Stayed Prayed Up Quotes

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I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long, I will stay with you. If you need the medication again, go ahead and take it—I will love you through that, as well. If you don’t need the medication, I will love you, too. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and I am braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness. We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things. We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less. These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete... Remember, to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side. Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent. Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person might not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
Bob Moorehead (Words Aptly Spoken)
This is for girls who have the tendency to stay up at night listening to music that reminds them of their current situation. Who hide their fears, hurt, pain and tears under the smiles, laughs and giggles on a daily basis. The girls who wear their heart on their sleeve. The girls who pray that things will work out just once and they'll be satisfied. The girls who sceam and cry to their pillows because everyone else fails to listen. The girls who have so many secrets but wont tell a soul. The girls who have mistakes and regrets as a daily moral. The girls that never win. The girls that stay up all night thinking about that one boy and hoping that he'll notice her one day. The girls who take life as it comes, to the girls who are hoping that it'll get better somewhere down the road. For the girls who love with all their heart although it always gets broken. To girls who think it's over. To real girls, to all girls: You're beautiful.
Zayn Malik
I prayed all the way up that hill yesterday, he said softly. Not for you to stay; I didna think that would be right. I prayed I'd be strong enough to send ye away. He shook his head, still gazing up the hill, a faraway look in his eyes. I said 'Lord, if I've never had courage in my life before, let me have it now. Let me be brave enough not to fall on my knees and beg her to stay.' He pulled his eyes away from the cottage and smiled briefly at me. Hardest thing I ever did, Sassenach.
Diana Gabaldon
The more you talk about it, rehash it, rethink it, cross analyze it, debate it, respond to it, get paranoid about it, compete with it, complain about it, immortalize it, cry over it, kick it, defame it, stalk it, gossip about it, pray over it, put it down or dissect its motives it continues to rot in your brain. It is dead. It is over. It is gone. It is done. It is time to bury it because it is smelling up your life and no one wants to be near your rotted corpse of memories and decaying attitude. Be the funeral director of your life and bury that thing!
Shannon L. Alder
Dear Child, Sometimes on your travel through hell, you meet people that think they are in heaven because of their cleverness and ability to get away with things. Travel past them because they don't understand who they have become and never will. These type of people feel justified in revenge and will never learn mercy or forgiveness because they live by comparison. They are the people that don't care about anyone, other than who is making them feel confident. They don’t understand that their deity is not rejoicing with them because of their actions, rather he is trying to free them from their insecurities, by softening their heart. They rather put out your light than find their own. They don't have the ability to see beyond the false sense of happiness they get from destroying others. You know what happiness is and it isn’t this. Don’t see their success as their deliverance. It is a mask of vindication which has no audience, other than their own kind. They have joined countless others that call themselves “survivors”. They believe that they are entitled to win because life didn’t go as planned for them. You are not like them. You were not meant to stay in hell and follow their belief system. You were bound for greatness. You were born to help them by leading. Rise up and be the light home. You were given the gift to see the truth. They will have an army of people that are like them and you are going to feel alone. However, your family in heaven stands beside you now. They are your strength and as countless as the stars. It is time to let go! Love, Your Guardian Angel
Shannon L. Alder
I love you, Ivy. I'll never stop loving you." She leaned against the winsow, looking out on a pale and glittering night. She looked through tears. I prayed for one more chance to reach you," he said, "to tell you how much I love you and to tell you to keep on loving. Someone else was meant for you, Ivy, and you were meant for someone else." She stood up straight. "No." Yes, love," he said, softly but firmly. No!" Promise me, Ivy-" I'll promise you nothing but that I love you," she cried. Listen to me," Tristan pleaded. "You know I can't stay any longer." The pale, glittering night was raining now, and fresh tears gleamed on her cheeks, but he had to leave. I love you," he said. "I love you. Love him. - Tristan Carruthers -
Elizabeth Chandler (Kissed by an Angel/The Power of Love/Soulmates (Kissed by an Angel, #1-3))
He showed me a sketch he'd drawn once during meditation. It was an androgynous human figure, standing up, hands clasped in prayer. But this figure had four legs, and no head. Where the head should have been, there was only a wild foliage of ferns and flowers. There was a small, smiling face drawn over the heart. To find the balance you want," Ketut spoke through his translator, "this is what you must become. You must keep your feet grounded so firmly on the earth that it's like you have four legs, instead of two. That way, you can stay in the world. But you must stop looking at the world through your head. You must look through your heart, instead. That way, you will know God.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
I prayed all the way up that hill yesterday,” he said softly. “Not for you to stay; I didna think that would be right. I prayed I’d be strong enough to send ye away.” He shook his head, still gazing up the hill, a faraway look in his eyes. “I said ‘Lord, if I’ve never had courage in my life before, let me have it now. Let me be brave enough not to fall on my knees and beg her to stay. He pulled his eyes away from the cottage and smiled briefly at me. "Hardest thing I ever did, Sassenach.” He turned in the saddle, and reined the horse’s head toward the east. It was a rare bright morning, and the early sun gilded everything, drawing a thin line of fire along the edge of the reins, the curve of the horse’s neck, and the broad planes of Jamie’s face and shoulders.
Diana Gabaldon (Outlander (Outlander, #1))
When Ava turned away, Jules leaned in and whispered, “He’s totally whipped. Watch.” She raised her voice to a panicked level. “Oh my God! Ava, are you bleeding?” Alex’s head snapped up. Less than five seconds later, he ended his call and crossed the room to a confused-looking Ava, whose hand froze halfway to the scones on the table. “I’m fine,” Ava said as Alex searched her for injuries. She glared at Jules. “What did I just say?” “I can’t help it.” Jules’s eyes sparkled with mischief. “It’s so much fun. It’s like playing with a windup toy.” “Until the toy comes alive and kills you,” Stella murmured loud enough for everyone to hear. Alex stared at Jules with displeasure scrawled all over his face. His features were so perfect it was a little unnerving, like seeing a carefully sculpted statue come to life. Some people were into that, but I preferred men with a little more grit. Give me scars and a nose that was slightly crooked from being broken too many times over perfection. “Pray you and Ava stay friends forever,” Alex said, icy enough to elicit a rash of goosebumps on my arms.
Ana Huang (Twisted Games (Twisted, #2))
we look up and we hope the stars look down, we pray that there may be stars for us to follow, stars moving across the heavens and leading us to our destiny, but it's only our vanity. We look at the galaxy and fall in love, but the universe cares less about us than we do about it, and the stars stay in their courses however much we may wish upon them to do otherwise. It's true that if you watch the sky-wheel turn for a while you'll see a meteor fall, flame and die. That's not a star worth following; it's just an unlucky rock. Our fates are here on earth. There are no guiding stars.
Salman Rushdie (The Moor's Last Sigh)
A friend took me to the most amazing place the other day. It's called the Augusteum. Octavian Augustus built it to house his remains. When the barbarians came they trashed it a long with everything else. The great Augustus, Rome's first true great emperor. How could he have imagined that Rome, the whole world as far as he was concerned, would be in ruins. It's one of the quietest, loneliest places in Rome. The city has grown up around it over the centuries. It feels like a precious wound, a heartbreak you won't let go of because it hurts too good. We all want things to stay the same. Settle for living in misery because we're afraid of change, of things crumbling to ruins. Then I looked at around to this place, at the chaos it has endured - the way it has been adapted, burned, pillaged and found a way to build itself back up again. And I was reassured, maybe my life hasn't been so chaotic, it's just the world that is, and the real trap is getting attached to any of it. Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Maybe she still was a pretty-head, making up irrational stories about the empty forest. The longer she stayed alone out here, the more Tally understood why the Rusties and their predecessors had believed in invisible beings, praying to placate spirits as they trashed the natural world around them.
Scott Westerfeld (Pretties (Uglies, #2))
‎"With any major decision there are cautions and considerations to make, but once there has been illumination, beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing. If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it ...is right now. Don't give up when the pressure mounts. Certainly don't go to that being who is bent on your destruction of your happiness. Face your doubts. Master your fears. 'Cast not away therefore your confidence.' Stay the course and see the beauty of life unfold for you.
Jeffrey R. Holland
So what do you do when you are stuck? The first thing I do when I am stuck is pray. But I’m not talking about a quick, Help me Lord, Sunday’s a comin’ prayer. When I get stuck I get up from my desk to head for my closet. Literally. If I‘m at the office I go over to a corner that I have deemed my closet away from home. I get on my knees and remind God that this was not my idea, it was His… None of this is new information to God… Then I ask God to show me if there is something He wants to say to prepare me for what He wants me to communicate to our congregation. I surrender my ideas, my outline and my topic. Then I just stay in that quiet place until God quiets my heart… Many times I will have a breakthrough thought or idea that brings clarity to my message. . . Like you, I am simply a mouthpiece. Getting stuck is one way God keeps me ever conscious of that fact.
Andy Stanley (Communicating for a Change: Seven Keys to Irresistible Communication)
At that time, I well remember whatever could excite - certain accidents of the weather, for instance, were almost dreaded by me, because they woke the being I was always lulling, and stirred up a craving cry I could not satisfy. One night a thunder-storm broke; a sort of hurricane shook us in our beds: the Catholics rose in panic and prayed to their saints. As for me, the tempest took hold of me with tyranny: I was roughly roused and obliged to live. I got up and dressed myself, and creeping outside the basement close by my bed, sat on its ledge, with my feet on the roof of a lower adjoining building. It was wet, it was wild, it was pitch dark. Within the dormitory they gathered round the night-lamp in consternation, praying loud. I could not go in: too resistless was the delight of staying with the wild hour, black and full of thunder, pealing out such an ode as language never delivered to man - too terribly glorious, the spectacle of clouds, split and pierced by white and blinding bolts.
Charlotte Brontë
Dusk had fallen, While the sky was gray, Red flowers bloomed, And the yellow fade away, Night was to fall, But the sun had to stay, Moon of fourteen, For the lover had to pray, Life gave up hope, Yet the heart had to say, Lover wrote a letter, But the pigeon lost it's way.
Neymat Khan
You will never be able to end any battle if the people involved are unable to see their own hypocrisy, or how their insecurity contributed to their problems. Wounded people often choose to play the victim, so they can restore their dignity in unhealthy ways. Sadly, they do this through feeling justified, by making bad choices or actions (that honestly no diety would want them to do). This inability to accept their part in their unhappiness keeps them from growing. They need your prayers more than your anger. Just walk away. Let it go and pray that one day they will understand your pain, as much as you do theirs. Remember: The sexiest woman alive is one that can walk away from a place that God doesn't want them to be. Do so with your head held high and forgive yourself and others. When you can do this, you will know what God's definition of class is-- YOU!
Shannon L. Alder
But believe it or not, I really do like to read. I don't think anyone can ever pull the wool over your eyes if you stay prayed up and read. Frederick Douglass said that no man can be a slave if he has knowledge.
Brandi L. Bates (Remains To Be Seen)
Naruto… I now remember the words you once said to me. That when you're with me, you finally understand what it's like to have a brother… And when I think of it that way… That feeling… I finally get it now. I've been travelling around the world and I seem to recall these memories a lot. We were alone and starved of love. Kids that lived in a world full of hate. And from that point on, we went our separate ways… and fought. But time has passed and now I'm thinking… Could it be that… just like how the hope and and pain from my father, mother and my brother, Itachi flowed into me… I'd understand your pain and hopes too, Naruto? You never abandoned me, no matter what. And you never gave up on me, coming closer when I pulled away. It wouldn't have surprised me if you hated me, but you didn't… You kept insisting that we were friends. And even that, I nearly destroyed. You fought to stop me… to the point you lost an arm. All because you were my friend. You saved me. The us that quarrelled over the smallest things… are now able to share the pain in each other's hearts. On my journey around the world, I noticed… That all these feelings of mine aren't just about us, I'm sure it's the same for everything else. But… there aren't a lot of people like you. And things won't go as planned, look at us. It's especially true when it comes to bigger things. I think it's the same as praying. And until I can do it, I'll stay strong. The beings that have been entrusted with hope… that's us. That's what makes us shinobi.
Masashi Kishimoto
Do not get down on your knees to pray just to show God that you always remember him. Instead stay on your feet, and always do as he would do in place of him.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Always beware of the people you allow in your energy space. Some might contaminate your energy to a point of no return. Meditate, stay prayed up.
Mitta Xinindlu
Satan puts three knots at the back of the head of any of you if he is asleep. On every knot he reads and exhales the following words, ‘The night is long, so stay asleep.’ When one wakes up and remembers Allah, one knot is undone; and when one performs ablution, the second knot is undone, and when one prays the third knot is undone and one gets up energetic with a good heart in the morning; otherwise one gets up lazy and with a mischievous heart.
Abu Huraira
V grabbed him by the lapels and yanked him up against his body. The brother was trembling from head to foot, his eyes glowing like crystals in the night. "You are not my enemy." Instantly pissed off, Butch gripped V's shoulders, bunching up the leather jacket in his fists. "How do we know for sure." V bared his fangs and hissed, his black eyebrows cranking down hard. Butch gave the aggression right back, hoping, praying, ready for them to start clocking each other. He was jonesing to hit and get hit back; he wanted blood all over the both of them. For long moments, they stayed locked together, muscles straining, sweat blooming, right on the edge. Then Vishous's voice came out into space between their faces, the cracked tone riding a panting, desperate breath and getting bucked off. "You are my only friend. Never my enemy." No telling who embraced who first, but the urge to beat the living shit out of the other guy bled from their bodies, leaving only the bond between them. They wound up tight together and stood for a time in the cold wind. When they stepped back, it was awkwardly and with embarrassment.
J.R. Ward (Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #4))
Off To The Races" My old man is a bad man but I can't deny the way he holds my hand And he grabs me, he has me by my heart He doesn't mind I have a Las Vegas past He doesn't mind I have an LA crass way about me He loves me with every beat of his cocaine heart Swimming pool glimmering darling White bikini off with my red nail polish Watch me in the swimming pool bright blue ripples you Sitting sipping on your black Cristal Oh yeah Light of my life, fire of my loins Be a good baby, do what I want Light of my life, fire of my loins Give me them gold coins, gimme them coins And I'm off to the races, cases of Bacardi chasers Chasing me all over town Cause he knows I'm wasted, facing Time again at Riker's Island and I won't get out Because I'm crazy, baby I need you to come here and save me I'm your little scarlet, starlet singing in the garden Kiss me on my open mouth Ready for you My old man is a tough man but He's got a soul as sweet as blood red jam And he shows me, he knows me Every inch of my tar black soul He doesn't mind I have a flat broke down life In fact he says he thinks it's why he might like about me Admires me, the way I roll like a Rolling Stone Likes to watch me in the glass room bathroom, Chateau Marmont Slippin' on my red dress, puttin' on my makeup Glass film, perfume, cognac, lilac Fumes, says it feels like heaven to him Light of his life, fire of his loins Keep me forever, tell me you own me Light of your life, fire of your loins Tell me you own me, gimme them coins And I'm off to the races, cases of Bacardi chasers Chasing me all over town Cause he knows I'm wasted, facing Time again at Riker's Island and I won't get out Because I'm crazy, baby I need you to come here and save me I'm your little scarlet, starlet singing in the garden Kiss me on my open mouth Now I'm off to the races, laces Leather on my waist is tight and I am fallin' down I can see your face is shameless, Cipriani's basement Love you but I'm going down God I'm so crazy, baby, I'm sorry that I'm misbehaving I'm your little harlot, starlet, Queen of Coney Island Raising hell all over town Sorry 'bout it My old man is a thief and I'm gonna stay and pray with him 'til the end But I trust in the decision of the Lord to watch over us Take him when he may, if he may I'm not afraid to say that I'd die without him Who else is gonna put up with me this way? I need you, I breathe you, I never leave you They would rue the day I was alone without you You're lying with your gold chain on, cigar hanging from your lips I said "Hon' you never looked so beautiful as you do now, my man." And we're off to the races, places Ready, set the gate is down and now we're goin' in To Las Vegas chaos, Casino Oasis, honey it is time to spin Boy you're so crazy, baby, I love you forever not maybe You are my one true love, you are my one true love You are my one true love
Lana Del Rey
Other Lives And Dimensions And Finally A Love Poem My left hand will live longer than my right. The rivers of my palms tell me so. Never argue with rivers. Never expect your lives to finish at the same time. I think praying, I think clapping is how hands mourn. I think staying up and waiting for paintings to sigh is science. In another dimension this is exactly what's happening, it's what they write grants about: the chromodynamics of mournful Whistlers, the audible sorrow and beta decay of Old Battersea Bridge. I like the idea of different theres and elsewheres, an Idaho known for bluegrass, a Bronx where people talk like violets smell. Perhaps I am somewhere patient, somehow kind, perhaps in the nook of a cousin universe I've never defiled or betrayed anyone. Here I have two hands and they are vanishing, the hollow of your back to rest my cheek against, your voice and little else but my assiduous fear to cherish. My hands are webbed like the wind-torn work of a spider, like they squeezed something in the womb but couldn't hang on. One of those other worlds or a life I felt passing through mine, or the ocean inside my mother's belly she had to scream out. Here, when I say I never want to be without you, somewhere else I am saying I never want to be without you again. And when I touch you in each of the places we meet, in all of the lives we are, it's with hands that are dying and resurrected. When I don't touch you it's a mistake in any life, in each place and forever.
Bob Hicok
Later, Bishop Crandall dropped by The house to give me a stern reprimand. He sat across the cluttered table, playing with a paper clip. 'Your parents are worries about you, Pattyn.' I was worried about myself. But I wasn't about to let him know it. "Really?" 'Really. What have you got to say for yourself? You've always been such a good girl.' Good girl. Sit. Stay. Fetch. Bristles rose up along my spine. "Define good." 'I don't appreciate your attitude, Pattyn. Fast and pray. Search your soul for the inequities in your life.' "Any inequity in my life began when I was born female. Can you fix that?" 'You'll have to fix that yourself, by concentrating on the things God expects of you.' His two-faced rhetoric was pissing me off. "You mean like kissing your ass?" He slammed his hand on the table. 'I will not listen to that sort of language. Apologize!' Behind me, I hear Mom gasp. But I was on a roll. "I'm sorry, Bishop I'm sorry I ever believed you might have something worthwhile to say.
Ellen Hopkins (Burned (Burned, #1))
I thought that I would go to Romania and that when I got there I would go to some small town and buy secondhand clothes in the market. Shoes. A blanket. I’d burn everything I owned. My passport. Maybe I’d just put my clothes in the trash. Change money in the street. Then I’d hike into the mountains. Stay off the road. Take no chances. Crossing the ancestral lands by foot. Maybe by night. There are bears and wolves up there. I looked it up. You could have a small fire at night. Maybe find a cave. A mountain stream. I’d have a canteen for water for when the time came that I was too weak to move about. After a while the water would taste extraordinary. It would taste like music. I’d wrap myself in the blanket at night against the cold and watch the bones take shape beneath my skin and I would pray that I might see the truth of the world before I died. Sometimes at night the animals would come to the edge of the fire and move about and their shadows would move among the trees and I would understand that when the last fire was ashes they would come and carry me away and I would be their eucharist. And that would be my life. And I would be happy.
Cormac McCarthy (Stella Maris (The Passenger #2))
I heard you’d gone into a monastery.’ Tony nodded. ‘I did, only I didn’t stay long. I couldn’t be doing with all the praying and getting up early, though I kinda liked wearing those robe thingies.’ ‘Cassocks?’ I suggested. ‘No, it’s true.
Wilkie Martin (Inspector Hobbes and the Blood (Unhuman #1))
When we pray, instead of trying to produce love in our souls toward God, we should be basking in God's love for us. How foolish to stay indoors in the cold, dark little room off the self, trying to turn on the light and turn up the heat, when we can just go outside into God's glorious Sonlight and receive his rays! How silly to fuss with artificial tanning salons and lotions and lights when the Son is out!
Peter Kreeft (Prayer for Beginners)
I know a rock in a highland's ravine, On which only eagles might ever be seen, But a black wooden cross o'er a precipice reigns, It rots and it ages from tempests and rains. And many years have gone without any hints, From times when it was seen from faraway hills. And its every arm is raised up to the sky, As if catching clouds or going to fly. Oh, if I were able to rise there and stay, Then how I'd cry there and how I'd pray; And then I would throw off real life's chains And live as a brother of tempests and rains!
Mikhail Lermontov
All took leave from life in the manner which most suited them. Some praying, some deliberately drunk, others lustfully intoxicated for the last time. But the mothers stayed up to prepare the food for the journey with tender care, and washed their children and packed their luggage; and at dawn the barbed wire was full of children's washing hung out in the wind to dry. Nor did they forget the diapers, the toys, the cushions and the hundreds other small things which mothers remember and which children always need. Would you not do the same? If you and your child were going to die tomorrow, would you not give him to eat today?
Primo Levi (Survival in Auschwitz)
We have taller buildings but shorter tempers; wider freeways but narrower viewpoints; we spend more but have less; we buy more but enjoy it less; we have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, yet less time; we have more degrees but less sense; more knowledge but less judgment; more experts, yet more problems; we have more gadgets but less satisfaction; more medicine, yet less wellness; we take more vitamins but see fewer results. We drink too much; smoke too much; spend too recklessly; laugh too little; drive too fast, get too angry quickly; stay up too late; get up too tired; read too seldom; watch TV too much and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values; we fly in faster planes to arrive there quicker, to do less and return sooner; we sign more contracts only to realize fewer profits; we talk too much; love too seldom, and lie too often. We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, not life to years.
Philip Yancey (Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News?)
It is said that once upon a time St. Kevin was kneeling with his arms stretched out in the form of a cross in Glendalough. . . As Kevin knelt and prayed, a blackbird mistook his outstretched hand for some kind of roost and swooped down upon it, laid a clutch of eggs in it and proceeded to nest in it as if it were the branch of a tree. Then, overcome with pity and constrained by his faith to love all creatures great and small, Kevin stayed immobile for hours and days and nights and weeks, holding out his hand until the eggs hatched and the fledging grew wings, true to life if subversive of common sense, at the intersection of natural process and the glimpsed ideal, at one and the same time a signpost and a reminder. Manifesting that order of poetry where we can at last grow up to that which we stored up as we grew.
Seamus Heaney (Crediting Poetry: The Nobel Lecture)
I prayed all the way up that hill yesterday; not for you to stay; I didna think that would be right. I prayed I'd be strong enough to send ye away. I said, "Lord, if I've ever had courage in my life before, let me have it now. Let me be brave enough and not fall to my knees and beg her to stay.
Diana Gabaldon (Outlander (Outlander, #1))
Let your new energy, new thoughts, new attitude, new routine & new outlook make this time most sacred, memorable & beautiful for you & others. Let you also begin to see greater in everything & believe in unexplainable possibilities. Let you grow in ways which you never knew was possible. Darling listen – Don’t let the magic in the air get swallowed up by someone’s nonsensical thoughts, words, comments & by any kind of pressure in the air. I wish & pray that these last few days of this year be the best part of this year for you & everyone! Stay Healthy, Happy & Meaningful! Blessings!
Rajesh Goyal
It is then I face a momentous decision. Shivering in the rags of my seventy-four years, I have two choices. I can escape below into skepticism and intellectualism, hanging on for dear life. Or, with radical amazement, I can stay on deck and boldly stand in surrendered faith to the truth of my belovedness, caught up in the reckless raging fury that they call the love of God. And learn to pray.
Brennan Manning (The Furious Longing of God)
This is what I find myself writing to myself on the page: I'm here. I love you. I don't care if you need to stay up crying all night long. I will stay with you. If you need the medication again, go ahead and take it - I will love you through that, as well. If you don't need the medication, I will love you, too. There's nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and I am braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
First I need to do something.’ He pulled me closer towards him until our lips were almost touching. ‘What might that be?’ I managed to stutter, closing my eyes, anticipating the warmth of his lips against mine. But the kiss didn’t come. I opened my eyes. Alex had jumped to his feet. ‘Swim,’ he said, grinning at me. ‘Come on.’ ‘Swim?’ I pouted, unable to hide my disappointment that he wanted to swim rather than make out with me. Alex pulled his T-shirt off in one swift move. My eyes fell straightaway to his chest – which was tanned, smooth and ripped with muscle, and which, when you studied it as I had done, in detail, you discovered wasn’t a six-pack but actually a twelve-pack. My eyes flitted to the shadowed hollows where his hips disappeared into his shorts, causing a flutter in parts of my body that up until three weeks ago had been flutter-dormant. Alex’s hands dropped to his shorts and he started undoing his belt. I reassessed the swimming option. I could definitely do swimming. He shrugged off his shorts, but before I could catch an eyeful of anything, he was off, jogging towards the water. I paused for a nanosecond, weighing up my embarrassment at stripping naked over my desire to follow him. With a deep breath, I tore off my dress then kicked off my underwear and started running towards the sea, praying Nate wasn’t doing a fly-by. The water was warm and flat as a bath. I could see Alex in the distance, his skin gleaming in the now inky moonlight. When I got close to him, his hand snaked under the water, wrapped round my waist and pulled me towards him. I didn’t resist because I’d forgotten in that instant how to swim. And then he kissed me and I prayed silently and fervently that he took my shudder to be the effect of the water. I tried sticking myself onto him like a barnacle, but eventually Alex managed to pull himself free, holding my wrists in his hand so I couldn’t reattach. His resolve was as solid as a nuclear bunker’s walls. Alex had said there were always chinks. But I couldn’t seem to find the one in his armour. He swam two long strokes away from me. I trod water and stayed where I was, feeling confused, glad that the night was dark enough to hide my expression. ‘I’m just trying to protect your honour,’ he said, guessing it anyway. I groaned and rolled my eyes. When was he going to understand that I was happy for him to protect every other part of me, just not my honour?
Sarah Alderson (Losing Lila (Lila, #2))
I smack into him as if shoved from behind. He doesn't budge, not an inch. Just holds my shoulders and waits. Maybe he's waiting for me to find my balance. Maybe he's waiting for me to gather my pride. I hope he's got all day. I hear people passing on the boardwalk and imagine them staring. Best-case scenario, they think I know this guy, that we're hugging. Worst-case scenario, they saw me totter like an intoxicated walrus into this complete stranger because I was looking down for a place to park our beach stuff. Either way, he knows what happened. He knows why my cheek is plastered to his bare chest. And there is definite humiliation waiting when I get around to looking up at him. Options skim through my head like a flip book. Option One: Run away as fast as my dollar-store flip flops can take me. Thing is, tripping over them is partly responsible for my current dilemma. In fact, one of them is missing, probably caught in a crack of the boardwalk. I'm getting Cinderella didn't feel this foolish, but then again, Cinderella wasn't as clumsy as an intoxicated walrus. Option two: Pretend I've fainted. Go limp and everything. Drool, even. But I know this won't work because my eyes flutter too much to fake it, and besides, people don't blush while unconscious. Option Three: Pray for a lightning bolt. A deadly one that you feel in advance because the air gets all atingle and your skin crawls-or so the science books say. It might kill us both, but really, he should have been paying more attention to me when he saw that I wasn't paying attention at all. For a shaved second, I think my prayers are answered because I go get tingly all over; goose bumps sprout everywhere, and my pulse feels like electricity. Then I realize, it's coming from my shoulders. From his hands. Option Last: For the love of God, peel my cheek off his chest and apologize for the casual assault. Then hobble away on my one flip-flop before I faint. With my luck, the lightning would only maim me, and he would feel obligated to carry me somewhere anyway. Also, do it now. I ease away from him and peer up. The fire on my cheeks has nothing to do with the fact that it's sweaty-eight degrees in the Florida sun and everything to do with the fact that I just tripped into the most attractive guy on the planet. Fan-flipping-tastic. "Are-are you all right?" he says, incredulous. I think I can see the shape of my cheek indented on his chest. I nod. "I'm fine. I'm used to it. Sorry." I shrug off his hands when he doesn't let go. The tingling stays behind, as if he left some of himself on me. "Jeez, Emma, are you okay?" Chloe calls from behind. The calm fwopping of my best friend's sandals suggests she's not as concerned as she sounds. Track star that she is, she would already be at my side if she thought I was hurt. I groan and face her, not surprised that she's grinning wide as the equator. She holds out my flip-flop, which I try not to snatch from her hand. "I'm fine. Everybody's fine," I say. I turn back to the guy, who seems to get more gorgeous by the second. "You're fine, right? No broken bones or anything?" He blinks, gives a slight nod. Chloe setts her surfboard against the rail of the boardwalk and extends her hand to him. He accepts it without taking his eyes off me. "I'm Chloe and this is Emma," she says. "We usually bring her helmet with us, but we left it back in the hotel room this time.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
We're going to pray right now. Then you'll stay for Bible Study, at least praise time. You need to remember how Jesus sees you,and lift up your voice in thanks for it." "Julia, I can't hold a tune, much less carry it." "Hey, to Him, you're Sinatra. Now, let's pray.
Stephanie McCall (Fiery Secrets)
And at first it’s so amazing to be able to enjoy dreamy afternoon meadows of heather up the other end of the canyon and just by walking less than a halfmile you can suddenly also enjoy wild gloomy sea coast, or if you’re sick of either of these just sit by the creek in a gladey spot and dream over snags—So easy in the woods to daydream and pray to the local spirits and say “Allow me to stay here, I only want peace” and those foggy peaks answer back mutely Yes
Jack Kerouac (Big Sur)
I had expected them to talk about my childlessness. I was armed with millions of smiles. Apologetic smiles, pity-me smiles, I-look-unto-God smiles - name all the fake smiles needed to get through an afternoon with a group of people who claim to want the best for you while poking at your open sore with a stick - and I had them ready. I was ready to listen to them tell me I must do something about my situation. I expected to hear about a new pastor I could visit; a new mountain where I could go to pray; or an old herbalist in a remote village or town whom I could consult. I was armed with smiles for my lips, an appropriate sheen of tears for my eyes and sniffles for my nose. I was prepared to lock up my hairdressing salon throughout the coming week and go in search of a miracle with my mother-in-law in tow. What I was not expecting was another smiling woman in the room, a yellow woman with a blood-red mouth who grinned like a new bride.
Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ (Stay with Me)
Dad was on the porch, pacing back and forth in that uneven stride he had on account of having a gimp leg. When he saw, he let out a yelp of delight and started hobbling down the steps towards us. Mom came running out of the house. She sank down on her knees, clasped her hands in front of her, and started praying up to the heavens, thanking the Lord for delivering her children from the flood. It was she who had saved us, she declared, by staying up all night praying. "You get down on your knees and thank your guardian angel," she said. "And thank me, too." Helen and Buster got down and started praying with Mom, but I just stood there looking at them. The way I saw it. I was the one who'd saved us all, not Mom and not some guardian angel. No one was up in that cottonwood tree except the three of us. Dad came alongside me and put his arms around my shoulders. "There weren't no guardian angel, Dad," I said. I started explaining how I'd gotten us to the cottonwood tree in time, figuring out how to switch places when our arms got tired and keeping Buster and Helen awake through the long night by quizzing them. Dad squeezed my shoulder. "Well, darling," he said, "maybe the angel was you.
Jeannette Walls (Half Broke Horses)
I prayed all the way up that hill yesterday," he said softly. "Not for you to stay; I didna think that would be right. I prayed I'd be strong enough to send ye away.
Diana Gabaldon (Outlander (Outlander, #1))
When you are down to nothing, God is up to something. Stay strong, pray, and keep the faith.
Germany Kent
Fine, you're angry. But I don't care if you pray mad, stay mad, and die mad. That's your choice. Or you could choose to be different.... How this turns out is up to you.
Ann Aguirre (Boss Witch (Fix-It Witches, #2))
The sound of thunder awake me, and when I got up, my feet sank into muddy water up to my ankles. Mother took Buster and Helen to high ground to pray, but I stayed behind with Apache and Lupe. We barricaded the door with the rug and started bailing water out the window. Mother came back and begged us to go pray with her on the hilltop. "To heck with praying!" I shouted. "Bail, dammit, bail!" Mom look mortified. I could tell she thought I'd probably doomed us all with my blasphemy, and I was a little shocked at it myself, but with the water rising so fast, the situation was dire. We had lit the kerosene lamp, and we could see the walls of the dugout were beginning to sag inward. If Mom had pitched in and helped, there was a chance we might have been able to save the dugout - not a good chance, but a fighting chance. Apache and Lupe and I couldn't do it on our own, though, and when the ceiling started to cave, we grabbed Mom's walnut headboard and pulled it through the door just as the dugout collapsed in on itself, burying everything. Afterward, I was pretty aggravated with Mom. She kept saying that the flood was God's will and we had to submit to it. But I didn't see things that way. Submitting seemed to me a lot like giving up. If God gave us the strength to bail - the gumption to try to save ourselves - isn't that what he wanted us to do?
Jeannette Walls (Half Broke Horses)
How cruel is the golden rule When the lives we lived are only golden-plated? And I knew that the lights of the city were too heavy for me Though I carried carats for everyone to see. And I saw God cry in the reflection of my enemies And all the lovers with no time for me And all of the mothers raise their babies To stay away from me. Tongues on the sockets of electric dreams Where the sewage of youth drowned the spark of my teens And I knew that the lights of the city were too heavy for me (too heavy for me) Though I carried carats for everyone to see (everyone to see). And pray they don't grow up to be
Fall Out Boy (Infinity on High [Deluxe Edition] [Bonus CD])
It's that feeling you get somehow knowing that something great is about to happen... about to happen. While every passing day nothing great really does happen. You wake up, go to classes, study, sleep and wait for another monotonous day. You know the great day is not tomorrow, not even the day after, not even in a week or a month's time. But it says it will come soon, the way you live your life, one day at a time, only to realize 20 years have elapsed effortlessly. It will come soon, the way you meet someone without expecting or knowing that you are going to have so much fun together. It will come soon, the way dreams come true overnight- demanding years of perspiration, ironically. It will come soon like a gush of cold air in a hot afternoon. It will come soon like a stranger you feel you have already met. It will come like a guest who would be here to stay. It will come like an eternity, a serendipity, an irony. It will come when it is time for it to come, the way you fall asleep and dreams arrive from a distant land, surely but stealthily.
Sanhita Baruah
I'm part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have Holy Spirit power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I'm a disciple of His. I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I'm finished and down with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need prominence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by power. My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my Guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won't give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me. And when He comes for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me - my banner will be clear.
Avery T. Willis Jr.
Ronald Rolheiser, my undisputed favorite Catholic writer of all time, with hurricane force: Today, a number of historical circumstances are blindly flowing together and accidentally conspiring to produce a climate within which it is difficult not just to think about God or to pray, but simply to have any interior depth whatsoever…. We, for every kind of reason, good and bad, are distracting ourselves into spiritual oblivion. It is not that we have anything against God, depth, and spirit, we would like these, it is just that we are habitually too preoccupied to have any of these show up on our radar screens. We are more busy than bad, more distracted than nonspiritual, and more interested in the movie theater, the sports stadium, and the shopping mall and the fantasy life they produce in us than we are in church. Pathological busyness, distraction, and restlessness are major blocks today within our spiritual lives.
John Mark Comer (The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World)
Sometimes your body aches and you feel like lead and it’s easier to pull your covers all the way over your head and pray that you never wake up but it’s very important that you do.  So if you don’t feel beautiful when you open your eyes  I hope this reminds you that I think you are.  Just try to remember this too  In the moments you feel alone and every mountain is too great for all the answers left unknown and convinced it is always too late.  There is happiness in this life one day these troubles will fade all your strength is in the skyline no matter how heavy your heart weighs. And some days it seems hope and despair take turns but despite all our sadness the sun always returns.  I just wanted you to know that I’ll never care. How far you push me away  Because when I told you that I would stay, I meant it. And a little damaged  But you’re not hopeless  I know who you are.  I love who you are  And that’s why I’ll stay. 
Courtney Peppernell (Pillow Thoughts (Pillow Thoughts, #1))
So many gods. Which was the god of test scores? Which was the god of unmarried shopgirls who wished to stay that way? She decided to simply pray to all of them. “If you exist, if you’re up there, help me. Give me a way out of this shithole. Or, if you can’t do that, give the import inspector a heart attack.” She looked around the empty temple. What came next? She had always imagined that praying involved more than just speaking out loud. She spied several unused incense sticks lying by the altar. She lit the end of them by dipping it in the brazier, and then waved it experimentally in the air. Was she supposed to hold the smoke to the gods? Or should she smoke the stick herself? She had just held the burned end to her nose when a temple custodian strode out from behind the altar. They blinked at each other. Slowly, Rin removed the incense stick from her nostril. “Hello,” she said. “I’m praying.” “Please leave,” he said.
R.F. Kuang (The Poppy War (The Poppy War, #1))
I'm here. I love you. I don't care if you need to stay up crying all night long, I will stay with you. If you need the medication again, go ahead and take it - I will love you through that, as well. If you don't need the medication, I will love you, too. There's nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and I am braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
I prayed all the way up that hill yesterday,” he said softly. “Not for you to stay; I didna think that would be right. I prayed I’d be strong enough to send ye away.” He shook his head, still gazing up the hill, a faraway look in his eyes. “I said ‘Lord, if I’ve never had courage in my life before, let me have it now. Let me be brave enough not to fall on my knees and beg her to stay.’ ” He pulled his eyes away from the cottage and smiled briefly at me. “Hardest thing I ever did, Sassenach.
Diana Gabaldon (Outlander (Outlander, #1))
There’s a part of me wishes that Daddy would sleep his life away. A part of me that hopes that after all these years his drinking will finally catch up to him. That one day he’ll just go to bed and never wake up. But who am I kidding with that dream? It’s the people like Daddy, the wicked ones who go on living forever. It’s like God puts people like Daddy on earth on purpose. Making them a test for the good people in the world. If you can withstand what the good Lord throws at you, by staying true to your goodhearted self, and persevering through all of the obstacles thrust before you, then you’ve earned a spot by his side in Heaven. I look forward to that day. I look forward to the day where I’ll be smiling down from Heaven, wondering what made my daddy become so sick, twisted, and rotten. I look forward to the day when I can forgive him for everything he’s done and watch him from a cloud up in Heaven, praying for his damned soul, while he’s doused in flames, and burning in hell.
Lauren Hammond (Insanity (Asylum, #1))
Just then, in that instant, I saw His eyes. I recognised them. They were the eyes of that trembling father in a smoke-filled room on the ninety-third floor of Tower One, dialing his little girls for the last time. Those were the eyes behind that calming voice singing 'Amazing Grace' in a crowded and slippery stairwell, trapped outside a roof door when the ceilings began to cave. The eyes of the people who stayed behind with the handicapped victims waiting for police officers who never made it up the stairs. Those were the eyes of firemen who pushed me to safety, the doctor who cared for me for more than a year free of charge, the therapist who visited my home regularly so that I could sleep a little, the children who loved me, the brother who prayed nonstop, and the pastor who became my friend. Those were the eyes of God.
Leslie Haskin (Between Heaven and Ground Zero: One Woman's Struggle for Survival and Faith in the Ashes of 9/11)
Tips and Pointers for Building a Spiritual Life from Scratch Pray Meditate Be aware / Stay awake Bow Practice yoga Feel Chant and sing Breathe and smile Relax / Enjoy / Laugh / Play Create / Envision Let go / Forgive / Accept Walk / Exercise / Move Work / Serve / Contribute Listen / Learn / Inquire Consider / Reflect Cultivate oneself / Enhance competencies Cultivate contentment Cultivate flexibility Cultivate friendship and collaboration Open up / Expand / Include Lighten up Dream Celebrate and appreciate Give thanks Evolve Love Share / Give / Receive Walk softly / Live gently Expand / Radiate / Dissolve Simplify Surrender / Trust Be born anew
Surya Das (Awakening the Buddha Within: Eight Steps to Enlightenment)
Girls aside, the other thing I found in the last few years of being at school, was a quiet, but strong Christian faith – and this touched me profoundly, setting up a relationship or faith that has followed me ever since. I am so grateful for this. It has provided me with a real anchor to my life and has been the secret strength to so many great adventures since. But it came to me very simply one day at school, aged only sixteen. As a young kid, I had always found that a faith in God was so natural. It was a simple comfort to me: unquestioning and personal. But once I went to school and was forced to sit through somewhere in the region of nine hundred dry, Latin-liturgical, chapel services, listening to stereotypical churchy people droning on, I just thought that I had got the whole faith deal wrong. Maybe God wasn’t intimate and personal but was much more like chapel was … tedious, judgemental, boring and irrelevant. The irony was that if chapel was all of those things, a real faith is the opposite. But somehow, and without much thought, I had thrown the beautiful out with the boring. If church stinks, then faith must do, too. The precious, natural, instinctive faith I had known when I was younger was tossed out with this newly found delusion that because I was growing up, it was time to ‘believe’ like a grown-up. I mean, what does a child know about faith? It took a low point at school, when my godfather, Stephen, died, to shake me into searching a bit harder to re-find this faith I had once known. Life is like that. Sometimes it takes a jolt to make us sit and remember who and what we are really about. Stephen had been my father’s best friend in the world. And he was like a second father to me. He came on all our family holidays, and spent almost every weekend down with us in the Isle of Wight in the summer, sailing with Dad and me. He died very suddenly and without warning, of a heart attack in Johannesburg. I was devastated. I remember sitting up a tree one night at school on my own, and praying the simplest, most heartfelt prayer of my life. ‘Please, God, comfort me.’ Blow me down … He did. My journey ever since has been trying to make sure I don’t let life or vicars or church over-complicate that simple faith I had found. And the more of the Christian faith I discover, the more I realize that, at heart, it is simple. (What a relief it has been in later life to find that there are some great church communities out there, with honest, loving friendships that help me with all of this stuff.) To me, my Christian faith is all about being held, comforted, forgiven, strengthened and loved – yet somehow that message gets lost on most of us, and we tend only to remember the religious nutters or the God of endless school assemblies. This is no one’s fault, it is just life. Our job is to stay open and gentle, so we can hear the knocking on the door of our heart when it comes. The irony is that I never meet anyone who doesn’t want to be loved or held or forgiven. Yet I meet a lot of folk who hate religion. And I so sympathize. But so did Jesus. In fact, He didn’t just sympathize, He went much further. It seems more like this Jesus came to destroy religion and to bring life. This really is the heart of what I found as a young teenager: Christ comes to make us free, to bring us life in all its fullness. He is there to forgive us where we have messed up (and who hasn’t), and to be the backbone in our being. Faith in Christ has been the great empowering presence in my life, helping me walk strong when so often I feel so weak. It is no wonder I felt I had stumbled on something remarkable that night up that tree. I had found a calling for my life.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
seemed like she could hold on to the good mood if everyone just stayed in their place. She needed the good mood, the way you need sleep after an all-nighter, the way you daydream of throwing yourself into bed. Every day she woke up and swore she wouldn’t let the farm weigh her down, wouldn’t let the ruination of it (three years she was behind in the loan, three years and no way out) turn her into the kind of woman she hated: mirthless, pinched, unable to enjoy anything. Every morning she’d crick herself down onto the flimsy rug by her bed and pray, but it was actually a promise: Today I won’t yell, I won’t cry, I won’t clench up into a ball like I am waiting for a blow to level me. I will enjoy today. She might make it to lunch before she went sour.
Gillian Flynn (Dark Places)
Stop provoking him,” Ava said. “I can’t always save you.” “I’m not provoking him. It’s a compliment. Your man can get anything done.” When Ava turned away, Jules leaned in and whispered, “He’s totally whipped. Watch.” She raised her voice to a panicked level. “Oh my God! Ava, are you bleeding?” Alex’s head snapped up. Less than five seconds later, he ended his call and crossed the room to a confused-looking Ava, whose hand froze halfway to the scones on the table. “I’m fine,” Ava said as Alex searched her for injuries. She glared at Jules. “What did I just say?” “I can’t help it.” Jules’s eyes sparkled with mischief. “It’s so much fun. It’s like playing with a windup toy.” “Until the toy comes alive and kills you,” Stella murmured loud enough for everyone to hear. Alex stared at Jules with displeasure scrawled all over his face. “Pray you and Ava stay friends forever,” Alex said, icy enough to elicit a rash of goosebumps on my arms. Jules didn’t appear fazed by the implied threat. “First of all, Ava and I will be friends forever. Second of all, bring it on, Volkov.” Ava sighed. “Do you see what you left me in D.C. with?” she muttered to me.
Ana Huang (Twisted Games (Twisted, #2))
I been thinkin'," he said. "I been in the hills, thinkin', almost you might say like Jesus went into the wilderness to think His way out of a mess of troubles. Seems like Jesus got all messed up with troubles, and He couldn't figure nothin' out, an' He got to feelin' what the hell good is it all, an' what's the use fightin' an' figurin'. Got tired, got good an' tired, an' His sperit all wore out. Jus' about come to the conclusion, the hell with it. An' so He went off into the wilderness." "I ain't sayin' I'm like Jesus," the preacher went on. "But I got tired like Him, an' I got mixed up like Him, an' I went into the wilderness like Him, without no campin' stuff. Nighttime I'd lay on my back an' look up at the stars; morning I'd set an' watch the sun come up; midday I'd look out from a hill at the rollin' dry country; evenin' I'd foller the sun down. Sometimes I'd pray like I always done. On'y I couldn' figure what I was prayin' to or for. There was the hills, an' there was me, an' we wasn't separate no more. We was one thing. An' that one thing was holy." "An' I got thinkin', on'y it wasn't thinkin, it was deeper down than thinkin'. I got thinkin' how we was holy when we was one thing, an' mankin' was holy when it was one thing. An' it on'y got unholy when one mis'able little fella got the bit in his teeth an' run off his own way, kickin' an' draggin' an' fightin'. Fella like that bust the holiness. But when they're all workin' together, not one fella for another fella, but one fella kind of harnessed to the whole shebang—that's right, that's holy. An' then I got thinkin' I don't even know what I mean by holy." He paused, but the bowed heads stayed down, for they had been trained like dogs to rise at the "amen" signal. "I can't say no grace like I use' ta say. I'm glad of the holiness of breakfast. I'm glad there's love here. That's all." The heads stayed down. The preacher looked around. "I've got your breakfast cold," he said; and then he remembered. "Amen," he said, and all the heads rose up.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath - An Opera in 3 Acts)
Epistle to Miss Blount, On Her Leaving the Town, After the Coronation" As some fond virgin, whom her mother’s care Drags from the town to wholesome country air, Just when she learns to roll a melting eye, And hear a spark, yet think no danger nigh; From the dear man unwillingly she must sever, Yet takes one kiss before she parts for ever: Thus from the world fair Zephalinda flew, Saw others happy, and with sighs withdrew; Not that their pleasures caused her discontent, She sighed not that They stayed, but that She went. She went, to plain-work, and to purling brooks, Old-fashioned halls, dull aunts, and croaking rooks, She went from Opera, park, assembly, play, To morning walks, and prayers three hours a day; To pass her time ‘twixt reading and Bohea, To muse, and spill her solitary tea, Or o’er cold coffee trifle with the spoon, Count the slow clock, and dine exact at noon; Divert her eyes with pictures in the fire, Hum half a tune, tell stories to the squire; Up to her godly garret after seven, There starve and pray, for that’s the way to heaven. Some Squire, perhaps, you take a delight to rack; Whose game is Whisk, whose treat a toast in sack, Who visits with a gun, presents you birds, Then gives a smacking buss, and cries – No words! Or with his hound comes hollowing from the stable, Makes love with nods, and knees beneath a table; Whose laughs are hearty, tho’ his jests are coarse, And loves you best of all things – but his horse. In some fair evening, on your elbow laid, Your dream of triumphs in the rural shade; In pensive thought recall the fancied scene, See Coronations rise on every green; Before you pass th’ imaginary sights Of Lords, and Earls, and Dukes, and gartered Knights; While the spread fan o’ershades your closing eyes; Then give one flirt, and all the vision flies. Thus vanish scepters, coronets, and balls, And leave you in lone woods, or empty walls. So when your slave, at some dear, idle time, (Not plagued with headaches, or the want of rhyme) Stands in the streets, abstracted from the crew, And while he seems to study, thinks of you: Just when his fancy points your sprightly eyes, Or sees the blush of soft Parthenia rise, Gay pats my shoulder, and you vanish quite; Streets, chairs, and coxcombs rush upon my sight; Vexed to be still in town, I knit my brow, Look sour, and hum a tune – as you may now.
Alexander Pope
So easy in the woods to daydream and pray to the local spirits and say “Allow me to stay here, I only want peace” and those foggy peaks answer back mutely Yes—And to say to yourself (if you’re like me with theological preoccupations) (at least at that time, before I went mad I still had such preoccupations) “God who is everything possesses the eye of awakening, like dreaming a long dream of an impossible task and you wake up in a flash, oops, No Task, it’s done and gone
Jack Kerouac (Big Sur)
How To Save A Life" Step one, you say, "We need to talk." He walks, you say, "Sit down. It's just a talk." He smiles politely back at you You stare politely right on through Some sort of window to your right As he goes left and you stay right Between the lines of fear and blame You begin to wonder why you came [Chorus] Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend Somewhere along in the bitterness And I would have stayed up with you all night Had I known how to save a life [Chorus] Let him know that you know best 'Cause after all you do know best Try to slip past his defense Without granting innocence Lay down a list of what is wrong The things you've told him all along Pray to God, he hears you And I pray to God, he hears you As he begins to raise his voice You lower yours and grant him one last choice Drive until you lose the road Or break with the ones you've followed He will do one of two things He will admit to everything Or he'll say he's just not the same And you'll begin to wonder why you came
The Fray (How to Save a Life (Easy Piano Sheet Music, Sheet Music))
Anticipating sorrow to neutralize sorrow—that’s paltry, cowardly stuff, I told myself, knowing I was an ace practitioner of the craft. And what if it came fiercely? What if it came and didn’t let go, a sorrow that had come to stay, and did to me what longing for him had done on those nights when it seemed there was something so essential missing from my life that it might as well have been missing from my body, so that losing him now would be like losing a hand you could spot in every picture of yourself around the house, but without which you couldn’t possibly be you again. You lose it, as you always knew you would, and were even prepared to; but you can’t bring yourself to live with the loss. And hoping not to think of it, like praying not to dream of it, hurts just the same. Then a strange idea got hold of me: What if my body—just my body, my heart—cried out for his? What to do then? What if at night I wouldn’t be able to live with myself unless I had him by me, inside me? What then? Think of the pain before the pain. I knew what I was doing. Even in my sleep, I knew what I was doing. Trying to immunize yourself, that’s what you’re doing—you’ll end up killing the whole thing this way—sneaky, cunning boy, that’s what you are, sneaky, heartless, cunning boy. I smiled at the voice. The sun was right on me now, and I loved the sun with a near-pagan love for the things of earth. Pagan, that’s what you are. I had never known how much I loved the earth, the sun, the sea—people, things, even art seemed to come second. Or was I fooling myself?
André Aciman (Call Me By Your Name (Call Me By Your Name, #1))
My Fellow Non-American Blacks: In America, You Are Black, Baby Dear Non-American Black, when you make the choice to come to America, you become black. Stop arguing. Stop saying I’m Jamaican or I’m Ghanaian. America doesn’t care. So what if you weren’t “black” in your country? You’re in America now. We all have our moments of initiation into the Society of Former Negroes. Mine was in a class in undergrad when I was asked to give the black perspective, only I had no idea what that was. So I just made something up. And admit it—you say “I’m not black” only because you know black is at the bottom of America’s race ladder. And you want none of that. Don’t deny now. What if being black had all the privileges of being white? Would you still say “Don’t call me black, I’m from Trinidad”? I didn’t think so. So you’re black, baby. And here’s the deal with becoming black: You must show that you are offended when such words as “watermelon” or “tar baby” are used in jokes, even if you don’t know what the hell is being talked about—and since you are a Non-American Black, the chances are that you won’t know. (In undergrad a white classmate asks if I like watermelon, I say yes, and another classmate says, Oh my God that is so racist, and I’m confused. “Wait, how?”) You must nod back when a black person nods at you in a heavily white area. It is called the black nod. It is a way for black people to say “You are not alone, I am here too.” In describing black women you admire, always use the word “STRONG” because that is what black women are supposed to be in America. If you are a woman, please do not speak your mind as you are used to doing in your country. Because in America, strong-minded black women are SCARY. And if you are a man, be hyper-mellow, never get too excited, or somebody will worry that you’re about to pull a gun. When you watch television and hear that a “racist slur” was used, you must immediately become offended. Even though you are thinking “But why won’t they tell me exactly what was said?” Even though you would like to be able to decide for yourself how offended to be, or whether to be offended at all, you must nevertheless be very offended. When a crime is reported, pray that it was not committed by a black person, and if it turns out to have been committed by a black person, stay well away from the crime area for weeks, or you might be stopped for fitting the profile. If a black cashier gives poor service to the non-black person in front of you, compliment that person’s shoes or something, to make up for the bad service, because you’re just as guilty for the cashier’s crimes. If you are in an Ivy League college and a Young Republican tells you that you got in only because of Affirmative Action, do not whip out your perfect grades from high school. Instead, gently point out that the biggest beneficiaries of Affirmative Action are white women. If you go to eat in a restaurant, please tip generously. Otherwise the next black person who comes in will get awful service, because waiters groan when they get a black table. You see, black people have a gene that makes them not tip, so please overpower that gene. If you’re telling a non-black person about something racist that happened to you, make sure you are not bitter. Don’t complain. Be forgiving. If possible, make it funny. Most of all, do not be angry. Black people are not supposed to be angry about racism. Otherwise you get no sympathy. This applies only for white liberals, by the way. Don’t even bother telling a white conservative about anything racist that happened to you. Because the conservative will tell you that YOU are the real racist and your mouth will hang open in confusion.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Americanah)
Paper Bag" I was staring at the sky, just looking for a star To pray on, or wish on, or something like that I was having a sweet fix of a daydream of a boy Whose reality I knew, was a hopeless to be had But then the dove of hope began its downward slope And I believed for a moment that my chances Were approaching to be grabbed But as it came down near, so did a weary tear I thought it was a bird, but it was just a paper bag Hunger hurts, and I want him so bad, oh it kills 'Cause I know I'm a mess he don't wanna clean up I got to fold 'cause these hands are too shaky to hold Hunger hurts, but starving works, when it costs too much to love And I went crazy again today, looking for a strand to climb Looking for a little hope Baby said he couldn't stay, wouldn't put his lips to mine, And a fail to kiss is a fail to cope I said, 'Honey, I don't feel so good, don't feel justified Come on put a little love here in my void,' he said 'It's all in your head,' and I said, 'So's everything' But he didn't get it I thought he was a man But he was just a little boy Hunger hurts, and I want him so bad, oh it kills 'Cause I know I'm a mess he don't wanna clean up I got to fold 'cause these hands are too shaky to hold Hunger hurts, but starving works, when it costs too much to love Hunger hurts, but I want him so bad, oh it kills 'Cause I know I'm a mess he don't wanna clean up I got to fold 'cause these hands are too shaky to hold Hunger hurts, but starving works, when it costs too much to love Hunger hurts, but I want him so bad, oh it kills Because I know that I'm a mess that he don't wanna clean up I got to fold because these hands are just too shaky to hold Hunger hurts, but starving, it works, when it costs too much to love
Fiona Apple
Work on yourself and never react to the condition. This is the freedom you've got from dharma and karma. When you begin to see the truth in yourself, automatically you will be picked up by the Power That Knows The Way, and you'll be placed in a position or place where you are supposed to be at this time. This is why I tell you so often, there are no mistakes. It appears complicated to the finite mind, but you are in your right place, going through those experiences that are right for you at this time. Only if you are thankful and you bless the position you're in, do you become a higher being, do you lift yourself up, and finally you find liberation. But it begins and ends with you. Never pray to God for release of your problems. Never pray to God to change your life, and to give you something better. This is wrong prayer. If you have to pray to God, pray to God to give you the strength and the wisdom and the courage that you need to be able to handle the situation that you're in. This is correct prayer. Do not try to change anything. Be yourself. Work on yourself. Begin to see things in a new light. See your situation differently. There are no bad things, there are no good things. But thinking makes it so. Stop thinking of the extremes, good and bad, right and wrong. Rather look at yourself in the moment. Stay centered. See yourself as a Divine Being, an Infinite Being, totally free and liberated. Do not feel sorry for yourself because you are in a position and in a situation you don't like. This just holds you there more. And again as we mentioned before, even if you run away from a situation, you will attract some of the circumstances elsewhere. Running away is never the answer. Changing yourself is the answer. (p. 185)
Robert Adams (Silence of the Heart: Dialogues with Robert Adams)
They were living to themselves: self, with its hopes, and promises, and dreams, still had hold of them; but the Lord began to fulfill their prayers. They had asked for contrition, and He sent them sorrow; they had asked for purity, and He sent them thrilling anguish; they had asked to be meek, and He had broken their hearts; they has asked to be dead to the world, and He slew all their living hopes; they had asked to be made like unto Him, and He placed them in the furnace, sitting by "as a refiner of silver," till they should reflect His image; they had asked to lay hold of His cross, and when He had reached it out to them, it lacerated their hands. They had asked they knew not what, nor how; but He had taken them at their word, and granted them all their petitions. They were hardly willing to follow so far, or to draw so nigh to Him. They had upon them an awe and fear, as Jacob at Bethel, or Eliphaz in the night visions, or as the apostles when they thought they had seen the spirit, and knew not that it was Jesus. They could almost pray Him to depart from them, or to hide His awefulness. They found it easier to obey than to suffer--to do than to give up--to bear the cross than to hang upon it: but they cannot go back, for they have come too near the unseen cross, and its virtues have pierced too deeply within them. He is fulfilling to them his promise, "And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me. But now, at last, their turn is come. Before, they had only heard of the mystery, but now they feel it. He has fastened on them His look of love, as He did on Mary and Peter, and they cannot but choose to follow. Little by little, from time to time, by flitting gleams the mystery of His cross shines upon them. They behold Him lifted up--they gaze upon the glory which rays forth from the wound of His holy passion; and as they gaze, they advance, and are changed into His likeness, and His name shines out through them, for he dwells in them. They live alone with Him above, in unspeakable fellowship; willing to lack what others own, and to be unlike all, so that they are only like him. "Such are they in all ages who follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. Had they chosen for themselves, or their friends chosen for them, they would have chosen otherwise. They would have been brighter here, but less glorious in His kingdom. They would have had Lot's portion, not Abraham's. If they had halted anywhere--if He had taken off His hand, and let them stray back--what would they have lost? What forfeits in the morning of the resurrection? But He stayed them up, even against themselves. Many a time their foot had well-nigh slipped; but He, in mercy, held them up; now, even in this life, they know all he did was done well. It was good for them to suffer here, for they shall reign hereafter--to bear the cross below, for they shall wear the crown above; and that not their will but His was done on them.
Elizabeth Payson Prentiss
Mom?” Then again, louder. “Mom?” She turned around so quickly, she knocked the pan off the stove and nearly dropped the gray paper into the open flame there. I saw her reach back and slap her hand against the knobs, twisting a dial until the smell of gas disappeared. “I don’t feel good. Can I stay home today?” No response, not even a blink. Her jaw was working, grinding, but it took me walking over to the table and sitting down for her to find her voice. “How—how did you get in here?” “I have a bad headache and my stomach hurts,” I told her, putting my elbows up on the table. I knew she hated when I whined, but I didn’t think she hated it enough to come over and grab me by the arm again. “I asked you how you got in here, young lady. What’s your name?” Her voice sounded strange. “Where do you live?” Her grip on my skin only tightened the longer I waited to answer. It had to have been a joke, right? Was she sick, too? Sometimes cold medicine did funny things to her. Funny things, though. Not scary things. “Can you tell me your name?” she repeated. “Ouch!” I yelped, trying to pull my arm away. “Mom, what’s wrong?” She yanked me up from the table, forcing me onto my feet. “Where are your parents? How did you get in this house?” Something tightened in my chest to the point of snapping. “Mom, Mommy, why—” “Stop it,” she hissed, “stop calling me that!” “What are you—?” I think I must have tried to say something else, but she dragged me over to the door that led out into the garage. My feet slid against the wood, skin burning. “Wh-what’s wrong with you?” I cried. I tried twisting out of her grasp, but she wouldn’t even look at me. Not until we were at the door to the garage and she pushed my back up against it. “We can do this the easy way or the hard way. I know you’re confused, but I promise that I’m not your mother. I don’t know how you got into this house, and, frankly, I’m not sure I want to know—” “I live here!” I told her. “I live here! I’m Ruby!” When she looked at me again, I saw none of the things that made Mom my mother. The lines that formed around her eyes when she smiled were smoothed out, and her jaw was clenched around whatever she wanted to say next. When she looked at me, she didn’t see me. I wasn’t invisible, but I wasn’t Ruby. “Mom.” I started to cry. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be bad. I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry! Please, I promise I’ll be good—I’ll go to school today and won’t be sick, and I’ll pick up my room. I’m sorry. Please remember. Please!” She put one hand on my shoulder and the other on the door handle. “My husband is a police officer. He’ll be able to help you get home. Wait in here—and don’t touch anything.” The door opened and I was pushed into a wall of freezing January air. I stumbled down onto the dirty, oil-stained concrete, just managing to catch myself before I slammed into the side of her car. I heard the door shut behind me, and the lock click into place; heard her call Dad’s name as clearly as I heard the birds in the bushes outside the dark garage. She hadn’t even turned on the light for me. I pushed myself up onto my hands and knees, ignoring the bite of the frosty air on my bare skin. I launched myself in the direction of the door, fumbling around until I found it. I tried shaking the handle, jiggling it, still thinking, hoping, praying that this was some big birthday surprise, and that by the time I got back inside, there would be a plate of pancakes at the table and Dad would bring in the presents, and we could—we could—we could pretend like the night before had never happened, even with the evidence in the next room over. The door was locked. “I’m sorry!” I was screaming. Pounding my fists against it. “Mommy, I’m sorry! Please!” Dad appeared a moment later, his stocky shape outlined by the light from inside of the house. I saw Mom’s bright-red face over his shoulder; he turned to wave her off and then reached over to flip on the overhead lights.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
She had humor and common sense and she soon knew what she must do. She must have done with her dream world, laugh at the ridiculous Mary who had lived in it and get to know the Mary whom she did not want to know, find out what she was like and what her prospects were. It sounded an easy program but she found it a grueling one. The phantasy world, she discovered, had tentacles like an octopus and cannot be escaped without mortal combat, and when at last her strong will had won the battle it seemed as though she were living in a vacuum, so little had the real world to offer the shy, frustrated, unattractive girl who was the Mary she must live with until she died. But free of the tentacles she was able now to sum up the situation with accuracy. She would not marry and being a gentlewoman no other career was open to her. She was not gifted in any way and she would never be strong and probably never free from pain. She was not a favorite with either of her parents, both of whom were vaguely ashamed of having produced so unattractive a child, and yet she was the one who would have to stay at home with them. The prospect was one of lifelong boredom and seemed to her as bleak as the cold winds that swept across the fens, even at times as terrible as the great Cathedral in whose shadow she must live and die. For at that time she did not love the Cathedral and in her phantasy life the city had merely been the hub from which her radiant dreams stretched out to the wide wheel of the world. What should she do? Her question was not a cry of despair but a genuine and honest with to know. She never knew what put it into her head that she, unloved, should love. Religion for her parents, and therefore for their children, was not much more than a formality and it had not occurred to her to pray about her problem, and yet from somewhere the idea came as though in answer to her question, and sitting in Blanche's Bower with the cat she dispassionately considered it. Could mere loving be a life's work? Could it be a career like marriage or nursing the sick or going on the stage? Could it be adventure?
Elizabeth Goudge (The Dean's Watch)
Or I can stay with Colby when he comes back,” she added deliberately. She even smiled. “He’ll take care of me.” His black eyes narrowed. “He can barely take care of himself,” he said flatly. “He’s a lost soul. He can’t escape the past or face the future without Maureen. He isn’t ready for a relationship with anyone else, even if he thinks he is” She didn’t rise to the bait. “I can count on Colby. He’ll help me if I need it.” He looked frustrated. “But you won’t let me help you.” “Colby isn’t involved with anyone who’d be jealous of the time he spent looking out for me. That’s the difference.” He let out an angry breath and his eyes began to glitter. “You have to beat the subject to death, I guess.” She managed to look indifferent. “You have your own life to live, Tate. I’m not part of it anymore. You’ve made that quite clear.” His teeth clenched. “Is it really that easy for you to throw the past away?” he asked. “That’s what you want,” she reminded him. There was a perverse pleasure in watching his eyes narrow. “You said you’d never forget or forgive me,” she added evenly. “I took you at your word. I’ll always have fond memories of you and Leta. But I’m a grown woman. I have a career, a future. I’ve dragged you down financially for years, without knowing it. Now that I do…” “For God’s sake!” he burst out, rising to pace with his hands clenched in his pockets. “I could have sent you to Harvard if you’d wanted to go there, and never felt the cost! “You’re missing the point,” she said, feeling nausea rise in her throat and praying it wouldn’t overflow. “I could have worked my way through school, paid for my own apartment and expenses. I wouldn’t have minded. But you made me beholden to you in a way I can never repay.” He stopped pacing and glared at her. “Have I asked for repayment?” She smiled in spite of herself. “You look just like Matt when you glower that way.” The glare got worse. She held up a hand. “I know. You don’t want to talk about that. Sorry.” “Everyone else wants to talk about it,” he said irritably. “I’ve done nothing but dodge reporters ever since the story broke. What a hell of a way to do it, on national television!
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
The color-patches of vision part, shift, and reform as I move through space in time. The present is the object of vision, and what I see before me at any given second is a full field of color patches scattered just so. The configuration will never be repeated. Living is moving; time is a live creek bearing changing lights. As I move, or as the world moves around me, the fullness of what I see shatters. “Last forever!” Who hasn’t prayed that prayer? You were lucky to get it in the first place. The present is a freely given canvas. That it is constantly being ripped apart and washed downstream goes without saying; it is a canvas, nevertheless. But there is more to the present than a series of snapshots. We are not merely sensitized film; we have feelings, a memory for information and an eidetic memory for the imagery of our pasts. Our layered consciousness is a tiered track for an unmatched assortment of concentrically wound reels. Each one plays out for all of life its dazzle and blur of translucent shadow-pictures; each one hums at every moment its own secret melody in its own unique key. We tune in and out. But moments are not lost. Time out of mind is time nevertheless, cumulative, informing the present. From even the deepest slumber you wake with a jolt- older, closer to death, and wiser, grateful for breath. But time is the one thing we have been given, and we have been given to time. Time gives us a whirl. We keep waking from a dream we can’t recall, looking around in surprise, and lapsing back, for years on end. All I want to do is stay awake, keep my head up, prop my eyes open, with toothpicks, with trees.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
THE SPANISH JEW'S TALE. THE LEGEND OF RABBI BEN LEVI. Rabbi Ben Levi, on the Sabbath, read A volume of the Law, in which it said, "No man shall look upon my face and live." And as he read, he prayed that God would give His faithful servant grace with mortal eye To look upon His face and yet not die. Then fell a sudden shadow on the page And, lifting up his eyes, grown dim with age, He saw the Angel of Death before him stand, Holding a naked sword in his right hand. Rabbi Ben Levi was a righteous man, Yet through his veins a chill of terror ran. With trembling voice he said, "What wilt thou here?" The angel answered, "Lo! the time draws near When thou must die; yet first, by God's decree, Whate'er thou askest shall be granted thee." Replied the Rabbi, "Let these living eyes First look upon my place in Paradise." Then said the Angel, "Come with me and look." Rabbi Ben Levi closed the sacred book, And rising, and uplifting his gray head, "Give me thy sword," he to the Angel said, "Lest thou shouldst fall upon me by the way." The Angel smiled and hastened to obey, Then led him forth to the Celestial Town, And set him on the wall, whence, gazing down, Rabbi Ben Levi, with his living eyes, Might look upon his place in Paradise. Then straight into the city of the Lord The Rabbi leaped with the Death-Angel's sword, And through the streets there swept a sudden breath Of something there unknown, which men call death. Meanwhile the Angel stayed without, and cried, "Come back!" To which the Rabbi's voice replied, "No! in the name of God, whom I adore, I swear that hence I will depart no more!" Then all the Angels cried, "O Holy One, See what the son of Levi here has done! The kingdom of Heaven he takes by violence, And in Thy name refuses to go hence!" The Lord replied, "My Angels, be not wroth; Did e'er the son of Levi break his oath? Let him remain; for he with mortal eye Shall look upon my face and yet not die." Beyond the outer wall the Angel of Death Heard the great voice, and said, with panting breath, "Give back the sword, and let me go my way." Whereat the Rabbi paused, and answered, "Nay! Anguish enough already has it caused Among the sons of men." And while he paused He heard the awful mandate of the Lord Resounding through the air, "Give back the sword!" The Rabbi bowed his head in silent prayer; Then said he to the dreadful Angel, "Swear, No human eye shall look on it again; But when thou takest away the souls of men, Thyself unseen, and with an unseen sword, Thou wilt perform the bidding of the Lord." The Angel took the sword again, and swore, And walks on earth unseen forevermore.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Tales of a Wayside Inn)
Jack! Pray tell Miss MacFarlane that the roads are impassable." "The roads are impassable," he replied immediately. "And that she should stay at least another day." "You should stay at least another day," he repeated, a twinkle in his eyes. Fiona nodded. "And that she is more then welcome here." "I am certain she knows that." "And how we'd love to have her for another week, at least,and-" Jack laughed and took his wife's hand. "Fiona, my love, I believe Miss MacFarlane is very aware that we both wish her to stay." Sophia had to smile. "I am very flattered, but we really must go. There've been so many unexpected storms that the roads could easily get worse." Jack snorted a laugh while Fiona glanced up the stairs. "Haven't there been," she said grimly before returning to gaze at Sophia. "I am so disappointed you are leaving." There was genuine warmth in Fiona's voice. "I am, too,but I must get back to my father, who has been ill. I was only to be gone one day, and he'll worry if I don't return immediately." "I suppose you can't-" "She's not going anywhere." Sophia closed her eyes at the deep voice from the top of the stairs. Her enitre body had tightened at the sound, traitor that it was. Dougal came down the stairs to stand before Sophia, his expressioin guarded and tense. "Fiona,Jack, would you mind giving me a few moments' private speech with Miss MacFarlane?" "Will you attempt to persuade her to stay?" Fiona asked in a hopeful tone. "Absolutely." His dark gaze never left Sophia. "Very well," his sister said, taking her husband's arm. "Come,Jack. I'm famished." He sent a stern glance at Dougal. "We will be in the breakfast room if we're needed." "You won't be needed," Dougal snapped. "Jack,stop it," Fiona hissed. She tugged him into the breakfast room and closed the door.
Karen Hawkins (To Catch a Highlander (MacLean Curse, #3))
Did you say—you love me?” Sloane took a step back, and Dex held his hands up, praying his partner didn’t do what he looked like he was about to do. Then he remembered his brother was in the room. Double shit. Sloane seemed to sense his thoughts. “Cael knows about us.” “What? When the fuck did that happen?” What in the ever-living fuck of fucks is going on around here? Cael glared at him. “Thanks, bro.” Dex didn’t have time to answer his brother because something in his gut told him he had to do something fast. Sloane was about to bolt. Dex could see it in his eyes. “You didn’t answer my question,” Sloane demanded softly. “And don’t try to play it off. I know you too well by now.” What was he supposed to do? Lie? He could lie. No, he was a shitty liar. But he could…. Fuck it. “Yes. I love you.” “When?” Sloane asked, his voice growing more distant. When? “I don’t know? It’s not like I marked it on my calendar.” “Don’t.” It was a subtle but grave warning. Dex wasn’t trying to be a smartass. It’s just what his brain went to when he was on the verge of freaking out about something. And if there was ever a time to freak out about something, this was it. “I know it’s too soon, which is why I wasn’t going to say anything, but with everything going on, it just slipped.” “So you were going to keep it from me?” Dex felt himself deflate and he shrugged. “What’s the right answer here, Sloane?” There was none. They both knew it. He took a step toward Sloane, his heart breaking when Sloane pulled back. “I need some air,” Sloane said, backing up until he hit the security panel. He turned and entered his security code. Dex could feel it all crumbling around him, and he felt sick to his stomach. Even then, he stayed where he was, refusing to force Sloane. “Can we please talk about this?” “Not right now. I need some space.” The door had barely finished opening before Sloane squeezed through and was off, taking Dex’s heart with him.
Charlie Cochet (Rack & Ruin (THIRDS #3))
Birthing your dreams is like. . . . giving birth. Conceiving the idea is the fun part (hopefully), then you go through insane amounts of fear and excitement and dreaming and planning and vomiting and growing and thinking you’re crazy and thinking you’re awesome and stretching and shape shifting until you’re practically unrecognizable to everyone, even your own self. Along the way you clean up your puke and massage your aching back and apologize to all the people whose heads your ripped of in a hormonal killing spree, but you stay the course because you know this baby of yours is going to be the bomb. Then, finally, just when you can see a light at the end of the tunnel, labor starts. Your innards twist and strangle and force you to stumble around hunched over in the shape of the letter “C” while you breathe and pray and curse and just when you think it can’t get any more out-of-your-mind painful, a giant baby head squeezes out of a tiny hole in your body. Then. A full-blown miracle appears.
Jen Sincero (You Are a Badass®: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life)
 I walk away, feeling Brody’s gaze on me. There’s no doubt that as soon as we get back in the car, I’m going to get it—good. Instead, Brody stays quiet while I assemble the paperwork. He may not be speaking, but he’s saying a whole lot in the silence. “Just say it,” I mumble and finally look over. “I’m not saying a word.” He raises his hands. “Clearly, you two know each other, and it ain’t from growing up here. You tell me everything, so there is no way you wouldn’t have told me you know him,” Brody pauses and leans back. “I’m not saying a word about who you may or may not have slept with recently. Even though, it’s pretty obvious.” “You know, you not saying a word took you a long time.” “It’s not like you’ve had a five-year drought since your divorce. Or that you slept with a singer/actor. Nope. I have nothing to say about that. Not a thing.” I groan. “Could you not say anything for real this time?” “Sure thing, boss. I’ll just be over here, watching Hell start to thaw.” This is not going to get any better. I’d almost rather hear the questions. This is Brody Webber. My partner, my friend, and the one person who I have enough dirt on to make his life hell if he repeats this. “Okay, fine. Yes, I slept with Eli Walsh. I was crazy and dumb. I also had about six beers, which is two over my threshold, and I was trying to be in the moment for once. Fucking Nicole and her pep talks.” Brody coughs a laugh and then recovers. “Sorry, go on.” “I swear, you better keep this to yourself. If you tell anyone . . .” I give him my best threatening face. “I mean anyone, I’ll make your life a living nightmare.” He shakes his head and laughs again. “I won’t say a word, but you had a one-night stand with one of the most famous men in the boy band atmosphere. You’re too cool for me, Heather. I don’t think we can be friends. I’m sure you and the band will be happy without me.” I huff and grab the papers. “I’m getting a new partner.” I walk back over to the car, praying this will be painless
Corinne Michaels (We Own Tonight (Second Time Around, #1))
This (the tendency to revive the old, and just stay with the old) is true not just of Habad but of Hassidim in generally, whether they are in Williamsburg or Mea She’arim. They are pouring all their energies into reliving an anachronism, so much so that there is no energy left over to live in the present. This attempt at living out an anachronism prevents them, not only from interchanging with the world around them, but even from praying properly, or studying, let alone from perceiving the presence of their children or their wives.” (SS: understanding what they need in the presence time and generation). “I’m not anti-tradition. On the contrary, I’ll use anything that will help me get off. I’ve got a great deal invested in the materials of civilization, like language and vocabulary - booba, zeida, cholent, tallis - they’re deeply embedded in the core of my brain, attached to my thalamus, not to the cortex. It would be foolish to deny that they’re not part of my make-up. But, if someone says that I must believe in the God who was active at the time of Moses, or Yohannan ben Zakai, or the Baal Shem Tov, my answer is no.
Zalman Schachter-Shalomi
My husband and I have been a part of the same small group for the past five years.... Like many small groups, we regularly share a meal together, love one another practically, and serve together to meet needs outside our small group. We worship, study God’s Word, and pray. It has been a rich time to grow in our understanding of God, what Jesus has accomplished for us, God’s purposes for us as a part of his kingdom, his power and desire to change us, and many other precious truths. We have grown in our love for God and others, and have been challenged to repent of our sin and trust God in every area of our lives. It was a new and refreshing experience for us to be in a group where people were willing to share their struggles with temptation and sin and ask for prayer....We have been welcomed by others, challenged to become more vulnerable, held up in prayer, encouraged in specific ongoing struggles, and have developed sweet friendships. I have seen one woman who had one foot in the world and one foot in the church openly share her struggles with us. We prayed that God would show her the way of escape from temptation many times and have seen God’s work in delivering her. Her openness has given us a front row seat to see the power of God intersect with her weakness. Her continued vulnerability and growth in godliness encourage us to be humble with one another, and to believe that God is able to change us too. Because years have now passed in close community, God’s work can be seen more clearly than on a week-by-week basis. One man who had some deep struggles and a lot of anger has grown through repenting of sin and being vulnerable one on one and in the group. He has been willing to hear the encouragement and challenges of others, and to stay in community throughout his struggle.... He has become an example in serving others, a better listener, and more gentle with his wife. As a group, we have confronted anxiety, interpersonal strife, the need to forgive, lust, family troubles, unbelief, the fear of man, hypocrisy, unemployment, sickness, lack of love, idolatry, and marital strife. We have been helped, held accountable, and lifted up by one another. We have also grieved together, celebrated together, laughed together, offended one another, reconciled with one another, put up with one another,...and sought to love God and one another. As a group we were saddened in the spring when a man who had recently joined us felt that we let him down by not being sensitive to his loneliness. He chose to leave. I say this because, with all the benefits of being in a small group, it is still just a group of sinners. It is Jesus who makes it worth getting together. Apart from our relationship with him...,we have nothing to offer. But because our focus is on Jesus, the group has the potential to make a significant and life-changing difference in all our lives. ...When 7 o’clock on Monday night comes around, I eagerly look forward to the sound of my brothers and sisters coming in our front door. I never know how the evening will go, what burdens people will be carrying, how I will be challenged, or what laughter or tears we will share. But I always know that the great Shepherd will meet us and that our lives will be richer and fuller because we have been together. ...I hope that by hearing my story you will be encouraged to make a commitment to become a part of a small group and experience the blessing of Christian community within the smaller, more intimate setting that it makes possible. 6
Timothy S. Lane (How People Change)
Jackson. Wait.” He didn’t turn to face me when I finally reached him. Staring at his back, I scrambled for something to say. Why hadn’t I thought this through? In the end, watching him not even turn to face me, anger won out. “What the fuck, Jackson?” “Go back to your fiancée.” With a growl, I gripped his shoulder, forcing him to turn and then shoving him back into the wall. His eyes looked like they were holding back their own storm, daring me to push one more time. I was about to push a whole lot harder if it meant getting something out of him. “Talk to me.” I wanted it to be a command, but it came out as more of a plea. He took a deep breath, closing his eyes. When he opened them, I almost stepped back from how angry they were. “What do you want me to say? You’re not gay,” he sneered, beginning to back me up with each word. “You would never. Which I found pretty damn shocking since you loved being deep inside me, spilling your cum. Fucking me—a man—like a desperate fucking freight train.” He threw my words I’d stupidly sputtered to his brother back in my face. “I’m sorry,” I whispered. “Fuck you,” Jackson growled before bumping my shoulder to walk past me. Digging my hands in my hair, frustration rose inside me, pulling me under, drowning me. I was losing control and I couldn’t breathe because of it. “I’M SORRY, OKAY?” I shouted. “I fucked up. I panicked. This is all new to me—liking a guy. Fooling around with you when I’m engaged. I can’t just talk about it. I fucking panicked and I’m sorry. So fucking sorry.” He let my apology linger, and I held my breath waiting. “Okay.” Okay? Okay? Was he fucking kidding me? I spilled my guts and it was okay? “No. It’s not fucking okay. This isn’t okay.” A fiery burn built behind my eyes, stinging my nose, but I wasn’t going to stop because he finally turned back to me. “I miss you. You won’t touch me, or kiss me, or sit with me, or hold me. Nothing. And I fucking miss you.” I choked on the last few words praying he wouldn’t turn away. It was the most honest I’d been with him—with myself—about my feelings for him. My heart thundered, and hands trembled from how nervous I was. Nervous that the words felt so right coming from my lips. Nervous about what it really meant, that I left Carina behind, so I could chase Jackson down and plead with him to not leave me. “Can we please go back? Can you please forgive me?” It wasn’t just about sex and exploring. Right there in the stairwell, getting lost in him, begging him to stay and care, it hit me. I was falling in love with him. With a man. I was falling in love with Jackson. While my fiancée sat upstairs, I realized I was falling in love with my best friend.
Fiona Cole (Lovers (Voyeur, #2))
In the chapter entitled “You Can’t Pray a Lie” in Twain’s beloved novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck Finn has helped hide Miss Watson’s runaway slave, Jim. But Huck thought he was committing a sin in helping a runaway slave. Huck had learned in Sunday school “that people that acts as I’d been acting … goes to everlasting fire.” So in an act of repentance in order to save his soul, Huck wrote a note to Miss Watson and told her where she could find her runaway slave. Now Huck was ready to pray his “sinner’s prayer” and “get saved.” I felt good and all washed clean of sin for the first time I had ever felt so in my life, and I knowed I could pray now. But I didn’t do it straight off but laid the paper down and set there thinking—thinking how good it was all this happened so, and how near I come to being lost and going to hell. And went on thinking. And got to thinking over our trip down the river; and I see Jim before me all the time: in the day and in the night-time, sometimes moonlight, sometimes storms, and we a-floating along, talking and singing and laughing. But somehow I couldn’t seem to strike no places to harden me against him, but only the other kind. I’d see him standing my watch on top of his’n, ‘stead of calling me, so I could go on sleeping; and see how glad he was when I come back out of the fog; and when I come to him again in the swamp, up there where the feud was; and such-like times; and would always call me honey and pet me and do everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was; and at last I struck the time I saved him by telling the men we had smallpox aboard, and he was so grateful, and said I was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world and the only he’s got now; and then I happened to look around and see the paper. It was a close place. I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a-trembling, because I’d got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: “All right, then, I’ll go to hell”—and tore it up. It was awful thoughts and awful words but they was said. And I let them stay said; and never thought no more about reforming.1 Huck Finn had been shaped by the Christianity he’d found in his Missouri Sunday school—a Christianity focused on heaven in the afterlife while preserving the status quo of the here and now. Huck thought that helping Jim escape from slavery was a sin, because that’s what he had been taught. He knew he couldn’t ask God to forgive him until he was ready to “repent” and betray Jim. Huck didn’t want to go to hell; he wanted to be saved. But Huck loved his friend more, so he was willing to go to hell in order to save his friend from slavery.
Brian Zahnd (A Farewell to Mars: An Evangelical Pastor's Journey Toward the Biblical Gospel of Peace)
Americans need to get off their cell phones—my sons included. Contrary to what you’re thinking, you can live without them. I promise you can operate and function without them. I don’t have one. You don’t have to have one, either. And while you’re at it, get off your desktop computer, laptop, iPad, tablet, reader, and whatever other mobile devices you own. I’ve never figured out how the computer, the very device that was supposed to revolutionize the way we live and save us so much time, ended up occupying so much of our time. Americans can’t stay off them! The IDC study revealed some alarming facts about Americans. Did you know that 79 percent of smartphone users reach for their devices within fifteen minutes of waking up? A majority of them—62 percent—don’t even wait fifteen minutes! I have an idea: why don’t you grab a Bible and read, or lie there in bed and pray or meditate for a few quiet moments? Hey, news flash, folks: I promise you it’s the only quiet time you’re probably going to get in this busy, busy world. Why don’t you take advantage of a few moments of solitude and slow down, Jack? I’m convinced that the Internet and social media in particular, the very things that were supposed to bring us closer together, have actually distanced us from each other more than ever before. They’re destroying the social interaction among humans. We don’t talk to anybody anymore, and we’ve isolated ourselves, spending most of our time in front of a computer or tapping the screens of our smartphones and tablets. We’ve become robots.
Phil Robertson (unPHILtered: The Way I See It)
When we were first born, Spirit was our predominate guide, but as we ‘matured,’ our society quickly cured us of that. I learned later in my studies that any negative moaning I have about my life is only an affirmation of weakness and makes all those around me not want to be there. Life is nothing more than a dance with God; we just need to follow His lead and quit stepping on His toes. We must be able to release the things we hold dearest in order to truly have. I believe you must know the feeling of hunger before you can truly taste and enjoy food, you can only recognize authenticity by experiencing fraud, and you can only experience true love after enduring heartache. Your level of awareness will increase as you experience the rawness of life on your path to becoming more. God never gives you more than you can handle. He is perfect in His teaching. Know that what comes around goes around, and what you’re unable to forgive and let go will stay around. We need to control what we think, what we say, and how we feel. It’s our thoughts that produce our words, and our words lead to our actions. Our actions over time become habits, which form our character. Our character is what unfolds into our reality. Life is not about a future someone, it’s about ‘becoming’ someone and enjoying every step along the way. There’s no need to wait—significance is available right now. If you had to carry your mental seeds of desired reality around with you, growing to an additional nine pounds concentrated in your belly for nine months, and actually give birth to them, they too would become pretty obvious. The problem with most is they don’t care enough to endure the process, so they wind up aborting their dreams before they have a chance to be born. As you begin to do things to close the gap toward your ideal, you will find that life speeds up. Things quicken, and the closer you get to your goal, the faster it comes for you. The ultimate goal is to condition your body and mind so you can manifest ideals instantly—to think like God thinks. Yearning destroys your ability to have. It’s the carrot dangling just beyond your nose that you will never taste. When you’re obsessed with something you become out of balance and this imbalance creates a barrier between you and what you want. You become too emotionally attached to accept it. We must know the price of our obsessions and refuse to pay it. If Spirit cannot overcome ego and move away from the ways of the world, we will be destined to repeat it. We will die only to perpetuate death. In the beginning of my spiritual quest, I felt left out, alone, and cold. Wandering around in the darkness of my human nature, I came upon a door, and on the door was the word heaven. I knocked on the door but no one answered. I returned back every day, hoping to get someone to hear me and let me in. I became increasingly frustrated, finding myself angrily pounding on the door, but it wouldn’t open. Exhausted, I finally fell to my knees at the foot of the door and prayed, “Please, God, let me in!” The door immediately cracked open. I realized I had been knocking from the inside.
Doug Burnett
The other thing preferable about the weekday services is that no one is there against his will. That’s another distraction on Sundays. Who hasn’t suffered the experience of having an entire family seated in the pew in front of you, the children at war with each other and sandwiched between the mother and father who are forcing them to go to church? An aura of stale arguments almost visibly clings to the hasty clothing of the children. “This is the one morning I can sleep in!” the daughter’s linty sweater says. “I get so bored!” says the upturned collar of the son’s suit jacket. Indeed, the children imprisoned between their parents move constantly and restlessly in the pew; they are so crazy with self-pity, they seem ready to scream. The stern-looking father who occupies the aisle seat has his attention interrupted by fits of vacancy—an expression so perfectly empty accompanies his sternness and his concentration that I think I glimpse an underlying truth to the man’s churchgoing: that he is doing it only for the children, in the manner that some men with much vacancy of expression are committed to a marriage. When the children are old enough to decide about church for themselves, this man will stay home on Sundays. The frazzled mother, who is the lesser piece of bread to this family sandwich—and who is holding down that part of the pew from which the most unflattering view of the preacher in the pulpit is possible (directly under the preacher’s jowls)—is trying to keep her hand off her daughter’s lap. If she smooths out her daughter’s skirt only one more time, both of them know that the daughter will start to cry. The son takes from his suit jacket pocket a tiny, purple truck; the father snatches this away—with considerable bending and crushing of the boy’s fingers in the process. “Just one more obnoxious bit of behavior from you,” the father whispers harshly, “and you will be grounded—for the rest of the day.” “The whole rest of the day?” the boy says, incredulous. The apparent impossibility of sustaining unobnoxious behavior for even part of the day weighs heavily on the lad, and overwhelms him with a claustrophobia as impenetrable as the claustrophobia of church itself. The daughter has begun to cry. “Why is she crying?” the boy asks his father, who doesn’t answer. “Are you having your period?” the boy asks his sister, and the mother leans across the daughter’s lap and pinches the son’s thigh—a prolonged, twisting sort of pinch. Now he is crying, too. Time to pray! The kneeling pads flop down, the family flops forward. The son manages the old hymnal trick; he slides a hymnal along the pew, placing it where his sister will sit when she’s through praying. “Just one more thing,” the father mutters in his prayers. But how can you pray, thinking about the daughter’s period? She looks old enough to be having her period, and young enough for it to be the first time. Should you move the hymnal before she’s through praying and sits on it? Should you pick up the hymnal and bash the boy with it? But the father is the one you’d like to hit; and you’d like to pinch the mother’s thigh, exactly as she pinched her son. How can you pray?
John Irving (A Prayer for Owen Meany)
My roommate has a gerbil,” Ryan said, grinning. “The little guy got loose and crapped all over my bed. It’s just been a crazy day.” Nodding at his silly story, I heard a familiar voice. “That’s fucking fascinating,” Judd said from behind me. “Then, what happened?” Judd was stalking me apparently. He pulled a chair to the table. “What are we having for dinner?” “Who are you exactly?” Ryan asked. “Tawny’s man. I don’t do names or handshakes, so save it, kid.” When Ryan looked at me for help, I shook my head. “I have no control over him. If I did, he wouldn’t be here.” “Oh, don’t be like that,” Judd said, caressing the back of my hair. “I like that sweater on you. Very autumn. Looks good with your eyes.” “Please, go away.” “I can’t. I’m your ride tonight.” “Should I leave?” Ryan asked. Judd glanced at my date. “Just catch onto that, did you?” Ryan stood up. “See you around, Tawny.” “Can’t you stay and ignore him?” Judd’s eyes narrowed. “No, he can’t.” “We can still talk,” I said, praying Ryan would stay. “He might leave if we treat him like static in the background.” Ryan considered staying until Judd’s amused expression faded. “She’s not fucking you, if that’s what you’re holding out for. In fact, you ain’t even getting a goodnight kiss. Well, unless you want that to be the last thing your lips ever do before I rip them off your face.” “I’m going to leave,” Ryan said, giving me a tight smile. “See you around.” “If you see her,” Judd growled, “you just keep on walking.” Nodding, Ryan hurried away, leaving me alone with Judd who switched into the seat across from me. “Alone at last.
Bijou Hunter (Damaged and the Knight (Damaged, #2))
some older people who need to sit down, Barb. We can’t put chairs out. I don’t want them to get too comfy or we’ll never get rid of them.’ ‘Oh, you’re being ridiculous.’ Henry is thinking that this is a fine time to call him ridiculous. He never wanted the stupid vigil. In bed last night they had another spit-whispered row about it. We could have it at the front of the house, Barbara had said when the vicar called by. Henry had quite explicitly said he would not support anything churchy – anything that would feel like a memorial service. But the vicar had said the idea of a vigil was exactly the opposite. That the community would like to show that they have not given up. That they continue to support the family. To pray for Anna’s safe return. Barbara was delighted and it was all agreed. A small event at the house. People would walk from the village, or park on the industrial estate and walk up the drive. ‘This was your idea, Barbara.’ ‘The vicar’s, actually. People just want to show support. That is what this is about.’ ‘This is ghoulish, Barb. That’s what this is.’ He moves the tractor across the yard again, depositing two more bales of straw alongside the others. ‘There. That should be enough.’ Henry looks across at his wife and is struck by the familiar contradiction. Wondering how on earth they got here. Not just since Anna disappeared, but across the twenty-two years of their marriage. He wonders if all marriages end up like this. Or if he is simply a bad man. For as Barbara sweeps her hair behind her ear and tilts up her chin, Henry can still see the full lips, perfect teeth and high cheekbones that once made him feel so very differently. It’s a pendulum that still confuses him, makes him wish he could rewind. To go back to the Young Farmers’ ball, when she smelled so divine and everything seemed so easy and hopeful. And he is wishing, yes, that he could go back and have another run. Make a better job of it. All of it. Then he closes his eyes. The echo again of Anna’s voice next to him in the car. You disgust me, Dad. He wants the voice to stop. To be quiet. Wants to rewind yet again. To when Anna was little and loved him, collected posies on Primrose Lane. To when he was her hero and she wanted to race him back to the house for tea. Barbara is now looking across the yard to the brazier. ‘You’re going to light a fire, Henry?’ ‘It will be cold. Yes.’ ‘Thank you. I’m doing soup in mugs, too.’ A pause then. ‘You really think this is a mistake, Henry? I didn’t realise it would upset you quite so much. I’m sorry.’ ‘It’s OK, Barbara. Let’s just make the best of it now.’ He slams the tractor into reverse and moves it out of the yard and back into its position inside the barn. There, in the semi-darkness, his heartbeat finally begins to settle and he sits very still on the tractor, needing the quiet, the stillness. It was their reserve position, to have the vigil under cover in this barn, if the weather was bad. But it has been a fine day. Cold but with a clear, bright sky, so they will stay out of doors. Yes. Henry rather hopes the cold will drive everyone home sooner, soup or no soup. And now he thinks he will sit here for a while longer, actually. Yes. It’s nice here alone in the barn. He finds
Teresa Driscoll (I Am Watching You)
Footsteps behind her in the dark startled her out of her misery. She automtically reached for her knife, but a familiar voice broke the stillness. "The stars say it is not safe for women to be out alone." He did not sit down beside her, but waited for her to get up. Jesse straightened her back, wiped away tears,and stayed seated. "I needed to be alone....away from...I needed to pray." "Then I will leave you to your prayers." Something was gone from the well-known voice. Gentle concern had always been there for her.Where was it,now, when she needed it so much? He had already turned to go.She knew he would not go far.He would wait out of sight, watching to see that she was safe.But she did not want him out of sight. "No,I am finished.I..." her voice wavered. "There is no answer to my prayers." "There is always an answer.But the answer is not always what we want to hear." The truth of the simple reply cut deep.The answer to her plea for children was no. She couldn't understand it.She didn't want to accept it.But for years, now,the answer had been there.She knew it,but she couldn't bear it.Tears welled fresh in her eyes.He couldn't see them.The dark offered protection and enabled Rides the WInd to speak his fears. "I have had prayers too. I have prayed that you would learn to be happy among the Lakota.But you tell me of the white man's count of years.You talk of all the time that you have been here.I have not wanted to hear the answer to my prayers.The answer is no. I have prayed to know how to make the smile return to your face." The voice grew so quiet that she could barely hear the words, "Now I see that I cannot.You must tell me what you wish.Two Mothers is grown,now.You have done well among the people.You do not need to fear telling me that it is time for you to go.I am not like the others...I will not make you stay." He cleared his throat and forced the words out calmly. "The line of your people crossing the prairie never stops. We are a small band.We have tried to stay away from them.Now, I will take you to them.
Stephanie Grace Whitson (Walks The Fire (Prairie Winds, #1))
It was said that the Old Folk controlled the power of fire, among other things, but that was in the Long and Long Ago. Before that, the fathers of the Old Folk caught a spark with flint and steel and their own desire to live. It was also said that the world was a great wheel, and everything came round to what it once had been, and so Steven Boughmount knelt in the snow with rocks in his hands, trying to catch a flame. He was having little luck. Just over the low hills, beyond this scrub of forest, the village was warm and sleeping behind its wall. That’s where I should be, Steven thought as he scraped the edge of one rock against the other. Not in bed, not yet, but stretched out in my chair with my feet up, a pipe smoking just right in my hand and Heather curled up beside me. The boys are all asleep, but maybe we’ll stay up for a while. Maybe we’ll move to the bedroom, maybe not. That’s where I should be, not up to my ass in snow trying to light a fire. “C’mon, bastard,” he said, and drug the sharp edge of the rock in his right hand against the flat of the one in his left. A white spark flew, and then died before it could reach the stripped branches and dried moss he had laid out on the frozen ground. Snow crunched somewhere off to the left of him. Steven heard soft, bare footsteps. They were coming, all right. And they were in a hurry, running toward a village protected by two drunks on either side of a leaning gate. That was why Steven sat in the snow. When the Guards slept, the Hunters went to work. And what sounded like a whole clan of goblins was passing him by because he couldn’t get a damn fire lit. Steven drew his sword. It was called Fangodoom, given to him by his mother just before she died. Fangodoom was a dwarf blade, of steel mined and forged deep within the Lyme Mountains centuries ago. Goblins near, the blade all but gleamed though there wasn’t any moon. Again he wondered if this would be the last time, and again he knew that if it was, it was. His hand turned into a fist on the hilt of his weapon, and he prayed. “Lord, make me Your hammer.
Michael Kanuckel (Winter's Heart)
Katie!” he yelled, gripping my shoulder and leaning in to look into my eyes. “Stay with me.” The distant sound of sirens filled the air, and I knew within minutes the place would be swarming with police officers and firefighters. It was minutes I wouldn’t have had. If Holt hadn’t gotten here when he did, I would likely be dead right now. That had me looking up. “What are you doing here?” I asked. “I came by to check on you. I was worried.” “How did you know where I was?” I said, suspicion leaking into my tone. He crouched down in front of me, my feet between his legs. “I saw your car in the lot,” he explained. “I knew you worked at the library nearby, so I thought you might pick somewhere close to stay.” My shoulders sagged. He put a hand under my chin and lifted my face. “Look at me,” he demanded. I looked up. “Do you think this was me?” “No,” I said, ashamed of the catch in my voice. I really didn’t think he did this, but I was scared and I was so very tired. “Can I touch you?” he asked, his voice calm. I looked up, surprised that he didn’t sound angry. I nodded. He yanked me forward, folding his arms around me and standing up, bringing me with him. My feet touched the ground, but they didn’t support me. His arms, his body kept me up. He wrapped himself around me like I was a hand and he was a glove. I clung to the front of his shirt, praying he wouldn’t let me go. When his grip tightened, I sighed in relief. His clean scent encompassed me, pushing away some of the smoke, and tears prickled my eyes. When the emergency trucks swerved into the lot, my muscles tensed at the thought he would release me, that he would push me away and deal with the fire. But he didn’t. He didn’t let go. Not once. Even when some of the men he must work with came running up—addressing him by his last name and exclaiming over what happened. He spoke calmly over my head, telling them everything he knew and telling them I wasn’t ready to talk. He didn’t seem embarrassed to be holding me so close in the center of a parking lot. He didn’t act like being seen in a vulnerable position like this wounded his pride at all.
Cambria Hebert (Torch (Take It Off, #1))
Sometimes when we’re being tested by discouragement, it seems God is silent. We pray and we don’t hear anything. We read the Scripture and still come away feeling like God is a million miles away. But remember, this is a test. When you’re in school, teachers never talk during tests. They stand up at the front of the room very quietly just watching all of the students taking the exam. The teachers have been preparing you in the days and weeks prior to the test. Often, they’ve put in extra hours making sure everyone has the opportunity to succeed. On test day, they want to see if you’ve learned the lessons. They know that you have the information you need. They know you’re prepared. You’re ready. Now all you’ve got to do is put into practice what you’ve learned. God works the same way as your teachers here on earth. When He is silent, don’t assume He has left you. He is right there with you during the test. The silence means only that God has prepared you, and now He is watching to see if you have learned. He would not give you the test unless He knew you were ready. God is not mad at you when He is silent. He has not forsaken you. His silence is a sign that He has great confidence in you. He knows you have what it takes. He knows you will come through the test victoriously or He would not have permitted you to be tested. The key is to remain upbeat and not be discouraged or bitter. Put into practice what you’ve learned. Stay in faith. Hang on to your happiness. Treat others kindly. Be a blessing. If you do that, you will pass the test and flourish in a new season. God will bring things out of you that you didn’t even know were in you. Understand, if you don’t allow the enemy to discourage you, one of his greatest weapons has been lost. Today is a new day. God is breathing new hope into your heart and new vision into your spirit. He is the Glory and the lifter of our heads. Look up with a fresh vision, and God will do for you what He promised David. He will lift you out of the pit. He will set your feet on a rock. He will put a new song in your heart. You won’t drag through life defeated and depressed. You will soar through life full of joy, full of faith, full of victory.
Joel Osteen (Every Day a Friday: How to Be Happier 7 Days a Week)
Hey…you okay?” Marlboro Man repeated. My heart fluttered in horror. I wanted to jump out of the bathroom window, scale down the trellis, and hightail it out of there, forgetting I’d ever met any of these people. Only there wasn’t a trellis. And outside the window, down below, were 150 wedding guests. And I was sweating enough for all of them combined. I was naked and alone, enduring the flop sweat attack of my life. It figured. It was usually the times I felt and looked my absolute best when I wound up being humbled in some colossally bizarre way. There was the time I traveled to my godmother’s son’s senior prom in a distant city and partied for an hour before realizing the back of my dress was stuck inside my panty hose. And the time I entered the after-party for my final Nutcracker performance and tripped on a rug, falling on one of the guest performers and knocking an older lady’s wineglass out of her frail arms. You’d think I would have come to expect this kind of humiliation on occasions when it seemed like everything should be going my way. “You need anything?” Marlboro Man continued. A drop of sweat trickled down my upper lip. “Oh, no…I’m fine!” I answered. “I’ll be right out! You go on back to the party!” Go on, now. Run along. Please. I beg you. “I’ll be out here,” he replied. Dammit. I heard his boots travel a few steps down the hall and stop. I had to get dressed; this was getting ridiculous. Then, as I stuck my big toe into the drenched leg of my panty hose, I heard what I recognized as Marlboro Man’s brother Tim’s voice. “What’s she doing in there?” Tim whispered loudly, placing particularly uncomfortable emphasis on “doing.” I closed my eyes and prayed fervently. Lord, please take me now. I no longer want to be here. I want to be in Heaven with you, where there’s zero humidity and people aren’t punished for their poor fabric choices. “I’m not sure,” Marlboro Man answered. The geyser began spraying again. I had no choice but to surge on, to get dressed, to face the music in all my drippy, salty glory. It was better than staying in the upstairs bathroom of his grandmother’s house all night. God forbid Marlboro Man or Tim start to think I had some kind of feminine problem, or even worse, constipation or diarrhea! I’d sooner move to another country and never return than to have them think such thoughts about me.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
His phone dinged again. “This crazy-ass voicemail. It’s all jacked—Wait, when did you call me?” “Please don’t listen to that,” I blurted. He grinned. “Okay, now I have to hear it. Was this last night? Were you drunk? Did you drunk-dial me?” he teased. But it was too late, he’d already lifted the phone. Bile rose in my throat and the room became a thousand degrees hotter. “Please. Don’t.” “Why? What’s wrong?” He grew quiet and listened. “I don’t hear anything. Wait. You didn’t mean to call, did you? Is that another guy?” I put my face in my hands. Cade was quiet as he listened. And I prayed for a giant black hole to open and swallow me. His phone made a soft thump as he tossed it onto the coffee table. The couch moved with him as he settled back. “You can uncover your face now.” His tone didn’t sound angry but I still couldn’t face him. His hands slid around my wrists and gently tugged, forcing me to lower them. I swallowed the lump in my throat, annoyed that I didn’t even have my own car to leave. “Was that your roommate?” he asked. I nodded, my face still tucked down. “And…her boyfriend?” “No, her best friend.” “So you told your roommate about me?” I could hear the smile in his voice and looked up. “I mean, I assume you don’t know a bunch of ‘therapy dog’ guys named Cade, but I could be wrong.” “You aren’t pissed about what you heard?” “All I heard were some friends teasing you…about me. They think you want me. Bad.” He grinned. “And what I said?” “Were you serious? Because to me you sounded annoyed, maybe even defensive. And considering you stayed home last night and are with me tonight, I don’t think you really planned a, how did you put it? ‘Weekend fuckfest.’ ” He bit back a smile. “You were never supposed to hear that.” I crossed my arms. “And I expected you to be upset, not tease me about it.” He grabbed my hand. “C’mon, I’m sorry. Did you want to have a weekend fuckfest? I don’t want to interfere with your plans.” He tugged my hand, urging me to look up. “Look, we can have one. I’m game. Don’t stop on account of me.” “Shut up.” His hand made its way to my arm and he slid me along the leather couch, and tucked me into him. “Quit being all grumpy. I’m RSVPing to your fuckfest. I mean, I’ve never had one, but it seems pretty self-explanatory.” “You’re an asshole.” And by that I really meant the most perfect fucking guy ever. Who hears something like that and plays it totally cool? “So, am I also supposed to bend you over a table or something? Because I think your roommate might have mentioned that as well.” I shoved him back while trying hard not to smile. “I hate you.” He laughed and scooped me into his lap. “If it makes you feel any better, my roommate knows I have the hots for you too.” I rolled my eyes
Renita Pizzitola (Just a Little Flirt (Crush, #2))
One letter was addressed to me personally in large, shaky handwriting with little circles over the i's instead of dots. [...] It was from Sid. Dear Debbie [Nancy's mother], Thank you for phoning me the other night. It was so comforting to hear your voice. You are the only person who really understands how much Nancy and I love each other. Every day without Nancy gets worse and worse. I just hope that when I die I go the same place as her. Otherwise I will never find peace. Frank [Nancy's father] said in the paper that Nancy was born in pain and lived in pain all her life. When I first met her, and for about six months after that, I spent practically the whole time in tears. Her pain was just too much to bear. Because, you see, I felt Nancy's pain as though it were my own, worse even. But she said that I must be strong for her or otherwise she would have to leave me. So I became strong for her, and she began to stop having asthma attacks and seemed to be going through a lot less pain. [Nancy had had asthma since she was a child.] I realized that she had never known love and was desperately searching for someone to love her. It was the only thing she really needed. I gave her the love that she needed so badly and it comforts me to know that I made her very happy during the time we were together, where she had only known unhappiness before. Oh Debbie, I love her with such passion. Every day is agony without her. I know now that it is possible to die from a broken heart. Because when you love someone as much as we love each other, they become fundamental to your existence. So I will die soon, even if I don't kill myself. I guess you could say that I'm pining for her. I could live without food or .water longer than I'm going to survive without Nancy. Thank you so much for understanding us, Debbie. It means so much to me, and I know it meant a lot to Nancy. She really loves you, and so do I. How did she know when she was going to die? I always prayed that she was wrong, but deep inside I knew she was right. Nancy was a very special person, too beautiful for this world. I feel so privileged to have loved her and been loved by her. Oh Debbie, it was such a beautiful love. I can't go on without it. When we first met, we knew we were made for each other, and fell in love with each other immediately. We were totally inseparable and were never apart. We had certain telepathic abilities, too. I remember about nine months after we met, I left Nancy for a while. After a couple of weeks of being apart, I had a strange feeling that Nancy was dying. I went straight to the place she was staying and when I saw her, I knew it was true. I took her home with me and nursed her back to health, but I knew that if I hadn't bothered she would have died. Nancy was just a poor baby, desperate for love. It made me so happy to give her love, and believe me, no man ever loved a woman with such burning passion as I love Nancy. I never even looked at others. No one was as beautiful as my Nancy. Enclosed is a poem I wrote for her. It kind of sums up how much I love her. If possible, I would love to see you before I die. You are the only one who understood. Love, Sid XXX.
Deborah Spungen (And I Don't Want to Live This Life: A Mother's Story of Her Daughter's Murder)
to stay! It was another answer to prayer, and I graciously accepted her offer. When the service began, I was not surprised to hear the angelic hosts join with the worship team. In fact, several people in the church testified to hearing the angels. After the service, we traveled to Tim Horton’s for a late dinner. We returned to Botwood to find Margaret waiting for us, and she kindly directed us to our separate rooms for the night. The Holy Spirit was still hovering very close to me, and as soon as the door closed behind my host, the Lord began to speak to me. I immediately began to pray and worship the Lord. Once again, the Lord had me begin reading from Revelation 4. It was about 3:30 A.M. when I fell into a peaceful sleep praying in the Spirit. I awoke to the sound of the Lord’s voice speaking to me. “Kevin, get up; it’s time to go to work.” I opened my eyes and looked around the room. My mind began to race. I looked at the clock, and it was just 5:00 A.M. I had only been asleep for a short while. I sleepily said, “Lord, what could you possibly want me to do at this hour?” “Walk downstairs and prophesy to Margaret,” He said. I protested, “Lord, I don’t even know Margaret.” He said, “Don’t worry. I know her. Just say what I tell you to say.” “But Lord, It’s only 5 A.M., and nobody is awake at 5 A.M.” He answered, “Margaret is awake. She is in the kitchen. She is praying and having tea and a scone. Go to her now.” In my natural mind this seemed totally insane! Me? Prophesy? Suddenly the anointing and presence of the Lord intensified, and I found myself dressed. The next thing I knew I was walking down the hallway toward the stairs. All at once, there was a still, small voice speaking into my left ear. I was being told many things about Margaret. I was hearing the secrets of her heart. When I walked into the kitchen, she was there. She was having tea and a scone. I asked her what she was doing, and she told me that she was praying. PROPHESYING ABOUT ANGELS I said, “Margaret, I think God wants me to tell you something!” Her eyes grew as big as saucers as I launched into a litany of words about angels. I was as shocked as she was! I was able to speak in great detail about angels to her. “Your angel is very precious to you, and it has a name; your angel’s name is Charity. Your very nature is much like your angel. You are full of the love of God. The Lord is going to open your eyes to see your angel again. It is going to happen soon.” Somewhere in the middle of this heavenly utterance Margaret burst into tears! Then something else rather extraordinary began to happen. Gold dust began to rain down into the kitchen! Gold started to cover the kitchen table and our faces. After a few minutes, Margaret regained her composure, and I took a seat at the table with her. She shared with me her journey and how God had always ministered to her using the realm of angels as confirmation of everything that I had just spoken to her. We continued to fellowship together while enjoying tea and scones for the next hour and a half. Margaret gave me a copy of the book, Good Morning, Holy Spirit. Later, I took this Benny Hinn book along with me into the wilderness of Newfoundland where I had a life-changing encounter with the Holy Spirit in a tiny cabin. Margaret and I were joined by two friends for breakfast, and the Lord continued to move. Jennifer received the revelation that she was supposed to give an angel’s feather she had found to our hostess.
Kevin Basconi (How to Work with Angels in Your Life: The Reality of Angelic Ministry Today (Angels in the Realms of Heaven, Book 2))
It is the last evening at home. Everyone is silent. I go to bed early, I seize the pillow, press it against myself and bury my head in it. Who knows if I will ever lie in a feather bed again? Late in the night my mother comes into my room. She thinks I am asleep, and I pretend to be so. To talk, to stay awake with one another, it is too hard. She sits long into the night although she is in pain and often writhes. At last I can bear it no longer, and pretend I have just wakened up. ”Go and sleep, Mother, you will catch cold here.” ”I can sleep enough later,” she says. I sit up. ”I don’t go straight back to the front, mother. I have to do four weeks at the training camp. I may come over from there one Sunday, perhaps.” She is silent. Then she asks gently: ”Are you very much afraid?” ”No Mother.” ”I would like to tell you to be on your guard against the women out in France. They are no good.” Ah! Mother, Mother! You still think I am a child–why can I not put my head in your lap and weep? Why have I always to be strong and self-controlled? I would like to weep and be comforted too, indeed I am little more than a child; in the wardrobe still hang short, boy’s trousers–it is such a little time ago, why is it over? ”Where we are there aren’t any women, Mother,” I say as calmly as I can. ”And be very careful at the front, Paul.” Ah, Mother, Mother! Why do I not take you in my arms and die with you. What poor wretches we are! ”Yes Mother, I will.” ”I will pray for you every day, Paul.” Ah! Mother, Mother! Let us rise up and go out, back through the years, where the burden of all this misery lies on us no more, back to you and me alone, mother! ”Perhaps you can get a job that is not so dangerous.” ”Yes, Mother, perhaps I can get into the cookhouse, that can easily be done.” ”You do it then, and if the others say anything–” ”That won’t worry me, mother–” She sighs. Her face is a white gleam in the darkness. ”Now you must go to sleep, Mother.” She does not reply. I get up and wrap my cover round her shoulders. She supports herself on my arm, she is in pain. And so I take her to her room. I stay with her a little while. ”And you must get well again, Mother, before I come back.” ”Yes, yes, my child.” ”You ought not to send your things to me, Mother. We have plenty to eat out there. You can make much better use of them here.” How destitute she lies there in her bed, she that loves me more than all the world. As I am about to leave, she says hastily: ”I have two pairs of under-pants for you. They are all wool. They will keep you warm. You must not forget to put them in your pack.” Ah! Mother! I know what these under-pants have cost you in waiting, and walking, and begging! Ah! Mother, Mother! how can it be that I must part from you? Who else is there that has any claim on me but you. Here I sit and there you are lying; we have so much to say, and we shall never say it. ”Good-night, Mother.” ”Good-night, my child.” The room is dark. I hear my mother’s breathing, and the ticking of the clock. Outside the window the wind blows and the chestnut trees rustle. On the landing I stumble over my pack, which lies there already made up because I have to leave early in the morning. I bite into my pillow. I grasp the iron rods of my bed with my fists. I ought never to have come here. Out there I was indifferent and often hopeless;–I will never be able to be so again. I was a soldier, and now I am nothing but an agony for myself, for my mother, for everything that is so comfortless and without end. I ought never to have come on leave.
Erich Maria Remarque (All Quiet on the Western Front)
her power now that she had lost the hair. So when the bride had finished drinking, and would have got upon Falada again, the maid said, "I shall ride upon Falada, and you may have my horse instead;" so she was forced to give up her horse, and soon afterwards to take off her royal clothes, and put on her maid's shabby ones. At last, as they drew near the end of the journey, this treacherous servant threatened to kill her mistress if she ever told anyone what had happened. But Falada saw it all, and marked it well. Then the waiting-maid got upon Falada, and the real bride was set upon the other horse, and they went on in this way till at last they came to the royal court. There was great joy at their coming, and the prince hurried to meet them, and lifted the maid from her horse, thinking she was the one who was to be his wife; and she was led upstairs to the royal chamber, but the true princess was told to stay in the court below. However, the old king happened to be looking out of the window, and saw her in the yard below; and as she looked very pretty, and too delicate for a waiting-maid, he went into the royal chamber to ask the bride whom it was she had brought with her, that was thus left standing in the court below. "I brought her with me for the sake of her company on the road," said she. "Pray give the girl some work to do, that she may not be idle." The old king could not for some time think of any work for her, but at last he said, "I have a lad who takes care of my geese; she may go and help him." Now the name of this lad, that the real bride was to help in watching the king's geese, was Curdken. Soon after, the false bride said to the prince, "Dear husband, pray do me one piece of kindness." "That I will," said the prince. "Then tell one of your slaughterers to cut off the head of the horse I rode upon, for it was very unruly, and plagued me sadly on the road." But the truth was, she was very much afraid lest Falada should speak, and tell all she had done to the princess. She carried her point, and the faithful Falada was killed; but when the true princess heard of it she wept, and begged the man to nail up Falada's head against a large dark gate in the city through which she had to pass every morning and evening, that there she might still see him sometimes. Then the slaughterer said he would do as she wished, so he cut off the head and nailed it fast under the dark gate. Early the next morning, as the princess and Curdken went out through the gate, she said sorrowfully— "Falada, Falada, there thou art hanging!" and the head answered— "Bride, bride, there thou are ganging! Alas! alas! if thy mother knew it, Sadly, sadly her heart would rue it." Then they went out of the city, driving the geese. And when they came to the meadow, the princess sat down upon a bank there and let down her waving locks of hair, which were all of pure gold; and when Curdken saw it glitter in the sun, he ran up, and would have pulled some of the locks out; but she cried— "Blow, breezes, blow! Let Curdken's hat go! Blow breezes, blow! Let him after it go! "O'er hills, dales, and rocks, Away be it whirl'd, Till the golden locks Are all comb'd and curl'd!" Then there came a wind, so strong that it blew off Curdken's hat, and away it flew over the hills, and he after it; till, by the time he came back, she had done combing and curling her hair, and put it up again safely. Then he was very angry and sulky, and would not speak to her at all; but they watched the geese until it grew dark in the evening, and then drove them homewards. The next morning, as they were going through the dark gate, the poor girl looked up at Falada's head, and cried— "Falada, Falada, there thou art hanging!" and it answered— "Bride, bride, there thou are ganging! Alas! alas! if thy mother knew it, Sadly, sadly her heart would rue it." Then she drove on the geese and sat down again in the meadow, and began to comb
Jacob Grimm (Grimm's Fairy Stories)
In Shushan the citadel there was a certain Jew whose name was Mordecai the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite. Kish had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captives who had been captured with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away. Esther 2:5-6 Mordecai is a Jew living in Shushan (remember from last week — this is the city that Darius established as the capital). His great-grandfather is Kish the Benjamite, who was brought to Persia / Babylon during the Babylonian captivity. Even though King Cyrus ended the captivity many years ago, many Jews have remained in Persia. Mordecai’s family was among them. Mordecai’s heritage is an vital part of God’s plan, so let’s be careful not to over look this important detail. God always has a remnant of people. Even though Mordecai is no longer captive to the will of man keeping him in exile, he is still captive to the will of God. As a result of his obedience to God, Mordecai remained in Persia even after he was free to leave. God has promised to protect His people, and His plan is in action. Mordecai is an important part of that plan! Also important to note is that this the historian’s first mention of Jews living in Persia. Mordecai descending from Kish the Benjamite is interesting, because another important biblical figure also descended from Kish: Israel’s first king, Saul. Saul was Kish’s son (1 Samuel 9:1). While this point may not seem important in a history of Ahasuerus, the ancestry of this Jew is very important in the history of Persia. Mordecai’s most important connection is about to be introduced to us: his cousin, Esther. “And Mordecai had brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter, for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman was lovely and beautiful. When her father and mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter.” Esther 2:7 Ahasuerus is not the only one in Persia busy preparing; Mordecai is preparing as well. For many years now, he has been preparing Esther, raising her for the future that God intended for her. As you prepare, consider that you might be preparing for a future you do not know anything about; and that you may be preparing someone other than yourself. Mordecai’s first step was to obey God. Certainly it was God who told him to stay with Esther in Persia, even after her parents had died. We are never told that Mordecai had married; what reason was there for him to stay in Persia? Even so, Mordecai stayed in Persia with Esther and raised her as his own daughter. Raising her was a process, and he had to depend on the Lord to know the right thing to do. He had no way of predicting what would happen in her life or his, but he was obedient during the process (remember Jeremiah 29?). Mordecai was preparing Esther for a future he did not know anything about yet, but Mordecai knew something that we need to keep in our hearts as well: serving God every day will develop qualities in us that will serve us well, whatever the future may hold. Mordecai was preparing Esther to be faithful to God, knowing that quality could only help her in her life. Mordecai did not know what God had in store for Esther — but he did know that God had a plan for her, just as He has a plan for all of us. Mordecai poured his life into her. Is there someone that you are supposed to be pouring your life into? Perhaps while reading this history, you are identifying with Esther. Maybe you are an “Esther”, but consider that you may be a “Mordecai”. It is likely you will identify with both of them at different seasons in your life. Pray that you will be able to discern those seasons. Mordecai and Esther are cousins. Sometime after the Jews were carried away to Persia, Esther’s parents died. Out of the heartbreaking tragedy of losing her parents, God’s providence was still at work. His word promises that in the hands of the Lord, “all things work together for good to those who
Jennifer Spivey (Esther: Reflections From An Unexpected Life)