Special Issue - Prayer

Prayer by Design

by Moira Cullings

OLATHE — Laura Damewood prays by design — the designs of the landscapes she works on, that is.

“Over the last three years, my spirituality became more of a priority, so I found myself searching for ways to incorporate it into every aspect of my daily life,” said Damewood, “not just in church or the chapel or cozying up with the Bible.

“So I guess really my yard and my clients’ yards have become my outdoor adoration chapels.”

Damewood, a parishioner of Prince of Peace Church in Olathe, said that praying on the job has brought inner peace to her life.

“It’s a form of recognizing and having gratitude for the divinity found in all things and all people at all times, everywhere,” she said.

“It makes me appreciate the crew I have who do the labor, the tools I use, the clients I meet, the plants and trees, the water — everything,” she added.

This form of prayer, she said, eliminates worry, fear and anxiety.

“Praying helps me change my perspective on daily things and helps me remember that all things and situations serve a purpose,” said Damewood.

“My life is so much stronger now because prayer has led me to surrender and trust in God, and has placed the unfolding of life situations into the hands of our heavenly Father,” she said.

Outside is also where Damewood feels most connected to God.

“Prayer is prayer, no matter where one is . . . but I’ll admit that praying in my yard takes me deeper than going anywhere else,” she said.

Nothing, said Damewood, not even chocolate, is better than watering plants under the warmth of the sun, listening to the birds and saying a prayer.

She also makes an effort to pray throughout the day, even if she’s not working.

“The car is where I generally pray for others — especially those that cut me off in traffic!” she said.

A sense of humor and the ability to offer things up rather than get angry give Damewood a sense of peace.

Many times throughout the day, the mind wanders, she said, and prayer helps to refocus the mind, bringing a sense of awareness of the many things for which to be thankful.

“Praying with intention is profound,” she said. “I peacefully glide through life on the wings of prayer, and it’s like being in heaven every day.”


About the author

Moira Cullings

Moira attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Overland Park and Benedictine College in Atchison. She majored in marketing, minored in psychology and played center midfield for the women’s soccer team. Moira joined The Leaven staff as a feature writer and social media editor in 2015. After a move to Denver, Moira resumed her full-time position at The Leaven and continues to write and manage its website, social media channels. Her favorite assignment was traveling to the Holy Land to take photos for a group pilgrimage in 2019.

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