Friday, October 1, 2010

... Of Praying for the Little Things

I remember every Christmas morning as if it were yesterday. Not the presents. Just the excitement. My brother and I never slept later than 7am, butterflies in our stomachs as we stared wide-eyed at the gifts concealed by colorful wrapping paper. Our parents were always good sports when we stormed into their bedroom to tell them that Santa had come. As mom made her first cup of coffee for the day, my brother and I sat in front of the tree and waited what seemed an eternity.

The novelty of each present lasted a couple of months. Then, they became fodder for the thrift store and we were counting down the days again until Christmas.

I have discovered that my prayer life can be a lot like Christmas mornings. All the mind blowing exciting prayers that are answered cause an immense passion in me. Spiritual highs. But they only last for a short time. I find myself soon sitting and waiting for the next one to come.

It is rare that I pray for small things. It seems like God is too busy to deal with them and I don't want to bother Him. Why pray for energy to make it through a day after a not-so-great night's sleep? After all, He has to deal with cancer, floods and helping every student in the world pass their next math test. It is almost as if I think He will "run out" by the time he gets around to my measly little prayers.

What if the point isn't about having energy for the day ahead? What if the point is for me to just trust God with every aspect of my life?

What if He is trying to get me away from the "Christmas morning" prayers and build a relationship that can last through every struggle?

I have been challenged lately. Spiritually challenged. Wondering "why?" And I am finally starting to find peace (months later) in knowing that He has taken care of me up to this point. I do not need the miracles. I just need daily reassurance that He is here. And He is. There are still many unknowns right now. The peace that has come recently is not because God has revealed the answers to me.

In fact, my prayers are rarely answered in my time and more often that not, the answers are not the ones I desired to begin with
but I like to look at the bright side ... the end result is always far better than what I would have planned for myself. Each of the little prayers help me trust Him a little more. They take me from just believing in Him to actually believing Him.

How are you at praying for the little things?

If we cannot trust God with the little things, how will we ever trust Him for the big ones?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

...Of Motherhood

The most challenging job I have ever had (and will ever have) is being a mother. There is nothing profound about this statement. Every parent knows this. The rest of you can at least acknowledge it.

Each tear shed by one of my children breaks a little piece of my heart. When my little boy says he is too big to hold my hand, I hold back the hurt as I tell him it is okay. When my little girl withdraws from a hug because she is mad at me, I fake a smile and tell her to let me know when she is ready to talk.

I have never had my heartbroken as much as I have as a mother because every heart break my children feel, I feel 10 times more. It is so deeply engrained in me to protect them from all the world's hurts and I feel helpless when I cannot do that. I used to tease my mom about crying. She cried at all my proudest accomplishments and she still cries sometimes when she heads back to South Florida after a visit. Now, I understand why.

I truly believe that women's tear ducts open a little wider the day they become mothers.

The conversation has come up many times with my children that I want to be their friend but right now, it is most important to be their mommy. They are continually reminded that I love them exactly the same at their very best and their very worst. They know that I sometimes have to do hard things and be "the bad guy" (aka mom) instead of their friend because I have a job to do. Each decision I make carries significant weight in determining the man and woman they will one day become. It is a scary thought but I try to take it in stride. I make mistakes and I tell them when I do. I pray with them every night and tell them how much I love them every day. I pray that the decisions I make are shaping them into motivated, generous, kind, selfless, financially responsible, loving followers of Christ.

And just when I feel like everything I say is going in one ear and out the other I get a glimpse of the impact.

My little boy says that his mommy is the only girl for him. At night, his prayers sound just like he's talking to His Friend. Thanking God for "this wonderful food and this wonderful family" and asking Him to "shoo away the bad dreams."

My little girl smiles when she sees a picture of a child, thinks she is looking at a picture of herself and then realizes that it is a picture of me and says she "wants to look like mommy".

My little boy is not embarassed (yet) when I kiss him in front of his classmates and tell him I love him.

My little girl talks to God at night and tells him she forgot her tithe money but she will bring it to church next time.

They both sing worship songs as we head to school in the mornings and work together to clean up after dinner.

The paycheck I get for being a mom won't get me on the cover of Forbes but I like to look at the bright side...

Hugs and kisses are way better for the soul than hundred dollar bills.

Weigh In
If you are a parent, what is your single greatest moment as a parent? If you are not, what is the single greatest thing your parents did to mold you into who you are now?

Words of Wisdom (W.O.W.)
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it"
~ Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)