I've been reading some stories of other women who've faced their own losses, and through the years I have been on the consoling side of loss with friends and relatives. I can only imagine some of these losses, because that's all I hope to do – imagine it. I don't want to deal with it, but you know, I will if I have to.

Every day prayer helps get me through those rough spots. Even when I don't feel like lifting a finger to clean my house, I pray. When I'd rather read a book that takes me away than take a shower, I can still pray.

And, sometimes people bring prayer to you in the darkest of times and wrap you in it - literally. At a women's group meeting two years ago, our guest speaker's presentation brought us awareness of her prayer shawl ministry. She explained that her group receives requests for prayer for specific people, and they sit and knit once a week, praying for those people as they work. They give the shawls to the individuals with that understanding – that the shawl is a prayer.

Then Cheryl presented me with a shawl. I really didn't know her well, but one of our members did, so I'm sure she knew of my own struggles. The shawl is a beautiful combination of light to dark shades of purple. It just so happened on that night that I was wearing a top that matched the shawl perfectly, and was so appreciative of the gift. I keep the shawl draped over a chair in my living room for those moments when I need a little extra warmth. When I drape it over my shoulders I feel the comfort of women who've prayed for me, and who have their own struggles, so I return the favor. And it gives me peace.

Thank You for simple pleasures
that fill my heart with gratitude:
the kiss of color in a masterpiece of sky,
the refreshing coolness
of yogurt in the morning light,
a clean, comfortable bed
at the end of the day.

In my blessed abundance,
help me understand why
there is such disparity in the world.
Help me recognize
the need in anotherʼs eyes
and help me use the resources
You have given me to make a difference.




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