Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 9:Praying for Our Sons

Today's topic is love.  The prayers are found on page 29.

These prayers are preceded by a short bit on "the fruits of the spirit".  I often pray that my children will be filled by the Spirit and bear His fruit.  Brooke tells the story of how her son "changed overnight".  Really, it was the parents who changed......they were being trained, not the other way around.  It's hard to undo that.  This is one of the study questions following this story....."Have you had times where your children's behavior or illness has threatened your family life or marriage? Describe a time like that here." Those of you who know me in person, know right off why I picked this question to answer.  It is because my family is living this right now.  Our daughter is 5 months into 36 months of chemo treatment for leukemia.  Her diagnosis rocked our family to the core.  The blessing is that as it all came tumbling down and was wiped to the very foundation, we have found our foundation to be strong---He truly is our cornerstone.  But what it also means is that everything built upon that foundation has taken a great beating.  I am constantly praying for how to navigate the waters with each member of our family.  C and I have had to become even more intentional about nurturing our marriage.  This is a real struggle.  There is no time when we are not exhausted and stretched beyond what we thought we could bear.  We have had to intentionally insert heaping mounds of grace into our relationship when we snap at each other and when we fail to hold up "our end" of the relationship----I don't like that term because I believe marriage is 100%-100% not 50%-50% but hopefully you know what I mean.  Neither of us has the capacity to give 100% right now.  I think we're both getting a good 20% in and praying and believing that God is filling in the other 160%.  In some ways, we are closer than ever before.  The hardest times are the times when we are so devastated by news that we can't hold each other up.  I am thankful for friends who stand in the gap.  Then there is our oldest, M, who is about to turn 13.  He is at a critical point (aren't they all???) in his development when he needs two full-time parents.  How does that fit in to our lives with a child with a life threatening illness that takes the majority of our time and energy?  K is at least a little easier to figure out because he wears his feelings on his sleeves, but he is beyond angry and needs more of a mom than I can be right now.  And finally there's sweet D.  She's physically suffering, emotionally suffering, and psychologically suffering.  She's probably doing the best of anyone.  She has two very focused parents.  But there's always the struggle of not creating a monster child that you and no one else will want to live with when she is finally cured.   It's very hard to know when to give in----she sleeps with me most nights----and when to show some tough love.  I have to believe that she will be cured and go on to live a full life, but there are no guarantees.  It's a difficult place to be for all of us.  That's one of the reasons that I love this study........all I have is prayer.  It's nice that at least one small part of that has been figured out for me; all I have to do is read the book and say the prayer.  God is probably enjoying these few coherent thoughts from me in the midst of all my mumbling that only the Holy Spirit can interpret :)

And now you know more about me than you ever wanted to..........I covet your prayers.

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