Listening SpaceNew Every Morning | May 21, 2022
[Following a debilitating stroke,] my body and brain weren’t able to work together in that way. I collapsed onto the floor and cried tears of frustration. Will I ever be able to do more than one thing at a time? I wondered. Why am I being limited in this way? I had no choice but to listen to my body and focus on one task at a time as I cried out to God.
Yet even this struggle offered treasures in the long run. While I have improved greatly in my ability to multitask, I now recognize and understand that my limitation has served me well in certain ways. My inability to function at a level to which I was previously accustomed—a level our world tells us is relatively healthy—forced me into a listening space with God, one I never could have envisioned for myself. I began to understand deep listening in a brand-new way, and the new pace of my body was largely to thank for the opportunity. God was knitting my experiences together with my breath and body and drawing me nearer to God’s Spirit within.
—Whitney R. Simpson, Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit (Upper Room Books, 2016)
What have you learned from your own weaknesses? Join the conversation.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
—Psalm 73:26 (NRSV)
Breath Prayer for the Week
Exhale: Give me peace.
—Whitney R. Simpson, Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
As the war in Ukraine continues, we invite you to join us for a special Prayer Summit in The Upper Room Chapel on May 25, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. (CDT). We will hear firsthand stories from Ukrainians and from those serving Ukrainian refugees. Together, we continue to pray for peace and an end to violence in Ukraine and around the world. Please plan to join us on Facebook Live and YouTube.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.
So much weakness – so far to go – but I know that God is always with me, beside me every step of the way. This was a week of being outside of my comfort zone as I spent the week with my daughter – it has been a wonderful and busy week. I return home today and I pray for smooth and safe travels – thank you all so much for your prayers. I pray for my daughter as she finishes an educational program that requires her to drive 4 hours round trip – 3 days a week. She is such a hard worker just trying to find her way in the world. I pray for God to continue to guide her and give her strength. I pray for my other children as well – for their strength, safety, happiness, and that they may put God first in their lives. I continue to pray for all of the prayer concerns offered here- I lift you all up to the Lord in prayer this morning. Thank you for your prayers for me and my children.
Somehow there is a way forward despite my weaknesses.
Saw some NEM posts, good news for Ally with that work at home job, hope the new lawyer helps the disability claim be accepted. Sad that a lawyer is needed to accomplish this. Lotos of tennis forJill, school year winding down, Roger improving, Boundaries are sometimes tricky, Julie. Hope for understanding between you and Megan when her car doesn’t run. H’s memory issues are challenging, you have your own health issues. Always prayers that resolution comes no matter what kind of issue it is. Thankful Lou can be with her daughter. Prayers for April and her caregiving. Glad to hear from Rick, No showings at the moment, the warmer weather will be here today and tomorrow, a slight downturn in predicted temps. ACs at the ready. Blessings to you all. Thank You, Lord.
God somehow gets me through each day despite my weaknesses.
To clarify, Megan’s father owns the Jeep she uses and a mustang which he uses and he is a mechanic. Therefore, when her car breaks down she must call him to fix it and since he has to have the vehicle to fix it he always swaps vehicles with her at that time. So she has a working vehicle at all times. She just has to wait for her father to get to her and she would prefer not to wait.
Prayers for Ally as she continues to do the things her lawyer has given her to do to support her apppeal. Prayers for April. Prayers for Jill and her busy and active weekend, may she and Larry be cognizant of the heat and humidity in our area. Prayers for Lou’s safe travel and for her daughter as she travels to further her education. Prayers for Rick, may his Covid test be negative and may his symptoms resolve quickly. Prayers for Robert and the sale of his condo may he receive many bids this weekend.
I have come to learn that God gives us weaknesses as gifts, so we can learn surrender and patience – and to lean in to Him even more. I would like to say I embrace my weaknesses, but that is wholly true. However – I don’t feel as I once did about them. I ask God to show me what He wants me to learn, how He wants me to grow in spite/because of weaknesses. Paul had it right – “for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
My arm is incredibly sore today, but I didn’t have the fatigue and malaise which came with previous vaccines and boosters. I played tennis, although it wasn’t top notch as I couldn’t raise my left arm. My service toss was comical at best. I think being active helped a bit – but I am tired. It was slow play on the golf course with several foursomes in front of dad and I. It started to rain on the last hole and we just left. I am sitting here while Roger works on his dinner – can’t wait to hop in the shower and get all the sunscreen and sweat off.
Rick – Torrey Pines is such a beautiful area. I got to visit it last fall, while playing in a tennis tournament in San Diego. I had never been to CA before – but sure loved the area we were in. I got to go to the golf course – Torrey Pines – and bought dad a sweatshirt – one made for them hosting the US Open last summer. I am trying to think if I saw the state preserve there. I know we went to La Jolla and saw the seals.
My nephew is celebrating his birthday tomorrow afternoon. Dad is going to come by after church and pick me up to go to the party. His house is about a mile from where I teach.