Weekly Devotional

July 17, 2014 

by Jody Gyulay


If you missed last weeks devotional or want to re-read one from the past go to the Devotional Archives page.

Queen of life My way.

As I have learned just in this year...disabilities, pain and learning to work with them. As I go to OT 3x/wk I keep telling them that they learned their techniques in North Korea. I beg them to move south but to no avail. We laugh and treasure any progress. I love each of them. We have fun, work hard and celebrate every minimal accomplishment.

Each morning when I awaken I begin my day with a gratitude list .. frequently the same ... thanksgiving for my health, friends, peace and serenity, the lessons I need to learn, my SACC family.... A great way to begin a new day with a wonderful walk with Otter dog and constantly amazed by the beauty of dew or raindrops on petals, sunrises, clouds, fellow walkers and, of course, the dogs walking their un-furry parents.The friendship of those I have the privilege of bringing their paper to their door. I am enthralled by the miracle of the wonderousness of our sacred body. No computer can work as long and function as this gifted body.

I pray for my friend so courageously fighting an inoperable brain tumor whose decline she carries with such dignity, another who has one-sided paralysis whose husband died within a week of his diagnosis. I went to high school with each of them at different schools. Both so created for their marriage. I held his hand as he shared he did not want to linger to bring more sadness in their lives. Another whose husband died suddenly of pneumonia. The parents and loved ones of murder victims. Change...new parenthood, new marriage, fresh teenagers, leaving for college, job losses, new jobs, hopes, dreams, retirement...The list is endless for the constant changes in our lives. As we choose to flow with them, to be mindful of the pricelessness of newness, lessons and the unexpected we can remain calm and have some serenity in the process. It is NOT easy. Change is hard for us humans!

Under a huge tree eating a blueberry muffin after picking the last 5# towards 35# I talked with 2 wonderfully brave women who had immigrated from Korea. Their stories harrowing. We shared our concerns for peace in the middle east and the world, the plight of girls and women, gratitude to live in America.... and how we can bring peace and gratitude to others in the here and now. I knew I had come upon 2 miracles of wisdom in the unexpected, unplanned moment.

As the Buddha taught.. life is messy and hard but there are ways to make it less difficult. As we come to acceptance (doesn't mean you have to like it), stress is less and painful emotions are decreased. Calm can be the center of change...the constant in our lives -peace and serenity can be our anchors in the random craziness of this life. It is vitally important to be gentle with ourselves and tender the frustrations with self-compassion. The12 Steps also teach us the road to peace. There are many roads to the avenue of Peace and Serenity.

Dear God of peace, please bring serenity to my, at times, overwhelmed soul. I am alive to meet the constants of change...bring it on for I am grounded in your tenderness and compassion. Give me flexibility of body, mind, and, especially, spirit. Amen

(Jody Gyulay is a member of Saint Andrew. She is a retired hospice palliative care nurse and now works part time as a social worker at The Hospice House. She can be reached at