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Glorious GrandOther,

Columbine-Flower-24praise you for spring. If I had created the colors, the world would be green and blue; you made more than the 72 colors in my box of pencils and you use them all in the spring!

Thank you for yellow, purple and pink. Thank you for the thousands of shades of green. Thank you for columbine and bleeding heart.

Only you could have imagined all of this.

You are amazing! Lord, I love you so much!

Modified by CombineZP



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!


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! 

… I sit quietly and look at this image:

And then I feel better.


I got a message from one of the Moms at our Church, saying she had a bizarre idea.  We missed each other by email and phone for more than a week and finally met for lunch two days ago.  Her idea is to host a group for young women who have been hospitalized for self-harming behavior, depression, suicide attempts.  These adolescents have psychiatrists, therapists, and medication, but they still feel isolated and lonely.  Their friend choices are frequently of others who might be 

Holy Cow, God,

Only you have the absolute right way to do things. You called the worlds into being and you call me to run an activity group for some troubled, local, adolescent girls who need more friends and need something to do. While I wouldn’t have thought of working with teens, I know your plan is perfect. You are amazing!

Glorious God,

I am very excited about this and I can only sing your praises from morning to night. Lord, I ask only that you’ll let me be a blessing to these young women. I know they will be a blessing in my life. I pray that you will whisper in my ear every time I’m with this group. And until I see them again, hold them close and remind them to lean on your perfect strength, since we can do nothing without you.

Perfect Parent,

affirmation1-1024x927The request that I run this group is an affirmation of my talent and skill.  It is an incredibl gift. I know this comes from you, who loves me more than life itself; you proved that in Jesus. You also showed us that your life and energy go on forever. That the mom who came to me wanted someone with a Christian perspective makes me delighted.  That this is an activity and coaching group, not therapy is freeing.

Lord, I need you to know I am grateful.  I thank you.  I love you so much!

And I pray in Jesus’ almighty name,


To God be the glory!

© Melissa Pazen, 2014

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

We need to strengthen such inner values as contentment, patience and tolerance, as well as compassion for others. Keeping in mind that it is expressions of affection rather than money and power that attract real friends, compassion is the key to ensuring our own well-being.

~ The Dalai Lama, Spiritual Leader of the Tibetan People

Tibetan monasteryThis morning I read this quote.  Gratitude has been primary in my values and my emotions lately.   Love equals Compassion; Compassion equals Love.  Just for today, try on the value of compassion/love. And let me know how it feels.  Loving is no emotion for wimps or those afraid to be vulnerable, who don’t know the benefits of being wide open to others.


Will you pray with me, please?

God of our Fathers/Mothers/Ancestors,

Only you could give us compassion. It is the expression of empathy and love.

Lover of Light,
Fill me, please, with compassion. Let me see where I’m needed and act. Let me lean on your perfect strength in order to do so.   Remind me, God, over and over that my purpose is to please you and to serve others.  Let this beam from me, please.  Let me be a blessing to others.

Generous Giver,
All is from you. ALL is from you. All is from YOU. I take what you offer and I am thankful.

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!

I thank God for my children. Yesterday was my daughter’s 28th birthday and I wanted to talk with God about her and my son.  So I searched the Bible for “children are blessings”. Psalm 37 includes this:

The Lord makes firm the steps
of the one who delights in God;

 though he may stumble, he will not fall,
for the Lord upholds him by the hand.

I was young and now I am old,
yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.
They are always generous and lend freely;
their children will be a blessing.

Ps. 37:  23-26

Majestic Maker,

I rise in the morning to praise you and do your work, for you are the Almighty Architect of all I know – even beyond what I can see or hear.  I delight in considering how, who, what you are.  I delight in your ways and, even though I’m not a morning person, I spring from my bed to seek your will and your plan for the day.  Your colors, sounds, smells, tastes and sensations all are beauty beyond anything I could have conceived.  Amazing!


And you gave me the ability to grow another human inside me.  And you gave me one male child and one female child.  And they are smart, capable, funny, beautiful, thoughtful, compassionate and giving humans.  I do delight in you, God.  I surely do!

Generous Giver,

My children have grown into amazing adults.  I am proud of them and I love them more than I ever would have thought possible.  Spending time with them is my most desired activity.  My reason for living is to see what will come for them.

Lord, I bring them both to you today and ask that you bless them as they have blessed my life.  I pray that you will remind them that with you, they can do anything – there truly are no limits to your power.  I pray that even if they aren’t paying attention to you, that you will watch over them closely; keep them safe and remind them to continue to make the best of decisions. Grant them joy, Lord, I beg of you.  Let them be successful, however you and they define that.  Give them enough, Lord – no one needs more than enough, and yet you are so extravagant with us that we are amazingly comfortable.

Keep their heads ‘screwed on straight’, please, Lord.  They’ve done so well this far and yet I know that any of us could lose everything in the blink of an eye.  Both of these people love enormously, observe closely, plan carefully.  Give them the ability to continue their well-lived lives.


Sovereign Source,

You’ve given so much.  You knew what we would need and you put it and more on the earth for us.  Thank you for phones and Facebook and blogs.  Thank you for the ability to communicate.  Thank you for my life… and Chris’s and Kate’s.  Lord, I love you so much!

And I pray in Jesus’ most holy 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!

Earlier this week, my study group discussed “Evil, Suffering, and a God of Love” in the series called Living the Questions. Rev. Winnie Varghese (Rector of St. Mark’s-Church-in-the-Bowery in New York City & former Episcopal Chaplain at Columbia University) stated that it is heretical to focus on material good things that God has given to us, thinking this is because something we’ve done.  She said this belief leads us to think bad things happening has some reason in who we are or what we’ve done.

I learned this morning that Amy (who we’ve brought to God in prayer all week) has had three more seizures since yesterday afternoon.  Doctors are running tests.  All of us are on “pray without ceasing” alert!  Will you pray with me please?


Constant Creator, 

You call us continually.  You long for our love.  You make mysteries and marvels.  You are more — more than our minds can imagine!  Amazing!

All glory, laud, and honor to you.  I express my adoration, my praise, my joy.  Hosanna!  You are amazing!

Lord of Light,

I wish I didn’t need to bring Amy to you again!  She loves you Lord; I know she is in a strong and loving relationship with you.  I know you are aware of what is happening and I wish it were not.  I know you are in charge and I am not, Lord.  I know you will make all things ultimately work for the good for Amy.  I know this.  But she’s having physical emergencies, Lord and I hate that.  Amy is such a good person and strives for what’s right and cares for others…  I want her to be just fine.  And that’s not in my sphere of control, Lord.  But I know it’s in your sphere of control, so I bring her to you again.

Heal Amy, Lord, I beg of you.

My carpal tunnel syndrome is strong today, Lord.  I love you and I want to keep talking, but I may have to give my thumbs and fingers a rest.  I know you understand and I know you hear me whether I type or talk out loud or talk inside my head.

Gentle, gracious Grandother,

I have come to believe that I need not focus on the bad things that happen to the good people.  This life and this world will always have bad and good.  There will be times of both and of each.  Lord, I know that I need focus only on you.  I need focus on loving, on serving, on praying.  I need not focus on understanding (even though I love figuring things out) your reasons and the reasons of bad, evil, sin in the universe.  That’s not my concern, not my sphere of control.


So I will dwell with you.  I will continue to ask you to heal my friend.  I will continue to type my side of our conversation and I will love.  I will try to bring your blessing to others.

Generous Giver,

Thank you for doctors. Thank you for hospitals. Thank you for technology. Thank you for medicine. Thank you for nourishment. Thank you for curiosity. Thank you for the will to make things better and the will to improve the condition of the world. Thank you for those who love us.  Thank you for those who support us. Thank you for those who worry about us and cry with us when we suffer.  Lord, I love you so much!

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!

Our interim pastor, the Reverend Greg Skiba, delivered an Easter sermon that was well worth pondering.  Entitled “Transforming Mystery”, it started with the disagreement in the four Gospels on who went to the tomb on Easter morning.  It went on to address what Easter’s really about.  Hearing the following led me to request a written copy:

Whenever courageous faith faces down death, it is a sign that Jesus was NOT locked up forever in the tomb, that death could not hold him.  It’s a sign that he is working with us to overcome hatred with compassion, destruction with acts of patient kindness, replacing fears and memories of inner pain with healing peace, and bringing reconciliation to broken lives and relationships.

God of Grace and Goodness,

Your majesty shines throughout the universe.  Your power is everlasting. You created me and love me more than I could ever imagine.  Amazing!

And you sent Jesus to show us what you look like and how you act and how you think.  You made a perfect replica of yourself so we could have a perfect example.  Amazing!

And you remind us that we can be like you.  You send powerful speakers to tell us that death has no power over perfect love, over compassion, over kindness, over peace, over your ability to reconcile brokenness.  Amazing!


Incredible Imagineer,

Live in me today as you lived in Jesus.  Give me the ability to love when I feel petty or selfish.  Remind me that these impulses, wholly human, are not the way you want me to be.  As Jesus overcame death, let me overcome my sin and my ungraceful qualities.

Lord of Light and Love,

I bring Mike and Amy to you for healing.  For Mike, we would love a diagnosis of something minor.  We would be thrilled to find that his malady is curable, treatable, that he can live a long and healthy life.  For Amy, whatever caused the fever and seizure let it be gone never to return.  For both of these people, let them grow in strength and faith.  Let them sing your praises for the wonderful things you have done.

Bestower of Blessings,

You have given us so much. As we strive to be good stewards of the earth and to solve the problems of poverty, hatred, injustice; remind us also to care for ourselves and to find your joy.  Grant us the humility to recall that all we have is from you.  Lord, I love you so much!


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!

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