Walk In Her Sandals Holy Saturday Reflection
Gifts are only useful if they are received, opened, and used. The gift of prayer is no different. Imagine a friend arriving at your door with a colorful, neatly wrapped, shiny bow on top of gift. It is not a special occasion nor have you recently tackled or completed anything present worthy, so you decline the gift, and send your friend away. Who would do that? Certainly not me. I would have the gift opened before the friend even made herself comfy. If the gift happened to be a bottle of wine, the top would be popped and glasses poured before we’d finished with our initial greetings. Like gifts, prayer should be gratefully received and not left unopened or unused. This week’s reflection will focus on The Gift of Prayer section in Walk in Her Sandals written by Pat Gohn.
Gifts are Meant to be Used
“What is the gift of prayer?” is the first question asked in the Walk in Her Sandals’ journal with regard to Pat’s reflection. Personally, I see prayer as part of what I’ve dubbed, “The Grace Trifecta.” This trifecta consists of one engaging in prayer, participating in the Sacraments, as well as reading and reflecting on Scripture — prayer, Sacrament and Scripture. It truly amazes me that God allows us to communicate with Him in this intimate way. What a gift that he allows us to enter into conversation with Him.
When I was a child, my mother would wrap every single item in our Christmas stocking. Opening each individual present was what I looked forward to the most about Christmas; I enjoyed it so much I continue that tradition today with my own children. This is how I have experienced prayer in my life — as many small gifts. The first prayer gift to be unwrapped was opening up a more frequent line of communication with God. This came after reading St. Paul’s words in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, which reads:
After contemplating St. Paul’s words, I decided to change my self-absorbed habit of constantly talking to myself .... Read What The Holy Spirit Inspired me to do over on WINE
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The Joy Filled Character Effect
For someone who IS NOT a Fiction reader, I have been doing a lot of Fiction reading lately (one more review to come next week!) -- crazy thing is, I have loved every minute of it. The Sweetest Rain by Myra Johnson (Franciscan Media) drew me in quick and kept me captivated!! I have forgotten what an (RELAXING) escape reading a good romance can be. Lost in the characters, some times just not able to read fast enough to find out what comes next, for these 'people' lives you find yourself totally engrossed in. Yeah, fiction can be pretty fabulous when it is done pretty fabulously!
Bryony Linwood's family are cotton farmers (I am not 100% sure that is the right terminology - but I'm going to go with it), who are struggling in the middle of the drought to make ends meet.
Side note: My family may not be farmers but I think most of us living in these difficult economic times feel we are all in some type of drought and often times struggling.
Determined to see her sister is able to fulfill her dream of college and that the family doesn't literally starve, she makes the incredibly difficult decision to take work as a house maid (again, not sure if that is the word I am searching for -- maybe servant would suffice), at the home of the Plantation Owner. The rather ORNERY Plantation Owner I may add! Bryony's sweet disposition and willingness to serve (both her employer and her own family) with all she has and with great joy brings forth remarkable hope and change for many of the people blessed to have their lives intertwined with her.
Side note: Bryony's character was a great reminder to me of the positive and powerful influence joy and trusting in God can be in the our life and most importantly in the lives of others. In the very difficult situation of her life, had she been a character developed to swallowed by her circumstances, the story would have - by that very nature - evolved with a very different tone and feeling. Instead of cuddling up with my tea and despite the turmoil of the story, finding hope and peace (and truly enjoyment) in Myra Johnson's The Sweetest Rain, I would have found myself agitated and discontented. How easy I find my own heart is melded by the things I read, watch or hear - probably why I find it prudent for me to avoid shows like Desperate Housewives - but I digress.
The Sweetest Rain includes tragedy and hardships, yes - but at the core is a beautiful unfolding romance. Characters that connect with unforced dialog and natural interactions. Myra Johnson has given everyone looking an perfect option for anyone seeking a hopeful escape in the book they read. Just this morning, as I was adding the book cover to this post I noticed under the author's name, "Flowers of Eden * Book One" - and now I can NOT wait to cuddle up with my cup of tea and Book Two!
All rights reserved, 2015 Allison Gingras
Quote from Myra's Bio:
"Writing, I’m learning, is not about the destination, it’s about the journey. My current projects are primarily women’s fiction and romance . . . novels of hope, love, and encouragement. Novels about real women living out their faith and finding love in the midst of everyday, and sometimes not so everyday, situations."
For More About Myra Johnson - visit MyraJohnson.com
Although I do not read much fiction - I have had the pleasure of carving out the time for these 3 amazing works. So glad that I did! FOR more suggestions search #showusyourlist on Twitter and Facebook - as well as visit Will Write for Tomato Pie - the blogger who started it all!! #grateful