You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3
Last week I had one of those “how lucky am I” events. I had the chance to meet a wonderful author. I have read her words and been touched by her gift and when she sent me a message and suggested we meet, I was shocked to discover I only had to drive 25 minutes away. I was surprised to discover this very lovely and talented lady lives in SE Michigan but regularly visits the county I live in. It turns out she is a Master Gardener and coordinates the volunteer crew that tends the glorious gardens at the St. Francis Retreat Center in Dewitt. She makes the drive each week to “tend to the beauty.” Not only did I get the deluxe garden tour, I got deep lessons in faith, trust and prayerfulness.
Margaret Rose (isn’t that just the perfect name for a gardener!) told me the story of the journey that has led her from her family greenhouse to creating magnificent prayer gardens to glorify God to author; spreading beauty
and peace through the written word. Hers is a tale of God standing at each and every corner taking her by the hand leading her in HIS direction. More than once that afternoon I blinked back tears and brushed down a patch of goose bumps as she joyfully talked about her faith, and her journey.
When she finished proudly sharing the gardens we sat a spell to talk some more and that’s when I got a wonderful gift. I went that day hoping to gather information about how to write a book but left instead with information that was so much more important and powerful…something God thought my life needed way more than a “ how to get published lesson.” I think that’s how it happens most of the time…the best stuff comes to us when we least expect
it! Margaret shared that most of her writing is done during Eucharistic Adoration, while immersed in deep and thoughtful prayer. Then it happened…I didn’t really mean to say it…I didn’t really intend to admit it...but I did! I looked right at her and said “I am so impressed that you can enter such a deep state of prayerfulness and stillness! Most of the time I
sit to pray deeply I suffer from a SEVERE case of Monkey Mind! My thoughts just start jumping and climbing around like monkeys swinging
from tree to tree!” Then she said it…something so simple but so profound that it took my breath away for a second. She smiled and said, “Let the monkeys jump around, they will settle down.” Seriously…that’s it…let
them jump? She went on to explain that each of those random thoughts jumping through my mind were prayer worthy and I simply needed to acknowledge them, offer the thoughts as prayers and wait for the “dust to settle” if you will. I can’t tell you how many “deep and meaningful” prayer attempts have ended in frustration because I spent so much time trying to chase those jumpin monkeys away one at a time, which only led to more distraction and self-scolding for not being able to be still and pray. I couldn’t wait to get home and try it again. She was right!
Here is what it looks like now…when I’m trying to still myself and I start thinking about what to fix for supper or which chores need to be done first, I see that jumpin monkey and ask God to organize my to do list and I remind myself that if God feeds the creatures of the earth, surely He will give me a great casserole idea. When the monkeys jump to people and needs and situations I quickly ask God’s blessing on each of them by name. Jumpin
monkeys are like toddlers…they eventually wear out. After a short time it was like those monkeys all settled onto a branch to be still and that’s when my mind became still and prayerful. It’s gonna take more practice for sure, but I’m off to a great start! My new friend Margaret said the perfect thing at the perfect time! I hope her wisdom will bless you too.
A Seed To Plant: Spend some time in silent prayer this week…see if you can settle the jumpin monkeys!
Blessings on your day!
Click on the items below to expand the options available to you to explore the Joyful Words blog.