Saturday, August 30, 2008


Thank you God for the wonder of my life. On days like today, when one of my children celebrates yet another year on this earth, I am bound to think about my blessings and be grateful once again for all of them. First and foremost among those blesings is my family - each member a special part of me and each one vital to the puzzle of who I am.

Help me never to take them for granted Lord. Help me to always remember that they were given to me for a reason - mine by design. Help me to never stop learning from them, and help me never to stop wanting them to be their best.

Most of all, thank you for loaning them to me.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Preparing for the crowds

Lord help me to be patient and kind this weekend. I have tried hard to be well prepared, to get my shopping all done and have my menus all planned - but I know that I will be challenged with crowds, and attitudes, and traffic in this, the last hurrah of the summer season. I need your help to do it with grace. It seems as though I start the summer with a smile but by the time Labor Day arrives I am about at the end of my rope. And I know that's not the way to show your face to the world.

So Lord, give me grace. And while you're at it could you throw in some nice weather too?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Morning chill

I am really cold this morning. It seems as though it is already September, although the calendar still says August. I hope this is not a harbinger of things to come. The Farmers Almanac says it is going to be a very cold winter.

I like snow but not as a steady diet. I would not be happy in a more northern clime, where snow removal is a big business and plows are used on a weekly basis. But the weather does make me wonder at God's creation. What a wonderful world this is, where moving from one latitude to another can change your daily routine drastically. From the tropics to the glaciers, God has made us an interesting world, isn't that true?

As full of ourselves as we humans get, we cannot control the weather. That is God's domain. (Although with global warming it seems we can eventually ruin even that part of God's gift if we choose to!) I stand in awe of the weather. And of everything that God has presented to us. May I never take it all for granted.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Just wondering

This is one of those days when I am just wondering what its all about. You know what I'm talking about - those rare times when you feel just sort of "odd" - sort of out of sorts and not quite on the same page as anyone else - almost like you stepped off a spaceship into a strange place where everything feels familiar...but not quite. Am I the only one that ever feels that way?

Lord, please use me today in a way I am not even imagining right now. Take this strangely odd day and make it something special. Help me find a way to reach out to someone else, to make a difference in someone's life - to just be fully alive. To feel life as it should be felt and know where I fit in the grand scheme of things.

Today I need to feel your love. Thank you for the peace I have that its there.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I love the peace of the early morning. I can sit in my office with the windows opened and not hear a human sound. No cars, no television - just the sound of the birds and the occasionaly rustling of a squirrel out in the garden to keep me company. These are God-times for me. I find that the early morning is second only to driving in the car as the best times for the spiritual conversations that keep me grounded and centered on Him.

Yesterday I was in the car a good deal of time as I battled traffic to and from Southampton on a busy day. I was able to really unburden my soul as I wound around the back roads, and I knew when I finally got home that I had been spiritually renewed.

Today it is especially early - for some reason I woke and knew I would not be going back to sleep. So I got up, dressed and came downstairs. This is a chance to spend quality time with God. Which is exactly what I am going to do....

Sunday, August 24, 2008


I can always feel the difference on a Sunday, even before I get out of bed. It's a day to relax, contemplate, worship, and recover from a long week.

When I woke up this morning I luxuriated in the day. It was chilly and I pulled the covers up high over my shoulders against the air, slowy coming out of the half-sleep that tells us our brains are stirring. Birds were busy getting their morning food, talking up a storm outside the window, and the rest of the world seemed quite still. Few cars drove by, and Sunday was emerging from Saturday as lazily as I was.

Thank you God for Sunday. Thank you for giving us this day of rest, for recouperation, for meditation, for relaxation. Thank you for giving us the chance to do nothing and not feel quilty about it. And thank you for the freedom to attend whatever church I choose and to pray - in public. Its a freedom we take for granted in this country and many rarely use. Don't let me take it for granted Lord. Help me to always make the most of it. Help me make the most of it today.

Thank you for Sundays.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Lazy days

This is one of those days I call "lazy days". Not that I haven't accomplished anything because I certainly have - I spent the morning cleaning the house and I surely did enough to feel as though I did not waste the day. But somehow if I am not working all day at something, if I'm sitting around watching TV or reading a book - or knitting on a cold winter afternoon - I feel as though I'm being lazy. I think it comes from my Puritan roots - or a mother whose mantra seemed to be "idle hands are the devils workshop". She was always busy doing something and if I walked in and found her sitting with a magazine she would appear embarrassed that I had "caught" her.

I'm not sure that Mom had it right. I think God delights in us enjoying his creation. And I think that a few hours spent in the backyard reading while enjoying the perfectly blue sky and the blissfully comfortable air is a form of worship in itself. I think that watching the snow fall and sitting in front of the fire can be a sacred experience. Because whenever I sit back and enjoy a "lazy day" my thoughts inescapably turn to God. I look in wonder at the world around me. I contemplate my many blessings. And I thank God for all of it.

Sorry Mom - I think you were wrong on this one.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Life overwhelming

Sometimes it takes a trajedy to make one grateful. There have been many tragedies in my hometown this past few months - suicides among them - and recently a small child killed when she steered her wagon into the path of traffic. These are things that bring us up short, make us stop and think - and always, always say a prayer of thanks.

Because everything we have in life is fleeting. The Bible says our very lives are like a "vapor", quickly disappearing. We are reminded of that all too often. And we need to treasure what we have while we have it.

Thank you God for life itself, for the struggles and the pain, for the joys and the thrills, because these are the things that make us feel, and exprerience, and know that we are alive.

Thank you Lord for all the things we have and make us mindful of the need to cherish every day, and every blessing, while we are in the present. Because we don't know what the future is going to bring.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I see God in the hydrangeas. I'm not sure what it is about those bushes, but they touch something in me that is really special and I love them. In fact, I love every color, type and style of them and have quite a few in my own yard. The bushes are incredible with their huge heads of tight blossoms and the deep blues and purples are really mind boggling. But I also love the variety that is more tree-like, with white pyramid-shaped blossoms, heavy enough to make the long branches hang like waterfalls.

It's the beauty and variety of God's creation which makes me see that hand at work. When something takes my breath away it is as though God is reminding me who is in charge and who is calling the shots here. Like it or not, it's not me! And He who takes your breath away also gives it in good measure.

Your world is beautiful God!

Monday, August 18, 2008

A long day

This was a long day, God. It seemed as though one thing after another went wrong and everytime I turned around there was yet another crisis to deal with, another sadness to absorb. Some days are just like that God. Long....and sad....and really, really hard.

Help me to survive the long, hard days God. Help me to see beyond the sad things and the difficult things and the incredibly puzzling things. Help me to see tomorrow and know that when it comes the sun will shine on a new day and things will look better.

Because they always do. Sometimes its just hard to remember that.

Dear Lord!

I cannot understand some things Lord. Like how can someone take their most precious gift - their life - and throw it away?

This morning's ambulance call was for just such a person and my heart is aching for them and their despair. I have known despair myself before, and I have been at my wit's end more than once, but never have I contemplated something so horrible. I am moved by such an act and my thoughts are of a family now facing the consequences of it. Dear God - help them!

And God help me as well. Help me, as I wander through this life, to have your eyes. Help me to see the desperation in another's and offer a hand where I can. Allow me to recognize the pain on someone's face and reach out to them in any way possible. Help me know that anyone I come into contact with may be lonely, sad, grieving, whatever. And help me to treat everyone with kindness and patience and reach out with your love.

Help me - help us all - to be your face in the world. Dear God help me!

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I love Sunday. I love to sleep just a little later and then get dressed knowing I am going to have an encounter with God when I leave home. Because as often as I talk with God in my car or while I'm cleaning the house, there is something quite different about going to church and being in God's house. Once I sit in that pew I am able to let all the week's hassles and all the year's garbage just drop away from my mind and I am totally absorbed with gratitude. I am thankful for my life, my family, my home, my health - all the many blessings I know are unmerited. And yet they are mine.

So when I get to church it's not about me anymore. I don't bring my problems or questions to God, I don't ask for favors or help, I don't bring my grief or my worries - I simply, gloriously, happily worship. And I can do it in any church, in any town, in any country of the world. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Morning has broken

The words of the song "Morning Has Broken" often come to mind on days like this. Because the sun is shining, the air is cool, and the world looks so beautiful. I especially think about the term "God's re-creation" in the song as it refers to each new morning and what a gift it is to wake up and be part of the world another day. Its a privilege we take for granted for the most part.Because we are so caught up in our busy lives its just another day. But what a glorious thing it is when you wake up and can get out of bed, can walk down your stairs, can do all the things we do without giving it a second thought.

We are re-created each day as well. And as the day stretches out before us we have many choices about how we are going to spend it. My mother had the right idea - she began her day with her Bible opened on the kitchen table, reading and praying, and making sure she faced the day with the gratitude it deserved. I have tried that routine a number of times in my life and never seem to be able to get it down to where it is a real "routine". Always a phone call, or some other interruption gets in the way. But Mom had it right. She began her day focusing on the right thing and her life reflected that.

Its time for me to try it again.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Driving in the car

I spend a good amount of my driving time talking to God. In fact, I rarely even have the radio on. This is my one-on-one time, my chance to be along with my thoughts and just let God know what I'm thinking.

Today my thoughts were for particular children of mine who are in need of the kind of guidance that only God can give them. I spent a good 20 munutes telling him how much they needed his intervention, his peace, his love, and his direction. I reminded him how much they wanted those things, sought his will in their lives, and were patiently waiting. Of course I know God knows all of that, but I still like to remind him in case he hasn't kept them on the front burner.

I also spent a good deal of my drive to and from Hampton Bays thanking him. I have so many things to be thankful for and I know that sometimes we who are blessed forget how good we have it. Food, shelter, love - the basics in life we take for granted. God forgive me for that.

The car is my little chapel and God and I are very comfortable in there together. Thankfully he meets me wherever I am. I just don't look for him often enough. Forgive me for that too God.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I long for serenity sometimes. My life is insanely busy and even though I know it could be worse, I think it is more than enough for me. And the things I long for are peace and serenity, but I also know myself well enough to know that I love being busy. Such a conundrum!

At the times I think about serenity I often meditate on the idea of "abiding" in God. Its a Biblical concept and I know it is something I truly strive for. I want that peace and contentment that comes with abiding in God. I know how wonderful it is because I've experienced it before. They were times of immersion in His word, prayer that totally transformed me, spiritual experiences that made me feel God's presence in such an undeniable way that I could never say God did not exist. So I understand the concept and I seek it more often.

Recently I read the book "Eat, Pray, Love" and I got a glimpse of the kind of abiding in God that I look for. In the case of the author it was found in Bali under the tutalege of a spiritual teacher. Her description made me long for it even more. I don't need to go to Bali - I know I can find it here. It's my busy life that gets in the way.

And aren't we all longing for that kind of peace in our lives? The kind of peace that fills the soul when one is abiding in God? I think we do. I KNOW I do! Over and over and over again. Here I am God - fill me. Abide in me.....

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Down by the sea

It was a beautiful morning in August when I took a mini-vacation – a long walk along the beach. I do that occasionally when I need a “mental health” break – in fact I started doing that as soon as I was old enough to drive myself. Back then it was my escape from the world of teenaged angst, my latest case of unrequited love, or the perceived slight of soeone that I wanted badly to be friends with - but now it is a way to just be alone with my thoughts - without a phone to ring or a schedule to worry about. With so much "stuff" going on in my life, I knew I needed some time alone to reflect and talk to God.

I had walked far enough to be pretty much by myself save for an occasional dog walking with his owner, so I went and sat up near the dunes for awhile. The water was especially compelling that day - clear and blue and very calm, with just enough surf to create those lovely rolling waves which begin far to the right and uncurl languidly along the shore, moving out of sight just in time for the next one to come along in the same manner. It was relaxing and bewitching all at the same time and I was probably there for a good 30 minutes just meditating and praying. It was incredibly restorative to just get away from the worries of the day and my overbooked calendar and chat with God. I talked about my frustrations and worries, my concerns and conundrums, and when I was done I got up and headed back to my car, leaving it all behind. I was reminded of the scripture "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls".

By the time I got back to my car I was a new person, renewed and refreshed, feeling lighter and freer than I had in awhile. I truly had found rest for my soul, and my entire being felt different.

So now.... I’m ready to take on September!