Prayerful Peace as War Rages & Desert Stones Speak

We have been living in our new digs for nearly two weeks now, and things are extremely dry and dusty ’round here. Wood floors have been sanded, drywall has been mudded, and kitchen cabinets and counters are shifting. I am mostly the chief clean up officer, and I try not to view too much news as I sweep. But it has been difficult to avoid the heartache in Ukraine. How are we to live peacefully, contentedly while others suffer? I have no answers, only prayers and a spirit of unknowing which I offer with a whole heart.

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

Valley Times, Desert Beauty & A Prayer

A year ago, I snapped these photos of desert loveliness (mountains, valleys, buttes, canyons, and nature’s cathedral under impossibly blue skies) with the hope that they would bring your hearts into quietude.

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

I was weak physically and deeply reliant on the prayers of others.

Psalm 61: When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me...#hellolovelystudio #psalm61 #scriptureverse #inspiringquote #anxiety #encouragement #faith #christianity

One of the gifts of my own chronic illness is how it forces me into restful pauses. I have always been a high achiever who is prone to prize productivity and overworking.

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

It takes a lot to slow me down, and when the pace slows, a whole new beautiful world often emerges.

Richard Rohr inspirational quote and words of faith on Hello Lovely Studio. #inspirationalquote #faithquote #christianity #quotes #religion #richardrohr #spiritualformation

Right where I am, I am experiencing a flare of my autoimmune disorder which remains somewhat of a mystery. Is it progressive Crohn’s disease? Yet to be diagnosed Lupus? Covid long term damage? I only know I grow tired easily, have trouble walking some days because of pain in my hip and feet, and struggle with allergies and of course GI issues.

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Inspiring scripture verse from Corinthians about love. #scriptureverse #faithquote #inspiringquote #grace #hellolovelystudio #corinthians

Some symptoms are better – less foot dystonia episodes and throat spasms, for example. I have been working hard to identify triggers and manage the stresses which exacerbate the issues.

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

I do not recommend moving (even a local move is ridiculously stressful!) and taking on any home renovation when you’re pushing 60 and still working full time! My husband and I are still not sure why we both felt led to start a new project. We only know that we were called to yield.

Beautiful inspirational quote from Rumi - the wound is the place where the light enters you. #hellolovelystudio #rumi #inspirationalquote #faith #spirituality #quotes

Yield? To what? For how long? At what cost?

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

Maybe you have also answered such a call out of your comfort zone, away from the familiar, toward challenges that stretch you.

Inspirational prayer from Phyllis Tickle on Hello Lovely Studio. #prayers #christianity #faithquote #spirituality #spiritualformation

The virus surely has changed the course for many, and earth’s shutdowns during the pandemic ushered in this sense of yielding to a powerfully invisible force.

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

The thing about invitations to yield is you are entirely free to choose whether to say yes!

Inspirational quote from Henri Nouwen on Hello Lovely Studio. #inspirationalquote #faithquote #christianity #spirituality #spiritualformation

Nature teaches us this at every turn. I have read about a particular species of scorpion that stays on the surface and takes a vicious beating when sand-storms arise. Everything else goes underground to shelter.

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

What allows this strange creature to yield and withstand all of the abuse?

Inspiring scripture verse from Corinthians about grace. #scriptureverse #faithquote #inspiringquote #grace #hellolovelystudio #corinthians

It would seem this scorpion has adapted and over time, evolved with the proper armor.

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

But is that the whole story? Does she stay above the sand only because she is well-equipped with strong defense mechanisms?

I find the desert especially intriguing and instructive as I consider what it means to flow in surroundings so far from lifegiving oceans and breezy shores.

Beautiful inspirational quote and Apache prayer on Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #inspirationalquote #prayers #apacheprayer #spirituality #nativeamerican

How often do I soothe myself with thoughts about a not too far off future filled with more comforts, more heaven, more joy, and more satisfaction?

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

And how often do I resist in present daily circumstances the discomfort which is meant to prosper and evolve me into something more lovely and resilient?

Beautiful inspirational quote and prayer quote from Barbara Brown Taylor on Hello Lovely Studio. #inspirationalquote #christianity #prayer #quotes #faithquote #spirituality #spiritualformation

Oh the tattered trust of which Barbara Brown Taylor calls to mind!

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

Is there anything more beautiful this very moment than a young child fleeing Ukraine with only a pocket of hard stones from the yard and a soft, yielding heart of tattered trust in impossible glory, in hope everlasting?

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 you this very moment as you search your heart for a sense of wholeness and certainty in the midst of strife. As you begin to fearfully wonder if there is hope for mankind after all.

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

Images of the desert and rocky terrain also have me thinking about how Easter is coming and about Luke 19:40.

Beautiful inspirational quote and prayer quote from Barbara Brown Taylor on Hello Lovely Studio. #inspirationalquote #christianity #prayer #quotes #faithquote #spirituality #spiritualformation

It is an account where Jesus says even if the crowds are silent, the very stones will cry out.

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

He must remind the religious leaders who are complaining about the fickle nature of his fans that there is a deeper truth at work which transcends their behavior and the culture’s missteps.

Richard Rohr inspirational quote on Hello Lovely Studio. #richardrohr #inspirationalquote #faith #christianity #spirituality #spiritualformation

What stones and ultimate truth are we perhaps overlooking when we point fingers at each other?

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 is always 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

The landscape stills me in a way that never grows dull.

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

In the desert, it is far easier to listen. Everything is older there. The mountains teach.

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

But while I am planted on the prairie, far from the whispers of stones (they whisper “the good news is even better than you dreamed!”), I can nurture an inner landscape of desert beauty.

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 blessing awaits when we humble ourselves enough to pray “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.”

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

What peace arrives when we refuse to harden and instead let our hearts break into something new and beautiful.

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 know that thriving in drought conditions is possible.

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

Whatever landscape calls to you, may it bring fresh wisdom and vision to your weary 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

No matter how busy or not busy or lonely or not lonely you are, may you consider listening to the still small voice of Love inside.

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

As we drove this scenic byway en route to Sedona last year, the sacredness of snow on mountains, evergreen forests, and red rocks invited us to breathe in prayerful quietude.

Beautiful evergreen forest with snow on the mountain along Route 179 in Arizona - Hello Lovely Studio.

I hope that quietude is somehow captured here and having its way with you.

Beautiful inspirational quote and prayer quote from Barbara Brown Taylor on Hello Lovely Studio. #inspirationalquote #christianity #prayer #quotes #faithquote #spirituality #spiritualformation

A Desert Prayer

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 refugee, the wounded, 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 all weary souls back to the glory of Eden which is you.

Thank you for every darkness recycled into dawn.

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

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

Grant us eyes to see your ever-flowing abundance so we may be fruitful with kindness and mercy.

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

Help us let go of all which is impure. May we see our wealth in what is true and noble.

Keeper of my soul, beam your divine radiance into the corners of my secret rooms. Those rooms grow dark, and the darkness too belongs. Help me to live in such shadows, to move through them with courage by the grace of your Word and wisdom.

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

Help me to ever yield. To your mystery, to your lovely ways.

Mansion Builder and Holy Maker of all that is, bless our planet, bless our families, and heal our wounds.

Lord Jesus. Touch your people and transform consciousness. May new minds rise and bloom to fragrant the atmosphere.

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 and from an inner landscape of desert beauty. My hands are open, Lord, and right where I am, I am 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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12 Comments

  1. Sue
    March 14, 2022 / 6:49 am

    I always enjoy your posts, but this one is my favorite. Much love and prayers for your healing.

    • Michele
      Author
      March 14, 2022 / 4:39 pm

      Thank you for your loving support – and may God hear our prayers for healing, strength, and courage. Peace to you, friend, right where you are.

  2. Judy Mearing
    March 14, 2022 / 9:36 am

    Your prayers go right through me, thank you for each one. Iā€™m praying for you in pain and for mine. Thank God for his mercy.

    I can wait to see your new house. What a blessing for you and your family. Have a better day today. Much love.

    Judy

    • Michele
      Author
      March 14, 2022 / 4:38 pm

      Thank you for praying with me and for me, Judy. I am so blessed to have you here. Excited to begin sharing the new place – it is so different than the last! xox

  3. Amy
    March 14, 2022 / 2:15 pm

    I echo your beautiful prayer.

    • Michele
      Author
      March 14, 2022 / 4:37 pm

      Amen. Thanks for your lovely voice of love here.

  4. lee
    March 14, 2022 / 8:24 pm

    So very beautiful! I am also finding it hard to live peacefully, contentedly while others suffer. My house is very small but I find myself thanking God for it so often and almost feeling guilty for having it when so many others are now wandering nomads. I am so very aware of each and every blessing these days. How many adjustments and trauma does this life have in store for us? When I wonder if there is hope for mankind after all, I see the bravery of the people and the leaders and the kindness of the people of Poland and other countries that are welcoming the refugees. Blessings in the storm. I have to believe that good will always prevail, and thank you for so much inspiration! It is truly beautiful. Your strength in adversity gives all of us strength. Gods Blessings!!! The quotes are amazing.

    • Michele
      Author
      March 16, 2022 / 9:00 pm

      The timing of your comment is just so perfect. When I share vulnerably, I lose quite a number of new followers and receive hateful emails. So it means so much to hear that the sentiments resonate and help. Thank you. Bless you. xox

  5. Rebecca Payne
    March 18, 2022 / 2:12 pm

    I live in Phoenix, Arizona and know the Superstition Mountains where you were. It is very tranquil and relaxing. Never come in the summer. I love this post. Thank you for sharing all of these positive Quotes and Verses.

    • Michele
      Author
      March 18, 2022 / 3:09 pm

      It’s wonderful to hear from you – I have spent time there in the summer too since we owned a home, and I love the heat. I’m tropical! šŸ™‚

  6. Beverly
    March 20, 2022 / 8:58 am

    Michele,
    You certainly are a gift. I love reading your posts and your prayers. I wish you new joys in the new house and all of the glory that is yet to come. I often feel guilty that I am so blessed while others are enduring such hardship. I can’t imagine having to flee my home and my country.
    I hope you continue to find healing and the strength you need to enjoy each day.
    Hugs,
    Bev

    • Michele
      Author
      March 21, 2022 / 8:05 am

      Thanks for the encouragement and wishes, Bev. It’s hard to process the level of loss we can clearly see happening – I hope we can all be part of planetary healing which begins with inner change and a desire to grow.

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White Slipcovered Sofa
French Stripe Seagrass Basket Set
29″ Whitewashed Table Lamp Set of 2
Antique Chinese Wood Rustic Round Stool
French Country Bed
Tuscan Terracotta Urn Vase
Round Farmhouse Table
Myla Slipcover Sofa
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Slipcovered Dining Chair
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Parisian Style Iron Table Lamp  33.5″
Black or Bronze Accent Table
French Stripe Basket Set
Chevron White Quilt Set
French Country Rattan Basket Set
Marble Subway Mosaic Tile
Vintage Collapsible French Laundry Basket
White Ruffle Bedding
Seagrass Basket Set
Schumacher Wild Things Wallpaper
Wide Pine Sideboard
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp Set
White Matelasse Quilt
French Country Mirror
Faux Potted French Lavender
Shaw Daybed
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
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
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
Wicker Trunk Set
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
Mohair Throw
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Duvet & Bedding
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