Before you face the world, face your Father. – Max Lucado

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Delores gave me a little book for Christmas. She didn’t realize that it was the tool needed for this time in my world. It’s called “Pocket Prayers for Friends” by Max Lucado. A simple little book and a re-direction for me and my tendency to worry rather than pray.

There are several things right now which cause me worry and stress. However, most of it is completely out of my control and has nothing to do with my own personal life – I worry for others. I see injustice and poor decisions made and a lack of wisdom exhibited, and I take it all on for myself to fret. I have found myself getting angry over situations that I cannot change, all for the sake of…getting angry.

My coping skill when I felt insignificant or restless, full of anxiety and stress, used to be sitting down at the piano. I would “play pray,” playing whatever came out of my heart and through my fingers in a silent prayer and a song to God.

No one understands like Jesus
When the days are dark and grim.
No one is so near, so dear as Jesus;
Cast Your every care on Him.

I let my pattern of prayer fall by the wayside…until last night.

So, as I deal with this knot in my stomach over things I cannot change,

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.

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I am grateful for laughter with Michelle during lunch on Sunday and a multitude of “Absolutely’s” being over-used.

I am grateful for distant memories of Flip Wilson as Geraldine while I worked yesterday and thought of a dear friend on her birthday, wishing I was watching her eat a piece of coconut cream pie and enjoying laughter around the cafeteria table.

I am grateful for the citrus smell of a just-peeled orange.

I am grateful for our home filled with friends and family on Saturday, evidence that we are so blessed.

I am grateful for the soft of a rabbit’s fur and the sweet of its nose twitch.

I am grateful for the simple prayer example Max shares:

1. God, You are incredible.
2. I need help and lots of it.
3. ____ needs help and lots of it.
4. Thank You.

I am grateful when lunch is delivered to the office on a 17 degree day.

I am grateful for the convenience of online ordering.

I am grateful for the ability to smile, and for the gift of a genuine smile returned.

When it’s hardest, that’s when you sing the loudest. The devil flees at a hymn. – wisdom from Ann Voskamp’s mother-in-law

I am grateful for the therapy of de-popcorning a ceiling.

I am grateful for my Dad.

I am grateful for my pianos – thank you, Sam and Dad, for my pianos. I once was piano-less, and now I am so grateful for two.

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I am grateful for John Wesley’s Covenant Prayer that brings tears to my eyes each time I pray it:

I am no longer my own, but yours.
Put me to what you will, place me with whom you will.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be put to work for you or set aside for you,
Praised for you or criticized for you.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and fully surrender all things to your glory and service.
And now, O wonderful and holy God,
Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, 
you are mine, and I am yours.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
Let it also be made in heaven.  Amen.

And I am grateful for my Max Lucado Pocket Prayers book. Thank you, Delores.

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