The Prayer Flags

Our faith requires us to use many mechanisms in order to reach God.  However, many of us get in a rut.  We tend to approach God and communicate with God the same way over and over.  We become very complacent.  Of course, we are given the freedom to approach God in silent or spoken prayer anytime or anywhere.  But let’s not get stale in our approach to God.  We can plant a special area of flowers or plants where we seek God.  A field of crops is sometimes where we honor Him.  Many feel closer to God on or near water.  Some say prayers while others write prayers.  Some people use art to show their faith in God.  And yet others use their voice or an instrument to show their faith to God.  This week I chose to write about the use of prayer flags.  What a binding way to love God by a group of people!  This week I challenge you if you do nothing else, find your special way of showing your faith to God.  If you do not learn to speak to Him, how do you ever expect an answer?  I challenge you to seek a different way and watch God work in your life!

The Prayer Flags

My heart had been heavy due to the weight of life.

Troubles had built up in my mind.

I felt defeated.

I decided to take a stroll through downtown.

I was trying to give my worries away.

And then I saw them.

Their bright, beautiful colors attracted me. 

The wind softly swayed the many colors,

As if a person was slightly blowing on them.

Each had writing and symbols on them.

They were bond together by a string.

My curiosity had the best of me.

I saw an elderly lady.

I could tell she was not rich nor well off due to her clothes.

But she was kind looking and humming softly.

The care she gave each cloth was very noticeable.

This showed me she was patient, intentional, and caring.

She was gently attaching one of the colored cloths when I approached her.

I politely introduced myself.

I told her my curiosity was raised when I saw her.

With her soft voice she replied these are prayer flags.

I inquisitively asked “Prayer flags?”

My mind then went into a million questions.

But I had to make a choice of one.

I ask her “What do they stand for and whose are they?”

Touching my shoulder gently,

And placing the next one in my hand,

She said “These are the voices of our town.

When we desperately need help beyond ourselves.

We place that request on this simple piece of cloth.

The cloth is attached to a string.

And the wind blows these to God.

When our answer has come,

We find the flag blows off the string and into the heavens.

Sometimes the flags are still bright and sturdy when taken to God.

Other times the flags are faded by the sun and worn from the rain or snow.”

She continued to say “It does not matter which.

When they are blown to the heavens, God has answered.

We say these prayers silently many times. 

But other times we show our faith by giving these up to God on our prayer flags.

When they are strung together,

It means we all are behind that prayer as well and we all become stronger.”

She asked “Child would you like to place your request on one?”

My heart became a little lighter,

And my head was so relieved.

I wrote out my situation in letters, words, and symbols.

I handed it to the lady.

She attached it to the string.

As my cloth joined the others,

I felt the slight breeze lift the worries from my heart.

I became as free as the flags.

I felt the wind carry me up into the heavens.

I had always voiced my quiet prayers to God,

But never had I physically given them away.

If you ever see a small cloth on the ground,

Or one flying through the air.

Or one gently swaying from a branch of a tree.

You will see a great act in faith right in front of you!

God has already answered these prayers,

And given faith to another Soul that needed soothing.

Lori Rennae Hickman Chapman

Find your faith in a special way this week by flying your prayer flags!  Your way may be a song, art, a written piece, and the list goes on!  It is our faithfulness that God seeks.  Why would we ever hold back on that?  Thank you so very much for being with me this week.  I may not be with you next week.  God has answered a great prayer for me—one whose request was raised to God from many!  Back issues have troubled my life for a long time.  In order to correct some of these problems, I am having a minor(outpatient) back surgery next week.  I know in my heart this is part of God’s plan for me, and I look forward to receiving the healing he is providing through skilled medical personnel.  Please lift an extra prayer flag for me this week!   I hope spring is filling your heart, and the time of the year is filling your soul.  I can never thank you enough for allowing me to be a part of your life.  Praise God for recognizing all of our faithful ways!





My St. Patty’s Day

With St. Patrick’s Day happening this week, I could not help but to think about my family and the blessings I have because of them.  I am Irish on three of the four sides of my family.  I was very blessed that my grandparents and great-grandparents shared stories with me about our family and their journeys.  All three sides were commoners, farmers, and skilled workers.  When times got really bad for survival in the Home country, they had to search for other options in order that my family would survive.  That option for all three sides was seeking refuge in America.  It was difficult and hard, but they made it to the Free country.  However, the difficulties and struggles did not end by just arriving.  They fought elements, poor living conditions, hate from others, and all other complications that come with uprooting from a familiar country to an unfamiliar country.  They did survive and thrived!  And the families after them and the ones following them.  Each generation was given great opportunities and hope for success, peace, and freedom. 

My family became a part of a new family while sharing their own Home country traditions and by making new ones.  I, my children, and my grandchildren are the beneficiaries of this fight they fought.  We have and continue to have so many blessings and opportunities due to their decisions.  When days like St. Patrick’s Day come around, I have to acknowledge and recognize the real sacrifices my family members made and the courage they had that got us here.  Just like we also remember our Home country traditions during Christmas, Easter, Halloween, and other holidays.  We never lost the traditions of the Home country.  They just became intertwined with our New country traditions.  Always celebrate your Home country traditions to honor and remember those that brought you where you are today.  Never let the weeks or days go by without celebrating!  Go all out!  Because many sacrificed so you could!  Honor those that have blessed you and brought you where you are!

My St. Patty’s Day

Tales told by the family.

Home country of green and heather.

Gaelic stories of the people and the land.

Desires for a good life began.

Farmers of crops.

And farmers of fish.

Provided by the lush green.

And the sea sides overflowing with fish.

Seeking freedom from governmental domination.

Risky for the whole family.  Would they try?

Packed with their valuables.

A journey across a sea of danger was their course.

Survival of diseases and dangers.

The way of the Lady led them.

To the free America.

The hills and trails led the others.

Both making a new life of hope.

Struggles were real.

New crops to learn and new types of animals.

Some became community leaders in the wilderness.

All finding their place in a new land.

Poor with very little.

Came with only their skills.

Dreams of something better in life.

Dreams of hope for their children.

I sit here comfy in my blessings.

On a day of celebrating.

Gaelic ways joining with Christian ways.

St. Patrick leading the way.

Successful career.

Fulfilled life.

Children and grandchildren with a great future.

Freedom to be and do anything.

How can I be free?

Because of family bravery.

Sacrifices, death, perseverance.

To be free.

The Homeland is in us.

Ways and traditions are kept.

Our heritage celebrated.

Even in the land of the free.

All coming together, old and new.

For our families.

And our family’s future.

Always being who we really are and what we become.

The new life opened new ideas.

The old life included traditions of who we are.

My heart is in the Home country.

And my soul holds the freedom of the New country.

Lori Rennae Hickman Chapman

Thanks for being with me this week.  I hope you find inspiration in today’s piece to remember your heritage.  Thanks for celebrating one of my family’s favorite holidays this week.  Search out and find what great blessings you have been given from your heritage.  Although we all have the part of our family’s past that may not be the best, we all have many more parts that are great to celebrate!  Celebrate your Home country with your Free country!  You will find out just how blessed you are!  Be proud and know you are blessed!




Birth Day

It’s your birth day!!!  Oh! How we all interpret this so differently!  As a youngster the most exciting thing in the world is to know your birth day is coming or it is here.  It brings gifts and parties which means cake and yummies.  Then as teens we are so excited because it is usually a day we get to celebrate with peers.  A time where you have established yourself as a member of a group.  You start to understand belonging.  As a young adult we see the birth days giving us that freedom we have so desired.  We are out on our own exploring the world! The next birth days in our 30’s and 40’s become a little less about you and more about who you are sharing your life with.  More of reflecting on the goals you are reaching and are you pursuing the right path in your life.  Then the middle years arrive.  Our birth days remind us how precious life is.  As we lose some of those we love and gain others that we love, we understand the true meaning of living.  We examine our life to see if we have done all the great things we dreamed of, and if we have not, we become very focused on making those happen.  Then the years begin to add up to the golden years.  Wow!  Are these birth days special!  We are very excited to see another birth day!  Our day to day living includes hobbies you dreamed of, trips you planned, and the miracles you witness each and everyday of this life.  No matter where your birth day lands in the year, and no matter what level of celebration you are at, never let a birth day go by that you do not give thanks!  Give thanks that you were chosen to be here for others! Celebrate your uniqueness as a human!  Be joyous over what you are doing or what you have done or what you will do!  This day is so important because you were chosen to put your mark in this time and place for a specific reason.  So—Celebrate!  Party!  Give thanks!  And rejoice for who you are and for the fact you really do have a birth day!

Birth Day

Moment by moment.

Hour by hour.

Day by day.

Year by year.                                          

These seconds of our lives are connected.

We turn around and it is another birthday.

The minute, hour, and day we were birthed.

We become a separated physical and mental being.

Capable to physically live by oneself.

Mentally able to grow.

We either go from this birth,

Kicking and screaming.

Or flailing and in a panic.

Or inquisitive and calm.

All entrees demanding our own needs.

From that day of celebration.

We make our tracks in this world.

We are our own individuals made like no one else.

We lay our hands on the lives of others.

Our growth is due to the care and love of others.

Our memories lay in our rigged minds.

The experiences we go through are stored there as well.

The heart and the soul that is ours.

Make choices that create this path of our life.

The decisions within our souls on that birth day.

Some of us support birth days.

As if there may never be another.

Others of us see them coming,

And wish there had never been one.

But no matter our view they come around.

But that is not our choice.

What sets that birth in motion,

Also sets the life we will live.

Or the life we will continue to live.

Documented from year to year.

Maybe that birth day,

Is when we were picked from the stars and the angels.

To enlighten others in another world.

To bring love, joy, and happiness to someone else.

To carry out our specific purpose and to serve others.

Then a day comes when our journey ends.

Our hearts and souls move to another place of love and joy.

Bringing all our experiences that has fallen from birth day to birth day.

Making each little moment between those precious.

All of these moments there forever.

Let not your birth day come without celebration!

Someone somewhere felt you were worthy enough to be chosen to love others.

Chosen with your own special code of structure.

Do not let a moment go that you do not love.

And do not let a year go by without truly living these seconds of your life!

Lori Rennae Hickman Chapman

Thank you so much for being with me this week.  I totally understand that your time is very special.  I am so honored you spend some of that with me!  Stop and think about your birth day this year.  Do not let it go by without celebrating.  This does not have to be put on by other people.  It is your day, so celebrate like you want to.  You make it happen because it is your day.  Make it happen in the fashion you want.  Just never hesitate to celebrate the unique person you are!  Happy birth day to each of you all year long!




Agape Love

Very few humans are capable of the types of love I discuss today in my piece.  We put our very best effort out there, but we just always fall a little short in reaching this type of love. I guess that is the difference in our human hearts and an Agape heart.  Does that mean that we don’t try?  Do we just give up and never aim for that type of love?  No!!!  We keep at it!  We try to accomplish this love above anything else.  Practicing this type of love no matter my attitude or the person’s attitude I am being asked to love.  If we give up, we have lost hope.  But if we continue trying, who knows what level of love we can reach!  A love that is amazing, awestruck, astonishing, and awesome!  Go out into the world this week and practice your loving!  Send that love out there without any expectations or requests.  You never know what you will get in return.  It could be enough love to last an eternity!

Agape Love

I don’t understand how You do it.

You love me no matter.

Your hand touches my soul,

And I know I am loved.

I can say bad things.

My actions can be wrong.

I can hurt someone,

But You never stop loving me.

Unconditional love.

Love above all.

How can anyone love so deeply?

How can one not reciprocate that love?

I do not know what You see.

You think I am capable of so much.

Your confidence tells me I am loved.

This gives me hope for a purpose.

If only I could love as You do.

Without expectation.

With giving of oneself,

And never expecting an action in return.

You allow me to make mistakes.

This allows me to learn and to grow.

So, when the next situation arises,

I know the right decision that should be made.

You always forgive me.

Someday I hope to forgive as greatly as You do.

To forgive and give any person love.

Love instead of anger or pain or revenge.

I give thanks in my life for Your love.

Please be with me no matter how silly I get or badly I act.

Thank you for teaching me to love.

For the greatest gift of all is loving all the ways You do.

I hope Agape love is my goal.

With your help I can reach that goal!

To find the awestruck love you find in all of us.

To love us more than we love ourselves.

Lori Rennae Hickman Chapman

What better goal to have this week than going out and loving people!  I know last week I gave a person trying to help me a very angry, rude response.  I choose this week to call back and apologize to this person.  I gave this person a gift they never realized they would receive.  I could hear in their voice just how much they appreciated being loved this way!  They knew I sincerely cared about them and their situation, not just my own situation.  Don’t forget while you are passing out love this week to pass out some to yourself!  If we cannot love ourselves, it is much harder to love others.  As March brings us new growth, let that growth be in our own hearts and minds!  I thank you for being with me, and know I truly love you!