Writing to you from our king-sized bed this beautiful Sunday morning. The balcony door is open to the world beyond and there is a tickly little breeze blowing in. Just enough to keep our room cool and to have the tops of the trees I can see from this vantage point bouncing about ever so slightly. I can see the reflection of the Franklin Mountain peaks in the glass panes of my French door. And the sky is cloudless and blue. It is going to be a glorious day.
For Spiritual Sunday, 09.2018, I am going to share the writing I did on another of the meaningful prompts from my Bible study workbook 101 Prayers and Affirmations for Spiritual Wellness by my friend Mary Clewley. I did this same thing last month in my Spiritual Sunday post, writing then about a prompt on negativity. It was therapeutic for me to write about negativity vs positivity and pessimism vs optimism. Hope somehow it gave you something to think about, too. You can get to know Mary through her webpage and blog at Hope Filled Living, and follow the SHOP tab at the top to have a look at her wonderful books.
Spiritual Sunday, 09.2018
Prayer and Affirmation
For my quiet time on 09.21.2018, Mary asked that we reflect on how bitterness and rage are toxic to the soul. This is the prayer she began with:
Dear God, please remind me that while expressing my anger, bitterness, rage and hate may temporarily make me feel better; this does not mean that i no longer carry them with me. Lord, I realize that those feelings and emotions re toxic to my soul. Please help me put them into proper perspective. Help me to work through the things within myself that would cause my eye to hurt my soul. Amen.
The affirmation for the day: I forgive others and myself.
My Bible study from Jesus Calling had me read 1 Kings 19:12 NKJV and Psalm 5:3.
Psalm 5:3 reads:
My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
Funny, I always look up when I pray. Even in church…the pastor will ask us to bow our heads and I raise mine!
Letter to God
Then we were asked to write a letter to God about forgiveness. Here’s what I wrote:
Dear Heavenly Father,
You are quite amazing in Your infinite wisdom. The way You work all things to come together. When I saw the direction above to write You a letter about forgiveness, I thought…who do I need to forgive? I have forgiven – or let go of many of my big, life-changing hurts and wounds.
But then I realized one person still needs to be forgiven and loved. Matthew (my step-son who lived with us for several years before moving to Iowa where his mother lives) Paul needs and wants him in his life. And we need to work on making that happen more often.
Today, as I dusted, Matt’s photo fell over. And the other day Paul mentioned he would like Matt to come for a visit (when I asked PC what he would like to put on our autumn bucket list). This morning, I had a message from my friend Martha saying her son didn’t get accepted in to the Air Force…he had childhood asthma…we have been waiting to hear if they would accept him. Matt applied, too, and had asthma as a child. Maybe he didn’t get accepted either (we don’t hear from Matt very often so really don’t know where he is in life).
God help me forgive Matt (for troubles in our past) and forgive myself and to reopen a space for him in my heart.
Along with my workbook, and my Bible reading, I am writing “Morning Pages” – thoughts on life, during my quiet time. The idea for the Morning Pages comes from Julia Cameron’s book It’s Never Too Late To Begin Again. I like to write so doing so each morning is right up my alley (pun accidentally intended!). And on 09.21.2018, my Morning Pages were about Matthew and me.
Without going into too much detail right now, let me give you a little bit of background. When PC and I met in 2003, my daughters, ages 18 and 16, were living at home and his daughter, 14, and son, 9, were living with him. His daughter really struggled after her parents’ divorce and wound up in some pretty serious trouble. Eventually, she moved to Iowa to live with her mother. My Prince retained custody of Matt. In 2008 when we married, Lauren was still living with me and Matt with Paul. We tried to blend out families but it was difficult. Several years into our marriage, Lauren moved to Houston to live with her boyfriend-now-husband and to finish graduate school. Matt graduated from high school without a plan from there going forward. That rubbed me the wrong way. I expected him to start school – PC was willing to pay – and get a part-time job. And being a tougher disciplinarian, I also wanted his room picked up, dishes in the dishwasher, laundry done promptly. After 2 tough years, my step-son moved out. First with friends locally, then to Iowa to be near his sister and mom. He hasn’t been back to visit and he and his dad don’t communicate much. We have seen Matt several times when we have all gone to Ohio to visit my in-laws, though, and our relationship is still rocky.
That day for my morning pages I wrote that my Bible study said I should listen for a small still voice from God. And I think I heard it.
The first of September, Matt wrote a post on Facebook saying he was thinking of making a trip to El Paso. Paul asked his plans but Matt wasn’t very forthcoming and we haven’t heard anything more.
Earlier in the week last week, I had asked PC for suggestions of activities on my autumn bucket list and he mentioned having Matt come for a 3-day visit. Then when I dusted our bedroom furniture, Matt’s photo kept falling down. Later that same day, I received the message I mentioned above from my friend Martha. And realized Matt may not have been accepted in the military.
On 09.21.2018, when I read the assignment to write a letter to God about forgiveness, Matt came to mind. I wrote:
I need to forgive him and myself for the troubles in our relationship in the past. And if Matt wants to visit and Paul wants him to, then that needs to happen. And I will be open to that.
Here are a few photos of Matt when he was still living with us.
When I checked Instagram yesterday, the app listed several people I might know as potential connections. One of them turned out to be Matt but under an abbreviated form of his name. There were some videos on his account that are concerning. I showed it to PC and then we were both concerned. We talked today and have decided to invite Matt to visit for Thanksgiving. Hoping that having time with his dad will help Matt find some direction for his future and will repair their relationship. Will update you when I know more.
This Month’s Little Miracles and Gratitude
Bringing this list to you straight out of The Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude gifted me by my sweet, sweet friend Carrie at Curly, Crafty Mom. Some of things I was grateful for in September:
- Swimming in our pool
- Quiet Sunday together
- Traveling mercies for PC on his trip to North Carolina
- Putting myself first by signing up for some activities while my Prince is gone
- The foundation my parents gave me growing up
- Beautiful night sky and falling stars
- Good phone conversations with PC
- Permission for Paul to evacuate North Carolina before the impending hurricane
- My brother calling BINGO for the seniors at my mom’s apartment complex
- Clean kitchen cabinets
- My mom called me for entertainment when her TV was out
- Reading with Cady and giving Lucia a bath using Skype
- Paul is HOME
- The 10th anniversary of our marriage and home blessing
- A fun night listening in our hot tub listening to music and playing “Name that Tune”
Have you ever listened for God’s still small voice? I think we get so caught up in praying and asking for what we want or think we need, that we forget to listen. I am trying to use my quiet time to do more listening.
What were you grateful for in September? Won’t you share in a comment below?
I am grateful for your friendship. Thankful that you stop by and say hi when you do. Wishing you peace in this first week of October.
Hugs and kisses,