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For several years I used a Celtic Benediction prayer book which was a gift from my parents. Reading it daily kicked up my personal prayer life up a notch. I wasn’t always faithful saying the morning and evening prayers when I started reading it, but I’d get at least one set of devotionals in. I’m using the Hallow app for most of my morning prayers now. But this morning, the day after Thanksgiving, when everyone was sleeping in late, my thoughts went back to the Celtic Benediction book. Such beautiful prayers crafted by the author and others straight from the Bible, they were truly a salve for my soul:
You are my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?
While a beautiful Psalm and one so perfect for Thanksgiving, my mind was also reaching for a different one:
Out of the depths, I cry to you, O, Lord.
Right before Thanksgiving, I thought I felt a cold coming back. For about a week straight, one day I’d feel sort of blah, then really blah, then I’d bounce back and feel fine. I’d been sick in early October for a little less than a week. Right after I got better, that cold hit a few others in the family. Thankfully, by the time Ronan caught it, it was much less severe. Whatever I caught again before the holiday, decided to take residence in my chest. I slept horribly the night of Thanksgiving and woke up way too early on Friday feeling like crud. That morning, I coughed as quietly as I could so as not to disturb anyone. I needed to do just a little bit of clean up but knew not to push myself.
Before doing anything, I started my morning prayers, which included some St. Jude special intentions. I was ready to pray for those but kept being drawn to a lament:
Out of the depths, I cry to you, O, Lord.
Thanksgiving had been such a good day! I was sniffly but still had tons of energy to make an amazing feast for the seven of us. Besides the traditional turkey dinner, I made lasagna also. The kids tell me it’s not a holiday without the homemade lasagna. While I prepped the food, I smiled. Inside, music was playing, and the kids were enjoying each other’s company. Outside, Ronan sat watching my husband make some auto repairs and kept him company as he did some clean up in the garage. I got done what needed to be done indoors, and my husband happily completed outdoor projects that needed to be completed. Extended family obligations split us up immediately after dinner, so to have the day just us was a true joy for me.
That night, Thanksgiving night, congestion destroyed any good sleep I thought I’d get. Bummed because I’d gotten nine straight hours of sleep the night before, I knew it was going to be a long, tiring day.
And it was. Maybe that’s why my mind kept going back to this:
Lord, hear my cry!
With the kids home from school and work, I could ask them to help with Ronan so I could sleep. I took two naps but woke up feeling more exhausted than ever. I couldn’t wait to go to sleep again for the night.
Then I slept some more.
I thanked the Lord that I could do that. The kids are oh, so helpful, but this was a big homecoming weekend with several of their friends back in town on their breaks also. They had made plans to be out of the house catching up with former classmates. Not wanting to spoil any of their fun, I asked them to help for just a few hours, just so I could be still.
Be still and aware of God’s presence within and all around you.
That’s one of the prayer prompts in the Celtic Benediction book. Said at the beginning of the evening prayer devotion, it’s a prayer that I used to rush through. Yep, yep, God. I see what You brought to my day today. I see what You asked me to handle. I know You trust me, but man, it can be a lot. Amen…now to the readings…
When I was using only this book for my personal prayers, I wanted to get through that particular one quickly – not dwell on it or on what the day had brought me. Some days, like the ones from this weekend, are a lot! They are way more than I expected and can be full of struggles. Of course, good things happen, and blessings are showered upon us also. But the bad days, oh, they can be bad. On those days, I didn’t want to dwell on them. I wanted to move forward and find something positive or hopeful instead. Even in my rushing through it, I’d be mindful that God was still near no matter what kind of day it was.
Always, He is near.
This past weekend I had to slow down. I had to be still. In that quiet, I had time to think, to reflect, and to pray a little bit more. I said prayers of gratitude, because I am thankful for everything I have been given, including the challenges. I said prayers for family, especially for the extended family who suffered a recent loss. I said prayers of hope, because in the still hours when I couldn’t sleep, I concentrated on other’s pain and suffering and asked God to help them through their toughest moments.
This wasn’t an easy weekend nor the restful one I had planned, but it was a weekend with family and with a chance for reflection. As per our usual, we are going a mile a minute. The kids are as well. To be forced to stop and just be hardly ever happens. Even though I wished it hadn’t been because of an illness, I was grateful for the quieter moments. I was glad for the chance…to be still and aware of God’s presence within and all around me.
Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.
The Wuhan Cover-Up: And the Terrifying Bioweapons Arms Race (Children’s Health Defense)
“Gain-of-function” experiments are often conducted to deliberately develop highly virulent, easily transmissible pathogens for the stated purpose of developing preemptive vaccines for animal viruses before they jump to humans. More insidious is the “dual use” nature of this research, specifically directed toward bioweapons development. The Wuhan Cover-Up pulls back the curtain on how the US government's increase in biosecurity spending after the 2001 terror attacks set in motion a plan to transform the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), under the direction of Dr. Anthony Fauci, into a de facto Defense Department agency.