Spiritually Speaking Blog

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Let the Season Begin

We are now officially in the “Christmas Season” bringing with it the joys, stresses, anxieties, anticipations and disappointments that can come with any overinflated, long awaited “buildup”. Commercially, we only have a few short weeks to prepare for this upcoming holiday.  Our Christmas “to do” list includes cookies to be baked, gifts to be purchased, trees to be decorated and parties planned. Religiously the world is also in “ready mode”. Jewish people are prepping for Hanukkah with the treasured traditions of the lighting of the Menorah candles. Christian churches singing “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel“ celebrate this preparation time as “Advent”, commemorating the 4 weeks representing the 4,000 years longing for the birth of Jesus. Spiritual leaders everywhere attempt to refocus the attention of the faithful to what “Really Matters” in this life, kind of like a wakeup call. Especially during these busy days we need to remember the admonition that life is not about the destination, but “The Journey”. With so many family, cultural and religious traditions, it’s easy to overlook the “Reason for the Season”. We all get in our little ruts and maintain the habits that numb our thinking and feelings and propel us through this life just going through the motions, failing to notice the important things that we have been missing. Like the rude guest at a cocktail party, who talks with us while all the time being distracted while watching for someone more interesting to move on to meet, we often look right over the present moment right in front of us! We squander our attention on trivia losing out on the special people and unique opportunities right... read more

Prayers for Thanksgiving Day

The coming weeks are filled with traditions that bind us together as a family, friends, neighborhood and/ or people “walking each other home”. Many of these traditions, are created around the dinner table sharing memories, laughs and love while enjoying the fruits of many working hands. When we sit down at these special meals it’s important to bow our heads with grateful hearts. But when it comes to prayer sometimes words escape us. Here are a few choices you can choose from to use for your Thanksgiving Celebration. THANKSGIVING BLESSING: O Heavenly Father: We thank Thee for food and remember the hungry. We thank Thee for health and remember the sick. We thank Thee for friends and remember the friendless. We thank Thee for freedom and remember the enslaved. May these remembrances stir us to service. That Thy gifts to us may be used for others. Amen.- “Dear Abby” A PRAYER FOR THANKS AND BLESSINGS PAST AND PRESENT:  Lord God, we gather around this table to humbly thank You for all that You have given us this past year – not just what is on this table, but who is sitting around this table. Thank you for life and laughter, for health and happiness, for relationships and memories. Thank you too, for the lessons learned and the tears we’ve cried because of Your ability to grow us through them. Thank You for Your comfort and Your presence, in light of good days and bad. Thank You for what we have now, for what we had yesterday, and for what You will continue to give tomorrow. Let us never take... read more

Be Still And Give Thanks!

  Gratitude, being the lynchpin for a happy life, is the official celebration kicking off this holiday season. We should take a page out of the Pilgrims playbook. They understood the power of gratitude. If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice. ~Meister Eckhart  Those two potent words, “thank you” should be carried around uppermost in our minds and hearts as we go about our daily routines. We sometimes fill our lives with chatter and we end up missing so much of what really matters. This holiday season, let’s stop talking and be very, very quiet and stand in silent wonder at the vastness and goodness of God. Be still and watch God our Father, in the continuing act of creating new things before our very eyes: this morning’s flowers, this evening’s sunset, tiny new infants and ourselves – still here, the universe still growing, all manner of good things continuing to tumble forth from creative, caring hands. Be still and give thanks! Be still and listen to God’s gentle presence, always with us, as we fulfill our mission on earth. The Lord silently guiding and challenging, comforting and encouraging, showing us the way and helping us to walk in it. Be still and give thanks!  Be still and wallow in God’s Loving-Presence here on earth. Leaning on the Almighty’s help through a friendly gesture. Acknowledging God’s generosity through a helping hand. Reflecting on the difficult lessons learned at the feet of your teachers. Be still and give thanks!  And finally, be still and remember what the Lord has told us... read more

We Can Only Imagine!

I’ve never looked to Dennis the Menace for spiritual inspiration, but in this cartoon, he nails it! Dennis is with his friend looking up at the starry night sky, pointing upward he ponders, “If heaven is that pretty on the bottom, think how it must look on TOP!”. We all have our ideas about what heaven is like, but we have been told in Corinthians “”No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” We know that something good is ahead of us. Wayne Dyer helps put it into perspective for us. He explains that we are really spiritual beings having a temporal experience. So this life is not who we really are. Our situations, for better or worse, do not define who we REALLY are. I do believe that we carry around a little bit of heaven within us to remind us every once in a while of our Godly indwelling. Our Divine flame burns within. When something or someone literally takes our breath away, we get a glimpse of heaven, remembering we are ”awe-some” beings just passing through. We feel this connection when we experience seeing the vastness of the ocean for the very first time, or when we hold a new born child, or being touched by the glorious colors and miracle of the daily sunrise and sunset. This life is supposed to be an “experience”, a chance for us to learn while we search for communion with ourDivine essence. We are on our journey back “home”….back to heaven. We must find some awe, some piece... read more

 Get the Most Out of Your Day

 “This is the beginning of a new day. You have been given this day to use, as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever. In its place is something you left behind. Let it be something good.”- Unknown This is our challenge each day. We don’t want to live our lives waiting for the “real thing” to come along. No matter what holds us back, whether it is fear of failure, fear of success, doubt, hesitation or procrastination, it’s time to say yes to “life”. Sometimes lots of folks never get it. They never understand how life really works, even at the simplest levels. Here is the crucial question, “Do you know what your life is all about?” We can find out that answer by checking how we are living. Are we living like people who know for sure that a loving God is walking at their side? Let’s see: -Have we stopped wasting our time worrying? -Do we welcome life with a happy heart” Are we glad to wake up in the morning? -Do we see how gifted and special we are? At least sometimes, does seeing our own giftedness just make us want to smile? – Do we have hearts so full of thankfulness that we instinctively work at helping others be as happy as we are? If that’s the way we are living, then we understand how to use each day. It means that we’ve been... read more

Finding the Passion in Life

“It’s faith in something and enthusiasm for something that makes life worth living.” Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. Yes, we need faith and enthusiasm to get the most out of this journey called life.  We are here to delight in the world finding joy in daily life, no matter what it brings. Sometimes gravity through the years not only drags us down  physically, but emotionally as well. It takes a special type of courage to brave the pain and to still find joy in life; to wake up in the morning with an enthusiasm for the day ahead. Life presents itself to us in many ways. Learn to recognize God’s invitations and respond with a resounding “YES”. Mother Teresa gives us some wise words to remember: Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is beauty, admire it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfill it. Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it. Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it. Life is life, fight for it. Use this prayer to keep that joyful focus: Dear Lord, Let me delight in your world finding the joy in my daily life. Let my spirit dance all the way to heaven for the eternal celebration. I know you will provide me with all I need so there’s no need for me to worry. Thank you. #passion #purposeoflife #SpirituallySpeakingBlog #MotherTeresa#gettingthemostoutoflife #life  #spiritualdevelopment spiritualawakening #inspiration    ... read more

The First Day In Heaven

We live our lives with many unknowns. Two big ones we sometimes push aside are our last day and our first day. The last day being our last day on earth, how and when we will leave this world. And the first day in heaven, what will we find when we get to the other side. What is heaven going to be like for a long time…eternity. These unknowns, death and afterlife, have been the topics of many pieces of art, lyrics of songs, and subjects to be researched. No one knows how or when his/her “exit” will come about. But you can pray to St. Joseph the patron saint for a peaceful death, and place your order! But “life on the other side” has had extensive theories and “reports”. When you listen to interviews from people who have “passed over” or read explorations of life on the “other side”, they can all agree. What comes through loud and clear is: THERE IS NOTHING TO BE AFRAID OF. To reinforce this concept, I want to share a special picture and a revealing poem that will give us food for thought as we ponder this great unknown of what we can expect to find on the “other side”. One of my favorite pieces of artwork is this picture, entitled “First Day in Heaven” by Linda Van den Bosch. This touching piece shows the end of a young woman’s journey as she leaps into the arms of God receiving a bear hug of welcome showing the very heart of God. If God is love, that theme jumps out and reassures every... read more

What Makes a Good Day?

Charlie Chaplin’s quote, “a day without laughter is a day wasted”, is seen at many food and drink scenes! What makes a “day worth living” for you? What makes it a “good day”?  It’s a great question to ponder. Knowing what makes a good day for us will allow us to prioritize our day’s actions, getting the most out of each day. According to Nancy Collamer who wrote “5 Essential Steps to Have a Good Day” there are 3 questions to be asked at the end of the day: Did you spend your time and attention on things that matter? Did you feel that you did a good job and had the support of others? Did the day leave you feeling more energized than depleted? I appreciate the 3 items listed by Nancy Collamer above, but I need to add one more item to here list.  I’d add a touch of spirituality in every day. I mean I need an “Aha God” moment. …that divine tug in my heart. For just one split second I want to feel that Divine Presence in my life. Now this divine connection can come in many ways and forms. It could be when I read something inspirational in a book or even social media. Or it can come from enjoying family and friends realizing that these people are reflections of God. Maybe during a walk outside or taking in a colorful sunset, somehow the majesty of our Creator is apparent. These special moments come when I am “present” in the situation seeing it for what it truly is. A particular time given to... read more

Final Thoughts

This fall, Joe and I had the opportunity to travel to Norfolk, VA, never realizing that the Naval Station at Norfolk is the largest naval installation in the world! Before our boat harbor tour began we found this incredible tribute to our Veterans – The Armed Forces Memorial located just off shore by the marina. This memorial is located on the river which has carried more than 200 years of servicemen and women off to war and returned home. (Some not that fortunate). Within this memorial there are 20 inscriptions from letters written home by US service men and women who lost their lives.  Every branch of the service is represented. These letters, written not knowing their future, contain very personal thoughts of love of family, love of country, the hell in war, and reflections of life itself. “What’s it all about?” The 20 letters have been cast on sheets of bronze and are scattered across the memorial on the ground as if they had been blown there by the wind. The airmen, infantry men, nurses, sailors, men, and women representing every branch of the service, bare their souls struggling with their loves, hopes and fears. They represent brave men and women from these wars: The Revolutionary War (1175-1783), The War of 1812 (1812-1815), The Civil War (1861-1865), World War 1 (1917-1918), World War II (1941-1945), Korean War (1950-1953), Vietnam War (1962-1975) and the Gulf War (1990-1991). Walking around reading letters that read like a personal diary you feel like you’ve peeked into someone’s soul, so intimate and so touching especially knowing that these brave soldiers never made it... read more