It’s Time to Pray: 33 Days of Prayer

Have you ever had a nagging feeling that you should do something but continue to procrastinate? Me, too. Last year, I had an idea—33 Day Prayer Journey. Daily, I blogged a prayer and posted it on WordPress, Twitter and Facebook without knowing who would read, or what was the need. These prayers were not all happy, as my friend Wade at laughoutloudloveourlord.com said, yet they were prayers from my heart.

During those 33 days, emails and private conversations had been about the prayer journey. “Thanks for those words, I needed that.” All I could say was thank God, I had no clue.

The prayer journey was one of the hardest task I had embarked upon since deciding to say, “I’m a writer”—and then turning it into a profession. Writing is hard, the more I write the harder it gets. Frustration mounts, rejections hurt, yet I keep at it—honing and learning the craft.

Prayer is the same. Sometimes God’s answer is no, not yet, or I have something better—wait. Either answer requires patience and trust. (Patience is not one of my virtues. You know how the adage goes, “God ain’t through with me yet.”) But I can’t stop; I have to keep at it. And I try to continuously prayer like a cascading waterfall. When my eyes open in the morning, at night kneeling, in the afternoon, while driving my car, before a class, or sometimes before, during, and after a phone call, at the altar, in a journal or while walking. Whether it’s five minutes or fifty, a day or a week, I press on.

Like my writing, obstacles get in the way and I don’t stay focused. When I pray, and don’t get what I think I should have, I feel rejected. Still I ask because I’ve realized—after many years­—I have more to learn, I need better preparation, and God actually knows what’s better for me than I do. My mantra has been and always will be, “Anything I have in life that is good, is from God. All the other stuff, I messed up trying to do it on my own.” Whether I write or I pray, I have to make the time.

So, as hemmed and hawed about embarking on a prayer journey, one of my first blog followers, Sharla at catnipoflife.wordpress.com, replied to one of my post: Ang, Even though, I have devotionals and bible study, I miss those prayers.

I knew what that meant. Yet, I dilly-dallied. Then, a Facebook friend posted that reading prayers and inspirational quotes on FB was truly a testimony of God’s goodness. Next as I read a few Psalms, all I noticed were prayers, the same thing occurred while reading Marilyn Robinsons’ s novel Gilead and then Howard Thurman’s autobiography With Heart and Head. And finally as listened to Cece Winans last chord “It’s Time to Pray,” for a week, my procrastination ceased.

So, I will embark on another 33-Day Prayer Journey: May 26-June 27.

Join me.

Sharpening the Saw

As iron sharpens iron, so one habit sharpens another.

At the end of the day, I think: did I complete the most important things on my list? And I’m a list-maker, one of those people who keep multiple lists for everything—next action, calls, errands, someday/maybe, read/review, projects, and so on.

Despite my lists and what I’ve actually accomplished during the day, what I know for sure is that I rolled out of bed, showered, worked—at home and/ or on campus—ate at least five meals, and then returned to bed for another six to eight hours sleep. All to wake up again the next morning and repeat the process while asking myself, “Did I get it all done?”

When my days seem futile, I focus on Stephen Covey’ s seventh habit for highly effective people, Sharpen the Saw, to help me preserve and improve my greatest asset.

According to Covey, to Sharpen the Saw “means to have a balanced program for self-renewal in four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual.

Sharpen the Saw

Physical: Beneficial eating, exercising, and resting
Social/Interpersonal: Making social and meaningful connections with others
Mental: Learning, reading, writing, and teaching
Spiritual: Spending time in nature, expanding spiritual self through meditation, music, art, prayer, or meditation

So, at the end of the day, instead of crossing off items on my list, I ask: Did I Sharpen my Saw?

Physical: I completed some form of exercise, whether on the treadmill, walking through the mall, up and down steps, or moving around the classroom or cleaning my apartment for at least thirty minutes.

Social/Emotional: I called my mother, touched based with my daughters, spoke to my best friend, attended an event, networked, and tweeted or liked a Facebook status.

Mental: For me teaching and writing go hand in hand; therefore, I cannot teach without learning, learn with reading, read without writing. Seems as though, I’m constantly honing this area of my life.

Spiritual: If I didn’t attend regular worship service and bible study, this area of my life would fall flat. I can’t just read a devotion or Bible verse, often times I have to meditate on it, like a cow I’m repeatedly regurgitating and re-chewing spiritual nutrients. My spiritual life is in a state of progress and process.

Frequently, these areas of my life overlap. Like when I’m walking on the treadmill, listening to music and reading. Or when I’m mediating on a scripture, then write it down as a prayer in my journal, and have the opportunity to talk about it with someone else.

And this Sharpen the Saw habit keeps me grounded, so when my head hits the pillow, I know my day was productive.

This Daughter and The Fiery Trial

Image

I dropped my daughter at her friend’s house and blew her a kiss goodbye. “I’ll be without you for eight hours,” I said.

“It’s like a day of school,” she said, nonchalantly closing the car door behind her.

As I watched her walk away, I thought, eight hours without her on this Saturday wasn’t like any other school day.

In 2012, on Mother’s Day my gift from her: the decision to live with her father and visit me when she pleased like her nineteen-year-old sister did. Then I was crushed, eight months later, I’m still reeling from her decision, my mother’s day gift.

Despite the signed divorce stipulation, joint custody, five days on five days off, every other weekend visits my daughter, fifteen, doesn’t visit. Her father said, “He wants to keep the peace, he doesn’t want to be the bad guy.” Her sister said, “I can’t tell her what to do.”  My best friend said, “A daughter needs her mother.”

I wept.

I couldn’t understand her reasoning, and when I asked she had no explanation.

Six months prior to her choice, this daughter did not contest living in two places when I moved out of the martial home. She showed no remorse saying, “I knew in the third grade you and Dad would divorce.” She added, “Mom, I plan to have enough clothes at both homes so I have less to pack.”

And by May, she did.

This daughter did not hid in closets or walk away when she heard her parents argue. She stood in the doorway watching and listening to us bark at each other exchanging harsh words we couldn’t take back. This daughter told me the things her father said in my absence.

I wept.

Simultaneously, this daughter was the one who believed her father did not love her. I remember our daily discourse. “Your father loves you, he just has a lot on his plate.”  “Your father doesn’t like the house messy.” “Go show your father, he will like it.” “Pray for him, God hears the prayers of children.”

I’ll never forget the Sunday morning this daughter refused to go to church. “If Daddy doesn’t go, why should I?”

My only response, “Because I said so.”

Before her decision to live with her father, my daughter and I did not have a disagreement or a fight. Our habits were the same: in the mornings no talking, while reading a book no talking. We played scrabble on Sundays, which we’d been playing since she was three. After church, we went to breakfast, and sometimes a friend tagged along, in which I let them roam the stores in the mall, while I graded papers in the coffee shop.

One day while playing a card game this daughter said, “Mom, when I get friends, I’m not staying home with you.”

“That’s what teenagers do,” I said.

Three months after her decision to live with her father, God showed some relationships are worth fighting for. Despite a lack of visits, I met her at the bus stop on Tuesdays or Thursdays. We went to the pizza parlor. Another time after pizza a visit to the library or shopping for knickknacks. On Columbus Day we shopped in New York City. Although we were making great strides, she did not answer my question: “Why don’t you want to live with me?” (I don’t ask that question anymore.)

Image

So, on this Saturday, she had been with me for a week. The last thing I wanted: eight hours without her on a Saturday knowing our only time together hereafter would be one or two hours on a Tuesday or Thursday or a shopping trip to the mall.

For some reason my suffering for Christ’s glory became a fiery trial I didn’t want to bear any longer. Yet I could understand even better Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane asking God to let the cup pass knowing God’s will be done.

As much as this relationship pains me, knowing my daughter doesn’t want to live with me, I try to absorb the words of Os Hillman, founder of Marketplace Leaders and Today God is First devotional, “When we go through a trial of adversity, we need to understand that God is performing radical surgery on our life. …not to destroy us, but to give us a new heart. God is making a fundamental change in who we are and who we will be. And, He will always reveal treasures from these secret places if we are willing to walk through the process patiently.”

Hard Pressed But Never Destroyed

January 4 2013BMy best friend and I not only shop together, call and text but we also pray together and share scriptures when needed.
So, today I’ve been praying for a specific need because that was her morning text. This afternoon she called a bit depressed and perplexed. I did what a friend does: I listened, agreed, offered comfort, listened some more, offered a bit more advise. When our silence grew deafening, the only thing I knew to do was pray over the phone for her in her ear.
She’s a praying woman and I know she will find her answer.
Afterwards, I began trolling through a list of things, although I’m supposed to  finish a chapter of my novel and send out two resumes. I was growing weary at the writing, and daunted by the task of job hunting. In my list of things, I found the following devotion that represented the day, ironically, I’m sure my best friend sent it to me on January 12, 2012.

Hard Pressed, But Not Destroyed

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed, We are preserved not pickled! 2 Corinthians 4: 8 to 9 (NIV).

The Message translation of the Bible says this ”We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us in trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us our lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us. While we’re going through the worst, you’re getting in on the best!”

When the sailors of old faced the worst of the storms, they would call out to encourage one another with this statement of faith, “Hold fast”. When the wave buffeted against them and the winds howled and the storm raged, and it seemed like everything was against them, they would call out, “hold fast”.

Ephesians 6:13 – 14  (NIV)  says, “and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then”.

At times we may feel like we are going through the mill, and we are having a hard time. That is the time you need to hear these words “Hold fast! For the storm will not last forever.”

Notice if you will, that no matter what life throws at you, no matter the circumstance, there is a  “But not” from God, but not crushed, but not in despair, but not forsaken, but not destroyed! -Because God is an awesome God. We are preserved not pickled!

Remember the words of the Apostle Paul from 2 Corinthians 4: 8 -9 (NIV)

“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.”

No matter what we face, not matter how difficult the storms of life, it will not last forever, we will be preserved not pickled. Because if God be for us who can stand against us? Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.

No resolutions for the new year

ImageResolutions for the New Year: none, nada, rien,
That’s right. I’m not vowing to lose weight, eat healthier, budget my finances, organize my home, go to church more, read the bible daily, or  keep in touch with more friends and family.
That was 2010, 2011, and 2012 resolutions. If I haven’t made progress by now, resolving to do those things in 2013 is a waste of energy and sure to cause depression.
Instead, I plan to be me living footloose and fancy free with a ton of fun in my bones.
In the words of Alicia Keys… This girl is on FIRE!
In the paraphrased words of  Ecclesiastics 3, 2013 is time to birth something new, a time to heal, to build, to laugh, to dance, to embrace, to love, and a time for peace, a time to be silent and a time to speak.
…there is nothing better  than for us to be happy and to do good while  we live.
 
So let’s eat, drink, and find satisfaction in all our work and play.  This is the gift of God; the only resolution for me today, tomorrow, forever.

Part 2: Making Room for God, From No Reservations to the Lakehouse Bed & Breakfast

Elba  WELCOME.

Sweet home Alabama.

Now that I had arrived safely in Elba, Alabama, the next stop: Florala for a Friday night event, and then a Saturday drive to Panama City Beach. I had no clue of the distance between Elba, Florala and Panama City Beach, nor did I have hotel reservations in Florala when my mother said that’s too much driving.

At 4 p.m., we set off to reach our destination before nightfall sans a place to rest our head. Additionally, we waited for my cousin in Florala to call us back with directions and an address.

In the parking lot of Subways, I checked my telephone for hotels. One night stays, pricey.  Finally my cousin called with directions. I asked her about hotels and she paused.

“I didn’t know you had planned to stay,” cousin Hazel said. “I would invite you to sleep at my house, but I haven’t cleaned and I’m leaving early in the morning or Pensacola.“

I heard the trepidation in her voice. As the event planner, she needed to arrive at six, two hours before her guests. She said, “Come on, I’ll arrange a place for you to stay.”

“She’ll arrange a place at friend’s house,” my mother predicted.

“Maybe, she’ll let us sleep on the floor,” I said.

“It’s an adventure,” my mother said. “God’s in control.”

“I did fly first class, unexpectedly,” I said.

We set off standing on God’s promise.

I’ll be a personal guide to them, directing them through unknown country. I’ll be right there to show them what roads to take,
 make sure they don’t fall into the ditch.
These are the things I’ll be doing for them—
sticking with them, not leaving them for a minute” (Isaiah 24:16, The Message).

Five minutes across the Florala city line, my cellphone rang. Hazel asked our location, afterwards she Elba florala WELCOME.instructed me to pull over. She parked next to us. After family hugs, she said, “Check-in is at 6:30 p.m.”

We followed Hazel to her home. A beautiful home with room enough to house us. Again we sat and chatted about distance relatives.  As a writer, Hazel and my mother told stories about family members that were characters in novel, a family saga. This reminded me of words of a famous author, “A good writer has a storyteller in the family.”

What a blessing to sit with two wise women with family stories, that I could fictionalize in a novel sequel.

Family storytellers.

Family storytellers.

At 6:20p.m., we headed to Lake House Bed & Breakfast. The owner welcomed
and escorted us to one king size bedroom and one queen on the first floor.

brabhamlakehouse

“The house is empty tonight,” he said. “Check out is 11 a.m. And what time would you like breakfast?”

I met Hazel in the hallway and asked if we should pay now or in the morning. She simply replied, “All has been taken care of. Just enjoy.”

My second God-sized gift in less than 48 hours.

lakehouse BTwo hours after lounging in the sitting room, sipping tea, Hazel returned to the Lake House and gave us a tour of Florala. Then pulled into the driveway of another cousin whom we hadn’t seen in a year.

I knocked on her door. She opened it and screamed, “My cousin from New York.” She slammed the door.

An impromptu family reunion; plans only God could have ordained.

Hooks Cousins

Hooks Cousins night out.

My mother and I by the lake Saturday morning.
My mother and I by the lake Saturday morning.

Part 1: Making Room for God, From Zone 4 to First Class

inside_white_plains_westchester_airport_1614_400_400_1Last week’s post was about the challenge: Did the Bible live in you, today? This week, my challenge included making room for God when plans go awry. I could only face this test by living the Bible specifically standing on God’s promise, Exodus 14:4: “The Lord will fight for you; you only need be still.

At 6:30 a.m. on Thursday morning, I arrived at Westchester Airport for a 7:30 a.m. two-leg flight. At 7:00 a.m. my cellphone rang, the robotic voice said: Your flight has been delayed until 8:00 a.m. Fifteen minutes later the same number popped up on my cell, again flight scheduled for 8:30 a.m.

Immediately, I checked my itinerary for the departure of my connecting flight, 9:50 a.m. in Philadelphia. I shoved my book and trail mix in my knapsack and headed toward the US Airways counter.

I stood waiting, watching, praying and listening as the airline representatives begin rescheduling new flights for passengers. The lady behind me asked. “What’s the status?”

My cellphone rang again. The lady said, “The flight is delayed.”

I pressed the speaker button, turned to her and said. “This flight is cancelled.”

The voice announced: 9:30 departure.

“Something is wrong,” I said. “Did you see the movie “Flight”?” I silently prayed. “Be still God is working this out. Don’t panic.”

The airline representatives rearranged passengers to different airports sixty miles south. The older gentleman in front of me looked distressed. His wife was disabled. The back and forth was not good for her knee.  The lady behind me, Jen, had spent her last dollar taxing to the airport because her friend stood her up.

“Ma’am, “ I said to the representative. “Is the plane here?”

“Yes and the crew, but it’s not leaving this airport. The hydraulic hose is the problem.”

Laguardia-airport-LGAThank you Lord for keeping me off that plane.

Then the rep told the older gentleman they would put him in a car and take he and his wife to LaGuardia airport for a straight flight.

“God is good,” he said.

“The Lord will fight for you, just be still,” I said.

Another woman said, “I don’t need a seat. I didn’t want to go on this trip anyway.”

Finally, it was my turn. US Airways representative asked a Delta representative if there were flights. “Only first class. But she can’t have it.”

I looked at the young man, “I’m not good enough for first class.” I was annoyed, but held my temper.

He looked away.

Then I said to the representative. “This young lady also needs a ride.” I pivoted to Jen standing behind me.

“Thanks for looking out,” she said.

However the representative snapped, “You want to give your seat to her.”

I bit my lip, “Be still,” I whispered to myself. “You’re right, I need to take care of me,” I said to the representative.

After my flight was rebooked, I realized my cousin had planned to meet me in Atlanta at 12:30 p.m. I sent him a text explaining I wouldn’t be in Atlanta until 5:22 p.m.; however I would sleep in a hotel and find my way in the morning.

My final destination was Alabama, a three-hour drive.

He texted back, “Let me see what I can do, I don’t want you staying in Atlanta.”

When I got in the town car, Jen followed. I offered her the front seat.

“You’re polite,” she said.

“God’s working on me; my patience and my politeness. I can be quite rude at times.” Let the Bible live in me was challenging.

One hour later, I walked into LaGuardia airport.  The line was long. “Hey,” a voice called. I was Jen. “Come stand here.”

Jen and I chatted, made our way to security and then to the same gate.

I bought a twenty-three ounce bottle of water, remembering her funds were low. For some reason Matthew 25:35b popped into my head” I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me.”

I got an extra cup. Returned to my seat and poured Jenny a cup.

“You didn’t have to do that.”

Jen had a Bible. Jen carried the Bible for protection only. She stopped attending church, yet she believed in God. She didn’t read the Bible because she couldn’t understand the language. Nevertheless, she didn’t judge.

I explained that church is a place of fellowship, a place where we meet God and his people for worship. Then I suggested she read The Message version for more insight.

She looked puzzled. So, I stopped talking and offered her some trail mix.

I opened my magazine and read the following verse: Exodus 14:4: “The Lord will fight for you; you only need be still.”  I chuckled. God really does have a sense of humor. In another article the writer used The Message version of Psalm 47. I ripped out that section and handed it to Jen.

“This is for you,” I said.

She read. She thanked me. She folded the torn sheet and tucked it in her pants pocket.

Minutes later we walked down the aisle of the aircraft: Zone 4 seat 34, me in C her in F. She said, “This really needs to be first class after all we’ve been through.”

“Let’s nap,” I replied. “The day will be over soon.”

Upon deplaning, we hugged each other in the airport lobby.

On my way to course B in Charlotte, my cousin texted me: We’ll be there thirty minute late.

I pulled my ticket out of my back pocket: Zone 1, Seat 4, First Class.

Reading the words twice, I hurried to the front of the line grateful I made room for God to do what He does, while I remained still.

Read Part 2: Making Room for God, From No Reservations to the Lakehouse Inn.

Take the challenge: Did the Bible live in you, today?

December 17 James122This month I have been challenged with this question: Did the Bible live in me today? When I think of an answer, the Bible seems too big to dwell in me.  Although “[a]ll Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of Godmay be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3: 16-17), all 66 books seem just too much for one person to handle.

Therefore, I focused on a few scriptures I had ingested, digested and ruminated on like eating a delectable dessert. For example, one evening my friend and I went to TGI Friday’s for coffee and dessert.  Dessert is my favorite meal. I’m not partial, but I do have my preferences. Often I don’t mind trying something new if the ingredients are palatable.

When the waitress brought the menu, I asked what she recommended. My friend said, if it were chocolate she would eat it. I, on the other hand, needed to look at the offerings first to see what was mouthwatering before digestion.

Sometimes the Bible scriptures we act and reflect upon are similar to how we choose dessert; what is pleasing and makes us feel good.  Such as Jeremiah 29:11, For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” At first I simple ingested these words. But over the years, I’ve digested each word swallowing and absorbing its flavor.

Just as Janet, my friend, knew the brownie made with Ghirardelli chocolate-fudge sauce, topped with caramel, pecans and ice-cream would please her sweet tooth, I know this scripture lives in me because all the good things that happened in my life were by God’s design. My plan to break the corporate glass ceiling, instead for 13 years I was a stay-at-home mom learning the craft of writing. Then I planned to write full-time; however, God put me in the position of teaching. He knew I could do more even when I didn’t. I never dreamed of teaching on the collegiate level, and here I am an adjunct teaching writing and a writer who writes. I know for sure God’s plan for me is better than any plan I have for myself.

Then there’s the verse that seems pleasing, has the right words yet until I read and meditate on it that scripture does not resonant for example, Exodus 14:4 “The Lord will fight for you; you only need be still.”  When I first read this, I said really. One thing I despise is a fight, and if one has to occur I get tense, anxious, and begin making plans A, B, and C. I pray. I call my mother, my prayer partner and ask them to pray. On Sunday morning, I go to the altar and give it to God. But the moment I walk away from the altar, I pick up the battle again. I think about it, I look at the best and the worst scenarios.  And most likely the next Sunday, I take it back to the altar and pick it up again.

Likewise with the New Whiskey Cake on the TGI Friday’s dessert menu. The description read: a sharable portion of warm toffee cake, topped with glazed pecans and vanilla ice cream and served with butterscotch Jack Daniel’s Whiskey sauce.

I never had toffee cake, however pecans and butterscotch were my favorite ingredients. I knew cooking with whiskey would make the flavors savory and sweet. Sharable portion meant Janet could have a piece, too. When the miniature wrought iron skillet arrived, I dipped the tip of my spoon into the sauce. Yum. I scoop a spoonful. “This sauce is delectable,” I said, slicing a little over half. I couldn’t wait for Janet to take her portion so I could scoop the remaining sauce onto my cake.

Despite our smorgasbord of conversation, I sat still, slowly digesting each bite letting flavors burst in my mouth. Although I had a piece of Janet’s brownie, the whiskey cake was more appetizing. I had no doubts or regrets about my chose.

In the same way, I took pleasure in eating that cake bit by bit, I reflected on each word in Exodus 14:4 when I knew I had a fight on my hands. First, I did my part, I confirmed that an agreement had been signed, sealed and delivered. I called and emailed respective parties. When the struggle began, I prayed “Lord you said in your word that you would fight for me and all I needed to do was be still.” At that moment, I did not complain, I did not grumble and I put the problem on the altar and left it believing without a shadow of doubt that God had my back.

And now I’m sharing this scripture and this story because God is big enough and strong enough to satisfy all our needs.

So, when I think about the question: Did the Bible live in you today? And reflect on my answer, realizingDecember 17 BIBLE I can live the Bible, all 66 books, daily. Why? The Bible is Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. And since heaven is on earth, as earth is in heaven I need to search the scriptures for all my answers.

Did the Bible live in you today?

In A Place of Cheap or Free Grace

ImageMy grace is sufficient for you…” is a powerful verse. Although easily said, it’s tough living the scripture when life doesn’t seem smooth or when our preference is not God’s provision until one truly understands grace. When God blesses us, despite the fact that we do not deserve it; that’s grace.  When good things happen to the unworthy, that’s grace. And it’s free. Free to those who believe in Jesus Christ. Hence God’s daily bread for our life is ample.

Imagine a moment when you were in a place of free grace? Scriptures illustrate these characteristics of those blessed by God’s grace: fruitful and grow, Genesis 1:22, happiness and prosperity, Genesis 22:16-18, build you up and give you an inheritance, Acts 20:32.

However these blessings come only with obedience to God’s commands. Repeatedly from Old Testament to New there are if then clauses: If God’s people obey, change, seek, love…, then He will provide, increase, protect…you get the picture.

So why would one want cheap grace? In Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book The Cost of Discipleship, cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance. Baptism without church discipline. Communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, the cross, and without Jesus Christ, living and personified.

And living with cheap grace gives us unholy rest.

I don’t know about you, but I want free grace. I don’t want to claim to follow Christ, yet live my life my way: no rules, no discipline, no structure, no Bible, no prayer, no  church, wanton and crazy. I’ve done that, too.

Are you in the place of free or cheap grace?

Faithwalk: What happens when women talk?

 

I

“I can do the job better than those with Masters and Ph.D.s,”  the woman said.
“A woman who has a degree and has stayed at home to raise a family is usually the best candidate for the job,” the other woman said.
“They have more time, more organized, and career-driven.” Woman looked at text iphone message. “After raising kids,…”
“And caring for parents,” the other woman interjected.
“Less life interruptions,” the woman said.
“We’re better candidates, volunteerism and community service alone is major experience.” “You have a Masters,” the woman said. “And even freelance experience.”
“Yeah, but a Ph.D. got tenure track, not me,” the other woman said.
“Does she have children?”
“Two toddlers and a baby on the way,” the other woman said.
“I can’t imagine trying to take care of my babies and a full-time job,” the woman said. “But I made the sacrifice, family first.”
“Our life is in God’s hands,” the other woman said.
“His plans are always better than my plans.”

II

Two days later the women talked over the telephone.
“Speaking of plans have you been writing down your ideas?” The other woman said.
“Not really, working two jobs is exhausting,” the woman said.
“Do you know if you write things down it happens?” the other woman said.
“Please, Girl,” the woman said.
“I’ve been journaling for years, but last week I started rereading old journals and…”
“What did you find?”
“A list I wrote in 1999 and all things happened. Even you, a dear friend that I could trust,” the other woman said. “That’s not all. After the divorce I wrote a letter to God describing my next husband.”
“Did it happen?” the woman said.
“Money, homeowner, no kids; but he was creepy.”
“So sometimes we don’t know what we want even if we write it down, or not,” the woman said.
“Taught me a lesson, I need to leave room for God,” the other woman laughed.
“Did you throw that list away?”
“No, I crossed it out, and wrote Lord, you know best.,” the other woman said. “Now, when I look at that page in my journal, I’ll know who’s in charge.”
“Good way to look at it,” the woman said.
“I did have a fabulous summer traveling, and that was one of my prayers…that I wrote down.”
“Maybe I’ll try it.”

III

Three weeks later, the friends talk again.
“I got the full time position, a raise, and the company is paying for me to go back to school.” The woman throws her hands in the air. “Oh, my daughter is engaged. She’s waited for that man to propose for three years.”
“I’m happy for you.” The other woman smiled.
“I did what you said, I wrote it down.”