Friday, May 8, 2009

Prayer and A Trip to Town

"Prayer isn't bending God's arms in order to get things, or talking God into things. God is already totally given. Prayer is us learning how to receive, learning how to wait, listen, possess something. It's not that we pray and God answers; our praying is already God answering. Your desire to pray is God in your heart. Your reaching out to enter into dialogue with the Lord is already the answer of God. It is grace that makes us desire grace." - Richard Rohr, Radical Grace, p. 172

I know that this is a radical way of looking at prayer, but it resonates powerfully with me now as truth. The process of praying, with hundreds of others, for Katie's recovery, and witnessing her surgery, her healing from it, and then her relapse and death, has made me see prayer differently. It is ongoing relationship, not quid pro quo. And yet, there is beauty in asking for what we need, or asking for help for others; it's a mystery. Perhaps this is what Jesus meant when he said to his disciples: "I am the way and the truth and the life" ( see Jn 14:1-6). Perhaps, since we cannot control the outcome or the destination of any given situation, we may be meant to focus on the Way, the process, the relationship, the Presence.

"Lord Jesus, may the memory of your crucified love and
the grace of your risen presence
comfort us...
set us free,
give us hope and
make us strong."

I love this prayer, which I found when I read Carrie Maniscalco's caringbridge update today. When the pain of this world "crucifies" the love that I offer, it's easy to get so caught up in that pain that I forget to rest in the grace of His "risen presence," and forget to ask Him again for hope and strength. This is a beautiful, simple reminder to be aware of God's love and presence. Thank you, sweet Carrie, for encouraging my faith journey through yours.

Yesterday, Mom and I went to Seattle Children's Hospital with another batch of quilts for the cancer ward. We love to see Julie & Ashley from Childlife when we deliver the quilts.
It's always such fun to see people's faces when they first get a glimpse of our work. The volunteer office at Children's is staffed with the kindest, nicest people, and they get very excited to see the quilts, and hear about them.
This batch contained many quilts made by the Coleman family. Three generations have contributed their time and talent to sewing beautiful quilts for Katie's Quilters to take to the hospital. Thank you, Colemans! Sweet Blogger Erica sent two quilts (you can see them here), which we also donated yesterday. Thank you, Erica!

After leaving the hospital, we drove over to the "West Siiiiiiide," as Smileygirl calls it, to have lunch with her at Salty's, a waterfront seafood restaurant with a great view of Elliott Bay. Then we went to visit Smileygirl & her husband's new house, and give/get some lovin' from Wrigley. (Chumley stayed in the laundry room, as I had forgotten to bring Gregg's fishing waders to protect my legs).

Here is a picture of Mom & Smileygirl:

...and Wrigs and me: serious Wrigs (very much like an ancient wise man)

and smiley Wrigs. I wish the camera had caught the big kiss he gave me while we were posing. He also wanted to hold my hand, as you can see in the photo. What a sweetheart!


KBL 2 ORD 2 SAN 2 LUV said...

Oh good, the secret is out.

I hope Gregg reads your blog and these comments, that way that poor guy will finally learn of his beloved wife's penchance for blonde boys! Wrigley is SUCH a Casanova!!!

Karen, I hope you have a sweet, wonderful Mother's Day. Katie, David, Latte, and Liger are lucky kids to have you as their mama! :-)

Happy Mother's Day dear friend.

Smileygirl said...

Karen I think the photos of you and Wrigs need to be framed in a series. They are gorgeous.

Had such a great day with you and your mom. Can't wait to do it again (with my mom too!)

Busy Bee Suz said...

Such a wonderful post Karen. Thank you for the prayer reminder...I will keep this one with me.
Love those pictures. you are so cute...wrigs too. I think you guys have a special bond.
Congrats on all the quilts!!! Such great work when you call in the forces!!

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

LOVE this post!
First of all, I love the profound words on prayer.... so true. There is such mystery in the dialogue, and the relationship, just as you said. The deeper we go into our relationship with God, the sweeter and more profound it becomes.

Now, as far as Wrigley, my GOODNESS, what a wise old SAGE he has become - that first picture just killed me! Hilarious! Then the second picture it's almost as though he said "just kidding"! So cute!

Hope you have a GREAT Mother's Day on Sunday! Here's to Motherhood!