Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Examen prayer 2015

I found this on another blog....I forget which one. 

Which is precisly why this might be a trifle difficult for me.

I can't remember shit anymore.

How am I supposed to remember a whole years worth of stuff?!

But it did seem to spark my interest, so maybe I'll get a special notebook
and write some of this stuff down or I could post something on the blog once in a while too.

A Reflective Review of the Past Year:

St. Ignatius Loyola's Examen is an opportunity for peaceful daily reflective prayer. 

It invites us to find the movement of God in our life. 

The Examen is simply a set of introspective prompts for you to follow or adapt to your own character and spirit. Begin with a pause and a slow, deep breath or two; become aware that you are in the presence of the Holy.

As I review the past 12 months, from a year ago through to the present moment -
What am I especially grateful for this year?
An event that took place
Courage that I mustered
Love and support I received
I ask for the light to know God and to know myself as God sees me.
Where have I felt true joy this year?
What troubled me this year?
What has challenged me?
Where and when did I find an opportunity for renewal and pause?

Have I noticed God's presence in any of this?
           In light of my review, what is my response to the God of my life?
As I look ahead, to the coming months what comes to mind?
With what spirit do I want to enter the next few months, the next year?
I ask for God's presence and grace, for this spirit, as I enter the next year


I'll let y'all know how this works out for me.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

* 1/13/86

Her name is Abigail. Today is her birthday.
I will miss her until the day arrives when
I get to see her again in heaven.
Until then Sweet Girl.....

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Camera ready. Am I?

Back in September my husband bought me a camera for my birthday.
A digital camera. A red one. With a case. And a strap.
And a few extra little square computer thingys
that'll help me download the pics to my computer.
I'd been telling him that I wanted to take pictures
of the things that God has been showing me.
Birds and sunsets and trees that all declare His glory.
Pictures of our grandchildren too, cuz I swear to you
Grandchildren are so much better than your own children.
I don't mean that in a negative way.
When my own kids were young I was too tired and too busy to enjoy them.
I'd like to apologize to them for that but really there is no need.
I did the best that I could back then.
Nowadays when I see one of the granchildren learning a new skill
or noticing the world around them for the first time,
It is noteworthy to me and I snap a picture.

When the 5 year old first learned to use a spoon 4 years ago
I swear to you I heard angels singing...and it was beautiful.
It's that magic glint in their eye...that expression of WOW
that comes across their face after tasting a strawberry for the first time,
or blowing bubbles in their chocolate milk, or hearing birds outside,
or recognizing the sound of momma's car pulling into the driveway
when she comes back for them at the end of the day.

It's the wonder and the mystery and the magic that I want to capture.
Not just of my grandkids but of everything I see.

The sunrises have really been calling my name lately.
In my neck of the woods they have been glorious...
Rose and Peach and Lilac and Red and Gray and Blush and Blue.
(I added some of my pics...they're at the bottom of this post.)

The other day while driving I came to a stop at a stop sign.
When I looked to my right, I saw a large dark green Evergreen tree
on the corner of the street.
But what really caught my eye was the red, RED, bright ass red Cardinal
that was hiding in its lower branches.
Man! I wished I had my camera with me then!

On my way home, I saw a rend in the clouds, like the sky was tearing in two.
Shit! Another missed opportunity for a great picture!

Would you believe me if I told you that I've been being prompted
by God to bring my camera with me in the car?
Would you believe me if I told you that I said to myself-
"What could possibly be camera worthy on my way to the store?"
And would you believe me if I told you that I keep forgetting to bring
that camera with me in the car and that THAT is when I've been shown
some of these pretty awesome nature things??

Friday my grandaughter and I went to the market.
She pointed at and asked for a Banana. "Nanna" is what she said.
So I let her hold that banana in her mittened hand
while I strapped her in her car seat.
On the way to Preschool to pick up her brother
I glanced in the rear view mirror and saw her eating it.
She's 1. How had she peeled it? Her mittens were still on!

She had taken a bite outta that thing like Proate in the movie KPAX.

A teeny tiny bite, right outta the peel.
The rest of the peel she had flung onto the car seat next to her.
I wish I had seen her peel that thing.
She had Banana mashed so deep into her little pink mittens,
I've washed them 4 times and can't get it all out.

Did I have my camera to capture this magical moment, you ask?!?
What do you think?
Missed another one.

So my camera now sits at the ready right next to my purse.
And the next time I get a prompting from God,
I'm going to take my camera with me in my car,
And take pictures of whatever it is that He decides to show me.

Bring it on God. My camera's ready.
Show me what ya got!

P.S.  I really dislike the electrical power lines in every photo but they're all over my neighborhood.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

an addendum to 12/31

I've been so lost in my own little world whilst Junie lay dying.
I hadn't been reading any of my daily devotionals,
which is telling enough...why hadn't I turned to the comfort of my God?
Normally I read between 3, 4 or 5 different devotionals daily.
Call it early mourning,  depression, a blue funk ....whatever...
I think it was knowing that the inevitable was coming at me and quickly.
And I was wallowing in the misery of it.
I let myself be blinded by the darkness of what was happening.

Monday 12/29 we realized that a Vet visit was necessary.
We had wanted our beautiful boy to die at home on his own.
Heart failure is what we thought it was.
Our other cat Baby had died of heart failure at home.
She was only sick for 1 day.
Something in me made me think that Junie must be suffering.
He'd been sick for two full weeks.

But we wanted him to die at home we told ourselves.
We thought it was better than putting him to sleep.
We didn't want to traumatize him with a trip to the Vet.
We didn't want euthanasia or cremation for our boy.
We thought waiting was the right thing to do.

God intervenes sometimes and tells us we must do otherwise.

Junie ended up having lung cancer. And he was struggling to breathe.
Our Vet suggested that  we consider euthanasia as a gift to our boy.
And so the decision was made.
And I've been wallowing in the grief of it all since then.


Today I backtracked and decided to start reading  the devotionals I had missed.
From Moments of Peace in the Presence of God dated 12/29-
There's a pride problem whenever you imagine that you know better than God does.
You pray and tell God your plans and how you would like everything to fall into place.
But God says no and it frustrates you. 
Humble yourself and acknowledge that He is the One in control.
Forgive me Lord. Teach me to humbly accept your will. Amen

And here's the Guidepost's devotional reading for 12/29-
So teach us to number our days. 
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom-Psalm 90:12

And the second verse from that same day was this-
Abraham breathed his last and died in a ripe old age, 
an old man and satisfied with life-Genesis 25:8

This was the reading for Tuesday 12/30 from Guidepost's
I go to prepare a place for you John 14:2

This is the second reading from that day-
But we are citizens of heaven. And we can hardly wait for a Savior from there. He is the Lord Jesus Christ. He has the power to bring everything under his control. By his power he will change our earthly bodies. They will become like his glorious body.  Philippians 3:20-21

And there's more!

Here's the devotion from The Shack:Reflections dated 12/31-
This is not a revolution that will overthrow anything, or if it does, it will do so in ways we could never contrive in advance. Instead it will be the quiet daily powers of dying and serving and loving and laughing, of simple tenderness and unseen kindness, because if anything matters, then everything matters.

And here's an excerpt from Jesus calling for 12/31-
"As this year draws to a close, receive My peace.
....Thank Me for My peaceful presence, regardless
of your feelings.
Whisper My name in loving tenderness. My peace
will gradually work its way through your entire being."

Next, I see this on a Facebook page that I follow-
As the new year dawns.001

Isn't that beautiful?
From darkness You bring forth light.
You are the light that gives us sight.

Lastly...I went on Pinterest looking for a picture.
A very specific picture that I saw only in my mind.
So I typed in the search box these 3 words-
Jesus and Cats
and this is what popped up....

That my lovely readers is exactly what my boy Junie looked like.
And I kid you not!! That was the first  image that showed up.

On a whim, I decided to go further back in my devotionals.
Just to see what I had been missing...blinded by my ever
increasing discomfort over my sick boy.

The Shack:Reflections had this one on 12/27
"Don't ever discount the wonder of your tears. They can be healing waters and a stream of joy. Sometimes they are the best words the heart can speak...
This world is full of tears, but if you remember I promised that it would be Me who would wipe them from your eyes."

God just keeps rocking my world, people!

I can find comfort in Him.
I just needed to look for it.
I just needed to look for Him.
And is, He IS everywhere.

Thank You Jesus.
For Your peace and Your light.
Thank You for Your very presence
that I am too blind to see.
Thank You for showing up in my life.
Thank You for wiping my eyes
and drying my tears
and for leading me to read Your word
where I have found such comfort.
Thank You for giving that Vet the gift of compassion.
Thank You for letting our boy Junie
pass from this world into the next with such ease.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.