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Since I didn’t get swept away for the Oprah Claus orgy today, I’m feeling inclined to count my blessings in smaller and less spectacular ways. When I pray, which is usually while I’m out walking with Faith, I always begin with Thanksgiving.

Thank you ……For the many blessings of my life that remain constant.

Like my friends…many of whom could sign up for the next Dr. Phil show with the dysfunction of the day, but who always come to my rescue.
My scattered family members who alternately piss me off and give me the warm fuzzies but ALWAYS remind me who I am.
For my vocation as a healthcare provider that routinely wears me out and rewards me and occasionally pays the bills.
Thanks for the opportunity to live the majority of MY life and to raise MY child on a small farm that is rich in history and as close to paradise as anything I’ve seen.
For the mistakes and missed opportunities and roads never taken, thank you even more….for it is only through pain and desperation that we become able to experience joy. Peaks are so much more meaningful when you’ve been in the valley for a spell.
For your CHURCH all over the world, I say thank you. Belief in You and your goodness fuels random acts of kindness each and every day, whether they are acknowledged or not and no matter what denomination or faith receives the “credit”.

Petitions are usually up next. Those change from day to day and minute to minute according to what’s up at that millisecond. Almost always these days I pray for a speedy resolution to the conflict in Iraq. I didn’t agree with it when it was started, and I hate it more with each passing day. Pacifism tends to make you feel that way, even if you’re non-partisan.
I pray for Jen and her family, whom I’ve never met. For the patient and docs and nurses riding in the helicopters that pass over low over my house. For my daughter or her friends or my writing partner or whomever is struggling at that moment. For myself…..I pray for wisdom and guidance and most of all for patience and discernment.
I pray for my friend’s daughter and her baby. For my Mom who almost died in a wreck last week. I even pray for my ex-husband.

Most of the time I carry on a loose stream-of-consciousness type of conversation with God which doesn’t “follow all the rules” according to ascetic and traditional practice. Thanks to my Quaker friend, I’ve learned to center down and become ONE with my Father. That gives the Son and the Holy Spirit ample opportunity to creep into my life and work their miracles.

The only thing that I ever promise God is that I will be true to myself and try to appreciate what He has given me and “grow it”. That means pickin’ my battles carefully and using His resources wisely and doing the kind thing for His children, which includes dawgs and snotty nosed kids and old people who don’t remember who they were.

And keepin' the faith....of course. ^j^

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