Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Do you want to know a secret?

Some people sing in the shower—I sing to the Lord while I do some simple wake-up exercises before I dress for the day. I call them my “Spiritual Exercises.” They are my own stretching and bending routine to keep my ancient bones and muscles at least minimally limber.

My performance may not be a very pretty sight so it is entirely private, although I face a huge picture window in my master bathroom. My home is on a hill--I have named it "Eagle Summit" since it overlooks a wooded valley and distant hills. Through that window, each season is spectacular in its variation of colors. No dwellings block my view nor am I exposed to human eyes. I watch the sun rise if I rise early enough. In the summer the large, stately oak tree outside that window provides shade, and I watch feathered creatures flit about doing their own exercise routine. They appear to be singing along with me. In the winter, bare branches, sometimes snow laden, give me an unobstructed different view of God's creation. 

Following the adage “If you don't move it, you lose it!” I slowly reach and stretch and bend and swing and clap—to the extent that I am still able in the eighth decade of my life. I softly sing to the Lord an intimate medley of praise songs—either with my cracking, aged voice, or in a breathy whisper. Only God can hear me and I believe He is pleased with whatever comes forth from my lips or my heart. It is a “joyful noise unto the Lord” even if I only think the words. I go through my physical routine in rhythm with the words of the praise songs that follow:

I begin with the familiar “Morning has broken” tune but with my own words. I have always been deeply Trinitarian and direct my praises to the Godhead in that manner.

“Morning has broken like the first morning. I have arisen praising the Lord: Praising the Father, praising the Son, and praising the Spirit, great Three in One.”

Then, “I love You Lord and I lift my voice to worship You, O my soul, rejoice! Take joy, my King, in what You hear, may it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear.”

I follow with a three-stanza song: Father I adore You, lay my life before You, how I love You!” (Repeated to Jesus, then to the Spirit.) 

After that, “When morning gilds the skies my heart awakening cries 'May Jesus Christ be praised!' Alike at work or prayer, to Jesus I repair, 'May Jesus Christ be praised!'”

If I still have stamina and breath, I continue, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, early in the morning my song shall rise to Thee; Holy, holy, holy merciful and mighty: God in three Persons, blessed Trinity.” 

After that, “O worship the King, all glorious above, and gratefully sing His power and His love; my Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days, pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise.”

If I have any strength left, I conclude my morning praise looking out on God's creation wonderland singing “Fairest Lord Jesus [or in a newer version: Beautiful Savior] Ruler of all nature, O Thou of God and man the Son: Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor, Thou my soul's glory, joy, and crown.”

That's about all that my diminished lungs can muster! These are not “Ignatian Spiritual Exercises”—they are Leona's. They work for me as part of my “Morning Offering” of praise and surrender to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

I love this, Leona.