Reflections On The Journey

Meditations

Meditations

Inspiration

Posted on August 22, 2022 at 7:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Monday Meditation – Inspiration 8/15/2022

 

Have you ever been suddenly inspired?

 

I have been inspired a number of times. Sometimes it happens when I’m really thinking hard about something I have to do, and in pondering all the facts a solution just pops up. In some conversations a witty remark will suddenly just materialize in my brain.

 

But when I write, it’s different, Sometimes, when I sit down to write the words just do not come. More frequently it seems that my inspirations pop up out of the blue when I am not really looking to write. For example, years ago when on a retreat I was out walking in the woods. I sat down on an old bench to rest a bit, and I saw across from me a gnarled, ancient oak tree. Inspiration hit, and I pulled out my notebook and began to write. Another time I was struck by something a friend told me, and again, I immediately wrote down what I felt.

 

Each of these inspirations had a source. Some of my inspirations may just come from having facts on hand and life experiences, a bunch of unattached pieces floating in my conscience and sub-conscience, which suddenly start to fit into what was needed.

 

Most of my poetry and spiritual writing have been prompted by something I saw or heard, and I believe it was the Holy Spirit that nudged me in the “write” direction. I can’t prove this, of course, but that’s what it seems to be for me.

 

People can be inspired by many things and are often delighted by what people call the “eureka moment.” For some, it helps to read or sew. For others, nature provides inspiration. Some folks do something which Albert Einstein called “combinatory play” – the act of opening up one mental channel by experimenting in another, sometimes totally different. That may explain why Einstein would often play his violin when he was trying to solve a mathematical puzzle.

 

Christina Capecchi, in last week’s Catholic Spirit newspaper, said that “this underscores the Catholic belief that the body, mind and soul are intimately connected. We can spark one by tapping into another. And the health of one dimension often leads to the health of another. A long walk, a clearer mind. An active prayer life, lower blood pressure.”

 

How true! Last week I went for a walk and then was able to sit down and compose something intelligible for this blog post. I find when I am struggling with a dilemma that playing a word game will distract me and then I am able to calm down and resume my task. You may question whether these things are inspired by the grace of the Spirit, but I believe they are. God is all around us, and when He wants us to do something, I believe He will give us the necessary inspiration to move forward.

 

Here is something I wrote some years ago after being inspired:

 

“A Woman of Faith”

 

A woman of faith is a sturdy tree in the forest of God’s creation.

 

She began as a tiny seed, planted by the Master in a unique place in His precious garden.

 

As time passed, she grew as she sought wisdom, knowledge and strength from the rich soil of the scripture foundation beneath her, and from the nourishing sacramental waters poured out around her.

 

When she stretched her roots deeper into the Word, she grasped nuggets of wisdom nutrients to foster her faith. She was fed by the fertilizers of passing souls who each left their legacy from their own struggles and stories.

 

The Master caused rains of graces to cover her at the times she needed them, although she often did not realize what blessings she had received.

 

As she grew in strength, she revealed tiny buds of faith. The buds blossomed, and she tested these against the trials of life. Some withstood the tests, and some were false hopes. Yet she continued to branch out as an extension of Christ, developing a raiment of natural splendor in the golden hues of her leafy garments and in her graceful response to the promptings of the whispering Spirit.

 

She began to open herself up to travelers who happened by the spot that she had been given. They stopped for varying lengths of times to nestle and rest in her arms. While they were with her, she used her gifts to offer food and protection to hungry youngsters, and shelter to aging residents.

 

As she continued to reach out in faith, over time her branches became entwined with others near her. She gave assistance to them willingly, and also accepted support when she needed it.

 

But life was sometimes hard. The pains came as beloved branches snapped and were carried away in whirlwinds. Jealous bugs looked for ways to burrow underneath her bark, and wicked birds pecked away at her hope. She often was surrounded by foggy mists of uncertainty which threatened her self confidence. And occasional black shrouds of fear descended over her, enticing her to give up.

 

She continually had to fight to retain her faith. Periodically she would start to feel cold, and devilish storms would whip her branches, forcing her to bend at odd angles. Inevitably, the tears of winter would come, and her finery would fall into dull heaps around her. But her rooted faith remained steady, and she quietly accepted the snowy burdens as she patiently rode out the barren times, assured that Spring would come again to renew her.

 

And always the Son returned, and she would gratefully soak up the warm love. Gentle prayers of friends rained down around her, washing away the dirt and stains, and forgiveness would come. Her spirits lifted, and she was refreshed in body and soul, and was able to face life once again.

 

Yet even during the good times, once in awhile the Master would prune her, stripping away a branch or two of rotting sin. This left embarrassing wounds and scars, and sometimes even a noticeable hole where some large hurt had eaten away at her. Yet, she was able to prayerfully ask for healing, and in time the hurts and scars diminished.

 

Now she graciously allows others to see and use these wounds, to comfort those who needed to be gathered inside her heart for an understanding caress.

 

The faithful woman does not stand alone. She stands in a great forest with other women of faith, each planted in their own special places, each with their trials and their own gifts. Together they stand, tall and pure, upright, prophesying and gloriously raising their branches in praise and thanksgiving to their Master. They sway and dance with tambourine leaves rustling joyfully around them.

 

The woman of faith is a sturdy tree, committed to endlessly love and minister to those around her. She is a beautiful creation of her Master.

 

 

Have you been inspired lately? If so, be grateful and rejoice that you were inspired. If you are struggling for some inspiration, maybe take a break and do something else. That might be just what your mind needs to open up a path for the inspiration to sail in. I pray that this week you are blessed by an inspiration, or maybe even several!

 

Have a blessed Monday!

Faye

© 2022 Reflectionsonthejourney.net

 

In The Silence

Posted on January 17, 2022 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (1647)

I don’t know about you, but I value silence. When there is too much noise going on around me, I can’t concentrate very well. I know that I do my best work when I am alone and in silence.

 

Unfortunately, it’s becoming harder and harder for me to find silence. My life has been so busy with volunteer activities and family and friends, and I realized I haven’t done any serious writing for a few years. I usually do my best writing when I can get away from “the usual” for a long period of time, but I haven’t been able to do that. Even when stuck at home during covid distancing, I managed to fill my time with other things rather than taking advantage of the silence.

 

“A soul that has never tasted the sweetness of inner silence is a restless spirit which disturbs the silence of others,” said St. Mary Faustina Kowalska. This makes sense to me – I realized that I have been feeling restless lately. I have had a sense that something was missing, and that something was enough of the right kind of silence.

 

I decided that to remedy this, I would get up early each morning to have some special quiet time before the rest of my day begins. I am using that time to pray, including saying my regular morning prayers and studying that day’s installment of the Bible In A Year podcast.

 

After having completed two weeks now of this practice, I can say that spending more time in the silence has given me an extra sense of peace. I feel calmer, and more focused during the rest of my day. I haven’t found the inspiration to write yet, but I feel confident that it will come.

 

Because I have been thinking more about writing, I decided to review some of my previous prose and poetry. I found this one that I wrote in 2007, which really hit me – this describes that silence I have been missing. So today I share it with you.

 

In The Silence

 

In the silence of my heart

I come to know you, Lord

When I listen deep within

To the message of Your Word

 

Daily when my heart is still

I can truly pray

I come to know the silence

Of Your eternal way

 

Deep within the silence

My heart will open to

The love you want to place there

My soul you want to woo

 

Peaceful, blessed silence

My soul is joined with You

My Lord and God is in me

His silence is mine, too

 

Are you in need of some moments of silence? Do you need to “get away” for a while to reconnect with your soul and with God? I encourage you this week to find some time. Maybe the first thing in the morning is a good time for some silence, before the craziness sets in. Or perhaps a quiet time after the evening’s chores are done would be better. Whatever time works for you, give it a try. Spend a little time with God. You may be blessed in your silence!

 

Have a blessed Monday!

Faye

© 2022 Reflectionsonthejourney.net

 

Seek

Posted on October 4, 2021 at 7:35 AM Comments comments (834)

Monday Meditation - Seek 9/20/2021

 

Whom do you seek?

 

Every human person seeks many things during their lifetime. We first seek food and comfort, and then seek material things and jobs, and we also seek love. It is built into us to seek for these things.

 

I’m no exception. I eat when I am hungry (and sometimes when I am not…), and I seek warmth and shelter inside my home during storms. Like most of us, I seek meaningful work and look for the praise of others to assure myself that my efforts have been noticed and appreciated.

 

But often I don’t seek God. Yes, I attend church on Sundays and usually at least once during the week, I say prayers throughout the day, and I even sit in adoration for a few hours each week. But sadly, often that time is not spent truly seeking God and seeking to know Him better. Like I mentioned in a recent meditation, I often fight distractions which tend to pull me away from Him.

 

During a recent adoration hour, I started reading a book titled “Salvation” by Michael Patrick Barber. I got merely partway through the first chapter when it hit me that “Seek” should be a title for one of my meditations.

 

The key thing that I took away from the beginning of this book is that Jesus came to earth to save us. And not only that, He actively seeks us! Luke 19:10 says “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Story after story in the Gospels show Jesus as the Good Shepherd seeking the lost. Jesus traveled all over the area healing and welcoming hurting people into the fold. Look at the story of Zacchaeus – he responded to Jesus’s invitation by stating he would repent and repay who he stole four times over. And the woman who poured costly perfume on Jesus’ feet was saved: Jesus explains to Simon that “I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much.” (Luke 7:47)

 

Each of us, whether we know it or not, has a deep longing in our souls for “something.” This is in fact a longing for God. Unfortunately, we may misunderstand that longing, and instead seek out material things thinking they can comfort us and satisfy our needs.

 

I learned from this that I need to have a continual desire to seek Jesus, and seek Him first above all other things. A popular song we sing at church is “Seek Ye First” by Karen Lafferty. Perhaps you know it - the words come from Matthew 6:33. The first verse says “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you; Alleluia.” What a good song to remind me Who I should seek!

 

During that recent adoration hour when I was pondering the gift the God seeks me, and was reminded that I need to seek him, the following words came:

 

Seek

 

Seek the One who saves;

Every hour;

Every day;

Keep Him in your heart.

 

Who do you seek? Do you seek the Lord? I pray that You will spend some time this week seeking Him and find blessing in His seeking you.

 

Have a blessed Monday!

Faye

© 2021 Reflectionsonthejourney.net

 

 

Mirrors

Posted on September 6, 2021 at 6:20 AM Comments comments (1485)

I’m not very fond of mirrors. I don’t like the reflection I see! I don’t think I am particularly good looking, and every time I look in a mirror I am reminded that I have so many flaws.

 

My sense of self-worth was pretty low when I was young. I was teased a lot for the way I looked. I never seemed to have the right clothes, I was overweight, and wearing glasses didn’t help, either. The few times I felt decent was when I was able to buy a nice piece of clothing or when I got contact lenses and wore makeup. For most of my life I avoided mirrors. I did not want to see what I saw there.

 

However, I have learned that how I look on the outside is not what matters. It’s what is inside that counts. A clean and loving heart goes a long way toward making one beautiful!

 

I also learned that God sees us as beautiful despite what the world may say. He sees us through His lenses, not our lenses, which recognize that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Seeing myself in God’s mirror has been transformational for me – I can see that I am a beautiful, caring woman with many gifts that I can share with others. When I look in God’s Mirror, I feel loved

 

St. Clare of Assisi (in her Letters) speaks about this Mirror, and I’d like to share her words here today:

 

Happy is the person

who clings with all their heart to our Lord

and shares in God’s sacred banquet.

 

God is the one whose beauty is praised

by heaven’s indefatigable angels.

God is the one whose kindness electrifies,

whose contemplation refreshes,

whose love satisfies,

whose joy replenishes,

whose celebration illuminates the world,

whose fragrance resurrects the dead,

whose splendid vision blesses,

whose eternal glory shines,

whose everlasting light burns brightest,

whose Mirror reflects all things flawlessly.

 

Look in that Mirror each and every day.

Study your face in it forever.

Then you can put on the most beautiful clothes

and wear them and every one of virtue’s flowers,

because happy poverty, holy humility,

and indescribable kindness

are reflected in that Mirror

as you contemplate them there.

 

Do you like mirrors? If you are not fond of the reflection you see in your physical mirror, try looking into God’s Mirror. May you be able to see in that Mirror to see your beautiful, wonderful self, and be blessed in knowing God’s immense love for you. Then perhaps you can be a mirror of God’s love to the others around you.

 

Have a blessed Monday!

Faye

© 2021 Reflectionsonthejourney.net

 

Serenity Prayer

Posted on August 2, 2021 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (1705)

Most of us can quote the Serenity Prayer by heart. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” I first came across this prayer when I was involved in Al-Anon years ago, and I have used it many times in my life whenever I needed to be reminded that God is the one who is in charge and that I must accept what I can and cannot control.

 

Did you know that there is more to the Serenity Prayer than the words quoted above? I didn’t, until recently when I attended a funeral. The remembrance card for the deceased included a version of the prayer which included additional words. In doing some research, I discovered the prayer is attributed to American Theologian Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr. Here is the original full version:

 

“God, give us grace to accept with serenity

The things that cannot be changed,

Courage to change the things which should be changed,

And the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,

Enjoying one moment at a time,

Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,

Taking, as Jesus did,

This sinful world as it is,

Not as I would have it,

Trusting that You will make all things right,

If I surrender to Your will,

So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,

And supremely happy with You forever in the next. Amen.”

 

I really like the additional words in this original version, and I am going to post them in my home. How important it is for me to remember to live one day at a time, and to accept whatever is placed in front of me, including difficulties. When I surrender to God’s will, He will provide me the right things I really need. When I recall these wise words, I can calm my mind in the midst of the chaos we find in this world.

 

Are you feeling stress these days? Do you find yourself in the middle of problems, and want to find peace? Perhaps the Serenity Prayer can help. I encourage you to read through the entire prayer, and maybe even post it where you can see it each day. It could be the source of many blessings for you!

 

Have a blessed Monday!

Faye

© 2021 Reflectionsonthejourney.net

 

Guide My Steps

Posted on April 26, 2021 at 7:50 AM Comments comments (1822)

Are you allowing God to guide your steps?

 

Do you remember when you were an infant? I don’t recall my infancy very well at all, but I do recall the infancy of my children. When they were young, they needed help – to be fed, to be changed, and to learn how to do many things. Their father and I tried hard as their primary guides as they learned to crawl, then walk, then attend school and learn.

 

Along the way, we also did our best to introduce them to another guide, Jesus. It’s challenging, though, to impart our faith upon our children. We try, but they may not “get it.” And when they turn into adults, they may not choose to allow us or Jesus to continue to guide them. It is then that we can only continue to model our faith for our children, and we have to allow them to go their own way.

 

I have had many guides over the years. My parents helped me to formulate the basics. Trusted teachers introduced me to various types of knowledge, which ultimately shaped my career path. And I have relied on various people as mentors for different tasks and issues that I faced.

 

Once my children were grown and I was able to spend more time figuring out what I wanted to “do” with the rest of my life, I took a spiritual turn. I decided to learn more about my faith. I began to read spiritual books, take Bible study courses, and I enrolled in the Catechetical Institute, a two-year course covering the Catechism. I have a daily reading and devotion booklet that I use, and I always am reading some work by a Christian author. I also attend daily mass as often as I can fit it into my schedule. I am allowing God to use these tools to guide me in life.

 

I can’t say that my life is now perfect, though. I never did have one of those flash moments where I suddenly my faith life became crystal-clear. I still have many failures and falls, and my faith journey is often a rocky one. I have a long way to go to become what God wants me to become. Will I ever be a saint? Well, maybe - at least it is something that I can strive for. But I do know that I can’t do it alone – I need God to guide my steps. So I must give Him as much opportunity to guide me as I can!

 

Are you allowing God to guide your steps? Perhaps this week you can spend a little time thinking about that. Maybe you can pick up some spiritual reading. Or perhaps you could attend an extra mass or join a Bible study group. Any of these tools could be a way to allow God to provide you some guidance and blessings on your journey.

 

Today I’d like to share one of my poems from my first book “Reflections On the Journey - Thoughts and Prayers on Life.”

 

You Are My Guide

 

I hear Your call, and I obey, climbing the hill of instruction.

I take the worn and beaten path so many have trod before.

But then you ask me to go higher, deeper into the innermost point of my soul.

I pick my way through the brambles and rocks that are the difficulties of my life,

But I make it through with Your steady arm to guide me.

 

You have a higher mission for me, and I continue upwards,

Journeying on the path You have laid before me.

Despite the stony obstacles that I face in this path,

When I follow You, the way is precious and beautiful,

A testimony to the rewarding plan You have for my life.

I am joyful that I have answered Your call.

 

The quietness of Your Love deafens me,

And peace shrouds me in a mantle of hope.

But I am so enveloped in the beauty that I become complacent, and I stray.

I pay no heed to the markers You have left for me to follow,

And finally I recognize that I am lost, and become fearful.

O Lord, how will I find my way back?

 

But You, O Lord, You always show me the way,

And after a few more steps a clear pathway appears,

One of smaller stones and yet so easy to follow.

I realize that I must let You guide my steps.

 

Teach me, Lord, to ever adhere to Your path.

When I stumble, tenderly lift me up again.

Should I stray, gently lead me back to You.

Guide me through the entire pathway of my life,

And escort me safely to my final resting place with You.

 

Have a blessed Monday!

Faye

© 2021 www.reflectionsonthejourney.net

 

Charity

Posted on April 19, 2021 at 7:40 AM Comments comments (1725)

What acts of charity do you do?

 

Continuing on through the three theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity, today’s reflection is on Charity, also known as Love.

 

Like all virtues, charity is an act of the will, and the exercise of charity increases our love for God and for our fellow man; but because charity is a gift from God, we cannot initially acquire this virtue by our own actions. Charity depends on faith, because without faith in God we obviously cannot love God, nor can we love our fellow man for God's sake. Charity is, in that sense, the object of faith, and the reason why Saint Paul, in 1 Corinthians 13:13, declares that "the greatest of these [faith, hope, and charity] is charity."

 

Saint Teresa of Calcutta once said “Love is not patronizing and charity isn’t about pity, it is about love. Charity and love are the same – with charity you give love, so don’t just give money but reach out your hand instead.” This is about the best definition of the virtue of charity which I have found.

 

So much love and charity have sprung up in the aftermath of the coronavirus. There are those whose jobs involve service – police, fire, National Guard and more – who you could say are merely doing their jobs, but I think there is still love behind their work. Many other citizens, on their own, have helped to clean up rioted neighborhoods. Businesses have opened their buildings to create emergency medical facilities or vaccination sites. And many people have donated time to make masks and distribute them. This is charity in action.

 

There’s just one caveat when you perform acts of love – don’t think too highly of yourself when you do good works! I sometimes fall into this trap – patting myself on the back for a good deed I have done. Then I think I can relax because I have “done my part!” Instead, I must remind myself that we are called to continually love and support others. I believe we should not stop at “good enough” but continue to give, even until it hurts. That’s not easy to do, but that is what Jesus did – He gave his life for us. That is Jesus' perfect act of Charity.

 

How can you incorporate Charity into your life? Today I challenge you to find someone to whom you can offer Charity. Maybe you can donate something to those affected by the virus. Perhaps you have a neighbor who is lonely or who could use some help with their children. Maybe you have a strong shoulder to offer to someone who is experiencing a loss. Whatever you can do – do it! And may you be blessed through your charity.

 

When preparing my book “Reflections on The Journey: Living The Rosary,” I wrote reflections for each of the prayers said during the Rosary, and I also wrote some short reflections on the three theological virtues. My gift to you today is this one on Charity.

 

CHARITY

 

Charity is heartfelt care;

Help for neighbor, here and there.

All are welcomed to the feast;

Reconciled - the great and least.

In our hearts and souls we know

Tender love; Your mercies grow;

You are God, You are my Lord;

Help me love as in Your word.

 

 

Have a blessed Monday!

Faye

© 2021 www.reflectionsonthejourney.net

 

Faith

Posted on April 8, 2021 at 7:45 PM Comments comments (4984)

We just celebrated Easter Sunday – I am so grateful that Jesus suffered and died on Good Friday, and then rose and conquered death, all to save me and you from our sins. I wish you all many blessings in this Easter season!

 

How is your faith doing these days?

 

For those of you who are “serious” prayers of the rosary, you are probably aware of the three Hail Mary beads at the beginning. When I was young, I was taught that while praying on those beads you remembered the three theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity. I still remember these virtues as I pray the rosary. Since I am praying the rosary a bit more often these days, I decided that my next three reflections will be about these virtues.

 

This week’s virtue is Faith. I sometime think of it as my “patron” virtue, because one definition of my name is faith or belief. The Oxford American Dictionary presents as its first definition of faith "complete trust or confidence in someone or something."

 

I think humans are believers spontaneously, instinctively, naturally. For what do we know which we have not acquired by faith? Humans spend years in school learning and then believing in an abundance of things. We often believe based on the words and demonstrations from someone whose judgment and integrity we trust, and we have faith that what we believe is true.

 

For example, I believe that a rock will fall to the ground if I let it go, because I believe in gravity. So I can easily have faith that if I let go of another rock, it too will fall to the ground.

 

But when it comes to belief in less tangible things, that’s harder. For example, I can’t see God. So far I haven’t come across any scientific proofs that God exists. So my faith in God is based on other things that I have learned and read about from trusted sources. I believe also that my faith is “supernatural” in the sense that my faith is a gift given to me by God. This faith allows me the freedom to believe that He exists and has my best interests in mind.

 

The Bible and our history books are filled with people who had faith in something, whether it was faith in God or faith in some ideal. And many have kept their faith in spite of serious challenges. Take Abraham – he faithfully took his son Isaac up the mountain to become a human sacrifice because God asked him to, even though it seemed like he would lose his son. Abraham had faith that God would honor His promise. The Acts of The Apostles too records numerous incidents where the faithful disciples put their very lives on the line in faith to proclaim the Good News.

 

Yet many people also doubt. Countless authors have written on this subject over the centuries. Some prime examples are found in our Bible: Remember when the Israelites had trouble keeping their faith in Moses and God’s command when they kept wandering in the desert with no place to call home?

 

Faith is challenging for many people right now, too. Everyone also has to deal with troubles: a family member gets sick, our spouse loses their job, or something else happens and suddenly our world is not so secure anymore. We look at all the tragedy in the world and we wonder why it happens, and continues to happen, with little relief in sight. It becomes hard to trust that things will work out yet easy to blame God for not righting the situation. It’s hard to keep the faith when we do not know the outcome. When we cannot see how a particular problem can possibly be resolved, it is a struggle to maintain faith.

 

I have to admit that on some days I feel a strong lack of faith. It is easy to doubt God’s presence, His goodness, or His ability to answer my prayers. But at the end of the day, I look around and realize that I have been blessed in numerous ways, even though I still have worldly problems. There is much good in the world. When tragedies strike, there are always people who continue to have faith - they do not give up but instead just dig in to help. There must be something behind all those people and their good actions – and I believe that something is faith.

 

As a disciple of Christ, I must not only keep the faith and live it, but also profess it, confidently bear witness to it, and spread it. I know at times that will be challenging, but this is my call as his disciple, and I hope that my writings can help spread true faith in God.

 

St. Augustine said, “Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.” I pray that you may have a strong faith. May you believe in the goodness of God and the gifts he has given to you, no matter what your circumstances may be. Remain strong in your faith, and eventually you will see what you believe!

 

When preparing my book “Reflections on The Journey: Living The Rosary,” I wrote reflections for each of the prayers said during the Rosary, and I also wrote some short reflections on the three theological virtues. My gift to you today is this one on Faith.

 

FAITH

 

Faith is our deep belief in God, that God is one in Three;

And other truths from Mother Church, revealed for us to see.

In humble love our Jesus came,

To save and set us free.

Here now we know that God is love; He came to earth for me.

 

Have a blessed Monday!

Faye

© 2021 www.reflectionsonthejourney.net

 

Christmas Begins With Christ

Posted on December 24, 2020 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (930)

Today is Christmas Eve! The angels are rejoicing, for tonight “unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given.” May you and your families find peace and joy during this blessed Christmas celebration.

 

My gift for you is the following poem, titled “Christ Is Born.”

 

Christ Jesus is coming; we now celebrate!

He’s coming to save us, to drive away hate.

Rejoicing, the angels announce He is born,

In stable so lowly, on Bethlehem morn.

So meek and so lowly, the Babe lies in sleep;

The shepherds come visiting with lowly sheep.


 

In fine clothes, the wise men come too in the night;

Star shining majestic above marks the site.


 

Be near us, Lord Jesus, come into our hearts;

Oh, let us adore you, our love to impart.

Renewed now, we wake to a bright, brand new day,

Now ready to live as your children today.

 

© 2020 Faye Heffele


 

Have a blessed Christmas!

Faye

© 2020 www.reflectionsonthejourney.net

 

Rest and Refuge

Posted on September 14, 2020 at 7:40 AM Comments comments (1918)

I don’t know of anyone who likes to get sick. I know I don’t. And yet it happens periodically. Every year I get some kind of cold which brings me down for a few days. I may have to cancel some activities because I don’t feel the best, but I recover and things are fine.

 

This year was no exception. Last week I felt a slight sore throat one day, and of course my mind turned upside down and ran overtime wondering if this was the onset of Covid. I cancelled my dental appointment and stayed home.

 

But there is an upside to not feeling the best. On that day I forced myself to rest and take care of myself, something I often forget to do. I worked a bit on my to-do list, caught up on some financial stuff and deleted old emails. But mostly I just rested in my home refuge, our basement family room. I curled up with a hot beverage and a good book, and I even took a few naps, another thing that I seldom do. And I enjoyed watched the birds come to the feeders.

 

Thankfully by the end of the day I felt much better, and I was able to breathe a sigh of relief and get back to my “normal” life.

 

But my day of rest reminded me that resting is so very important. We need breaks from our “normal” lives, to rejuvenate our bodies as well as our minds. God wants us to rest, too. He himself rested on the seventh day of creation, and He instructed his people to rest on the Sabbath.

 

And we need a safe place, a refuge, where we can go to find that rest. At home, that place is my basement. Away from home, I find refuge in nature and in the Chapel at my church. But ultimately I need a spiritual place of refuge and rest, and for me, that place is Jesus. The beauty of having Jesus as my refuge is that I can access him anywhere, at any time. All I need to do is pray, and His peace comes to me.

 

We all need refuge – so today I want to give you another poem, titled “My Refuge.” May you be blessed with a place of refuge in your life.

 

 

My Refuge

 

Where is my refuge, O Lord of grace?

Where will I find it? Where is that place?

 

Where is the calmness I seek for my soul;

The feeling of being perfected and whole?

 

When I need refuge, security, love;

I only need to look high up above.

 

Just close my eyes and then open my heart;

Let my Lord’s deep love in grace do its part.

 

The gift of sweet refuge is easy to see;

Refuge is anywhere that I might be.

 

Refuge is found in my family so dear;

Sisters in Jesus, all lending an ear.

 

Refuge is found is a special retreat;

Lingering, pondering our faith so sweet.

 

It is in nature, hearing the sounds;

Seeing the beauty; creation abounds.

 

Refuge is found when I just sit and muse

On Scriptural verses that form the Good News.

 

Refuge is tasting the sweet Bread of Life;

Nourishing, lifting me far from my strife.

 

God is my refuge, my fortress and shield;

He will sustain me and make my heart yield.

 

He will grasp hold of my spirit and soul;

God is my refuge in whom I am whole.

 

Have a blessed Monday!

Faye

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