Tag Archives: Prayer

Songs of the Heart Sunday: Give Thanks In All Things

My mind has thought upon the will of God, and being grateful in all things. More than being grateful, but expressing gratitude.

The following true story of gratitude has always touched me. At one place of employment that was particularly difficult, I put a large picture of a flea to remind me to be grateful.

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Excerpt from The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

“Barracks 8 was in the quarantine compound. Next to us–perhaps as a deliberate warning to newcomers–were located the punishment barracks. From there, all day long and often into the night, came the sounds of hell itself. They were not the sounds of anger, or of any human emotion, but of a cruelty altogether detached: blows landing in regular rhythm, screams keeping pace. We would stand in our ten-deep ranks with our hands trembling at our sides, longing to jam them against our ears, to make the sounds stop.

“It grew harder and harder. Even within these four walls there was too much misery, too much seemingly pointless suffering. Every day something else failed to make sense, something else grew too heavy.

“But as the rest of the world grew stranger, one thing became increasingly clear. And that was the reason the two of us were here. Why others should suffer we were not shown. As for us, from morning until lights-out, whenever we were not in ranks for roll call, our Bible was the center of an ever-widening circle of health and hope.

“Like waifs clustered around a blazing fire, we gathered about it, holding out our hearts to its warmth and light. The blacker the night around us grew, the brighter and truer and more beautiful burned the Word of God.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?…Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”

“I would look about us as Betsie read, watching the light leap from face to face. More than conquerors…It was not a wish. It was a fact.

“We knew it, we experienced it minute by minute–poor, hated, hungry. We are more than conquerors. Not “we shall be.” We are!

“Life in Ravensbruck took place on two separate levels, mutually impossible. One, the observable, external life, grew every day more horrible. The other, the life we lived with God, grew daily better, truth upon truth, glory upon glory.

“Sometimes I would slip the Bible from its little (sack) with hands that shook, so mysterious had it become to me. It was new; it had just been written. I marveled sometimes that the ink was dry…I had read a thousand times the story of Jesus’ arrest–how soldiers had slapped Him, laughed at Him, flogged Him. Now such happenings had faces and voices.

“Fridays–the recurrent humiliation of medical inspection. The hospital corridor in which we waited was unheated and a fall chill had settled into the walls. Still we were forbidden even to wrap ourselves in our own arms, but had to maintain our erect, hands-at-sides position as we filed slowly past a phalanx of grinning guards.

“How there could have been any pleasure in the sight of these stick-thin legs and hunger-bloated stomachs I could not imagine. Surely there is no more wretched sight than the human body unloved and uncared for.

“Nor could I see the necessity for the complete undressing: when we finally reached the examining room a doctor looked down each throat, another–a dentist presumably–at our teeth, a third in between each finger. And that was all. We trooped again down the long, cold corridor and picked up our X-marked dresses at the door.

“But it was one of these mornings while we were waiting, shivering in the corridor, that yet another page in the Bible leapt into life for me.

“He hung naked on the cross.

“…The paintings, the carved crucifixes showed at least a scrap of cloth. But this, I suddenly knew, was the respect and reverence of the artist. But oh–at the time itself, on that other Friday morning–there had been no reverence. No more than I saw in the faces around us now.

“‘Betsie, they took His clothes too.’

“‘Ahead of me I heard a little gasp. ‘Oh, Corrie. And I never thanked Him…’

“Every day the sun rose a little later, the bite took longer to leave the air. It will be better, everyone assured everyone else, when we move into permanent barracks. We’ll have a blanket apiece. A bed of our own. Each of us painted into the picture her own greatest need.

“The move to permanent quarters came the second week in October. We were marched, ten abreast, along the wide cinder avenue…Several times the column halted while numbers were read out–names were never used at Ravensbruck. At last Betsie’s and mine were called…We stepped out of line with a dozen or so others and stared at the long gray front of Barracks 28.

“Betsie and I followed a prisoner-guide through the door at the right. Because of the broken windows, the vast room was in semi-twilight. Our noses told us, first, that the place was filthy: somewhere, plumbing had backed up, the bedding was soiled and rancid.

“Then as our eyes adjusted to the gloom we saw that there were no individual beds at all, but great square tiers stacked three high, and wedged side by side and end to end with only an occasional narrow aisle slicing through.

“We followed our guide single file–the aisle was not wide enough for two–fighting back the claustrophobia of these platforms rising everywhere above us…At last she pointed to a second tier in the center of a large block.

“To reach it, we had to stand on the bottom level, haul ourselves up, and then crawl across three other straw-covered platforms to reach the one that we would share with–how many?

“The deck above us was too close to let us sit up. We lay back, struggling against the nausea that swept over us from the reeking straw…Suddenly I sat up, striking my head on the cross-slats above. Something had pinched my leg.

“‘Fleas!’ I cried. ‘Betsie, the place is swarming with them!’

“We scrambled across the intervening platforms, heads low to avoid another bump, dropped down to the aisle and hedged our way to a patch of light.

“‘Here! And here another one!’ I wailed. ‘Betsie, how can we live in such a place!’

“‘Show us. Show us how.’ It was said so matter of factly it took me a second to realize she was praying. More and more the distinction between prayer and the rest of life seemed to be vanishing for Betsie.

“‘Corrie!’ she said excitedly. ‘He’s given us the answer! Before we asked, as He always does! In the Bible this morning. Where was it? Read that part again!’

“I glanced down the long dim aisle to make sure no guard was in sight, then drew the Bible from its pouch. ‘It was in First Thessalonians,’ I said. We were on our third complete reading of the New Testament since leaving Scheveningen.

“In the feeble light I turned the pages. ‘Here it is: “Comfort the frightened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all…'” It seemed written expressly to Ravensbruck.

“‘Go on,’ said Betsie. ‘That wasn’t all.’

“‘Oh yes:’…”Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.'”

“‘That’s it, Corrie! That’s His answer. “Give thanks in all circumstances!” That’s what we can do. We can start right now to thank God for every single thing about this new barracks!’ I stared at her; then around me at the dark, foul-aired room.

“‘Such as?’ I said.

“‘Such as being assigned here together.’

“I bit my lip. ‘Oh yes, Lord Jesus!’

“‘Such as what you’re holding in your hands.’ I looked down at the Bible.

“‘Yes! Thank You, dear Lord, that there was no inspection when we entered here! Thank You for all these women, here in this room, who will meet You in these pages.’

“‘Yes,’ said Betsie, ‘Thank You for the very crowding here. Since we’re packed so close, that many more will hear!’ She looked at me expectantly. ‘Corrie!’ she prodded.

“‘Oh, all right. Thank You for the jammed, crammed, stuffed, packed suffocating crowds.’

“‘Thank You,’ Betsie went on serenely, ‘for the fleas and for–‘

“The fleas! This was too much. ‘Betsie, there’s no way even God can make me grateful for a flea.’

“‘Give thanks in all circumstances,’ she quoted. It doesn’t say, ‘in pleasant circumstances.’ Fleas are part of this place where God has put us.

“And so we stood between tiers of bunks and gave thanks for fleas. But this time I was sure Betsie was wrong.”

“They started arriving soon after 6:00 o’clock, the women of Barracks 28, tired, sweat-stained, and dirty from the long forced-labor details. The building, we learned from one of our platform mates, had been designed to hold four hundred. There were now fourteen hundred quartered here with more arriving weekly as concentration camps in Poland, France, Belgium, Austria, as well as Holland were evacuated toward the center of Germany.

“There were nine of us sharing our particular square, designed for four, and some grumbling as the others discovered they would have to make room for Betsie and me. Eight acrid and overflowing toilets served the entire room; to reach them we had to crawl not only over our own bedmates but over those on the other platforms between us and the closest aisle, always at the risk of adding too much weight to the already sagging slats and crashing down on the people beneath.

“Even when the slats held, the least movement on the upper platforms sent a shower of dust and straw over the sleepers below–followed by a volley of curses. In Barracks 8 most of us had been Dutch. Here there was not even a common language and among exhausted, ill-fed people quarrels erupted constantly.

“There was one raging now as the women sleeping nearest the windows slammed them shut against the cold. At once scores of voices demanded that they be raised again. Brawls were starting all up and down that side of the room; we heard scuffling, slaps, sobs.

“In the dark, I felt Betsie’s hand clasp mine. ‘Lord Jesus,’ she said aloud, ‘send Your peace into this room. There has been too little praying here. The very walls know it. But where You come, Lord, the spirit of strife cannot exist…’

“The change was gradual, but distinct. One by one the angry sounds let up.

“‘I’ll make you a deal!’ The voice spoke German with a strong Scandinavian accent. ‘You can sleep in here where its warmer and I’ll take your place by the window!’

“‘And add your lice to my own!’ But there was a chuckle in the answer. ‘No thanks.’

“‘I’ll tell you what!’ The third voice had a French burr. ‘We’ll open them halfway. That way we’ll be only half-frozen and you’ll be only half-smothered.’

“A ripple of laughter widened around the room at this. I lay back on the sour straw and knew there was one more circumstance for which I could give thanks. Betsie had come to Barracks 28.

“Roll call came at 4:40 a.m. here as it had in quarantine. A whistle roused us at 4:00 when, without even shaking the straw from clothes and hair, the stampede began for the ration of bread and coffee in the center room. Lastcomers found none.

“After roll call, work crews were called out. For weeks Betsie and I were assigned to the Siemens factory. This huge complex of mills and railroad terminals was a mile and a half from the camp. The “Siemens Brigade,” several thousand of us, marched out the iron gate beneath the charged wires into a world of trees and grass and horizons. The sun rose as we skirted the little lake; the gold of the late fall fields lifted our hearts.

“The work at Siemens, however, was sheer misery. Betsie and I had to push a heavy handcart to a railroad siding where we unloaded large metal plates from a boxcar and wheeled them to a receiving gate at the factory. The grueling workday lasted eleven hours. At least, at noontime we were given a boiled potato and some thin soup; those who worked inside the camp had no midday meal.

“Returning to camp we could barely lift our swollen and aching legs. The soldiers patrolling us bellowed and cursed, but we could only shuffle forward inches at a step.

“Back at the barracks we formed yet another line–would there never be an end to columns and waits?–to receive our ladle of turnip soup in the center room. Then, as quickly as we could for the press of people, Betsie and I made our way to the rear of the dormitory room where we held our worship “service.” Around our own platform area there was not enough light to read the Bible, but back here a small light bulb cast a wan yellow circle on the wall, and here an ever larger group of women gathered.

“They were services like no others, these times in Barracks 28.

“At first Betsie and I called these meetings with great timidity. But as night after night went by and no guard ever came near us, we grew bolder. So many now wanted to join us that we held a second service after evening roll call. There on the Lagerstrasse we were under rigid surveillance, guards in their warm wool capes marching constantly up and down. It was the same in the center room of the barracks: half a dozen guards or camp police always present. Yet in the large dormitory room there was almost no supervision at all. We did not understand it.

“One evening I got back to the barracks late from a wood-gathering foray outside the walls. A light snow lay on the ground and it was hard to find the sticks and twigs with which a small stove was kept going in each room. Betsie was waiting for me, as always, so that we could wait through the food line together. Her eyes were twinkling.

“‘You’re looking extraordinarily pleased with yourself,’ I told her.

“‘You know, we’ve never understood why we had so much freedom in the big room,’ she said. ‘Well–I’ve found out.’

“That afternoon, she said, there’d been confusion in her knitting group about sock sizes and they’d asked the supervisor to come and settle it.

“But she wouldn’t. She wouldn’t step through the door and neither would the guards. And you know why?”

“Betsie could not keep the triumph from her voice: ‘Because of the fleas! That’s what she said, “That place is crawling with fleas!'”

“My mind rushed back to our first hour in this place. I remembered Betsie’s bowed head, remembered her thanks to God for creatures I could see no use for.”

This talk on gratitude really rang a familiar chord in my heart.

In All Things Give Thanks

Songs of the Heart Sunday: One Clear Voice

“And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice” (1 Kings 19:11-12.)

I am so grateful that I have been taught to listen for that voice, recognize, and that this weekend I have been given the strength and courage to act on those promptings.

Yesterday my husband and I had a wonderful day together, most of it enjoying the beauties of the surrounding islands. It was absolutely wonderful and relaxing. Nature is providing becoming a refuge for me. I loved sitting on the bench listening to the waves, the birds, the families, while feeling the wind on my face, and trying to capture on my camera the peace I felt.

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When the evening storms started to roll in I made my way back to the car a few feet away. Even driving through the storm was peaceful, almost symbolic, thunderheads around, rain coming down, yet bright sun rays shown through. I just knew that I would see “my rainbow”. I even changed my camera lens preparing for the gift that I knew He would send me, as if it was already in the works, claiming it as mine.

He sent me a rainbow, but not in the form of a colorful bow in the sky, but an email from MJ’s Mom. I claimed it as my rainbow.

When we came home, my husband decided that we would go ahead and pack up the two modems that we need to send back to Comcast. We found one, no problem. Packed it up ready to go. The other completely eluded us. We looked everywhere, for hours. My relaxing peaceful day gone. I was now anxious and frustrated, and experiencing the negative feelings about myself that automatically come as a result of my PTSD. I prayed several times as I looked. Finally after my ideas of where it could be were completely exhausted, and I was so triggered into negative thoughts about myself and my traumas I decided I needed to step back and work on my pictures to get into the now, and a peaceful point.

The more I tried the more I wondered where the modem was. Again, I prayed. This time pouring my heart out in gratitude for a great day, and pleading for the return of that peace. I told my Father in Heaven that I had no idea, where the modem is, but I knew that He did. I begged that He led me to where is was. I turned back to work on the pictures again hoping to feel a prompting to where the ellusive modem was hiding.

On our desk sits notebook that I scribble and doodle on. While waiting for the next batch of pictures to download, I scribbled.

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“Where’s the modem” (The black out is where I had scribbled my full name.) “I’m so frustrated. Urgh!!”

No sooner had I written those words did I hear that familiar voice. The voice that has guided me so many times before. “I am going to see if you trust me. Go relax in your chair in the livingroom.” when the Spirit speaks directly to you, you need to act. Relaxing. Not so easy, but I had asked, and I wanted to trust.

I went to my chair, but I continued to look. I looked on both end tables, and under them. I heard my name, then the word, “Relax.”

Inhaling deeply and exhaling slowing, I rested my head on the back of my chair. As I did my eyes rested straight across the room on our metal cd rack full of cds, my husband’s cane hanging from it obscuring the view of anything behind it, unless you were sitting in my chair. You could see maybe a half an inch or an inch at the very least. In that gap I saw the hidden, most literally, modem. I had such an overwhelming feeling of “Be Still and Know the I Am God.”

Heavenly Father knows cares about even the smallest of our problems. In the scheme on the world’s struggles, a lost modem ranks pretty low, but as His daughter nothing or no one ranks higher. He loves each of us so much. He blesses us for acting on those promptings we receive.

He knows each of us personally and by name. He stands beside us during our life’s teaching moments as they provide a springboard for other moments.

For me He knew that I needed that experience last night in trusting Him. Acting on voice of the Spirit, to feeling closer to the Spirit than I have in a while, to feel strong enough to recognize then act on the prompting today that will be pivitol in my journey of healing.

My alarm was set for 7:30. It did not go off. Awakened at 8:30, it would have been easy to to say there is no way, since Church starts at 9:00. However, I quickly did my hair and makeup, dressed, and jumped in the car. It was I few minutes before 9:00. My husband had decided to stay home.

As I turned on the highway to head towards Church, I saw him. My childhood friend, the one who many years ago raped me. My initial feeling was the fight or flight, then something else happened. It was a peace that prompted me it was okay, and it was time to pull over and talk to him. Reason told me it was crazy, Little Hope did not like the idea, but peace and the Spirit spoke calming assurance that it was going to be okay. I pulled several feet in front of him lest the closer he came, I change my mind. He walked by my window, I called his name. Reminded him who I was. He said he knew who I was, he made comments about where my Church was when I was little, so he did know exactly who I was. Other memories of our youth, he did not remember, or atleast his mouth could not relay what his mind was thinking. He many years of hard living on drugs as left him very schitzopranic like. As parted ways, he told me to be careful out there. That brought tears to my eyes. I still need to process alot from the meeting, but I feel like it is a possitive step in my healing journey.

Again I am so very grateful that I was able to talk to my friend, parent little Hope as she was afraid and let her know that I can take over and live, and we are going the be okay. Only through the comforting voice of the Spirit was I able to do these things. I am eternally grateful.

Songs of the Heart Sunday: Let This Be My Prayer

Our Father in heaven is not an umpire who is trying to count us out. He is not a competitor who is trying to outsmart us. He is not a prosecutor who is trying to convict us. He is a loving Father who wants our happiness and eternal progress and who will help us all he can – if we will but give him in our lives an opportunity to do so with obedience and humility, and faith and patience. ~ Richard L Evans

A friend of mine felt prompted to send me this quote. I know the prompting came as a tender mercy from Heavenly Father. In the struggles I face, I do sometimes ask why? Or beg Him to give me a break, sometimes feeling like the red-headed step-child because of all that I have been put through. I try to remain faithful, occasionally not keeping my foot on the straight and narrow, but I am generally on the path looking towards God in Faith, as the trials of faith pour down.

I want to focus on prayer as a two-way conversation with our Father in Heaven. I hope to do it through music, quotes, and my own words.

This first song is a sweet song with a child questioning if Heavenly Father hears prayers. We sing it at Church. It is called A Child’s Prayer.

Our next song, Be Still, has always touched me. I know Heavenly Father hears my prayers, My Savior Jesus Christ suffered the things I endure, and the Holy Ghost comforts me.

Elder David A Bednar spoke about prayer. This message really touched me. I often give a grocery list prayer. I am thankful for, I need, they need, and end it. I really need to communicate with my Father.

We have a Prophet on the earth today. His name is Thomas S Monson. I loved his message on prayer given at a semi-annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

I want to end with one last song and my testimony of prayer. I do know my prayers are heard by my Father in Heaven. Those that I speak out loud, those that I whisper, those that I think, and those that I scream through tears. I know as my loving Father He wants to hear from me more, and my prayers of gratitude need to be more sincere and thought out, as does the rest of my prayers. I need to take more time in quiet reflection after my prayers to hear and feel those promptings and words He offers me.

Years ago I heard one of the saddest stories on a radio station. I was glad I was pulling into my apartment complex, because I bawled like a baby. This teenager called in to the station after scanning through the radio as we all often do. I think I Can Only Imagine had just played and the DJ was talking about prayer, and how he prays everyday that he and his family gets to be with Jesus. He said something to the effect that we should all pray for that. That statement is what prompted this girl, I want to say she was 17 or 18, to call in. She started right out of the gate that she had been to a few churches, but in each of them she was taught that only the leaders could pray. She had often wanted to talk to God, about the things going on in her life, and ask Him questions, but based on the teaches of the churches her parents took her too she felt she would be sinning to pray. She mentioned some of the horrible things she had experienced in her life that she felt that talking to God, and not having someone do it for her would comfort her, but instead she felt alone and betrayed by God. Then she asked through tears “Can I really pray?” The DJ said “Yes, not only can you, but God wants you to.” The DJ prayed with her, she did not speak, but he expressed gratitude for guiding her to the station that day to answer the question in her heart.

I am so grateful that I was taught to pray as a little child. As I prayed and saw the prayers answered my faith grew.

This last song is The Prayer sung by Jessie Funk Clark and Daniel Beck.

Blocking Out Negativity With Music

My husband is watching a tv show that has a good bit of swearing in it. Swearing is one of those things that bothers me. Ironically, I have found myself saying a word or two since I have been going through these most difficult days. I do not like that. That is one of the reasons I put on my headphones and started listening to uplifting music and watching uplifting videos. I do not want negative words to be the first things that pop into my mind when I get angry, and if I put a filter on my mind it seems it is easier to control my mouth. Go figure.

Ironically, the first song I listened to tonight on the LDS Radio was a saddness trigger for me. I am not sure why except that maybe I sang it around the time I was abused. It used to be one of my favorite songs. It is still a beautiful song, just makes me alittle weepy.

Right after that song came on, I was comforted by this beautiful song. I thought about the things I have been taking photos of lately, and the love Heavenly Father has for them, and how it does not compare with the love He has for me.

Then I started searching Youtube. These next three videos are songs that touched my heart.

The first one made me want to sob. I want to put it on my Iphone, and when I cry put it on repeat, for when others ask questions vocally or with their eyes.

These next two are basically my testimony of Jesus Christ put to music.

Why Must There Be Opposition in All Things?

I love this!

Seven Year Mountain

Excerpt from my Young Women’s lesson on Sunday.

Why must there be opposition in all things?

D&C 24:8

D&C 29:39

D&C 58: 2-4

D&C 136:31

D&C 78: 17-18


12 Ways You Can Overcome Sorrow and Disappointment

President Ezra Taft Benson (Ensign, Nov. 1974, pp. 65-67)

  • Repentance “Sin creates disharmony with God and is depressing to the spirit. … Every law kept brings a particular blessing. Every law broken brings a particular blight. Those who are heavy laden with despair should come unto the Lord, for his yoke is easy and his burden is light.”
  • Prayer “Prayer in the hour of need is a great boon. From simple trials to our Gethsemanes, prayer can put us in touch with God, our greatest source of comfort and counsel.”
  • Service “To lose yourself in righteous service to others can lift your sights and get your mind off personal problems, or at least put…

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Self Doubt and Prayer

I have been plagued with alot of self doubt last night and this morning. The Therapist appointment yesterday was a mental evaluation for disability. With all going on in my mind, I do not know if I expressed and verbalized to him the extent of my anxiety and depression. That is one of the most frustrating parts of who I am today, not remembering my conversations like I once did. I remember parts of them, but I once could give you a play by play, no more.

I know what is done is done, and I cannot go back to the interview, but the anxiety is going to eat me alive wondering if I said enough of the things I needed to say for him to get an accurate picture of what I am going through.

My prayer is that with my other health problems added to his report, the reviewing committee will rule in my favor. I pray they will. That will help some of my stress, allowing me to focus more on healing or at the very least developing some coping skills so I can live with my issues. I know that most claims are usually denied the first time, but I still pray for that miracle in my behalf. If you are a faith filled person, and feel inclined, I ask that your prayers be joined with mine for this blessing.

I humbly thank you in advance, and please if you have a special prayer request, leave a comment or email me, I will add my prayers to yours. I know our prayers are heard. Even if you ask me or the other followers to pray for an unspoken request in your behalf. Heavenly Father knows that need, and we will pray for that unspoken need.

I am so very grateful for each of you that read my blog, those that comment, and those that do not. It gives me strength knowing that my voice is being heard. I know you are seeing the good, the bad, and the ugly, and I appreciate you sticking with me.