prayer

I arise today

I've been wittering on a bit over the last few days, so today I just bring you a prayer.

I love the Celtic Christian tradition and this won't be the last time I bring you a prayer or blessing from this heritage.

Today here's a blessing to start the day. This is a prayer that has probably been spoken for more than a thousand years, because it dates from the first millennium and attributed to an Irish saint called Brigid of Kildare, otherwise known at Bridget of Gael. 

Have a great day!

 

I arise today
Through a mighty strength:

God's power to guide me,
God's might to uphold me,
God's eyes to watch over me;
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to give me speech,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to shelter me,
God's host to secure me.

 

I Arise Today (St. Bridget) – A Collection of Prayers


More

Following on from yesterday's post about Happiness and Joy, here's something I wrote a little while back which summed up how I was thinking then and what is still in my heart. 

Suffice to say, I'm a bit of a 'work in progress' 

 

MORE

Money, love, recognition, image, security

Clothes, house, car, holidays,

All the ‘Stuff’ which controlled me, which I thought defined me

All the ‘Things’ which I desired yet left me constantly dissatisfied, unfulfilled

Always comparing myself with others, always wanting MORE of what THEY had

MORE of what I thought I deserved

MORE and MORE and MORE...

 

NOW

AT LAST

I finally understand

All the Stuff and Things are insignificant, unimportant

Compared to Jesus

And now the MORE for which I yearn is only

MORE of Him, His Love, His Presence

MORE of Jesus in my life

MORE and MORE and MORE ...

 

Cathy Le Feuvre


Not to Worry!

“Worry retards reaction and makes clear-cut decisions impossible.”

These are words attributed to  Amelia Earhart  (1898-1937) who was a pioneer of aviation, as well as an author and decorated pilot.

We know her as the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, which she achieved in May 1932 –it took her 14hrs 56mins by the way – but Amelia also set many other records, including on this day - January 11 - in 1935 becoming the first person to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean between Honolulu and Oakland, California (2,408-miles). This was also the first flight where a civilian aircraft carried a two-way radio but flying in those days was still a tricky and dangerous business.

It was in July 1937, during an attempt to fly solo around the world, that Amelia disappeared over the Pacific Ocean. She was eventually declared dead in January 1939.

In her short life, Amelia Earhart achieved much and received many awards, including being honoured by her own country and becoming the first woman to receive the US Distinguished Flying Cross. Apart from flying for fun and competitively, she was also an early advocate of Equal Rights and encouraged women pilots in particular. At one point she was (the first ever) aviation editor for the magazine Cosmopolitan and she also wrote best-selling books about her flying adventures.  The book she wrote about that first (very dangerous) solo Atlantic flight was entitled ‘The Fun of It’.  What a woman!

If you are someone who collects ‘quotes’ from famous people, you may have seen quite a lot of great sayings and adages attributed to Amelia Earhart. Some of these are on Amelia Earhart - The Official Licensing Website of Amelia Earhart but this one about worry rings bells with me.

Anxiety – worry – can be really debilitating.  I’ve learned that over the years.

Worrying about things that haven’t yet happened, things that could happen or might happen if circumstances go one way or another, even worrying about things that have ALREADY happened that you can’t change. Being anxious can rob you of sleep, of peace of mind. It can make you physically ill and incapable of functioning normally. I know, because over the years anxiety has sucked the joy out of my life at times and has sometimes prevented me from going for my dreams and with my gut instinct!

In addition, as Amelia Earhart suggested … “Worry retards reaction and makes clear-cut decisions impossible.” When we worry, we can and do make mistakes, and then our worries are almost self-fulfilled prophecies. And when our minds are full of anxieties and ‘what might be’ and ‘what could happen’ we may find it hard to make sensible decisions for ourselves and for others.

Coping with worry and anxiety can in itself be stressful, but there are things that can help. Deep breathing is a good one for me. And meditating on the moment I’m living NOW rather than the one that is past or the one that is to come.

In the New Testament of the Bible, in Matthew Chapter 6, Jesus said …

 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

It’s something I need to remember every day! And then, who knows, I might still have adventures to enjoy without worrying about the consequences?

Amelia Earhart - The Official Licensing Website of Amelia Earhart


A 17th century Prayer

In my traveling and musings through the years, I’ve collected lots of sayings and readings that I find inspiring. I'm not a 'collector' of many things, but I do have a store of inspirational thoughts which I sometimes dip into.

I may share some of them with you from time to time ...

And here’s one of them.

Just proves  I think that us humans never change really … and the older I get, the more this seems to resonate with me.

 

I do not want to be a saint but......

Lord, Thou knowest better than I know myself, that I am growing older and will some day be old.

Keep me from getting talkative and particularly from the fatal habit of thinking I may say something on every subject and on every occasion.

Release me from the craving to try to straighten out everybody's affairs.

Make me thoughtful, but not moody; helpful but not bossy.

With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all, but Thou knowest Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.

Keep my mind from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point.

Seal my lips from my aches and pains. They are increasing, and my love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by.

I ask for grace enough to listen to the tales of others' pains. Help me to endure them with patience.

Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally, it is possible that I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonably sweet. I do not want to be a saint. Some of them are hard to live with, but a sour old woman is one of the crowning works of the devil.

Help me to extract all possible fun out of life. There are so many funny things around us and I do not want to miss any of them.

AMEN

By a 17th century nun


Resolutions

We're one week into the new year.

So the questions for today are ...

Did you make any 'New Year Resolutions'? And if so ... have you broken them yet?

I guess one of the top 'resolutions' which lots of us (well at least us females) make year on year is 'LOSE WEIGHT'.

But maybe 'eat healthier' and 'exercise more' should be what we aim for. That will, we know, help us to lose the pounds.

Many of us set ourselves unrealistic resolutions, don't you think? They're more like dreams.

'Find the perfect partner', 'Be successful', 'Earn loads of money' ... you get my drift.

All our resolutions, I suggest, if taken seriously,  require a bit of effort, maybe even some imagination. Unless you are very fortunate, things don't usually get handed to us on a plate! 

If we want to be successful we need to have something we want to be successful at. If we want to earn more money, we need to think about how we might do that. We might need some aims, a plan, perhaps a strategy.

It all sounds a bit like hard work, right?

As for me, well I've given up making firm resolutions for the start of the calendar year because I've recognised that setting unrealistic expectations meant too much pressure, and too much self hatred when I failed, which I invariably did.

When I was a child I was a rather anxious personality and I was a nail biter. Every New Year I would resolve to stop biting my nails, sometimes down to the quick! I tried all sorts, including nasty-tasting stuff on the nails which made me feel sick when they touched my lips. 

Nothing worked. In fact, not being able to stop biting my nails made me even more anxious. 

Then, one day, I realised, I HAD stopped the nail chewing. Somehow, it felt almost miraculously, I had nails! I could file and polish them like other girls! Without trying, I had managed it!

Why had this, finally, happened?

Well, I'm convinced that it was because I stopped obsessing about it, and also because as I grew up I managed to grow a little more confident. Although I was (and still am actually) a bit of an anxious personality, I learned to live  with it, manage it and ... as a result ... my nails were no longer the victims of my angst! 

These days, if I secretly have 'resolutions' in my mind and heart, they are not just for the New Year but for all time.

Love, peace, joy, grace to face an uncertain future, gratitude for the people in my life and the things I have been blessed with - just a few of the things most of us yearn for I think. 

In my case, as I'm a person of faith, I also resolve to grow closer to God, to pray and read my Bible and 'dwell' on spiritual matters more than in the past, to learn to be more loving, peaceful, happy or joyful, attempting to be full of grace and gratitude. But like all resolutions, this also means my being willing and determined to do this regularly, on a daily basis. 

Nothing, not even those untouchable 'somethings' which are less about 'stuff' and 'possessions', come to us without our own determination and resolve ... and it might mean a bit of hard work on our part!