It’s been a month of good times with our grandchildren and visitors from near and far! There have been some sad times, too. The death of a friend’s young son (age 30) in a car crash, followed by the death of his grandfather, a close family friend (age 92) a week later, gave us pause to reflect upon our own mortality again. Yes, AGAIN! We get so caught up in our daily to-do lists that we forget to treasure each day, good or sad. What a reminder for us that death is not ours to conveniently pencil in on the calendar whether we are young or old.

After all this I was just getting back to my favorite spiritual practice—writing—when I started to feel rotten. Not my usual rotten! This time it was my scalp itching and paining along with a headache. I finally gave in and went to the Cancer Clinic on Wednesday not knowing what might be going on. I’m so weird! Now I am being treated for shingles of all things! I never expected to ever have to deal with this! I’d had my vaccination so I was good to go! Right? Lo and behold! The vaccination is only effective 50% of the time! I immediately thought of a quip I used frequently when I was a young, aggravated mother, “I have only one nerve left and you, my dear, are standing on it!” Well, I’m taking the antiviral medication and trying not to whine and scratch my last nerve! We go back to the clinic on June 7 to partake in the usual menu of inspections, detections and selections! I’ll try my best to behave for the sake of all those around me.

I’m back at writing a bit every day that I can. In searching for something I wanted to include in my book, I found a prayer that I wrote in 2011. It’s continues to be my prayer!


God of all the times of our lives, grant us this—just one day at a time!

Just time enough this today…

for joyous laughter to follow any tears;

for deep prayer and silence to dance together;

to help someone in need or distress;

to notice the beauty around us and give you praise for it;

to build a solid bridge to forgiveness;

to tear down a stubborn wall of resentment;

to hold loving friends in our arms;

to smile at a weary stranger;

to play with energetic children;

and to sing praises to you with loud adoration.

God of all the times of our lives, grant us this—just one day at a time!


Rev. Donna B. Coffman, June 25, 2011



  1. Sarah Phels
    May 27, 2017

    Oh Donna! It seems so unfair that you should have shingles on top of everything else. Much love coming your way from me, and hopes that it stops itching ASAP!

  2. Harriet Smith
    May 27, 2017

    What a great prayer. I will use it tomorrow in our SS class – fits right in. All will continue praying for you.

  3. JoEllen Delamatta
    May 27, 2017

    Merci Donna for taking the mundane and making us reflect with a spiritual and material perspective!

    May we all nurture our day at a time!

  4. Gerrit McDaniel
    May 27, 2017

    praying this setback responds to rx and you get back to being you

  5. Melodie Davis
    May 27, 2017

    I can think of one word to say and it starts with the same first 3 letters as shingles!! But we’ll keep it clean here; you are a Rev. after all. I never knew the vaccine was only 50% effective. That’s awful. It was good to see Terry last Sat. night and he said you were working on your book every chance you get when you feel good enough. I hope they are giving you something to control the itchies. Bless you & prayers.

  6. Mary Lou
    May 27, 2017

    Love your poem! Can’t believe the injustice of Shingles…of all things!!! Holding you in prayer for comfort & healing. Love you!

  7. judy williams
    May 28, 2017

    Thinking of you and praying with you! What a wonderful prayer, one to “pass it on” if that is OK–of course with your name. ; ) Am so sorry bout your shingles; sounds like they might have itched like mine did! Gene had them, too–despite the shot. I cannot take shot, so I wasn’t too surprised. Prayerfully after the hiatus in Durham, you will be back to have fun with your grandchildren and all your family. Your presence was with us @ the retreat last month. So good to see old friends and make new ones! Love to Terry & to you, Judy & Gene Williams

  8. Shannon Tate
    May 28, 2017

    OH no. Not shingles. I am so sorry. Hope they and Al your symptoms will become tolerable soon. Hugs and prayers.

  9. Tam Larson
    May 28, 2017

    Only YOU could get shingles to liven up your already busy life, right! I’ve so enjoyed seeing pictures of you and Terry enjoying the grands. Hope you can get back to doing so very soon. In the meantime, I KNOW you are taking your ‘one day at a time’ and enjoying to the fullest means possible. Loved your prayer as I do all your writings and so glad to know you have been able to more of it recently. Much Love, Hugs, Blessings and Prayers – Tam ❤️

  10. Cindy Mitchell
    May 28, 2017

    What a lovely prayer. One day at a time has worked for me for many years. Take care of your lovely, beautiful self. Hugs to you both. Love, Cindy

  11. Beverly Silver
    May 28, 2017

    Dear Donna, I am so sorry about those Shingles! I agree with Melodie! It was so good to see Teryy last week, and to hear about your hopeful plans to travel. I know he has told you about seeing and visiting with Lucille G. I brought her to the service and she said she had known J & E since they moved in at SS. Lived next door to them in the Highlands. She was thrilled to get to see Terry and have time to visit. The service was beautiful in many ways, as I am sure Terry has told you. H e did a beautiful job, himself. At the end we al sang “Lord of the Dance, and Susie led a dancing line around the worship room. It was so beautiful and so perfect for the ending of the service! My thoughts and pryers are with you both, and I surely hope the antiviral meds are helping! Love to both of you, Beverly

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