Faith from the Edges

Faith and life from the perspective of me.

Archive for the tag “prayer”

Prayer, unexpected gifts, learnings

Just about a third of the way through Lent and I realized that I have learned some things. One of those is what not to pray for. Yep, you read that right, what not to pray for!

Don’t pray for patience. You will be given the most frustrating, exhausting, excruciating processes to go through. I have been praying for patience since before Lent started. I just knew that if I was patient enough I would get through all of this and at this point we would have our new house. Well nope that hasn’t happened. Don’t panic we are getting it but we have had to put off getting the keys for a couple of days. So patience is a mixed gift. One I think I am ready to give back to God at this point.

Here is the other thing I have learned about prayer, that having a prayer support group (and you all know who you are) is essential to maintaining my faith. I am reminded that I need to be as generous in my prayers for them as they have been for me and the dear one.

PrayerShawlGift

I have had a few unexpected gifts in the last while. The first was new friends here in our new community reaching out and taking care of the dear one and I. We have been invited out to events, we have been included in spontaneous after church lunch gatherings. I am deeply grateful for this gift. The other gift is a more tangible one. I received in the mail a small parcel from a dear friend who lives in Manitoba and is part of the Left-Handed Blessings knitting group. In it was the lovely prayer shawl you see me wearing in the picture. She said that she had been wanting to send it to me for awhile and my blog post on worrying pushed her to get it to me. It is lovely, soft pink and grey. I couldn’t believe how much love and strength came off it the first time I put it on. I am going to use whenever I am worrying too much or just need a hug of love to surround me. I am deeply grateful for this gift.

So Lent this far has had its challenges (which is likely a good thing because what is Lent without being challenging), presented me with gifts, and reminded  me what to pray for and what not to pray for. I am grateful this Lent, even through the tears of frustration, that I am part of a community who cares and supports.

Are you having a good Lent? What has been your biggest challenge so far?

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Being faithful when it is hard

As I have said in earlier post I miss church. I miss the community. I miss having communion regularly. I miss singing, learning and sharing my faith with others. Given my circumstances I just can’t go there at the moment. This has really been a test of my faith. Why am I still a Christian when the church as an institution has just been so not there for the dear one and I during the last few years? That is a question that keeps echoing in my head.

I am a person that needs to pray with others. I don’t do meditation or contemplative prayer well. I need the other bodies of human beings around to reflect with and share with during prayer time. One of the things that has kept me going is saying morning prayer regularly with the dear one. Reading together from scriptures, paying attention to the church year, keeping a list of those who have asked to pray for them, lighting candles.

It is now Holy Week – the final week of Lent, the week that we follow Jesus from Palm Sunday to the cross. It is usually a busy time for our family – more church services than you can count on one hand. There have been times in the past when juggling family and parish responsibilities has nearly driven me crazy. What I wouldn’t give for a little of that crazy right now. Now I know I won’t be going to a Maundy Thursday service, if I do Good Friday it is likely to be at the local United Church, no Easter Vigil and who knows what I will be doing for Easter Sunday. I think this is the hardest part of trying to maintain my faith in the midst of this time in our lives.

So I will continue to say Morning Prayer with the dear one on a regular basis for this has been truly grounding for both of us.  I will continue to look for God in the greening of the world around me. I will continue to find solace in my friends and family. I will eventually have another church home to be a part of regularly. I will keep the faith!

Words and their power

At the beginning of this year a friend sent me a link to a blog site that deals with creativity and in particular in choosing words to help guide your year. This thought intrigued me and I begin to ponder what words I might choose for the year.

I love words. I love how they sound in our mouths. I am aware of  the power they have to both hurt and to heal. I love putting ideas into words and sharing those with others. It has been words, writing and speaking them, that have gotten me through much of the last three years. Words are how I express my feelings and concerns.

Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook will know that I usually comment a lot on others statuses and that it is a rare day that goes by that I don’t write one of my own. It is my way of saying I am here, I matter and what others are saying about me, about the dear one, about our family just don’t matter. I use words to strengthen the positive in my life when I am surrounded by so much that is negative.

I think this is one of the reasons why I am an Anglican. We like words those of us Christians that are Anglicans. We have prayer books that are full of words. Common words that we share when we pray and sing. Words that connect us, words that challenge us, words that strengthen us. I don’t know an active Anglican who when they hear the words The Lord be with you  doesn’t answer with And also with you. Words that gather us, forgive us, feed us and then send us on our way.

So now back to my words for this year. They are courage, joy, and voice. Those words have been a big part of why I started this blog.

Courage to share my story. Courage to name the grief that I have been living with. Courage to reach out to my friends and family for support.

I am looking for joy. Not big joy. Little joy. The joy of a warm spring day. The joy of a good sleep. The joy of sharing a moment of laughter with a friend.

I have needed to remember my voice. That I can speak, write and share my voice with others. That my voice matters. That I have ideas to share with others. I am taking back my voice.

Words are amazing. They help us to communicate. They give me courage and joy and voice as I live out my life of faith at the edges.

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