Archive for March, 2011

March 26, 2011

thoughts on prayer…

I was recently asked the following questions regarding prayer.  Honestly, I thought I could whip through these in no time…but that’s not what happened…not at all.  What I realized after answering these questions is this…prayer is way more than we can fully comprehend.  I have a feeling that God wants me to back off my prayer routine and get back into intimacy with Him.  If we’re not careful we can easily fall into the complacency trap, where prayer becomes just something we do from time to time void of real authentic relationship.

How would you define “prayer”?

Defining prayer is not as easy as you would think.  Most people (myself included) would probably describe prayer as communing with and talking to God.  But, if you really stop and think about it, prayer is a most profound mystery. The Creator and Sustainer of all reaches into our lives through relationship…intimate, personal, love relationship. It’s outrageous!  He beckons us to come…without ceasing into His presence.  Who can comprehend the breadth and depth of what the Lord has done to make a way for us to come to Him through prayer. Prayer is so much more than anything we might attempt to define it as.

What does prayer look like in your life?

Prayers looks like:

Tears…silence…laughter…frustration…praise…adoration…

love…

desperation…submission…repentance…surrender…freedom!

Prayer looks like all of me…clinging to all of Jesus.

Prayer is getting real with God…whenever…wherever…forever.


For those who have never had an active prayer life, or perhaps prayer is something that the priests “do” in church, but they have not engaged in at home, how would you suggest getting started?

First of all…you need to know and believe that God desires to spend time with you.

He is listening.

Your prayers aren’t bouncing off the ceiling into no-where land.

HE HEARS YOU!

There’s no secret prayer formula you need to meticulously follow.

Just be yourself and talk to God.

I love journaling, so I would also suggest writing your prayers down.  When you do this you will also have a written account of the many ways in which the Lord has answered your prayers.



How often do you pray?

Well…It seems like I pray without ceasing.

Seriously, I’m either thinking about or talking to God all the time.  Thoughts of Him consume me.

I also have a morning quiet time.

I usually get sort of cranky when I miss out on quiet time.  It’s the most vital part of my day for so many reasons.  God knows how desperate I am for those moments when I can bathe in the water of His Word.  I need Him!


For those who have perhaps gotten away from an active prayer life and feel as if God seems a little “distant” at the moment, what suggestions do you have for reconnecting to God in prayer?

Just do it!  Pour out your heart to the One who knows you and loves you like crazy!

He will never leave you nor forsake you.

God’s not like us.  He’s not waiting for you to jump threw hoops of fire to try and get to Him.  He gave it all just to be with you.

He’s waiting.


What was prayer/did prayer mean to you during your hardest life moments:  In your relationship with Jim, in your experiences with Hunter and the challenges he faced, in being a mom to two young girls?!

Honestly, all of the above motivate me to pray more.  God knows…and He cares. What great comfort I find in His arms knowing that His plan for us is good.  The life circumstances that Christ has allowed me to experience thus far have helped me learn countless lessons in the school of prayer.

If prayer is spending time with God…then prayer is everything to me…and more!


I would love for you to share your answers to these questions with me:)

March 12, 2011

Mad at Jesus…

(I thought this picture would work great for this journal blog.  This is Camryn’s newborn photo.  Doesn’t she look like she’s ready to knock somebody out:). I love this picture of her.)

A few nights ago, my youngest daughter, Camryn and I were settling into bed at the end of a long winter’s day.  Through the frosted window, we tried to count the dancing snowflakes as they drifted gently through the sky in a silent chorus, landing quietly upon the blanket of white already covering our yard. Daddy was out of town and Erin was sleeping over at a friend’s house.  We had the whole house to ourselves so the music of Cam and I giggling was the only sound that intruded into the soothing hush of this deep midwinter’s night.  It was late, well after midnight and perfect timing for one of those sleepy, late night, deep mother/daughter conversations.

As we held hands and prayed, I couldn’t help but reflect on how very tender my daughter’s heart is. I’ve come to appreciate her vulnerability, especially in seeking God. Like all parents it’s easy for me to recognize and treasure the Lord’s unique handiwork in each of my children, and her tender honesty is one of the things I love best about Camryn.  Because of that, praying with her is always its own really special gift and sometimes it’s a downright adventure.

We joined our hearts humbling them before the Lord when Camryn turned toward me and softly murmured, “I miss Hunter.”

Her adorable face was so close to mine that I could count her freckles.  Before I could say anything she whispered, “I wonder what his voice sounds like”

After pondering the sound of Hunter’s heavenly voice, Cam turned to face the ceiling.

“Mommie, do you ever get mad at Jesus?”

I was stunned by both her honesty and insight. It was a real question and it deserved a real answer so I snuggled up next to her in silence and thought about what she was asking—and why…

Have I ever been mad at Jesus?

After what seemed like a long, jagged, awkward hush as I reached for the words, I answered her.

“Cam,” I said haltingly, “I don’t think I’ve ever been mad at Jesus but I’ve been very sad and confused because of the things that I believe He has allowed to happen in my life. Like Hunter being gone.”

(Reflecting upon this, I now see how politically correct (or faithfilled) I was trying to be…ugh)

I guess that was enough for Camryn because she kissed me, said, “Goodnight mommie,” and turned the other way.




…and I just lay there.

Feeling like I had fallen into a very deep—

Very bottomless question…

A question that I couldn’t climb out of.

“Have I ever been mad at you Lord?” I wondered in silent prayer.

Though I couldn’t come up with an answer on the spot, the truth is that even if we were furious at God at any given time, He was big enough to handle our anger…

…without compromising His love for us.


I’m a huge fan of David, the king of Israel, writer of some of my favorite Psalms, the one who danced undignified because he could not contain his love for the Lord… the man after God’s own heart.  He was authentic—

And I like authentic people.

I like to know that I’m talking to you.

Not your best version of you.

Not the one with the most decorative veneer.

Or the one that spins most admirably among your circle.

David poured out the inner most depths of his heart…

Because he could risk it.

Because he knew the God he cried out to.

He knew that no matter what—he was loved and accepted.

With all his hang-ups, defects, and failures…

David knew God.


I think knowing God, not head knowledge but heart intimacy, allows us to get real with the God we know.

Even when getting real means getting mad

At God.

He already knows and sees the depth of who we are.

And He absolutely loves us without restraint anyway.

This is incredible news.

Because it sets us free, to be who we are and to feel what we feel

All because of Jesus.

All because we’re loved for who we are

Jesus made a way for us to be authentic with God.

Because of Jesus…

All

because

of

Him.