Wednesday, February 1, 2012

When mothers pray

There are a lot of things that I simply do not worry about.  Weather.  Finances.  Marriage.  Health.  Death.  Salvation.  Kids acing tests and ruling the sports scene.

I don't worry about these things, but I certainly invest in these areas and try to make wise choices.  I just don't stew or worry over what might or might not happen.

I do, however, worry about my people's happiness.  Their hearts.  Bryan's and the kids'...  If they're struggling, I'm struggling.

And, this comes as a complete shock, I know ... but I often forget to pray immediately when trouble starts to rear its ugly head.  I swing into fix-it mode and start brainstorming what needs to happen to turn things around.

Am I ever going to learn?  Am I ever going to stop tasking and instead pray first?!?!

I've decided that Bryan and the kids should be tattooed on their foreheads - Just Pray.  That way every time I see them, I'll be reminded to lift them up, surrendering them to their Heavenly Father and his perfect plan.

These past several months have brought more parenting heartache, confusion and surprise than I could have anticipated when motherhood was merely a pipe-dream.  And if I did imagine that these issues and emotions would arise, I certainly didn't think it would happen before puberty.

I'm not always very smart, but I will say that I've made wonderful choices in friends and confidants!  I'm convinced that my friend Carol prays for my family more than I do.  I talk to her, she listens, she encourages, she prays ... and I listen to her, take her practical advice, and completely forget to pray.

Kids, if you're reading this, stop right now and thank God for Miss Carol.  She's a gift to our family, for sure.  I'd be a much worse mom if not for her.

So...  It occurred to me (well into the drama and heartache) that I needed to cover my family in prayer, and I immediately began doing so - again.  Knowing that I will probably fall out of this habit as soon as things mellow out.  Oh, how I wish I'd be better at this...  But, I digress.

I began praying, and peace invaded.

My tears and quivering voice disappeared.

My thoughts were directed and concise.

Peace has been ... Having a conversation with my child while driving 75 miles per hour down the highway and not wrecking when he told me about disturbing conversations happening among friends.

Peace has been ... Responding calmly and encouragingly when my son needed my reassurance and guidance, perhaps more than he's ever needed it before.

Peace has been ... Relaying this information to my husband over the phone, without feeling completely overwhelmed, and without freaking out when he replied, "I feel like I could throw up.".  (Surely I'm not alone in holding it together just long enough to melt down to my husband?)

Peace has been ... Sleeping on it.  Processing slowly and graciously and not responding from emotion, anger, worry, or fear.

Peace has been ... Allowing my husband to speak with the necessary parties without hesitation, without cancelling my day to be there, and without worrying or micromanaging what would be said.  (Who am I?)

Peace has been ... So much easier.  A gift in the middle of crisis.

Thank you, God, for hearing our desperate cries and meeting us where we're at.  We're a mess without you.

"When the love of a mother for her child is connected with God's power through prayer, an irresistible force is released that changes people (including us), situations, schools and even communities."  Cheri Fuller, When Mothers Pray.

"We can't control all the forces that try to undo our careful training and nurture.  We can't always pick them up, kiss the hurt, and make everything better, especially when they get big enough to be on the playing field.  But we can follow Hannah's example by scooping them up and carrying them to Jesus, who loves our children more than we ever could." Cheri Fuller, When Mothers Pray.

"Rise during the night and cry out.  Pour out your hearts like water to the Lord.  Lift up your hands to him in prayer, pleading for your children, for in every street they are faint with hunger." Lamentations 2:19

Scripture to strive towards:

"I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.  Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live."  Psalm 116:1-2

Will I call on him as long as I live?  Will I remember, surrender, give up my control ... and call on him always?  He hears, and he answers.  I'm the uncooperative one.

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