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Celebrating Everyday Spirituality

Sunflower Seeds

Celebrating Everyday Spirituality

Acceptance Speech for the Gift of Life

(Photo by Pixabay)


We are nearing the end of the Easter season which culminates in the feast of Pentecost on May 19th. I think the celebrations of Eastertide and Pentecost are celebrations of life. And next Sunday is also Mother’s Day in the U.S. when we give special thanks to our mothers for conceiving us, bearing us, giving birth to us, and nourishing our lives in countless ways. In addition, while I watched parts of the award shows (Golden Globe, Grammy, Academy Awards) and listened to the acceptance speeches, I wondered: Do I thank God enough for being “awarded” the gift of life? I was praying about this one day when I felt the urge to write an acceptance speech for my personal gift of life. This is the speech I imagine I could have given to God right before I emerged from my mother’s womb…


“Acceptance Speech for the Gift of Life”


I wish to thank our Creator God for this precious gift of life.

I am truly honored to be the recipient of so great a gift.

I never expected to receive this gift of a single, unique human life.

I never asked for this gift. How could I? I didn’t exist yet.

I also assure you that I have done nothing to merit this priceless treasure.

So, I come before you today amazed… humbled… and extremely grateful.

Speaking of gratitude, I would like to thank my parents in a special way

for cooperating with Our Creator to share their own gift of life with me.

Mom, Dad, I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for both of you.

I also want to warn you: in raising me, you will have at least twenty-one years

of work, worry, and (hopefully!) some joy ahead of you!

So Thanks, Mom! Thanks, Dad!

(Photo by Lisa Fotios – Pexels)

In light of being entrusted with the gift of life,

I would like to make a few promises to God.

First, I promise never to take my life for granted. Never.

Second, I will respect the lives of my fellow recipients of this same precious gift:

Those who have gone before me.

Those who will walk this earth alongside me.

And those who will come after me.

Third, I will never use this gift in any way

that betrays the love with which it was entrusted to me.

Instead, I will endeavor to use my life as a life-long investment in loving,

in whatever form or length of time my loving may take,

thus imaging the Beloved One in whose likeness I am made.

And fourth, if I fall short of these promises (and I already sense I will),

I will seek our Creator God’s forgiveness,

for I know the Giver-of-all-Gifts is rich in mercy and over-flowing with loving kindness.

(Photo by Ivone DeMelo – Pexels)

I now sense my birth is imminent. Finally.

I am about to squirm and wiggle from my mother’s warm and life-sustaining womb

and to venture out into the big and beautiful world awaiting me.

I sense there are people with my mother helping to deliver me safely.

One is even waiting to catch me in their open hands.

As I take my first breath, Beloved Creator God, know this:

My birth cry is my way of saying Thank you! Thank you!

I pray that these same words will be on my lips when I take my last earthly breath too.

Amen!


Happy Mother’s Day to all you mothers out there!

And thank you for your life-long investment in loving!



For reflection:

Name some individuals in your life who helped you to see that your life is a precious gift from God?

What are some of the ways we make our lives “a life-long investment in loving”?

How do we extend our love to those who came before us? to those who will come after us?

Would you add any things to your own “acceptance speech” for the gift of life?




Our video today is a song by the contemporary Christian musician/singer, J.J. Heller. The title is “One Wild and Precious Life” and it comes from the last lines of the poem “Summer Day” by Mary Oliver: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I find the words of this song to be very beautiful. It begins with bringing a baby home from the hospital–and the fears involved. And the song concludes with that child’s wedding day. This song is sometimes played at wedding receptions for the father/daughter or mother/son dance. In between are words like these: “Sometimes a leap of faith is the best thing we can do, ’cause if we waited till we were ready, we would never move… We got some things wrong, we got some things right… we had lovely dreams and sleepless nights… but every sunrise brings another chance to be surprised… just listen to the music and take one step at a time… until we find we are dancing through this one wild and precious life…”



I invite you to comment below–on the reflection, the pictures, the song….

14 Responses

  1. Good morning, Sr. Melannie…
    Good morning, all…

    Wow! Perhaps I should just stop there. But, of course, I won’t! “Those who will walk this life alongside me.” Beautiful words that remind us we walk this journey together. We all started the same way. An acceptance speech that calls us to accept and love our fellow travelers as we all try to figure out our “one wild and precious life.” Thank you!

  2. Good morning Melannie,
    Hope you’re doing well.
    What a great idea to write a thank you letter to God for the gift of Life.
    Your letter is lovely.
    May God bless you this week and everyone who reads your inspiring words.
    Prayers,
    Jane, CSA

  3. Good Morning all, What a beautiful tribute, reflection, pictures and song this morning with upcoming Mother’s Day. Thanks, Sister Melannie. Started Monday morning and the upcoming week off in grand fashion.

  4. JUST SPENT A BEAUTIFUL WEEKEND AT MY GRANDSON’S WEDDING IN INDIANAPOLIS.
    ALL MY CHILDREN AND MANY GRANDCHILDREN WERE THERE, I AM SO PROUD OF EACH ONE THIS WEDDING EXPERIENCE WAS TRULY A GIFT FROM GOD.
    I AM SENDING YOUR BLOG TO ALL OF THEM AS A MOTHER’S DAY GIFT. IT IS PERFECT.
    AND YOU MELANNIE, ARE THE MOTHER TO SO MANY. YOU HAVE LOVED AND NURTURED ABOVE AND BEYOND. BE BLESSED IN EVERY WAY.

  5. Beautiful!
    I feel this same sense of sincere gratitude when receiving Holy Communion. That our Lord would come to us, welcome us, befriend us.
    So blessed to have a large, loving family to journey this life with.
    Your perspective amazes and excites me Sr Melannie.
    Look forward to every Monday for you words of wisdom!!

  6. Thank you Melannie for this inspiring message. I will write an acceptance speech also. I have the experience of asking for life and getting it again. I faced a very serious open heart surgery 12 years ago to take care of two unrelated heart issues. I remember saying before I went off, that I will be grateful every day if I survive this. And I pledged to do more in life for others. I marvel — and so did my doctors–that I came out of it successfully.
    Thank you for your inspiration! Mary Ann

  7. I was so moved by the blessing of your Thank You Speech, photos and the song, Wild and Precious Life by JJ Heller. I have eyes full of tears and a heart full of gratitude for the four extraordinary children my husband and I were gifted with! Now we have also welcomed two amazing grandchildren. God is so generous! Our sincere gratitude to you Sr. Melannie!

  8. Thank you Melannie for sharing your beautiful gratitude & acceptance speech. Your words and you yourself are a gift in my life. I’m grateful every day for the gift of my life and for that of all my loved ones and friends.
    Loved the music selection too, very moving. My parents were very loving & nurturing and I thank God for choosing them for me. I miss them every day.

  9. Thank you Sr. Melannie for the reminder today to thank our good God for the precious and wild life we have been gifted with. I am grateful-most days- for my life but have never specifically thanked him like you did in your acceptance speech. In my early twenties, a mentor encouraged me to write a letter to my mom thanking her for the gift she had passed on to me and let her know how that gift was impacting others’ lives because of mine. I did this for a few years before she passed away. My first birthday after her death, I felt saddened not to be able to continue this. I think I’ll start again and write to God about what I’m most thankful for. God bless you and all your readers!

  10. Your reflection is very inspirational. You are so talented in writing. Ihave two of your books which we used in a group for study and inspiration.
    Blessings and thanks. Sr. Julie

  11. Thank you deeply for writing your acceptance speech for the wonderful gift of life.
    It makes me think of several things I regret not doing well when I was younger. Thanks to God for giving me countless chances to do right through the years. Others, if we are humble enough to ask them, give us hints or firm dirctions that we need, unless we are too sure of ourselves. It’s a great pleasure to reflect on your wise writings.

  12. Sister Melanie- Thank you for doing God’s work and reminding us how precious LIFE is.
    I forwarded your “Acceptance Speech” to my good friends at the Cleveland Pregnancy Center who everyday support PreBorn babies and their Mothers and Fathers; especially those who may be considering abortion. Thank you and God bless you.

  13. I really liked the song…and it really does happen just that fast with children/grandchildren. Thank you for reminding us to be grateful for our greatest gift – what a wonderful Father we have who made us his own children in giving us life. And then to add salvation and grace to the gift of life.

  14. C:\Users\Roberta Silvey\OneDrive\__photo\Inspirational Pics\A Bonding Love05-12-2014 08;07;41AM.jpg

    I wrote this poem after my second son was born. It was a trying time for me, but he was my joy. Each of my 4 children has played & continues to play a special role in my journey in life. Thank you, Dear Lord for the experience of Motherhood, of being a Grandma & a Great-Grandma… seeing life go on.

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Meet Sr. Melannie

Hi and welcome to my blog! I’m Sister Melannie, a Sister of Notre Dame residing in Chardon, Ohio, USA. I’ve been very lucky! I was raised in a loving family on a small farm in northeast Ohio. I also entered the SNDs right after high school. Over the years, my ministries have included high school and college teaching, novice director, congregational leadership, spiritual direction, retreat facilitating, and writing. I hope you enjoy “Sunflower Seeds” and will consider subscribing below. I’d love to have you in our “sunflower community.” Thank you!

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