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Posts from the ‘Blessing’ Category

Lit Up

“Hope is a waking dream.” – Aristotle

Whether struggling or at ease, or a mix of both, may you separate self from circumstances if but only for a minute or two.
To partake, witness and enter the deep current and flow of the universe, our connectedness to each other.
To see the joy amidst difficulty, accepting God’s unending grace to prompt grace for self and others.
You are enough in this very moment.
Unfolding, becoming, imperfect, lovely and lit up.
Fan the flame.
Hope, joy, love.

“Oh God,
the thought of trying for a new and improved me makes me tired.
I am barely getting anywhere,
so draw me closer to a different vision,
one that sees that I don’t need perfection—
I need love.
Free me from the expectation that life should always be better.
The everyday stressors—the bills, the pressure, the dependents,
the existential fears about the future and the worries of right now.
I am too tired to be more.
Blessed are we, remembering
that the world is not ours to shoulder alone.
Help us put one foot in front of the other
as best we can.
Oh God, today,
give us enough to go on,
give us hope to see a future,
give us joy to see a present
lit up by your love.” – Kate Bowler

First Days

“We have all the light we need, we just need to put it in practice.” – Albert Pike

Today, I start a new position after 17 years at another organization.
A choice that I made.
So many things in life happen to us – illness, death, a 2+ year pandemic.
In our reeling and reacting, we forget how to make things happen for us, to be proactive, to focus on what we can control.
Dare to ignite change to be renewed, rekindle and refreshed.
To more firsts.
To a new day to partake, participate and be present in.
So a blessing and a call to go down new paths, to break trail and to enter your unfolding and unfurling with energy and enthusiam.

FOR A NEW POSITION

“May your new work excite your heart,
Kindle in your mind a creativity
To journey beyond the old limits
Of all that has become wearisome.
May this work challenge you toward
New frontiers that will emerge
As you begin to approach them,
Calling forth from you the full force
And depth of your undiscovered gifts.
May the work fit the rhythms of your soul,
Enabling you to draw from the invisible
New ideas and a vision that will inspire.
Remember to be kind
To those who work for you,
Endeavor to remain aware
Of the quiet world
That lives behind each face.
Be fair in your expectations,
Compassionate in your criticism.
May you have the grace of encouragement
To awaken the gift in the other’s heart,
Building in them the confidence
To follow the call of the gift.
May you come to know that work
Which emerges from the mind of love
Will have beauty and form.
May this new work be worthy
Of the energy of your heart
And the light of your thought.
May your work assume
A proper space in your life;
Instead of owning or using you,
May it challenge and refine you,
Bringing you every day further
Into the wonder of your heart.”

— John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

The World that Awaits You

“We are never as alone in our beginnings as it might seem at the time. A beginning is ultimately an invitation to open toward the gifts and growth that are stored up for us. To refuse to begin can be an act of great self-neglect.” – John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

“Perhaps the art of harvesting the secret riches of our lives is best achieved when we place profound trust in the act of beginning. Risk might be our greatest ally. To live a truly creative life, we always need to cast a critical look at where we presently are, attempting always to discern where we have become stagnant and where new beginning might be ripening. There can be no growth if we do not remain open and vulnerable to what is new and different.” – John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

We naturally have an aversion to change.
Getting comfortable with the familiar and certain, we settle in, settle for, settle.
Yet, the yearning, the whisper, the call invites us deeper into possibilities, expanse, richness.
One step, then the next, then the next.
The first one always the hardest, making the next ones easier.
Momentum overcomes the friction, the resistance.
Begin this day with new thoughts, exploring fresh ideas, going within and moving ahead.
Breaking from stasis, stagnation.
The ice softens to water then breaks free.
Wander, wonder, wade into new beginnings.

FOR A NEW BEGINNING

“In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.”

– John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

Plant, Abide, Bloom

“Let Him easter in us, be a dayspring to the dimness of us, be a crimson-cresseted east.”― Gerard Manley Hopkins

A Blessing for You Who Are Being Planted
by Kate Bowler, Jessica Richie, Good Enough: 40ish Devotionals for a Life of Imperfection

“Blessed are you who are buried. You who feel stuck in the depths of grief and despair or who sit in the pit of unknowing. You who are learning to trust the timing of a tender Gardener.

Blessed are you who are growing, you who burst with new life, fresh creativity. Who understand the pain that sometimes comes with stretching and changing, pruning and being cut back.

And blessed are you in your season of fruitfulness. You who are learning to abide in the vine, and who taste the sweetness of God’s loving-kindness. The God who was there all along—planting, waiting, watering, pruning, delighting. The God who pays careful attention to God’s garden.”

Whether a seed buried fresh in the dirt or burst open in full bloom or somewhere in between, may you know loving-kindness in all stages, seasons and cycles.
Blessings each day in the variety, stuck-ness, chaos and calm.
Gratitude amidst grief.
Grace holding your hand.
Joy that anchors, sustains and propels you to continue on in hope and anticipation.
Plant, abide, bloom.

“The world is charged with the grandeur of God.”― Gerard Manley Hopkins

Encounter and Embrace

“TO COME HOME TO YOURSELF May all that is unforgiven in you Be released. May your fears yield Their deepest tranquilities. May all that is unlived in you Blossom into a future Graced with love.”― John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Invocations and Blessings

“What you encounter, recognize or discover depends to a large degree on the quality of your approach. Many of the ancient cultures practiced careful rituals of approach. An encounter of depth and spirit was preceded by careful preparation.

When we approach with reverence, great things decide to approach us. Our real life comes to the surface and its light awakens the concealed beauty in things. When we walk on the earth with reverence, beauty will decide to trust us. The rushed heart and arrogant mind lack the gentleness and patience to enter that embrace.”― John O’Donohue, Beauty: The Invisible Embrace

May you be touched by beauty.
Awakened by light.
Jarred by gratitude.
Held in love.
And bring it all into the world to live the unlived in you.
Human. Holy. Sacred.
Mind renewed, spirit released.

“May we find our foundation in the work of Love; demanding, tiring, true and human and holy.”― Pádraig Ó Tuama, Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community

The Center

“We are driven by five genetic needs: survival, love and belonging, power, freedom, and fun.” – William Glasser

If you hear do not hear this from anyone else today, or haven’t in a long while, you are seen, worthy and belong. If you haven’t said that to another in a long while or to yourself, do so today. And each day. A gesture, a smile, a text, a call, a card in the mail. Be a doorway, a window, a bridge.

Each of us belongs and need to see and be seen. Be in the business of seeing and saying, an encourager and light. We have plenty of critics and “non-see-ers.” We belong to each other, connected by our humanity, vulnerability, strength, tenderness, toughness and resolve. Good enough and good. The center.

A prayer for when you feel invisible by Kate Bowler, Good Enough,

“Dear God, I always feel like the last one picked. The left out, the unclaimed. It’s hard to miss.

My gifts are not welcome. My tears are not seen. My pain is not registered. I feel invisible.

Jesus, when You walked among us, You became the one rejected. You were abandoned—even betrayed—by Your best friends, barred from the religious institution, rejected by Your very own people.

You became one with suffering itself, and as an outcast You opened the door for us to find a home with You, a community of outsiders.

You showed us exactly what You thought of such exclusion and rejection. You loved what the world devalued and demeaned: “the poor, the sick, foreigners, women, those deemed unclean, the imprisoned.”

You flipped the “who’s in” and “who’s out” upside down. You radically broke every social and religious barrier—shattering them for all time.

Your touch brought healing and restoration and hope to people who too felt like they didn’t belong. But You didn’t just bring them into the fold. You moved the center of Your kingdom there—with us, the left out.

We know that we are not alone. Our God delights to be with us, and has moved heaven and earth just to be where we are.”

Blessed are we who belong here, with God, and who make space for others to sit with us, who practice radical belonging and hospitality because we know what it is like to be locked out. Amen.”

To Witness and Hold

“To live in the light of a new day and an unimaginable and unpredictable future, you must become fully present to a deeper truth – not a truth from your head, but a truth from your heart; not a truth from your ego, but a truth from the highest source.” – Debbie Ford

Notice
Bear Witness
Pay attention
Focus
Deeper rather than wider
Beneath the surface
Above the trees
From doing to being
From busy to awareness
Witness your life and others too
Be present in today alone
Allow gratitude and joy to enter, permeate, transform
Compassion, kindness, generosity, laughter, play, pause, gaze
Behold, beheld, be love.

“Blessed are the noticers, the ones who see the story in its fullest.
Blessed are the attenders, the witness bearers, the story holders, the ones who tiptoed to the edge right alongside us, knowing that the very act will break their heart in pieces too, choosing you anyway.
Blessed are those who are amazed by a life lived in its fragility, in its brevity and its beauty.
Blessed are the ones who stand close enough to say, Behold, behold, this is their love.
Behold, this is their silly hobby they probably should have given up on years ago.
Behold, these are the people they loved who know way too much at this point.
Behold are their quirky habits and favorite songs to belt in the car, and this is the marvel I get to know.
Behold, this is not a problem to be solved this is a person to be loved.
And how lucky are we, these people, these loves these precious, precious days.
Thanks be to God.” – Kate Bowler

In Between Spaces

“What you’re doing now, or have done in the past, need not determine what you can do next and in the future.” – Ken Robinson

When the finish line feels murky and distant.
When interest wanes, passion fades.
When giving up, dropping out seems reasonable and sensible.
Don’t.
Never stop imagining, growing, trying and pursuing the finish lines that lead to new start lines.
In the between spaces, carry on.
Patience and perseverance.
Just around the corner, the beginning of something new.

A Blessing in the Wake of Loss, at the Beginning of Something New

“Blessed are you, after the fall. In this new and unrecognizable landscape. At the still point between what was and what’s to come. Time has stretched itself, and there seems to be a future somewhere, but it touches you only lightly.

Blessed are you, right here, in between. At the end that comes before the beginning. Knowing that grief is a long story, and maybe, somehow, you are still in it. Growing straight down in the dark where sorrow breathes best. Where roots find their secret springs in crevices that are well hidden. Where God’s great magic act of love begins.

Blessed are you, starting to sense that maybe sunlight can reach you, even here. And you reach out, finding yourself in a fierce embrace. And God’s voice saying: You are not the bad thing. You are not ruined. You are not broken, nor over, nor a failure, nor learning a lesson. You are my suffering one, and you are loved, you are loved, you are loved.

Blessed are you, maybe ready for the turn. Straight up.”— Good Enough: 40ish Devotionals for a Life of Imperfection by Kate Bowler, Jessica Richie

Steady State

“I am like a deep, still mountain lake. The surface is a mirror that reflects the sky above. I await in tranquility for the breath of God to move upon me.” – Elizabeth C. Dixon

Deep, still, open.
Awaiting, anticipating blessing and light.
A shift in breath, a release of fear, an embrace of possibility.
May you experience a peaceful steady state.
An ease beyond understanding.
Clarity in the seeking and receiving.

For Equilibrium, a Blessing

“Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.

As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity by lightened by grace.

Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.

As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.

As silence smiles on the other side of what’s said,
May your sense of irony bring perspective.

As time remains free of all that it frames,
May your mind stay clear of all it names.

May your prayer of listening deepen enough
to hear in the depths the laughter of god.”

― John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

Scatter Flowers

“Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well.” – Vincent Van Gogh

“Love proves itself by deeds, so how am I to show my love? Great deeds are forbidden me. The only way I can prove my love is by scattering flowers, and these flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least actions for love.” – St Therese of Lisieux

May you scatter flowers today of attention, generosity, kindness, grace and love.
May they fall upon you as well.
In doing small deeds, the gift of joy resides.
Be present in today’s blessings.

“If I did not simply live from one moment to another, it would be impossible for me to be patient; but I only look at the present, I forget the past, and I take good care not to forestall the future.” – St Therese of Lisieux

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