When Your Heart is Yucky, Pray

-Written November 14, 2015

-Edited December 16, 2015

Go on a prayer walk every day.  The summer between high school and college I prayed to God that if He would help me get my feet in my running shoes every day I would talk to him the whole time I ran.  I wanted to be on the college soccer team and knew I needed his help to get there because I needed a ball in front of me to run, I loathed running just to run.  He came through for me even on this menial task as I ended up choosing not to join the soccer team because of my grueling and more-important-to-me course work but did choose to keep my prayer runs.  As a result, I was incredibly grounded all around – emotionally, spiritually, physically, you name it.  A few days ago I was reflecting on this when I realized I could make my daily walk a daily prayer walk.  I was scrolling through what to do about an excess of anger in my heart.  So my first prayer walk was almost entirely spent fervently praying that the Lord would pluck any seeds of anger out of my heart and throw them into the fire.  And he did.  And I will keep walking and praying.

Praying before meals.  As long as I can remember my dad has folded his hands, closed his eyes, and bowed his head before meals.  I’ve always admired this and wanted to do the same.  And yet, I’m 27 and I can’t recall a time when I’ve done this if he wasn’t in the room with me asking me to pray with him.  No more.  I want my daughter to see God all around her and this is very definitely a tangible way I help bring God to life for her.  I also want my daycare girls to see God everywhere and what not a better way than to pray with everyone before we dig into lunch together?  Most importantly, I really do want to thank God before meals because we are abundantly blessed with nutritious, wholesome food everyday and that is a gift!

Pray with Maisy before she nurses to sleep.  I recently went to a MOPS meeting and was staggered by some statistics:  the average child spends 28 hours a week in front of the TV, 32.5 hours a week in school, and up to 4 hours a week in church if they go to Sunday school and a Wednesday night kids program.  The moms that were sharing for the evening challenged those of us in the audience to bring God into our kid’s lives at any opportunity.  One of the ways I want to bring God into sight is by praying before meals, another way I want to bring God into sight is by praying with my daughter before she goes to sleep.  Talk about a good time to pray for my sleepless wonder of a child too!  Again, if only I’d thought of this sooner.

Devos before bed.  Some parents choose to get up before their kids to have alone time.  I’m not sure what “early” looks like to those parents but I am not naturally a morning person and getting up with Maisy around 5:00 is plenty early for me.  I am, however, naturally a night person so I am going to curl up in my cozy bed, maybe even with some tea, and do my devos before turning off the light and rolling over to pray myself to sleep.

Praying myself to sleep.  As a mom I have struggled to find time to do devotionals when I could give God all my attention.  With a difficult sleeper for a baby and toddler I couldn’t even rely on nap time or bed time as options; without fail I would just get settled to do my reading and Maisy would pipe in as if objecting to the idea.  So, at the very least, I knew I could pray.  I could pray myself to sleep.  When I first started I fully intended to stay awake until I said, “amen.”  I felt guilty falling asleep in the middle of my conversation with God.  But sleep deprivation and God had different plans.  Turns out praying to sleep is the most soothing way to go.  I feel like I’m being carried into sleep by the ocean waves and I enter an undisturbed rest unlike any other.  I also used to have a tendency to have unpleasant dreams or nightmares almost nightly, not the case anymore!  My dreams are now only lovely if at all.  God is a good God!

I do not share any of this information to sound like I’ve got it all figured out.  I don’t.  These things I’m going to do are because I don’t.  And I will forget them sometimes and start falling fast.  I will likely get lazy.  They say it takes days and/or weeks to form a new habit.  It takes me forming and reforming every time Josh comes home and every time he leaves again.  That’s one of the biggest challenges about our lifestyle with him on and off road.  He will come home and a devotional routine I was solid on plummets because I’m spending that time with him instead.  He will leave and I’m thrown into so much chaos with juggling it all by myself again that all I can think about is getting it all done so I forget to even pray myself to sleep.

I share all this information for a couple reasons.  One, I am committing to these things and I often find it helps to stick to commitments if you declare them before others.  So, here I am, declaring!  Two, I do hope that maybe some of these thoughts and tid bits will act as inspirations to your life.

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To Grandmother’s House I Went

Some of you friends have been very faithful in prayer on behalf of my grandma and I thank you so much for your support in that!

I suddenly had enough of fretting about her situation in my empty house and resolved to set my sails to Minnesota to be sure I got to see her.  I decided last Tuesday evening, prepped myself all day Wednesday, and was finally on the road at around 6pm.  I should have waited until morning.

Ordinarily I avoid driving in the night at all costs.  In this case I was bent on getting there ASAP so I not only drove in the dark but I started my drive in the dark.  And then, about halfway through my drive, snow hit.  With the pitch black blanket of midnight sky cast by nighttime darkness and thick cloud cover my headlights seemed to barely pierce the endless darkness around me.  It was so dark that, for the first time in my life, I was actually grateful for light pollution when I came upon some because I could actually navigate my tires into and safely along the lone pair of treads set before me – there was not a snow plow in sight and the snow was only getting heavier so the freeway was covered with one thick snow blanket.  At one point I contemplated just pulling over and sleeping in the car until the snow passed, or until a snow plow came through, or until morning but I’m as much of a stubborn Norwegian as my grandma so I kept at it.

I passed five cars swallowed by ditches, nearly got sideswiped by an over-confident semi truck driver, and added an extra hour or so to my already 7 hour drive but I made it.

The next morning I awoke to coffee time with Mom and then we headed to visit Grandma.  I was hopeful in going to see her because only a couple of days before my mom told me how Grandma said something like this, “those who believeth and are baptized will be saved.”  Up until this point I thought my grandma was intentionally as far from finding God as possible.  I can’t say whether she has asked Jesus to be Lord over her life, though hopefully I will find that out soon, I can say that knowing she quoted scripture gave me hope that if she didn’t already she might be much more up for it than I thought!

My time with Grandma was lovely and gave me peace.  Honestly, my Grandma is a hoot to hang with.  We talked a lot about Josh, I think she has a little crush on him ;), and I tried to get her to tell me stories from her childhood.

On the last day I was home I went to visit her by myself.  I brought the dogs and Josh’s music so she could meet my furry kiddos and hear some rough cuts of Citizen Way’s new album coming out in the next couple months.  She was amused by my pups until Sam tried to snuggle one too many times and drew blood on her fragile skin with his persistently knife-like claws.  So I put them away and put the music on.  She reclined and listened intently to every tune I played for her.  I’m pretty sure she couldn’t have possibly understood the lyrics but I was praying all the while that the words would sink into her heart anyway.  After she tired of music we chatted. At one point she dozed off and she was so still that I thought she died right in front of me!  But, just before I asked Gene, her 24 hour caregiver, for help, Grandma spoke again behind me.  Thank the Lord!  I was so freaked!

Before I left I asked if I could pray for Grandma.  “Oh yeah!” she said.  A much more enthusiastic response than I expected so my heart fluttered even more hopefully for her.  After the prayer and a gentle, awkward stooping hug and said goodbye.  I said “I love you Grandma” and she said “drive safe” (she doesn’t say “I love you”) and that’s all I know for now.

I have written her a postcard and called her since but I have nothing else major to report.  She is gradually but surely declining daily in health as the toxins seep into her blood but she’s a tough old lady and is hanging in there.  I’m still so hopeful I will get to see her at least one more time when I go up in about a week for a ski trip with my brother.

Continue praying for her salvation until I find out for sure whether or not she professes Jesus Christ as her savior but please also pray for her pain and that she can keep a sound mind until I know for sure she’s in God’s hands 🙂

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The flowers are the Valentines flowers we got her 🙂

Please Pray for my Grandma

Dear friends,

It is not a blogging day, I dont’ usually post on Saturdays and Sundays, but I got news yesterday that my grandma has decided to stop her kidney dialysis treatment.  This means she may only have 2 weeks – 2 months longer to live.

I simply am desperate to see her find Jesus before she goes.  So I reach out to my network of readers in hopes to extend her prayer warriors beyond my family and small network of friends.  I know prayer can do great and wonderful things and I have faith that my grandma can still find the love of her life!  Even if she is a stubborn Norwegian 😉

Thank you so much for your support and your prayers!

Love,

Kaia Calhoun