Thursday, April 4, 2013

Where 2 or 3 are gathered in my name

Sometimes we don't know why an idea hits us.  It just comes, relentlessly playing around in the back of your brain and not leaving you alone until either you do something about it or it packs up its lunch and goes home!  An idea like that was brewing within me. And, in the spirit of being open to trying new things this year, I decided to pay attention.  Being a person who prays, attends church and participates in the 'corporal prayer' that happens there, I pretty much thought I was covered for my prayer life. I had even found some wonderful prayer websites that I could tell were ministering to people who did not have others they felt comfortable coming to with their life issues and asking for prayer.  I would use it myself sometimes. What a wonderful ministry!
The craving for that prayer connection with God and other people did not seem to be going away.  Aren't I already expressing my concerns, hopes and fears to the Father in those moments?  Yet still, it was cooking in the back of my brain to start a prayer circle.  I had always believed in the power of prayer, but reading the scriptures in which Jesus would leave the disciples behind and go off for mediation and prayer before many of the really 'big' decisions and events in his life, and his encouragement to them to gather together to pray kept after me and I couldn't shake it off.

Putting the PeopleTogether
With that I  began to pray seriously about the whole prayer hooplah before and at the beginning of Lent.  Would it be too weird to ask even my religious friends?  Who would I ask?  How many people should I try to rope into this hour of power?  A gentle leading told me to ask a long distance friend from college who is a true christian and a kind hearted funny person to boot.  I thought, naw, too busy, kids to take care of blah blah blah...She was interested!  I had another person in mind, local and a former work buddy, but I assumed she too would be too busy with life as was often the case when we'd try to get together.  Surprisingly to me, she also was interested, and was excited about the idea of carving out time each week for focused prayer.  My first friend asked another friend in her own state to join us, but she felt she was too busy with work and we became 3.  And I thought to myself, "well, 2 or 3 gathered in my name, it is just the right number, at the right time".

How We Do It
Working out the particulars is always a bit dreary, especially since no one wants to tell anyone how they should pray (except maybe Jesus, but He can get away with it). After throwing out some tentative suggestions we came to these important basics. We wanted to share concerns and have them prayed for by the group (for ourselves and for the greater world). We wanted to share prayers answers. We wanted to pray at the same time weekly when possible, and we wanted to include a 'regular' prayer we all would use somewhere during the time of prayer.  Currently we are using the concluding Monday evening prayer from The Glenstal Book of Prayer.  I might mention that we are all Christians but from different denominational traditions.  How we approach our prayers during the appointed time is up to us. I leave the main 'living area' and close the door to my room. I enjoy having sacred music playing quietly in the background during this time, or sometimes silence.  At some moments I just picture the person's face and visualize their prayer concerns, other times I'm quite wordy in my praying and pour my little chatty heart out to God.  I usually allot half an hour in my mind but if it goes longer it goes longer...until peeps and places are accounted for.  It seems the more we pray, the more needs come to our attention.  Is this how it becomes "praying without ceasing"???

And Here We Are
At first a bit awkward to get up and say "Well, I have to go pray now".  Now I look forward very much to that evening time of prayer.  It hasn't been that difficult to schedule life around it and we remain flexible enough that if one of us has an unforeseen event we adjust the schedule slightly, or pick up the prayer slack for the person who is called away.    An unexpected wonder to me about this has been that it has strengthened very much our relationships with one another. It can be so easy to drift apart when you don't see each other every day.  As our personal lives are interwoven into the prayers we are much more up to date on the cares and concerns of each others lives. My two invited friends have never met in person, but have developed a wonderfully supportive online friendship. This is an unexpected blessing and I look forward to a time when we can all be together in person!  Coming out of the prayer time I feel refreshed and energized from being with the spirit of God. And astounded by His great love and compassion. I can't say I know God's reasons for nudging us in this direction or what He will do with this work.  Does it really matter? He knew that we needed it.  And here we are.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Don't Get into a Lather...or Lysol Touch of Foam Handwash

Just recently I signed on to be a BzzAgent - and Lysol Antibacterial Touch of Foam handwash is my first campaign!  I thought it would be interesting to try out new products, give my honest two cents and share that info with others.  That's what this post is all about.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Embracing the sad reality of Good Friday

Photo by Mr Pickle
The somber mood of Good Friday hangs like a heavy blanket over all, blocking out light and leaving us  motionless. I am taking this one day of the year, to spend the day remembering the sacrifice of Jesus.  Stations of the Cross begins in half an hour and tonight is the heartbreaking evening service.  It is a day to recognize what was the worse day any human would go through, and that He went by choice.  In spite of all fear, He went forward trusting in God's will.  Some believe that to focus too much on Good Friday is morbid, that He is resurrected and we need to look to that.  But I believe, that  we must go through the pain and sorrow of Good Friday to truly fulfill the joy of Easter Sunday, and to truly honor the fullness of this precious gift from God.

 I came into the world for this, to bear witness to the truth.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

I Love a Bargain!

Yeah, I'm on a tear to attempt to buy all unconsumables from second hand sources. I say attempt because there are limits to the cause of saving and reusing.  Anything in the undergarments or at all near the netheryaya region is out.  I already see that
clothes is a go, if you are willing to dig through a lot of fabric that was questionable when it was new, it is amazing what you can walk away with.  Beautiful pieces for little money. 
As women, we want to be economical and smart in our shopping, but we still want to look good.  And, there is a certain victorious thrill when you find something really wonderful for almost nothing.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Christians should always be just a little bit hungry...

So as we are in the midst of lent, observing meatless Fridays, spending more time in the Word, making sure to carve out that time for prayer and meditation, and reflecting on the Lord's sacrifice.  I didn't have any strong feeling this year of "giving something up",  but what abstinence and fasting did was draw me toward was making a small lifestyle change that will hopefully keep my mind and my eyes more focused on Christ.  Maybe I should always let myself be just a little bit hungry, to know what it is

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Major Change for 2013 - I give up visits to the salon...

In an attempt to shore up money for things that are feeling more important (like travel abroad, retirement savings etc) I've made the choice to quit going to the salon, handing over that precious $70 every seven weeks and go back to doing my 'colorant' at home.  Hells bells, I would never have  thought it,
after experiencing too many red, redder, reddest hair colors when aiming for a nice buttery brown...BUT, I saw a blurb about E Salon in More Magazine (the magazine for the 'Mature' woman...!) a figured, if More gave it the thumbs up, it must be ok. So I went to the website, filled out the questionnaire that asked about hair color, past treatments, type of hair and even gave an opportunity to post a photo, and ended up with a recommended color of golden brown.  Within 4 days I receive my little box of supplies, the color, the activator, some real gloves that actually allow you to hold the tools, a brush for applying the color, stain remover and stain guard for around your hairline.  My hubby was thrilled to be pressed into service in our tiny bathroom, and began the process of glazing my head.