"The view from my deck. It's a beautiful night and I'm about to get into the hot tub. Love it!"
I sadly admit, my first reaction was total jealousy. What a beautiful way to end a day! I imagine how marvelous it would be to see such a gorgeous sky and feel the luxury of slipping into a nice hot tub! I can almost feel the steaming bubbles massage away my aches while the cold night breeze kisses my face and blows through my hair. I imagine my family's current tribulation behind us. I imagine feeling happy and settled...
And then, I wake up- back to reality...
It has been a week since I found out about my dear husband's job loss. I wish I could say that this week has only been filled with smiles, encouraging words, and calm moments. Yes, we have had our share of those- but that is not all that happened. Between those helpful and enlightened times were flashes of doubt, fear, and sorrow.
In those dark moments I tried to stay strong, and generally they were simply moments- less than minutes long- and I was able to find strength. However, some of these times were longer than the others- and in those, I felt broken. I longed for happiness. I longed to feel settled. I coveted those feelings. It was generally around the time I realized that I was "coveting" that I snapped out of my self-pity, said a prayer asking for forgiveness for my sin (coveting is something I really need to work on), and then asked for God's help. I did not ask God to make me happy, or make me feel settled. I asked Him for something greater, and something only He can give...
Yes, beyond feeling "happy" and "settled" there is a still better feeling- peace.
How can we feel peace? True peace?
Now, during this difficult time, I pray and feel peace.
My family has more people collectively praying for us than we have ever had at any given time. I have been so amazed with the supportive friends, peers, and loved ones who have offered prayers on our behalf. These loving prayers make a difference, they really do. We can feel them- and every single prayer impacts our family in a positive way. I cannot begin to explain the comfort that washes over me when I am told that my family is being prayed for. Really, I cannot explain it- it is wonderful!!!
2 Corinthians reminds me: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
Tonight, before I go to sleep- I will say a prayer. I will pray for those I know are in need of prayer, and I will pray for my family. Do I pray for my husband to get a great, high paying job? Do I pray for my unborn baby to be perfect and beautiful? Do I pray for my children to have everything they want in the world? Do I pray for luxury materials to surround me? No. I don't.
I pray that my husband be open to whatever path God has in store for him, and his heart be prepared to recognize promptings of the Spirit that will lead us where the Lord will have us go. I pray that God will help me be the mother He would have me be to the children He has entrusted to my care. I pray that God will give my husband the ability to find the means to provide for our family. I pray that we live in safe and, if possible, comfortable surroundings.
Along with my desires, I always offer thanks for my multitude of blessings. My family, my faith, the restoration of the Gospel. I thank God for having us in the United States. I thank God for clean water, providing our needs, and giving us so many material comforts.
I have a lot to pray for... and so does everyone else, which is why it is so remarkable that so many are taking the time and effort to remember our family in their prayers.
Yes, we are blessed...