Friday, June 29, 2007

what really happened last Wednesday

Spiritual resource to share: surrender and soar

Have you ever hit a bureaucratic wall that seemed insurmountable? I did. On Wednesday. The end of the story is that everything was resolved - but the prayerful journey to get to that point may be helpful to any one who has ever experienced this kind of a challenge.

Two days before my son was to leave for an international trip, I realized I had made a mistake and checked it out with the airlines to correct it. I was informed that even if I did correct that one mistake he would not be allowed to board because of another new policy on passports. I had never heard of such a policy and thought I had done my research on what all the requirements were for international travel.

I was devastated. According to them, the trip was off, finished, kaput. I also knew that to resolve the passport issue at this time of record breaking demand was going to be additionally challenging. On top of that, I couldn't get a refund. I couldn't bear to share this news with my son, who had put his savings towards this trip and was so excited about it.

I have never hesitated in calling on friends for help, and so I called on a "sister bird" (code word for fellow Christian Science practitioner) to help break the gloom and doom I felt I had put myself into.

We talked about how God's plan is already fixed. Already complete. Most needed was to oust the blame and shame of past actions and get on with listening and affirming that God's will for us is all good, and we are always in our right place. With these distractions of negativity out of the way, I was open to infinite possibilities.

The next day and a half were spent on the phone, on the computer and praying. Finally, I saw a way to resolve everything but it depended on two things and the timing had to be spot on. I prayed and realized that we would only want to go forward if this was God's will. I asked God for a sign and left it at that.

On Wednesday, the day my son was supposed to leave, we got a check in the mail. I had forgotten about our state tax withholding refund. It was for $1.20 more than the cost of our now defunct plane ticket. How heartening this was! I felt confident to move forward. I knew our motive for the trip was based on goodness and unselfishness. This idea from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by MBEddy also affirmed our steps to go forward:

Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way. Right motives give pinions to thought, and strength and freedom to speech and action.
We ended up traveling to Chicago to resolve this. Again, to resolve this required two major things to happen. The first part was done by going to the airport and waiting in a few lines. Easy. But I started to wonder if the second part could be accomplished. I remembered again to surrender any doubts, fears or concerns. MBEddy writes in Science and Health another idea that was helpful:

Science reveals the possibility of achieving all good, and sets mortals at work to discover what God has already done; but distrust of one's ability to gain the goodness desired and to bring out better and higher results, often hampers the trial of one's wings and ensures failure at the outset.
Encouraged by my son, "Come on, mom, let's just try this!" we went forward with the second part. (I'll be writing another blog about this experience!) In short, it took us over 5 hours and waiting in 8 different lines to get the second part accomplished. And we did it! We were giddy and happy and let our friends overseas know of this good news that the trip, although delayed a few days, could continue and be extended. Nothing was lost!

This was a wonderful affirming experience. Any of you facing similar experiences, I know that God has only good in store for us all. It may not come in the way that we originally planned, but when we let go of our outlining and surrender all of our plans, doubts and concerns, we are open to see God's plan for us - complete, satisfying and wonderful.

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Sparkle - revisited

Spiritual resource to share: deep joy

Here is another favorite post - written and posted over 12 months ago, but ever so relevant!

I have seen it in pictures and in friends' eyes. It is a sparkle that goes back deep into the restful calmness of the eyes. Sometimes I have seen this look with parents as they balance their babies on their laps. Radiant.

I have seen this look in my Christian Science teacher who maybe was in her 80s or 60s (hard to tell). While teaching her class on Christian Science healing, she would occasionally look out the window, maybe pausing for inspiration. At those times, she looked liked she could have been 17 years old. Her love for God illumined her face.

I have seen this look in a friend's eyes as he held his grandson. And in a picture of another friend with her two newly adopted daughters with arms all tangled together. Inspired. Wordless love.

I like to think of God's love for each of us in this way. God -- seeing our inner beauty and radiance -- and being completely satisfied with a settled joy.
"God gazes at you with love, because you were His idea. He loves you as if you were the only person on earth"
echoes the Bible when it says "I have called thee by thy name. Thou art mine." "The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart" says another one of the Bible's proverbs.

Sparkle on.

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Monday, June 25, 2007


Spiritual resource to share: affirmations of Truth

With all my sons and adopted sons gone on special trips today, my thought went back to some of the special trips I have done over the years and what I learned from them. One summer I hiked up a 14,000 foot mountain - to the top -- and I did this several times throughout the summer.

On what was probably my first peak climb, I was struggling. Oow! Midway to the peak, I was tired, my boots were still getting their newness walked out of them (my feet and shoes had not yet come to an agreement), and every time I thought I was at the top or much nearer the peak - I would come to a rise, only to realize I still had a long, long way to go. So, pain, discouragement, still feeling like the rookie in the group all ganged up on me and I felt miserable. I did, however, know how to pray. So I had a go at it.

No! was actually the essence of a prayer that helped me climb my first 14,ooo foot peak. I needed a prayer loud and clear that could cut through my own mountain of discouragement. No! did it all. So the last half of that climb I yelled No! (I did this inside of my head - I was a rookie, but I didn't want to seem like a weirdo rookie.) I yelled No! to every discouraging thought and No! to every thought of pain. I also took the practical steps of evenning out my pace and not looking up all the time and asking myself 'how much farther?'

After my brilliant and exhilarating first ascent (!), I found this in Science and Health:

Denial of the claims of matter is a great step towards the joys of Spirit, towards human freedom and the final triumph over the body.

I could see that just by saying No! to the emotional and physical discomfort, I was also clearing the path - literally and figuratively - to see what was already there: God's beauty, myself made in His image and likeness, the comfort and support of those making the climb with me. The denial of the claims of matter opened my eyes to what already existed: me as reflecting God's grace, energy, and love.

It's a lesson that has stayed with me and a lesson I draw on whenever I find myself in situations that seem particularly stubborn. By saying No! to pain and discouragement, I am saying Yes! to God's omnipotent power and goodness.

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Something to think about: foundation for progress

Spiritual resource to share: invention and innovation

This picture was taken in September, 1956 of a 5 MB Hard drive weighing over 2,000 lbs.

In 1901, in an interview with the New York Herald, Mary Baker Eddy was asked about what she felt about modern material inventions. Her response is written in the book, The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany ( p. 345)

"Oh, we cannot oppose them. They all tend to newer, finer, more etherealized ways of living. They seek the finer essences. "

Looking back at the history of inventions, it seems that innovation and invention have grown most rapidly since the mid 1800's. (Check it out for yourself and see what you think.) For whatever reason, these inventions are leading us to "newer and more etherealized ways of living." If the picture above taken in 1956 can be compared to a 5MB of hard drive today, doesn't that make you think of what another 50 years will bring?

In another one of MBEddy's writings, she says "This age is reaching out toward the perfect principle of things; is pushing toward perfection in art, invention and manufacture."

This is the age in which we live. And as we feel this push, I feel great hope for the innate innovative nature of mankind ( simply a reflection of an infinite brilliant God, no doubt!) to continue to come up with startling and new ways to benefit our earth, and all mankind.

Thx to Sandi J. for the photo

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

what is peace?

Spiritual resource to share: equanimity, serenity

It has been quite a peaceful day: Prayer, new inspiration mixed with cool breezes throughout the day and a family meal with two new people at our table for dinner. Now that the meal is over, the table cleared and everyone into their evening, I have some time to myself and to reflect 'What exactly is peace?' and wanted to share some thoughts with you.

More than the absence of violence – I think that peace is the atmosphere where healing happens, creativity is unleashed and laughter is second nature.

The Hebrew word for peace, "shalom," means "whole" and points to contentedness, gratitude and unselfishness within oneself and between people.
So why is this important? It's because the inner thought is expressed in the outer action.

I ask myself:
How is peace a part of my life?
I can control my anger.
I can refuse to participate in violence, by increasing my confidence in the power of good - the omnipotence of Truth. Truth is natural, primitive.

Is my family practicing peace?
Are my sons being taught how to respond, and not to react to anger?
Are we ( my husband and I ) modeling good conflict resolution, respect for one another and the ability to listen – truly listen – with our hearts?

How am I practicing peace?

Am I contributing to peace in my community?
Am I supporting those activites that channel energies into productive and helpful channels?
Am I investing in my community by acknowledging what is good and multiplying that good?
Am I being a productive citizen? Caring for the earth, for my neighbors
Am I publishing peace – making peaceful and grateful gestures to the grocery clerk, the telemarketer? Spending time to magnify peace in all areas of my life?

MBEddy's comments have a special resonance when it comes to disciplining one's life with peace:

We should remember that the world is wide; that there are a thousand million different human wills, opinions, ambitions, tastes, and loves; that each person has a different history, constitution, culture, character, from all the rest; that human life is the work, the play, the ceaseless action and reaction upon each other of these different atoms.

Then, we should go forth into life with the smallest expectations, but with the largest patience; with a keen relish for and appreciation of everything beautiful, great, and good, but with a temper so genial that the friction of the world shall not wear upon our sensibilities; with an equanimity so settled that no passing breath nor accidental disturbance shall agitate or ruffle it; with a charity broad enough to cover the whole world's evil, and sweet enough to neutralize what is bitter in it, — determined not to be offended when no wrong is meant, nor even when it is, unless the offense be against God. (from Miscellaneous Writings, p. 224)

What is peace to you?

Please add your own comments or email this article to a friend.
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Monday, June 18, 2007

Create in me a new spirit

Spiritual resource to share: fresh thought

If there is one type of prayer I have prayed to God over and over again, it is the one that asks for and is open to new fresh inspiration. "Create in me a new spirit!"

Being open to infinite Love and the consistent principle of Truth is one of those foundation building approaches to my day.

In this prayer, I ramp up again to understand more about God. It will take me an eternity to understand an infinite God, so I keep at it.

Here is today's gleaning of what God is:
  • eternal harmony
  • source of glorious possibilities
  • forever unlimited
  • Love, a precious and expansive Love
  • immortal
  • indestructible
  • permanent peace
  • infinite

As God's reflection, I am what God is. I am the verb of God. So then I:
  • have a boundless basis
  • am constantly progressing - rising higher and higher
  • have access to an infinite number of progressive ideas
  • experience an "enlarged individuality and a wider sphere of thought and action"
  • am complete; mature; whole

God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis. Mind manifests all that exists in the infinitude of Truth. We know no more of man as the true divine image and likeness, than we know of God.

Have a great day!

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Home in the present tense

Spiritual resource to share: your home

These last few days, I was at our friends' house (with our two goddaughters) in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. I'm also with our two sons and our two other "sons" from South Korea and Germany. We're showing them another part of the USA, known for its niceness, abundant lakes and its innovative arts scene.

Our German son will soon be leaving for home in two weeks and is taking my son who will visit with his family for a month. One of my goddaughters is leaving for Sweden in a few days. Actually, there is a lot of coming and going, as our Korean son will leave also be leaving for home next month, and my other son takes his first plane ride alone to another adventure.

So, last night, we talked a little about adventures and what that means about home.

  • "Home is the place where you grow up", said my goddaughter who has lived in one town her whole life. She's got one stamp of Scotland on her passport, and will be soloing into Sweden.
  • "Home is wherever I am now", said my son who has lived in four homes and three different states in city, suburban and rural areas and is packing for his first trip out of the country soon.
  • "Home is right here", said our German son, who has already done a fair bit of globetrotting for one his age.

I loved hearing their ideas about home as a presence and place to grow. Home is about the present tense.

A friend of mine, who was temporarily homeless at one point, carried in her pocket a toothbrush, a comb and a card that reminded her "Home is not a place, but a power." (She did get situated in a nice home and a neat job shortly after, by the way.)

This line is from one of MBEddy's main book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures and has been a foundation stone for me as we build our own sense of home:

Home is the dearest spot on earth, and it should be the centre, though not the boundary, of the affections.

Home to me is an active force, open and as free as a breeze and stable as a rock.

When my husband and I got married, we both loved the idea of home being a center and not having boundaries. We have opened our home to, well, it's almost twenty people, both individuals and small families, who have shared our home - some for a few months, others for over a year. Some were near homeless, others were transitioning into new jobs, schools and homes. We've all progressed and grown together and are the richer for these experiences.

We've had the added benefit of teaching our sons that there are many loving people in this world, and everyone has something worthwhile to teach, and interesting to learn. Our sons have learned how to collect feathers, identify gypsy moths, play piano and sing and learn about opera, babies and other cultures - all from those who enlarged our family for a time.

As a special tribute to my dad on Father's Day this Sunday, I have to give him credit for instilling this idea in me - that home is a safe place where you are always welcomed, and then encouraged to go back out again and have adventures. And it is my husband who has helped make home an adventure in itself!

Summer is a great time of coming and going and spreading one's wings. And knowing that you can take home with you is a comforting and powerful idea. What are some of your thoughts about home?

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

we are never alone

Spiritual resource to share: bundling together

In revisiting my blog, "Strength in Unity," I saw I had some great comments from readers and I wanted to share with you all. Anonymous started out with a question
At 6:43 AM, Anonymous said...

But what if one does not have anyone else to bundle with?

At 3:08 PM, Kate said...

I love the question "anonymous'" (above) asks ...I have actually been thinking about this alot lately...I think the answer (for me during those times in my life when I felt alone) was to go find someone to bundle with for even just ten minutes...go to the library and offer to read for someone whose sight is failing, serve at a soup kitchen, tutor at a school with few after school learning never leaves you feeling alone...

At 6:53 PM, Kim said...

Hello Anon

I remember asking this question long ago when I felt quite alone. I was encouraged by MBEddy's idea from Science and Health "Would existence without personal friends be to you a blank? Then the time will become solitary, left without sympathy; but this seeming vacuum is already filled with Love." It was a solitary time, but I got to feel a whole new concept of God as Love. There were mornings where I woke up feeling loved. This became the basis for all the new friendships that developed after that experience. It helped me to see that my happiness was not so much dependent on another person as it was about my relationship to God. .... God is my primary bundling source!

And thx Kate for that idea about giving. We never know how much we have love until we start giving it away! Thx again Anon for bringing up an important question!

At 11:19 PM, Sandi said...

wonderful analogy! i think it's the same one used in The Straight Story -- that fellow who drove a tractor across the country to visit an estranged brother and heal that relationship. He told the story to a young woman in need. And he walked his talk -- he bundled with his own brother.

At 1:37 PM, Laura said...

it also goes along with something I love from Ecclesiastes:

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.

For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion.
But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.

Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone?

nd if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.

Please feel free to add your own comments below, or email this article to a friend.

Monday, June 11, 2007

great people and noble lives

Spiritual resource to share: goodness

I know great people. That is, or rather was, my big secret. These are people with profound thoughts and kind lives. Sometimes I have blogged about them. Other times, I have encouraged them to write about their ideas, healings or courageous acts and "give it to the world." Sometimes they have.

But more often, they haven't. Even with my best encouragement and finding potential publishers for them, offering to share my editing skills (such as they are) or giving them names of magazines where they could submit their brilliant ideas, it hasn't been enough to stir them to immortalize their most wise and wonderful ways. And so I know there are these profound thoughts and kind acts out there, unacknowledged and so under the radar of popular thought as probably never to be seen or heard.

This bugs me. But then, with the plethora of profound thoughts out there, who is being heard? Is it possible for everyone to be heard at once? Of course not.

So, I turn away from seeing acknowledgment as being the main way to affirm one's life and ideas/ideals. Maybe just to live a life of integrity, sharing one's wisdom and acting with courage and kindness is the reward in itself. Like a columbine flower growing on the unexplored side of a mountain, it is beautiful just because it is.

The characteristics of the great people I know are summed up in two ideas from MBEddy's book Science and Heath. In one idea, she talks about grand and noble lives including these qualities: "unselfishness, goodness, mercy, justice, health, holiness, love--the kingdom of heaven." And then she goes on to say

Unselfish ambition, noble life-motives, and purity,-- these constituents of thought, mingling, constitute individually and collectively true happiness, strength, and permanence.

Being great has everything to do with being good. From her book Miscellaneous Writings (p. 354), she includes a cluster of ideas that, it seems to me, would lead one to greatness: "A little more grace, a motive made pure, a few truths tenderly told, a heart softened and a character subdued."

But the grand core of all great lives is Love.

Love cannot be a mere abstraction or goodness without activity or power.... it is the tender, unselfish deed done in secret; the silent, ceaseless prayer; the self-forgetful heart that overflows; .....the gentle hand opening the door that turns toward want and woe, sickness and sorrow, and thus lighting the dark places of the earth. - Mary Baker Eddy

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Write your own psalm

Spiritual resource to share: your song

You may already know that the Psalms written in the Bible were actually songs. They cover most of life's issues in teh 150 songs written in the King James version. I learned lots about Psalms today at a meeting with our hospital's very cool prayer team.

According to the book Out of the Depths: The Psalms Speak for us Today, there are six major themes for the psalms: 5 storytelling psalms (example: Psalm 78); a whopping 64 lament psalms - obviously the most popular of all songs (example: Psalm 22); 20 Thanksgiving psalms (example: Psalm 116); 17 psalms of praise (example: Psalm 147); 36 Festival psalms (example: Psalm 47); and 22 meditation or wisdom psalms (example: Psalm 23).

What impressed me most is to learn of the context and reasons behind these songs. The Psalms were written as a life story. This led us to ask- how would each of us capture our life story in its different aspects of praise, wisdom, lament, etc? How would we use a psalm as a vehicle to sing our own song?

As an example, we looked at the most popular psalm: the 23rd Psalm:

A Psalm of David
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

And then we looked at this same psalm rewritten from the Eskimo perspective (author unknown).

A Psalm of the Eskimo
The Lord is my master: I am his dog.
He makes me lie down in soft snow; He leads me across the firm ice:
He calls to me encouragingly.
He drives me on good trails because I belong to Him.
Through storms and troubles, I will not be afraid because He is with me,
My harness is securely fastened and His hand is on the sled.
He guards me while I eat, though enemies lurk near. He doctors my hurts.
My heart overflows with gratitude.
Only kindness and gentle care will be mine from the hands of this Master And I will be on His team forever.

So, dear reader, how would you write your own psalm? As a parent, a writer, a football player, a healer, an artist or a mechanic how do you relate to God in the context of your own life? How would you praise God, share your laments, celebrate milestones? Feel free to share your song here!

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Practicing Patience - revisited

Spiritual resource to share: old inspirational favorites

It has been almost two years that I've been blogging and I am happily surprised at how much the conversation on spirituality, prayer and healing is on the web. I have been engaged and linked to many other sites. This one article (below) has been included in about a dozen other ezines and is probably one of my most viewed/read articles. It was written when our family just moved from the Boston area to the northwoods of Wisconsin.

Stillness.. Quiet..... Peace.....Lots of it. Lots and lots of it.

It has been a couple of quiet weeks. I started getting anxious. "Father, is there something more I should be doing?" I asked God.

Busy is good. According to my recent hospital volunteer training in culturally competent care, I learned that Americans consider busy-ness to signify importance. (As in "Love to talk with you now, but gotta run. I am very important.") It follows that busy-ness is second to the I-gotta-fix-it drive. Although I thought the I-gotta-fix-it approach was a guy thing, I started seeing how these two elements were part of my operating system and they were jamming it up.

I am not busy - I could make myself so, but that is not the point. I have little to fix. I have fixed most everything and little is coming my way to fix. Hmmmm. I thought. Not busy. Little to fix. SO then who am I?

I started thinking about patience. It didn't start off well.I reasoned that if I can tolerate patience for a while, then later, I get to be busy and do stuff. I moved on to thinking that if I get the right thinking thing down, double that with the patience, then I get to go somewhere.

OK, I needed another angle. I think the point may be to get beyond a busy life to a meaningful life.

When I did whitewater kayaking, we had a name for those who stayed in the calm waters of the eddy, waiting to figure out how to do a rapid -- sometimes waiting for long periods of time. We called them "eddy flowers."

Being an eddy flower was an anxious thing to be. You could get swamped by indecision, doubt and grow increasingly intimidated by the rapid ahead of you. Far better it was to determine your course and just do it. In fact, that is how I have handled most of my life. See. Pray. Do. Quickly, efficiently, full throttle.

The "aha" thought came today that now, in this quiet time, there is actually lots of life going on. Perhaps I am not in the eddy at all, but am flowing along with the current of life. Perhaps it is a new river, and instead of being a roaring class IV-V, it is a calm class I-II, teeming with life and gorgeous every splash of the way.

As I am typing now, my family is going about their usual routine, and I am looking out over a stand of birch, maple and pine trees with the wind flickering all the leaves. This is the epitome of pleasantness.

In the quiet of the last few mornings, I had a distinct thought about someone I love very much. Although I would never suspect that this person would ask for healing through prayer - through Christian Science treatment, I thought through how I would pray for this person if called on. I opened my favorite book on prayer and healing, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, randomly fell on some ideas and started praying.

The next day, I was told this person was in the emergency room. I went to visit him and he commented that he was going to call me to ask for treatment the night before. We talked and what we shared made me realize that in the quiet of those few days, I had been mentally preparing to be of help to him. And he was helped.

I realized that there was never a moment lost. What we gain in moments of stillness is our strength in moments of need.

Here are some wonderful bits about presentness, moments and stillness.

"The present moment holds infinite riches beyond your wildest dreams but you will only enjoy them to the extent of your faith and love. The more a soul loves, the more it longs, the more it hopes, the more it finds. The will of God is manifest in each moment, an immense ocean which only the heart fathoms insofar as it overflows with faith, trust and love." — Jean-Pierre De Caussade in The Sacrament of the Present Moment

"Yet more and more I find that dwelling in the present moment, in the face of everything that would call us out of it, is our highest spiritual discipline. More boldly, I would say that our very presentness is our salvation; the present moment, entered into fully, is our gateway to eternal life." — Philip Simmons in Learning to Fall

"The best spiritual type of Christly method for uplifting human thought and imparting divine Truth, is stationary power, stillness, and strength; and when this spiritual ideal is made our own, it becomes the model for human action.."--Mary Baker Eddy in Retrospection and Introspection

Photo by Gabe Korinek

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.

Friday, June 01, 2007

"no loss can occur from trusting God"

Spiritual resource to share: trusting God

Coming home from a meeting today I just had to laugh at what greeted me at the door: about ten pairs of shoes - all about the same large size. You see, we now have five teenage boys living with us. It's temporary, as three of them will be returning to their home countries of Germany, Russia and South Korea this summer. But this counts and I can say that with our own two sons and these three, we have, in a way, five sons.

So why is this funny? Flash back to when I was younger. I always thought it would be so very cool to have five boys. It was my secret wish. I wanted to raise them all to be gentlemen and scholars. Cutting edge types who would be respectful and respectable.

But after a failed first marriage, that, along with other things, seemed to be a distant and unattainable goal. But it didn't stop me from desiring a full and fulfilling life. MBEddy's thoughts on prayer gave me so much hope:

"Desire is prayer; and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and in deeds."

Fast forward to some years later, when I met and married my soul mate -- who happened to be the oldest of (of course) five boys.

So now, coming in the door this afternoon, I look at the shoes of these five kids who are adventurous and kind, smart and generous. I am reminded that God answers our prayers and our deepest desires. And She does so in a way that I could never have outlined! This reminds me of another piece of advice I got from a longtime healer - to not outline good, because you can't outline good enough.

What an encouraging reminder that we can trust God with our prayers and be open to the surprising and wonderful ways that our prayers are exalted and answered. It is so good.

To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.