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Category: Prayer

Patriot Day: a Reflection 

Patriot Day. Did you know that today has been celebrated as such since 2002, on the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001? Did you realize it’s been sixteen years?!

My Experience

I remember this day so vividly. I was a junior in high school, heading from my Pre-AP Physics fifth period class to my APAl US History class. My friend, Kristen, met me to walk together to class and said, with an almost chuckle, “An airplane hit one of the buildings in New York.”

I  was still trying to process her statement when I walked into the classroom. The TV was on, displaying billowing smoke from one of the towers and a plane sticking out of it. Our eyes were glued to the screen. Just as the bell rang, we watched is disbelief as the second plane crashed into the second tower. 

The classes were 90 minutes long. This one will always stick out in my mind as the longest class. We opened our textbooks, attempting to determine why today,  not realizing the significance of 911. Then we kept hearing about Dulles Airport on the news, but we heard Dallas and began to freak out in that teenage way, because many of our families were employed at DFW International Airport.

We were learning about the American Revolution, and our teacher silently typed an outline, printed them, turned them into transparencies, and asked that we copy them down. It was surreal.

A Teacher

In 2007, I became a teacher. At that time, my students still remembered the day. We had excellent conversations and created a mural on the board as a memorial; something I continued to do until 2011, on the 10th anniversary, when I taught fifth grade social studies.  

At that point, the students no longer remembered it, and many weren’t yet born. 

As a Parent

Little Miss loves museums. One that we frequent had a piece of one tower on display and she stared at it, eyes aghast at the thought that it once looked like a normal piece of building steel. I should say that I now work in the steel industry, so she is aware of what beams and columns are meant to look like. Immediately, Superman and I were inundated with questions about the day. I recounted my memories, as above. 

Superman said, instead, “You know, honey, I actually went on a date that night.” Little Miss asked if he was scared. He replied, “Not really. I mean, it was horrible and tragic, don’t get me wrong, but I know that God is in control of this world, so there was no sense in being fearful.”

Out of the mouth of my wise husband, ladies and gents.

He’s SO right. 

Reflecting

I’ve been thinking lately about how I struggle to feel like I have everything under control. 

It isn’t my world to control. 

Yesterday in the homily, Fr. Eugene spoke of natural disasters and how it is our practical Christian life to reach out and help these evacuees. He also added, however, that we cannot live in fear of it happening to us as well. He said, “Don’t worry about it. Just make sure that you’re with Jesus and living the life you’re called to as a Christian.”

Amen to that! 

So are you worried? Anxious? Already freaking out about the holidays? 

Listen to Fr. Eugene.

Don’t worry about it. Just make sure that you’re with Jesus and living the life you’re called to as a Christian.

Kristi

P.S. We’d love to hear your memories on this day, as well as your tips for weaning control from yourself and living the Christian life. 

5 Quick Prayers

I would love to approach summer similarly to Rachel, but I am a working mom with a working husband and a child out of school. We have two summer birthdays in our family, a family reunion, and a list of things to accomplish before the school year, so…we do it a little differently. 

We’re a bit busy. It isn’t the frenetic pace of the school year with a ton of commitments, but my work schedule is a little different in the summer and we don’t end to travel, so it is its own brand of busy. 

Sometimes 5:00 comes and catches me unaware. Other times the days and weeks seem to stretch in the way that only a summer day can. So how do I find time to pray in this season of relaxed busyness?

Quickly.

Prayer

Prayer is a conversation between myself and my God. The Creator, the Redeemer, the Father, the Paraclete. I can’t sacrifice this part of my relationship. I may not always have time for a marathon gab-session with God, but a little chat to check in works really well to keep those communication lines open, too.

Quick Prayer

Here are 5 quick prayers I turn to for busy days…well…four quick prayers and a fun prayer suggestion.

  1. Glory Be The beauty of this prayer is its simplicity. It’s short, yes, but saying it reminds us that all glory is for God and that he has been here for all time. We also recall that he is the way to eternal life. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
  2. A Prayer of Thanksgiving & Petition for My Husband Chances are he’s got a busy day, too. As a wife, one goal is to help your husband get to Heaven. Praying for him as he crosses your mind is a great way to do this. Thinking about that terrible Hawaiian shirt he wore yesterday? Lord, thank you for my husband and his confidence. Please help him to grow in confidence through a complete trust in you.
  3. Simple Thanks Sometimes it’s just nice to hear thank you. Take a quick two seconds and just say Thank you, Jesus.
  4. Sing Along St. Augustine said that singing is praying twice. Crank up some praise and worship music, some hymns, or some VBS song that’s stuck in your head when you’re in the car…or doing dishes…or making dinner. It’s fun and it’s praying twice.
  5. When Washing Your Hands We’ve been told that washing your hands for a full 60 seconds best kills germs, right? Begin praying at the start and you’ve logged a minute of God time, which can add up. God, as I wash my hands, I’m reminded of how you washed away my sins with your sacrifice and my baptism. Help me to lead others away from the dirt of sin and to you, the great cleanser and doctor of the soul. Amen.

Memorial Day

It’s Memorial Day, so we are taking a break to enjoy the three-day weekend with our family.

But that’s not what today is about.

Today, while being with our family, we remember those who have served and passed on, those who have fallen in battle, and those separated from families by being stationed in foreign lands, in our prayers. It is to them we owe our freedom.

Please join us in praying for the families of those who have have fallen today while we spend time with our own.

Kristi, Rachel, and Bridgette

Holiness in Our Daily Lives: Different Ways to Pray

Holiness is what we are all struggling to attain. In this month’s CWBN Blog Hop, we share a list of different ways to pray in an attempt to get us further along the road to holiness.

Offering Up Some Intercession

Different ways to pray
Pope Benedict is so cute, amiright?!

Ask God for others. This is where you come to God and bring other people’s joy, concerns, fears, hopes, and struggles. Read about how we used insomnia to be intercessors for others here.

Lord, today I bring you the readers of this blog, the members of our online community; I ask that you be with them today and help them to see you in their day. Help them to grow closer to you, Lord, and hear their intentions. Amen.

  Asking for Some Intercession

Different ways to pray
Saints are like family members in another country.

Conversely, when we’re in need of prayer, we should not be too prideful to ask others to intercede for us. In the Catholic Church, that means fellow parishioners, family members, friends, and the communion of saints in Heaven who have gone before us.

Lord, I am struggling today. You know what’s on my heart. Help me to swallow my pride and reach out to those I love to help me through prayer and assistance. Amen.

The Word

Different Ways to Pray
This is one of many Bibles we use around here.


Have you ever heard that Bible stands for “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth?” It’s a cheesy thing I saw on a T-shirt one time, but the truth of the matter is that we should be reading the Bible daily. It’s the Word of God, so we should spend time in it, learn it, know it, seek comfort in it, and allow God to talk to us through it.

Lord, I have neglected taking time to spend in Your Word. Help me to delve into this vast resource and be in conversation with you. Speak to me through these words, Jesus. Amen.

Tasks & Chores

Different Ways to Pray

In our podcast entitled “Finding God in the Bubbles,” we share about how chores can be acts of love and acts of prayer. Not only can the act itself be a prayer, we can pray while doing them. Say the Lord’s prayer while the water boils. Sing a song of praise and worship while you unload and reload the dishwasher. OR, make this time of doing the chores you really dislike a time to be thankful.

Lord, I am grateful. Thank you for my blessings. The dirty dishes mean that my family has enough to eat and is not going hungry. Thank you. The laundry means we are able to dress appropriately. Thank you. The vacuum cleaner running means I live in a shelter, with warmth and light. Thank you. Amen.

Service: the Hands and Feet of Christ

Different Ways to Pray
This man is in need of Jesus. Be Jesus to him.

Sometimes we are able to work at a soup kitchen, bringing food to the hungry. Other times, we have change to give when asked by someone we pass by. We can donate good clothing and household items to charity. All of this is service to others. So, too, however, is calling your lonely neighbor and being present with them. Picking up the phone and inviting the elderly couple from church or the young college student from Bible study over for dinner is also an act of service.

Lord Jesus,open my heart to others. Inspire me to see their humanity and to reach out to them. Help me be a reflection of your light to others. Help me be your hands and feet on Earth. Amen.

This post was written as part of the CWBN Sienna Sisters Blog Hop for the month of May. This month we’re all blogging about different ways to pray. Check out the other amazing Catholic Women Bloggers Network posts


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Today’s Post Is Brought to You by Insomnia

It’s 1:20 a.m. Awakened and unable to return to sleep (thanks, insomnia), I’m in the living room, so as not to disturb my slumbering husband. The neighborhood, silence moments ago, is alive with all four of the neighbor’s dogs barking madly at something. From my daughter’s room, I hear Brahms’ lullaby on repetitive loop.

In moments like these in the past, I’ve tried to count sheep. Who does that actually work for? Once that fails, my mind starts running through the week’s coming days and tasks and responsibilities, and that can be hard to silence.

Tonight, as I sit in the rocker/recliner my husband had to have (and we all secretly love), beneath one of the softest blankets known to man, I’m just offering up prayers.

Not prayers to deliver me from the insomnia, nor prayers for the dogs to be silenced once more. Rather, I pray for the intentions of friends.

For our friend Anna, who’s undergoing a miscarriage of the third child she so desperately wanted. For our friends Christine and Kristin, who both just had beautiful daughters. I pray for friends Alicia and Maria and Anna, who all had very rough experiences on Mother’s Day.

For Angela, who is praying for her seventh child on Earth. For Susie and April and so many others who celebrated Mother’s Day without their mothers. For all women who experienced Mother’s Day with a piece of them missing, whether due to infertility, miscarriage, still births, or a child’s death.

In this sleep-deprived way, I use my time to focus beyond my mini-struggle with sleep to bring these hurts to Jesus for others. And the peace of our Lord, who is listening to these intentions, falls on me, and sleep seems attainable.

I’ll take that over counting sheep any day.