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Today’s Stillspeaking Devotional, written by Donna Schaper, is called “Pointsettias”.  As I was reading, the phrase I’m using for the title jumped out at me and I hurried here to paste it and start my notes for my prayer.  And then, to have integrity, I read and reread the entire devotional. 

“Substituting details for depth” …is that when I buy so many Christmas presents for someone instead of spending time with him? …is that when I criticize the grammar and punctuation instead of lavishing in the thoughts behind the writing? …do I decorate for Christmas instead of contemplating the possibility of Jesus coming as a human and changing the world?

What does “prepare for the glory of the Lord by fixing the universe, despite itself” mean? I long to leave the world better than it was when I arrived, yet I have a bit of trouble realizing that sometimes I need to be ‘accepted the things I cannot change’, in Bonhoeffer’s words. I’m good at attempts to improve the large social ills and need to keep working on keeping my side of the street clean in my closest relationships.  Mindfulness, sometimes a difficult practice to keep in place.  

Quinn Caldwell’s All I Really Want has been a wonderful source of contemplation last advent and this. 

Unimaginable One,

I come to humble myself and to worship you, shouting your praises internally while be quiet externally. Your name should echo throughout the universe and I praise you, adore you. You are the almighty, the all mighty, and I am but one of your creations. Yet, you know me inside out. You know my name and speak to me individually through little bursts of inspiration. You are amazing!

Indescribable God

Loving Lord,

Today, I ask that you will heal Steve’s bruises from his fall. He’s feeling better yet plans to stay off the bruised leg today and that’s a little difficult for me to accept (even though I can’t change it). Thank you for the chance that he might work Saturday to make up the hours. 

I ask for the ability to relax my own aching neck and head today. I try to avoid pain medication for fear it will harm my kidneys and/or lose its effectiveness.


Super-giving Source,

Thank you for advent meditation opportunities like the one I enjoyed last night. Thank you for Susan, who loves me dearly. Thank you for my faith community who are extensions of family for me. Thank you for a brain to think. I love you so much!

And I pray in Jesus’ name,


To God be all glory!

Love always,

Melissa Pazen, MSW


39w328 W. Burnham Ln, Geneva, IL  60134

Cell:  773.405.3301

LIVE INSPIRED: think boldly; love unconditionally; behave respectfully; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; live authentically; laugh frequently!

It’s Advent in the Christian calendar.  At my office today, there is a holiday feast planned for lunch.  I made cookies as my offering.  I had to plan ahead to be certain I had all the ingredients (I THOUGHT I had pecans at home…  so I should have planned earlier & checked the cupboard!).

Omniscient One,

You know the seasons and you know our hearts.  Only you have perfect knowledge and understanding of this universe — because you are the energy that creates it.  You probably don’t need to plan ahead, but as a mere mortal and one of your creatures, I sure do!  Amazing!  I fall to my knees as I type this in your presence.  I worship you!

Parent of Planning,

Remind me to think of what must be done today in order to be ready — for tomorrow, for Christmas, for heaven, for eternity.  Help me to be mindful & careful in what I do.  Remind me to be loving and to keep the humble heart of the servant.  I pray of thee, too, Lord, that you will grant me the hope of expectations of glorious things to come.  I thank you in advance for Christmas; when your gift to humanity was a living example of your love and your ways.  Help me to be ready to receive this gift.

Author of All,

The human ability to think comes from you.  Thank you.  The human ability to plan comes from you.  Thank you.  And even my forgetfulness is a gift from you, from your sacred sense of humor or your willing of whimsy.  Thank you.  I am grateful and I love you so much!

Through Jesus, I pray,


Melissa Pazen © 2012

Live inspired:  pray continually; think boldly; dare greatly; love unconditionally; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; laugh frequently!

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April 2020

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