Saturday, February 16, 2008

Prayer Boxes and Prayer Journals

Today I found myself visiting and updating one of my Squidoo lenses on prayer journals and boxes which can be found here,

  • When I set it up last year I had just begun using one of the boxes as a prayer box. This is a receptacle for all of the requests that people were making for me to pray for them. The requests are written on slips of paper and placed in the box. I can take them out one at a time or lift the box (even physically in my two hands) to place the requests before the Lord for His consideration. It is a nice concept and a nice use of the cafepress Keepsake boxes.

    At the same time I wrote about using the little journals, which are nicely made from quality paper for pray journals. I have one for a gratitude journal, which I particularly try to use when I am feeling down so as to keep depression at bay. It is not a cure, but it does help. I have another one for my Christmas inventory and other seasonal notes. They would also make nice presents if filled with family recipes, pictures and anecdotes, or favorite prayers or quotes in the handwriting of the person presenting them as gift.

    As I read through my lens I found that I had written about my mother's prayer journal. This was a collection of prayers that she had copied from various sources in her high school days and had kept hidden away in a drawer. I found it after she died and just before I returned to graduate school to take my doctoral qualifying exams (which I passed). I copied the prayers and put some of her holy cards and photos into a beautifully bound blank book so that I could take it with me without risking the loss of the original. (When I look back now, I am surprised I took the pictures with me, since there were no copies. There was one of me on her lap and another of me at three with a favorite doll. Her first communion photo is there and several others that are priceless family heirlooms. Fortunately, I still have them. Now of course, I could scan and load them into any number of online sources for an album I could look at anytime anywhere. Such is the marvel of modern technology.)

    Today is good day to write about this, not only because it is a shameless plug for my Squidoo presence and cafepress designs, but more importantly because today would be Papa's 88th birthday, if he were still alive, and Tuesday will the be twenty-fifth anniversary of my Mother's death from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. She made a valiant fight and we mourned deeply. We still miss her. Papa's birthday was always colored by this afterward, for Mama lay in a coma in the ICU for ten days before he died. It was hard to celebrate for several years after and I thought that God's timing was more hard than perfect. Today, I think of them both with gratitude and joy. Remembrance is an act of the will and the intellect as well as the heart. I am grateful to remember.

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