nonsensical text

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

turning over a new loaf

bread from heaven

I don’t always remember to thank God for answered prayer. This is something I discovered about myself long ago. This weekend, I learned those times are even more numerous than I had realized for one simple reason. I wasn’t including the times that my gratitude is unvoiced because my eyes are not wide enough to see that the prayer has been answered at all.

On particularly frustrating days, it is often possible to hear me muttering something along the lines of the following: “Sometimes I wish I could work outside of the home for a mere week or two – just long enough to miss my children terribly.” So firmly convinced was I that a granting of this request would refocus my attention to the more positive aspects of constant home-parenting my brood that often the thought alone would bring about a more positive attitude.

The past few weeks have been much more packed with activity than is normal for me. Much of that activity required time and energy dedicated to my mother, my mother-in-law, my extended family, and me. It has, therefore, caused me to be away from my house and my children on an incredibly consistent basis. It wasn’t until after the funeral on Friday that the fact struck me. My prayer had been answered.

I was driving my mother toward home, preparing to take her on a few more errands before picking up my kids and heading off to the hospital. I was suddenly overcome with longing for their physical presence. I desperately missed being present for all of the daily activities. I had a grand idea. I would pick the children up before running the errands. I didn’t need to be without them. Time was of the essence anyway since I had just learned that my husband would be home an hour earlier than usual, and he needed the van. I thought perhaps picking them up first would shave valuable minutes from my journey.

Those of you with children will undoubtedly see the flaw in my plans. Taking a carload of children along on errands is not exactly a time saving device. But alas, loneliness often smudges the clear vision of reason. Within thirty seconds of their installation into various passenger seats, the bickering commenced. As I glanced at the clock, irritation mounted. There was no way I could accomplish everything I set out to do in the allotted time. Something would have to fall through the cracks. Considering their behavior, the hospital visit was the logical sacrificial lamb. The pressure remained even after this conclusion was reached. I am not one who breathes deeply the perfume of relief after a decision has been made. I am far too likely to second guess myself. Even so I had to laugh at the speed with which the gentle breezes in my memory turned into the hurricane gales of reality.

And as I sit in the eye of the storm I call nighttime, it occurs to me: the very irritation that arises in me during the activity – be it with my children or away from them – is the very evidence that the problem isn’t my need for a break from them. The irritation stems from taking everything for granted. For, if I weren’t taking my family for granted, if I weren’t taking my ability to do for others for granted, if I weren’t taking the money that pays for the gas, food, and lodging for granted, surely my heart would be consumed with thankfulness for those things. My eyes would see that the irritations may come, but they also go. My mind would understand that even the irritation of the greatest magnitude will create fodder for the fondest of memories. My spirit would rejoice in the comedy of errors.

Sometimes the answer to prayer is yes; sometimes it is no. Other times, the voice of God requests me to patiently wait. But once in awhile, if I were really paying attention, I bet I could hear the Lord saying, “Just wait until you see what I have in store for you! You’ll never forget this ride!”



  • You know, I firmly believe in the idea that it helps to be able to miss someone somtimes, at least a little.

    Awesome persepctive to see the pattern.

    By Blogger Julie Pippert, at 5:29 PM  

  • Julie - on our shared belief, "Amen to that!" It is amazing how much perspective is added to the mix when distance is a factor.

    Sorry I haven't been around much to comment (here or at your place).


    By Blogger atypical, at 10:07 AM  

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