Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wisdom for Wednesdays

"But You love me anyway
It’s like nothing in life that I’ve ever known
You love me anyway
Oh Lord, how You love me
How You love me."

-You Love Me Anyway by Sidewalk Prophets

(This song is so powerful. My favorite on Christian radio right now. If you get a chance to listen to the whole song, it's well worth it.)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Snapshots of Summer: Week 5

Sun-tea brewing on the deck-- I love the way the sun was shining through the colored tea like stained-glass windows!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Busy, Lazy, Beautiful Summer

We’re cooking here in Ohio this week. Ninety degree temps and thick humidity.

I love it.

But it does make for some lazy summer days.

And I’ve been especially lazy in the blogosphere. Between summer trips and spending time outdoors with my family and friends (and sometimes just by myself!), writing hasn’t been a top priority. I miss it. But I really like living life, too, so it's all good.

I’m keeping up with the Snapshots of Summer and Wisdom for Wednesdays (because one can be lazy and still do those), but inspiration for anything else seems to fail me lately.

(Oh, and speaking of cooking—yes, we were speaking of it, at the beginning—does anyone have any tasty summer recipes or websites with such to share? I’m in want of some new recipes, especially ones that use goodies from the farmer’s market…)

I hope you are all having a wonderful summer.

God is good. And life is beautiful.


Chaperoning for our diocesan youth retreat. An incredible weekend with incredible teens. The theme: Seek God in Every Moment. LOVE that.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wisdom for Wednesdays

"Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus."

-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Monday, July 18, 2011

PrayerWalk: A Book Review

Sometimes prayer can become routine. Sometimes exercising can be boring. So when I was perusing the available books for my next Blogging for Books review, PrayerWalk caught my eye. Author Janet Holm McHenry combines two healthy habits into a unique and powerful ministry. With summer's arrival, my cozy mornings with tea and candles and prayer seemed out of season-- this new idea would be a perfect way to rejuvenate my soul and body!

The Overall: PrayerWalk: Becoming a Woman of Prayer, Strength & Discipline, by Janet Holm McHenry, shares the author's journey into a ten-year plus ministry of prayerwalking. I've prayed before on pleasure walks and exercise walks, but this book made me look at it in a whole new way. I learned that prayerwalking is more than a glance toward the clouds praising their Creator (although it's that, too!) and takes persistence, discipline, and an open heart. Taking on the needs and burdens of the community, Janet prays not only for her own intentions but also those of friends, family, the community...and strangers she passes by on her path. Beautiful. She is an incredible prayer warrior who inspired me with this interesting behind-the-scenes ministry.

Favorite Quotes: "Prayerwalking is not an easy way to to 'take care of prayer' while you get good exercise. It is a call to spend rich time with God, carrying others' loads."

"Anything God puts in my path of vision is a subject for prayer. Our communities need our prayers and Scripture encourages this: 'When right-living people bless the city, it flourishes' (Proverbs 11:11, MSG)."

The Nitty-Gritty: The book is divided into several sections. The first half focuses more on the physical aspect of prayerwalking (exercise rules) and the second half deals with the spiritual aspects. I did get a little bored with the instructions on walking (getting the right shoes, etc.) but I think it would be useful for those just starting an exercise routine.

What Sticks Out: Motivation. This book was a fantastic motivator!! The benefits of walking, the author's personal insights, and the powerful ministry presented were all great motivators for me to begin prayerwalking.

Something Extra: LOTS of extras here: A study guide for groups, a 30-day prayerwalk challenge, resources on walking, and information on doing a community prayerwalk events. I love extras!

So the real question is...did I start prayerwalking?

Yes! And I LOVE it! It was the accountability factor...if I was going to post a review, how convincing would I be if I hadn't gotten out on my feet as well? The most memorable time was the crisp, peaceful morning I watched eight deer cross my path as I started out--what a Wonderful Maker! I'm still learning and adapting prayerwalking to my schedule (not a daily habit)...still hitting the snooze alarm sometimes...still getting incredibly distracted sometimes...but I'll keep going! Won't you join me?

[I received this book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for free. These are my honest and original comments about the book.]

Rank this review to enter a chance to win a copy of this book!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Snapshots of Summer: Week 4

Watering the flowers and the garden...and the roommate. (Don't worry, friends, I got her back. Revenge was mine.)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wisdom for Wednesdays

"America you are beautiful . . . and blessed . . . . The ultimate test of your greatness is the way you treat every human being, but especially the weakest and most defenseless. If you want equal justice for all and true freedom and lasting peace, then America, defend life.”

-Blessed (Pope) John Paul II
(emphasis mine)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wisdom for Wednesdays

"It isn't what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about."

-Dale Carnegie

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Hidden Treasure

We have two nursing homes on a side street outside my neighborhood. I love to walk to them for the monthly Catholic Mass with the residents. It stirs me deeply to watch the amazing, selfless priest be Jesus to these people. To see the faith of these residents despite their grim surroundings. The grace is palpable.

This morning was no different.

Fourteen of us gathered around a large wooden table—most in wheelchairs. One woman with labored breathing. Another sleeping with her head drooped so low onto her chest. Two women chatting about when they would go home…while another one sadly stated, “This is my home now.”

But we all came to the table in faith, like the Apostles long ago. Connected by this love for Jesus and His Church.

Deacon D., a resident there himself, read the Gospel today. This man who had lived a life of service, now lives in a nursing home relying on the service of others. He read slowly, sometimes having to pause between a sentence or even a phrase.

But it was beautiful.

And as he read the words of Matthew, chapter 6, I was struck with how appropriate today’s reading applied to these dear people. The Father who sees what is hidden.

These hidden treasures. These faithful people.

They may never again be able to serve at a soup kitchen, sing in a choir, go on a mission trip, or even kneel down to pray.

But they still serve God in their own quiet, hidden way. By the world’s standards, they have nothing left to give. As Christians, we know it’s quite the opposite. Every single one of us, while we have breath, has something to give, something to offer.

And our Father sees in secret. Nothing is lost.

At the conclusion of the Mass, we sang all five verses of Amazing Grace. The feeble voices became strong with this beloved hymn—how sweet the sound. And this precious grace—this grace that transforms the little things we do into gifts for God…this grace that gives meaning to every moment of our lives because we know Him…

It is amazing.