A Jewish mystical teaching suggests that as we sleep, our soul leaves our body and spiritually “recharges,” returning to our body in the morning. This is reflected in a brief but powerful morning blessing: Modeh Ani…”I am grateful, Creative Source of the Universe that you have protected my soul and renewed it for another day of purpose and compassionate living. I am happy that I can depend at least on this.” What if there was no sleep and life was an unbroken awakeness – we would lose so much. The joy of surrender to sleep, with the release that comes with letting go…letting go of the day and it’s cares, it’s failures, it’s disappointments. Just the physical slowing down and sinking into the mattress and the pillows. And if there was no sleep we would lose the possibility of a new beginning each day, of a renewal, of a do-over. Nonetheless waking up is a two edged sword and we may not feel like giving thanks. Each day we wake up to the reality of our physical limitations … aching bones, a need for more sleep, and we wake up to our own story once more with all its pain and loss. But we also wake up to all the joys of our life and our story and the possibility of experiencing new joys and adding wonderful moments to our story. Each day we are given the opportunity to not only improve but also transcend our yesterdays, to open a new chapter in life that is neither predicted nor determined by what we did and were up until now. We have the opportunity to free ourselves of yesterday’s mistakes and build a new, recreated self. The prayer Modeh Ani – affirms that there is something of Divine significance for each of us to do in this world every day. It also reminds us that we have the power to not let yesterday defeat us. Drenched in Holiness: a prayer by debbie ford Dear God, On this day I ask You to grant this request? May I know who I am and what I am, Every moment of every day. May I be a catalyst for light and love, And bring inspiration to those whose eyes I meet. May I have the strength to stand tall in the face of conflict, And the courage to speak my voice, even when I’m scared. May I have the humility to follow my heart, And the passion to live my soul’s desires. May I seek to know the highest truth And dismiss the gravitational pull of my lower self. May I embrace and love the totality of myself? My darkness as well as my light. May I be brave enough to hear my heart? To let it soften so that I may gracefully Choose faith over fear. Today is my day to surrender anything that stands between the sacredness of my humanity and my divinity. May I be drenched in your Holiness And engulfed by Your love. May all else melt away. And so it is. -Debbie Ford

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I am a wife and mother, a once-Catholic now UCC Christian, with a degree in Theology, a Masters in Religious Education, 27 years of theology teaching experience -- mainly High School, some College. I am now nationally certified as a Chaplain and feeling humbled and privileged every day. I love my family and I love to write; writing helps keep me sane. Published writing: • From Hurt To Healing, Publish America 2004, ebook on Amazon, 2011; •"Forgive and Forget," America Magazine, September 16, 2002; •"From Victim to Victimizer," Human Development Magazine, Summer 2005; • It's Just Not Fair, Introducing The Fairly-Good Mother, ebook at Amazon, 2011; • Traces of Hope: Surviving Grief and Loss, March 2015, St. Johann Press http://www.amazon.com/Traces-Hope-Surviving-Grief-Loss/dp/1937943275

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