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God Trusted
That your parents
And their parents
And your grandparents’ great, great grandparents
And those people
all the way back to those Cro-Magnon folks
. . .
God trusted them to make you.
. . .
Now, God was around before the beginning
And God will still be around after it all ends.
. . .
And I don’t know if God sat down and created a chart
that Gregor Mendel discovered;
. . .
I don’t know why you or one of your friends
was conceived through
violence,
or
wasn’t wanted
or
maybe even was wanted.
. . .
(There are many things I don’t know;
and that’s
why
I say “God only knows”
but maybe other people know and just I don’t.)
. . .
Here’s what I know:
. . .
God trusted your parents
and all those progenitors
to make you
One
Beloved
Child
of
God’s
. . .
And it doesn’t matter to me whether your parents wanted you or not.
I know that you are not an accident because
God trusted because
. . .
God wanted you.

Amen.

To God be the Glory!

 

© Melissa Pazen, 2017

Love always,

Melissa
Melissa Pazen, MSW

INSPIRED COACHING, MELISSA PAZEN

39w328 W. Burnham Ln, Geneva, IL  60134

Cell:  773.405.3301

www.melissapazen.net

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 am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you.” – Revelation 3:20

 

The only people who knock at the door are people trying to sell siding or windows. Oh, and the the Jehovah’s Witnesses who act in perfect faith and bring us news of a way of faith don’t want to hear.

We live in a day of texting, so we can be least obtrusive when we want to be in contact with one another. Even with the next door neighbor, I text before I run over to drop off the mail left in my box by mistake.

We live in a day of email. The daughter of the neighbor down the street is in Girl Scouts and group blasts everyone on the block asking if we want to place an order for cookies.

We live in a day of isolation. I fall prey to it as much as anyone, maybe more. I simply don’t want to bother people who probably don’t want to hear from me anyway. Or it’s the wrong time to make a call.

But God – God doesn’t care about any of that. God doesn’t text or email or even use the cell phone that’s replaced the old yellow wall phone in the kitchen. If I knew it was God standing at the door, I’d wonder why God didn’t just walk in. Jesus walked through walls after his resurrection, I suspect God’s a phenonenal locksmith. God stands at the door and knocks.

Classic-Yellow-Daffodil

Or maybe God makes the first daffodil bloom, or puts buds on the trees. Maybe God causes a freak micro-blizzard followed by five minutes of sunshine followed by another five minutes of micro-blizzard. Maybe God puts us face-to-face with two friends who are planning to have dinner on Wednesday and invite us to join them.

All of the things God does in the paragraph above have happened to me within the last week. I wonder what God’s done to get your attention. I wonder how many of God’s countless little actions have not gotten my attention. Will you pray with me, please?

Almighty Architect,

You are behind every occurrence in every day. You are the healing of the paper cut and the cancer. You are the energy in the battery that keeps the clock on my desk running. You are the love that created the new baby whose photo is on Facebook. You create the world, over and over. You were there before the world began and you’ll last long after it’s gone. And you never seem to tire of it, because you just keep creating and healing and loving. God you are simply amazing!

Forever Forgiver,

I’ve been walking in more than 40 days of a spiritual desert in the midst of an exceptional spring. You’ve been knocking on my door and I’ve neither answered nor knocked at yours. Forgive me.

Loving Lord,

There are too many to mention who need your visit. I’ve been asked to pray for Thea, again her body is cancerous, even with the amazing medications you’ve created that she takes daily. I’ve been asked to pray for Susan who wears a WonderWoman headband while she sits for five hours of chemotherapy. I can only pray for Carol, whose cancer has returned with such a vengeance that I hope she’ll let me visit. A dream from the other night reminds me to pray for Blair. Sally is having suffering with her husband’s negativity. Rose and Holly still struggle to steer clear of alcohol, even though they know they can’t control their drinking. Loving Lord, every one of these and so many more need your energy, your attention, and some kind of billboard from you to continue to have courage in the face of these troubles. And there’s me, too, Lord. I need to stop trying to carry things on my own, even though my shoulders and neck ache because of the weight of these troubles.

Granting Grandother,

You give and you give. And you give and you give. And while I am grateful for some things, even making lists of them, there are myriad occurrences and items that I don’t realize. Thank you for medical technology and medications. Thank you for hope. Thank you for batteries. Thank you for computers and the internet. Thank you for loving me. And loving me and loving me. Thank you for holding me gently always, leaving it up to me to remember that you are.  Lord, I love you so much!

And I pray in Jesus’ name,

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.net

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, 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.

SONY DSC

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,

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!

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! 

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.

Cornucopia

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.

Amen.

To God be the glory!

Love always,

Melissa

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! 

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

And then I feel better.

positive-teens

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,

Amen.

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!

John’s disciples came to him and said, “Rabbi, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you identified as the Messiah, is also baptizing people. And everybody is going to him instead of coming to us.”

John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven. You yourselves know how plainly I told you, ‘I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.’ It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the best man is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success.  He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.

~ John 3: 26 -30

This morning, Mary Luti knocked it out of the park with her Stillspeaking Devotional about John the Baptist.  I had been sitting at my desk getting weepy because people don’t realize I’m sensitive and hurt easily.  And whenever this happens, I try to remember again — it’s not about me.  

A while back, Colleen Gabel led a retreat for women of the Congregational Church of  Batavia called “Cracked Pots to Holy Vessels” (or something like that…  I know cracked pots WAS involved, because the pun was totally intended!)  Will you pray with me, please?

cracked pot

Parent and Potter,

You are the architect of the universe and the builder and the materials and the laborer.  You created the heavens and the earth and I suspect there was little ‘hard work’ done to create it — I think you can’t help but create.  I think your creative energy is love.  I know you are amazing!

Gracious God,

Help me to remember that my every move should be to increase you.  Grant me the humility I lack.  Keep me on my knees worshipping you, not mistakenly thinking it’s about me.  Make me a vessel, filled with you to overflowing.  Empty my mind of me by filling it with you.  Make me a blessing for others, Lord — nothing more.

vessel for God

Constant Creator,

You have given me this mind, these fingers, these thoughts.  Without you, I am nothing — I would not be. Thank you for my life. Lord, I love you so much.  I am grateful.

And I dare to pray claiming 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!

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.

lovely_thoughts_by_freemind93-d4pm8uh

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,

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!

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?

reason_why-il_mscrpt

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.

the-reason-why

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,

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!

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