Comments, please

January 28, 2020 | My Jottings

Hello friends,

Not long ago, my blog started not letting people comment, even old friends who’ve commented frequently over the years. My web person Emily worked on it, and installed a new, possibly less vigilant spam filter. She wasn’t sure what happened.

If you’re reading this, would you take a few seconds and leave a comment below? Something like, “Hi.” Or “Here I am.” Or “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious?”

I would like to make sure things are fixed so anyone who wants (except spammers, who are just an amazing group of people) can comment here. Or just say hi, or ask for prayer, or share their own stories.

Thank you for your help!

Just some stuff

January 11, 2020 | My Jottings

It’s so wonderful to have a blissfully unscheduled morning on a below zero day with sunshine pouring in my bedroom windows. Lake Superior has huge, glittering shards of ice floating on its surface, but there’s enough open water to allow the shipping traffic to continue moving in and out of Duluth. The 1000-foot ore boats that leave our port are spectacular to see.

I am propped up against three pillows on my high bed, listening to old Mildred snore beside me, with my books and journals scattered on the blankets, a prayer shawl my daughter Sharon dyed and knitted for me wrapped around my perpetually cold neck, and I have the David Nevue station on Pandora playing softly. A dark brown rectangular plaque which was a wedding gift from Lloyd’s son Paul and his wife Selena rests on one of my window sills, and it reads, “Above all else, love each other deeply/1 Peter 4:8/Lloyd and Julie/10.05.19”

Some people seem to be able to almost effortlessly love others deeply. It’s a joy to be in their presence. I would assume that the admonition to love each other deeply means that it’s possible to love each other shallowly. I might fit into that category, and that thought troubles me. It’s not completely true, because there are young people in my family (my grands) who I love so deeply it sometimes pains me, gives me an ache I can’t explain. I would give my lives for them in a second, suffer for them if it were necessary and possible, and care more about their well-being than about my own.

But as they get older, I see them not desiring to spend as much time with me as they did when they were little, and I fear this is because I don’t love as deeply as I should. Or is it because I’m too chatty? Or because I’m a grandma “who’s really into Jesus and God,” because I’m too busy, or because I’m a little dull. I own all of the above, and pray often that God will change me. And that He will give me added grace to cooperate with Him.

I read a lot about how we are all supposed to freely accept ourselves as we are, and not work to change ourselves, and I see the value in “you’re beautiful exactly how you are,” but I don’t think I’ll ever want to stop growing and changing. I wake up each morning acutely aware of the new mercies I need, and ask for them. The fruits of the Holy Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, are still not worked out in my life to the degree I would hope. I pray this prayer quite a bit, “Lord, THANK YOU for not giving up on me!”

I have seen the movie “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” twice now, and will buy the DVD when it’s released. Have you seen it? It was not at all what I expected, and I actually feel it was life-changing. Tom Hanks did a superb job playing Fred Rogers. There were three or four things I saw in the movie that made me sob into my turtleneck, and I have been running them around in my head ever since. The first time I saw it was with my friend Barb, and it was so good I asked Lloyd if he’d like to go with me. Being a kind and agreeable husband, he said without hesitation, “Of course I would!” He too, was surprised by the movie, and said it was way more than he expected. He texted his children before we even left the parking lot and encouraged them to see it. I could do a whole blog post of how Mr. Rogers dealt with his anger, how he valued children, how he gave everyone his undivided attention and how that made them feel, how he prayed for people, and the riches that came from his very small investments into peoples’ lives. It was so remarkable. I think every person should see this movie.

Next month it will be five years since Michael died. Five years. I have no idea how five years passes in what feels like eighteen months, but it has. Lloyd’s wife Rosemarie has been gone for five years as well. At least once a week Lloyd pauses, looks at me with a look of wonder on his face and says, “Did you know we’re married?” We laugh, but I know what he’s saying. It seems surreal. He was with Rose for 51 years, I was with Michael for 33; to be married to someone new at this late age has an illusory feel to it. I think it might pass as the years do, but for now we both feel the strangeness. It’s a pleasant strangeness, but there’s so much to shift in our brains. A new last name for me? I’m still not accustomed to that at all. A shared savings account? Whoa.

The margin I cherished in my life before remarrying is tiny now, and I feel the pull to be a wife who is a blessing, a better mom and grandma, friend, foster care provider, CBS class member, etc. And there’s so much I want to do! I want to travel. I want to read and read and read, I want to write so purely in my journal that God actually shows me stuff I never knew, I want to study, I want so much to take classes and learn and challenge my brain. I want to meet with people I care about and listen and connect. I want to exercise more than I do in winter. I want to serve in some capacity but don’t because I’m afraid that margin will disappear completely.

I also saw “Little Women” with my three daughters right after Christmas and loved it. I sort of expected to be disappointed, because I love the 1994 version so much, but I wasn’t disappointed in the least.

And speaking of screens, Lloyd and I like to settle in to a series on Netflix or Acorn that we can look forward to in the evenings when he is here. (He still has his cabin in the woods fifty miles south of me, with pet cats, chores to do, things to maintain, so we are together 3-4 days a week right now.) We finished Season Nine of “Doc Martin” and loved it, watched quite a few episodes of “Stranger Things” and didn’t love it, marveled at Season Three of “The Crown” and now we have started “Poldark” because so many people have insisted it’s worth watching. Have you watched “Poldark?” What are some of your favorite series?

I have also slowly begun to retire. I have been doing adult foster care in my home for women with developmental disabilities for 19 years. What a wonderful blessing it has been. Not without its challenges of course, but I thank God for how He has provided for me, and for the women in my care. One of my two women, someone who has lived with me for almost 17 years, moved to another foster home last week. I was reluctant to get things going on this because we have a huge shortage of good family foster homes in our area, and because she is diabetic and needs very specialized care that isn’t easy to learn. The place she has gone is a gift from God to me and to her, and things have gone beautifully. So things are quieter here, which my other foster gal says she loves. She is happy to be the only person I’m caring for now, and comments on that every day. She’s anxious to plan a trip, so sometime in the spring she and I will go someplace special.

Speaking of trips, Lloyd and I are going to the place of my birth and raising — Southern California. We’ll be leaving in March, and will visit Denel and her family in Solana Beach, Diane and her man in Palm Desert, Disneyland (I am so excited about this I can’t stand it), Sequoia National Park, Morro Bay on the Central Coast, Covina (I want to show Lloyd the houses I lived in, my high school, all my old haunts and views), and Tauni in San Diego.

Our next trip must be to England, Ireland and Scotland. 🙂

Well, this is getting long and I haven’t even shared about our After Wedding Trip to The Bearskin Lodge on the Gunflint Trail of Northern Minnesota. I have pictures I’ll post next time. We had no wi-fi, no television, no phone service, and it was glorious. We hiked, boated, sat on our cabin’s dock and counted the stars, searched for moose, read to each other, and declared, “Did you know we’re married?”

I am meeting Lloyd tonight in Mahtowa, MN for his annual snowmobile club banquet, so should get a few Saturday things done before it’s time to get ready.

I hope your weekend has enough margin in it for a good book, a lovely connection with someone you love, and for some rest.

Wedding Photos – Part 4

December 30, 2019 | My Jottings

Is anyone getting tired of wedding pictures yet? If you are, just click away and come back in a few days.  🙂

If not, here are the last few I’ll share. Below, we are all laughing after being pronounced husband and wife, because my pastor didn’t say the words, “You may now kiss your bride,” and we started back down the aisle as the recessional music played. Sharon gently reminded us that this traditional end of the ceremony hadn’t occurred, so we halted, had a quick peck and enjoyed a good laugh with the whole congregation.

This is the afternoon of Saturday, October 5th, after the wedding ceremony, the reception, some of the cleanup, and the loading of the cars in the pouring rain. We are back at my house, and the first thing we both did was take off our wedding shoes and put on some comfy footwear.

This is a picture of Lloyd’s daughter Angela and me. She is a loving, funny, welcoming woman and I’m so grateful for her.

This is Lloyd’s son Paul (I think they look like clones) and his sweet wife Selena. They too have been so open hearted to me. I always try to remember that my presence in Lloyd’s children’s lives is because they lost their beloved mother.

Sharon took this before the ceremony — Louisa, Sharon, me, and Margaret in front.

Carolyn and me:

I’ll post some After Wedding Trip photos soon. We went away to a cabin on a lake in the north woods of Minnesota, where there were no televisions, phones, or even cell phone coverage. It was peaceful and beautiful.

Happy New Year to you, dear friends and family…

Wedding Photos – Part 3

December 11, 2019 | My Jottings

Hello from the Great Frozen North! We woke to 14 degrees below zero this morning, and our high is supposed to be zero today. It seems a little early in the winter to have such cold, especially since it’s not technically winter yet. I’ve responded to the texts of a few friends today, “I am a snowbird in the making.” A little trip to warmer climes in January or February is sounding very attractive right about now.

I have a few more wedding pictures to share today. The first one below is me with my grandchildren. I look short in this photo, and that is a word never before attributed to me — I’m 5′ 10″, so that will give you an idea how tall some of these young people are.

From left to right: Audrey, Eleanor with Louisa in front, Cullen, me, Elijah holding Levi, Clara with Miriam in front, Vivienne and Margaret. I consider these humans on my list of Julie’s Richest Treasures, and am so grateful to know and love each one.

The flowers at our wedding were spectacular, all done by my youngest daughter Sara, who has her own floral design business. We had two large arrangements on either side of the altar, in memory of Lloyd’s Rosemarie and my Michael. It has been almost five years since we lost our spouses, and how could we not carry them with us as we walk this new part of our journeys?

I like this picture below because it shows the ceiling of my church, which was built many years ago to look like a ship. I also love our stained glass windows and the wedding banners on either side of the altar.

And click here to see a video of our processional in its entirety, taken by a friend on her iPhone at the back of the church. The song is “Highland Cathedral” on one of Amy Grant’s Christmas albums, and I have loved it for years. It makes me cry and yearn.

Thank you for stopping in — I hope to share some After Wedding Trip (I refuse to say H__neym__n because we are so old) photos soon.


Wedding Photos – Part 2

November 27, 2019 | My Jottings

Our first major snowfall of the season began last night and it’s still coming down. The sky is as white as the foot of snow on the ground. We may have a break in the weather for Thanksgiving tomorrow, but another storm is said to be coming, and an additional foot of snow is predicted. Time for soups, Millie’s Velcro dog booties, Christmas movies, and very careful driving.

Here are a few more pictures from Lloyd’s and my wedding. And at the end I’ll post a link so you can see a few seconds of our processional.

My daughter Sara is a super talented florist with her own business, and she did our flowers. This is my stunning bouquet:

Below, from left to right: my daughters Sara, Carolyn and Sharon, me, Lloyd, his son Paul and daughter Angela. My pastor is Rob Franck.

Kneeling, asking for God’s help and blessing:

Lloyd and I walked down the aisle together:

And you can click here to see a short video of the last part of our processional. I’ll post another video soon, of all the grandchildren and children walking down before us.

I hope your Thanksgiving is blessed!

Wedding Photos – Part 1

November 20, 2019 | My Jottings

I’ll be posting some photos in the next couple of weeks, and here are a few to start with.

Lloyd’s family and my family:

Lloyd and me with his son Paul and his wife Selena, Lloyd’s daughter Angela and her husband Craig, and their two children Jordyn and Cody:

Below: me with my children and grandchildren – my oldest daughter Sharon and her husband Chris and their children Cullen, Eleanor, Margaret and Louisa, Carolyn and her husband Jeremy and their children Clara, Elijah, Vivienne, Audrey, Miriam and Levi, and my youngest daughter Sara. By the way, all the gorgeous flowers were done by my beyond-talented daughter Sara.

Our wedding bands in front of one of the stained glass windows of my church:

And this one is of me with my three beloveds, Sara, Sharon and Carolyn:

I’ll post a short video soon too. We are in the midst of quite a bit here, so this is all for today. God bless your week,

Never in a million years

October 30, 2019 | My Jottings

I have many pictures to share, but since it has been a while, I wanted to post this one so those who visit here can see. Lloyd and I have been married since October 5th, and even though we both just knew we’d never remarry after losing our spouses almost five years ago, here we are.

As you can imagine, blending two lives, homes, lifestyles and churches has kept us busy. Even so, I will say that so far married life has been easy and comfortable.

I’ll post more soon. Have a wonderful weekend!

Kids, kidneys, a kite, and the knot.

September 20, 2019 | My Jottings

Hi friends. Happy autumn to you. I hope you are experiencing lovely leaf colors, cooler weather, fires in your hearth or in your heart, pumpkin something or other, a good book, and/or a return to blessed routine.

I follow an old childhood friend named Ann on Instagram, and not long ago she posted this picture:

I had never seen it before, but I remembered the birthday party immediately. The two “twins” who are playing Twister are my oldest childhood friend Denel (in the front), and me. My mom made those bell bottoms with the daisies on them. Behind us are two schoolmates I haven’t seen since then — Jill Crabtree and Doreen Castro. It was fun to think back on that slumber party, even though I never quite felt like I fit in anywhere. That thought doesn’t bring pain anymore, only a matter-of-fact recollection of what was. I wish I could tell other young girls that this feeling is often universal and that you will live through it and become your own person someday, and hopefully learn to be more welcoming to others.

It has been so hot and steamy in Northeastern Minnesota this summer I don’t even want to talk about it. The time that gets wasted because of humidity is frustrating. Do I want to walk at the cemetery when it’s 88 degrees and dripping per cent humidity? No I don’t. Do I want to bake cookies and put a yummy pot of soup on to simmer? No. How about having people over or taking grandchildren somewhere fun? Nein. Or going to church on Sunday in a beautiful old building with stained glass windows and no air conditioning? Nyet. So, yes, summer is basically dead to me, and if fall doesn’t make itself known pretty quickly I might have a pouty attitude.

We do have some leaves showing off, though. What do you think? Would you yawn at that? I hope not. I sound like a broken record, but I never, ever, get tired of fall colors. If only they would last three months.

On a breezy day in late August, I took my granddaughters Mrs. Nisky and Li’l Gleegirl to fly a kite. Oh, did I find a fantastic kite on Amazon. It’s so fun, so sturdy, and so good at lifting itself into the wind, that it began to fly when it was barely out of our hands. I have not done a lot of, ahem, running, in many years, because I have a knee replacement and a few several pounds of jiggly here and there. So I was hoping when we drove down to Park Point on the beach of Lake Superior, I wouldn’t have to run to get the kite to fly.

It actually took effort to get the kite to stop flying, so it was a successful afternoon of kite flying. Mrs. Nisky is 15 now, and Li’l Gleegirl is 12 1/2. They reached these ages in some eye blinks.

We actually flew the kite while sitting down too. We let the entire roll of string out and the kite was so high we had trouble seeing it at times.

Can you see it? It’s waaaay up there, dancing around in the wind off the largest freshwater lake in the world, which (I have never mentioned this before, have I?) I can see from my living room, my dining room, my kitchen and my bedroom. I am grateful to live here.

My oldest granddaughter Clara is 17 now, which is another shock to the system. She is a senior in high school, and is enrolled in college at the same time, taking classes she will ace, and drawing cartoon strips in her spare time. She’s a gifted artist and I follow her “Seabeast” comic strip on Instagram of course.

Clara had her grad pictures done recently, and it’s very convenient to have a professional photographer in the family. My oldest daughter Sharon took them, and here is one I love:

Clara is the oldest child of my second daughter Carolyn, and she is about 5′ 11″ now. We try our hardest to grow them tall in this family.

Carolyn and Jeremy also have this little cutie, who started preschool this month. She’s almost five, and her preschool spends most of their time outside. Rain or shine, snow or sleet, they dress for the weather and go exploring and playing. Miriam looks so much like Jeremy’s beautiful mother Diane.

Aaannnd… there is this kid. He is Chris and Sharon’s oldest, and is also a senior in high school this year. He likes football and sports and basketball and sports and spending time with his friends, and sports, and working at his job, and sports. Cullen is just a hair under 6′ 7″ tall, and out of all my children and grandchildren, he is the most Sooterish. Meaning he looks like a Sooter, which is my maiden name. I am frequently told that he looks like me, and sometimes if I squint I can see it.

A while back I posted about how my son-in-law Chris was recently (shockingly) diagnosed with severe kidney failure. He needs a kidney transplant as soon as possible. If you would be willing to fill out an easy questionnaire to see if you or someone you know could possibly donate a kidney, please click on the recent post at the left called “Every Good and Perfect Gift.” Toward the bottom you’ll see Chris’s picture and a link to the Mayo Clinic. If you do, you’ll need his birthday so please leave a comment and I’ll email you. Everything will be paid for and you will be taken care of.

Anyway, out of the few people who were willing to see if they could donate, somehow I, a 62 year old woman, have risen to the top of the list of possible donors so far. I just returned from three days of amazing, efficient, friendly testing at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, where I learned that I may be able to donate one of my kidneys. Not to Chris, since our blood types don’t match. (This is why we still need someone to donate for him.) If I donate, it will qualify Chris to be in Mayo’s Paired Donation Program. I could give my kidney to someone, Mayo would look for someone to donate to Chris, and we could all four potentially go into surgery on the same day. Kidney donation surgery takes 40 minutes, is done through a small scar below the navel, and hospital stay is two days.

I still have two more tests to go through, but here are my kidneys from the CT scan Mayo did. I now know I have a slight curvature of the spine. 🙂 I think I should name my kidneys. I read this morning about a young woman who named her kidneys Jeff Left and Dwight Right and I like those names. She made it possible for a stranger to live. Do you have any suggestions on what I should name my kidneys? I already know that if I become a donor, they will take my left kidney, because it has one artery. My right has two, which apparently complicates things in surgery a bit.

And now an abrupt segue. Do you see this church below? It’s my church. I’ve been a member there for two years, and I love it. It’s a big departure for someone who grew up a Baptist and then raised her family in an Assembly of God church. But it has been rich and new and very healing for me to be there.

I love the stained glass windows in my church. I gravitate toward dark, jewel toned colors, and I particularly like the dark reds in these.

Soon, in this blessed church with the pretty stained glass windows, I will be participating in a solemn and happy ceremony where these very rings will be exchanged and vows will be said, and granddaughters wearing jewel-toned dresses will carry flowers down the aisle and adult children will stand up as attendants, songs will be sung, scriptures will be read, prayers will be prayed, friends will be there to celebrate….

….and after almost five years of living without Michael, I will marry again. I will wear a dark sapphire colored dress.

His name is Lloyd and I’ve mentioned him here before. He and I met at a local senior citizens’ grief support group over three years ago. He lost his Rosemarie two months before Michael died. Lloyd and Rose were married 51 years. Michael and I were married 33.

His family has welcomed me so lovingly, and my family has welcomed him the same. I am so proud of the way my girls have loved and supported me as I took a long time to come to this decision.

Lloyd lives in a log cabin he built in the woods, about 50 miles south of me. We will go back and forth between my house and his as we can. When I decide to retire from doing adult foster care, we may well sell my house and get something smaller for the two of us. But all those decisions can be made slowly.

What helped me eventually say yes to Lloyd’s many patient marriage suggestions (he didn’t actually officially propose until he knew I had worked it all out in my heart) was what a kind man he is. What a good conversationalist. How servant-hearted he is. How sensitive he is. How ready his laugh is. How he loves his children and how much they love him and want to be with him. How thoughtful. Here’s an example of the latter. Recently we were in church together and as soon as the scripture readings commenced, I began to cry. It’s not unusual for me to react to the reading of God’s Word that way, and I try to be quiet when it happens. On this day I had no kleenex in my purse and Lloyd didn’t have a clean handkerchief. There were no boxes of tissues around, so he went to the nearest bathroom and brought back some brown paper towels from the dispenser for me. When he sat in the pew and handed them to me so I could wipe my nose and eyes, I noticed they had been wadded up and opened, wadded up and opened, so they would be softer to use and not so stiff and rough. He does a lot of things like this without fanfare, and I am grateful.

I hope you’ll pray for us as we begin our life together. I’m a little nervous to be honest. Not about Lloyd, but about getting married at this late stage in life when I’m so set in my relatively solitary ways. It’s not like it was when I was 18 and threw caution to the wind and said “I do” to someone who wasn’t any more prepared than I was to make that kind of commitment. Now I’m old and overthink things and entertain myself with too many what-ifs and am much more practical than I used to be.

I’ll share some wedding pictures when we get back from our After Wedding Trip. I am refusing to call it a honeymoon, because at my age that seems weird.

I told the transplant team at Mayo that I can’t give away a kidney until November when the wedding and After Wedding Trip are behind me, and they are more than willing to work with anyone who would take that step.

I’ll close with this curious and serendipitous fact I learned at the Mayo Clinic, which by the way is 4.5 hours south of me. The transplant surgeon is a woman named Julie. And when she was little, she used to live in the house where Michael and I raised our family. How about that?

Thank you for reading. Thank you for praying for my family. Tell me how you’re doing now…okay?

Wednesday’s Word – Edition 140

August 28, 2019 | My Jottings

“When I lay these questions before God I get no answer.
But a rather special sort of ‘No answer.’
It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze.
As though He shook His head
not in refusal but waiving the question.
Like, ‘Peace, child; you don’t understand.’ ”

C. S. Lewis

         *         *         *         *         *

A Beautiful Way to Start the Day

July 30, 2019 | My Jottings

It’s early where I am — around 5:45 a.m. For the first time in weeks, I slept with my bedroom windows open, as our temperatures finally went down into the sixties and the dewpoint dropped enough to make the feel of the sauna blow away. I can’t remember a time when I’ve had my central air conditioning on non-stop, day and night, for weeks at a time. I know there are people out there who say the globe isn’t warming, and I’m no scientist, but my part of the globe has been increasing in temperature for years now. When I first moved to Duluth (known as The Air Conditioned City — meaning Lake Superior is our air conditioner) the really hot days amounted to a handful. Our average summer temp was 74 degrees. Not anymore.

Anyway, I’m so grateful this morning to smell the fresh cool air blowing through my house. I’m sitting up in my bed with a cold cup of Stok Cold Brew Coffee by my side, soon to welcome eleven friends in for our sixth week of summer Bible study, and I want to share something very nice with you.

Months ago I read about a website called Pray As You Go, and the person who recommended it uses the night time prayer of Examen and loves it. She actually credited the Examen prayer with giving her peace and saving her marriage. Wow, I thought. I will check this out. I too have loved the prayer of Examen, but more often I use the daily morning prayer at this website.

I’ll link to the Pray As You Go website below, but first I’ll tell you the things I like about it.

1. I have downloaded the app on my iPhone so I can listen whenever it’s convenient. I love to listen in the morning before I get out of bed. You can download the app, or you can just go to the website.

2. It takes about 10 minutes to listen.

3. The readers are various British people and their voices and accents are so soothing and lovely.

4. A short piece of beautiful music is played first, often from choirs around the world, and it always stirs my heart.

5. A short passage of Scripture is read, so I’m beginning my day being nourished and strengthened. My mind is being calibrated and I also know I’m joining with countless others around the world, listening to this same lesson on this same day.

6. The listener is invited to let the short passage touch or guide or impact their life and day, and some gentle questions help with that.

7. The passage is read a second time after you’ve meditated on it and allowed the Holy Spirit to personalize it for your life and circumstances.

8. It ends with several voices quietly saying the Gloria, and I join in, whispering, Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end, Amen.

9. If you explore the simple site, you’ll find a few examples of end of the day Examen prayers, and I love the one for the young adult, even though they’re all wonderful. It would be beautiful also to play the child’s Examen for your children at night before they go to bed, joining in with them. There are also a couple of prayer series to explore, and I have enjoyed many of them at night before I go to sleep.

10. I believe that anyone with anxiety would benefit from listening to the daily morning prayer, and the night time examen prayer. Once you listen, you’ll understand what I mean. The whole experience is soothing and uplifting and applies God’s Word to our anxious and thirsty hearts, and helps us talk to Him about the coming day, or about the day that has passed.

I’m not Catholic and it took a couple of times to get used to the ancient flavor of this, but I think anyone could benefit from this. I hope you’ll listen and be blessed. I want to start each day with these short times of prayer.

From the Pray As You Go Website:

Pray As You Go is a daily prayer session, designed to go with you wherever you go, to help you pray whenever you find time, but particularly whilst travelling to and from work, study, etc.

A new prayer session is produced every day of the working week and one session for the weekend. It is not a ‘Thought for the Day’, a sermon or a bible-study, but rather a framework for your own prayer.

Lasting between ten and thirteen minutes, it combines music, scripture and some questions for reflection.

Our aim is to help you to:

   * become more aware of God’s presence in your life

   * listen to and reflect on God’s word

   * grow in your relationship with God

The style of prayer is based on Ignatian Spirituality. It is produced by Jesuit Media Initiatives, with material written by a number of Jesuits, both in Britain and further afield, and other experts in the spirituality of St Ignatius of Loyola. Although the content is different every day, it keeps to the same basic format.

We also have a number of prayer tools, retreats and resources to help supplement your prayer life.

Here’s the website.

I would love to know if you listen, and what your thoughts are. For those who don’t have the time before getting out of bed, listening as you’re driving, or taking a bath, or walking, would be good too. Or as you’re having breakfast.

I’m making it a habit and I love the help it gives me to start the day talking to the Lord. I love how it helps me begin the day from a place of calm and strength in Him.