Monday, August 3, 2015

#21 Blessing Faith

Dear God,

Often times I wonder what it would be like to entertain you, to be awarded the gift to have you in my presence in the form of a person like me. What would it be like to have you as a passenger in my car, or a guest for dinner, to have you sit silently with me as a friend on a summer’s night? Of all the significant people in my life, aside from my parents you have been with me since my first breath. Growing up my mom taught me the important prayers “Now I lay me down to sleep,” and “God is good, God is great let us thank him for the food we eat!” She took me and my sisters to church sometimes. But always, always, I have sought to follow you instinctively. Even when I strayed on my own, like an anchor tethered to my heart I always find my way back to you. You are my beginning and you will be my end.

Sadly, in the past when I think of what it would be like in your presence I would always want to ask you a question. Which one would it be? Mostly they were selfish, things like why can’t I have that job, or that relationship, why are things not going my way? I realize how entitled and whiny I must sound sometimes. I am truly sorry.

At times I have been guilty of trying to follow all the rules that men imply, that churches preach and I would box myself in with judgement. Read the bible and pray. Show up to church every time the doors are open. This is surly how you get to Heaven. The Sunday Christians who shows up to church each week looking the part in the pew, but leaving the church showing nothing of your love the rest of the week.

Now I find myself at a crossroads in my life. Forty-two years old, and I never got it. I never understood what it was like to live by faith and it is the hardest thing that I have ever done!!! I have chosen things over you in the past. I’ve wasted my life chasing my hearts desires and have been left empty handed. The one single thing that I desired over everything is slipping through my fingers.

And it is okay….

Everything I have you have given to me, they are all blessings. I’ve been loved and have loved. I’ve got these awesome kids. I have never had to want for anything. You have gotten me this far and I can still hear you steady voice inside my head when the world and everyone else sings to a different tune. You are my true companion, my guide, my sound resolve, my strength comes from you.

If you showed up on my doorstep today, I would not ask you why. I would ask to take your picture to hang on our wall of fame…you deserve that above all. But how silly because I see you there in the images already; in the images of our children, my husband, the ocean, and the magnolia tree in the back yard... all gifts from you along the way to get me through this journey until I can go home. If you showed up in my presence I would just thank you! You can have it all, because it was always yours to begin with.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

#20 Blessing Adorable Kitten

Meet Abe (named after President Lincoln), our newest addition.

The best thing about him is that he stretches out on his back and lets you rub his belly. Plus he is curious, clumsy, crazy and super cuddly when he is worn out.
God changes caterpillars into butterflies sand into pearls,and coal into diamonds.Using time and pressure he's working on you too.

#19 Blessing Facing Fears

This was the goal... to ride the swings. She even made sure to wear her tennis shoes so that she could ride it this year. Last year she wore her flip flops, to which made this momma very happy! Seriously, it is a traveling carnival ride...I mean how safe is it? Can you not hear your own mothers voice in the back of your head telling you "No, you cannot ride the fair rides! They are not safe!" When really maybe your mother just didn't want to ride the swings either.

This was her face of fear...

As we waiting in line she lost her nerve when she got to the gate. She literally shook with fear. Then she got frustrated! "I am mad at myself!" she had exclaimed! "I am going to do this! I can do this! I will stay here until I do do this!"

My kids inspire me all the time!

So proud of herself for being brave enough to ride the swings. Would you ride the swings again, I had asked her on our way home. "Oh, yes!" then there was a pause, "Well maybe not, but if I did it again I would ride on the outside!"

Friday, July 24, 2015

#18 Blessing Prayers for a Waffle House

It was several years ago that some man professed to know the exact day, hour, minute that the 2nd coming would take place. The media ran with it, counting down the weeks and days. I remember how it was joked about…what will you be doing when the world is ending? Well the day arrived. Dinner was cooking on the grill. The sun was shining. Gavin was making 2nd coming jokes. And Macey was singing and jumping on the trampoline in the backyard. As the moment drew near I noticed that both Paul and I had gravitated to our singing angle. Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one…. Nothing. No planes fell from the sky, no nuclear blast, and Gavin was still laughing at his 2nd coming jokes. Now mind you, Paul and I never bought this was going to happen, but we live in a post 9/11 world. If there is even an inkling that something is in the making that might bring harm to our kids we go into protective mode. We laughed and both admitted that if some event of that nature would occur that our Macey would be a guaranteed guest, and if we had any chance of making it ourselves we would have to grab on to her in hopes that we could go with her.

Innately good, compassionate, with an earnest belief that all people are worthy, she hopes for the best, prays with belief, and has the desire to just do the right things. At ten years old this girl has all the RIGHT answers, and more importantly I see her starting to live as a light to others. Everyone needs a person like Macey in their lives as a reminder of whom we are each called to be.

This last year I really started to see the seeds of her faith blossom into answered prayers. And to be honest when my child opens her mouth to pray, or I offer up a pray on her behalf I am starting to get a little nervous. There is a saying “If you pray for rain, better pack an umbrella” … but if Macey prays for rain pack your umbrella, a rain coat, put on your ugly wellies and maybe consider friending someone who owns a boat.

In January the two of us crafted a prayer-box and came up with a plan to pray. Each day we would write our pray on a slip of paper and give it to the other one. Macey would take mine to bed and sleep with the prayer under her pillow, and I would carry her pray request around in my pocket. We made a promise that we would take the time to read and pray about each other’s pray for the day and then place them in the box; a record of answered prayers, a tracking of blessings. Many of our prayers were for a specific person and peace to everyone involved in a specific situation. Her petitions to God tugged at my heart and not only did I pray as I promised her I would, but I found myself changing my approach and attitude regarding her requests. We talked about the box in front of this beloved person of which many of our prayers were for. We were on our way to the grocery store and happen to be driving past a new building in construction. Jokingly this person said to Macey “Why don’t you just pray for that building to be a Waffle House!” Later this person laughed at me and said “I bet she prays for a Waffle House.” I agreed, she probably would, even though it was never a prayer that she wrote out on paper and handed to me.

That building ended up being a stupid Verizon store, and hash browns in all kinds of ways sounded like a much better option, but it was a funny conversation that sparked an inside joke to “Pray for a Waffle House!” We all know that God is not a vending machine in the sky. However, sometimes I so wish that he was, especially when the recent prayers of Macey have been for a little boy her same age who recently found out he has a terminal, untreatable ailment. Faith in prayer is a challenge especially when the healing of someone is a resounding NO. Still we will continue to pray. Our list of prayers continues to grow and grow.

Last week it was my turn to help out in the elementary room at our church. Towards the end of the service they ask that the leaders to come up and pray with any of the kids that have a prayer request. Macey had said to me weeks earlier, “The next time you are helping my row, I am going to come up with you and we can pray about this thing together.” “Okay,” I had agreed, but when the time came she didn’t want to. I admit, this act can be intimidating as it is not something that we do together often. We didn’t go up front, but we sat together and I took her hands and I prayed for her like I would any other kid, only with the advantage of privy information because she is mine. Still I didn’t pray for what I wanted but what Macey wanted… and there is no doubt in my mind that this prayer was heard and answered. Before the day ended a chain of events brought about changes for this one person, for this one specific situation. No, it wasn’t what I wanted. No, it didn’t come about as I imagined. We prayed for rain and we got a storm. And honestly Macey doesn’t even know the specifics of what her pray shook loose for this person, for this situation, for the present and future of all involved. I just told her that I thought our prayer together actually brought about a change, and that maybe now this person will find happiness, peace and healing. Maybe now this situation can resolve.

About a month ago, there was news that Terre Haute is getting a Waffle House next year. We all laughed. This special person asked Macey, did you pray for a Waffle House? Well of course she had! I will never be able to look at a Waffle House again without thinking of Macey’s prayers for a Waffle House. I knew God had a sense of humor and probably likes hash browns with all the toppings too! And when this person we love sees a Waffle House I hope they remember her earnest prayers for them right down to a Waffle House because she knew it would make this person happy, and she loves this person that much that absolutely nothing is too impossible with a little prayer, a little hope and a waffle with a side of bacon.

“Every child is a message that everything is possible again; your past, your story, this world it all has another chance.” – Ann Voskamp

Wednesday, July 8, 2015