborhood is a “petri dish.” She has been in a serious quarantine situation for 9 weeks!
There is a prayer going through social media and many church emails for the end of this virus. Would you like to pray it with me? I’m sure you know it by heart, it’s The Lord’s Prayer:
There is also a specific prayer for people on the front line, medical staff, healthcare workers, support staff.
We cherish our relationship with Jesus, don’t we? We are absolutely certain He is the reason we are alive today. He is why we have hope, more importantly; a heavenly home.
Have you ever told Jesus you loved Him? I realized after this concept came to me in a morning devotion, that I really hadn’t. Maybe when I was a kid, singing “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” But as an adult, no – I’m sure I never had. I am thankful, grateful, appreciative. I am in awe of His great works, and how He gets to the heart of even the most stubborn. But this – no.
When we have dinner together at home, I now end our prayer with “we love you.” And when I’m having my own prayer time, I am consciously aware of these words. But there are other (and powerful) ways to tell Jesus you love Him.
1. Put Him first.
2. Talk to Him first.
3. Trust in Him.
4. Forgive and move on.
5. Be an open book. (This one is harder because it shows the world who we really are in Christ.)
6. Show compassion to every person you encounter. You simply cannot know how much they need Jesus!
Check out the entire book of James, walking in faith is the theme!