Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A prayer for a new semester

A month ago, I got a surprise package in the mail - a thoughtful gift from a good friend. It was a Celtic Daily Prayer book from a religious community in Scotland. They say it takes a month to form a habit, so I've been taking advantage of the extra time I have from only working part-time and trying to set a habit to use it every day. Yesterday morning I didn't know what day it was, and accidentally read too far. So this morning, instead of reading the same thing two days in a row, I skimmed through the book at some of the other sections not used in the daily prayer.

I stumbled on this one, and wanted to share. I thought it was appropriate since a new semester at the college started yesterday. (It's meant to be used in a group, with the sections in bold spoken in unison.)

Prayers for committing our work to God

This day is Your gift to me;
I take it, Lord, from Your hand
and thank You for the wonder of it.

God be with me
in this Your day,
every day
and every way,
with me and for me
in this Your day;
and the love
and affection
of heaven
be toward me.

All that I am, Lord,
I place into your hands.
All that I do, Lord,
I place into your hands.

Everything I work for
I place into your hands.
Everything I hope for
I place into your hands.

The troubles that weary me
I place into your hands.
The thoughts that disturb me
I place into your hands.

Each that I pray for
I place into your hands.
Each that I care for
I place into your hands.

I place into Your hands, Lord,
the choices that I face.
Guard me from choosing
the way perilous
of which the end is heart-pain
and the secret tear.

Rich in counsel,
show us the way
that is plain and safe.

May I feel Your presence
at the heart of my desire,
and so know it for Your desire for me.
Thus shall I prosper,
thus see that my purpose is from You,
thus have the power to do the good which endures.

Show me what blessing it is
that I have work to do.
And sometimes,
and most of all
when the day is overcast
and my courage faints,
let me hear Your voice, saying,
'You are my beloved one
in whom I am well pleased.'

Stand at the crossroads and look,
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is,
and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.

In the name of Christ we stand,
and in His name
move out across the land
in fearfulness and blessing.

To gather the Kingdom to the King
and claim this land for God:
a task indeed.

Give us to see Your will,
and power to walk in its path;
and lo! the night is routed and gone.

Lord, hasten the day
when those who fear You in every nation
will come from the east and west,
from north and south,
and sit at table in Your Kingdom.
And, Lord,
let Your glory be seen in our land.

He has shown you, O man, what is right;
and what does the Lord require of you,
but to do justly, and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God?

Keep me close to You, Lord.
Keep me close to You.
I lift my hands to You, Lord.
I lift them up to You.

Hands, Lord, Your gift to us,
we stretch them up to You.
Always You hold them.

Help me to find my happiness
in my acceptance
of what is Your purpose for me:
in friendly eyes, in work well done,
in quietness born of trust,
and, most of all,
in the awareness of Your presence
in my spirit.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Productive Saturday

Done today:

shredded 6 cups of zucchini

canned 4 quarts of dill pickles

canned 3 jars of dilled green beans

AND I cleaned up the giant mess that came with it!

It's my first try canning real pickles/vegetables. Last year I did refrigerator pickles and applesauce. I'm really hoping everything works! Everything is in really random amounts because I honestly had no idea how many cucumbers would fit in each jar. I had five jars, but one broke while it was in the waterbath. And the green beans were small because I wasn't sure I would like them.
I think canning and preserving your own food is really cool... I just know that there's a lot I don't know about it! I'm thinking that next year I will try to recruit my mom to help :) Gotta pass on the wisdom of the years!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What is your "Julie & Julia"?

Good movies, like good books, are the ones that inspire you.  When the movie is over and the lights come up, they leave you full of energy and hope and motivation -- whether you are inspired to go and do something new, or to go and be someone new.

I just finished watching a movie called Julie & Julia.  It's based on a book of the same name that I haven't read, so I don't know if it is formatted the same way that the movie is.  I could write a bad synopsis for you, but it is late and I don't have the mind for it just now.  If you haven't heard of it, go Google it and I'm sure you will be enthralled.  I certainly was.

I left the movie theater with a huge smile on my face.  I wanted to go watch reruns of Julia Child's cooking show, buy her book Mastering the Art of French Cooking, wear skirts and heels and pearls the next time I make dinner, buy Julie Powell's memoir Julie & Julia, make myself an apron, wear it to cook a fabulous 3-course meal, and blog about it.  Just because someone's done it already doesn't mean I shouldn't do it, too, for my own gratification!

Whether or not I will do all, or just a few of those things, I would really like to know what my "thing" is.  Maybe it's cooking, maybe it's not -- either way is fine with me, as long as I have something.  What is that "thing" that I love to do, that pulls me out of dark times, gives me passion and direction, that I am determined to master, no matter how many times I fail before I get it right?  For Julie Powell, it was cooking.  But what is it for me?  What is it for you?