This year, 2013, I dared to pray a few prayers for me, and they were answered.
I pray for others routinely, easily, but partly due to my religious baggage (and partly because I don’t trust my wants) I am hesitant to ask for what I think I might want in material things. I’m also careful to not pray for patience because I’ve learned that in asking for this, God sometimes sends opportunities (with people, or situations) demanding just that! An opportunity to practice patience! And that’s never ever any fun.
I do pray most mornings, “God, please keep me sober today”. Have done that since February 1989 and I am sure, beyond any doubt, that this is one (if not the biggest) ingredient to not having to drink ‘til blato – and equally important, being happy about not drinking ‘til blato. I think most have figured out by now that I am in recovery – if not before, then now they do. But praying as I’ve been taught, to ask for God’s help in getting me and keeping me sober minded (physically and emotionally) I’ve come to accept as not selfish praying. It’s good for me, and trust me – it’s good for everyone around me. And brings me to a place of being more the woman God made me to be as well as to be in service.
That’s all a good thing.
But this year I’ve dared to ask for a few things just for me that come more from a “wants” not “needs” list. I blogged about some of this along the way; right now the particulars* escape me, but looking back on this year’s experiences bolsters a greater understanding of faith, and trust, and prayers. And I know a little more about daring to pray and daring to receive some pretty awesome answers. The greatest being, beyond being sober and my family and friends being protected in health and safety, is a new level of peace in this business of grief. I thought it would never change – relent – let up – lose some of its gagging grip; but it has.
Thank you God. Thank you Lord. Thank you all for walking with me in this healing.
So now, this morning, I dared to write one more prayer for the year. I asked in only a quick mention about something that I keep coming back to loving. I asked that if it is something – a kind of love that God has put into my heart that needs action – that He show me with irrefutable force what to do, and to do. And in the meantime, what do I do about this “thing” I love?
I’m posting a picture here and on my screensaver because I love looking at the red door, the early snow, the black shuttered windows and chimney. I love squinting my eyes so I can only mostly see this winter scene of sprawling white clapboard house, and then fall into the magic of what its interior rooms might look like on a Christmas morning or Spring day, or on a crispy Autumn afternoon with long golden shadows streaking across the lawn.
Asking, dreaming without attachment like this makes the gaze full of joy, not regret or longing, and brings me back, gently, to my very real memories of our very real happy times with Trudy in her very real house three blocks east of my dream house.
Many prayers are answered between things lost and things not gotten.
Wishing you and yours the peace and contentment of resting between the two.
*This may be best left not shared anyway as I’ve come to believe the particulars of my answered prayers may sometimes move others to look for and compare their own success rate, or create feelings that we have not prayed quite right or be in God’s good “favor”. Sometimes it may just be best to leave the details to God.
NOTE: I realize it may not be clear what the first picture is… this is 1601 N Logan, Danville, Illinois (very close to my sister’s house). It is the house, my “dream house” as we called it, that we always drove by when we were visiting. Weirdly, one morning a few weeks ago, I woke up thinking about it and got up and went to the computer and put the address in search. It came up as having just been listed for sale. Well, you can only imagine where my brain went! IT’s A GOD THING! Yah, right. Also weirdly, the same day, Stephanie (Trudy’s best friend, and whom also knows this is “my house”) saw the FOR SALE sign go up and was getting ready to send me an email when she found my note to her about the house! She was a little freaked that I could know this so quickly from “way down there in Texas” and beat her to the punch!
I’m pretty darn sure it is not God’s idea for me to do anything about this house other than enjoy looking at it, and smiling at its beauty. But, like I said, if He has another idea it will have to be a brick that BOTH Les and I can not ignore. More likely, it may have simply been for me to get a slightly better understanding about the difference between wanting something (that I think because I LOVE it I just have to have), acquiring, and appreciating – a lesson that translates to wanting the biggest of things (like a house) and the smallest things too like a new shirt at TJ MAXX.
Just because I love it, doesn’t mean I have to acquire it; it may be better loved by courting appreciation without grip or burden of ownership.
Or it may have all been about getting to reflect on the blessings and good memories of what I have instead of the have-nots. And to thank you.