Good morning …. good wonderful, yippeeeee-it’s-Friday-finally….morning to you <3
Even though there is rain, rain and more rain in the forecast…it’s Friday so … yay!!!
After yesterday’s somewhat yuk post of soul-bearing, I am looking forward to leaving you for the weekend with the Praise-God-from-whom-all-blessings-flow love that He poured into me during Lent as I added two things…
First, I used a little gift book that was given to me several years ago by my sweet sister/friend Lisa.
It is called The Tender Words of God by Ann Spangler.
The book is divided into thirteen chapters with morning and evening readings. The readings are just one or two passages of Scripture followed by a prayer.
Each week has a different theme based on what God has told us about Himself as our loving Father.
A few of these include…compassion, forgiveness, faithfulness, hope and comfort, love and mercy.
The week of devotions ends with some reflection time on Saturday and a short meditation to start the new week’s theme on Sundays.
Here is an excerpt that will give you a better idea…
From The Tender Words of Blessing and Provision
“I Will Provide a Way Out”
The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast desert. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything. Deuteronomy 2:7
So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to all. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:12
Lord, you know that life can sometimes be like a wilderness – dangerous, difficult and lonely. And you know how discouraged I have sometimes been. Forgive my complaining and help me remember that there is never a time when your grace is insufficient for my need. Page 163
As we passed through the season of Lent, I let these gentle words of hope and promise breathe life into my soul.
Sometimes little is more, and these small passages would feed me morning and night. It became something I looked forward to at the start and end of each day.
The passages were short enough that I could grasp onto a phrase of truth and mull that over and meditate on and ponder throughout the day.
This discipline worked well with the second thing I attempted to add.
I say attempted because I was not as consistent with this one.
My hope was to learn to incorporate the Prayer of Examen into my bedtime prayers, but many nights I ended up reverting to my usual cover-all-the bases prayers of anxiety and guilt…instead of following the ordered steps of the Prayer…
which is neither good nor productive..
I would be in the process of becoming still in His Presence and going through the day thinking of the ways of gratitude in my heart for various things and…
I would fall asleep.
Which maybe isn’t such a bad thing but still…
But the nights I did work through it, were refreshing to the spirit and I will persevere in learning this discipline.
Here is the the version of the Prayer of Examen practiced by St. Ignatius that we received from a prayer service at FCC in my own words:
- Become still before God and ask the Holy Spirit to presence Himself with you as you look honestly at your day.
- Gratefully recount the events of the day from morning til evening
- Reflect on your emotions, responses and motives that fueled your actions
- Confess those areas that come to mind where you did not follow the leadings of the Holy Spirit or, basically, did it your way, ask for help to respond differently to similar settings in the future and RECEIVE His forgiveness.
- Hopefulness as you think over the new day tomorrow. Rededicate yourself to the LORD and ask for His guidance for the things that you expect to happen and those that will catch you, but not Him, by surprise.
Both of these additions to feed my soul…
a subtraction of something that fed my flesh…
made for a beautiful journey through Lent 2017 <3
God bless you all and I will see you on Monday!