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When someone dear to me is in need of prayers, typically that need stays on my mind or pops into my mind multiple times a day. Each time I think of you, I consider it a prayer and tell God that I’m grateful for all God is doing to better your situation. These prayers are what my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Drevs, called ‘aspirations.’ She said an aspiration could be as short as “Jesus” or “Savior” or “Oh, God (meant in a good way”.

Those near me hear me say “Well, now I’m in ‘pray without ceasing mode'” in response to a request for prayer or a confidence of something unfortunate in life. Today’s Still Speaking Devotional, Pray Constantly, reminded me of this and so I pray for everyone who reads this.

Absolute Almighty,

You are the Alpha and the Omega, here before the beginning of the universe and likely here long after this universe passes away. You knew us long before our parents’ parents’ parents’ were even longed for. Your energy is love and wants to create more and more. You are the heat that melts ice and spark that ignites fire. You are every motion and every medicine. You are far beyond my comprehension. I worship you. You are amazing!

relentless loveLord of Light,

Today I pray for my dear friends, near and far, known and unknown. I pray that all will come to know you. I pray that your love will spur us to stop the violence. I pray that you will inspire parents to raise children with mindfulness and respect. I pray that your energy will fill us all to overflowing with your uplifting grace and will spill over into all our interactions with others. Help us get past the fear of finite resources and lavish on others what you lavish on us. I pray for health, quickly, for those for whom it is a time to heal; I pray for death, quickly for those for whom it is a time to die. I pray for a world without pain. I pray that we learn from every adversity and that we find ways to turn evil and bad into good.

Humble us, Loving Lord, and help us to accept the things that cannot change and to have the courage to change what we can – for the better. Help us to live gratefully.

relentless-love-in-Gods-handGenerous Giver,

Even the poorest of us gets by. So many of us are rich beyond belief, yet live in an impoverished way.We live richly when walking daily with you. You give us much more than we need, especially your relentless mercy and love. Thank you for the buds of next spring on the trees outside my window and for the family who helped to prune the tree. Thank you for the beauty of this earth shown especially in an infant. Thank you for hope. Thank you for loving me.

Jesus taught me that anything I request in his name will be granted, and so I ask all this in the mighty name of Jesus, embodiment of you,


To God be all glory!

Love always,

Melissa Pazen, MSW

Inspired Coaching, Melissa Pazen

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! 


I have a friend who keeps a gratitude journal and aims for 100 items each day. As I prepare for Thanksgiving, I start to list the people and things for which I’m thankful. Then I realize the list will be too long, oh Lord! If I were to read everything into a Thanksgiving blessing, the food would be dreadfully cold and my guests would be out of patience by the time I’m done.


Unimaginable One,

I come to you this morning knowing that I am poor and helpless. Only through you and your loving creating energy can I even breath, much less stand and clean and cook and prepare to welcome my family and friends tomorrow! You called the heavens and the earth into being, so long ago that we can only try to reconstruct how and when it happened. I praise you endlessly. You are amazing!

Loving Lord,

I pray today for joy and energy and patience, patience with myself, Steve, Thea, Adrienne, the dogs. I so want this Thanksgiving to be evidence of your love for us all, through me. I pray that you will continue to bless us, as you already have – to such a marvelous extent that the cornucopias of our lives are overflowing. I pray that you will remove me from the bondage of self, so that I may give without reservation.

I pray for those who are traveling, including Kate and Will, Chris and Margaret, Peggy and her family. I pray for those who will be alone by choice, hoping that at the last moment, if they want companionship that you will provide. I pray for those who will be alone not be choice; point them to my house, Lord, and let me lavish them with food and your love. I pray there will be enough chairs and enough room at the tables.

Generous and Glorious Giver,

You have granted us such bounty, of food and belongings and friends and family. I have so much more than I could ever need. Bless it all to your purpose. Thank you for dogs. Thank you for heat. Thank you for the turkey. Thank you for sight and taste and smell and hearing and feeling. Thank you for intuition. Thank you for all the people and things that would make this prayer go on for pages and days. It is all from you, everything I have and everything I am. I am incredibly grateful.

Jesus promised that if I ask in his name, it will be granted. And so, I call on Jesus’ mighty name.


To God be the glory!

Love always,


Inspired Coaching, Melissa Pazen

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! 

Today’s StillSpeaking Devotional touches me deeply, because I love to turn out all the lights except on my Christmas tree, then sit and be with God.  Everywhere I can today, I’m quoting Quinn Caldwell:

The Wise Men would never have been able to see that star if they’d been standing in the parking lot of a 24-hour Wal-Mart. 

BowerBirdI believe the American public (perhaps everyone, but I only know the US culture) has a love affair with shiny, pretty things.  We’re like bowerbirds; the male of this pair builds the nest and includes bits of anything that shines in order to attract the female.  Babies stare at lights. I believe all of us are attracted to them.

But overly bright light hurts our eyes.  I remember the warning when an eclipse was coming, “don’t look directly at the sun, you’ll burn your eyes!”  Is that true?  I don’t know; but I know that if I look at bright lights too long I continue to see them for a long time, when I close my eyes.  And I’m not fond of blinking lights, either.  They bother me and if they’re really bad, trigger a migraine.

IMG_4251A few little candles set a beautiful mood, as do the low wattage bulbs on my tree.  And without strong glitz as marquee lights bidding for my attention, I can achieve calm bliss.  And that’s often when God creeps quietly to my side and lays an arm around my shoulders.  I feel God’s peace.  I recognize God’s inspirations for me.

Will you pray with me, please?


Bright Builder,

You created the dark and the light.  Only you could have ‘hung the moon’ and the sun. You show us that too much light can be a decoy from the true light. You are unimaginable. You are. You are amazing!


Loving Light,

Lead us to the right amount of light.  Show us that when we are in darkness, we still can be strong, calm, confident and that by extinguishing the input from one of our senses, we can focus on those sixth sense phenomena – intuition, imagination, meditation, sitting humbly in your presence and feeling your invisible touch, your non-touch.

I bring to you all people; we need your light today.  I need light to complete my house cleaning; finding the dust and loading the laundry.  I need light to tell if the cookies I am baking are just the right shade at the edges.  I need a light that illuminates, not one that blinds me to your presence. Tomorrow, I will spend my entire day celebrating the light that you have sent to the world, Jesus.  Though I sit and meditate in your darkness, you guide me with Jesus’ light.  You show me the way through what I know of him.  Grant me the grace to be able to live humbly, lovingly, wisely, justly, mercifully; as Jesus did while a human on earth.


Generous Giver,

I look out the window and see snow drifting to earth while the sky is bright enough to see and appreciate it.  I feel the warmth from the furnace in my home. I smell the ginger and bayberry scents of the season.  I hear the beautiful music, both old and new, that brings my heart to the center.  That center is where I find you, Lord.  Thank you for all these comforts.  Thank you for the love you continue to create on this earth.  Thank you for my life.  Lord, I love you so much.

In Jesus’ name,


To God be the glory!

© Melissa Pazen, 2013

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

My sweet/feisty mother-in law was hospitalized on Tuesday.  She pressed her medic-alert bracelet because her legs hurt too much to get out of bed.  Since arriving at Glenbrook Hospital, she’s been seen by a wonderful Internist, Colleen Nugent, MD who is finding enough that she’s told me she is uncomfortable discharging Annamae to her own home.  We’ve thanked God regularly for Annamae making it to age 92 and continuing to be able to live independently and alone, knowing this could only happen by God’s hand.

This woman became a nurse and was part of the Women’s Army Corps, mending soldiers in Texas during World War II.  With a heart of gold and a mouth like Roz Russell, she gets things done.  She is the dowager of the DeCaluwe/Hitchens family these days, having lived a long time.

That's Annamae, front & center (almost).  Seated to the right of the groom.

That’s Annamae, front & center (almost), seated to the right of the groom.

I’ve just gotten off the phone with Annamae who reports that she’s angry and she threw newspapers and things around her room.  Her niece, Pat (amazingly the volunteer coordinator at Glenbrook), was summoned and suggested Annamae behave herself.  (I spoke with Pat who confirmed this.)

Will you pray with me, please?

Almighty Architect,

You are amazing!  While many of your creations live only a few years, you designed this woman with such good ‘stuff’ that she’s still in pretty good shape at 92.  I know your plan will be fulfilled. Annamae, through her actions, will demonstrate whether or not she should be living alone. If she is meant to go home, let her behave nicely in the hospital.  If it’s time for other living arrangements, let her not act too out of control.

Loving Lord,

You already have helped us all prepare.  If it’s your will, let Steve & me find a way to accommodate her in our home.  I know Steve isn’t eager for this, but I know you can inspire him to understand and agree.  And if Annamae can continue to live independently with help, let us find someone who will care well for her, ethically and generously.  I pray that if it’s time Annamae will move easily to assisted living and we’ll work the situation  out to your glory.  Lord, I pray you’ll be the medication that cures her current complaints and relieve the pain Annamae has in her legs that keep her from walking.  Lord, I pray that you’ll help her with confusion/lucidity so that she’s comfortable emotionally wherever she ends up.  She has said so many times that she doesn’t want to move from her condo.  If it’s time, we need your grace to find the words that will help her to accept the situation.

Annamae with Savannah, her great niece, sitting on Annamae’s walker (making the DeCaluwe Thanksgiving Day Parade).

Generous  Giver,

Thank you for smart & patient medical staff members.  Thank you for hospitals with private rooms that are lovely.  Thank you for beds that can be raised or lowered to make an older lady close to comfortable and get her to the proper height to rise and stand.  Thank you for medicines.  Thank you for family, especially Annamae’s nephew, Joe and niece, Pat.  They cared for their own mother, they care for their father and now, through the accident of proximity, they do many things for Annamae.  Thank you for medicare and insurance to pay the bills.  Thank you for veterans’ benefits to care for a woman who worked through WWII.  Thank you for quick wit and sarcasm; thank you for Annamae.  I am grateful.  Lord, I love you so much!

In Jesus’ name,


To God be the glory!

© Melissa Pazen, 2013

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

I’ve just read this:

Dear Family and Friends,

I have GOOD NEWS today!  How joyful I am to e-mail good news about Amy!  This is the first day in 19 days that Doug and I have not gone to the hospital.  Paula and Julie felt that we needed a rest and Paula took off from school and went for us.  She just called and said this is the best day in 3 weeks!  Amy does have strep throat and pneumonia but it is under control with antibiotics. The Ventilation tube is out and her voice is weak but she is sitting up in a chair and asking Paula questions!  She wanted to know where the People Magazines were, where are all the cards Mom always brings and Where are Mom and Dad?  They must be out in the hall! Also Asked for her Pepsi and Paula said that she couldn’t have it yet but she could put some on her lips.  Amy said that she would like that!  She knew that Julie had gone home to take care of her family.  She may be in ICU one more day.  The goal is to get her on 7th floor to rehab floor.  

hands make hearts

We know that we have to be cautious about this turn around but the Lord is answering our prayers. Please all of you continue to pray for AMY JOY.  Thank you so much.

You are wrapping your arms about Amy and us and we feel it!

Love, Jill and Doug

Glorious God,

You are the only God and you are so good to us!  Only you have the power to make new life and to heal.  Only you have the power to whisper sweet words in Paula’s and Julie’s hearts to give their parents ‘a day off’.  Only you can bring us rest. Only you love us so much that we can feel it even if we can’t see you.  You are amazing!

Loving Lord,

Keep making Amy better, please.

Keep healing Susan’s back, please.

Keep Steve healthy, please, and thanks for healing him.

Keep Thea’s cancer markers low, please, and thanks for the end of the chemo!  Never again would be good!

Keep my own white cell count low and hemoglobin normal, please.

Remind me to  lean on you and to rest ever-so-comfortably in your arms… Remind all who read this of that, please.


Everpresent Energy,

Thank you for interesting work.  Thank you for new batteries in cars and new brakes; thank you for safety and the money to pay for repairs.  Thank you for dear friends and dear family members and dear people who smile on the street for no reason.  Thank you  for peace wherever and whenever we find it.  Lord, i love you so much!  And

I pray in Jesus’ name,


To God be the glory!

Melissa Pazen © 2013

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

Great God Almighty,

Amy’s been seizing again.  And she’s on anti-seizure medication!  Lord, I just want to yell and scream “enough already!”  You certainly have my attention!  You would have had it anyway…  you had me at “be still…”  you didn’t even need to remind me to know that you are God.

Glorious Grandother,

I rise in darkness every morning, and the sun comes up and I can see your incredible works:  Steve softly snoring, Duey snuggled up in the crook of Steve’s knees, Daisy curled into the tightest ball a dog

Steve and Duey

Steve and Duey

can curl, a bedroom as large as my first apartment, quilts of lovely handicrafting, hot water for a shower, six medications to help me live well, coffee to wake me enough to un-dull my brain, a car to take me to work, an office large enough for 60 or so people, a warehouse with $30MM+ in electrical supplies, parts, and hardware.  You are amazing!  And just the fact that you are — with no beginning and no ending is enough for us to sing your praises.

Lord of the Light,

You know I love you.  I tell you because I know I love to hear others tell me and I suppose you do, too.  You know I give you all glory, laud and honor for this universe, and I say it again.  You know I want you to heal Amy, and I ask you again.  Please, Lord, heal my friend who is your faithful servant.  Amy taught Sunday school for so many years, she worships you, Lord.  I know bad things happen and we don’t need an explanation.  I know I need to be patient.  I feel as if I’m saying “I want patience and I want it NOW!”

And I’ll continue to lift Amy up to you in prayer, along with Doug and Jill, Paula and Julie and all who love Amy.

Amy, on a better day, holding a child

Amy, on a better day, holding a child

Be with us all.  Help us to cope.  Remind us it’s about you, not us.

And, Lord, I pray for so many others who need healing:  Marsha’s Michael, Owen’s father, Thea, Denise, so many…  Teach us how to care for ourselves better, Lord, if that will prevent any of this.

Incredible Imagineer,

Again, thank you for umbrellas in this rainy spring.  Thank you for cherry blossoms to come and daffodils.  Thank you for goldfish that live through the winter, even if they will live only to be food for herons.  Lord, I just love you so much.

I pray in the almighty name of Jesus,


To God be the glory!

Melissa Pazen © 2013

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

Continual Creator

From valleys to mountains, the whole world reflects your wondrous deeds.  Praise of you echoes in the canyons.  Your majesty is without equal.  For you are the healer of the sick; you are the energy that awakens us in the morning; you are the light that overcomes the darkness.  Amazing!

Enlightening Engineer,

You’ve heard my prayers for so long now.  I continue to pray for Thea and all those taking chemotherapy.  Thank you, Lord, for her successful transfusion and increased hemoglobin and white cell counts.  Thank you for the success of the surgery and her treatment so far.  Lord, I pray of thee, continue to be the healing elements that strengthen the bodies of the sick.  Continue to be the wisdom of the medical teams.  Continue to be the compassion of those who give care.  I pray for Meg Blomquist and all who love her as they mourn for her grandfather.  I ask for healing for Carolyn Oke’s Mother, Laura Bernabei’s young friend Emma, Tom Schmidt, Carol Crane, and Carolyn Oke’s friend Candi. 

Bless our relationship heart

I pray for our relationships, Lord.  Let your love, compassion and mercy shine through us as if we were glass (recently cleaned!).  Let all with whom we come into contact know the possibilities with you at their sides.  Let us be blessings to one another.

I pray for my dear husband Steve as he interviews for new employment this afternoon.  I’m grateful that, even though he has a job, you sent a recruiter to call him and remind him that his capability and worth is much higher than what’s needed for his current position.  Remind him that he is your beloved son, that you have made him carefully to fulfill your purpose for him.  Let the people he meets see him for who he truly is, let them be open to hearing his skills and his love of audit work.  Let them know that with Steve as their Quality Manager, their product will be of the highest quality needed for the intended application.  Let them realize the value of having him travel to Elk Grove and work with him to make a reasonable offer.  And if this position is not the one you have chosen for him, give him the elation of being contacted out of the blue. Let him post his newly revised resume and let the job you want for him to come sailing to him.


Extravagant Giver, Lover of our Souls,

We know that all good gifts around us come from you.  We are grateful for moisture from yesterday’s snow and rain.  We thank you for preparing our earth for abundant growth and harvests.  While we are grateful that we have enough, you continue to pour your blessings upon us.  Lord, I am grateful for my life.  Lord, I love you so much!

Jesus said that we should ask in his name, that our joy be made full and so,

I pray in the holy name of Jesus,


To God be the glory!

Melissa Pazen © 2013

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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