A Prayer For The Suffering


A Prayer For The Suffering
By: Linda A. Long

Dear God
I pray today
For your support
Strengthen me
With your love
So that I may face
The hardships of life
With the grace
Of a woman
And not
The immaturity of a child
Steady me
With compassion
For those who
Speak falsely against me
Favor me with
Gratitude for
All that is still in my life
Instead of focusing on
Who and what I’ve lost
Dear God
I ask for courage
As I move through
The coming hard months
Courage to keep my eyes
Faced towards to sky
So that I see your face
In the stars
And feel
Your Son’s love
As it shines on my face
I am not asking
For you to spare
My suffering
I am asking for you
To sustain me
Fortify me
So that
My heart
While broken
With loss
Once again
Remains open
To love and light
Brush the tears away
From my eyes
So that I see goodness
And hope
Standing before me
Grace me
With peace and understanding
When someone does me wrong
Sustain me
With faith
So I keep your
Promise of hope
In my heart
With every tear
That runs down
My face
Open my mind
And eyes
To truth in my life
And bless me
With the courage
To accept my
Disappointments without bitterness
Above all
Allow me to
Open my heart
To those souls
Who genuinely
Care about me
And my well being
It is in your arms
My weakness
Will be made strong
I lay my
Heartaches at your feet
And ask your support
In the name
Of the Father
The Son
And the Holy Spirit
Amen

(C) 2016 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved

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Life Is Best When Lived Passionately

For Sandy on her birthday, I am the woman I am today, because you loved me.
Thank you. Thank you.❤️🌹
https://youtu.be/ypgVc9cC-Jc

Prayer

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Prayer
By: Linda A. Long

You break me
You bully me
You push me
You taunt me
You hurt me
You disappoint me
You humble me
Yet
For some reason
I don’t quite
Understand
I still believe
I believe you
Love me
You
Call me again
To rise up
Push forward
And grow again
You ask me to
Trust this journey
You ask me
To transform
My heart and soul
When I underestimate
Myself
You show me
My strength
When I feel broken
You show me
Wholeness
You removed all
Obstacles from love
In my heart
And made
Me love again
Today
I turn my eyes
To the sunshine
And put my trust
Into your hands
Where ever
This journey takes me
I know
I’m being called
To be someone different
Without understanding
Why
I accept your invitation
To grow
I fear that
I’m a too tired
To rally
But I trust
You will give
Me the strength
In this prayer
I acquiesce
I only ask
For you to oblige
One request
Let there be a reason
For this
Let there be a purpose
In this
Let my experiences
Encourage others
Let my determination
Motivate others
Let my humble words
Help someone else
Find peace
Or perhaps
Detect a disease early
Because they read
About my experiences
I pray
For meaning
In my challenges
(C) 2014 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved
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Photo Credit
Unknown

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Old Soul Eyes

0_24e59_cb7704fb_XLI am a Brown Eyed Girl. In my family, my father and I are the only two out of seven with brown eyes. Everyone else in the family has either Blue or Hazel eyes. I suppose that is why growing up I was always attracted to people with Blue eyes. I always thought Blue eyes were beautiful. You always want what you don’t have and I couldn’t figure out how I got eyes as dark as mine when everyone else in the family has fair eyes.

Then one day a mentor/friend said something to me that changed my perspective and made me truly appreciate the eyes I have. She said “You can see your soul in the depths and beauty of your eyes. You are an old soul. You can see it in your eyes. Old souls give comfort to the younger ones. And, that’s what you do.” I reflected upon this statement for a long time. I wondered “What’s an old soul?” At that time, I was only in my twenties and didn’t really get what she meant. I was still too emotionally immature to really understand or accept the depth of what she spoke. Nor was I willing to accept the responsibility that comes with being an old soul. You see old souls have been around the block a few times. If you believe in reincarnation, an old soul is someone who has lived many lifetimes before this one. If you believe in Buddism, an old soul is here again to achieve Nirvana and live their last lifetime. They are here in this lifetime to get it right.

As I reflect on this lifetime I am living and think of it in terms of being an old soul, I now understand and accept the many tragedies I’ve witnessed. I now know that God has me here on this earth at this time for a purpose. And, that purpose is to LOVE. It’s to offer compassion and comfort to the lost traveler. It’s to give guidance to person who left their soul in the lost and found. It’s to show empathy to the person who no one understands. And, I’ve made a commitment to myself that I am getting it right in this lifetime.

My sister passed away 14 years ago after a long tragic illness. I was one of her caretakers and it was the greatest privilege of my life.  Her death broke me for a long time. I couldn’t figure out how to live my life without her. But, her memory and her legacy now sets me free and has helped me put my heart back together again. By listening to my heart and following my very own instincts instead of listening to the advice or direction of others I was able to rebuild my life. I was able to reclaim my soul.

So, yes. I am an old soul. I’ve witnessed and experienced a great deal of heartache in my life. But, those heartaches have been a wonderful teacher. It was only recently that I finally figured out that my heartaches and disappointments didn’t have to be shields that protect me.  They needed to be the rock that I stand on so I can help someone else up. They were lessons God wanted me to learn so I can help others. They were lessons in love. Through the heartaches and disappointments I’ve learned just how much love my heart can hold. I’ve learned to express my love. I’ve learned how to love unconditionally without expectation.

I have old soul eyes and for that I am grateful.

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Photo Credit:

Bec Winnel

Retrieved From:
http://www.tuttartpitturasculturapoesiamusica.com/2011/02/bec-winnel.html
 

Doing The Doggy Paddle

Doggie-Paddle-and-Play-DayWhen I was a young girl my mother sent me for swimming lessons at the local recreation center. The first thing we learned how to do was the Doggy Paddle. Basically, the Doggy Paddle is treading water in one place; it’s not swimming. You tread water to keep you afloat to gain strength so you get ready to swim yourself or you tread water in place until help arrives to rescue you. I woke up this morning realizing that this is a time of my life that I just need to tread water for a while and stay in one place to gain some strength.

This morning I thought about the last six weeks of my life and tried to glean a morsel of inspiration or motivation to keep me moving forward. Honestly, I couldn’t find one. By the end of my reflection period this morning I did come to one realization. Maybe standing still for right now is exactly what I am supposed to be doing right now. Maybe this time of my life isn’t about action. Perhaps this time of my life is for staying in one place and just doing the Doggy Paddle until the storm passes and I am stronger.

Just over two years ago I had a moment of perfect clarity in my life while sitting in a Doctor’s appointment. The Doctor told me if I didn’t do something to change my life that I wouldn’t make it to see 50 years old. When I walked out of the office I knew what I had to do but I wasn’t sure if I had the strength to do it. I spent the weeks following in a severe depression. I knew the only way for me to save my life at that time was to walk way from the life I was living. An unfortunate event between me and the man I was in love with at that time gave me the push I needed. I knew then in that moment it was time to walk away and start over. It was time to give myself a fresh start and a new healthy body.

Losing 75lbs was actually the easy part of the transformation process. Distancing myself from unhealthy relationships proved to be much harder but I did it. Healing my Liver and stomach was challenging but I did it.   Stabilizing my Congential Heart Arrhythmia without medication seemed out of the question two years ago but I did it. Being diagnosed with Celiac disease, a shellfish and tree nut allergy all seemed overwhelming but I survived. And, learning to live a different life seemed completely out of the question to me two years ago but I did it. Now, I am safely on the other side.

After going through all of this the last two years I suppose I expected things to calm down so I could just relax and enjoy the fruits of my labor for a while. Everyone deserves to relax and have fun. But, six weeks ago things in my life got even more stressful and complicated. In the last six weeks I had a month long migraine. I was in the hospital. I had a reaction to a medication that adversely affected my heart. I found out I have a 15 year old neck injury that may need surgery but I am currently going to physical therapy for it as I am not interested in surgery. I had two life threatening anaphylaxis reactions in one week to NSAIDS. I went six days without sleeping. I had a mini emotional and physical breakdown as my Doctor called it from Post Traumatic Stress and was told to rest and relax for a few weeks. I took three days off of work:-)  The medicine I had to take to offset the allergic reactions jacked up my stomach again.  It’s been three weeks and I am still waiting on that to calm down. And, most recently I found out the other night one of my very closest friends was diagnosed with a rare aggressive cancer and she will be having radical surgery this coming week and starting Chemotherapy.  She didn’t want to tell me until she knew for sure.

Well, I guess I could be a pussy about things. I could feel sorry for myself and start drinking again even though I know it will kill me. I guess I could lose myself in Xanax everyday to numb myself to my reality. I guess I could hide in my bed and pretend it all isn’t happening. I suppose others would be eyeing up the branch on the tree outside their house that they would hang the rope from or looking for the pills in the drawer that they would take to finally end it all. But, I am not a pussy and I don’t give up.   I may end up in the the Psych Ward if this trend continues, but I won’t give up.  🙂  As a saying I recently heard said “I’m not only putting on my big girl panties. I’m putting on my bitchin’ bra, my shit kicker boots, & spiked leather belt with the FUCK YOU buckle. So don’t tell me to “deal with it”.  Honey, I got this shit covered.”  My only minor correction would be I would need to sex this up a bit. I would put on my red lace garter belt and matching panties instead of BIG girl panties. My ass is smaller these days and I would like to show it off a bit 🙂

Just yesterday afternoon a friend a said to some really important words that I found very comforting and I would like to share all of them.  She said,  “Linda, you’ve been through a lot in two years. A lot of people would have broken down before now. Most people would have never had the courage to do what you’ve done and change their life the way you did. The last six weeks have been horrible and you have every right to be sad and frustrated maybe even a little pissed off at God – that Mother Fucker.  It’s ok you were weak and broke down. You are human. Sorry to tell you. You’re not Super Woman.  It’s ok to admit you can’t handle this by yourself and ask for help. It’s perfectly ok for you to stay in one place for a while and do the fucking Doggy Paddle until you are strong again. Just don’t make me get in the water with you and pull your new skinny ass to shore. I am too old for that. 🙂 Stop being so hard on yourself.  Stop expecting so much of yourself.  Stop pushing yourself.  Just tread water until this storm passes.  It will pass eventually. But, until then it’s perfectly ok for you to cry, rest and say no to people.  No, I am sorry I can’t do that for you. Especially now because you are going to need your strength to help our friend.”   In her words, she gave me permission to surrender to the now of my life. In that moment I was able to accept that I am doing exactly what I am meant to do right now. I am resting, healing, gaining strength and just trying to ride out this strong until better days come around again.

I am writing this deeply personally blog today in an effort to share my experience with anyone who may find themselves at the end of their rope. This is for anyone who thinks they can’t do it one more day. This is for anyone who isn’t sure they have the strength to keep going. Remember, you are not alone. Get help if your life is in danger. Get help if you want to harm another human being. Talk to a friend. Take a nap. Close your eyes for ten minutes and rest. Do the Doggy Paddle. Stay in one place for a while. Breathe deeply and hold on tight to my words. Better days are ahead. But, you won’t see them if you give up now.

I am hoping one day in the near future I will receive good news and good things will start happening again.  But, until then I just have to do the Doggy Paddle until the storm passes.

Love, Peace & Happiness

Linda

My Novena Rose Prayer

rose

rose (Photo credit: aling_)

My Novena Rose Prayer
O Little Therese of the Child
of Jesus, please pick for me a rose
from the heavenly gardens and
send it to me as a message of love.

O Little Flower of Jesus, ask
God today to grant the favors I
Now place with confidence in
your hands…

(Mention specific requests –  Today I ask for healing for a friend. My head is still reeling from the news that they have a rare cancer and need surgery. They have a strong body and mind. So, I feel there can be no other outcome but a full recovery and healing. Please give strength to them and their family and caregivers as they set out of fight this battle. I ask you give the surgeons skill and knowledge to give them excellent care. I ask you to give me wisdom so I know what to say, how to help and what to do for them in the coming weeks. Lastly, I ask that you recognize this person is just pure goodness. They are one of the good ones. Bless them with healing.)

St. Therese, help me to always
believe as you did, in God’s great
love for me, so that I might
imitate your “Little Way” each day.

Amen

Last night I was given some really bad news. I hardly slept and I woke up heavy hearted. I am still in shock. I am worried and extremely sad that a friend I love deeply is seriously ill. I called my Mother this morning as she always has a way of helping me gain perspective. But, neither one of us could come up with anything comforting regarding this news. So, we just told each other we loved each other and hung up. Sometimes that’s all you can really say or do. 

My friend is really quite special. I’ve learned a lot from her. And, she’s been an amazing friend to me in the last few years. So many of my friends couldn’t handle when I walked away from my life a couple years ago. I learned many of them were just drinking buddies. My “real” friend list is much smaller now since I changed my life. But, the friends I have are true and deep. She stuck by me and went on the whole ride with me. When I didn’t drink, she didn’t drink. If I didn’t want to go to a bar, she didn’t go to bar. She walked with me. She went to the beach with me. I even got her to try Yoga. And, mostly, she listened to me. Friends don’t get much better than that and I am extremely grateful to have her in my life. That is why I am so shaken up by this news.  I don’t want to see her suffer or go through the surgery or treatments. She doesn’t deserve it. If I could take her place, I would gladly.   

I am kind of standoffish with people at first. I usually keep to myself. I have to warm up to people before I am comfortable with them. But, once someone is in my heart and part of my life, my heart beats with theirs. Once I adjust to this news, I will focus only on sending her good healing thoughts and positive energy.

The only way I know how to deal with things like this is to pray. I am posting this prayer on my blog because I believe in praying boldly. If anyone reading this could also offer a prayer for my friend, I would deeply appreciate it.

Prayer Retrieved from www.littleflower.org

Slowing Down – A Journal Entry Post

Sorry for being so quiet on my Blog this week. It’s just that I’ve had a tough few weeks and I needed to just unplug. I’ve been writing in my journal with pen and paper this week instead of online.

Doctors orders were rest and sleep for a week. I’ve done my best to follow those orders. Actually I really had no choice because I’ve been exhausted.

The stress of the last three years of my life finally caught up to me. It was creeping up slowly but swallowed me whole the Friday of Memorial day weekend when I had an anaphylaxis reaction to Celebrex and was in the hospital again. Then I had a subsequent allergic reaction to Icy Hot. I am allergic to Aspirin. Celebrex is similar to aspirin and Icy Hot has Methyl Salicylates in it which is just like Aspirin. So anyone allergic to Aspirin should never use menthol products containing Methyl Salicylates.

Anyways the stress of both events pretty much left me a crying mess with, as my Doctor called it, Post Traumatic Stress. I couldn’t sleep for five days, I was confused, worried and couldn’t stop crying. My Doctor told me to go home take Xanax short-term and focus on rest and sleep for week – nothing else.

Well, I had tickets to see Joel Osteen in Heshey, PA on Friday night. My sister and I planned it months ago. I was very excited to see him. Even though I was exhausted  and a bit of a frayed knot, I still went.  My sister was good company.  She listened while I talked, cried some more and she just let me have whatever experience I needed.  There was no pressure.  She understood I needed an afternoon nap and was exhausted by the time Service was over and needed to go to bed.  I stopped at Mom’s house on the way to and from Hershey just to get a Mom Hug.  She was glad to see me and I was glad to hug her.  I came home late on Saturday. I jumped under the covers with some new reading materials and rested until bedtime.

Today is Sunday. Sundays are my favorite day of the week. It’s day I always feel the most relaxed.  I went back to Yoga this morning for the first time in three weeks.  Instead of pushing my super flexible body to it’s edge I held back. No aggression, no pressure. I kept things slow and easy.  I am a beach lover and the summer is my season. So, I went to the beach for about an hour.  That was enough. I am now baking Chicken as I write this blog.  Making Mashed Sweet Potatoes and roasted cauliflower, Broccoli and asparagus for dinner.  I also did my home physical therapy exercises.  Other than that just resting and watching the Phillies game. From what I was told it’s going to take some time for me to feel like my old self. I want to wake up tomorrow with all of this behind me and have things be normal. The worst allergy season ever isn’t helping me becuase I do have seasonal allergies too.

What I’ve learned through this is I have a tendency to push myself and my body.  But, all along my body was asking for rest.  I learned I need to stop pushing my body to its edge.  No more maxing my heart rate out while working out. No more excessive weight or aerobic training.  I’ll still walk five miles but I don’ t need to power walk four days a week. It’s just wearing me down.  Yoga is my sanity so I will do that almost every day. But, now I will be more gentle and not aggressive. I don’ t need to prove anything to myself. I won’t be taking vigorous Vinyasa for while.  I also know now that my body doesn’t like a lot of medicine so less is best.

For years I’ve resisted wearing a medical alert bracelet for my allergies and my congenital arrhythmia.  Doctor’s told me years ago to wear one.  I always thought it was a sign of weakness and wouldn’t wear one.  Well, I ordered one last week.  It’s a leather cuff with a dog tag.  Very fashionable.  I spent years resisting and pushing my body to be and do things it just couldn’t do.  And, now it’s time to accept that my body needs a slow pace and gentle movements.

I lost 75lbs a year ago and have had no problem keeping it off.  But because of the weight loss my body’s chemistry has changed dramatically.  So, I am just trying to calm down, relax and rest and give my body the time to adjust instead of pushing through it the way I always did.

It’s not easy of me to cry and be depressed. It’s not easy for me to admit I need help. And, it certainly wasn’t easy for me to have a Doctor say to me “you look confused, stressed and exhausted and you are verging on a breakdown”.  But, that is what happened and I am living through it.

I go back to work tomorrow and I go back to Physical Therapy tomorrow.  But, I will be approaching everything differently now and I will have no guilt admitting that I just can’t be strong all the time.

Admitting you are weak is a new strength for me.  God keeps forcing me to learn new lessons. I keep thinking I am done. But, he keeps raising that GOD damn bar on me.

As they say, That’s life.

Peace, Love & Happiness,
Linda

Photo Credit:

Gerson – Rest

 

Retreived From:

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I Will Let Fall A Shower Of Roses


St. Therese and the Shower of Roses

www.littleflower.org

What did she (St. Therese)  mean by her “Shower of Roses”?

Experience has shown that St. Therese’s “shower of roses” is both figurative and actual. As she was dying in the convent infirmary, Therese could look out and see the rose bushes blossoming. She loved roses. She had thrown rose petals as a Child before the Blessed Sacrament. As she reflected on her quiet, hidden, and gentle life ending, she believed in faith that God had great things in store for her. She believed that her mission was only beginning as she entered the fullness of life with God. She explained: “After my death, I will let fall a shower of roses. I will spend my heaven doing good upon earth. I will raise up a mighty host of little saints. My mission is to make God loved…”

Shortly after her death, the rain of roses began. Sometimes roses literally appeared, and sometimes just the fragrance of them. Cures of painful and fatal diseases and many other miraculous experiences were attributed to her intercession. Sometimes people found inner peace and regained an inner warmth of spirit and confidence, by appealing to St. Therese. Many miracles and actions of St. Therese do not involve roses. More often than not, marvelous things happen in people’s lives as they ask for her heavenly intercession. The miracles, healings and inner peace come from the trust one places in God, not from any manifestation of roses. St. Therese lived in the dark night of the senses and spirit, with little consolation. Thus, the friends and followers of St. Therese expect no consolation of sighted roses that their prayers are being answered. Her “little way” is about child-like trust and gentle love. She is the great apostle of faith in God’s love, not simple reliance on physical signs. Jesus warned us, and Therese experienced that the desire for signs is a sign of weak faith. It is always important to remember that St. Therese did not experience extra-ordinary phenomena in her life. Her faith was refined and strengthened by God.

Roses are Therese’s signature. It is her way of whispering to those who need a sign that she has heard, and God is responding. Thousands of people have given witness to the way Therese responds to their petitions and prayers with grace and roses. The grace is more important than the roses. So many miracles have happened through the intercession of St. Therese without any roses appearing – usually the deep inner peace of accepting God’s will and seeing His loving plan and presence is the “rose” experienced. Sometimes the lack of a physical “rose signature” is an affirmation of a strong faith.

One does not pray for roses. Therese’s message is about simplicity and love in the ordinary events of life. Trust in Therese is important, and when she wills, roses or their fragrance may appear. The stories are remarkable how roses have shown up in the lives and experiences of people, especially in the darkest times. The ordinary and constant way these roses and graces have shown up in people’s experience is extraordinary. It is important to always maintain the rose of confidence that our All-Loving God hears and responds to our needs, according to the mysterious ways of His Love.

Photo Credit:
http://www.kareemoorepsychicmedium.com/clairvoyant-corner/2011/10/plum-wedding-red-roses/

My Prayer For You Today – St. Therese Lisieux


May today there be peace within.

May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.

May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.

May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.

May you be content knowing you are a child of God.

Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.

It is there for each and every one of us.”
― Thérèse de Lisieux

 

 

For more information about St. Therese Lisieux and her “Shower of Roses”, please visit www.littleflower.org.

Photo Credit:

http://www.tuttartpitturasculturapoesiamusica.com/
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