Last week I went to St. Louis for a convention with my mother and some of my family. While my mother and I went to classes and lectures, there was still plenty of time to explore and enjoy some of the things St. Louis had to offer like Sweetie Pies aka The Crust! The day we went Oprah Winfrey’s camera crew was there filming for the show Sweetie Pies that comes on OWN. We had to sign waivers and take pictures. The line was down the block, but it was well worth all of that standing when I got my fried chicken and sweet tea to perfection! LOL!!! I made sure I wore comfortable shoes because I knew it would be a line. We also went shopping at one of the outlets that day. I was beyond tired each day so I never got to unpack my swimsuit and get in the hot tub. My family was really supportive, understanding on this trip and did everything on this trip to make sure I was comfortable (I have Rheumatoid Dis-ease). I also did not overextend myself much. I slept like a log each nite and was refreshed each morning. Oh and I was cute each day in class! I also met some wonderful people I hope to see next year in Oklahoma.
I’ve been to St. Louis many times as a child and a few times as an adult. It was always a rush as an adult. Six flags, zoo, eat, relax at the hotel, go home. But, this conference allowed me to see St. Louis in a different light. There was much more to see and do for a week and I did not feel stressed or rushed. However, I must return for a week without a conference and do much more! I’m an advocate for visiting a place a few times and doing something different each time.
I took a photo of the sunset each nite from my hotel room.
Yesterday, I prayed. I sat outside on a unseasonably warm winter day and I prayed without words. I heard cars driving by, large trucks making loud noises, a motorcycle taking off down the street. I leaned back in my deck chair and kept my eyes on the blue sky and wispy clouds moving above. I heard car doors slamming, people talking loudly on their phones, and shouting loudly across the way. I watch the birds fly high, chirping amongst each other in the swaying trees. I saw man made birds taking people to their destination. I felt the cool breeze blow and felt the warmth of the sun on my face. Sometimes I closed my eyes, but most of the time they were open.
Communing with God, I always escaped to a quiet place. I like it better. I am learning to pray in places I cannot escape so easily physically, pray in the space of chaos. Pray in the space of noise. Hear the noise and mentally turn it down by using your senses. Bring your focus back to nature…back to me (God within). Listen, speak or not, or just be. I felt peaceful. I believe God was teaching me a very valuable lesson. We often think we can pray anywhere. We often think prayer is asking, words, thanking, etc. We hardly think it’s just listening or meditating. We only think of prayer and meditation in limited ways. I believe God wants to expand my mind and thoughts in prayer.
My body has RA, Fibromyalgia, and Osteoarthritis. I experience noise and chaos in my body. Something’s hurting, something’s achy, anxiety, depression, frustrations, etc and that is the door slamming, a large truck beeping, loud conversations, honking horns, jets overhead….that is noise! Chaos. The city in my body. But I can still use my senses to turn on peace, to focus. Getting to calm so I can commune. I need these things to do what I was sent here to do.