I haven’t written in a L O N G time because I have a million and two plans swirling around in my head. But I have been doing something. I have been waiting on the Lord. What does that mean? I don’t know what it means for others, but for me I am patiently waiting for clarity…about those million and two ideas swirling around in my head.
I found a “prayer journal” inside a drawer the other day. It is a beautiful dark pink, hard covered, spiral bound book. French cursive lettering scrolls in rows from top to bottom. A picture of a large, gorgeous sunflower bloom adorns the center front cover. I am sure that is what attracted me to the journal…the sunflower and the yellow elastic ribbon that keeps the book cleverly closed and semi-private.
I have books just like this of various shapes and sizes all around my house. I have been an inconsistent diary keeper since I was in second grade at Hixson Elementary school in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I remember that year well! It was the year that the United States attempted to adopt the Metric System. The whole year was devoted to learning meters and liters and grams. And it was the first year I rode a school bus. And it was the year we got my first cat, Norman, who could fit in my eight year old hand and then grew to be twenty pounds and lived to be twenty years old! It was the year that a neighbor’s horse from down the road got spooked during a severe lightning storm and broke out of his fence and revealed his frenzy by rolling around in the mud and straw and grass seed that was yet to become our back yard. My sister and I watched through the sliding glass door … lightning illuminated the dark night and we could see the big horse rolling and rolling in the pitiful puddle that was our yard. It was the year I determined that I was not susceptible to Ouji Boards…and that girls were mean…and that boys could hurt your feelings…and that roller skating up a hill, falling in the road, and then trying to crawl across a street can get you almost run over (by a dump truck!) …That cookie crisp cereal does not taste like cookies but tastes good none-the less… That “scrubbing bubbles do NOT come alive in the bath tub when they are sprayed out of their can…that staying awake all night at sleep overs is fun but makes you feel like poo the next day…that wearing your favorite white shorts when you have a stomach bug is not a good idea…that some door-to-door sales people have good stuff! ( Ask me about Music Machine …the album with songs about the fruits of the Spirit. I still sing those songs!)
We lived in that ranch house with a vaulted ceiling with wood beams on Timberwyck Drive for one year.
I wore coullots…and thought they looked good. I had a “Dorothy Hamill” haircut. I played 45 records for my Barbie Doll and Stuffed animal dance parties. I loved play dough and had a “Fuzzy Pumper Barber shop”. I could hula-hoop like a fiend. I got a terrible sprained ankle playing football with the neighborhood big boys…and had crutches for a day but the crutches hurt worse than the sprain…and a mean teacher was cross with me because I was moving too slow in the hall. I swam in the Chickamauga Dam ( probably not a good idea as that is down river from Oak Ridge).
Then Life became about More.
…Back to the “prayer journal” with the French cursive and sunflower. When I found it, I opened it up and saw an entry dated “November 2011” with the title “Prayers”. Under the title is a list of 13 names of families. They are all people who I know or know of that were at that date in some type of hard time…or were causing others a hard time. The next page is “December 2011” …three families listed. Then “August 2012″…16 families and “this nation, our world, peace.”
On the next page, undated, I wrote this:
Help me do my part to make the world a better place – Your Kingdom Come
Spirit COME DOWN and Lift US UP
Remind me Holy spirit to PRAY FIRST
Not as a Last Resort
but as a First Response
Guide us daily but specifically in planting ourselves – Where should we be? …How can we make that happen?
Bless me Indeed so that I May be a Blessing
Enlarge my territory – help me reach the lost and be an ambassador for You to the world
Be with me at all times in all things – Give me the words I might need and be a source of constant strength and comfort
Protect me and all that I know and love
Father of Everybody wrap your arms around me, Dean, Our children, our parents and siblings and nieces and nephews and aunts and uncles and cousins and friends and all people everywhere. Precious, Loving, Generous, Patient, Constant, Powerful, Forgiving Father, thank you for opening your perfect kingdom to us – help us to find our way. Speak to us and let Your voice guide us home. I pray that You will tell me what I can do for You down here on earth to help other people know how to hear You. Thank you for providing for me…everything that I have always needed and thank You in advance for providing me with everything I ever will need. I trust You. Forgive me when I am hateful or unkind or stubborn or jealous or bad-tempered or hard-hearted or lazy or indifferent or sharp-tongued or when I don’t want to see or hear what You know is best for me. Forgive me when I feel vengeful or doubtful or worried or bitter or proud.
Help me see myself and my own short-comings before I judge other people when they aren’t at their best.
You have made a beautiful earth and world for us with sunsets and sunrises…breath -taking mountain views, oceans and fields. This world is a feast for our senses.
Thank you for the Holy Spirit who is always whispering in our ear, “That is good…that is what God wants for you to enjoy.” Or, “That is not good. Don’t be deceived.”
Protect me, Lord and don’t let me be anything but useful to You and the rest of Your children. Protect me from anything that tries to prevent me from being near to You or from being Your helper.
You are the Creator, the Ruler over all… but You give us a choice to follow You. Help me to be an example of the happiness that is found only in submitting to You. You are all-powerful…You made the world but You will not impose Your will upon us unless we ask. I am asking…Help me to teach people that Your desire is to bless us…that we Do NOT have the riches of this life (love, peace, freedom from fear and worry) because we do not ask for You to take our obstacles away.
You don’t need anything because everything is Yours…and yet You still want for us to love You and You want for us to know that You love us.
Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory in the heavens.Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?
You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! ~ Psalm 8
Although You already know exactly what I need before I ask, You wait for me to come. You wait for me. You will live forever. And because of You, because I am Yours and You are mine, I will too.
The next page is April 2013
“Don’t just read the Bible, start circling the promises”
“Don’t just make a wish, write down a list of God-glorifying life goals.”
“Don’t just pray, keep a prayer journal.”
“Define your dream. Claim your promise. Spell your miracle.”
…the next page July 2013…25 people or families
Looking over the names on my prayer list I can tell you that God is good. That is the only constant. Everything else is changing. Nothing about our circumstances has or will ever stay the same. But God is always ready for us…never distracted. He is waiting for us to see His hands open and wanting to catch our cares. That is the promise. All we need to do is believe the promise.
Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken. Psalm 55:22
We are not righteous on our own…but only because we are children of God. All we have to do is let Him do what He does…Care for us. Peace to you.