stop signOur bloggers are offering their thoughts from the places they are.  Whether it’s the season, or a challenge, or the hospital, each of them is writing from “right here, right now” this week.

Stuck.  The word sounds like the feeling.  Elizabeth Hagan is reflecting on what to do when we feel stuck.  Thinking about her own experience, she says, “Let me tell you this: as a mover and shaker and get things done yesterday, it’s really terrible to feel stuck. To pray to ask for help and feel like it’s not coming fast enough. Or to realize that hope is present but it’s crawling toward you at a snail’s pace. Or to wonder when our petty political fights will ever end on Twitter.”  She offers some of her own practices, including, “Do the next right thing.”

From the hospital, Deborah Matt is writing about moving toward greater mental health.  She blogs about her own journey with bipolar disease, and says the latest chapter involves, “17 days in the hospital, 3 ECT, 1 new med, 3 meds stopped, and 1 med in a different form. Its been a busy time in here!  So far my responsiveness is better and brighter, as is my affect. My mood is a little higher than when I got here, and suicidal thoughts are more academic with less intent. Although, death is still appealing to me. It’s all progress, and I’ll take it! Best guess is that I’ll go home on Monday after ECT #5. Friday was a possibility but we’ll have a better sense of whether the treatments are working if there is sustained remission with the extra day over the weekend. And I’d like to be thinking about suicide less before going home since going home will increase anxiety which will increase suicidal thinking (how it works for me at least).”  She adds a picture of her days:  “I’ve read 4 books so far and am a third of the way through a 5th. Watching tv a lot, since there are only 2 groups a day plus meals to occupy our time. Played some games, talked to people too. Such is life in a psych unit.”

Taking up a blogging challenge, Susan Wright is writing about acts of kindness, large and small, every day in October.  She challenges us to look harder for ways to bring kindness into the world.  “Have you ever paid for the person behind you to receive a free coffee, toll crossing, or donut? This idea is on most random act of kindness lists, I don’t prefer that idea. When I spend my money, I want to make a difference in someone’s life. People who are in such lines, have the money for the coffee, toll, or donut.  Instead, how about paying for someone who can’t pay it back or forward (at least right now)? Below are some ideas.  Pay for a homeless person’s lunch.  Take a senior on a fixed income to the movies.  Put a gas card on the windshield of a single mom’s car.  Treat a low-income friend to an event at church.  Kindness notices the needs of others. And then acts.” 

In the middle of fall, Joy Freeman hears a call to match her life to the season.

“I hear God’s gentle call to let go of the busy
to let go of the need, to do more, to be more.
I hear God’s voice reminding me that I to need seasons of
letting go, seasons of deep rest.
Fall is my circle of life reminder to let go, to rest.
It is my season of already and not yet.”

In all those places, Leslie Scoopmire is praying for us.  Her prayer includes this grace-filled petition:

“Bend near, O Spirit of Hope,
and let the light of God shine upon us,
and warm our hearts with the promise of your peace,
surpassing any that we can grasp.”

Where do you find yourself right now?  What place – spiritual or geographical – are you in, here in the midst of fall?  We would love to hear your experience in the comments section below.

Mary Austin is the pastor of Westminster Church of Detroit, a diverse Presbyterian Church.  She is the author of Meeting God at the Mall.

RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com.

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