Tuesday, October 5, 2010

the art of simplification

last night as i went through my mental prayer list i thought, "if i can't
remember all the people who have requested prayer, then i have let too
many into my life."

google image

i don't even know if i agree with that, but in my exhaustion it made
sense.  if someone is not important enough to recall them in my
prayers, then i shouldn't have let them think i would pray.

the tricky part is that i now have as many friends here, that i have
never seen, as i do in my day to day life.  last night as we were putting
groceries away, i heard myself say, "my friend joan posted the most
beautiful photo of a budding flower that looked just like a candle to
celebrate her anniversary."

hans didn't say it, but i know he thought, "does she have a friend
named joan?"

"yes!  she lives in australia, and i visit her almost every day."

i was starting to sound like our daughter hailey, who when three
had imaginary friends named sarah and ashley.   ashley smoked
cigarettes!  :)

my point is that i am going to be more purposeful in my visiting
and praying . . . and promise of praying.  then i won't feel guilty
at night for perhaps forgetting someone.  i will just be convicted
of all the other terrible things i do!


"let my prayer be set forth as incense before You, the lifting up
of my hands as the evening sacrifice."  psalm 141:2


Michelle said...

You are too hard on yourself. Your blog delights me, and I love when you visit. Blessings!

Vee said...

Oh I have started to treat those lapses in memory with prayer right then. If I tell someone that I will pray, I do...at my visit. My family looks at me a bit askance, too. I say I have a friend who... and I can almost see the universal sign for "crazy" in their eyes. Ha!

Debbie said...

I can understand what you mean. I was driving in the rain today and praying for Elaine who is beginning chemo today and Tammi who had to go back to school to help her family through a job. They are both blogging friends. And then there's Sandy who would have celebrated her son Noah's 13th birthday today but he died at nine months. And Melanie whose son Andrew died almost one year ago in December. Having met her in person in FL recently, my heart is hurting for her. So I pray!

Of course, I have my own family and friends too. I am keeping a typed list of prayer requests and dividing it up.

Having written all that, I believe the Lord will bring to mind the ones you are to pray for. I just can't bring myself to unfollow anyone.

Blessings and love,

myletterstoemily said...

debbie, i know. you are way too sweet!

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Well I can relate...but I am also seeing that my heart does go out to some people and those are the ones I know God has put on my heart!

The other side is my husband hears me and I sometimes think I sound like my grandmother's who watched soap operas and talked about them as if they were people, however, whom I am talking about are real people! Even if I may never meet them.

I guess there is a fine line...and only God can tell us what it is...we hear prayer request at church all the time and it usually is people we will never know or see...and if God stirs our hearts, we agree in prayer with Him.

Blessings as you find the right balance!

High Heeled Life said...

What I have found helps me is, I created a prayer book and write down people I intend to pray for ( name, how I heard about their need, and their need). I got the idea from an elderly gentlemen that use to drive me to medical appointments .. he would add each new person that he was driving.

I always finish my night prayer "and please take care of anyone and their family in this prayer bok that may be in need"...

like you if I say I'm going to pray for someone I feel bad if some how I missed them. I hope the prayer book idea helps... XO HHL

Anonymous said...

I want to tell you how much I appreciate your prayers for John. I have learned over time, that many times when followers don't visit, I find out later that they have been carrying a heavy burden. I also have many who read the posts but don't always comment. I like Vee's idea to pray while visiting the blogs. Thanks again for your friendship and prayers. Have a nice evening.

Gloria said...

I think God understands when we don't remember all we would like to. I know every single word you have left on my blog has been a joy for me to read, and appreciated so much! When you have as many followers as you do that is a pretty amazing accomplishment. I feel bad when I can't comment on every single post that I would like to. I know life gets busy here, so I can relate to what you are saying. I think we just need to do the best we can do, then lean on God's grace when we know we can't do "everything all the time". I really try to pray when I say I will. God brings people to my memory (in the middle of the night many times), and I think...OH yeah! I remember NOW God! :)I feel God has placed every single person in my life for a reason, that "for sure" includes my fellow blogging buddies! :)

Betsy from Tennessee said...

God knows those who have needs... Sometimes you can just pray for all of your family and friends --not having to name them individually. God KNOWS... Don't be so hard on yourself.

I have several blog friends who have some serious things going on in their lives. I pray for them every single day --along with all of my blog friends.

I keep track of who comes to my blog --and do not follow people who don't come regularly . I just have too many --and can't keep up with all of them. I do have about 50-75 regulars who visit me regularly and I visit them. Then there are others who just come occasionally. It's hard to keep up... We all just do the best we can.


myletterstoemily said...

it is very moving for me to see how many
of you dear women pray! and thank you
for the great advice.

Farm Girl said...

As one of my hero's of the faith used to say that prayer was hard work. She had days that she prayed, say Monday for family needs, Tuesday for church needs, anyway she broke it all up, so it wasn't such a burden. She also had a page for prayer for everyday. I am not that organized but I do wake up a lot in the night and wait for the Lord to bring to my mind the people who need prayer right now.
I think it is very sweet that you want to pray for everyone. Blogging should be a joy and not a burden. We all have to take a breath and step back sometimes. You have been really busy, 3 parties remember.
I did laugh though, because I tell my husband about people and he always has to say, what blog?
You are so kind and so sweet Lea, I will be praying for you.

Sonja said...

well, since you left a comment tonight, I am hoping that means I made the cut. :)

Seriously, I know just what you mean, and my list is also growing, so I pray for whatever name or face I am thinking of through the day.

When I tell my hubby about 'so and so' and the neat blog of the day, he kind of 'glazes over!'...

I LOVE my blogging buddies, just like you do, but that whole 'balance' thing applies here too... doesn't it??

As always, your words make me smile!

Shawna said...

I have done the same thing lately - simplify. Although some get a bit offended when you have to say "I'm going to step back for a little while," in the end, it just feels good to sit down and breathe. And many, many, (oh so many) times I have said the prayer "God, please help, bless, or do whatever it is that everyone that my silly brain has forgotten. Thank you for not thinking less of me because while you made my brain perfect, the user is imperfect!!"

A Tale of Two Cities said...

Thank goodness, we have the Sprit who intercedes for us when we have those memory lapses. I, too, have been very careful lately not to tell someone I'm praying for them in a flippant way, if I am not truly following through.It's the greatest gift we can offer someone, whether they be a new friend or old--the gift of prayer. So many of your blogs are prayerful just as they are, and inspire me in my daily walk.

Thank you for that,

Cinnamon said...

What a good idea! It is soo easy to be overwhelmed with "good" things like prayer. I made a decision a while back...either I would pray with the person right then and there (cause I knew I'd forget) or I wouldn't commit to praying for them with the normal comment of "i'll be praying for you".

It would haunt me that I'd tell someone I'd pray then walk away and totally forget :-0

I also committed to praying for my family first. If I'm spending all my time covering everyone else in prayer, who is covering my family in prayer? For me, sometimes, all I can do it pray for my family which includes 9 children, one on the way, a daughter in love, a husband who is deployed a son who is a Marine not to mention unsaved family and nearby friends.....that list alone is BIG.

So kudos to you!!


Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Dearest Lea, Thank you for visiting me, although I am not sure you knew you were talking to me! I am not sure I understand your comment, for I did not post the song of which you speak, but thank you anyway for COMING OVER AND LEAVING A COMMENT! And, I agree that prayer comes from our hearts, our weary bodies, and that God does hear! I used to get up to pray first thing and go through an entire list of names, but years of early morning jobs forced me to pray in the car as I drive myself to my job. He understands, I know He does.....you are so kind.

God bless you! Anita

Joan Elizabeth said...

Oh Lea, thank you for the link, it is so lovely to have you as a blog friend. I also talk to my husband about my blog mates but I have learnt to start with "my blog friend". Your blog is such a delight and your comments so refreshing it is no wonder you have a long list of followers. I am quite selective about who I follow regularly and don't promise prayers because I am hopeless at remembering. For those I have promised I pray when I visit their blog as it serves as a reminder. However, this is not a perfect solution because depending on the situation they may not have the time or health to blog.

Sandy said...

Well, whatever you decide
regarding my blog, I will
still come and visit yours.
You are a dear lady and I
enjoy your thoughts very much.
Try not to let blogging wear
you out, but just be grateful
for all the new (and real!)
friendships that it brings!
I pray for everyone as soon as
I read about their need and the
Holy Spirit always brings them
to mind again to continue to
hold them up. I believe one of
our greatest privileges in this
life is to pray for others.

koralee said...

I know how you feel...I tried to unfollow some of the blogs I never visit and a few of them were able to figure out it was me who unfollowed them and were hurt...I felt sooooo bad...so what do you do? I really didn't think that if someone has many followers they would be able to track me down ....but they did.
Anyways I am very careful who I follow now...I don't want any hurt feelings.

Hugs to you today my friend. It is hard to pray for everyone. xoxox

myletterstoemily said...

anita, i totally knew it was you! who else
can put together such a glorious post.

i meant that when you wrote, "rejoice!"
it reminded me of a wonderful song.

KarenHarveyCox said...

The Lord seems to have given you a ministry. He does that with blogging, isn't He wonderful? Your blog, always filled with meaningful words and scripture feeds all of us.

Blessings, Karen

Rosie said...

Greetings Sweet Lea...
Oh, I hear what your saying...I have Soo many PRECIOUS friendships here, I don't know what I did before I had a blog. I speak of them as if they live next door, and my dear husband { although I KNOW he thinks I'm CrAzY}, just smiles and and says "now, is this the one who...blah, blah, blah"
I too have a prayer list as long as my arm...but this is what sisters do.
I love when I can put a date beside a request signifying answered pray...it gives me hope and makes me smile
....still smilin' Rosie

Rebecca said...

I frequently find myself saying "My friend in (blogland)", too! Indeed, we DO become friends.

I "officially followed" many people when I first began. Now I follow - but unofficially. I don't get bent out of shape about who "follows" me. In fact, I COULD take that gadget out of my sidebar (but I wouldn't want to insult anyone.

And I DO pray. As I read a blog where there is a stated need, I pray. Then and there! When a post blesses me, I pray for the writer and ask the Lord to bless her life, her family and her influence.

Interestingly, I'm speaking on the 16th to a ladies' group on the subject of "simplicity"--Keeping life Sane, Simple, and Sacred. Every season of life calls for new adjustments and ALWAYS balance. Blessings on your life as you make any adjustments necessary.

Sandra said...

My forgetter is, just about, the only thing that works, really well, around here. That and the dogs and cats clamoring for food.
Anyway, I keep a journal where I write verses that speak, deeply to me; names of people for whom to pray and other Biblical, meaningful things. Someone's name will be put on it and then their blog name or i-net or something similar to jog my memory.
I don't think I have your e-mail address so will say, he's supposed to have a needle biopsy next week. We pray and wait.

Denise Marie said...

Girl, all ya gotta do is say, "Lord bless all my bloggie buddies...you know each situation." And, then you are covered. I know what you mean. I don't promise to pray for everyone...esp. if I know they aren't doing any work towards a Godly end to their plight.

Please don't be jealous of my Nutcrackers. I've collected for like 8 years and my mom is as crazy as I am about these boys. I have a mini hoarder issue going on here too. Reality is about to meet the road as we prepare to move. yikes. lol Blessings to ya...bloggy buddies are sent from Heaven, believe it.

~*~ saskia ~*~ said...

Don't bother too much, sweet Lea, to pop in all the lovely blogs here in blog land every now and then is a big blessing to everyone already.
love for a wonderful Wednesday. xxx

Together We Save said...

I love visiting your blog... don't be so hard on yourself

Rita said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rita said...

Dear lea,
your post is so inspiring and certainly food for thought.
So glad I decided to pop over tonight otherwise I might have missed it.
Don't be so hard on yourself though.

Grammy said...

What beautiful responses to your post! I am afraid mine is rather poor, but I do love when you come to see me and leave a note of encouragement. I always am left feeling so blessed when people come and leave a message for me, especially those like you. I appreciate so much your prayers in my behalf. Love to you, Ruby

Jenners said...

It is very easy to say "I'll pray for you" when you hear of someone needing it. I wouldn't beat myself up over what is an act of kindness and thoughtfulness.

And my husband is always asking me if people I'm talking about are "real" or "blog" people.

Cheri Bunch said...

I hope I am a real person to you. I would miss you terribly if you ever stop coming by for a visit. Your words bless.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

My dear Lea, THANK YOU FOR COMING BY TODAY FOR MY BOOT POST! Frivilous and silly, but fun to post....and let me ask you this, are you a musician, or songwriter? How lovely!!! Enjoy a fine evening and good night's sleep!

Bises, Anita

myletterstoemily said...

you are the realest of the real!


Auntie Cake said...

Hi Lea,
Thanks for the very sweet email. It really made my day! This weekend we hosted a wedding reception for our pastors son and the most adorable girl, who also is a member of our church. As our house is still under construction, I have been racing around for the past two months, trying to tie up as many lose ends as I possibly could. On top of that, my camera broke, and I realized, it is very hard for me to blog without my trusty camera. I am hoping to get a new one this week and get back to blogging. And reading blogs! I feel like I have missed out on so many wonderful things in my absence.

Hopefully you are enjoying a beautiful fall. We have had the most wonderful weather here in MN this last week. It is absolutely glorious, luckily I have had many excuses to spend entire days outside working with the wedding. I am trying to soak up enough to get through the winter!

Thanks again for your sweet email, your caring words and wisdom in your blog are such a rare treasure. How I wish for a wonderful neighbor as you!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I do as Vee said that does and when I see a prayer request on a blog I say prayer right then and there, and then later I ask the Lord to remember all I prayed for in one last prayer for the day, and include anyone else that I personally know that need prayers.
I do believe the Lord knows well what is in our hearts and minds..no need for a long list of names to be recited.

Anita said...

It is very difficult to remember everyone to pray for. I try to think about them during the day when I'm about my daily business. I remind myself that I'm praying because I need Him, and not that He needs me to remind Him who I'm praying about. I feel like I can never pray enough, and that I want more and more. It's amazing having a relationship with Him and feeling that grow. You are such a blessing and such an inspiration:-)

Natasha said...

You are so sweet Lea! You know I have been saying the same kinds of things lately too! I am often talking about my blogging friend from here or there and even though I haven't met them I really do consider them friends. You Lea are one of those friends and I am so happy to have met you through blogging!

Best wishes always,

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

OH!!! A singer? AWESOME! I took lessons once from a woman at our church YEARS AGO and she did wonders on my voice. I never had a pretty voice, just LOUD! When we performed at church, I did a solo and made my mom cry! I hope it wasn't from listening to my voice!teeeeheeee! Oh thank you for your kindness...I sometimes think my blog is a bit to OUT THERE for people! That is me however......MANY BLESSINGS OF PEACE TO YOU, LEA! Anita

My name is PJ. said...

Hi Lea, I think you're being too hard on yourself too. God doesn't intend prayer to be stressful...just the opposite. And He knows who needs what.

Quiet thought about the larger circle of folks, some of whose names we can't remember, is prayer in itself.

If you have to say "what's his name" that's fine too.

Your big heart is so obvious to those who know and read you. And I'm guessing God knows your intentions better than anyone.

There's a drawing on my Wednesday post that I think you'll enjoy.

Yaya Yarns said...

And now you have another (hug) LOL

Don't let me overwhelm you :o)

I am blessed to have found such a dear sister in the LORD and look forward to getting to know you. God brings us to one another and He will give us all we need to minister to one another.


Just Be Real said...

Thank you so much for sharing this post. I can so relate. Also appreciate you kind and encouraging words to me as well. Blessings.

Hailey Helmerich said...

Thanks for getting Sarah and Ashley's name right, even though they have nasty habits.

Jemm said...

It's Ok. But I know how you feel. I've caught myself starting to type a comment with a promise to pray for someone and then erased it because I know I'll forget to.

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hi Lea
Well thanks so much for popping over to your other aussie friend.. My internet has been so bad I cannot really keep up with all my new friends..

You know the imaginary friend topic does pop up from time to time ... I have to say though.. I have a few online that I email regularly [internet permitting] and they truly have become close and treasured friends.. I'd be lost without them...

One thing I noticed a while back was having so many blogging friends has opened me up to hearing about more tragedy.. there was a run of it for a while and I found it overwhelming... but whilst there is all that grief there is also all that goodness and friendship and happy times to embrace.. We can't have one without the other...

Take care dear friend and thanks so much for popping by... xxx Julie

~*~ saskia ~*~ said...

Hi Lea, a pink bracelet will be crossing the blue blue ocean soon to YOU.
Have a happy Friday and a wonderful weekend ahead! xxx

Beautiful pear tree lane said...

Lea, I have been thinking along the same lines lately, as I travel through out blogland and see so many who need and ask for prayer. Through out the day certain people will come to mind and I will pray for them, and sometimes I wonder if I have forgotten. anyone.You have really brought this into perspective for me, and for that I truly thank you.
Thank you for sharing !

Thank you for coming by and for taking the time to leave me such a sweet comment.

Farm Girl said...

Good morning Lea,
I just wanted you to know I have a blog award for you over at my place. Don't feel like you have to take it I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate you and it is there if you want it.

Auntie Cake said...

Hi Lea,
I sound like you do, I am constantly saying, "My friend..." and my husband looks at me with raised eyebrows to question and I reply, "My blogging friend"

But how wonderful to know that that people we haven't met in person are out there praying for one another. The other day I saw a woman sobbing as she was driving in her car, she touched my heart so much that I have been praying for "the woman who was crying in her car" for the last week. Who knows who is out there praying for you or me? My family was on the receptive end of this when my youngest son was gravely ill and in the hospital. My husband had taken the other kids in to get their haircuts for his funeral, and my other son mentioned to the woman cutting his hair that his brother was dying in the hospital, he mentioned his name and the woman replied, "My church has been praying for your brother and your family." My son who had been ill is now 10 years old and we know the only reason he is living is because so many unknown people were praying so faithfully.

There are so many people out there who need prayer right at this very moment, it can seem overwhelming, but what a wonderful weight that we can carry!

Auntie Cake said...

PS- I actually came by to tell you to have the most glorious fall weekend!

Anonymous said...

Forgive me if I offend anyone, as we may have different beliefs...

I sometimes wonder if prayer is really just for me - to comfort me? After all, God loves everyone and holds them in His loving arms at all times. He has shown me multiple times how much He loves little me and there is no doubt in my mind that He loves all His children equally.

I pray anyway. Sometimes a specific prayer for someone. Sometimes a universal prayer for everyone that feels alone, afraid, lost, worried or hurt. I don't know if it makes a difference as He would never place one child's needs over another, but I feel comforted in 'talking' with Him.

I don't think we could ever let too many people into our lives. There's room for everybody and plenty of love to go around. :)

Wishing you a lovely weekend, Lea!

myletterstoemily said...

oh kate! that is the most
marvelous testimony. hallelujah!

myletterstoemily said...

saskia! i won something???

myletterstoemily said...

hailey!!!!! my sweet baby girl.

you do know that ashley and sarah
weren't real, right?

Cheri Bunch said...

Good morning, Lea! Thank you for faithfully stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. I think others read it but my audience is so private and most of them do not share publicly their thoughts. I might see them in church or something and they will comment. It is so fun to receive an online comment and yours are always of the sweetest kind. It helps to keep me going!
Drake is doing better, healing up. Emotionally is the most difficult for him right now. The pain meds are helping him otherwise. I believe that the Lord is working in ways we cannot see.
Blessings to you, sweet friend.

Single and Sane said...

I can relate. Do what you feel led by God to do. The good thing is that we don't have to rely on our own (often fading) memory when we pray, because we can let the Holy Spirit lead our prayers.

That's something I need to remind myself. =)


Jenny said...

Hmmm... I feel like you're picking on yourself and I don't want you to.

I think you are wonderful.

And friends don't have to be those that live next door...or even those that you have met face to face.

We know in our hearts who is a friend and who is on our side. That seems enough like friendship to me!

I know I always forget someone on my list so I always add a little bit to the end for unspoken and unremembered prayer requests!

Patrina's Pencil said...

Goodness - a person could get lost in all these comments :) I think I'd feel a bit overwhelmed with as many followers as you have. How do you possibly keep up?

that said - I am honored that you took the time to visit me on the bridge. even though I've not been here in a while. Time is just too thin for me. But...I wanted to say, that I do pray and the Holy Spirit specifically lays individuals on my heart through the day or in my quiet hours before getting out of bed (otherwise I have no quite time until 12 hours later :) I think it shouldn't be a drudgery or a big responsibility. The Lord knows our hearts and He knows we've committed to pray - if we ask Him to nudge us when prayer is needed for a special someone . He will. I trust Him to do this for me - We are a team - I'm His princess warrior. He's my leader. He knows everything - I just follow His lead. We're warriors in battle - everyday. God is our commander in chief. If we look to Him for daily instruction - we won't get so rung out from all the things we should have done or should be doing - or forgot to do.

We're a team - were in the Lords army together. That's the cool part of this life. That's why we're so bonded with our blogging buddies - because we pray for each other when the Lord prompts us!

Carry on...just walk - it will be OK.

hugs...and prayers - really :)
a fellow princess warrior in boots! <")>><