Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Answered Unprayer

A few weeks ago I was listening to a sermon fromur home church in PA.  It was on leadership but at one point the preacher was talking about prayer, about how God already knows your needs, that you don't need to spend all your time asking God for those things.  Instead prayer is spending time with God, giving him a portion of your day, and acknowledging that you need Him.  Then he said something that really stood out to me: "The only reason some people are more passionate about prayer is because they need God more than you do."

I find this to be true in my life, as evidenced by the fact that my prayers seem to increase with each child that we add to the family.  I've never felt more unqualified, inadequate and needy as I do now that I'm a parent.  But despite the influx in prayers, despite the hours I've lied awake at night praying for protection for my children that seem to always be getting into dangerous situations, for health for my babies when they're up coughing and snotting every 5 minutes, for wisdom on how to deal with  yet another tricky parenting situation ... yes despite these prayers, I still forget things.  And it's okay.  Because God knows anyway.  Often he knows of needs that I haven't even considered yet, much less thought to pray about.  I wrote once before about how God provided a cheap bread machine, something I had been wanting but hadn't seriously thought I'd get anytime soon.  (And now that I have it it's changing my life!)

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So anyway, the other day while taking my kids down the street to our favorite new hang-out, I realized another "unprayer" that had been answered - the woods.

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See, I love to take walks.  I'm not a runner, I don't work-out, but I do love a nice, scenic walk.  When we lived in Virginia Beach I'd walk the beach almost every evening, sometimes barely making it back to the house in one piece during the last few weeks of my Jack-pregnancy.  After my firstborn arrived we took morning walks through the neighborhood every day, greeting all the dogs and other moms out walking at the same time.  Jude arrived and we moved to Maryland and a new neighborhood with lots of walking paths.  Although I was now pushing a double-stroller, the paths were flat, quiet and meandered around a pond and parks.  And as I testified before, we've attempted a few walks since moving to our current house, but they didn't go so well.

Pushing both my boys in the double-stroller is work enough, doing it while pregnant was really, really tough!  And although our neighborhood is quiet and safe, it's not very big.  My boys and I could walk the whole thing and back in 15 minutes (and that would be at Jude's pace).  There's a bigger neighborhood next to ours, but it's hilly, there are no sidewalks and since the roads are so windy I spend most of the time worrying about being hit by a car.
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Of course, we now have Miss Lia.  I don't have a triple-stroller - Jack's old enough to walk himself.  But I also don't want him walking along the road while I need both hands to keep the stroller in line.  And don't think Jude would be a compliant rider while his brother was off exploring with his own two feet.  We needed a place to walk that was close, flat and free from traffic.  And that's when we found the woods.
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Jack, where's the path?" "To the right!"
We ditch the stroller, I wear Julia in the baby carrier and Jack and Jude hold hands the whole way to the "secret path." 
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And then I let 'em loose.  Because there are no sidewalks in the woods, but there are no cars either.  In fact, it's usually just us (or the nice lady that walks her dog there every evening).  And not only are we getting exercise but there's so much to explore!  Birds to hear, branches to break, holes to examine ...

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... leaves to roll in ...

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... treasures to bring home.
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I grew up living near a creek and woods and I'm happy my boys can have their own little suburban version of these forest adventures. 
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Poor Jude, he's about to get it.

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And there it is, Jack in action.

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Meanwhile I can step out of the house, away from my phone, the beeping email inbox and the pile of dinner dishes in the sink.  Away from the path my boys are wearing in my wood floors as they run circles around the kitchen/dining/living room.  Away from the baskets of laundry that need folding, the toilet that Jack has clogged again, and the piles of sand that have been brushed into corners.  And out into the fresh, open air where I can think and be and focus on my babies and how much they've changed in the past 3 hours...

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So yes, I'm feeling lots of love for the woods today.  And I'm especially thankfully for this little answer to my "unprayer".  Something I hadn't even thought to approach God with, a request I didn't even know how to form into words, a solution to a problem I thought was out of my control. 

What about you?  Have you had any answers to "unprayers" lately?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Does the dragon still have my walking stick? Did you fall in the green swamp yet? Have you found the sunken pirate ship yet? Or the pirate fort? Is the giant snake still asleep? Did the leprechon come out of his hole yet? If not,i'm sure captain Jack or 1st mate Jude can help you with this.

J9 said...

Haha, we've been spending most of our time with the dragon who, unfortunately, has "dead batteries" (according to Jack.

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