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April 18, 2013

on prayer. and being open for business.

i've been praying a lot lately. i've been reading this. i have a few pages left, but i don't want it to end. when i do finish it i'll still carry it in my bag. i want to keep it close. it's one of those books. 

anne lamott doesn't pretend to be anything she isn't. she is deeply flawed. news flash: we all are. and this is okay. she reminds me all the time that it is okay. in this book she writes about what she thinks are the three main prayers: help, thanks, wow. i agree. i think there are more, but she's so right with these particular ones. this book has me thinking about prayer and how i do it and what it means to me when i find quiet in my heart for it.

sometimes i struggle with how to do it right.


the how part, the prayer part, the right way part. i'm lucky in that i have a good friend who reminded me, you can never be bad at praying. even if the words don't come together, we serve a God who hears the secret petitions of our hearts.

i believe this with every part of me. and so i pray.

i pray for all of us to be kinder to ourselves and each other. 

i pray for the energy my writing deserves.

i pray for the energy to take really good care of myself because i despise every second of the days i don't.

i pray for cousins who are pregnant, the friends having babies, that all of them are safe and healthy and happy. 

i pray for the patience required to pay attention to the blessings around me. for the patience and strength to ignore the junk. and there is a lot of junk in this world.

i pray that i continue to walk away from things that make me feel uneasy or angry. things that produce a physical reaction inside of me. this is a sign.

i pray that eva is happy on the days she's not with us.

i pray that the people i love always feel that love from me.

i pray for boston and texas and that things like these stop happening.

i pray that the white sox have a good season and everyone stays healthy.

i pray when i'm crawling into bed, some nights collapsing, and give thanks for another day on this planet, for this life i'm building.

i pray for the patience and grace required to make it in this world.  i repeatedly pray for these things. 

i think prayers are stronger when shared, when we let them go and put them into the universe.  

when we say them out loud. and they often start with please.

please help me do this better and that better and please help me be better and please give me a sign and please give me a break and please tell me what to do. i'll do it. just tell me what to do. i'm paying attention. my eyes are open. they're open. i promise they're open. i'm so tired. i'm trying. i'm really trying. just tell me what to do. 

and sometimes these words pour out of me into a messy heap, but they're they are. big and sad and messy.

and true.

i pray that one day i will give myself a break. can this come soon, God? i ask this a lot. and i imagine God looking at me and thinking, that one's up to you, rhi.

thank you for my health and thank you for my brain and thank you for this man who bought two lilac bushes for the front of the house. thank you for the beautiful weather you gave us for eva's party. thank you for therapists in five thousand different forms and thank you for love in five thousand different forms. thank you for hummus and mozzarella balls. thank you for country music and anne lamott and joan didion and patty griffin. thank you for second chances and for karma. thank you for giving me the ability to laugh, especially at myself. but with kindness.

wow this is what it's like to have love in my life and wow this is what it's like living with a man and wow i love leaving this loud city and going home to quiet on really bad days. wow do i love baseball and dark chocolate with a scoop of peanut butter and when ben does the dishes and puts eva to bed wow oh wow do i love the sight of that. wow i love this big dog's head on my lap even if he makes me sneeze. wow i love that i write and that this is why i was born. wow i wish i knew the birthday of my book, but it's coming.

i pray because it helps me heal. it helps the world heal. it's a step towards answers, towards acceptance, towards peace.  

Gorgeous, amazing things come into our lives when we are paying attention: mangoes, grandnieces, Bach, ponds. This happens more often when we have as little expectation as possible. If you say, "Well, that's pretty much what I thought I'd see," you are in trouble. At that point you have to ask yourself why you are even here. [...] Astonishing material and revelation appear in our lives all the time. Let it be. Unto us, so much is given. We just have to be open for business.
-Anne Lamott

i pray we all remain open for business.


  1. WOW. God sends people into our lives in some really funny, odd ways, like when your friend Mame retweets something her friend Rhiannon wrote about Girls on the Run, and you comment because you love GOTR and you made a commitment to be better to yourself and do more for others this year...and what better way to do it than to coach girls? Then you wake up with this heavy weight on your chest because you watched too much CNN last night and ...this world. So you are thinking about prayers and how much of it you've been doing...then you come to this blog...and you read THIS. And it just...heals you. And P.S. I just finished reading Traveling Mercies. And I am now in love with Anne Lamott. The end...Did I mention, WOW?

  2. This made my whole heart smile. I love every word. Thank you so much.

    The ending, I knoooooow. Swoon. I swoon for that woman.

    p.s. I got "Traveling Mercies" from the library and am starting it tomorrow. :) Hope you have a wonderful, relaxing weekend.


  3. BEAUTIFUL!!! I can't get enough of this post. This really hit the nail on the head for me today. Maybe because I have been praying a lot lately too. I just love such honest people, like yourself and that author. I'm definitely coming back to read this.

  4. Thank you so much. :) I feel so many people going "through" a whole lot lately. Prayer helps. So very much.


  5. i deeply love every word of this...thank you so so much

  6. Thank you. :) I'm so grateful people are connecting to it.