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You Will Have Peace

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The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

 Numbers 6:24-26, The Bible

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This post is an excerpt from Prayers for Hard Times by Becca Anderson, which can be purchased at Amazon and Mango Media.

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We’re All Just People

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It always strikes me just how easy it is to forget that the people around me are—well, people. It’s very easy to turn those who disagree with me into a “them” in the “us-vs.-them” world we seem to live in today. Once that happens, it’s even easier to start acting like their ideas and opinions are inherently evil, like they are themselves inherently evil—and like no opinion except for my own matters.

Today, I’m working to make a change. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when we see the problems of the world—or even just the problems of our own personal community—but there is always something we can do. We can remember the humanity of those who disagree with us. Every single person in this world is just a human being trying to make it through life, just like you and me.

So let’s use this step as a starting point. Let’s remember that every comment on the internet, every politician and business owner and person just trying hard to get by, is another person. They’re not a box full of an empty brain and a full mouth. If we can remember that, I think our discussions and disagreements will be a lot more fruitful.

~~~

About Becca
Becca Anderson is the author of multiple books, including Prayers for Hard Times and Every Day Thankful. She loves to share her original content and excerpts from her books, which are often collections of writings, quotes, or mini-biographies from or about a number of inspiring people, in hopes that these people’s inspiring words and actions can help others as much as they’ve helped her.

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Give Us the Power To Heal

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Hail to thee, day! Hail, ye day’s sons!
Hail, night and daughter of night!
With blithe eyes look on both of us:
send to those sitting here speed!

Hail to you, Gods! Hail, Goddesses!
Hail, earth that gives to all!
Goodly spells and speech bespeak we from you,
and healing hands, in this life.

The Poetic Edda – the Lay of Sigrdrifa, 600 AD

~~~

This post is an excerpt from Prayers for Hard Times by Becca Anderson, which can be purchased at Amazon and Mango Media.

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Our Haven and Our Hope

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Eternal Father bless our land,
Guard us with Thy Mighty Hand,
Keep us free from evil powers,
Be our light through countless hours.
To our Leaders, Great Defender,
Grant true wisdom from above. You are holy, Lord,
the only God,
and Your deeds are wonderful.
You are strong.
You are great.
You are the Most High.
You are Almighty.
You, Holy Father are King of heaven and earth.
You are Three and One, Lord God, all Good.
You are Good, all Good, supreme Good, Lord God, living and true.
You are love.
You are wisdom.
You are humility.
You are endurance.
You are rest.
You are peace.
You are joy and gladness.
You are justice and moderation.
You are all our riches, and You suffice for us.
You are beauty.
You are gentleness.
You are our protector.
You are our guardian and defender.
You are our courage.
You are our haven and our hope.
You are our faith, our great consolation.
You are our eternal life, Great and Wonderful Lord,
God Almighty, Merciful Savior.

St. Francis of Assisi

~~~

This post is an excerpt from Prayers for Hard Times by Becca Anderson, which can be found at Amazon and Mango Media.

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Don’t Let Me Go

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I used to have a cat that hated to be held. She always wanted to be in the same room with me—in fact, if I left for too long, she would meow (or yowl)—but she didn’t want to actually touch me. Definitely not a lap cat.

Well, one morning while I was getting ready for work, I dropped a glass dish, shattering it all over the floor. It was everywhere—under the fridge, down the hallway; some pieces had even made it into the dining area. The pieces were small and sharp, and if anyone stepped on them, it would have made for a very painful morning. Needless to say, I was barefoot.

Luckily, my roommate was still home. They were able to get to the kitchen (with shoes on!) and, quite literally, sweep me out of a corner. Seeing the broom in their hand was like watching sun rays appear from behind a dark cloud—until I saw my cat. My fourteen-year-old, absent-minded, never-looks-where-she’s-walking cat. And she was walking straight towards me, who was surrounded by tiny bits of broken glass. So, as any good pet mom would, I picked her up.

Usually I can get away with holding my cat for a maximum of thirty seconds, but it takes a bit longer to sweep up hundreds of glass shards—about fifteen minutes longer. For my cat, it felt like a small eternity. She tried everything to get out of my arms. Pushing, shoving, meowing, growling, clawing—you name it, she tried it. She just didn’t understand that I was restraining her for her own good, or that I would let her go as soon as the situation was safe again.

In that moment, my cat reminded me so much of myself. I remember plenty of moments growing up when my parents would limit my freedom with no explanation. I would be furious, determined that my parents didn’t trust me, or they didn’t think I could handle a situation, or they thought I was still a child. But really, they could just see more than I could see. They could see all of life’s sharp glass shards that were surrounding us. As soon as they finished sweeping them up (or, in some cases, showed me how to sweep them up myself), they let me go. And after all was said and done, I was better for it.

I don’t know about you, but I felt a lot more grateful for their efforts in that moment. Sometimes, when someone who loves you can see more than you can, you just have to let them hold you until it’s safe for you to walk around again.

~~~

About Becca
Becca Anderson is the author of multiple books, including Prayers for Hard Times and Every Day Thankful. She loves to share her original content and excerpts from her books, which are often collections of writings, quotes, or mini-biographies from or about a number of inspiring people, in hopes that these people’s inspiring words and actions can help others as much as they’ve helped her.

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Rest in the Arms of Loving Providence

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My God, I am yours for time and eternity.
Teach me to cast myself entirely
into the arms of your loving Providence
with a lively, unlimited confidence in your compassionate, tender pity.
Grant, O most merciful Redeemer,
That whatever you ordain or permit may be acceptable to me.
Take from my heart all painful anxiety;
let nothing sadden me but sin,
nothing delight me but the hope
of coming to the possession of You,
my God and my all,
in your everlasting kingdom.
Amen.

Suscipe of Catherine McAuley – 1778-1841

~~~

This post is an excerpt from Prayers for Hard Times by Becca Anderson, which can be purchased at Amazon and Mango Media.

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Prayer for Serenity

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God, grant me
Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardship
as the pathway to peace.
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.

Reinhold Niebuhr

~~~

This post is an excerpt from Prayers for Hard Times by Becca Anderson, which can be purchased at Amazon and Mango Media.

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A Small Moment

 

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When I was younger, my dad had weekly nighttime meetings that took place in the same building as a daycare. While the meeting went on, the participants’ kids—myself included—would run around in a hallway that no one else really went down, jumping and shouting and generally being as obnoxious as possible.

One Thursday, the daycare offered to watch all of us kids during the meeting. All of us were under the age of ten, and we were church kids, so it was probably seen as an easy way to give to our community. We couldn’t be that much of a hassle, right?

Wrong. We were a rowdy bunch, used to spending an hour with little supervision expending as much energy as we could doing wild and somewhat dangerous things that really only kids ever think to do, and we were put into a room with a ton of toys, a couple of babies and toddlers, and two women, one of which was a nursing mother. Needless to say, we drove those women crazy. I don’t think they’d had to tell a group of kids “no” so many times before in their lives, let alone in one hour.

But even with all that craziness, there’s one moment in particular that changed my life. It wasn’t a big moment. In fact, the moment lasted fewer than two or three minutes, and honestly it was probably seen as yet another reason to never offer to watch us again.

The nursing mother who was helping to watch us needed to do something privately. So, naturally, she turned away from the group and told us to do something with her coworker on the other side of the room—and, equally naturally, I was so curious that I kept following her, asking what she was doing, why I had to leave, why she was putting a small blanket over her baby’s head. Finally, her coworker stepped in and relieved this poor woman, mentioning that she needed to nurse her baby. My response? “Oh, I don’t want to see that!” Shouted loudly, as if the world revolved around me and what I wanted.

The second daycare worker responded sternly with, “Maybe she doesn’t want you to see it.” And it was as if a light went off in the dark, dusty attic of my seven-year-old brain: Maybe she didn’t want me to watch her nursing her child. Maybe she wanted privacy. Maybe, in that moment, what I wanted wasn’t the point.

That was a small moment for the daycare workers, and it probably just felt like another negative moment in their night with these selfish, wild church kids. But for me, it changed how I viewed life, and it made me a more considerate person. It’s amazing what one person’s small, insignificant moment—even a negative or really difficult moment—can become for someone else.

~~~

About Becca
Becca Anderson is the author of multiple books, including Prayers for Hard Times and Every Day Thankful. She loves to share her original content and excerpts from her books, which are often collections of writings, quotes, or mini-biographies from or about a number of inspiring people, in hopes that these people’s inspiring words and actions can help others as much as they’ve helped her.

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With a Strong Heart and a Cheerful Will

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Almighty Father
whose way is in the sea
and whose paths are in the great waters
whose command is over all and whose love never faileth:
Let me be aware of Thy presence
and obedient to Thy will.
Keep me true to my best self
guarding me against dishonesty in purpose and in deed,
and helping me so to live
that I can stand unashamed and unafraid before my shipmates,
my loved ones, and Thee.

Protect those in whose love I live.
Give me the will to do the work of a man
and to accept my share of responsibilities
with a strong heart and a cheerful mind.
Make me considerate of those entrusted to my leadership and faithful to the duties my country has entrusted to me.
Let my uniform remind me daily
of the traditions of the Service of which I am a part.

If I am inclined to doubt, steady my faith;
if I am tempted, make me strong to resist;
if I should miss the mark, give me courage to try again.
Guide me with the light of truth, and keep before me the life of Him
by whose example and help I trust
to obtain the answer to my prayer,
Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Amen.

World War II – Naval Serviceman

~~~

This post is an excerpt from Prayers for Hard Times by Becca Anderson, which can be purchased at Amazon and Mango Media.

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Prayer for Acceptance

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O! Thou God of all beings, of all worlds, and of all times,

We pray that the little differences in our clothes,

in our inadequate languages,

in our ridiculous customs,

in our imperfect laws,

in our illogical opinions,

in our ranks and conditions which

are so disproportionately important to us

and so meaningless to you,

that these small variations

that distinguish those atoms that we call men,

one from another,

may not be signals of hatred and persecution!

Voltaire, 1756

~~~

This post is an excerpt from Prayers for Hard Times by Becca Anderson, which can be purchased at Amazon and Mango Media.