Sunday Prayer, Mountain Air & Desert Beauty

On this last February day, I’m happy to report most of this month found me vacationing in the fresh air of the glorious Southwest. Back in the snowy heartland once again, my heart is full and ready for March adventures. After soaking in so much desert beauty (mountains, valleys, buttes, canyons, and nature’s cathedral under impossibly blue skies), I hope these glimpses soothe you too.

Arizona and Southwest landscape beauty with Saguaro cacti, mountains, and desert plants - Hello Lovely Studio.

Sunday Prayer, Mountain Air & Desert Beauty

I am so grateful for all of your continued prayers for my physical illnesses, for my family, and for my strength.

Arizona and Southwest landscape beauty with Saguaro cacti, mountains, and desert plants - Hello Lovely Studio.
Psalm 61: When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me...#hellolovelystudio #psalm61 #scriptureverse #inspiringquote #anxiety #encouragement #faith #christianity

Today I’m sharing photos snapped last week as well as a collection of inspiring faith, prayer and spirituality quotes along with a prayer on my heart at the end.

Arizona and Southwest landscape beauty with Saguaro cacti, mountains, and desert plants - Hello Lovely Studio.
Richard Rohr inspirational quote and words of faith on Hello Lovely Studio. #inspirationalquote #faithquote #christianity #quotes #religion #richardrohr #spiritualformation

I’m also aware that as my friends you may be curious about how I’m doing health-wise.

Arizona and Southwest landscape beauty with Saguaro cacti, mountains, and desert plants - Hello Lovely Studio.
Inspiring scripture verse from Corinthians about love. #scriptureverse #faithquote #inspiringquote #grace #hellolovelystudio #corinthians

Some of my symptoms are better – a new medicine has cleared up an infection, and my skin is clearing after more than two years.

Arizona and Southwest landscape beauty with Saguaro cacti, mountains, and desert plants - Hello Lovely Studio.
Beautiful inspirational quote from Rumi - the wound is the place where the light enters you. #hellolovelystudio #rumi #inspirationalquote #faith #spirituality #quotes

I have also been able to gain some weight thanks to carb loading. Unfortunately, my sense of taste has not yet returned since September when I had the virus.

Arizona and Southwest landscape beauty with Saguaro cacti, mountains, and desert plants - Hello Lovely Studio.
Inspirational prayer from Phyllis Tickle on Hello Lovely Studio. #prayers #christianity #faithquote #spirituality #spiritualformation

Covid also seems to have damaged the structure around my olfactory neurons (which relay info from your nose to your brain). As a result, for a few weeks now, I have had a scent disturbance and intermittently smell phantom smells.

Arizona and Southwest landscape beauty with Saguaro cacti, mountains, and desert plants - Hello Lovely Studio.
Inspirational quote from Henri Nouwen on Hello Lovely Studio. #inspirationalquote #faithquote #christianity #spirituality #spiritualformation

With such damage, it seems it may take two years or longer to resolve. I’m not alone or special. This is happening to many folks after recovery from the virus.

Arizona and Southwest landscape beauty with Saguaro cacti, mountains, and desert plants - Hello Lovely Studio.
Inspiring scripture verse from Corinthians about grace. #scriptureverse #faithquote #inspiringquote #grace #hellolovelystudio #corinthians

How can I complain when I’m so thankful to have survived?

Arizona and Southwest landscape beauty with Saguaro cacti, mountains, and desert plants - Hello Lovely Studio.
Beautiful inspirational quote and Apache prayer on Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #inspirationalquote #prayers #apacheprayer #spirituality #nativeamerican

Even though I understand cognitively what is happening with the scent disorder, it can be distressing. There is no way to get away from the smell because there is no smell! (It’s hard to describe it: kitty litter with rotten garbage and a burning chemical.)

Arizona and Southwest landscape beauty with Saguaro cacti, mountains, and desert plants - Hello Lovely Studio.
Beautiful inspirational quote and prayer quote from Barbara Brown Taylor on Hello Lovely Studio. #inspirationalquote #christianity #prayer #quotes #faithquote #spirituality #spiritualformation

All this to say, STAY SAFE and do not ever become casual about preventing the spread of the virus.

Arizona and Southwest landscape beauty with Saguaro cacti, mountains, and desert plants - Hello Lovely Studio.
Beautiful inspirational quote and prayer quote from Barbara Brown Taylor on Hello Lovely Studio. #inspirationalquote #christianity #prayer #quotes #faithquote #spirituality #spiritualformation

I’m thinking of all of you as you continue to cope with social isolation even as businesses may open up and a bit of normalcy returns.

Arizona and Southwest landscape beauty with Saguaro cacti, mountains, and desert plants - Hello Lovely Studio.
Beautiful inspirational quote and prayer quote from Barbara Brown Taylor on Hello Lovely Studio. #inspirationalquote #christianity #prayer #quotes #faithquote #spirituality #spiritualformation

I hope the coming spring has you hopeful and looking forward to brighter days.

Arizona and Southwest landscape beauty with Saguaro cacti, mountains, and desert plants - Hello Lovely Studio.
Richard Rohr inspirational quote on Hello Lovely Studio. #richardrohr #inspirationalquote #faith #christianity #spirituality #spiritualformation

We have surely all been growing and deepening in important ways.

Arizona and Southwest landscape beauty with Saguaro cacti, mountains, and desert plants - Hello Lovely Studio.
Beautiful inspirational quote and prayer quote from Barbara Brown Taylor on Hello Lovely Studio. #inspirationalquote #christianity #prayer #quotes #faithquote #spirituality #spiritualformation

My time in the desert was so very fruitful.

Cathedral Rock Park in Sedona, AZ - Hello Lovely Studio.
Psalm 8:3-4 "When I consider your heavens..." on Hello Lovely Studio. #psalm #scriptureverse #bibleverses

At home in Northern Illinois, nature plays an important role, and I often commune with the trees here, talking to them, encouraging them through the seasons.

Arizona and Southwest landscape beauty with Saguaro cacti, mountains, and desert plants - Hello Lovely Studio.
Inspirational faith quote on Hello Lovely Studio. #faithquote #christianity #spirituality

But in the desert, I am always listening. Everything is older, and even the stones seem to speak.

Arizona and Southwest landscape beauty with Saguaro cacti, mountains, and desert plants - Hello Lovely Studio.
Beautiful inspirational quote and prayer quote from Barbara Brown Taylor on Hello Lovely Studio. #inspirationalquote #christianity #prayer #quotes #faithquote #spirituality #spiritualformation

The mountains remind me of my insignificance and young age.

Arizona and Southwest landscape beauty with Saguaro cacti, mountains, and desert plants - Hello Lovely Studio.
Scripture from Corinthians about love. #scriptureverse #inspirationalquote #faith #christianity #lovequotes #faith

What a blessing to be humbled and overcome by the rugged strength of the West.

Arizona and Southwest landscape beauty with Saguaro cacti, mountains, and desert plants - Hello Lovely Studio.
Beautiful inspirational quote and prayer quote from Barbara Brown Taylor on Hello Lovely Studio. #inspirationalquote #christianity #prayer #quotes #faithquote #spirituality #spiritualformation

What an encouragement to see how it is possible to thrive in drought conditions.

Cathedral Rock Park in Sedona, Arizona - Hello Lovely Studio.
Inspirational quote about prayer by Phyllis Tickle on Hello Lovely Studio. #phyllistickle #inspiraitonalquote #prayer #christianity #spirituality #spiritualformation #faith

What nourishment this landscape brings to my soul.

Beautiful evergreen forest with snow on the mountain along Route 179 in Arizona - Hello Lovely Studio.
Inspirational quote about faith and prayer by James Finley on Hello Lovely Studio. #inspirationalquote #christianity #prayer #faithquote #spiritualformation

What a treat to slow down enough to have conversations with young calves on the roadside.

Young calf in the Arizona desert - Hello Lovely Studio.
Inspirational quote about healing on Hello Lovely Studio. #inspirationalquote #healing #quotes

As we drove a scenic byway on the way to Sedona, the sacredness of snow on mountains, evergreen forests, and red rocks invited me to breathe and ushered me into prayerful quietude.

Beautiful evergreen forest with snow on the mountain along Route 179 in Arizona - Hello Lovely Studio.
Beautiful inspirational quote and prayer quote from Barbara Brown Taylor on Hello Lovely Studio. #inspirationalquote #christianity #prayer #quotes #faithquote #spirituality #spiritualformation

Sunday Prayer of the Heart

HOLY, ever-present, Giver of Mercy, draw near your child and see every secret hurt and shadow in need of light.

Thank you for your endless patience as we grow.

Arizona and Southwest landscape beauty with Saguaro cacti, mountains, and desert plants - Hello Lovely Studio.

I see the majesty of your mountains, your richly red rock and ancient evergreen forests and am reminded how beauty and transformation take time.

Thank you for joining me in pink sunsets and golden hours where: my soul is quieted, my small self can fall away, and Divine love swells in my chest. Oh praise the earth’s landscape – praise the blessed beauty that is YOU, welcoming me in my poverty to come and feast.

Arizona and Southwest landscape beauty with Saguaro cacti, mountains, and desert plants - Hello Lovely Studio.

Praise the thirsty land. Praise patches of scorched ground where seeds lie without life. Praise the poor desert of our hearts, longing for Living Water to restore, revitalize, and re-make them. Bless the children, the sick, and the aged in the valley. Bless all those longing to return to Your Garden.

Arizona and Southwest landscape beauty with Saguaro cacti, mountains, and desert plants - Hello Lovely Studio.

Oh, Father, lead our weary souls back to the glory of the Eden which is you.

Thank you for every darkness which you recycle into the blessing of a new dawn.

Arizona and Southwest landscape beauty with Saguaro cacti, mountains, and desert plants - Hello Lovely Studio.

Forgive us for moments of selfish pride when in the illusion of scarcity, abandonment, or threat, we choose bitter over sweet.

Grant us eyes to see ever-flowing abundance so we may cultivate more fruitful lives of kindness and generosity.

Arizona and Southwest landscape beauty with Saguaro cacti, mountains, and desert plants - Hello Lovely Studio.

Help us to let go of all that impurely resists what is true and good.

Keeper of my soul, beam your radiance into the corners of my secret rooms as I seek the grace to grow in the light of your Word and your wisdom.

Arizona and Southwest landscape beauty with Saguaro cacti, mountains, and desert plants - Hello Lovely Studio.

Help me to yield to you and align with your ways, Lovely Mansion Builder and Holy Maker of all that is.

Bless our land, bless our homes, and heal our wounds, Lord Jesus. Touch your people and transform human consciousness so an awareness of unity blooms there from seeds of hidden wholeness.

Arizona and Southwest landscape beauty with Saguaro cacti, mountains, and desert plants - Hello Lovely Studio.

I pray all of this in a humble state of unknowing, from a place of inner desert beauty, with open hands ready to receive.

AMEN.

Michele of Hello Lovely Studio. Photo: Jody Stella. #hellolovelystudio

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Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

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18 Comments

  1. February 3, 2020 / 8:20 am

    Your words are so touching Michele and a wonderful way to start my day. How blessed you are to have such faith to carry you through all life’s challenges. Have a lovely time in AZ. You are just next door.

    • Michele
      Author
      February 3, 2020 / 2:25 pm

      Thank you so much for your kindness, Celia. I am now back from Arizona but will be back there in a few weeks – the snow here is lovely, but too many grey days mean I like mixing it up and getting my sunshine! 🙂

  2. February 3, 2020 / 12:47 pm

    Beautiful post and beautiful prayer Michele! I have a couple books by Richard Rohr and Henri Nouwen and they’re great. Thank you for being your generous self and sharing your heart with us!
    xo
    Holly

    • Michele
      Author
      February 3, 2020 / 2:24 pm

      Thanks for your open heart, Holly. I keep learning so many wonderful things from Rohr and Nouwen. My favorite Henri Nouwen book is The Prodigal Son. Have you read it?

  3. Amy
    February 3, 2020 / 12:47 pm

    AMEN & AMEN!! ❤️🙌🏼

  4. Carol S.
    February 4, 2020 / 12:19 pm

    Tears, I’m touched, needed this today (and everyday!) as my faith practiced since childhood gets challenged and sidetracked at times. Always come back to light and love and our Lord!! Thank you.

    • Michele
      Author
      February 4, 2020 / 1:15 pm

      Your heart is so lovely, Carol – thinking of you as you journey over these rough patches of earth with faith. Pointing each other to light and to the assurance that ours is a loving God becomes so important in the valley. Peace to you right where you are – so beautiful and open to receive.

      • Carol S.
        February 5, 2020 / 1:44 pm

        So true!! Your words sure do flow sweetly 🙂

  5. Robin
    March 1, 2021 / 9:27 am

    I love the desert 🏜 I lived in the Palm Springs area growing up. When I need a break, I go to the desert. I learned to appreciate its beauty a long time ago. Your post this morning was so inspiring and beautiful—-it spoke to me. I am grateful for your heartening words and images. Thank you!

    • Michele
      Author
      March 1, 2021 / 11:03 am

      So happy you saw this post today! And I adore this word of blessing you brought me this morning: HEARTENING. Oh, I have taken it into my soul as a balmy sweet comfort. xox

  6. Mumbai
    March 1, 2021 / 9:32 am

    So good to hear that you feel invigorated after your time in the desert, which is the right place for body and soul.
    When you would ask me which I prefer more, the sea or the desert , I definitely would tend to the latter. While the
    sea is the most time in motion the desert is so silent and for me a place where I feel closer to the nature and God.
    The words from the Apache Prayer touched me deeply. Take care and don’t give up your hope for better tasting and
    smelling again. …and your pics are amazing.

    • Michele
      Author
      March 1, 2021 / 11:00 am

      I always feel gratitude when you take the time to lovingly share your meaningful thoughts, friend. It’s true that the ocean is often calling me, and its vastness easily sets my heart at ease. I love the idea that I am but a drop but made of the same ‘wet’ that is that large body (of water, of Christ, of the Divine Mystery). I love its movement and power. But the desert. Here is the place of deep humility and contemplation. It is no wonder the Desert Fathers and Mothers went there for wisdom and found it. I have hope that my smell and taste will be restored in time. I actually lost my sense of taste in the early 2000s from medical malpractice when my tonsils were removed. It took two years for the nerves to regenerate, but they did! The experience of those years without taste strengthened me and maybe even prepared me for my current circumstance. I will say I am noticing that at this age vs. 20 years ago, I am not nearly as resilient for changes. So this is one of my fervent prayers that I would somehow find extra reserves of resiliency to flow with whatever reality brings next. Thank you for joining me on this journey. xox

  7. Amy
    March 1, 2021 / 9:58 am

    You pray the prettiest prayers…so honest & heartfelt as they should always be. Your post makes think of Ps 8:3-4 “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon & the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them.” But oh He does & I’m ever grateful with you! Keeping you uplifted to Him❤️

    • Michele
      Author
      March 1, 2021 / 10:49 am

      Thank you for bringing me the Word this morning, Amy. Oh how He loves us and longs for our hearts. I feel compelled to create a graphic with that scripture and add it to the post. Please when you have time and inspiration, continue to share the verses that bubble up for you as a result of content found here. Who knows the ripples? Have a wonderful new week, friend, and thank you for your continued prayers.

  8. Monica Janovitz
    March 2, 2021 / 3:56 pm

    big big hugs to you from Buenos Aires Argentina!

    • Michele
      Author
      March 2, 2021 / 6:05 pm

      Wonderful to have you here – thanks for the warm embrace, friend! xox

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White Slipcovered Sofa
French Country Kubu Basket Set
Whitewashed Table Lamp Set of 2
Antique Chinese Wood Rustic Round Stool
French Country Bed
Tuscan Terracotta Urn Vase
Round Farmhouse Table
French Country Settee
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Upholstered Dining Chair
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Silver Rectangle Accent Table
Black or Bronze Accent Table
30″ French Storage Basket
Chevron White Quilt Set
French Country Rattan Basket Set
Marble Subway Mosaic Tile (My Backsplash)
French Wire Laundry Basket
White Ruffle Bedding
White Linen Club Chair
Schumacher Wild Things Wallpaper
Wide Pine Sideboard
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp
French Country Wall Mirror
French Lidded Baskets
Shaw Daybed
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
Distressed White Artichoke Lamp
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Round French Tufted Ottoman
Kinston Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Colleen Slope Arm Linen Chair Set
Warner Upholstered Bench
Rustic Country French Dresser
Rustic French Confit Pot
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pardon My French Doormat
Stripe Turkish Towel Throw
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Carved Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Rustic End Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
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Jute Area Rug
Mohair Throw
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
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Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Kendall Skirted Dining Chair
White Charleston Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Cashmere Throw With Fringe
Black Bergamot Soy Candle
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
White Waffle Coverlet
Light Grey Vienna Quilt
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Rattan Hanging Chair Swing