Jottings from My Journal

(A Grown-up Version of a Childhood Prayer)

"Now I lay me down to sleep;
I pray Thee, Lord, my soul to keep..."
Forgive the sins that I have done;
Wash me clean in the blood of Your Son.
Bless my loved ones everywhere;
Keep them safe within Your care.
Thank You, Lord, for all You do;
Teach me always to walk with You.

As I rest, my strength renew,
So I can arise to work for You.
Watch over me in every way
And wake me safe at break of day.
If You should come before I wake,
I'll see You in heaven, what a glorious Daybreak!
Knowing that You're always there,
I rest secure within Your care.

--AnnaLee Conti
© 2013

A Psalm of Life, not Death

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want."
                  He will provide for my every need.
                  I don't need to worry about it.

"He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters."
                  where I can eat and drink and be refreshed.

"He restoreth my soul:"
                  When I have sinned against Him grievously, He takes
                  me back and restores me to my position as His child.
                  He refills my love tank.
                  He prepares me for service again.

"He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness"
                  All I have to do is to trust Him and follow His leading.
                  In the wilderness experience He prepares me to
                  conquer, in His name, my "Promised Land."

"For his name's sake."
                  He does all this not because of any required 
                  goodness in me, but because it is His nature to do so.

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,"
                  The death of my dreams, my hopes,
                  my loves, my goals

"I will fear no evil for thou art with me;"
                  He has promised He will never leave me nor
                  forsake me.

"Thy rod"
                  of correction

"And thy staff"
                  of provision and protection

"They comfort me."
                  When no one else can console me,
                  He gives comfort and grace.

"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:"
                  My enemies are not only people, but
                  my own fears and self-condemnation,
                  self-hate and self-loathing, but
                  God invites me to His banqueting table where
                  He wants to fill me up with His love and grace.

"Thou anointest my head with oil;"
                  The anointing oil of the Holy Spirit,
                  Who calls us to His service and
                  empowers us for the task.

"My cup runneth over,"
                  When my love tank has been refilled with His love,
                  it will flow over to minister to others once again.

"Surely goodness and mercy"
                  God's, not mine

"Shall follow me all the days of my life:"
                  Though I make my bed in hell, or mount
                  up with wings as eagles to sit in heavenly places, or
                  feel tied down by the mundane things of life;
                  whether I live or whether I die,
                  I can never escape His loving care for me.

"And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever."
                  Nothing shall separate me from my place as a
                  member of God's Household.

--AnnaLee Conti
© 2010

One of my favorite activities of the Christmas season is to drive around to see all the beautiful lights. A few years ago, their colors prompted me to write this poem: 

by AnnaLee Conti

Silver stands for our redemption,
Purchased at great cost.
Red stands for the blood of Jesus,
Shed to save the lost.
White stands for the purity of our
Robe of righteousness;
Washed white as snow by Jesus' blood,
We stand in holiness.
Green stands for our Christian growth;
To feed on God's Word is a must.
Blue stands for our loyalty to Christ
In whom we trust.
Purple stands for His majesty;
King of kings is He.
Gold stands for the heavenly place
He has prepared for me.

© AnnaLee Conti 2010

One morning in 2009, I woke up with the first stanza of this poem on my mind. I quickly wrote it down, and the rest soon followed.

by AnnaLee Conti

On river banks no "alabaster cities gleam"
Because on barren shores no Pilgrim Fathers' dream
Resulted in great sweat and toil
To coax food and shelter from the soil
To establish a fledgling colony,
An experiment in democracy.

No Declaration of Independence
That certain rights are granted us by Providence;
No freedom of worship, speech, or press
In our Constitution were addressed;
No struggle for equality;
No wars to tear down tyranny.

No "shining city upon a hill,"
No vision to the world to spill
That man his own dreams can fulfill
For better or worse, for good or ill;
The world without America's ideal
Would certainly have a much darker feel.

Without a Statue of Liberty
To welcome those in poverty,
Without our inventions in technology
And medical aid to the world's society,
The earth without America's grace
Would be a less hospitable place.

Yet we've somehow lost our way,
And now the news reports each day
The rampant greed and shocking strife
And a less gentle way of life,
Of which I want to have no part,
And that surely saddens my heart.

The only solution I know that is real
Is to return to God with a great zeal.
To repent of all our self-centered ways,
And seek His guidance all of our days.
For then He will hear in heaven, and
He'll forgive and heal our beloved land.

© AnnaLee Conti, 2009 

AnnaLee Conti