Cold Prayers

I’ve had a couple people check in on me, and in actuality I was not ok. I scattered my family in a few different directions last night with my frustrations. I wouldn’t have wanted to be around me either. I try every year, but it never fails. As soon as the temperature drops, my fight or flight response is to fight. I mean, since I can’t get on a flight to Key West.

Here in North Alabama the temperature dropped with very little leeway. I had been out hiking without a jacket just 2 days before with my family. I spent the long Thanksgiving weekend so very thankful for my family, friends, church, job and the list goes on. There was no good reason for me to be so prickly.

Did I mention that it was only 35 degrees all day? With snow showers? Oh, and the heater broke in my car. The heater. In my car. Broke.

I need to pause right here and try to explain to you how being cold for me isn’t just an inconvenience. It makes me angry to be cold. Angry, tense and irritable. I just can’t relax at all.

My poor family.

So, to have my heater broken in my car on the very first day of what looks like could be a brutal #2020ish Winter…I was not in a good place. I had a mini melt-down. No pun intended. The heater wasn’t my only issue. Miscommunication with my husband, Cyber Monday customer service mix-ups, forgetting dance class, closing the school system in the middle of the day throwing me off my Monday game, not-so-great news from my doctor. And my heater.

Dinner was late, because let’s be real here. Dinner is always late when days go awry. It’s a bad day code I’m sure. Dinner must be late when you’re tired and hangry.

Anyway. I groveled for forgiveness from my very merciful and understanding family. I don’t deserve them. They know me and my weaknesses and love me in spite of them. That’s true love, y’all.

So, I went to bed, said my prayers and tried to sleep. And in case you are just tuning in with me you need to know I struggle with that too. Sleeping. But it was gracious to me also.

Until about 3:30am.

I’m gonna say that it was stomach pain that woke me up, because it was. But since I’m a believer I’m gonna know it was how God chose to get me up this morning. Because I was fine, except that I couldn’t go back to sleep. And you know that Christmas song, “Mary Did You Know?”. Well, it was stuck on a loop inside my head. Honestly, I’ve not ever really been a fan of it because, yes! She knew! Good grief, an angel came to tell her directly that she would be the mother of the Son of God. That’s kinda the whole story line. But I decided that if I couldn’t get the song out of my head that maybe God was trying to tell me something. So, I crept out of bed, scooted my baby dog out of my chair and snuggled in to read Luke and the story of Jesus’ birth.

I am always struck by Mary’s faith in the story. She doesn’t waiver at all. She asks “How can this happen, since I am a virgin?” But she doesn’t doubt. There’s a difference between curiosity and doubt. Mary just says, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be so.” And then she goes off to fulfill God’s eternal salvation plan. What remarkable faith!

Stay with me here because I promise this gets pretty cool.

There I am. It’s dark and like 5:00am. And I just want faith like that. I mean this year has been nothing short of ridiculous. And I am pretty sure that if an angel came to me today I would question the validity and maybe look for hidden fake-news cameras. We haven’t been able to rely on very much this year at all. It seems like every time I make plans they change. People are sick and dying. People are losing their jobs and livelihoods. No one trusts anyone else. It’s not hard to find conspiracy around every corner. We question everything we are told. And, did I mention it’s cold outside and my heater broke? I felt like I just needed a life line.

“So, Lord could you at least just fix my heater? I’m not asking much, but I am asking in faith that you will fix it.” It didn’t seem like a big request considering all the other issues. Surely this one would be easier to resolve than a global pandemic.

I went back to bed and failed to sleep until my alarm went off at 6:30. Sunlight revealed that my car had been covered in frost overnight. My phone told me it was 26*. So, I got moving knowing I would need extra time to scrape my windshield since my defrost function went out the window with my broken heater. I got dressed and went out to my car to start it. At least I could warm up the engine.

Y’all. My Father hears the small requests and cares for His children. Even when they have been grumpy and have lost faith. I reached in to turn the key in the ignition and “Whoosh!” My heater sprang to life as if it had never died!!

AND.

AND.

AND!

The lyrics poured out of my favorite station that I had left on the radio, “That’s what faith can do…” (Kutless) How amazing is that?!

I yelled, “You are SO BEAUTIFUL LORD!!” Then proceeded to jump up and down in my driveway like a toddler at Christmas!!

Because He is so beautiful and He is so faithful. He is the provider of every good thing and He delights in delighting us. What other God has the best timing and can answer prayers with so much precision and detail?

It may not have been a message from an angel to tell me immaculate news, but I know without any doubt it was a message from Jesus that He is still there, listening to every prayer. Every little prayer in faith. Disappointments, frustrations, illness, despair, cyber attacks; He’s got all of it. He doesn’t always answer tangibly, but He always answers.

 

How have you experienced God’s answered prayers? Let me know in the comments.

 

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Parenting {How Prayer Helps}

I hate parenting.

I know. You’re all thinking it though. You hate it too.

Why does it have to be so hard?

When I first learned I was pregnant with my first child, I fell to my knees and cried. I was only 24. I wasn’t ready for a baby!

I was so wrong. Sleepless nights, explosive diapers and endless crying was so easy. I can say that now because I am not in the midst of it. Those days were a breeze! I can totally handle a baby.

But I didn’t get a baby. I got a person! That baby has a personality, an attitude and mood swings.

I tell people all the time that I prayed to have boys. I wanted boys so bad. Growing up with brothers, I was used to the rough and tumble, the noise and the smelly socks. Boys are straightforward and come without all the d-r-a-m-a. Their fiances pay for the wedding and there is no cute hashtag for us moms with girls. (#BoyMom much)?

God laughs when you make plans. So, he gave me two beautiful girls.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE my girls. #GirlMom

I love when they want to talk about the boys, when they ask me to blow-dry their hair and when I get the sweetest texts in the middle of the day. I love to shop with them and cook with them. I love to talk about their dreams and watch their eyes as they dance with thoughts of their future.  I even love their celebrity crushes and can remember how it felt when my own favorite boy band came on the radio.

I just hate parenting.

It hurts too much. And Mom, if you are reading this, you were right. It really does hurt me more than it hurts them. There. Now it’s in writing.

I can change a diaper. I can’t change a failing grade.

I can soothe crying with a pacifier.  I can’t mend a broken heart.

I can drive my kid to every activity under the sun until Jesus comes back. I can’t fully let go when they drive out of my driveway.

It boils down to the fact that I just feel helpless. Here I am, the one they have always called to when they scraped their knee or had a bad dream. But now real life is getting in the way of my magic mom powers and I can’t fix everything anymore.

What scares me even more is that, as teenage girls, I am sure there is more that needs to be fixed than what they are telling me.

I hate it.

So, what’s a mom to do? We’re in this for life.

Exactly!

Each moment builds to the next and stretches out into a beautiful life. My girls aren’t babies any more. And one day they won’t be teenagers either. They will be adults with their own worries and regrets. Hopefully, they won’t be in therapy because of me and the way I handled their teenage years.

So, I pray. I beg God for help and for guidance. For strength and for wisdom. I pray for their dreams to come true and for them to stay healthy. I pray for their minds to be focused on righteous and holy things. I pray for them to make good decisions and for all the stinky boys I wanted so badly to not lead them astray.

It’s still so hard and I still hate it.

But maybe that’s the point? Having teenage girls has done wonders for my prayer life.

When they were babies I prayed over them as I rocked them to sleep. I pray for them now as they pull out of the driveway. I will pray for them as they walk down the aisle and after we hang up from long distance phone calls.

Being a mom means my children always have someone who is praying for them. Their advocate during the tough times and  their cheerleader in the good times.

Thinking of it that way helps me realize what a privilege it is and makes me hate it a little less.

 

 

 

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