Tag Archives: prayer


The night before I got married, my maid of honor (Pat’s daughter) and I shared my twin bed after a long day of moving furniture, books, and kitchen gear to my soon-to-be new home.  A twin bed and about 84 pounds of blankets.  The next morning, she gave me a card.  I couldn’t find that card now if my children’s lives depended on it, but I do remember the words.  I always remember words.  Something about friendship, something about marriage, a blessing… and then, in essence, this:

“Know that every time you tossed and turned last night, every time my hand landed on your shoulder, every time- I was praying for you.  For peace, for strength, for joy.”

Sometimes, Ry’s anxiety swells to hysteria.  These episodes are always worse when we are tired.  Or, say, perhaps, when we are camping with 12 other family members and it’s light until 10pm.  She begs me not to leave her in the tent to fall asleep.  She begs me to lie with her.  She begs me to be a better mother.  It is close to spinning dangerously out of control… so I leave.  I zip the tent shut and walk away.  Down the trail, around the corner, away.

And, out of nowhere, I see Steph’s handwriting on that wedding card so many years ago.

When I return, I pull up my camp chair to the (sobbing) tent and silently press my hand against the fabric.  The sobbing turns to sniffling as a little hand instinctively matches mine on the other side of the canvas.  

And I pray for my Rylie.  For peace, for strength, for joy.

I wash Gus Man’s feet tonight.  I do it to calm him down.  I do it to erase the mud, sand, and grease he has collected since dinner.  I do it to send him to bed cleaner, but I quickly find myself on holy ground… right there at the kitchen sink, with a little boy and his double-fists of matchbox cars.

And I pray for my Gideon.  In-between toes and bubbles, I pray.  For peace, for strength, for joy.

Abby June is sleeping next to me.  I watch her back rise and fall with the easy breaths of a carefree infant.  I place my hand on her back and I smile.  I know this is a moment… just one quick, simple moment.  She breathes, up and down.

And I pray for my Abby June.  For peace, for strength, for joy.

Maybe, just maybe,

I am learning another way to pray.

To touch.


on praying

Rylie prays like a Catholic, praying for every single name she can think of… from horses to family to friends to baby dolls- everyone is included in Grace.

Gideon is a bit more more Pentecostal… lots and lots of Amens.  Or, more accurately, A-Mins.  Aaaaaaand, you never know when he’s finished.  Best to wait, just to be sure.

I will be sad when they are more aware, when rules will take over, when the ‘child’ in the prayer gives way to the norm.  I’d take these prayers any day over the Grace of a bishop, clergy, or prayer book.  Forgive me for skipping grace this one time to capture the moment.

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Folks, we’re headed into the woods for a little camping next week!  Internet will be spotty, but I’m hoping to put photos up while we’re gone.  Make sure you’ve clicked on the email sign up over there on the right-hand side of the blog.  That way, I’ll come right to your inbox when there’s something new.

I’d say it’s a safe bet Gus will be naked in a few photos.  How long do you think it will take? 

I wonder if God reads blogs.


You know that I am an awful pray-er.  That it’s a constant stream of conscious jumble of thanksgiving and desperation.  That I am easily distracted by birds and accidents and grocery lists.  I yell frantically to You while chasing a 3 year-old out of the street and speak softly to You as a 5 month-old falls to sleep in my arms.  

I am so thankful You hear me, however I pray. 

I wonder, amidst all the world’s legitimate pain, if You have heard my pleas for Rylie?  Have You heard me sobbing for my child’s voice… locked inside her?  Have You heard me angry, asking You which school to choose and which bus to take and which specialist to demand?  Have You heard me begging for peace in her heart when she cannot sound off her own frustration?

 I forget that You see farther than I see… that the end, for You, is in sight and the Greater Story complete. 

Have You heard me cheering for her?  Cheering for the way You have pulled dark gray around her eyes?  Cheering for the sweet way she grabs a new friend’s hand?  Cheering for the understanding on her face when she signs ‘I’m sorry’

Have You heard my rejoicing for Gideon?  My child, whom You have blessed with a healthy appetite?  Whom You you have given a new gift of calm?  Whom You have taught how to fall asleep alone?  Have You heard my deep breaths after all these months of insanity? 

Thank You for these miracles, however great or small. They are not lost on me.

Have You heard me cry for myself?  In pity?  In shame? In denial of having a child with special needs?  In defiance of having a child with leg braces?  Have You heard me arrogantly say it’s not fair?  Have You seen me cut corners and be lazy and take for granted the resources You’ve laid out before me?

I am so sorry.  I could explain that I am weak.  That I am tired.  That I am scared.  But, these are things You already know and forgive daily.

Please give me strength for another letter to insurance, for one more game of chase, for another week’s worth of night-time feedings.  Please give me a song to sing when I have no words.  Please give me chance to help someone else, that I could show them the grace You have shown me. Help me to be slow to anger.  To be grateful.  To be kind. 

If You’re reading this up there, thank You.  For all the things I’ve said and for all the things I’ve forgotten and for all the things I’m too shy to say… thank You for hearing me, however I pray.