On my way home I caught this amazing sunset over the marina. My instant reaction was “God is Good.” That has been a running verse in my mind the past few weeks as so many of my prayers have been answered.
I’ve been mulling over “Intentions” for the New Year. Setting “Intentions” is similar to setting resolutions but, in my mind, less intimidating. Perhaps it’s just semantics. I prefer the softer feel of “intending” rather than “resolving.” I’m trying to be kinder to myself lately; not cramming so much into a day, reserving time for “me” things like writing and walking and reading, and allowing myself to simply “Be” with my Beloved. So I’m going to be gentle and set “Intentions” for 5779.
After contemplating a long list of “Should Do’s” and “Would Love to Do’s,” I’ve whittled them down to just two (bli neder*):
- Strengthen my Faith through Daily Prayer.
Prayer is my safe place. It’s where I go when I need strength or grace … a private portal to God who listens when no one else will or when I need to share something that I can’t share with anyone else. God knows my weaknesses and my desires.I’m going to learn the morning prayer, the Modeh Ani, in both Hebrew and English and say it to myself upon waking:Modeh Ani L’fanecha Melech Chai V’kayam
Shehechezarta Bi Nishmati B’chemla
I offer thanks to You, living and eternal King,
for You have mercifully restored my soul within me;
Your faithfulness is great.
Before going to sleep, I’ll recite the Shema:
Sh’ma Yisra’eil Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad.
Barukh sheim k’vod malkhuto l’olam va’ed.
Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.
Blessed be the Name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever.
These simple prayers are said by millions of Jews each day. My intention is to raise these prayers in simple thanksgiving and grace and still myself to listen to God’s answering whispers.
- Strengthen my Body through Daily Exercise.
My body is aging; I’m a few days shy of turning 54 and I certainly don’t move like I did even four years ago. Living a quarter mile from my boat to the parking lot, I get a half mile of walking in daily, whether I like it or not. (And on rainy days, I really don’t like it!) When we sail, which is not frequent enough, I get a great workout. And if I could just have my weekends less full, I’d be kayaking and SUPing regularly. (Back to that goal of cramming less into my schedule!)
My intention for exercising daily is to get in at least 10,000 steps. I’ll get these in by parking in the farthest spots from my destination, going up and down our long flight of stairs at work a few times a day, extending my daily work post office trip to a tour of the surrounding area and taking Tiki for a 15 morning walk. I’d like to attempt more regular yoga practices, too. I’m also going to put more intention into bedroom activities; having sex with one’s spouse is actually a commandment from God, and it burns a ton of calories. 😉
And with that, I’m off to my bunk for evening prayers with the intention of saying morning prayers followed by writing and a walk with the pup tomorrow.
*In Jewish law, a vow has serious consequences. Not keeping a vow is considered a sin. The term “bli neder” (without a vow) allows the speaker to set a goal without violating a sin should she not fulfill the commitment.