Praying for tail lights

As my busy family comes and goes, I find myself praying for them…

He inches down our icy driveway while it’s still dark, heading off to work. It’s an hour drive, back roads and highways. Will other drivers be distracted? Has someone been drinking? Will they be careful of the precious (to me) cargo contained in that ancient car? As I see the tail lights pull away, I pray for God’s protection and comfort.

She’s off to her new job, dressed to impress, and eager to make a difference. This baby adult, I’m not sure she realizes just how many dangers are out there. Brimming with confidence, certain she can meet the challenges of the day, she drives off; I watch the tail lights disappear into the dark. Peace, I pray, safety and love travel with her.

I pray for headlights, as well. Waiting for the late-night arrival after a long restaurant shift, never knowing exactly when he will get home. I only half-sleep as I wait for the headlights to flash across the ceiling, announcing his arrival. Will he be tired after work? Will he stay awake as he drives? What about the deer that dart across the road? As I wait to see the headlights, I pray that he be filled with alertness and the reassurance that a warm, loving home is waiting.

headlights

I pray for the headlights that drive across the state as a long school semester ends. A long drive across crowded busy highways, filled with people intent on arriving first and fastest.  I consider all the activities that await his arrival – choosing the Christmas tree, baking cookies, making apple sauce. All of that is on “hold” until the headlights appear, making our family complete again. I look out the window – again – waiting. Send my love to him, I pray, and surround him with your guardian angels.

It’s all we can do, sometimes. Just pray. Wait and watch.

And pray some more.

While they are out of my sight, I entrust them to God’s loving care.

Windjammer retreat: a time to renew my spirit

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.  Mark 1:35

Where do you go for quiet time?  What do you do when you need to “recharge your batteries”?  Where do you find God?

It’s important to make time for yourself, to slow down the busy pace of your life, and take some time away from all the electronic distractions of our lives. During the last few summers, I have been fortunate to lead a retreat aboard the windjammer schooner Lewis R. French. I would like to invite you to join me on July 10-14, 2016. It is a unique way to follow the commandment to take a time of Sabbath. Sailing along the coast of Maine provides a wonderful opportunity to enjoy good fellowship, delicious home cooked meals (including a lobster bake on the beach!), and the glory of God’s creation.

Each year I join with 20 other people to rejuvenate our spirits as we relax on board this beautifully restored 1871 schooner. We start each morning with worship and reflection as we gaze out on Penobscot Bay. We are well cared-for each day as we feast on home-cooked meals brought up on deck from the galley below.

The time slips by; days are filled with reading, knitting, chatting or simply watching the stunning scenery as we catch glimpses of Maine wildlife. There is even the option of trying your hand on deck if you want to hoist the sails, furl the jib or take a hand at the helm.

Each day includes optional “shore leave” when (depending on the setting) there might be a chance to shop, hike, or sit on the beach. In the quiet of the evening, you can lie back and be amazed at the spectacular array of stars as you enjoy the sound of waves splashing against the boat.

I would love to share this experience with you – please be in touch with me if you’d like more information.  In the meantime, enjoy the changing seasons and be on the look-out for ways to feed your spirit and nourish your soul.