Day 7-11

This prayer is from the book Prayers of an Excellent Wife, which takes scripture and puts it into a prayer this one is based on (Matthew 7&9)

Revealer of Truth,

Through Christ I ask that you would make my husband hear His words and do them, so that he may be like a wise man who built his house on a rock. Keep him from merely hearing His words and not doing them, for then he will be like the foolish man who built his house on the sand. When the rain falls and the foods come and the winds blow and beat against him, I do not wish him to fall! Your Word alone stands firm. May he build his life upon it.

Let him never despise or neglect tax collectors and sinners. But instead fill him with tenderness and compassion for them, and the humility to eat with them. For those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Continue to teach him what this means: “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.” For Your great Son came not to call the righteous, but sinners.DSC_0561

 

How I Met My Husband

The Messy Mom linked my blog here. So I decided to share how I met my husband today.  I prayed for him too, but nothing too specific. But this story reminds me of those first days and helps me pray better.

“Would things be different if you caught the train instead of missing it. How much would your life change if you were 10 minutes early instead of 10  minutes late.”

Gwenyth Paltrow and Gwenyth Paltrow find out in the movie Sliding Doors when the two parallel but alternate realities take place after following what would happen had she caught that train and what would happen if she missed it. Interestingly, the alternate realities based on two different outcomes of one moment in one day end up in the same ultimate destiny.  The paths to get there are different; one with success one with seeming failures but both leading to the same outcome.

I often imagine what might have been different had I made different decisions at each crossroad of my life. Or imagine how even in the seeming unimportant daily decisions the entire course of my life may have been rerouted.  The butterfly effect of life. I think that was a movie too.

In 1988 I moved from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where I had spent the six years after high school trying to find my way, back to Reston, Virginia where my mother and siblings lived. What I found while I lived on Cape Cad was that I had a penchant for fun but had a hard time being responsible. I wandered in the dark, directionless and drunk for about 3 years.  I had moved there with the hopes of attending college, I think. In my senior year of high school, 1982, my father invited me to come back to my childhood home. I was willing but had a boyfriend. The boyfriend decided to come with me.  That didn’t last long. He went back to Virginia after a few months.

I was a mess. For about 3 years I did nothing but chase the next high and the next boy.  I did enroll in the local community college and took classes on and off but really didn’t have a thought as to what I wanted to pursue. After being arrested for drunk driving and by God’s grace, coming to the hard realization that I could not handle alcohol, I cleaned my self up and started trying to find my way, again.

I instead found a boyfriend and ended up pregnant nine months after getting sober. Another nine months and I was a mother. I kept my baby. He was and is a joy and kept me sober.  His father was not interested in being involved. Thankfully that changed over the years but that is a story for another time. I still had trouble finding direction, though I had new purpose as a mother.

summer 88My mother offered to let us come live with her while I finished school. Looking back it seemed my parents were having a little battle over me. My father cried when I left. He had no family on Cape Cod.  I sometimes wish I had made a go of it on the Cape.

Looking back on my  life it’s easy to get caught up in the should haves and would haves. I see all the endless possibilities that might have been.  This stirs in me a regret that bubbles up to the surface of my life and spills over as discontent for what my life is now. It’s destructive but I indulge it still. I don’t have the forsight of knowing for sure, like the viewers of Sliding Doors, that the outcome would be the same.

I did move back to Virginia. In September of 1988 my son was 2 years old. I planned to find a job and then apply to George Mason University.

I first applied for a job at the Olive Garden about 20 minutes from my mothers in Tyson’s Corner. I was hired but my first day there didn’t go well and I decided not to go back.  I received a call for an interview at a restaurant in the next town over. It was a sole proprietorship, not a chain restaurant. It was in a historical building and had a nice menu and homey atmosphere. I didn’t intend to become a bartender. I was still fairly newly sober and didn’t want to tempt fate. But that is what the owner hired me as.

I remember going to the interview and seeing a yellow Volkswagen beetle in the parking lot. I liked beetles and always wanted one.  I wondered who it belonged to.

(I searched high and low for a picture of that beetle. I think we still have parts of it in the garage.)

I started in September of 1988 and enjoyed the work.  I got to know the regulars. There were the lunch time guys and the dinner crowd, and then the after dinner crowd. Some of the after dinner crowd included the servers and cooks from Rick Walker’s Scoreboard, the sports restaurant next door. The owner of the yellow beetle was a fry cook.  He’d come over with the gang and order a beer then when my bar closed we’d all go play darts.

Wayne, the fry cook, owner of the yellow beetle, eventually asked me out for a real date.  He knew I had a son and invited him too. Well kind of a real date, we had pizza at Pizza Hut and then went to buy him a new car stereo and Radio Shack.

IMG_4361

One of our first get to know each other conversations included talking about my mistakes of the past and how I wish I could change things. I asked him if he ever wished he’d done things differently.  He said something to the effect of “Why bother thinking about that? It’s the past, I can’t do anything about it.”

Yeah that’s the guy for me, one to keep me grounded.

I’ll continue the story another day but that is how I first met my husband.

Day Five Husband Prayers

My friend asked us to pray this way today:
God reminded me this morning that it is actually God himself who is completing the work that he started in my husband.  Not me.

My prayer for our husbands today is that they would see their sufferings as tools in the hand of the Master and that they would yield to the cutting and shaping of those tools.  Instead of trying to find a route of escape, I need to be an encouragement in the middle of his trials, knowing that God is doing a work that I can’t see and probably wouldn’t understand anyway.

From Oswald Chambers this morning:
If you are going to be used by God, He will take you through a number of experiences that are not meant for you personally at all. They are designed to make you useful in His hands, and to enable you to understand what takes place in the lives of others.

Her words reminded me of James 1:2.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

James 1:2-8

Pray this for our husbands and for ourselves so we will not lack anything. Let’s ask for wisdom believing we will receive it. Let’s pray our husbands will not be double minded.

Day Four Husband Prayers

Since it is the month of Thanksgiving, let us actively practice prayers of thanks as well as petition. Each day let us thank God for our husbands in very specific ways.  Like the way he always helps with the dishes or for his work ethic, or whatever it may be.

Start a list or even better, one of the ladies suggested writing a personal not of thanks to your husband.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:14-17

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.  Colossians 4:2

I’m not sure what the watchful refers to but thought maybe we could be watchful for things to be thankful for. 🙂

Day Three Husband Prayers

The ladies are praying for the men today, again.  They go to work and we choose to stay home.  We are thankful for that opportunity so we ladies stay home, stoke the home fires, teach the children, are the default parent without a paying job. None of that is for the faint of heart, but we love our homes and what we do and for the most part don’t have to go into the world too often.

Our husbands do. So we pray God’s physical, mental and spiritual protection over them as they go out into the world. That they will put on the armor of God

10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Life doesn’t seem that dire, but complacency is the Devil’s tool and can easily lead astray. So we pray our husbands are watchful.

 

Day Two Husband Prayers

We are praying for our husbands. Day One was here.

Today we are praying our husband’s hearts, (the father of our children), would turn toward their children.

189688_1003378640645_656_n

Luke 1

An angel of the Lord appeared to Zachariah, the father of John the Baptist, and told him what his son would do.

for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

This was prophesied 400 years earlier in Malachi 4

“See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.”

Repenting is a turning. Repent then turn toward your children to teach them the power of God for salvation. Elijah had great faith in the power of God.

40279_1509692458174_1119793_n

Lord please give our husbands the faith of Elijah to turn the hearts of our children to you the living God. May I be a help and not a hindrance to this task.

I pray fathers will bring children up in the instruction of the Lord. Not harshly or the opposite too absent or lenient but balanced; love and discipline.

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Ephesians 6:4

And where fathers fail (and mothers too) Lord please keep our children safe, be their instructor and guide them in your truth. Give them faith that surpasses understanding, guard their hearts and their minds, be a light to their path.

summer morning path

 

 

Day One Husband Prayers

Yesterday, the first of November, we prayed our husbands would hunger for God’s presence.

All day I whispered prayers of that nature. I prayed as the deer pants for flowing streams that our husbands souls would pant for God, thirst for God, the living God. That they would seek Him while he may be found and let every hope be in Him.

I prayed God’s word would be alive and active sharper than a double edge sword. That men would search out scripture to find His presence.

I prayed that God’s presence would be accessible. Easy to spot, recognizable in the distractions of the world.
I prayed in faith and trusted that God would hear my prayers even as I didn’t know what to pray.

I love the Lord, because he has heard
my voice and my pleas for mercy.
Because he inclined his ear to me,
therefore I will call on  him as long as I live.
Gracious is the LORD, and righteous
our God is merciful.
The LORD preserves the simple;
when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your rest;
for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.

Psalm 116

P1090161

P1090169