Friday, July 30, 2010

Life can Change so Quickly!

After reading over my first post I had to laugh! I noted then that I wasn't doing any traveling. Well, since that time I have been all over the world! Last summer I took a trip to England, Ireland, and Scotland - two weeks with a small group of friends. It was fantastic, except for the cool rainy weather. Yes, even in July!

Then in November I spent a week in South Africa. Well, actually, only 4 days - the other 3 days were all travel - UGH! We did break up the trip by stopping overnight in London and seeing Hairspray in the West End. Now that's the way to travel!

In December my husband and I spent a week near Branson, Missouri at a condo on a lake. That was more of a culture shock than either Europe or South Africa! No further comments, except that we met some wonderful friends there and shared some very quality time.

This past spring I got to spend a whole month in Europe! I stayed in Oxford/London for two weeks visiting my daughter, and when she was finished with her studies another friend met us there. We then flew to Rome and spent two nights there before taking the train to Florence. From there we went to Venice. When our flight to Paris was cancelled due to the volcanic ash problem, we had to be creative in order to make our Eurostar connection from Paris to London and get back in time for our flight home. We ended up taking an express train from Venice to Milan, a regional train from Milan to Ventimiglia (on the border of Italy and France), a local train from Ventimiglia to Nice (yes, we went through the French Riviera), and another regional train up to Paris. This took us 14 hours and put us in Paris at midnight, where we promptly took a cab to the Eiffel Tower! The next day at noon we were at the train station and on our way back to London for a couple of days of shopping before heading home.

But that's not all, folks! I just returned from a tour of Central Europe in which we visited Munich, Prague, Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna, Salzburg, and Oberammergau. Details and photos are up on my sister-in-law, Linda's blog, Front Row Friends.

Next up - a trip in late fall or early winter to see my granddaughter, who will be born in London in November. One of these days I'm going to calculate the mileage and see how far I really did travel the last twelve months!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I started this blog as a class assignment and now am not quite sure what to do with it. There isn't anything particular going on in my life right now, I'm not traveling abroad, nor am I the creative type with fun things to post (like frontrowfriends!). Guess I will just have to see where it goes....

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pray Without Ceasing

Sometimes in our lives there are seasons when prayer is difficult. Having reached the ripe old age of...well....let's not go there! Over the years I've adopted some prayer routines that help me stay centered spiritually. The first is from the passage in Ephesians that instructs us to put on the armor of God. I visualize myself putting on each piece and pray for it's particular function. It usually goes something like this:

I put on…
...the helmet of salvation: protect my mind and thoughts.
...the breastplate of righteousness: protect my heart and emotions;
may I not react today, but respond with grace.
...the belt of truth: may I only hear, see, and speak truth.
...the shoes of the gospel of peace: may I carry peace everywhere I go.
I take up…
...the shield of faith: may it protect my armor and deflect the darts of the enemy.
...the sword of the spirit: help me recall scripture as I need it.

Ephesians 6:11-17

Another is the Jesus Prayer, which can be a wonderful undercurrent to your day when used as a "breath prayer" (repeated over and over):

"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."

And finally, I like these stanzas from the many prayers of St. Patrick:

Against all Satan's spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart's idolatry,
Against the wizard's evil craft,
Against the death-wound and the burning
The choking wave and the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

Once these kinds of prayers become a regular part of your life, you soon find that you are well on your way to a reliance on God that will carry you through even the darkest of times!