Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Blessed Lord, take my hand--- and sometimes, Lord, you'll need to drag me..

We had been doing youth ministry for five years when I found out I was pregnant with our oldest, Emma. Even though I had endometriosis and had been told that I probably wouldn't be able to have children, and being a wife and mother had been pretty much my only dream since early childhood, the surprise of this little life growing inside me sent me into a pure panic..

2 Corinthians 12: 9 -10 had long since become the theme scripture for my life..

9.but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10.That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I had fallen head over heals in love with a youth minister and knew all too well that God had made the most unlikely of choices for a youth minister's wife. But, as I began my journey with a loving husband that taught me more truths about God's love and grace that I even knew existed, I learned that it was just that, the unlikely that God chooses for his purposes. So as I set out on the journey with Adam determined to be the best wife I could be, I clung to the scripture above, trusting in God's promise that he could use me because I was/am weak.

But, in discovering the news that I would soon be realizing my dream of becoming a mother, the meaning in the scripture was even more so magnified. There were so many things that I wanted to fix about myself. So many quirks,and insecurities that I wanted to make sure that I had a grip on so that I wouldn't pass those things on to my child. I was frantic knowing that nine months was not long enough to cure all my character flaws. For several years, I had watched the teens in the youth group with their parents trying to find the rhyme and reason between the behavior of the child in connection with the behavior of the parent. Now I don't want to negate the fact that Adam and I have witnessed countless families with outstanding parents. We observe on a daily basis when a parenting decision that we make reflects the parenting that we've witnessed in the past from other people that played such an important role in our lives whether it be our parents, family, friends, ministers we've worked with, the list continues on.. We are so thankful that we come from a long line of love. But truly, when I analyzed these situations, I began to realize that sometimes, there wasn't a rhyme or reason.

So somewhere in the middle of the fear of that realization, I had clarity about two things.
1. I had to be okay with not doing it perfectly and rely on God to fill the huge gaps I would leave.
2. The one thing that I could control was how, when, and what I prayed..

Someone at church had given me a book on prayers for mother's to say for their children. I searched the book for the perfect prayer. Not finding one that was just right, I combined several prayers, and added pieces of my own, trying to make sure I covered all the hopes and dreams that I had for my children not leaving out a single detail. I posted this prayer several years ago but I feel the need to post it once more. Since I wrote the prayer the first time, my heart as made room for another little girl, something I had once thought was impossible. And still having many of those quirks I mentioned, one of them is being sensitive about being a second child (I must add here that this feeling is irrational and not merited. I am crazy about my older sister and my parents were always purposeful in letting me know that they "tried many years for me") But still, there is this fear that maybe Chloe could feel like she isn't as important as Emma because she wasn't first. When she looks back through this log of her life years down the road, I want her to know that I made the proper adjustments to include her being the completing piece of the crazy puzzle we call our life. And, even though I tried to make sure I had every aspect covered, as I've watched them grow and have grown with them, I have found that it is incomplete and have made adjustments..

So for now, until further adjustments are made, here is my revised prayer for you, Emma and Chloe... Though it is also not that uncommon for me to say this prayer for a niece, nephew, friend or a child of a friend that is struggling..

Dear Heavenly Father,

I want to thank you for the wonderful blessing you have brought into my life by given me Emma and Chloe. They have brought me so much joy! Having children has taught me so much about the love and happiness you want to bless your children with. I know that Emma and Chloe are your special creation, anticipated by you from before the beginning of time, now given on loan to me, for me to help grow and nourish into a child who will carry out your perfect will.

God, please call Emma and Chloe to you by name as you have called me. Thank you that you promise to knock patiently on the door of each heart in this family. Thank you that you pursue us. You did it for me--- please do the same for Emma and Chloe.

I pray that they will love your word. I pray that by loving your word, they will receive important warnings about life and be blessed with great personal reward. Help them to be obedient to you. Please help them to know that you discipline us and give us guidelines for our own good and because of your great love for us. Help me to share in this motivation of yours when I ask them to obey. Lord, let them see that I obey you because I love you. Help them to have an honest heart. Help them feel your delight when they speak the truth and to remember that you hate it when we lie. And when they perseveres toward truth, let them feel great freedom of spirit so much that the passing reward of a lie looks as cheap and fleeting as it really is. Help them not to value the material things that the world values but the things that you value. Most of all, I pray that their character would bring praise to you. May your light shine so brightly in them that it will be obvious to everyone that they love you, and people will have no choice but to praise you and give you all the credit for their goodness. I pray that they will put a high priority on love and faithfulness, exhibiting them like beautiful clothing or jewelry. Bless them with a beautiful strength, a wise innocence, and a shielded vulnerability.

I pray that Emma and Chloe will develop a passion for purity. May they always think of their bodies as your dwelling place and want to keep it pure for you. Help them to feel they can bring their questions to their dad and me. Please give us the right words in awkward moments. Nudge me when it’s the right time to pass on an important attitude or piece of information even if they aren't asking for it. Fill them with a genuine and enthusiastic desire to save sex for marriage. Thank you that you not only created the abiding love of marriage, but you also understand crushes, puppy love, and the storms of teen romance. God please protect their hearts. I pray that you would help them to develop healthy relationships with members of the opposite sex throughout their lives. I pray for husbands that will help them grow towards you that they will spend her lives with. Bring them together in your perfect way. Have your hand on them even now. And, may their eventual commitment to marriage be strong enough to stand up against any trouble or testing life brings. While they are growing up, please help Adam and I to be a good example of how beautiful marriage is meant to be. Please introduce her to other couples that will do the same.

Please help them to develop strong and faithful friendships. Please bless them with the kind of life long, faithful friendships you have blessed me with. Please help me to be an example of the kind of friends that they should be as well as the kind of friends that they should choose.

God, sometimes I wake in the night and feel how helpless I am, ultimately, to make life turn out okay for my little ones, to keep accidents, evil , and disease from touching them. Thank you Lord that when I’m afraid, I can turn to you. Help me to remember that your spiritual warriors can shut the mouths of lions and defeat the agents of Satan. Thank you that even when they are out of my sight, they are never out of your sight. Please watch over all that they do and every encounter that they have with the world. Thank you that I can surrender them to you and place them in the dangerous river of life, knowing that you will be watching over them, not from afar off but from very nearby.

Finally, father, help me to pray faithfully for Emma and Chloe, being a good example of the importance of confession and worship. May I be a witness morning and night of your love and faithfulness.

In Jesus name I pray, Amen

Tuesday's tips and tricks-- How to unclog a drain without using harsh chemicals.

In my quest to be frugal along with my desire to remove as many harsh chemicals from my home as possible, I've found a few ways to take care of common household problems. I don't know if you're like me but with both of my children, when they were about four months old, I began losing hair by the handfuls. This resulted in a few broken vacuum cleaner belts and many clogged drains. Well, for the clogged drain, look no further than your pantry because here is a very effective way to unclog drains using vinegar, baking soda and water.

Step 1 - Put about 3/4 cup DRY baking soda down the drain. .
Step 2 - Pour 1/2 cup of vinegar down the drain after the baking soda. Be sure to cover the drain immediately afterwards with a rag or plug, filling the hole completely so nothing can escape. This is because the interaction of the two will cause a “mini volcano” that will want to come up and out of the drain..you want to keep it down there.
Step 3 - Leave this concoction in the drain for about 30 minutes. While you're waiting, boil about a gallon of water.
Step 4 - After 30 minutes, remove the plug and slowly pour the HOT water down the drain.

Wha la..