My prayer for the week….

I really liked the songs we sang in Church today. They were one’s that resonated deep within me and were familiar. I have enjoyed the lingering words and tunes that have been repeated in my thoughts for most of today.

I especially have been thinking of the words of “Make me a Channel of Your Peace.” I want to take the words with me into this week and be curious about how God is going to call me to action in the words I sang and asked God to make real in my life this week.

I wonder how these words speak to your heart this week. Will you be one who reaches out to others or perhaps one who receives the peace offered. It is my prayer that this week will be one where we feel God’s embrace and love through the community of people He has surrounded us with.

I am happy to share this song with you if you follow the link below, sung by Susan Boyle. (To start the song, fast forward to 35)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hf8RA-TLpPI

Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me bring your
love.
Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord
And where there’s doubt, true faith in
you.

Chorus:
Oh, Master grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console
To be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of your peace
Where there’s despair in life, let me bring
hope
Where there is darkness, only light
And where there’s sadness, ever joy.

Chorus:

Make me a channel of your peace
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned
In giving to all men that we receive
And in dying that we’re born to eternal
life.

on the fourth day…

…God looked around and thought, “the daylight still needs a bit more work and the night is just too dark.”  So, He made the sun to light the sky during the day and the moon and stars to add a bit of sparkle to the night. (Children’s Bible)

The sunshine was beautiful today. I thought a lot about the Creation story as I thought about the power of the sun. The power of the sun for warmth, for growth, for healing….

I thought about how fast a week goes and yet how a very long time ago, there were six days when everything under the sun (and including the sun) was created….it really is something I should be in awe of more often.

And then I took some time to read about the importance of the sun. It is my hope we will have the opportunity for lots of sunlight in the coming days and weeks….

Yes, sunshine is a good thing when taken in moderation. Vitamin D is produced by your skin in response to exposure to ultraviolet radiation from natural sunlight. Five minutes a day is all it takes to prevent numerous diseases, such as:

Osteoporosis is commonly caused by a lack of vitamin D.

Rickets, a bone-wasting disease.

Insulin production impairment exacerbating type 2 diabetes.

Obese people need twice as much vitamin D due to impairment of utilization.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is caused by a melatonin imbalance initiated by lack of exposure to the sun.

Chronic vitamin D deficiency is often misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia because its symptoms are so similar: muscle weakness, aches and pains.

Vitamin D prevents prostate cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, depression, colon cancer and schizophrenia.

Infants who receive vitamin D supplementation (2000 units daily) have an 80% reduced risk of developing type 1 diabetes over the next twenty years.

Shocking Vitamin D Deficiency Statistics:

32% of doctors and med school students are vitamin D deficient.

40% of the U.S. population is vitamin D deficient.

42% of African-American women of childbearing age are deficient in vitamin D.

48% of young girls (9-11 years old) are vitamin D deficient.

Up to 60% of all hospital patients are vitamin D deficient.

76% of pregnant mothers are severely vitamin D deficient, causing widespread vitamin D deficiencies in their unborn children, which predisposes them to type 1 diabetes, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia later in life. 81% of the children born to these mothers were deficient.

Up to 80% of nursing home patients are vitamin D deficient

Sunlight exposure is truly one of the most powerful healing therapies in the world, far surpassing the best efforts of today’s so-called “advanced medicine.” There is no drug, no surgical procedure, and no high-tech procedure that comes even close to the astonishing healing power of natural sunlight.

Children are…

excellent observers and rotten interpreters!

This thought was shared at our Grace Groups last week. I have thought of it often this week….

Children, without guidance and honest conversation are left to interpret so much. I noticed this last week when I was with Isaiah (age three and three-quarters) Our conversation went like this….

I am tucking Isaiah into bed. He is snuggled into his pillow and blanket and remembers he did not turn his CD player on and starts to get up to do this.

Aunt Trish: Buddy, I can do that for you ~ you stay in bed and I will turn on the Frog Story

Isaiah: I better do it Aunt Trish, I don’t think you know how.

Aunt Trish: I might surprise you. I know how to do that. I have to hit power and then play.

Isaiah: But do you know what buttons those are?

Aunt Trish: I believe I do. If I need your help, then you can get up to help me.

Isaiah: But how do you know, did my Mom and Dad teach you?

I proceed to his radio to turn on the power and then hit play.

Isaiah: Wow, Aunt Trish, you really do know how to play my story!

And on that note, I got a big hug and Isaiah was very quickly asleep….

I share that story because Isaiah had never observed me practicing my skill of turning on his radio and so he drew his own conclusion, that I did not know how. He did not really even venture to consider otherwise until we were able to talk about it and I was able to show him differently.

Children learn by observing AND the conversations we invite them into that surround their observations.

I have been thinking about where did I as a child observe something and make some false interpretation. Where do those false interpretations affect my thinking today?

I want to be aware of my own observations  and interpretations and where they are fueled by what I know to be true and where they may be fueled by what I have made up to be true. I want to be an adult who invites children into conversation about what they are observing and interpreting. I want to be an adult who invites adults into conversation about what they are observing and interpreting. I want to live with a stance of curiosity….

We really are complex people with a myriad of experiences shaping our being.

two boys, a girl and a dog

I took the day off to get some things done and while the sky is blue and sun is out thought I would also take Dutch to the park.  We set out to Wilcox park which is across the street from Suzi and Andy’s new house. Now, although Dutch likes Suzi and Andy, she is most enthralled with Peter, Isaiah and Johanna. I opted to park up the road about four houses since I knew they were not home. I let Dutch out and headed towards the hill to throw her ball.

Dutch was off and running as soon as we were out of the car. She ran across the street (not a busy one), past four houses  and sat on the porch at the Bos home. It was as if she was saying to me she just wanted to see if the kids could come out to play.

It was a sweet moment and a made me realize what a great arrangement we have….

Andy and Suzi provide the kids…

I provide the dog…

And everyone is happy!

Life doesn’t get much better than that!

Heart breaking and gut wrenching…

It seems that today I read of many people’s lives that are devastated by tragic loss or sudden life changes.

I read of a little girl whose cancer has returned and at four years of age, has no option than to live her last days surrounded by family and friends.

I read of a man named Chad (http://sadandchara.blogspot.com/2011_02_06_archive.html) whose wife Sara was killed in a car accident and his first-born daughter was delivered 45 minutes after his wife’s death. He ended his blog last night with the following words ~ Miranda Evangelene Cole is taking her first steps tonight…straight into the arms of her mommy and Jesus.

I am keenly aware that around me people are hurting, some physically, some emotionally,  some spiritually….all I can continue to pray is “Lord, please show me how I can be a comfort to those who ache, an encouragement to the discouraged and a hope bearer, even in very difficult situations…”

I trust God will be near to each and everyone and let’s continue to reach out and love another well!

 

The importance of time…

Tonight I participated in the Cardio Step Aerobic class at the Kroc Center.

I have to say I was not thinking about the value of a minute…but I was thinking how long a minute really is. It was overwhelming to think about 45 minutes left of this stepping stuff. So i started to try to not look at the clock for five minute…and then I realized I would do best to not focus on time at all….but the more I thought about not thinking about time, the more I thought of time.

I had to shift my mindset from focusing on time to being grateful that I could move and exercise, that I am able to benefit from a membership at the Kroc center, that I am seeing and feeling  changes in my body, mind and soul, that I experienced Fitness North and have forever friendships from my two weeks there and my support system that shares in my struggle and celebrations on this journey is amazing. I can’t say the time flew by, but I did enjoy it….most of it anyway.

And yet in a day, I don’t know that I value time enough. I want to be intentional about how I spend my time and how I choose to spend my minutes and my moments. I want to be generous with my time and still “protect” some time to ensure I am renewed. I am so much better about that then I used to be, but there is always room for me to improve in how I live intentionally. I want to remember in the days and weeks ahead that time is invaluable…it may be a month, a week, a day, an hour, a minute….it is my prayer ~ may I spend my time well!

Value Every Minute
By : Author Unknown

To realize the value of one year: Ask a student who has failed a final exam.

To realize the value of one month: Ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.

To realize the value of one week: Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize the value of one hour: Ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.

To realize the value of one minute: Ask the person who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize the value of one second: Ask a person who has survived an accident.

To realize the value of one millisecond: Ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics.

The sound of silence…

These words rang through my thoughts today as I decided I would not put the radio on in the car today. It is so easy to fill my silence with stimulation and even “good” noise, such as Christian radio. But I am going to try for something new. When I am in the car, I am going to reflect on a thought. Today I found this quote and figured it was a good thought to reflect on.

Remember: very little is needed to make a happy life.
~Marcus Aurelius

Today I was struck by the silence….

Today I was struck by the sounds I heard in the silence

Today I was struck by how content I felt in the silence

Today I was grateful for the choice I made to create some silence in my life….

I wonder what you might think about if you opted to create some silence. I would love to hear from you……