"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you a hope and a future."

(Jeremiah 29:11 NIV) 

 

 

 

 

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     Janene Ternes, Director
   Prayer in Motion, LLC
   Saline, MI  48176
   734-347-2422
    
prayerinmotionllc@gmail.com

 

 

 

NEWSLETTERS 2011

 

 

 

Year End 2011

Greetings!
 

My quarterly newsletter seems to have become a bi-annual affair! My intention was to send this out in July, but here we are at the end of the year. I am pleased to report that Prayer in Motion, LLC celebrated its 8th anniversary in July. - beating the odds for yet another year! Read on for all that has been keeping me from sending this newsletter earlier...

 
May Blitz
May was an exciting month, kicking off with the religious formation finale at SStBlaseRelFormt. Blase Church in Sterling Heights. Asked to hit the high points of a year of classes for grades 1 through 5, I covered the 10 Commandments, Reconciliation, First Holy Communion, the Lord's Prayer, Hail Mary and Christ's Resurrection in movement and song for about 100 children grouped by age. It was an exhilarating, yet reverent time.

A few days later I was at the Episcopal Ministry Fair in Detroit for my annual workshop to people who work or volunteer in the Episcopal churches throughout Michigan. The fair has been a wonderful inroad for contacts at each of the 6 I have participated in over the years . I have always been warmly and enthusiastically received with my offerings filled to capacity and then some.

CabriniWomenA week later I led a full day retreat at the Mercy Center in Farmington Hills for a lovely group of women who have been meeting for an annual retreat for more than 30 years. They call themselves the Cabrini Women since they started out at St. Cabrini parish which no longer exists, but they are still going strong! It was a lovely day of prayer and sharing with women, some of whom traveled several hundred miles to be with one another in this sacred time.

 
Summer Slow Down
WeberWalkwayAfter all the activity in May, and actually since my return to work in early February after my surgery, I was happy to have the month of June to regroup and continue the healing that was stalled by my lack of sleep and attention to self during this hectic time since my medical leave. I began to get quieter within, preparing myself to direct retreats at Weber Center in late July. I was blessed with 5 retreatants, ranging in age from a young adult to a nun in her 80's, to journey with during their 5 days on retreat. I was challenged with maintaining my focus during this time as I commuted back and forth to Adrian each day because of my dog Mellow's need for more intense care (see story below). Also during that time I received news of my 27 year old nephew's tragic, sudden death. However, despite my own personal issues, the Holy Spirit was powerfully at work in each of the retreatants, giving them life changing insights and healing. It was a good reminder that God works with me, and often for me, in all I do.
CanadaMellow
In August, shortly after I did a morning reflection with the Lansing Council on Aging, I packed the car and Mellow and headed to my in-law's cottage in Canada with my sister Jan. It was the ultimate slowing down of body and mind, filled with sleeping in, scrap booking and sun bathing. It was precious time spent with Mellow on her last trip to Lake Huron. While needing extra helps to navigate the sand and water, and Jan and I to carry her up the hill, she enjoyed the adventure of long walks, new smells and having me with her all the time.


 
Fall Faith
The fall was deadly slow with nothing scheduled until mid-October and not much else on the calendar after that. Once again my faith was tested as the medical and vet bills mounted and my income was down to little more than my 1/4 time position at St. Francis. I could hear the words of my deceased spiritual director Shaun, who had journeyed with me through the early days of financial fears, saying "Has God ever let you down yet?" I clung to those words while swinging into action, knowing that my current situation was the result of not enough marketing during the times this year when my attention was focused on my recovery from surgery and then care for Mellow. Thanks be to God, my phone started to ring and the calendar started to fill.

St Paul of the CrossMy retreat day in October was at St. Paul of the Cross. The theme was Engaging Aging, where we took a look at where God was throughout our lives and where He was calling us in the future. An amazing group of women participated, including three generations in one family - grandmother, mother and 16 year old daughter. We used movement, music and art to remember those times of knowing God's presence. As always seems to be the case, it was just what I needed to bolster my faith and reassure me of my current calling.
Holiday Fun
While attending a marketing event in November, the Faith Formation Director at St. Therese of Lisieux in Lansing approached me about conducting a children's Advent retreat. My immediate response was "yes", followed later by a barrage of thoughts about whether I could actually handle a group of 6-10 year-old children for the whole morning and do something meaningful with them. However, of all the retreats I've done, none have ever been planned so easily, the Spirit guiding me the whole way. We enacted the complete Christmas story, beginning with a movement prayer experience and drawing of Mary & Joseph's journey to Bethlehem and concluding by making little boxes and putting our gift to the baby Jesus in them. We took our gifts to the church where Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was in process and we put them at the altar, just as the three kings had done when they came to adore Jesus. Then we knelt in Adoration for a brief while , although I'll admit that 10 minutes of silence with little children can seem like a lifetime!

LivingNativity2011As has been the case for the past 6 out of 7 years (we got snowed out one year!), I have been blessed to choreograph the dances for the angels in the Nativity Procession at my home parish, St. Francis of Assisi in Ann Arbor. I continue to learn what is possible with a one hour rehearsal for an unknown number of children ranging in age from 5-10 years. And of course there is always the unpredictable actions that night of the live animals and shepherds that traditionally proceed us. This year we had an accomplished group of older angels who danced unfazed despite the shepherds in their space. And the little ones above offered the gift of their hearts to the baby Jesus. Both this and the Advent retreat, experiences with the little ones, gave me the special gifts of innocence and joy, making present to me the true meaning of Christmas.
On a Personal Note...
BracesOff

I am happy to say I got my braces off at the end of August, much earlier than expected. I continue to wear clear retainers to keep things in place until the bone heals, but they are quite comfortable and a vast improvement over braces! While I have great looking teeth, the more important thing, and reason for all of this, is that I am able to make contact on my back teeth and actually use them for chewing. This photo was taken right after I got my braces off. I look much happier than in the post-surgery photo you got in the last newsletter!
 
My healing from jaw surgery, however, has gone much slower than I anticipated. Next week it will be 1 year since my surgery and I am just now able to eat most foods without pain. I have been seeing a physician at the U of M pain center for 3 months now. He has put me on increasing doses of medication to calm the nerves that continually fire in my face, feeling like electrical current is coursing through my veins. The medication has managed to reduce the affected area to the left side of my chin and lips. While it is a big improvement, I don't want to live like this long term. Once again though, I am reminded that there is much in life I don't have control over and it would seem I am being called to surrender yet one more area.
 
As many of you know, I put my dear companion of 15 1/2 years to sleep right after Labor Day. It was the hardest decision I've ever made. While agonizing over what to do, I received a "chance" phone call from a dear spiritual director friend, Sr. Stephanie. She has never called me before so I can only presume the Holy Spirit's hand in this! As we traded updates on our lives I shared my concern over having to make this decision for Mellow when she couldn't let me know what she wanted.
MellowLastDay
Sr. Stephanie suggested I might want to take Mellow's face in my hands and look her in the eyes. I knew immediately that was what I was being called to do and rushed over to her as soon as I hung up the phone. As I sat holding Mellow's face and looking into her eyes, I saw a deep peace, intense love for me and total trust. In wordless communication I asked her if she was ready to go home and felt her affirmative answer in my heart. The decision was made and I called the vet to make an appointment for her to come to our home. From that moment on an unexplainable peace came over Mellow. The panting that had been the result of every movement she made for the past year, from standing up to sitting down and everything in between, ceased. The above photo was taken on Mellow's last day before we walked a half mile (without any panting), shared some ice cream and lots of snuggle time together as I prepared to say goodbye. Her departure was more peaceful than anything I've encountered as our vet, Monica Turenne, lovingly helped her go home. Mellow was truly serene as she gazed into my eyes and I stroked her ears and head, telling her what a good girl she was as she drifted off to sleep. The only sounds were the tears of the vet, her technician, my sister Jan and I. While I miss her terribly, I trust that we will be reunited in heaven where she romps joyfully with Don. Where else would someone who is total love be?
 
As this year comes to an end and 2012 quickly approaches, I give thanks for your presence in my life. My wish and prayer for each of you is to know the love, peace and joy of Christ. Happy New Year!
Sincerely,
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Prayer in Motion, LLC ... Let the Spirit move you!

 


 

Winter/Spring 2011

 

Greetings!
 

I hope you are having a blessed Holy Week and eagerly anticipating celebrating the Resurrection on Easter Sunday.  I started back to work 5 weeks after my jaw surgery on January 4th and haven't stopped since.  It has been quite a journey personally, as well as in my ministry, so read on for all the news ... 

 
Tentative Beginnings
GIFTMy first program after surgery was at St. Thecla's in Sterling  Heights, about an hour and a half drive away.  I was the featured speaker for their GIFT (Gathering in Faith Together) program.  While the children received age appropriate lessons elsewhere, I shared my story and Prayer in Motion with about 70 parents gathered in the gym, including the largest proportion of men I've ever worked with.  I arrived tired from the drive, with many fears about how I was going to be able to talk with my face and mouth both numb and in pain, but soon the Holy Spirit took over and it was effortless. 

My next hurdle was an all-day retreat at St. Paul of the Cross in Detroit on the theme of "Hope."  As I prepared for it I wondered how I was going to have the energy for the whole day with my most active program.  I packed lots of liquid protein drinks to sustain me, unsure if I'd be able to eat anything they were serving for lunch, and prayed for strength.  Amazing energy came and I realized part way through the day that the theme of "Hope", which I had chosen more than a year ago, was exactly what I needed as I struggled with my recovery which seemed to have no resemblance to what I was told
it would be like.

A couple of nights later I was at St. Mary's in Wayne for an adult faith formation night.  The day before we had a big snowstorm and the faith formation director had a death in the family that would not allow him to stay for the evening.  We went ahead anyway and had a lovely group, including someone I used to work with 20+ years ago, and I turned the lights out as I left.  Talk about a full-service operation - I even lock up! 
Discernment Time
St FrancisIn early March I was faced with a big decision - take the full time position at St. Francis that was being offered to me, at a nice salary, including benefits, or continue in the financial uncertainty of Prayer in Motion.  My discernment was made more difficult by the $16,000 unpaid surgery bill that I was, and still am, wrangling with the insurance company about, as well as my weakened physical state from the continued pain and inability to eat much.  Plus, the one making the offer was the very pastor that suggested I enroll in the spiritual direction program that so changed my life.  I prayed for openness to God's will, made an appointment with my spiritual director and gathered as much information about the options as I could.  After a difficult week of discernment, the only thing I knew was that I couldn't do both Prayer in Motion and the full time parish work.  I prayed that God  would let me know REALLY CLEARLY which one to choose.  

PIM LogoAfter my prayer I went to St. Paul of the Cross to do my portion of the Women in Mid-Life program for their nurses workshop.  We have done this for 3 years now and it is my most challenging program because I share my story and engage them in prayer never knowing what, if any, belief in God the participants have.  That afternoon I was particularly in pain because I had forgotten to take my Ibuprofen before my session.  Right after I finished I headed to the ladies room to take my medication.  There I found a woman from the workshop  who  proceeded to share that when I told my story about being angry with God after Don's death, she recognized herself.  She told me she has been living her life in anger since her father died.  I asked how long ago that was and she said "I was 14."  She was in her 50's now and told me how grateful she was for this realization.  I clearly heard God's voice in my heart saying "Leave the 99, go after the 1."  And so I did.  I turned the full time job down and am continuing with Prayer in Motion.  
Intergenerational Fun
Since my decision I have done an amazing variety of programs - a staff retreat for the teachers of St. Francis School, a women's breakfast at Emmanuel Lutheran, a retreat for parish nurses on becoming more like Mary (as opposed to Martha) and a retreat day on peace.  Each had it's highlights but the two programs that stand out the most are the intergenerational sessions I did in little towns west of Saline. 

StJosephShrineThe first was at St. Joseph Shrine in Brooklyn, near the Irish Hills.  We had about 70 youth from kindergarten through high school, with the majority older teens.  Faced with ones who couldn't read and didn't know their right from their left and so many older teens who could become disinterested if I concentrated on the little ones, I was really challenged to think on my feet.  I taught the various parts of the Mass using music and movement and was amazed at how engaged everyone was.  And I have never been with a nicer bunch of teenagers.

About a week ago I was blessed to work with an intergenerational program at St. Mary on the Lake in Manitou Beach,  about an hour southwest of Saline.  A much smaller church, I was expecting the usual concentration of 7-10 yeHosannaar olds found in religious education classes.  Much to my surprise, the vast majority were senior citizens and pre-schoolers.  Talk about an age span!  We took a mini-tour of Lent using movement and music, including Jesus' temptation in the desert and the Last Supper.  Everyone particularly enjoyed the celebration of Palm Sunday.  Above we wave our arms like palm branches as we herald the arrival of Jesus into Jerusalem.  Hosanna!
On a Personal Note...
Thank you all for your prayers and support at the time of my surgery and the long recovery. I received such an outpouring of cards, calls, emails, visits, flowers, home made soup and other tokens of love from so many. I literally worked right up until the time of my surgery - getting to bed about 3 am for a short nap before leaving for the hospital at 5 am; in retrospect, probably not the wisest way to go into a major surgery like this! I never would have made it without my sister Jan's help the night before, the day of surgery and the next days following. She and my brother Bud took me to the hospital at that early hour.

 

PostSurgeryThe initial days were a blur of pain meds, trying to eat by pushing liquids through a syringe with a rubber tube on the end into my mouth, which was rubber banded shut, and vomiting at times, if you can even imagine what that would be like! But I was well cared for by my sister Jan, a nurse, who organized the many medications I was taking and got up with me at all hours of the night, by my mother-in-law who came to stay with me next and made homemade chicken soup and shared morning "Mass" with me as we read from her daily Mass book, my friend Sherry, a massage therapist, who made daily visits and treated me to daily massages and prayer, my friend Noraleen who walked Mellow faithfully every day for two weeks despite the cold and snow, and finally my sister Judy, also a nurse, who flew in from Georgia to stay with me for a few days.

 

My life went from breakneck speed before surgery, to a total standstill afterwards. For days I was unable to do much of anything. During those quiet times of contemplation I was reminded of what is really important in life, a lesson I try hard to hang onto now that life's pace has quickened considerably. While I did return to work after 5 weeks I have been surprised at how difficult it has been.  My energy level is lagging and I am on constant pain meds to try to quell what feels like electric current running through my mouth and face. It is an odd feeling of being numb but on fire, supposedly the nerves regenerating. And eating continues to be a painful, unpleasant exercise. I am eating soft foods like pasta and scrambled eggs, wondering when I'll ever be able to bite into a good burger or piece of pizza. The surgeon says it can be anywhere from 2 months to a year. But most importantly, the surgery was very successful, my jaw is in the right place now and I can tell that my bite matches up. Once I am able to actually chew without pain I will definitely be able to appreciate that more!

 

During my time home recouperating I was blessed to have my faithfulCompanionMellow companion, Mellow, at my side. She turned 15 a few weeks ago, very old for a lab. While each day has its ups and downs and she's getting pretty finicky about eating, Mellow still loves to go for a walk. We travel slowly down the street as I rejoice that my dear friend is still moving and take time to notice the Presence of God during these brief respites of slower pace. 

 
In this holiest of weeks, and each and every week following, I wish for you God's most precious gifts of love, peace and joy.   
 
Sincerely,
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Prayer in Motion, LLC ... Let the Spirit move you!


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