My dear hubby bought me a great book recently. It is called Praying in Color: Drawing A New Path to God. It was written by Sybil MacBeth. There is also a Kids’ Edition. She talks about how she has difficulty focusing during prayer and how she discovered that this was effective for her. Then she writes about why and how it works. She has little tips throughout as well. The kids’ edition is a short, quick version of the original book.

I am generally overwhelmed by “deep” books at first. I much prefer the light reading of fiction. I am not sure why, but I generally have to take time before I decide to read something that makes me think. Chris bought both books for me and the kids. The longer one was intimidating, so I started with the kids’ edition. I read a few short chapters but then I started getting excited about the concept and switched. The kids’ edition broke the ice for me.

I would highly recommend these books if you are like either the author or me. I have a terrible time focusing. My mind, my hands, my body all want to move and move on. Thought after thought flood my mind when I try to pray. This way of praying is great for me because it’s just doodling! You don’t even have to think words, much less write or say them. You just focus on the person or whatever it is you are praying for and let your hand run wild. I do this same thing all the time when I am on the phone. I doodle all the time!

You can pray whatever kind of prayer you want. She even goes over how to use this method for lectio divina. I have prayed for myself, but I have also interceded for others, tried a little lectio divina and done a combination. The doodles are just that and don’t have to be prefect. They aren’t supposed to be. However, if you are like me, you will think your prayers are the most beautiful works of art you’ve seen when you are done with them.

Here is a prayer for my daughter. She is having some difficulty with school again. I think the troubles are both because she does have her own will, but also because she seems to be having self-esteem issues and other things that stem from that. I know that with God’s guidance she will pull through her difficulties, but she has really been on my heart and mind lately. I’ve also been reading another book lately that talks about saying blessings over people, so that is why I changed delicate to strong on the leaf. This particular prayer is more polished than most are, but it was just right that day!

My Strong Flower

Oh! And in case you wondered, the supplies I use are a Moleskine Pocket Sketchbook (I am currently using a Moleskine Cahier Plain Notebook because Chris had one when I started, but I will switch when that runs out. The marker goes through the tiniest bit, but won’t on the Sketchbook.) I use Sharpie Ultra-Fine-Point Permanent Markers. I bought the pack that is linked at Wal-Mart for 15 or 20 dollars. It was a bit spendy, but for this purpose, well worth top-notch supplies.

I hope this post will encourage someone to get the book and try this method of prayer out. I have been really enjoying it the last couple of weeks.

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We had a great district council this year. We were miraculously provided for. I was miraculously healed of an ear infection and sore throat. You can read about our provision on my hubby’s blog. He did a great job of writing about it, so there is no reason for me to rewrite it. So, check out Adventures in Asceticism. He’s written some other great posts about District Council as well. I will just add that generally, our church pays for all or most of our expenses. That has been a wonderful gift in the past, but this year was especially tight, so we took donations, but not even an official love offering. I was amazed at the amount we got that way, but it still wasn’t enough. Our personal finances have been really tight the past month as well, so we weren’t in a great place when we left.

Now, as for my healing, I get to tell that story! Sunday, Princess was complaining of a sore throat. I thought, “oh, great, we’ll all be sick by the end of the week!” I wasn’t wrong. 😦 I tend to stress out when we are going somewhere. I don’t want to forget anything and I have to pack nearly everything. I make Chris pack his own clothes is all. So, I usually do get sick at the start of a trip. I think I run down my immune system or something. Anyways, I got it Sunday night. My throat hurt just a little. I thought maybe I wouldn’t get the full-blown thing. But, I did. Monday morning, I was croaking out my sentences. Monday afternoon, my in-laws met us at the campground and we handed off the kids. We went to dinner and shopping with them, but the kids were stuck to grandma and grandpa. Monday night they slept on their bus while we slept in our hotel room.

Tuesday morning we headed off to DC (District Council). My head hurt and my throat was killing me, but it was still manageable. So we went to the ordination luncheon and the banquet that night. At the banquet, my ears started hurting. I didn’t even tell Chris because I was hoping it wouldn’t be anything. We went to the house that was lent to us. It was great by the way! What fun! At 2 a.m. I awoke with terrible ear pain. (more…)

buy.jpgThe other day we went to a church supply store. It was a Catholic store. They had all kinds of rosaries. I’ve mentioned before how my husband prays the rosary(without the Hail Marys). Well, after seeing daddy pray with his so much, Princess, who always wants to be just like daddy, wanted a rosary she saw that was made for kids. It’s got wooden beads and each decade is a different color. It’s a Wooden Kiddee Rosary. Well, daddy was telling her how she can use it. He told her to pray The Lord’s Prayer on the brown beads between the decades and to pray something like, “I love you, Jesus” on the colorful beads.

She was so cute praying after that. First she complained because we always pray The Lord’s Prayer at night and it wasn’t dark yet, so she couldn’t pray that yet. We told her otherwise, but she wouldn’t believe us for like a whole day! On the colorful beads she started by saying, “Jesus, you love me.” It was so cute!

ella-praying.jpgI’m glad God knows what in our hearts. That was music to his ears, I’m sure. Then she started saying a prayer that she made up, but she wanted it to rhyme, so it was mostly made up words. We were trying so hard not to laugh at how cute she was! Once again, God knew what she meant. It was adorable and touching at the same time. She must have been making God so happy with her nonsense prayer!

It’s really a blessing as a parent to see your kids growing in God!

Well, this morning went pretty well. Princess did the announcements for me, so I wasn’t completely a one-woman show. I need more practice running the service. Maybe I should tell Hubby that. Oh, wait, I think I just did! The worst part was worship. I just don’t know what to do up there. I feel awkward. I know it would make most sense to just worship, but then I get some words wrong and get embarrassed. I need to work on that, too, I guess. Someone told me I have a beautiful voice. Many people have said that, actually, but I never believe them. I suppose that they can tell better than I can, but my voice isn’t consistent. I could use some voice lessons, then I would probably feel comfortable singing. I always tell people I don’t sing, but it’s just because of all that. Overall, a very good service. And I was pleased with the sermon. I anointed two people with oil. It may seem strange, but that may have been my first time. I even felt comfortable praying in front of everyone today. God definitely gave me extra courage and strength today. I think it may have helped to know that Chris wasn’t there to help, so I had no choice but to do it. And if I was going to do it, I was going to do it my very best. God was definitely using me, I couldn’t have done it without Him. Thanks, God! And thanks to all who wrote encouraging words and sent a hilarious song to me last night. You all cheered my lonesome heart, greatly.

Well, tonight I still have a Bible study to do, but then the rest of the week will be just doing my best to keep a happy household while Hubby is gone. We’ve been playing Scrabulous on Facebook more often since he’s been gone. It’s been fun. I look forward to the rest of the week. Now, I’m off to feed some friends’ cats. They are visiting family and we (me and the kids) have charge of their cats.

Yesterday, we had a snowstorm and had to cancel church. We had an unexpected day off! I wouldn’t want it to happen very often, but it was a nice surprise to have a whole day suddenly cleared. We ended up having lunch with our treasurer to help celebrate Princess’s 5th birthday. She was excited to go to church and be doted on by everyone, but with the snow, that wasn’t happening. So, we had pizza and cake at their house, only a couple of blocks away. I can’t believe my princess is 5! She’s growing up so fast!

Then the schools canceled school. They canceled last night which is always nice. We got to sleep in! Two snow days in a row: Sunday and Monday! What fun. We will probably all go outside and shovel and play later.

I have been missing all my blog friends and my own blog, but I am getting a lot more done without so much internet time. And I needed to get things done. I’v been clearing all the clutter from my house. I guess rearranging the rooms inspired me! We still don’t have Christmas decorations up yet. Someone offered us thier old Christmas tree (only like two years old), but her new one was missing a part, so we will probably have to pull out the old one (also given to us by her). It’s getting late and I have presents I would like to put under it.

Well, I’m off to do more cleaning. We have lots of family coming the day after Christmas and our house is going to be sparkling! 😀

Happy Thanksgiving. I hope everyone has had as wonderful a holiday as I have. I went to my mom’s house for the traditional turkey and had a very good dinner. I even came back with leftovers. Cold turkey sandwiches tomorrow!

Today, I would like to tell you all what I am thankful for.

    1. My loving God – He’s so wonderful. He loves me more than anyone else and I know that I can never deserve His love, yet He loves me.
    2. My hubby – He loves me and does things for me even when I don’t really deserve for him to be so nice to me. Thank you, honey, and I love you!
    3. My kids (Princess and Little Man) – They daily show me new things and daily give me their unconditional love. Sometimes I don’t deserve that either.
    4. The rest of my family (moms, dads and brothers and sisters) – Thanks for being such great family!
    5. My church family – Our congregation loves us so much and I am thankful for that. I love them, too. I am so glad we fit together so well and I look forward to continuing to effect change in our community.
    6. My many, many friends (both in life and in the online realm) – I’m so glad I friends that I can go to when I need to talk. I am also so glad for all the friends that I have made through blogging. Blogging has opened up a whole new world of giving and receiving blessings. I am also thankful for all the readers of my blog. Don’t be afraid to de-lurk. I’d love to be your friend, too.
    7. My fellow ministers – All of you readers that are fellow pastors and all the fellow pastors in my community and in the Assemblies of God that I have become close to, I appreciate what you have taught me. I look forward to continually growing at the prodding of others.

      I’m sure that there are many more things I am thankful for that I have left out. These are the ones with the biggest impact on my life. Thank you all for all you do for me! Happy Thanksgiving!

      The last couple of days I’ve been kind of in a fog. I’m not sure why. Today I am just really in a funk. I think that is because the weather is just blah. It’s rainy and dark. I like the sun! I need the sun! I feed off of the sun! (Literally – I need that vitamin D!) Today I also had to pay a huge bill that we couldn’t really afford to pay, but we did anyway. And we didn’t even really pay it. I mean we paid it with extra school loan money, so doesn’t that just make really paying it delayed? Our finances can be frustrating. I always try to remind myself that if we had more money, we would spend more money, so we would still have issues. It’s true. That does make me feel a little better somehow.

      Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I feel like I should think on happy things. So, I will turn this bill paying around and look at the happy side. The bill now has a way lower percentage rate! It is also not looming over us because we won’t have to pay it back until 6 months after Chris graduates with his masters degree. That’s at least 3 years from now. That is very good news! I guess it’s all about the details. The overall picture may look bleak, but I can’t go borrowing tomorrow’s troubles, can I? For today, we have one less bill to worry about. Yippee!

      Tomorrow we will be going to my mom’s house for Thanksgiving and to celebrate all the December birthdays in my family. Hubby, Princess and my brother are all turning a year older next month. We decided to celebrate early so that it’s more of a birthday celebration. Of course, originally it was supposed to be separate from all holiday celebrations, but that didn’t work out. It should be fun, though. I’m looking forward to a relaxing day stuffing myself with turkey. I really hope we have leftover turkey, too. I love cold turkey sandwiches. Yum! Well, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!