Little Kindnesses Can Change Someone’s Life, #RRBC

Thursday was not a good day for me.  I was feeling all sorts of blue, and that’s never me.  I mean, in some parts of town, I’m called “Sunshine” because I always have a smile on my face for someone.

I woke up not feeling all that grand and if my memory serves me correctly, I went to bed feeling the same.  I was tired, mentally and physically and my heart was racing a little…which is always my queue to get up, turn off the lamp and walk away from my office.  I turned in at a decent hour Wednesday night (for me, that is), which was probably before 3 am.  I slept a little late the next morning, but still woke up with a horrible headache and a mood that wasn’t so pretty.

As I went about my work day, I could feel that certain irritability growing inside me, which I’m pretty familiar with by now, and my intolerance for little annoyances, even in my work, was steadily growing.  (I think my family could feel that storm brewing, because they were gone a lot longer than usual yesterday…the poor things).

Later that night, my daughter called and said that they were on the way home.  I was excited for their arrival, because I really hadn’t seen them much that day and I don’t like when our days are that busy.  When she got home, she walked in with a package in her arms.  She kissed me on the cheek, laid the package on the table and said “Lucky you, Mom, the package is for you,”  as she headed up the stairs.  For me?

Since I get books to be reviewed by the dozens every day, I just assumed that it was a really big book inside the package, as I wasn’t expecting anything else.

When I opened the box, I pulled out a beautiful coverlet, which I would later find out, after pulling envelopes from the box, that it was a “prayer shawl.”  First, I opened the smallest envelope and inside was a beautiful card, hand designed and signed by the artist:

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and then, this message was also included:

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I was just as excited for the card and this message from the artist, as I was for the actual gift!  And then, I read the little pamphlet inside, explaining the “prayer shawl” and its purpose.  I won’t post the entire thing, but will share the part of it, that moved me most (I am re-typing it exactly as is written on the pamphlet):

“SHAWLS…MADE FOR CENTURIES UNIVERSAL AND EMBRACING, SYMBOLIC OF AN INCLUSIVE, UNCONDITIONALLY LOVING GOD.  They wrap, enfold, comfort, cover, give solace, mother, hug, shelter and beautify.  Those who have received these shawls have been uplifted and affirmed, as if given wings to fly above their troubles…” ~ Janet Bristow

“This prayerful ministry reaches out to those in need of solace and comfort… Many blessings are prayed into every shawl.  The maker begins with prayers and blessings for the recipient.  The intentions are continued throughout the creation of the shawl.  Upon completion, a final blessing is offered before it is sent on to the recipient.  The recipient may continue the kindness by creating a shawl and passing it on to someone they know that is in need of comfort and blessings.  Thus, the ministry has a ripple effect, from giver to receiver, the unconditional embrace and sheltering of a nurturing and loving God.  The shawls must always be given away unconditionally and never sold.  They are created in prayer for the recipient, that they may be embraced by the prayers and blessings contained in each stitch.”

 Now, I wouldn’t refer to me as a highly religious person.  Hold on a minute, though, don’t confuse what I’m saying, because I do have my religion, but I would say that I am more of a spiritual person and the two are clearly defined differently.  So, after reading over all the material that was enclosed with my gifts, I slowly and carefully unfolded the beautiful shawl and wrapped it around my shoulders.  I cannot tell you what happened in that moment, but I felt a warmth come over me like never before.  I was instantly “calmed.” I stood in my dining room, trying to make sense of what was happening to me, but my mind was still, and my heart no longer racing.   I felt so safe, I felt so loved and just thankful.  All of the stress of my day disappeared instantly!

I picked up the card and read the inside because I hadn’t done that yet, as I was so moved by the sentiment of  the drawing of the card.  It was from someone very special to me, someone who may not even know that she is such a calming force in my life and she makes me want to be a better person, and from her calm strength, I am searching for my own calm strength.

When the initial shock of the feeling that I was getting from the “prayer shawl” had moved on, and my feet felt that they could now do what they were made to do, I gathered all of my gifts and walked in the direction of my office.  I sat down, shawl still draped about my shoulders, closed my eyes, laid my head back and prayed…thankful for the gift which was sent to give me peace and solace.

After I finished praying, I got up, draped the shawl over my desk chair…

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…and started to walk out the door of my office.  I stopped, turned around and looked at the shawl, draped neatly over the back of my chair, and said to myself “I don’t want to leave it here.  I want to take it to bed with me tonight so that I can feel its warmth and security as I sleep.” So, I turned around and gently lifted it up from the chair and headed to my bedroom.

I got into bed without kneeling to pray last night, as I wanted to, for whatever strange reason, pray, while lying on my back, looking upwards, with my “prayer shawl” safely covering me.  And I did.  I closed my eyes and slept like a newborn baby last night.  When I woke up this morning, that headache of mine was present again, but yet, I felt extra safe and secure, still wrapped in my shawl.

I haven’t reached out to my gift-er yet, as I wanted to write this blog as a THANK YOU to her and in honor of her kindness shown.  I want her to know just how much this “gift” means to me and just how it moved me, especially by showing up at just the right time last night.  Gwen, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.  This precious gift is already one of my true treasures and if today is any indication, I don’t think I’ll be taking one step without my “prayer shawl.” I got into my car this eve, and guess what went along for the ride?

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I’m now seated back at my desk, and guess what is draped about my shoulders?  It feels as if I am safely wrapped in the wings of angels.  Thank you, dear friend!

I am interested in gifting my daughters with their own “prayer shawls” so I will be reaching out via the contact info included in my gift box.  I’m going to share this info with you, in the event you’d also like to gift someone:

OUR LADY OF THE LAKE, PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY, 203 Vaughn Drive, Branson, MO  65616, email:  info@OLLBranson.com

~~~~~

Gwendolyn M. Plano / @gmplano is the author of “LETTING GO INTO PERFECT LOVE” and the cover of her book houses Angel’s wings.  How fitting is it that the gift she has sent to me, makes me feel as if I am wrapped in those same wings?  (By the way, this is an awesome story, I strongly suggest you pick up a copy).

Letting Go Into Perfect Love by Gwendolyn M. Plano

So, what do you think?  Have you ever heard of “prayer shawls?”  Do you believe in their ability to make you “feel” something when they are draped around you?  I would love to hear your thoughts. 

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43 Comments

  1. Shirley Harris-Slaughter

    What a nice story and gift. Its really nice when you get something special that really means something. The most meaningful gift my mother ever got and appreciated so much was a backscratcher she got from her grandson—my son. Simple things can mean a lot.

    Thank you Nonnie for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have heard of Prayer Shawls. I believe we are all connected, all the same energy and so you will have felt Gwen’s intent and love for you when wrapped in the shawl she made just for you. What a beautiful gift!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Novels by Jennifer Hinsman.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sweetest post ever! What a wonderful gift. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful story, Nonnie. You described Gwen so perfectly, that I knew it was her before you disclosed her name! Gwen does have a voice and an attitude that wraps you up like a prayer shawl, doesn’t she?

    So prophetic that the shawl arrived on a day you were feeling blue. But know this…we are all out here ready to hold you up when you are feeling down, so please, reach out when you’re in the midst of the blues, rather than telling us about it afterward!

    Thanks for sharing this – and for the pictures !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Blaire! You know, Nonnie doesn’t feel “down” as in the sense of feeling “blue,” very often. There are times when I am not feeling well (but, I’m sure that’s all due to the fact that I don’t get much rest, and that does take its toll on a body and mind), but I am blessed in knowing that I have a TEAM of you all there to lift me up, when I feel I need it.

      Thanks for dropping by, and welcome back from your way-too-long-vacation!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I never heard of a prayer shawl before, but I do believe in Divine Intervention, and I think that’s what you experienced. Gwen was put in your life for a reason, and that shawl was meant to be delivered to you right when you most needed it. Just like I was meant to read this post right when I needed it. Thank you for sharing, Nonnie.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Staci, I’m so glad this post lifted you in some way. I hope it was in the same way, my “prayer shawl” lifted me!

      Thanks for dropping by. And when you’re in the midst of a storm, you now belong to an awesome family of folks at RRBC, who have shoulders made just for leaning. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Such a lovely and timely gift from a very caring person within our midst. Thank you, Gwen, for your thoughtfulness and your love. So happy you received this wonderful gift, Nonnie!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. reanolanmartin

    LOVE this, nonnie! and planning to order one or two! wonderful gesture, gwen…so heartfelt! and so appreciated!!! xox

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s great, Rea! It was my intent that this ministry would be supported by my posting their info here. I now think that everyone in the world deserves and needs their own “prayer shawl.”

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Reblogged this on Room With Books and commented:
    What a wonderful blessing delivered at the time it was needed!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it was delivered at just the right time, Patricia. Thanks for the reblog!

      Liked by 2 people

  10. How lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I was unfamiliar with prayer shawls but it sounds like they make up a wonderful ministry. How thoughtful of Gwen to send you a shawl…and precisely at a time when you needed it. I have no doubt the Lord’s hand was in that timing. Thanks for the beautiful post and for sharing the information on Our Lady of the Lake.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for dropping by with your kind words, Mae. So appreciated!

      Like

  12. Beautiful story. Thanks to Gwen.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Beautiful post and what a wonderful gift. Cherish it always.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Mar

    What a beautiful and touching story. The idea of the prayer shawl, in itself, sends a calming feeling over me. Thank you so much for sharing this, Nonnie! I’m so glad you received it on a day when you truly needed it. Goes to show you that HIS timing is always perfect. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. That’s certainly a wonderful gift to receive and to give between two remarkable ladies 🙂 Like Harmz says, some things defy explanation and just uplift our spirits and make us feel cocooned in love and wellbeing. It’s a powerful talisman and I’m glad that it’s giving you such gentle, healing support, simply by enfolding you wherever you go, and helping you through your busy life.
    I’ve heard of prayer shawls before, mainly in a ceremonial role – this is how they should be used though! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jan, it’s an amazing feeling!

      Thanks for dropping by!

      Like

  16. I’m so glad you wrote this, and so meaningfully and beautifully.
    My church has a prayer shawl ministry – several people there make the shawls and some of them are ‘shut-ins’ — and I was given one. I have a draft of a blog post about it, as a matter of fact, and you have no idea how much I related to your post today!
    Take good care of yourself, Nonnie. You give so much to others, but you must give first to yourself, or you won’t be able to continue helping others. I hope you heard my mother’s voice as you read that (smile). She was always telling me that, but it sounds as if you may need that advice now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cynthia, thank you and I did hear your mother’s voice…with great clarity. Don’t they all say the same? Using the same words (universal as they are) and using the same tones. Motherly love.

      Thanks for dropping by with your kind words! They have made my day even brighter!

      Liked by 2 people

  17. Gwen Plano

    Oh Nonnie, I am so moved by your comments. I’m sorry you were feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders and your heart. I’ll be thinking of you, praying for blessings abundant, and offering hugs from afar.

    Like

    • Gwen, you have moved me in ways that you will never, ever know. Thank you for your continued prayer over my life and thanks for the hugs, albeit from afar 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Yes Nonnie, I know about prayer shawls. I use them everyday, and yes, they are special. I bought one from Benny Hinn many years ago, and another from Cerullo. I use them for my morning and evening prayers, and when I don’t, I feels like I am empty, naked before the Lord.

    I thank God for you that you found something that is working to keep you calm and protected. Right now, you have yourself covered in prayer. Don’t forget to add your own prayer to it always.

    Gwen, that was very thoughtful and kind of you. God bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Why am I not surprised that you know about prayer shawls? I expect you, my dear friend, to know everything! Yes, you are just amazement in action in my mind, dear Joy! And it was such a beautiful gift from Gwen, wasn’t it? Just when I needed it most!

      Thanks for dropping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. harmonykentonline

    So sorry to read that you were feeling so under things, Nons, but delighted to read on about the beautiful and timely gift from Gwen. She truly is a wonderful lady. Like you, I am spiritual rather than religious. And I definitely believe we are all connected, and so any prayer or dedicated meditation on behalf of another has a powerful affect. For me, it’s not so important how things work, or what names/frameworks we put around this, but enough that things do work. Blessings to you all 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Beautifully put, Harmz! Not so much how they work, but that they do…so true!

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

      *Hugs*

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Hamlet:
    What have you, my good friends, deserv’d at the hands of
    Fortune, that she sends you to prison hither?

    Guildenstern:
    Prison, my lord?

    Hamlet:
    Denmark’s a prison.

    Rosencrantz:
    Then is the world one.

    Hamlet:
    A goodly one, in which there are many confines, wards, and
    dungeons, Denmark being one o’ th’ worst.

    Rosencrantz:
    We think not so, my lord.

    Hamlet:
    Why then ’tis none to you; for there is nothing either good or
    bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.
    Hamlet Act 2, scene 2, 239–251

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Reblogged this on Anita Dawes & Jaye Marie and commented:
    a beautiful idea…

    Liked by 1 person

  22. What a beautiful idea!
    Years ago, I used to crochet circular christening shawls for the people I knew were having babies, and I remember that creating them used to have the same effect. Towards the end, they were so big and covered my lap as I worked, the softness somehow infusing me too…

    Liked by 1 person

    • The warmth was so strong Jenanita, just so amazingly strong. I don’t think I’ve accurately described what it felt like, but hopefully, I’ve given a tiny clue. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and also reblogging!

      Liked by 2 people

      • you described it perfectly…

        Like

  23. Reblogged this on Linda Mims.

    Like

  24. What a beautiful post to read at 3:00 in the morning as I lay stressed and unable to sleep. I believe in the power of prayer so, I don’t doubt that your shawl is representative of being in the shelter of the Almighty’s arms!
    What a warm, thoughtful gesture on Gwen’s part!❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda, I am wrapping you in my own “virtual” prayer shawl and I hope that you can feel the warmth emanating into every crevice of your heart and soul. Know that whatever stresses you are feeling right now…”this too shall pass.”

      Take care of you!

      Liked by 1 person

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