Little/Big Things Prayer

Lord God, Almighty in Heaven
When 2 people dying
becomes blip
on the news…

When Anti-Semitism
needs to become
A Roar of despair
for a major
German distributer
to drop a name

When this flood gets
lost with the last one
And the fires
And tornados
weary your soul

I want say
God,
Come get
Your Humans

And I worry about
the next political arguments
I will have
About gender, sexuality
and disabilities–
Because they are not political
but about people

I admit to deep weariness
with this thing
we call
you call
Humanity
God

But then

I find rest and restoration

In

Children’s laughter

Red Autumn leaves against cloudy skies

unexpected time for naps

the right to complain to you God

the taste of chocolate upon my tongue

cats who snuggle

a text from a friend

It is amazing how the smallest things
Can be the most important–
I fully admit, you designed thing well

We humans would have focused
on only the big things

But a moment to notice the good things
the space to rewatch a favorite show

a hug

a cup of coffee

playing our favorite song on the loudest volume

How did you know that we would need these things?

Thank you God–for all the little things–

Keep sending them please.

Amen.

Feel free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Dark Red fall leaves drenched in little droplets of rain
Red leaves drenched in little droplets of rain

Be

Yes
Yes

I am doing the hard work of resting
Sleeping

Trying to let my body heal
Ok God

I’m trying
But I have some words

About resting without the surgery I need
Trying so hard

Not to do
Or think
Just to be

God why is it hard

Just to be
Be Still

And know that
I am God

Easy for You to Say God

Even Jesus
Ran away
To Mountains and Hills
To Lakes and Boats

Even Jesus took naps
And meals with Friends

Even Jesus said: Enough Today is a holiday
and turned everything off

How are you?
everyone is asking

Tired, I answer

What a wealth of meaning
a word can have

I sleep,
and sleep

And try not to do things
And sleep

God, you know its been ten months
Of just living, so when the doctor said how are you doing things?
I said, I just am.

I cannot tell if I am sick

Or I am weary

Come to me
all

All who are heavy
Burdened

Your Promise
Is Rest

But here I am, trying to be

Be still, you whisper, take the time.
So I’m trying, not to try

Why is it so hard?

“Its ok” the Holy Spirit whispers
As I lay down again

Its ok…
I’ll rest in the difficult and restlessness
Amen.

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Autumn

God,
Isn’t it funny
How every Autumn–
I get so exhausted
With all of the Injustice in the World

I hit a wall of Stuckness
And it compounds Everything!

And then I remember
that I have SAD
and so some of my weariness
is as natural as the seasons–

And I’m grateful to remember
That I’ll have the energy
to fight for justice and righteousness
again

Amazing what Sabbath
and Seasons
Can do for a woman
Isn’t it God?

Image https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRD_VeXN-cEtmjLAw4Qpu2aP2L3XdnQv1EZmw&usqp=CAU

Preparing to Be Away, a Prayer

God

I’m trying to look forward to all the things

But the list to get there is interminably long

And I find that I don’t have the energy to even look at the list much les complete it.

Yet the laundry, house, packing, paperwork and people all await my presence.

Is this when you took a nap Jesus? I love a Savior who knows the value of a good nap.

Am I tired because I need the energy to face things

Or

Am I tired because the things facing me need to get done before I can feel energized again?

Sometimes human existence is such a mystery God, you have to admit, you did not make us simple beings.

Anyway here’s praying what needs to get done will, and can wait will

And that you’ll give me the patience to know the difference.

Amen.

Feel free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Crummy Confession

Loving God

We confess that sometimes we aren’t sure how to relax, that sometimes it feels like a burden, or this thing we have to figure out. 

Or a reward that I can only receive after we have completed after we have done every single thing on the list. 

I also confess that when we feel crummy, and are given crumbs of Sabbath—that doesn’t help.

That too often Sabbath looks like this piecemeal, cobbled together, misshapenned monstrosity that happened throughout the day, or week, and so we aren’t sure if its good enough or counts, as if someone is grading the Sabbath—

when I know, deep, in my bones, 

that the abundance of Sabbath your promise is supposed to be a promise, not threat

and that you would never grade my rest-keeping

and that the point is to know my belovedness, and to relish myself, not to take a million bubble-baths or try to fix myself

You know, God, how I don’t give space for others to be free either–because I have all of this baggage, and its just, not good!

I confess I need all the help this Sabbath thing!

Forgive me God, For thinking that this Sabbath thing is all up to me.

Help us to find Sabbath

in better systems

in safer communities

and in ourselves we pray.

Amen.

Feel Free to Use/Adapt/Share with Credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

BURNEDOUT a prayer

This is a prayer for the BURNEDOUT

Because Loving mothering God, you know that they were ON FIRE 🔥

They did the work, they gave their all, they plugged in, they connected, they loved their job, their work & all they served

Every single breath of it.

Until one day, their oxygen suddenly gave out!

Sure they had been gasping for breath, and running on low fuel

But everything and everyone around them seemed to say just go farther and do more

And everything will be alright.

And so God this is a prayer for the BURNEDOUT

that every single one of them can claim their Sabbath

And rest, as God given, needful and right; without guilt or recrimination.

God grant them, and us Sanctuary and rest we pray.

Amen.

Sept 12 Creation by the Word

Living Into this God Given World: God Gives Creation

Genesis 1:1-2:4a

John 1:1-5

Psalm 33: 1-12

Call to Worship

God you created all the things

Combining the Light with the Darkness, the Sky and the Earth, the Water with the Land

God, you are not a God of singularities, but combinations, yielding all kinds of crops and animals and sunsets

And you saw that this was good.

Let us rejoice in the manifest glory of your creation today and everyday!

Let us praise God, mysterious, manifold and and always creating. Glory to our God, the creator!

Prayer of Confession: God, we confess that sometimes we ignore the manifold of your creation. It is hard to imagine that you created so much that you needed to rest aftewards. It is hard for us to imagine that you hallowed every aspect of creation. It is hard to imagine that you designed the earth out of abundance so that every single being should have enough. We confess that we are very limited in our understanding of your creation. Forgive us, teach us to have a better understanding of your creation we pray. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: God promises God’s mercies are new every morning. Let us tell one another the good news today. In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

Prayer of Dedication/Day: God as you first shaped the world and breathed life into it, we ask for your continued inspiration and shaping. Grant us the gentle breeze of your your Holy Spirit, especially when we are weary and out of breath, to cool and inspire us. Continue to minister to us in your gentle way as we go into the world, we pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Children: Play with Legos, Cooties or some other interchangeable toys, discuss how many variations there are, discuss how God made so many varieties of the earth. Talk about the our human job to do science discover, create and name things with God as “Co-creators.” Read God Gave Us You.

Hymns: “Spirit” “This is My Father’s World” “God of the Sparrow” “Morning Has Broken”

More Narrative Lectionary Year 4 Fall Resources

(If you appreciate my work donations for my Creative Writing Doctorate in Ministry accepted for my GoFundMe here)

A Different kind of Rest

God, I wonder what it was like,

when David was king and pondered an enforced rest.

David, who had trauma in his family and then perpetuated trauma on his friend, and raped a woman.

David, who dealt with the physical pain of a sexually transmitted disease that roiled him for years.

God, how stretched was David, when he prayed for a rest that would not let him go.

When David harkened back to simpler times, and longed, not even to be a shepherd again, but to instead be the sheep.

David, reimagines rest as something to be protected, with a staff and a rod.

David sees true rest as being able to let go of his enemies, and eat and drink without having to worry about being attacked.

David, who was so privileged and powerful needed rest.

How much more do we need rest after the pandemic.

How much more do our Black and Brown siblings need the space to rest, and the time to reinvent what rest and rejuvenation looks like?

How much more do our queer siblings, need sabbath?

How much more do our beloved trans* individuals need sanctuary?

Hustling is not going to cut it anymore. You can’t out hustle a pandemic or trauma or racism or bigotry.

God, drive those who need to, down to the cool waters.

Chase them down with goodness and mercy.

And remind us, that Sabbath, like blessings, is not pie. There is enough to go around. We need to create space for rest with one another.

Help us to create a culture of Sabbath, I pray.

Amen.

Again I have to give theological credit to @TheNapMinistry and Nap Bishop Tricia Hersey for their continually revolutionary take on rest. https://linktr.ee/thenapministry

Please share/adapt/use with Theological Credit to “The Nap Ministry” writing credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Stealing Time

God, remind me to steal some time.

To look at the clouds

to be bored

to take the scenic route…

Tell me how it is ok if the house is messier than I’d like, that it’s good to claim the smaller victories of keeping everyone fed and (at least starting out) in clean clothes…

Remind me that Jesus stole time all the time!

Napping in the storm, snuggling a fig tree, sneaking off to a lake

When you lead me beside the (sort of) still waters of a small lake beach on a stolen afternoon, help me to embrace the experience.

When the power or internet is out and I’m forced to relax…

If the best I can muster in thought is half written sentences…

When time is given, as a gift, remind me that it isn’t stolen.

Remind me that Holy Spirit herself might be intervening.

Whisper to me that I am beloved. And that my worth is not based upon my productivity.

Image: Your Work is Not Measured by your Productivity

I’ll never forget my first year in full time ministry when there was a snowstorm every single Wednesday of November, forcing me to slowdown.

Sometimes, I need that reminder God.

And if I need to take the longer way to Jerusalem, if I need to mull and mutter and forge out some time to relax before I do the next hard thing, that is okay.

Remind me, God, that you built me, and all humans to be this way.

And that Jesus knew full well that breaks for food, laughter with friends, and time with family are essential to our humanity, and Jesus was indeed fully human.

Rest is essential, Sabbath is commanded, time is precious–let me live these truths in whatever way I can, I pray.

Amen

Image of Tweet Robin Thede: We all need to expect about forty percent less productivity from each other than normal and yet somehow everyone seems to expect one hundred and forty percent right now. Working at Proffitting WAP: Chile, they are thinking because we are working reotely that we do not nothing but time since we are sitting at home. However that push for productive is affecting our mental health because there’s no boundaries to decompress

Many thanks to the continuing inspiration of the Nap Ministry: https://thenapministry.wordpress.com/ (who you can also follow on twitter)

Feel free to use/adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

More Pandemic Prayers and Resources: Top Posts are “In an Abundance of Caution” “The Lord is My Shepherd: What kind of Sheep are You” and “Masks: A Prayer”

Holy Days & Sabbath

On the seventh Day, God decided to relieve the monotony and created Sabbath.

Have you read the studies where if there are no special or memorable days, time goes quickly? And humans remember less? Because human brains are not wired to do the same thing everyday.

How strange is that, if I were designing a creature, I would design it to do the same thing all the time.

And although we prefer a structure and not changing, in reality we do not thrive in this environment.

As evidenced by quarantine: where many are working without stopping and many are stopping without working.

So God created a different kind of day, a memorable day, a holy day.

When I’m stuck, and things seem overwhelming, sometimes I declare a random holiday, to help to bide the time. I will stop everything and turn my focus to crafts or baking or reading a (gasp) new book.

My mom has been marking the silly holidays (Bugs Bunny Day, Hoagie Day, Missing Sock Day), and it has been brightening our otherwise monotonous time.

In Middle Ages the church acted as Union insofar as they declared many, many holidays to give people appropriate rest. 12 days at Christmas, every Sunday and 7 weeks after Easter, plus weddings and funerals. They sometimes would have as much as a half a year off.

The creation of Holy Days and Holy Times is part of who God is, it’s a part of who we are. How are we blessing the ordinary days? What makes things Holy today?

May you find Sabbath, and rest!

Culturenik Doctor Who Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Quote Tardis Blue Illustration Sci Fi British TV Television Show Print (Unframed 12x24 Poster)