Tag Archives: prayer

Thankful Thursday:) Quiet Thoughts in Pencil

11 Jun

“ There is nothing more peaceful then quiet thoughts, an empty sanctuary, a sketch pad and a pencil.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


A late night call to a friend going through a hard time, an early morning call about an old friend needing prayers, these are the the things that make you thankful and prayerful.

Last week when I went to St. Gabriel for Adoration, I decided to take a sketch pad and a pencil. I sat in the empty still sanctuary and sketched the large crucifix behind the alter. I thought this would be a great meditative and artistic endeavor. Indeed it was.

Today, I had some special prayers and thoughts that needed attention. I took my sketch pad after lunch, and went to the chapel for Adoration. Afterwards, I walked into the main sanctuary, but I was not alone, this time. Father Don was giving a tour to the new seminarian who will be joining our parish. Perfect timing. I interrupted Father’s description of the stained glass windows saying, “Father, last week I came to Adoration and sketched our crucifix. It’s a perfect form of meditation and talking to God. I would like you to have this.” Then, I presented him with my sketch.

It was a crude first attempt, and I’m not that great with the human form, but Father appreciates it, none the less.

After I lit my candle and said my prayers for my special intentions, I took out my sketch pad and started to pencil in one of the many gorgeous stained glass windows.

I heard some of what Father Don was saying about this one…Adam and Eve, Creation, the lion and the lamb, but I didn’t catch it all. I was busy drawing. There was a lady sitting near the front of the church who came over to see what I was doing. We struck up a long conversation, so I didn’t get a lot of sketching done. I was busy showing her some of my many paintings, glassware, poems, etc. on my phone. She asked what I did, so I showed her. 🤦‍♀️ Ah, a captive audience. Miss Sherry was impressed. A while later, Helene came in from the chapel and was introduced to my new friend. They chatted and I continued to draw. I made sure to take a photo because I’d have to finish the drawing at home.
Here is the finished pencil rendering. The nice part of my pencil sketch is, I put the finished drawing into my Artisto app on my iPad and played with all the different cool options. Here are a few. I really need to make some notecards with a few of my favorites….
I can’t decide which one I like the most. I guess I like them all.

I am so thankful for my God given talents, and the time to be quiet and meditate with pencil and paper.

Thankful Thursday:) “Once Lost”

28 Feb

They once were lost, but now they’re found

My gloves had fallen on the ground

I had them last at church on Sunday

Not in the lost and found on Monday

I searched for days, but they weren’t there

So, I knelt down and said a prayer

Back to the lost and found I went

The box was full and torn and bent

There at the bottom, I could see

My happy gloves smile up at me.

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


This is a true story. Two weeks ago, it was really cold on Sunday and greeting before Mass. I wore my sock monkey hat and the cute puppet gloves my sister graciously gave me for Christmas. ((Actually, I saw them on her table and kinda begged and asked if I could have them.) So, after Mass, I checked my pockets and they weren’t there. I had my hat, but no cute gloves. I went back to my seat and couldn’t find them. I was sad. 😔

I went to check the lost and found on Monday. Nope! I thought for sure someone would turn in the cute gloves. Then, I imagined that maybe a little girl found them and maybe they were meant to find a new owner, and make someone else smile.

Just on a whim today, I decided to go to Adoration to say some special prayers for family and friends and some special people with health problems. Afterwards, I walked across the street to the office to check the lost and found just one more time. I really didn’t expect to find them.

There at the very bottom of the overstuffed crumpled old box, those little happy faces smiled up at me. Happy face…😀

It’s going to be really cold all week, but my happy gloves will keep me warm. And thanks to my guardian angel for making sure my gloves were there. Not to mention the kind person that returned them. 😇

Thankful Thursday!

Saturday:) Salve Regina

11 Feb

“All my own perception of beauty both in majesty and simplicity is founded upon Our Lady.” » ~J.R.R. Tolkien


Being snowed in, with long cold days and even longer Chicago nights, it’s good to have an artistic outlet. While Mom slept a little, I was going through her old Magnificat (daily Catholic prayers and Mass readings) I thought it would be nice to find some psalms or hymns that I could embellish. I thought a simple rose would brighten up the page.

This is a very nice prayer to the Blessed Mother. Quite appropriate, as I sat near my own blessed mother. Mom thought they were pretty nice too.

As my adventures have been few, I’ll be sharing little blessings, here and there.

And I’ll admit, I’ve been saying many prayers to the Blessed Mother. When I can’t fall sleep, I say “Hail Marys” until I’m lulled into sleep. It works. Give it a try.

Theme Song Thursday:) I Believe

20 Oct

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” 

― Albert Einstein


I choose to live my life as though everything is a miracle. Some people say they need proof. I open my eyes every day, that’s proof enough for me. With those eyes, I see a beautiful world with glorious sunsets, wonderful people, and sights that sends my heart soaring. With that heart, I feel the love of friends and family, and even when broken or torn apart,  that heart keeps beating and feeling and loving.

Here’s my theme song for to day. “I Believe,” sung by the King…Elvis.


Here’s why I am a firm believer in prayer, positive thinking, and miracles. Last night, I went over to St. Gabriel for our weekly support group. I always walk in the sanctuary before and after the meeting to bless myself with holy water from the font. Sometimes I light a candle with a general prayer or special intention. When I arrived, with a heavy heart and arms full, I set my stuff down on a chair and pushed my offering inside the little donation box next to the candles. I reached for the tall skinny stick that lights the votives, when I noticed something shiny on the floor beneath my feet. It was a single shiny penny. 
Well, if you don’t know my stories about lucky pennies, the short version is, anytime I was troubled or needed a sign that everything was going to be ok, I’d find a lucky penny from heaven. It was always right beneath my feet, and always at the right time. When I lit the candle for the very important prayer and intention that was weighing heavily on my heart last night, that shiny penny was my sign, the assurance that my prayer would be answered and everything was going to be ok. I smiled, looked up and silently said, “Thank you.” 

( I just posted this a few minutes ago and rushed out to take Bella for a walk. Look what we found by the curb on our way home. I had to come in and add this to my post. Yep! I believe. )

I believe.

Theme Song Thursday:) I Light a Candle For You

28 Jul

“A single candle in the dark of night, a tiny flicker with a brilliant light.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.” ― Anne Frank


Before our weekly support group at St. Gabriel’s, I always walk into the dimly lit sanctuary to bless myself with holy water from the font. Last night, there wasn’t a soul in sight. Perhaps unseen souls were there, but unbeknownst to me. There are two walls on opposite sides near the back with rows of votive candles. One side has a painting of the Blessed Mother Mary, and the other side has St. Joseph, the carpenter, with his young apprentice, Jesus.

Given an option, I light a candle beneath the guiding eyes of St. Joseph. This is to pray for my son Joseph and his new family, but also my son Matthew, and the rest of my family and friends. I always have the same prayer, “Health and happiness for my family and friends.” Then, I add a specific intention here and there. 

I’m a strong believer in prayers, which are basically those silent thoughts and wishes in your mind. 

“A single candle in the dark of night, a tiny flicker with a brilliant light.”

Wednesday:) What Wonders We See

7 Apr

“The small wonders, the simple nuances, are the sites that make your eyes see what the soul searches for.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


“To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, 

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand 

And Eternity in an hour.” 

― William Blake, Auguries of Innocence


That William Blake was a pretty perceptive dude. What you see is what you get, and if you see amazing things, you get amazing feelings in return. I always see or find the most amazing sites on my walks each day. Today, I saw a blue feather on the ground, then another nearby. They were so bright, I wasn’t sure if they were man-made feathers or from some freaky fluorescent bird. There was a white one a few feet away, too. But, to be honest, it was garbage day, and a windy day at that. So, maybe they flew out of someone’s trash. Or, more likely , a freaky fluorescent blue bird flew by.  I like that idea better. Makes for a better story. But, some lucky feathers were placed in my path, none the less.

Also, on my walk, I found a tiny rusty screw,(perhaps, saving someone from a flat tire.) the white feather and a shiny metal washer.

Very interesting, right? Stop shaking your head! It’s a lucky feather thing! 

This evening was our DAS support group at St. Gabriel’s. I like to get to church  a little early to enjoy a little quiet personal prayer time. It’s such a simple, unadorned, peaceful church. I especially love the crucifix with its natural rustic wooden features. The rows of white lilies were lined up like trumpets by the altar, proclaiming the resurrection. 

It’s the little things you see. The small wonders, the simple nuances, are the sites that make your eyes see what the soul searches for. Can you see the glow from the skylights above and the door? 

I was the only one there at that moment. Just me and my thoughts and prayers. The wonders that we see, if we only look.

Theme Song Thursday:) It Just Takes Some Time

1 Apr

“The power of prayer is like electricity. You can’t see it, but it is a powerful energy that can light up the world.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


“Time didn’t heal, but it anesthetized. The human mind could only feel so much.” 
― P.D. James

Today was filled with joy, music, sunshine, friendship and healing prayers. After an exhilileraring Zumba class, I met my friend Mary at McDonald’s for coffee and a chat. I met her last year at church when we both volunteered to be greeters at 9 o’clock Mass. She has become a good friend. A little before 11, she said she had to run off to church for her prayer group, we started our farewells when she asked, “You want to join us?” I’m not the prayer group, Bible study, halleluliah kinda gal, but something inside said it would be a good thing. 

When I arrived, a group of about twenty or more ladies were gathered in the front of the church. I sat next to Mary and listened, read, and sang along with the group. The purpose of the group is to offer prayers or request prayers for special intentions. Everyone shared thoughts and prayers. I truly felt a powerful energy from the group. I’ve always believed that prayers, thoughts or intentions are real forms of energy, rather like electricity. You can’t see it, but it works. I requested, not for myself, but special prayers for our newly formed divorced and separated support group at church. I said that I was in a much better place than I was a couple of years ago, but there are so many suffering excruciating pain and heartbreak that could use our prayers. The moving part was, they all came over, raised hands or touched me, and prayed for my intention. I could really feel the energy. I’m so glad I decided to go.

On my way home, I heard this song on the radio. “It just takes some time.” Not only was it a perfectly appropriate song, but I love this song. My boys used to play this, not only on a cd, but when they jammed on guitar way back when. It reminded me of better, happier days. Days of youth, innocence, and joy. When I drove home, I tapped the steering wheel, bobbed my head like a teenager, and rocked out, singing along. I was filled with joy, the power of prayer and rock and roll. 

Listen to this song, listen to the words, and…ROCK ON!


Reconciling Saturday

11 May

If there is to be reconciliation, first there must be truth.”
― Timothy B. Tyson, Blood Done Sign My Name: A True Story.
I believe in signs; those lucky pennies, found feathers, strange coincidences kinda signs. That’s what happened today, a series of strange events. This is a long one…so be prepared, or go get a cup of coffee.

After writing group this morning, and a leisurely lunch on the square with Mandy, I planned on going over to Art on the Veranda, visit with the shop owners, Dana and Judy, hang out all afternoon and paint on some wine glasses and vases until they closed. Then, I’d hang out and stay for Second Saturday. I had loaded up the car in the morning with all kinds of glassware and supplies. Or so I thought. When I went to my car to grab my stuff, NO glass paints or brushes. A zillion wine glasses and vases, but no paint. Can’t paint without paint and brushes. I’d left them at home. Dang! Not meant to be, best go home.

While I was driving home, I remembered that I’ve been wanting to go to church for Reconciliation (Confession in Catholic lingo) for a very long time, and they had Confession at 3:30 at St. Gabriel’s. Ah, this was meant to be. A sign? I’d never been to Confession there, so I scurried over, walked into the church and found it totally empty. OK, where’s the priest and those confessional phone booth boxes. (Can you tell it’s been a long time?) I was disappointed. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be after all. I walked around, tugged at a few locked doors and peeked down a dark hallway. Nothin’, nada, so I walked back towards my car.

From a distance, I saw a man hop in his car and start to drive away. I flagged him down and asked if he knew where Reconciliation was. Huh! He gave me directions, and It was down that long dark hallway that I’d seen. OK, to make a long story even longer, I found the small room marked reconciliation Room, talked to the priest behind the screen, and received my penance of five Our Fathers. Afterwards, I walked back down the hall and sat alone with my thoughts in the empty church.


Now, here comes the good part. I came home feeling a little better, like I accomplished something on my spiritual bucket list. Even though it was 91 degrees out, I put on my gym shoes and started on my customary long walk. Usually, my mind and thoughts are plagued with sad or angry thoughts during these long walks and runs, but now, I said to myself, “Oh yah, I forgot to say my five Our Fathers.”

Did you know that it is absolutely impossible to be angry, dark, sad, or gloomy while you are mumbling the same prayer over and over and over? After about one mile into my journey and Zen-like prayers, I found a lucky penny on the street. Another sign! Exactly 109 Our Fathers later, I finished my evening walk. The only wavering of complete concentration during this mantra happened a few times during the part, “and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…” I thought to myself, “Na, I don’t think so!” Then I continued.

All in all, a very interesting day of reconciliation and signs. And like the quote says, "first there must be truth." Another thing on my bucket list.


Easter Sunday: Prayers, Blessings, and Friendship

21 Apr

“Be not forgetful of prayer. Every time you pray, if your prayer is sincere, there will be new feeling and new meaning in it, which will give you fresh courage, and you will understand that prayer is an education.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
It was a strange morning. I left a little earlier than usual for 9o’clock Mass, as it was Easter Sunday, and it was sure to be crowded at St. Gabriel’s. Oh my! Not only was the entire lot jammed, the side grassy areas over the curbs were filled with cars. I drove around a while and couldn’t find a spot. So, I decided to leave, hang out at McDonald’s for a little bit, then catch the next Mass.

As I stood in line at McD’s, I thought, this is crazy. I’ll have the same dilemma later, so I went home, looked up the Mass schedule for St. Michael’s on the east side of town. There was an 11:30 service. Perfect! I arrived a little after 11, had no trouble parking, and it was a beautiful Mass. I’d never been to this church, but always wanted to visit.

As an added bonus, after Mass, I was able to go up next to the altar and light a candle by the statue of Our lady of Guadalupe. Funny candle story… I was looking all over for that long, thin stick, lighter thingy that lights the candle, only to discover a tiny red push button that lights an electrical pretend flame in the votive. Ay, technology! Then, to the right of the Virgin was a St. Joseph statue. Even better. I had my St. Joseph statue in my purse that Sherry gave me that will help me sell my house. I know, I know! it sounds crazy, but it works. If you aren’t familiar with the back story, just look up St. Joseph and selling your house. So, I said my prayer to St. Joseph and will bury him tomorrow.

Our Lady of Guadalupe. She’s a little blurry because I was trying to discreetly take a picture.

I said my special prayer and asked for His blessing.

After church, I was invited to Sherri and Michael Murphy’s for brunch. It was a lovely family gathering, complete with an Easter egg hunt for the grand-kids, and massive quantities of delicious food. I felt just like part of the family. I hope they adopt me because Sherri is a wonderful cook. Then, I stopped to visit Lynne and Charlie who live just a couple streets away.

My day started out a little shaky, but it turned out to be filled with special prayers, blessings, and friendship. Later in the evening, both my sons called and we talked for a long time, making my day truly blessed.



Sunday Salutations

11 Nov

We all know that a church is not a building.
Robert H. Schuller

I started out my day with a conversation with the two entities who have been looking out for me since the day I was born. The first, was my dear mother, of course, the second was with God. Yes, I went to church again this morning. I wanted to show my appreciation and respect, ask for strength to carry on, and have a few moments to pray. I know a church is not a building. I find it is a place that gives inspiration and comfort.

After church, I was able to spend another fun-filled afternoon with friends. We visited the art studios on the MAST tour that we missed yesterday and had a great lunch at Louisiana Street Grill near downtown McKinney. What would I do without my wonderful friends, my passion for art and my writing? I am so blessed.

Annie Royer’s studio.

Renee Wrenwood and Gail McLaughlin.

Cool photo op by the Flour Mill.

A good day!