Rachel

prayer is for everything

by Rachel



                               

It was one of those busy days. The kids were running around like crazy — way too much energy pent up and not too much time being able to spend outside. After a bit the energy turned to just a bit of fighting which led to more and more chaos.

I tried telling them to stop it. To tone it down. To quit running.

They needed focus.

Almost immediately my mind remembered how the boys start their martial arts class — and it’s about focus. I’ll hear my Brennan and Caleb speaking the words, “focus your eyes, focus your mind, focus your body, sir.” And then it hit me. What if we prayed for focus? Right now, right in the middle of a busy day.

And we did. We prayed that Jesus would help them focus their eyes, and their minds, and their bodies, and that they would be respectful right now.

It got me thinking. How many times do we go through the day telling our kids to stop, or thinking we can’t do it, or we don’t have patience, and then rely on our own strength to get through the day? We keep pushing and pushing and pushing and yet forget to get on our knees in prayer.

I need to focus.

Less on myself and more on Him.

My prayers need to be an all day thing, not just in the morning or at the table or when there’s a crisis or before bed. It needs to be in those moments when it’s crazy in my house and I’m tired.

Jesus, thank you for being you and for your gift of life. Jesus, right now, right in the middle of parenting, I ask you for your strength, your direction, and your focus. You are my all in all and I thank you for the opportunity to parent, to be a mom, even in the midst of this chaos and crazy day. In fact, thank you for this chaos – as it is my family – and ultimately, even on these hard days, they bring me joy. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.

That.

That is focus.

Prayer is for everything. All day. 

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. I Thessalonians 5:16-18



                               

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not exactly perfect

I hear everyone downstairs. They’re chatting and laughing as they eat homemade pizzas.

Not me.

I’m upstairs in the little boys’ room cleaning. I’m sorting duplos and blocks and little bricks and cars and organizing books by height. Their room was clean. I’m resorting, reorganizing, recleaning.

Sometimes I hide behind the mask of busy.

I’ll go from room to room to room looking for things to organize. Junk drawer, bucket of stuff by the dryer, desk drawers, school books, papers, and then starting over again.

Sort, throw, sort, label.

I can’t control everything.

This world, this temporary world, is simply not perfect.

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letting go of the masks

I still remember it like it was just the other day and yet, it was years ago. I was a young mom, with just my three little girls {now, I’m the mom to seven — we’ve added four boys}, and me walking into a new church, into a new women’s Bible study, into a room full of women. Me from Minnesota, living in California, and feeling very much vulnerable.

I stood in the corner, surveyed the room, looked at all the beautiful women, and thought to myself how I really probably should have just stayed home today. This was too hard.

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wake up

I pushed my red Target cart forward thinking of all I needed to get.  I wandered past an endcap with the 50% off sign I stopped and looked at all the things I didn’t know I might need to have. Notecards, cute little media boxes, and stickers caught my eye. As I stood there I heard a loud noise.

Then darkness.

The power went out.

I didn’t know what to do. Do I move forward to the 70% off signs in the toy area? Do I stay here? Do I go back to the light of the doors? And then another noise, and slowly lights began to flicker on.

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when Christmas doesn’t match the picture

I am writing this today for those of you whose Christmas season isn’t looking so festive. You’re struggling perhaps. Or your finances are a mess. Or a loved one is sick. Or a child is rebelling.  Or, or, or, you know.  Life isn’t always that perfect picture .

And Christmas time?

Well, sometimes Christmas time hurts and looks nothing like we think it should look.

Know that right now, as I write these words, that I am praying for you as you sit behind your screen and read my words.  You are not alone.

I am writing to you because I’ve experienced those kinds of Christmases.

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real rest

I can see him. Sleeping in bed. His little body curled up and his hands tucked close to his face. There’s the sweet sound of breathing — in and out — as his body rests.

I want to pick him up. Hold him.

Yet, I know, that will wake him up. So I stand there watching him, marveling at the beauty that can be found in a toddler fast asleep. I stand there, in the room, the room still littered with little toys around and books crooked on the shelf, and I bask in the moment.

I really don’t see those toys.

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learning to let go

I am glad that it’s October.

Yes, I know that October brings us one month closer to winter, and for those of you who live in the frozen northern lands like me that means snow, but I really am grateful for a new start. Somehow when I flip the calendar over and see the month — the new month — it fills me with hope and opportunity.

You see, September was hard. September didn’t go as planned. Our family was sick most of the month. When you have a family of nine a long lasting cold really becomes a long lasting cold.

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standing in the waves

It was pitch black outside. So dark that you couldn’t see in front of you. My friends and I wandered across the boardwalk, leaving the light of the pool area, and meandered onto the sand leading down to the ocean. Sand, that during the day is a brilliant white; yet now, we couldn’t see anything except the shadows of the waves pounding ashore.

We kept walking forward. Across the dunes and down to the packed sand edging the South Carolina beach. The stars shone brilliantly in the darkened sky — each one more vivid and brighter than I’ve seen stars before.

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