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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,

Amen.

To God be all glory!

Love always,

 Melissa
Melissa Pazen, MSW

Inspired Coaching, Melissa Pazen

39w328 W. Burnham Ln, Geneva, IL  60134

Cell:  773.405.3301

www.melissapazen.com

 

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

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… I sit quietly and look at this image:
jesus-reaching-in

And then I feel better.

Again, a Stillspeaking Devotional touches me.  Mary Luti writes of 

in si·tu
ˌin ˈsīto͞o,ˈsē-/
adverb & adjective
  1. in its original place.
    “mosaics and frescoes have been left in situ”
  2. in position.
    “her guests were all in situ”

When I had breast cancer, in 2007, the tumor was “in situ”.  This means it hadn’t moved beyond the milk duct where it originally formed.  I give glory to God for having found it when it was SO small (6 mm – about 3/16 inch, photo is actual size).

6 mm - actual size

 

On Wednesday, I will have a repeat mammogram on the same (left) breast because it appears I have another calcification, often the precursor of cancer.  I know I’m not in control of these things, and I try not to worry.  

I keep giving this over to God and LET-NOT-YOUR-HEART-BE-TROUBLED-smtrusting.  Five minutes later, I’m giving it over again.  Sometimes I wish my humanity weren’t so human.  I know I’m not meant to be perfect, yet I long for serenity.  I long to be comforted and held secure in Jesus’ arms. I long to be able to rise above this.  As long as I keep my mind occupied with something else, something positive, I am safe.  My idle mind goes back to this over and over.  I guess the idle mind IS the devil’s playground.  I don’t believe in a personified devil, but I know there are forces of evil at work in the universe.  These are mine (and yours?) every time I slip from God’s embrace.  Will you pray with me, please?

 

Amazing Architect,

You created the universe and somehow you chose to create a wretch like me.  I praise you for finding me, for letting my blind eyes see you and the beauty of all your works.  I praise that you are creating still.  That you speak to us, not only from a document that is almost 2000 years old, but in the words of friends and your whispering voice.  I “hear” you in my quiet mind, with words you would have me think.  I worship you for this, the ability to turn my heart and my mind to the good, INSTEAD of dwelling on the bad… on my fears.  You are more than I could ever imagine; more powerful, more loving.  You are amazing!

Lord who Longs to make my joy full,

Joy-FullI pray you will be with me today.  I pray you will keep your loving arms around me and let me languish on your lap. I pray that in my time at church and my time with Kate & Will & Steve, you will keep my heart and mind on YOU. I pray you will banish my fears. I pray you will hold me close and remind me to lean on your perfect strength. I pray you will remind me that if you are for me, nothing greater can be against me. I pray that you will let nothing separate me from your love, even sickness – if it shall be so, even death whenever it comes (may it be years away!)

I pray for others who suffer with fear and illness: Craig, Thea, and many too numerous to mention – yet you know their names and my intent. I pray for all the littluns who arrived earlier than their parents planned: Emilie, Hayden & Ethan, Nick & Alex and many too numerous to mention. I pray for my congregation as we seek your will in becoming “Open and Affirming” of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders — and of all those for whom we see the differences and forget the similarities.

I pray that you will remind us we are your precious children, that each of us have a life that matters dearly to you.

Magnificent Maker,

You are the source of everything I sense – see, hear, smell, taste and feel.  You have given it all to me and my brothers & sisters in this world — and every human is my brother or my sister! I am filled with gratitude and I thank you.  And, Lord, thank you.  And by the way, Lord, thank you. May I ever be in awe of what you have done for me, and continue to do, and will do forever.

And I pray in Jesus’ name,

Amen.

To God be the glory!

© Melissa Pazen, 2015

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.

nasa_light_map

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,

Amen.

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!

But the Lord said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
– II Corinthians 12: 9-10

That phrase, “there but for the grace of God, go I…” has been used for years. Mama said it often.  It speaks to our vulnerability.  Similar to “that’s not happened to me”, but…  empathetic.  Anyway, I was hospitalized after going to the Doctor’s office with a ridiculously high blood pressure.  And lying there feeling vulnerable, I knew that “there go I”.

Will you pray with me, please?

 

Incredible Imagineer,

The universe reflects the beauty you envision.  Your creations sing your praise.  I worship you.  I pray on figurative bended knee while my fingers shout of your glory.

Loving Lord,

I pray today to give you the glory and to thank you for all you have done for me.  For I was ill and you healed me.  Your perfect power restored balance and stability to my life.

empty bed

I am grateful.  I thank you, too for resolving Amy’s troubles.  That’s simply amazing!  And I am filled with gratitude for the friends you have provided who care for me.  The cards, the soup, the emails and calls; all demonstrate your love being spread through your followers.

And, Lord, thank you for relieving my mother-in-law’s pain.  Thank you for antibiotics that clear infection.  Thank you for physical therapy techniques that regenerate muscle mass and strength.  Thank you for returning clarity of thought.

circle

Path Straightening God,

With every step, we are closer to your kingdom.  Speed it’s coming, Lord, so we may witness all you have done and all you can do.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

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!

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,

Amen.

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 have made this letter longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter.

Blaise Pascal

 

Forbearer of the Faithful,

You sure are funny, God.  This day was nothing like it had been scheduled and it sure has been interesting — possibly even quite good.  I know you’re in charge, and I’m not.  I know I pray so you will remind me of my role in the bringing of your kingdom — if any.  Amazing!

Everpresent Energy,

I pray you will continue to make it clear that you are always with me, that you love me, that you are making miracles for me.  I long to do your bidding, Lord.  As you make your plans for me, as you fine tune them, I long to know what you would have me do.  To bring your kingdom to earth would be delightful!

Pour your grace on my friends and family, I pray of thee, Lord. Let me be a blessing to them, showing your love, patience, compassion, humor and other virtues.  Heal Thea.  Make Susan’s Christmas with Sarah calm and loving.  Grant them peace and remind them they can choose to have it.  Remind me to communicate well with my beloved Steve, it’s so easy when we’re so close to get testy with one another, but I love him dearly, Lord.

Omnipotent Originator,

Thank you for occupation of my time with fulfilling work.  Thank you for letting me make contributions to the cause.  Thank you for letting me realize there is always room for improvement, and for helping me want to improve.  I love you so much.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

To God be the glory!

Melissa Pazen © 2012

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

I have a meeting I consider very important tomorrow morning.

self compassion

Constant Creator,

Every time something changes, it’s because you are fine tuning your universe.  Nothing would happen without your energy and your desire.  Amazing!

Lord who Loves me,

I pray you will pour your grace upon me tomorrow morning.  Wake me up early and let me be alert/focused.  Let me properly understand what what is said to me and let me ask well-stated questions for clarification.  Above all, let me be open to possibilities and willing to do what you would have me do, Lord.  I know that every positive interaction I have each day, every imitation of your love brings your kingdom.  I want to do more and I so want an intellectual challenge.  Please, Lord, I pray of thee, put me in a position where I can truly feel as if I’m contributing.  Give me a reasonable wage so that Steve and I can live more as we wish.

Generous Giver,

I almost feel guilty asking for more; you’ve already given me such an amazing set of gifts.  As I sit at a networked computer, with a smart phone and the ability to watch and hear webinars from our Connecticut, I realize how much more we have than our parents, and they had more than theirs!  So much, Lord, you’ve given me so much.  And I’m grateful:  for laughter, for colleagues who help one another, for pretty clothes, transportation and warmth in the cold of winter.  I love you so much!

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

To God be the glory!

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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