Tag Archives: prayers

Deb’s 2017, by the numbers…



Another trip around the sun, and seven trips since I moved to North Carolina.  It seems impossible, and the years have flown.

So, by the numbers, this is my story for 2017, and not in chronological order:

Number of weeks spent in Wisconsin with my Remley family…. six.

Number of visits to long-time, dear friends, here in North Carolina…three.

Number of talks with all sisters…too many to count.

Number of pizza nights at my NC brother’s…also too many to count.

Number of overseas trips made by me…one.

Number of countries visited on above trip…four.

Number of blessings gained from above trip…still counting.

Number of visitors to my Winston-Salem home, including parents, Atlanta brother and family, former principal and friend, Australian “nephew,” Lake Sister and two mutual friends, my two WI  sisters, niece, grand-nephew, Arizona BFF and her spouse…a bunch.

Number of meaningful connections with Arizona family, former students and their parents, teaching friends, and more…lots.

Number of Flat Stanleys to travel across country and hang out…one.

Number of books read and discussed with Book Club and others…not sure.

Number of dinners with neighbors…same.Number of Canasta games played…probably eight.

Number of GOOD Canasta hands played…one.

Number of opportunities to serve others…numerous times daily.

Number of prayers requested, prayers answered, thanks given…countless. 

I wish all of you the infinite blessings of this Christmas season and the same in the New Year to come.  And so, Amen.


Holy Moments…


Thinking back, I recognize some moments I know as holy that occurred in my past life.  I didn’t have a name for them, but they were golden, just the same.  Holy moments come often to me now; following one after the other from the time my mind becomes aware right before waking until my eyes slam shut as I lose myself to sleep.

I’ve had so many holy moments the past four-and-a-half years, I’ve lost count.  This Sunday, last, I experienced a moment so sacred, I could barely breathe.

I listened to words that I had written… strung together, actually… performed publically.  The place was church.  The words were a prayer. The prayer was broken into parts, read by three different women, one of which was my niece.  We, the congregation, responded at the end of each reading, and then sang a further response.

They didn’t sound like my words, though I recognized them.  The delivery was so beautifully directed and enacted.  The voices were so sincere and rich.  The background music was so poignant.  What a holy moment.

I just wish I had a way to tell you about it.

There are miracles in the mundane…


So, it is summertime, and the livin’ is, well, you know.  Not much has been happening, and that is a pure blessing.  I used to pray for boredom, and I was serious.  When I taught, the average number of decisions I made in a day numbered in the thousands.  When I retired, I told people that I wanted my biggest decision of each day to be what color of sweat pants I would wear.

Then my life, as I knew it, fell to pieces, and that was definitely NOT boring.  I moved across country, built a new life with new friends and new activities.   I have been in full-blown “adventure mode” for four years or more, what with the falling apart and the falling together of my life.  Now, I seem to have gotten my groove back.  I didn’t think that would ever happen.

This summer, since I have been home from my extended stay in Wisconsin, I have been living easy.  What I have noticed are the small, ordinary miracles of my life.  They are not exciting, not extraordinary, not especially thrilling, but here they are…

An orange kitten who leaps into the air, vertically; a thunderstorm with driving rain; the church ladies coming to my tiny home for lunch; running into and chatting with two different neighbors on an early morning walk;  cutting Black-eyed Susans  for my house from my very own yard; spending the weekend at the lake, and joining a group of beautiful, brilliant, lively women for their book club discussion; talking with my sisters on the phone in the evening; volunteering;  penpal-ing with my left-behind grandchildren in Arizona;  mowing grass, planting flowers, and sitting on my deck with breakfast in the mornings; going to the library and reading books!; praying and answered prayers; talking with my former spouse on the phone, weekly; a puppy at my feet at nap time; nap time!; a bicycle ride; dinner out with the girls; playing BUNCO; yoga and weights at the Y; reading Magic Tree House books on his sofa with my little tutoring boy; spotting the first yellow and red maple leaf on the ground;  seeing my brother with his oldest son,  waiting for the bus on my nephew’s first day of high school; and all the miracles I am finding in my simple life.

They are actually pretty thrilling, after all.

Unanswered prayers…


I am sure you remember that song Garth Brooks wrote and performed about thanking God for unanswered prayers.  I don’t believe there are any unanswered prayers.

For over a year now, my prayers have been answered.

I asked for help with my husband.  My prayers were answered when my former spouse gave me a final reason to leave.  My help was not along the line I was thinking, but it certainly was help and a way out.

I asked for help with a solution to where to stay when I left.  My brother asked me to come and help his family by staying with the children while he and my sister-in-law went to China to get their fifth child.

I asked for protection and good health for the four children and me when their parents were in China.  We only used one band-aid in two weeks, and no one even got the sniffles.

I asked for the ability to buy my tiny house, and I was approved for a mortgage and closing was a day early, in this economy.  Even with a broken right hand, I was able to sign all the papers.

I asked for my constant tears to dry up.  They have.  I no longer cry easily at kindnesses shown me.

I asked for my divorce to go through without my former spouse holding things up.  It did, and he didn’t.

I asked for inspiration and motivation for my writing.  A blogging workshop was offered at the Central Library; I attended, and came home to begin blogging forty-four posts ago.

I asked that my mother not suffer in her final days.  She didn’t.

I don’t believe in unanswered prayers, and I don’t think this happens for just me.  I think this happens over and over again for anyone who pays close enough attention.   I am paying very close attention.