Saturday, February 28, 2009

Saturday After Ash Wednesday '09: My Soul Proclaims the Greatness of the Lord

Today I'm feeling pretty low-key. I've mentioned I've been keeping the hours, but trying not to be legalistic about it. I remember my first prayer book, the wonderful Divine Hours compliled by Phyllis Tickle. Until I got my hands on the DH, my Evangelical life left little room for prayer books. I had books that were like prayer books, mostly from the Word of Faither camp, but they tended to be pages and pages of positive confessions. Yes, they were Word based, but I always felt I was barking orders at God, or telling Him what He already knew. I dunno. It just didn't feel right to me. But I tried. And failed.

So, when I got the first volume of the DH, it was like a gentle wind of Spirit blowing into my life. Only, I got legalistic about it. If I didn't pray those prayers exactly to the minute on the hour or half hour, I felt like I was breaking that great chain of prayer that Phyllis writes and speaks so beautifully about, a chain that links us together, all over the world, continually. Man, that makes me a little sad, that I couldn't enjoy the praying because I got stuck on an idea that I put way too much weight on. What was I expecting? I haven't lived most of my life with that kind of attention. I've said too many times here I can't find my shoes many days. So, as much as I loved the DH it left me feeling mildly guilty, which was not conducive to progress.

I purchased Christian Prayer, the one volume Liturgy of Hours shortly after I became Catholic. Oh, Lord! I had to write Phyllis and thank her for the ease of use of the DH. I felt like I needed a degree in that book, or a long, expensive apprenticeship with some veteran pray-er who would treat me badly until I learned. She laughed when I told her this. "Miserable, isn't it?" she said, "But if you stick with it you'll find untold treasures." I stuck with it. Not in any way that would impress you. What I'm saying is that I didn't get rid of the book. Sometimes I managed to pick it up. Sometimes. But I've picked it up lots in these last few days post-Ash Wednesday, and it's become an invaluable tool to burrowing more deeply into the heart of God.

I've also been reading Brother David Steindl-Rast's absolutely lovely, "The Music of Silence." You can find out more about his method of praying the hours at www.gratefulness.org. I've gotten so much out of his book. Brother David teaches me that what's most important is giving myself to God in the hours of prayer. And you know what I figured out? I'm still somewhere in that chain of worldwide pray-ers. Everything is cool. God appreciates that I'm showing up. It's a heart thing. Lord, deliver me from my fundamentalism!

One of the goals of Christian prayer manuals, I believe, is to assist believers in the ancient practice of praying the Psalms. It's a useful thing to do, lovies, life changing. I don't think you can keep praying the Psalms without gaining a measure of humility. If you are listening you'll hear pretty early on how good and majestic God is. If you're disconnected from nature it will remind you of its many gifts. And I'm afraid you'll also see how messy human beings are. We can learn a lot from the Psalms, even the vengeful ones. Mercy! How telling they are. But come on, we've all felt those strong and terrible emotions. And here, we see we aren't alone. There is always redemption in the Psalms. And I'm telling you, a prayer book makes it a lot easier to begin a journey into their depths.

Today, I struggled to stay focused on the words. Several times I caught myself bored, and even thinking "how repetitive." How telling was that. Maybe it's repetitive because it'd take a while for me to get into the zone. I had to check myself. Slow down. Savor the words. Be mindful. And I did, until I saw a lot less of me and my boredom and monkey chatter, and more of Him. God got bigger in my mind today as I prayed, and I got smaller. As the Psalmist cried out of his pain, I remembered my own, and yours, and everyone's. We are all so fragile. The words "Remember that you are dust," are played out in the psalms, dramatically, over and over. But we aren't just dust they remind us. We are beloved dust that God has breathed His life into. Who are we that God is mindful--there's that word again, only it's about God!--of us? That's pretty powerful isn't it? We don't deserve God's concern, and yet He freely gives it. And you know what, the Psalms are a blow to one's self-importance. It's definitely an underdog's book. You can't miss God's concern for the poor if you read them. Want to beef up your social justice. The Psalms will help with that.

In the mail today I got my rejection letter from the University of Michigan. I applied to their MFA in Creative Writing program. It's humbling to think that it's likely that several undergrads were deemed more worthy to study there than Ms. Published author, but I am dust, lovies. For a minute those vengeful Psalms sounded good! But more than the embarrassment I felt, I realized something important, and I think it's because my head has been in the Psalms. No matter how small and insignificant I feel, the Great God of All sees me. He didn't want me in that program. He knew my heart isn't in teaching fiction at a university. I want to be in a House of Hospitality, but sometimes, I think I know what's best for me, and usually, I'm not listening to my heart, but the monkey chatter in the brain. But God looked out for me, closed a door that wasn't mine to walk into, humbled me, and assured me that in His great love He'd provide. A canticle I pray daily now--it's in the prayer book--is resounding in my soul today. It isn't in the Psalms, but it's certainly as poetic. It's the Magnificat, the song of Our Lady when she received the Lord into her body. Wow! That gives me some new insight into Holy Communion. Ironically, on this day that I've been rejected from a writing program, I'm remembering how tears streamed down my face when I got the first copy of my first book in the mail. I couldn't stop crying, and managed to step over to my altar and choke out what? The Magnificat. It was the only thing I could think of to express how I felt. Have you ever prayed that? I challenge you to do so. It may surprise you what God reveals:

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for He has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is His Name.

He has mercy on those who fear Him
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of His arm,
He has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich He has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of His servant Israel
for He has remembered His promise of mercy.
the promise He made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.

Now that's a prayer, lovies. Amen!

mair-francis

Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday after Ash Wednesday '09: Jesus, Terry, and the Art of Eating as an Act of Worship

I've got this friend named Terry and for her eating is an act of worship. I've had the pleasure of sharing meals with her on several occasions, some in restaurants, which become temples in her presence, and others in her home. Once, I sat in an airport in Colorado Springs waiting for a plane and munching with great joy on a bagged lunch she prepared for me. Each experience was exquisite. If I lived with my friend I'm certain I'd weigh 130 lbs and be a blissed out mystic, especially at meal times.

What makes eating with Terry so special? I believe it's a combination of two things. First, she's a lover. When she brings people together at a table it becomes a Eucharistic celebration. She has a way of connecting people who may otherwise have absolutely nothing to do with one another. Over wine, cheese, lovely food and Jesus, defenses wither, walls long erected come tumbling down, and her little communities of diners feast on love: God's, hers, and each others.

Second, she brings a certain mindfulness to the table. I don't know if health concerns made her this way, or if she's just a contemplative eater by nature. This is what I know: to Terry, an apple is a masterpiece. She can have church in the produce department at Whole Foods. She is not a hedonist, she is a deeply reverent pilgrim. She doesn't worship food, but rather, the God who created and gives it.

I don't care how simple the meal--in fact, the simpler the better--you taste and see that the Lord is good with my friend. And that teaches me something.

As I lay myself on the bosom of the Bridegroom this Lenten season, so sorry for my sins, I find myself contrite about the many disconnects of my life, and the most glaring example is the way I've stopped listening to my body. I realized something recently. I was not obsessed with food, nor abusive to myself as an eater until I met the man who physically, spiritually, and mentally abused me. I don't talk about the four years I was bulimic much. The memories are painful. Nor do I speak much of the self-hate I learned and continued for the rest of my life. But as I lay upon my Lover Jesus, hearing His heartbeat, I am certain that I must revisit the wounds as He delicately, and deftly heals me.

It is a slow way. I want it to go quickly. I want to be a fasting and weight loss star, losing seventy pounds in six months! But He won't allow me to do something big and heroic (and insane). He's teaching me the little way, how to be small. I want the small body, but not the little, humble, child-like soul He wants me to be. But I am trying.

Today was so meandering. I lingered in bed, curled next to Ken, dreaming, and reading, and thinking. The hours passed, Lauds: the coming of the light/Light; Prime: deliberate beginning; Terce: the blessing hour, and Sext: Fervor and commitment time. From Lauds, before dawn, until Terce I kept time in my heart, doing what Brennan Manning calls holy loitering. I stayed aware of Jesus, gently, trying to be mindful against the monkey chatter in my brain. By Sext, which is around noon, I pulled out my Prayer Book and read all the hours I'd spent just basking in God's presence. You know what? I don't think He minded the creative scheduling.

I asked myself after my Ash Wednesday ambitions what is most meaningful? I decided I really do want to keep the canonical hours of prayer, and so I kept them, but not in a legalistic way. I tried to show up, with love, and attention. I also want to give, but I haven't quite figured out the form this giving will take. I'm thinking of a community project with you, but I'll need your help if I do it. I am considering write a Stations of the Cross for an African Orphan. In Africa Jesus taught me to see Him in His most distressing disguises. Those children are being crucified daily, through hunger, loss, lack, and AIDS. Surely a Way of the Cross for them would be meaningful. I thought I could offer it as a Zine in a few weeks, and you could share in providing a little relief, as all the proceeds of your donations (if you choose to participate) would go to The Children's Hope Chest. I'm praying about it. Tell me what you think.

I've also cut back on sugar, significantly. I've given up soda. You have no idea what a hard thing that is for me. I gave it up because it's hard. And I'd like to simply cut my heaping food portions, offering up my screeching hunger for the hungry. That's about it. Those are the things that mean a lot to me, and I'll be praying that by grace I continue to repent of many poor lifestyle choices (and sins!)

Before I exercised today (Wow! Look at her go!) I ate a bowl of raspberries sprinkled with stevia. I thought of Terry and her little way, relishing each bite, thankful for God's creativity in giving us simple, nourishing foods that are delicious. I worshiped Him because He is good, and kind to make raspberries so good--though I think the stevia may need tweaking. I was grateful for my friend for teaching me this important lesson. I feasted not only on berries, but Him.

I want my entire Lent to be about not only what I fast from, but also, what I feast on.

For your meditation:

Fast from judging others: feast on the Christ indwelling in them.
Fast from emphasis on differences; feast on patience.
Fast from words that pollute; feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger; feast on patience.
Fast from pessimism; feast on optimism.
Fast from worry; feast on trust.
Fast from complaining; feast on appreciation.
Fast from negatives: feast on affirmatives.
Fast from unrelenting pressures; feast on unceasing prayer.
Fast from hostility; feast on non-violence.
Fast from bitterness; feast on forgiveness.
Fast from self-concern; feast on compassion for others.
Fast from personal anxiety; feast on eternal truth.
Fast from discouragement; feast on hope.
Fast from facts that depress; feast on truths that uplift.
Fast from lethargy; feast on enthusiasm.
Fast from suspicion; feast on truth.
Fast from thoughts that weaken; feast on promises that inspire.
Fast from idle gossip; feast on purposeful silence.
Gentle God, during this season of fasting and feasting, gift us with your presence, so we can be gift to others in carrying out your work.

Amen.
(from The Essential Lenten Handbook: A Daily Companion, 2000, Ligouri)

love ya!
mair-francis
Fast from negatives; feast on

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lent 2009, Thursday after Ash Wednesday. Confessions of a Lent Star.


Okay, so last year I'm all excited about Ash Wednesday. Mind you, many of the Protestant churches I attended had Ash Wednesday services. This wasn't a new thing for me. The Eastern Orthodox faithful, as far as I know, don't have this tradition. I know we didn't observe it at the parish I attended, so I was hungry for Ash Wednesday as I moved into full communion with the Catholic Church in 2008. I missed it.

In previous years when I'd gotten ashes the minister would solemnly intone as he crossed my forehead, "Remember that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return." Pretty somber, huh? But when I got older the words came to mean a lot more to me. I found them oddly reassuring. I knew that my suffering, especially physical, would one day end. I totally looked forward to hearing I was dust again. It'd been years, but when I walked up to Father Gary, a wry smile on my face, ready for my affirmation, "You're dust hon, so chill. You can get through this," what I heard was, "Repent, and be faithful to the gospel."

What??? Is this some kind of Catholic thing? I've never heard repent and be faithful to the gospel when I got my ashes. I mean, it's a good idea. It's a great idea in fact, just ask John the Baptist. Those words changed how I viewed Ash Wednesday and Lent. It wasn't about just suffering, giving up stuff you love, and penance. It was about changing your life so you can be free to experience the goodness of the good news. It kinda made a sistah want to shout, Pentecostal style!

So, I get to church this year, stand in line, my baby girls in front of me. Father Gary pulls a fast one. He doesn't say, "Repent and be faithful to the gospel." He says, "Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return."

Oh no! Did I adequately prepare my babies for this? Will they understand what it means? Did I even want them considering their mortality? They're 9 and 11 for heaven's sake! I have to admit I panicked. And then the reality hit, they are dust indeed, my sweet babies.

This week, a dear friend is burying his beloved son, only 22 years old. His son, in a moment of crushing despair ended his life. His mama found him hanging. As I walk this journey to the cross with Jesus, I'm carrying his pain, as well as his family's with me. Yes, we are dust. Fragile, frail, and oh, so human. My girls aren't too young to know it. And apparently I needed the reminder myself.

So, why am I telling you this. I guess it's because I started out Ash Wednesday as a Lenten star. I was ambitious, serious, and well equipped! I mapped out an entire rule of life, just for Lent. Oh, you should have seen it. I began with the liturgy of hours, the rosary, and there was all this spiritual reading, and alms giving. It was thorough! Thoughtful! It was freakin' HOLY!!! But yesterday, as I fasted, and when the hunger pangs hit and I knew I was dust, seriously. Hungry dust that wanted a Pepsi and fried chicken. Last night, the sore muscles screamed their agony because I exercised. For Lent! I fell asleep not with my prayer book in hand, but with a rationalization that since I went to Mass, could I maybe please sorta skip Compline prayers. Oh yeah, lovies, the flesh was alive and well, and by 11 PM it appeared, for all practical purposes, that I would fail lent, once again. And that was a good thing.

What is a season of penance without the realization that alone I can do nothing? The twelve steps, in fact, can be an adequate guide to Lent. You begin admitting you are powerless. You cannot save your self by doing thus and so to show God that you mean it. And it's all so subtle. My desire to do good was earnest and honest, but I set myself up for failure. My plan was too big. Too spiritually ambitious. In the end, I should have just taken it a day at a time.

Yesterday I pondered the scripture:

"Yet even now, says the LORD, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your heart and not your garments." But I missed something big. Namely, this, a little more of the passage: "Return to the LORD, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love..."

Despite the fact that I said I would begin in love, and my Lenten journey would be all about love, by the end of the day I was up to my old tricks, trying to earn the grace that is already mine. Does this mean that my desire for a devout life is useless? My rule of life for lent an exercise in futility? Not at all. I believe my lesson for yesterday was to remember that I am dust. I am frail, weak, and needy. I am utterly dependent on God for His goodness and mercy. I can't even repent or mourn my sins without His love and guidance. So, um, keep it simple, sistah.

Whatever you are attempting as you draw closer to Christ, be as gentle as our Lord. Ruth Haley Barton has some lovely things to say about fasting for Lent:

"The disciplines of Lent have to do with abstaining from the ways we normally distract ourselves from spiritual reality--the reality of our sin and the deeply patterned behaviors that keep us from our calling to follow Christ. It has to do with allowing some of the external trappings and internal compulsions of our lives to be stripped away so we can return to a truer sense of ourselves in God's presence. It has to do with with acknowledging the subtle temptations to which we are prone, rather than pretending we are beyond temptation."

In short, Lent is about being honest. If we aren't real about our humanity, we aren't going anywhere spiritually. Pious liars do not impress God, or anyone else. Lent is all about looking at what stands in the way of a simple, loving relationship with the Lord, and slowly, and mindfully removing those things.

Mindful. Now there's a word I need to look at.

Much love,
mair-francis






Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday 2009: Repent and be faithful to the Gospel.

I begin in love, facing my Bridegroom, veiled, a constant reminder that I am His bride. No longer do I hide from His knock like the foolish woman in the Song of Songs, rather, I fling open the door and run into the sweetness of His embrace.



My Lord, and my God. I am sorry for my sins.

I come to You, not out of fear, but because of love, in love, with love, through love, that I may come to know You, Love Himself, intimately, deeply, fully.

Help me to give myself first to you, and then to those who you never fail to remember, the poor and needy.

Act of Contrition:
"My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong, and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend with your help to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In His name, my God, have mercy."

Litany of Forgiveness

For the times I lacked compassion and concern for others
forgive me, Lord.

For now sharing my resources of time, talent, and treasure,
forgive me, Lord.

For holding grudges and refusing to have a forgiving heart,
forgive me, Lord.

For the times I have criticized and gossiped,
forgive me, Lord.

For not reaching out to comfort and console others,
forgive me, Lord.

For not caring for myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually,
forgive me, Lord.

For the ways I misuse nature and damage the environment,
forgive me, Lord.

For those times when I talked more than I listened,
forgive me, Lord.

For my prejudices, biases, and deliberate acts of discrimination,
forgive me, Lord.

For being greedy,
forgive me, Lord.

For the misuse and abuse of the wonderful gift of spirituality,
forgive me, Lord.

For failing to see your face in the homeless and helpless,
forgive me, Lord.

For believing that I could save myself,
forgive me, Lord.

For not living fully for you,
forgive me, Lord.

For doubting that you love me with an everlasting love,
forgive me, Lord.

Amen.

"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, forgive me for any wrong I've done to you, whether wittingly, or unwittingly, and for any way I have failed or disappointing you. God have mercy on my soul. I am sorry for my offenses. Please pray for me.

In love,
mair-francis

Prayers and Intercessions

?
Let us give thanks to God the Father for his gift of the season of Lent, which starts today. We pray that during this holy time he may fill our hearts with the Holy Spirit and thus purify them and make them steadfast in love:

Lord, give us your Holy Spirit.

May we be fed and satisfied
by every word that comes from your mouth.

Lord, give us your Holy Spirit.

Although we long to perform grand and magnificent acts of love,
may we still take all the tiny opportunities for love that each day brings.

Lord, give us your Holy Spirit.

Give us the gift of abstaining from excess,
so that we can give more to our poorer brethren.

Lord, give us your Holy Spirit.

May we carry your Son’s death around in our bodies:
for through his body you have given us life.

Lord, give us your Holy Spirit.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Spiritual Black History Moments


Hello muh baybies!

Before my big medical duh-rama, I did a little ditty for Beliefnet. That's a very fabu interfaith website, so you can get your spirituality on, no matter what flavor you prefer. Me, I like a spicy, soulful, Catholic blend, very Sr. Thea Bowman. But that's just me. They really do represent many faiths, even if you have no faith at all.

So, I did an interfaith Spiritual Black History Moments, and you may find it interesting. I'd appreciate if you could show some love. Or not. Up to you. Keep in mind it's an interfaith site, and my work there reflects that.

Here it is:

http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/2009/The-Spirituality-of-Black-History.aspx

I put the whole url in case the link doesn't work, which has happened to me more than a few times.

Peace and all good,
mair-francis

Woo Hooo, I'm home!

Hello lovies,

I am back!

So yeah, I went to the hospital, was admitted, and it was all drama, drama, drama. I was given morphine around the clock and had a constant, awful headache. I also had some really bad chest pains Friday night, and had to take a few doses of Nitro, which does what? Give you a really bad headache. I still have a headache! After a few Heparin drips (hey, didn't they recall that stuff???) and some blood pressure regulating--it went higher than it's ever been-- I felt better. The Cardiologist came to see me the next day and told me my heart was completely healthy and there was no need for a stress test because I had one six months ago.

Let that sink in.

Okay, I REFUSED to play the role of hysterical woman, which is what a lot of people expect of women, I'm sad to say. How many women--and not just women, lovies--are told their maladies, which are very real are all in their heads? And please, don't have a history of any kind of mental illness. Forget about it! I won't go into the many adventures in bad medicine I've experienced simply because no one was listening, which later turned out to be really big deals because in general people really can tell when they're sick. Because I was doped up and sick from morphine anyway, and God knows what those heart drugs were doing, I decided to let this battle go in order to win the war.

I've got a plan, and I intend to make a new life happen, Lord, have mercy on my soul (and body). So, all in all, your prayers kept me safe, whatever was done the few days I was in the hospital alleviated the initial crisis. I have a prescription for more Nitro--me and my healthy heart--and I'm going forward to find the real answers to what ails me. I know this: my sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits haven't helped. It will be good to see what changes good dietary, nutrition, and exercise habits bring to my health. I doubt if they'll hurt, but I will be seeking a good doctor. Finally.

Tomorrow, which is the day I said I'd start my dietary and exercise changes, is finally here.

I suppose I have a lot of looking at my life to do, too, which I intend to do prayerfully, and with great love. What surprises me is the anger I'm feeling, and beneath that, the sadness. What have I done with my life? How did I end up in this moment in time, that in many ways is so unsatisfactory? I feel cluttered body, soul, and spirit, and that has to change. The only hold-out for my fabulous new life, with it's many false starts, has been me.

Now, I really need to go boldly. Wanna come?

Usually on Ash Wednesday the blog goes dark and I say goodbye to my blog readers until Easter. This year, I think I'd like to go to Calvary with you. I love Lenten season, almost as much as Christmas. So, we'll walk the way of the cross, you and me, we'll give up something, and take on something, with the goal of drawing nearer to God. We will decrease, and let Jesus increase, and see what God does.

But we'll begin that journey on Ash Wednesday. Today, I've got some business to do with God that is very much about me. Again, Lord, have mercy.

Thank you for your prayers, and much love,
mair-francis

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I'm back. Sorta.

Hey lovies,

I've really missed you. I know I've been gone since, like, January 28th, but I wasn't just ignoring you. Nor was I livin' large. I've been very sick. I'm having one of those "episodes". No, not that kind, though honestly, I'm in a really dark depression, but I've been worse, mood-wise. So, it's not a bipolar thing. Maybe it's a fibro thing, but to tell you the truth. I don't think I have fibro now. I think it's something else. Don't make me say it.

I'm sick. I had two weeks of really bad pain. Each day I felt worse. My vision is getting blurry (could be my eyes just changing). My legs give out sometime (could be a fibro thing). I had one or two half-days where I was all right, but it's been mostly one ginormous, non-stop, painful bummer.

And okay, I'll just say it. I've been having chest pains for a few days, off and on. I starting popping Tums like "House" knocks back Vicodin, and it's not helping much. I'm very short of breath. I'm also very, very tired. Add to my misery a virus. Ear pain. Chest feeling heavy (could be because I have a virus). Throat sore. But I do have something of a cardiac history. So, tomorrow I'm going to the hospital. I just wanted to turn my rewrites in to my editor before I went in.

Insert your yelling here.

Aw, come on. This may be nothing. I'm obese, and maybe I just have heart burn and need something stronger than Tums. I'm not sure. Last night I prayed that God would give me a sign that I should go on to the ER. That's a big deal for me. I don't have any health insurance, and it'll cost a grand to walk through the door. I don't have a grand, either. The last thing I need is more bills I'll have trouble paying. I prayed, and asked the Lord to make the sign sure, so I wouldn't miss it. I woke up this morning, did some work, and began a Google search on what, I don't remember. I came across a headline that the husband of one of my favorite writers and bloggers--he's a great writer too--Michael Dubriel, passed away suddenly while working out at the gym.

I was far more concerned about Amy Welborn and her family than I was about watching for signs. You know how it is. Some bloggers feel like family, or your bff, even though you don't know them. Amy is grieving, and her two young children must be reeling. So can you pray for them? He was a lovely man. He'll be sorely missed. And this from a person who never met him personally, but their family touched my heart and strengthened my faith.

This evening I got an email from my agent. One of his clients who has a 12 year old son had to take his boy to the hospital. The child had caught the flu, with symptoms much like the one's I described. After a battle, that poor baby rallied for a short time, only to die later that evening. Sweet Jesus, what a horrible thing! Will you pray for these families, please?

I'll say this, too. I don't think those awful events were my signs. The poor families have been struck by illness and death as all of us are. But these tragedies did give me, as I grieve with those who are suffering, a bit of a pause. Maybe a person doesn't need a freakin' sign, but common sense. If you are very sick, or having chest pains, and you have risk factors (earlier heart damage, and obesity), just go. No need for drama, guilt, or self-sabotage. If I'm fine, just worn down, or having a bad fibro episode, I won't lose a thing (okay, a thousand dollars). If I'm in troube, I can receive care.

Anyway, I'll write soon to let you know how it all goes. Until then, how's your heart? Have you talked to Jesus about it all? Remember and pray for people whose hearts are shattered today, whether it's their physical heart, or not.



love,
mair-francis.

Image from http://www.oneyearbibleblog.com