Yelly Writes

Lessons of faith

“I realized that the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by His letting us have our way in the end, but by His making us wait, bearing with us in love and patience until we are able to honestly to pray what He taught His disciples to pray: Thy will be done.” ― Elisabeth Elliot, Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ’s Control

 

I’ve not very been very vocal about my faith or my spirituality.  Maybe because in this very secular world I didn’t want to tread on people’s toes or sensitivities.  I know that we are all allowed to say what we feel, what we think and our faith is one of the most important testaments we can make.  However, that being said, I think I’ve allowed myself to be more PC than I thought I would ever be.  Because of that, allowed myself to not talk about how my faith gets me through each day.  I’m reminded of Psalty the Singing Songbook from the Kids’ Praise series of music albums I used to listen to when I was little.  I can still hear Psalty saying “God wouldn’t want you to hide your light under a bushel!”  And that’s exactly what I allowed myself to do.

I am truly a church kid.  I grew up getting up early on a Sunday morning, getting dressed in my Sunday best and going to church and Sunday school.  I sang in the children’s choir and Christmas was always busy with children’s choir rehearsals.  My summers were spent attending daily vacation church school, attending summer church camps and other church-based activities.  It didn’t stop there.  As I got older, i graduated to joining the chancel choir, acting as bible study leader, children’s choir conductor and summer camp cell group leader.  If I were still in the Philippines, I would probably still be in church most weekends, happily involved in the various things church-related.  Most of my oldest and most enduring friendships are with people I grew up with, in church.  I am quite thankful that I grew up in church because I know that this has founded my faith and it is my faith that carries me through the dark days.

It is because I grew up in church that I learned to take solace in prayer and meditation.  I find that the quiet times that I spend alone with my thoughts, tears, prayers and meditations ground me and steady me.  It allows me to surrender everything to the higher power taking care of us.  It is also because of that faith that the word surrender doesn’t feature negatively in my vocabulary.  Surrender is sometimes the bravest thing to do.

Quite recently, I started listening to Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Conversations podcast.  She had a conversation with Rev Ed Bacon about spirituality.  It was such an ecumenical discussion about faith that it gave me a lightbulb moment.  I had to look back on conversations about faith that I had with the friends I have here.  I found that I had discussions about faith and prayer with friends who were Christian, Muslim, and others who didn’t necessarily ascribe to a particular religious doctrine.  Spirituality and faith is universal.  So talking about it is universal.  It is funny that it’s taken me so long to realise this!

And today, as with all the most difficult days, my mantra is “In His perfect time, according to His perfect will.”

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Yelly Writes

Starting my day right

Breakfast will always start one’s day right.  I remember when I was growing up, Mama would never let us leave the house until we had a hot breakfast; we simply had to eat.  I’m afraid to say that I haven’t kept up the practice.  I get ready for work and rush out the door.  In the process, I think I may have screwed up my eating habits!

I am a Christian by faith and a Protestant Methodist by denomination.  I am proud to say I grew up in church, and I am thankful that I did.  Living away from everyone I love can be difficult, to say the least.  When you are, essentially, alone, there is very little to cling to: and for me it was my God and my faith in the God that sustains me.  I am thankful to be blessed with a faith that strengthens me and I am blessed because my faith in my God has sustained me during the toughest times of my life.  It has been challenging living away from everything familiar but that in itself has strengthened my faith.

I walk past the Chelmsford cathedral everyday as I walk to work and everyday I whisper a prayer for God to bless my day, for God to take control of my day, for God to help me achieve what I need to achieve, and my most fervent desire, for me to be a blessing to others.  Somehow those words quickly whispered set my day off perfectly.  Because I lift my day up to the Lord, whatever good, whatever bad, my day is the Lord’s.

I am reminded of a prayer I used to read and reread.  It was a prayer I posted in my old blog.  It was a prayer for concentration at work because the work environment then wasn’t conducive to concentration (there was a lot of swearing going around and being in an environment where profanity and bad language is about is never conducive to real positivity, I think!).  It was based on a prayer I also read online and a prayer that I adapted so that it fit my thoughts.  It’s helped me.  I thought I’d post it here again, because it might help someone else.

Dear Father,

I draw near You to seek Your help.  I have the assurance that You love me so very much. Lord, the Scripture says that You love the prosperity of Your children.  You know the importance of being able to concentrate at work.  Father, bless me with Your guidance and let me work on my things to do list properly.  Lord, I confess that I get distracted easily; I have more interest in less important things instead of what is urgent in my in-tray.

Please forgive me and gird me with You grace (I love the word gird Lord, because it makes me feel like I am going to battle, and oh I do love a battle!  See Lord, I am digressing, yet again!) and strength so that I concentrate in my work.  Without Your help I cannot achieve any success Lord!

Please help me to overcome all my weaknesses and strengthen my mind. Take full control of my wandering thoughts and give me Your wisdom and knowledge. Let me shine at work, Heavenly Father and let me be a blessing to to everyone. I lift all this up in Jesus’ name.

Amen.

prayer