Like I posted last year for this blog on Easter Sunday, I'm still washing my hands while singing three times: "Happy Easter to you, Happy Easter to you, Happy Easter to Jesus, Happy Easter to you." With my hands coming together, I'm also often praying while washing my hands. I'm very thankful that I now have had both doses of a COVID-19 vaccination. I'm also praying often for our world to have a quick recovery from this pandemic.
Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. I often think of the idea of love and how it's connected to God. His love for humanity is evident in the life and sacrifice of his son Jesus Christ.
I took the photo in this blog posting in January 2020 when I visited the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. The statue was created by Timothy Schmalz, is called Maternal Bond, and illustrates the love of a mother for her son in a nativity scene. Especially on Christmas, I'm so thankful to be able to also feel love for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. My prayers often thank God for the whole feeling of love for himself, my family, and my friends.
I love Thanksgiving because it makes me think about how I am thankful for so much in my life. Here is one of my poems. Its title is "A Thankful Prayer on Thanksgiving (Fourth Thursday of November)," and it is on pages 151-52 of Amazing Holiday Paws:
I’m thankful, Lord, for your help in my life.
Especially when I’m encountering strife
and praying for your helpful, loving care,
many miracles do happen every year.
These miracles happen in the ways you think
are best to make my problems shrink,
so my blessed life improves even more
with each solution you bring to my door.
Doing my shopping last night was not a chore.
I found long lines at the grocery store,
but was really thankful to see lots of food
being bought by people in multitude.
When loving my family while we’re meeting
on Thanksgiving Day for fun while eating,
we all are happy to have relaxing time
to spend with each other, which is sublime.
Our dogs are yelping now for more good food,
and our cats are all in a turkey mood;
we’re thankful to spend some additional time
with loving pets that into our laps do climb.
We love the bible’s words that help us each day
to connect to you every time when we pray;
we try to understand your suggested ways
to enhance our journeys with peace always.
“Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7 NRSV).
Thank you, Lord, for giving each of us a life,
for forgiving us for errors in strife,
for giving us so much inside our lives,
and for uplifting us forever when eternity arrives.
In Jesus’s name, we pray
to you today and each day,
On January 6, 2020, I loved my trip to the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. I learned some information about the history of religion while looking at many beautiful paintings, exhibits, statues, stained-glass windows, displays, and examples of bibles. In Amazing Holiday Paws, the poem "Choosing Photos on National Photo Day (Second Sunday of March)" references a photo of Jesus that was taken while a family was visiting the Museum of the Bible. During my own visit to this museum, I obviously took many photos of indoor exhibits; I also loved taking photos of the outside of this museum. My reality is often directly connected in one or more specific ways to the content of my writing.
With so many people having coronavirus, there has been a need to wash our hands more often. Before Easter this year, I was singing "Happy Birthday" at least three times whenever I needed to wash my hands. I know much of the information said to sing once or twice, but I was singing quickly and silently, so I decided to always sing three times.
Then on Easter Sunday, I changed my song to "Happy Easter" and started singing "Happy Easter to you, Happy Easter to you, Happy Easter to Jesus, Happy Easter to you." Especially with my hands moving and touching each other, I often felt like I was praying. Washing my hands then became a much more positive experience. Yes, I'm still singing "Happy Easter" silently for three times whenever I'm washing my hands.
During these tough times with the coronavirus pandemic, I'm so thankful for the chance to be able to worship my Lord and Savior through online video conferencing, prayers, reading the bible, and other methods. My church had online video conferencing this morning. The focus was on the truth of the resurrection of Jesus. My cats were able to attend. They heard the voices of new people, saw images of these people on my laptop's screen, and heard the music of a worship service.
They actually loved the experience. Worship services always add to my knowledge, and having a different kind of Easter is memorable in so many ways. Knowing the truth of Jesus's resurrection also helps me and others to feel happier, stronger, and safer.
I know from looking at palm trees that many of them look strong, some appear average, and a few of them look weak. My drawing of a palm tree in this blog posting is not super great. No matter how strong or weak my palm tree and each of its branches are, I’m just so happy to be alive, to be able to connect to my God with prayer, and to lay a palm branch of faith before the feet of my Lord. I also love being able to help others by making some small donations to my church and other non-profit organizations. Even a little bit of weak help is still helpful.
On Thanksgiving, I'm always so thankful to God for the many positive parts of my life: my family, pets, friends, author events, and jobs as the Writing Center Coordinator and Adjunct Faculty member at the Community College of Rhode Island. I also have all of the essentials of life: lots of good food, a small inexpensive home that's easy to clean, a car, lots of credit-card debt, still lots of student-loan debt, and enough money to pay my most-important bills. I love being able to pray at least twice a day: once in the morning and once at night. While I often ask for too much while I pray, I sometimes also apologize for asking. I also try to include something I'm thankful for in every prayer.
One of the greatest miracles to ever happen in my life was referenced in one of my earlier blog posting comments. I still love to think about this miracle and remind myself that, when I pray, even if I want everything to happen according to exactly how I ask for help, sometimes a better possibility exists. Here is the commentary that describes that miracle from a Sept. 14, 2014 blog posting on my mayflowerdreams.com blog page (http://www.mayflowerdreams.com/blog/many-good-thanks#comments):
When I was in my early twenties, I experienced a wonderful miracle that happened after I slipped and fell down my front stairs. My left ankle was seriously sprained or broken. The pain was so bad that I couldn't move. I was sprawled on the sidewalk and didn't know what to do.
Then my one-year old son, who was still inside the apartment, started screaming. I was in so much pain that I couldn't even crawl up the stairs to see if he was okay. I prayed to our Lord for help. After praying, I looked around--I was expecting that someone would come by, see me, and call an ambulance. However, noone was there. Instead, my ankle suddenly stopped hurting. I stood up, got my son, and went grocery shopping.
In the next hour, a couple of strangers asked me if I was okay. They even pointed to my ankle. Even though my nylons were ripped, and my left ankle looked really bad, my ankle felt completely normal. It wasn't numb; when I walked, touched it, hopped on it, and did other activities, my ankle felt normal.
Several of my relatives saw my ankle and wanted me to see a doctor, but I was scared the pain would come back. Over the next few weeks, my ankle gradually returned to looking normal. No scars were left, and the pain never returned.
This was a miracle that I couldn't deny. I couldn't tell myself that I had just imagined some kind of temporary pain because, for several weeks, I could see the injury. Other people also saw the injury.
I am so thankful for the way God healed my ankle. I found out miracles not only happen, but God decides how they will happen.
Dr. Karen Petit is the author of Banking on Dreams, Mayflower Dreams, Roger Williams in an Elevator, Unhidden Pilgrims, Amazing Holiday Paws, and Holidays Amaze. She is thankful to God for the many miracles in her life.