Powerful Prayers (part 1)

If I have learned anything over the last seven years it is the amazing power of prayer. I have spent a significant amount of time examining my prayer life this last year and especially in the last few months since teaching a Sunday School lesson on it to children in grades 1 – 5. The lesson taught kids that God answers EVERY prayer and that there are three possible answers; yes, no, and wait. The pre-elementary class started a prayer chain (paper chains often made in school). Children tell the teacher their prayers and the teacher adds it to the chain. I am going to start this at home because it is easy to forget just what we pray for and it would be amazing to have a visual reminder of God’s greatness surrounding us at all times. The teacher has the chain hanging around the classroom…I am going to start one today and have it surround our living room. How better to remind the boys and visitors to our home how very important prayer is.

After making the decision to increase the prayer in our life, we received a text from a good friend (she doesn’t have a nickname yet…I’ll think of one). She asked for prayers as she was going to take some tests. That very moment I told the boys that we received a prayer request, we turned of the tv, sat together and prayed for her, her family, for each other, and for the rest of our day.

By doing this as soon as I got the text I was modeling for them how important prayer was, how serious it was and how easy it was to add it to our day. It was an opportunity to take that first step, an easy step. The boys are absolutely in love with her, her husband (the NextGen Pastor), and their children. Praying for her was a no-brainer.

The sermon that week, her husband was preaching and was talking about how he struggles with taking time to pray. B1 was sitting beside me at the point in his sermon where he asked for our prayers for him adding prayers in to his life by saying something along the lines of, “Every time you think of this beautiful face this week, I ask you to pray.” We were sitting in the front row…and B1 looked at me…giggled, then rolled his eyes. The next day when I was taking them to meet their dad I asked, “What are you guys going to do every time you think of M’s beautiful face this week?” After the sarcasm and giggles they both thought it would be a good idea to try to remember to pray…it’s in their heads, they are half way there.

When I look back over the last seven years I wonder how much more difficult it would have been if I hadn’t had prayer in my life. If I didn’t know how much God loved me as His own…how would I have gotten through them?

When B1 was about a year and a half old I knew I wanted him to have a sibling. I prayed for a sibling for my boy, an addition to our family. In 2007 my fifth pregnancy ended at 13 weeks with a miscarriage. Not long after that I found out I was pregnant again and was told that due to the recent pregnancy loss and subsequent surgical procedure, my body would not be able to support a pregnancy.

Prayer was a part of my life, yet not a huge part…something I did on Sunday at church.

I made it through the first trimester of my sixth pregnancy trouble free. Then without warning, at 12 weeks 2 days gestation I had a partial abruption with ruptured membranes. I was told that if my baby survived the night I would be lucky. During the ultrasound the next day the baby was showing no signs of stress and my fluid level was near normal.

I was offered a D & C that day and counseled that my options were to have it done immediately or to be discharged from the hospital and allow the baby to either die on its’ own or for infection to set in (due to the ruptured membranes) and require surgery to remove the, “…products of conception.” This wasn’t products of conception…this was my baby. If born that week, it would have fit in to the palm of my then 2 year-olds hand and would be a fully formed baby…we could have counted the fingers and toes.

I told the doctor and the nurse who is in charge of the infant bereavement program that this was my last pregnancy and that I was going to enjoy being this baby’s mom as long as God let me. I don’t think I have ever been so scared…yet able to be calm. I knew that if I began crying, the sobbing would be enough to cause my baby to be born. God’s love surrounded me, my faith began to take shape in a way I could not have predicted. My baby was given a 0% chance at surviving. Zero…nothing…no hope.

Instead of being overcome with grief I made the decision that I did not want the final days of my child’s life to be filled with hopeless sadness. I also did not want B1 and Darling Diva to be sad about the baby. I wanted us to enjoy every minute God gave us. We continued to talk to the baby, reading books, belly rubs, everything we could think of to make the last days as close to perfection as we could.

As the minutes turned to hours and the hours to days, no fever developed (the first sign of infection we were told to be looking for). On a return visit to the doctor at the end of the week a repeat ultrasound showed that a clot from the abruption had been retained at apparently the spot where the membranes had ruptured and my fluid levels had returned to normal…the baby was showing no signs of distress, and measuring appropriately.

A running joke now is that I said I would enjoy every minute of this child’s life until God decided his time on earth was through…and now that he is 6 and full of piss and vinegar…I’m still waiting!!! Of course I would be lost without my Miracle Man.

For 23 weeks I remained on bed rest…six months. I prayed, I cried, I hoped. At 35 weeks gestation, after a diagnosis of a pregnancy induced clotting disorder, daily needles, medications every 4 hours around the clock, and a liver condition that nearly took us both…I delivered a perfectly healthy little man. That, my friends, is the power of prayer.

Today I am going to get paper for our prayer chain…so we can see the prayers we have prayed and to remind us of the ones that were answered with either a yes or no. I also believe this will encourage us to continue to pray for the ones we are waiting for answers on.

 

 

 

Commitments

Currently I am still not working outside the home (but will have to start soon). Still waiting for my new Green Card so I can replace my missing social security card so I can get a job. I am still teaching Sunday School (Creation Station) at least twice a month, I serve as worship host once or twice a month (make coffee and put the treats out), cook a meal for the youth group once or twice per month (supper for 20+ people), am a member of the NextGen Think Tank team (we are the planners and visionaries for the family ministry of the church), plus I attend and help to lead the Celebrate Recovery meeting on Friday evenings. When I think about how much I do in an hourly view it’s not much, but the commitment is significant when I think about adding in a full time job.

Especially with summer and everything else the boys and I have going on. I want to be able to focus my time in areas that not only helps us grow as a family, but in ways that serve God and helps other families find their strengths and overcome their shortcomings (perceived or real).

I think the first commitment that I am going to be stepping away from is Celebrate Recovery. It’s a great program and a wonderful tool for those with habits, hurts, and hang ups (yes I realize that every person falls in that category). There are issues with this group that are far too big for me to handle at this point. There needs to be a significant overhaul of the program and I can see that the current leaders are indeed trying to make change I unfortunately cannot make the time/energy commitment to make the necessary changes to make the program as effective as I think it can be at our church. It’s almost as if the program needs to be stopped and restarted…but I don’t know if that is a good idea with the population we serve.

As an integral member of our NextGen team, I think it is a much more valuable use of my time and talents to scale back the areas outside of family ministry so that as our church grows (which it is exponentially) I can continue to serve with ease in the areas I am currently serving in.

The area where we live has a sadly broken population. Broken homes, broken families, broken people. If we aim to make a difference in these families we must be willing and able to dig deep in to their lives on a personal and spiritual level. As I typed that I realized that I would love to ‘teach’ families how to pray together. As much as I strive to serve God, I am terrible at praying as a family. Wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to sit down with your family for a quick prayer session? How cool would it be to be out for coffee with a friend and say a prayer together.

How much stronger our families would be if we were comfortable praying openly and often. I think this is something I am going to take on as my personal mission.

Yesterday the Lunch Lady and the Milk Man moved away. I could not have gotten through the last year without their love, support, friendship…I know we will always have a bond that no distance can break, I only wish the distance wasn’t so far.

It is time for people to start praying together outside of the walls of the church. In our homes, in our cars, with our families, friends, loved ones…it’s just time to pray. No more awkward silences, no more ‘searching for the right words’ in a difficult situation. A simple, “Let’s pray” is all it takes to start a new world for so many broken people.

What Would YOU Do?

It’s one of those days where I feel like I cannot take anymore…I know that’s a lie and that I can take much more…but today I just want to sit down and cry. I’m tired.

The scheduling conference on January 24 produced ZERO results. There is another scheduling conference now for February 25…PLEASE LORD, set a trial date and let’s get this over with. I just want my kids in ONE HOME…this is bull. They didn’t ask for this, I didn’t ask for this…why are we the ones paying the price??

Yesterday for Valentine’s Day the boys and I dressed up and went to the one ‘fancy’ restaurant in town for supper. They were both in three piece suits and I was in a skirt. They behaved so perfectly that I could not wipe the smile off my face for anything!! Both boys decided to order off the children’s menu (their first time at a ‘real’ restaurant, I was not surprised). I ordered a top sirloin, medium rare…mmmm.

B1 asked for a bite of my steak and I cut him a small piece. He was in instant heaven and asked me to switch meals with him. Yep…I ate chicken strips for my Valentine’s meal!! (yuck) He let me eat my baked potato though as well as a few bites of the steak! LOL We even opted for dessert. B2 was not interested in anything so B1 and I both ordered cheesecake (his was with raspberry topping, mine with caramel). It was amazing.

During supper we talked about when we could return, it was a huge budget stretch for me to do this, and I said that we could return for special occasions and my birthday would be a great time (this gives me until April to come up with enough money to do it again). B1 has already decided he’s going for the steak next time. At least I won’t have to share mine!!

So back to what has me on edge today. On the weeks that the boys are in my care, their father has not once come to watch them bowl on Saturday mornings. He says that he is scheduled to work every Saturday that he does not have them. I was upset in December when he didn’t take the day off to bowl in the parent/child bowling day, and asked the battle buddy to stand in for B1. This led to their dad being a complete dick to me because ‘some stranger’ was bowling with HIS son. I said he needed an adult, Battle Buddy was available, no big deal. Yesterday (Friday) the boys wanted to stop at dad’s work before we left town to say goodbye. I try to not do this often, but I didn’t want to ruffle any feathers yesterday before our date. As they are talking, he mentions that he is going to Minneapolis today for what he refers to as, “His business.” He is part of a pyramid scheme, which has yet to yield so much as a penny but has cost him plenty so far. So, he can take off a half day from work (they are only open until noon on Saturday) to spend even more money on a making other people rich, but he cannot take a half day to spend some quality time with his kids?? REALLY?

B1 had begun to throw a little fit before we left dad’s work yesterday and so today I asked him if he was upset about his dad going to Minneapolis without him. “No Mom, this makes him money.” WTF??? Are you kidding me?? I told him that dad has not made any money off of what he calls a business. B1 begins to argue that dad’s business is how they went to Wisconsin Dells last fall. The trip package (two nights of hotel) was bought through the company at supposed a great discount…They drove ALL DAY (TEN HOURS) to get there, spent one day enjoying a water-park, and then the entire third day driving home…if he would have saved the $800/year he pays as a membership fee to this ‘company’ they could have spent a few more days and really enjoyed themselves.

So B1 has this hero complex with dad and I am just the bitch who makes them do homework and chores. He even bought them a dog two weeks ago…yep, a damn dog. For years I wanted a dog but was told that there was no way he would ever own a dog in town (even though we live in an extremely small town and our yard is nearly a full acre). So what does he do the minute the boys start showing a preference for Mom’s house??? Gets them a puppy. B1 had been asking him to bring him to town on his weekends so they could attend church where we go. Two weeks later…BAM…new puppy, that will shut him up for a bit. Hmmm, what else can I get him to ask his dad for?? lol

It won’t be long until that loses it’s fun when they are stepping in poop and cleaning up the yard. I don’t give the dog a year and it will ‘go missing’ like our two cats did back in 2008. And they were good cats…he just decided that he didn’t want them, anymore and took them out on a weekend when it was -40F and left them in the middle of nowhere.

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According to the current court papers, if there is no school on a Monday, the parent who is to begin their parenting time is to pick them up at 8am at the other parent’s home. Every Monday that the boys have off this since this started has been his week to pick them up. Until now I have always kept them for that Monday and just taken them to school on Tuesday morning. On President’s Day they do not have school and I had already decided that I was making him come and get them. He asked my Friday if I was just keeping them Monday and I said I couldn’t. So them he asks if he can pick them up on Sunday so that he is not late for work Monday morning. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? I can’t get a job because I have to transport them to and from school (90 miles of driving on the days that I transport) and you can’t be 30 minutes late for work? YOU wanted this divorce, YOU wanted to fight through every step of the way…YOU give an inch already. I’m not giving up a night of MY parenting time to help his ass. He can take time off or be late for work for a million other reasons, but not this one?? UGH.

So…then I wonder if I’m just being spiteful. If I am, is that okay? Should I be expected to just suck it up YET AGAIN so as to not inconvenience him? I don’t see a harm/benefit factor as far as the kids are concerned on this one (how I usually make my decisions).

I hate than my brain is lost in this decision today. I know the Bible says “…worry about nothing and pray about everything…” Philippians 4:6 I just don’t hear a response.

Lord, help me hear your answer to this. Amen

Begin Again

I don’t even know how I’m going to get y’all caught up on the awesomeness that has been my last week, but I will try my best.

FIRST…yes, I remembered to wear a sweatshirt to blog today no thanks to any reminders from my friends who read this blog…LOL

Life is about to make some HUGE changes for me. The hearing we had in July was FINALLY ruled on. The judge has changed the custody arrangement to give me 50% parenting time!! WOO HOO. I have to admit, it’s not ALL good though. My boys go to school in a town 22 miles from where I was able to find housing when I was forced to move out in April. I am responsible for transportation on the weeks they are in my care (one week at mom’s, one week and dad’s is the new arrangement).

So for those days I will have to drive 22 miles to take them to school, 22 miles back to town to go to work and then make that trip again at the end of the day to pick them up. This is not going to be easy on me or our budget. Right now I drive a mini-van. I am looking at selling it and getting a more economical vehicle just for the increased mileage. It’s just the boys and I for now, we don’t need a mini-van.

Their father is, shall I say, less than enthused about this new arrangement. No…he is PISSED. Not only does he lose the power over me of deciding when and where I see my children, he knows that Bubba will become much more defiant while he is at dad’s because I encourage him to speak up for himself and for what he believes is right. It’s easy to ‘beat’ that out of a child when they only get reinforcements for 2 days out of 14. When it’s 50/50 there could be trouble.

Bum already says he just wants to go to school in my town (unfortunately he has no say and for ‘right now’ I am not pushing the issue until a few more kinks are finalized).

The ex also has to pay me $1500 in alimony (for the first three months I was out of the house). He is not impressed with this either. I have no idea when this money will show up but I DO know that it will be a great big help with the increased expenses of having the boys for 7 days instead of 2.

The kids are excited to be able to attend church one more night each week (the Monday evening service). They are also excited that they now have access to things such as Boy Scouts, 4-h, AWANA, tae-kwon-do, and many other activities not available in their dad’s town.

I imagine that Bum will be wanting to  spend more and more time at my house and eventually free enough to request to not to return to his dad’s for the week days. I also believe that Dad, having no more control over the situation, will allow this to happen and eventually walk out on his boys. He did the same thing when his first ex-wife moved out of town with the children from his first marriage. He used the distance (22 miles) as an excuse to not be involved in their daily lives.

He has voiced his concern a number of times since the order came to light on Friday about how awful this is going to be for the boys…how tough it was going to be on me. Ya, like that’s EVER been his concern. My willingness to put these children ahead of everything else in my life only reflects back to him his own shortcomings as far as parenting them.

I’m not a super mom…just a mom who will move heaven and earth (and super sleepy boys at 0715) to be able to spend even a few extra evening hours with them. I am willing to cut out all my extra spending (even considering reducing my bowling commitment, maybe only bowling every other week or less) just to get ahead of the budget once I get back to work.

The change also comes at a time when both boys have birthday’s coming up (Bum in November, Bubba in December) plus Christmas so the budget is gonna be a challenge to say the least. Bubba is looking forward to being an integral part of financial planning. He loves that kind of thing. He loves setting goals and meeting them ahead of schedule. He has already learned the rewards of budgeting and planning. I love that kid’s brain!!

As far as the bunk beds donated to the boys…THEY CAME WITH MATTRESSES!!! I almost cried when the man dropped them off to our home. Super happy little men to sleep in actual beds for the first time at mom’s house. For their birthday’s I will be buying them each new bedding for their beds and donating our gently used items to the local woman’s shelter.

So much more going on, the job, the kids, the church, my friends…and it’s all good.

The boyfriend is safe and busier than you (or I) can imagine. Communication blackouts are more frequent lately for whatever reason and there are days that is hard on me. He is not surprised at the order and sees it as a stepping stone to the boys being with me full time by the time this divorce is final. I believe this as well…but my heart is a little more guarded about saying that out loud.

My laptop part may no longer be available so I am without a computer at home until further notice. Far from the top of my list of priorities…but it will be on the wish list the boys and I work on when we start our new budget!! I have not seen The Boyfriend for a month now and I won’t lie, it’s TOUGH. I send him pictures of the boys and I and the things we do…a taste of home I guess I see it as. We’ll be fine, we didn’t come this far for nothing. He still has more than six months on this deployment and although time has been going pretty fast, there are still days that take weeks to get through.

My heart is full, and happy. Change is tough, it’s hard, it’s challenging, and it’s exciting.

HOLY CRAP

First off…remind me the next time I am coming to the library to blog to remember a sweatshirt, it is so cold in this computer lab and I can’t type with my jacket on.

So, I’ve spent a ton of time devoted to prayer lately. Our pastor encouraged us to pray some Big-Ask Prayers, and I did. I asked for the right job to come for me, and I asked for beds for the boys and myself.

Well, as always, God pulled through. I did not expect him to pull through so fast, but today I was hired as a personal care attendant for a little girl with Spina Bifida. The pay is more than I was making at the hotel, the scheduling is extremely flexible, and no weekends or holidays. Minimum 24 hours each week and the option to work 40+. Can you say PERFECT FIT??

I went to the scheduled prayer meeting at the church and was met by the pastor who had a silly grin on his face. Not only did he find bunk beds for the boys, but the youth pastor found a bed for me as well!!

Lord, I asked…You answered. You came up BIG for me. THANK YOU.

I am so overwhelmed with happiness.

Lord, I know I’ve asked some really big-ask prayers lately and I thank you for allowing others the opportunity to bless my life and my kids lives and thank you for having them choose me and the boys to bless with their radical generosity. I will continue to serve you Lord, and to bless those I am able to with my unique gifts you have blessed me with. Continue to light my path Lord so I can follow You and hear your call. Amen

How I Do It

So often I am asked how I deal with disappointment, rejection, stress, and the general unknown with such a positive attitude. I did not get the church job that I had applied for and hoped the most for. When I got the call, it was hard to keep the tears at bay as I talked to the woman who called. She had nothing but praise for my skills, and thanks for everything I’d already been doing with and at the church in terms of volunteering and working with the children’s ministry, etc.

Well, if I am so awesome, why didn’t I get the job; the same thoughts I’m sure anybody in my position at that time would have had. I was sad, I was hurt, I felt rejected, I wondered what I did wrong, what I could have done better. All normal thoughts. I posted on my Facebook that although I know through all things God works for good, my heart was hurting.

The self pity and despair lasted only about 20 minutes or so…then it hit me; if through all things, God works for good He must have something super awesome in the works for me and I better be ready for it. The next day I had a short moment of financial panic and had to remind myself that I am fine until December. I have time, God has time. There is no need to call McDonald’s and tell them I need to start working tomorrow. I still have time.

I’m not sure how a new employer would like it if I called and accepted the job offer only to tell them I need Thursday and Friday of my first week off because I had already promised Bum that he could come spend those days at my house (he has a break from school). So I will pick him up after school on Wednesday and he can come watch me bowl with my league and then we will have Thursday and Friday to be bums together. I’m guessing the library and Netflix will be our best friends!!

It even crossed my mind that taking that job may not have been the best idea after all. I am now teaching the elementary aged Sunday School (two classes each Sunday), I have offered to help provide treats for the youth group meetings occasionally, I plan on attending the Monday evening church service (as I will miss it on Sunday due to teaching), plus I am attending this Bible Study group. Would it become too much? Would it start to seem like everything was part of my job and would the lines between the volunteer time and work time begin to blur? Good call God…well played.

On Thursday last week I had a speech in Fargo and it was amazing. I was going to stick around and attend one of what used to be my favorite AA meetings but half way there my event calendar on my iPod reminded me that I had signed up for a Bible Study group that same night, I would have to rush back as soon as I was done talking. I hemmed and hawed about heading back but in the end I knew it was where I needed to be.

Another one of those ‘best decisions ever’ moments. There were three of us in attendance and we shared some deeply personal stories and the study was amazingly fitting for where I am at in my life. It talked about God our Father and how it compared to our visions of our own fathers growing up and present day.

I said my Step-dad has always been there, through thick and thin. He made some HUGE mistakes as a man, a parent, a person; yet he never left my side. Sure, we’ve had our moments, who hasn’t with their parents? But I have never questioned my dad’s love for me. Just as I never have to question God’s love for me. I am confident in His love and that He will always be at my side.

I was able to share with the group how I see forgiveness and how I try to teach my kids about forgiveness. When I first taught them the Lord’s Prayer, I taught each petition separately. When it came to “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” I explained that if we only forgave somebody on the surface (as many people seem to do) and God forgave us in the same way then eternity was a long time if we were forgiven in the same way that we forgive only superficially.

It is because of this thought process that I am easily able to forgive people completely. I don’t hold a grudge, I don’t have expectations, I know that if there is a debt to be paid for a sin, it will be paid. Maybe not in my time or even the other person’s life here on earth, but judgement day will come for them and God who is merciful and just will see to it that His will be done.

That’s how I get through the days, the weeks, the months…sometimes the minutes. With a calm confidence that I am exactly where I need to be at this moment in time and that one day somebody will be able to make sense of it all. Fortunately for me, I am able to see through much of the daily static and see the light and it’s not at the end of the tunnel, but brightly shining on the path directly in front of me.

Motivated

I am counting down the days to my last shift next week. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t at least a little bit nervous. I’ve done what needs to be done to make sure my needs are met financially, now it comes down to making sure I have things in place to take care of myself emotionally.

There are still so many changes happening all at once for me and it’s time to step back and reevaluate my priorities and goals.

One of the questions I was asked yesterday in my interview really has me thinking. He asked, “What motivates you?” Seems like a simple enough question, but at that exact moment I had to really think about it.

I took my time and really thought about it. I knew what I am not motivated by, but what is it that drives me, that keeps me going, that continues to challenge me and what do I use to measure my success?

I am not motivated by a paycheck or any amount of money. If I was, I would simply ask for a raise at my current job and go about my life. I would have made sure that I had another job lined up instead of taking this leap of faith by quitting my job. Money doesn’t buy happiness and I will argue that point with anybody. Can it buy you nice things? Sure it can. Nice things don’t fill your heart, they only fill your home.

I am motivated by growth and change. I am not the same person I was two years ago. I am much more laid back, relaxed, and have an ability to see things from many perspectives. I would be a great in debating as I can understand either side of almost any situation.  I understand that people do not view things in the same ways and that just as my perception of a situation is my reality, it is the same for others. Although we may be on complete opposite sides of the fence, I think I have the leg up because not only can I see your side of the fence, I am more than comfortable standing on that side if I need to. In this way I have changed significantly.

To be able to look back on the changes I’ve made (some by choice, others by order of the court) I have been able to see the good that has come from them. They have not all been easy, especially living away from my boys, but they have all been wonderful tools for teaching me about myself and my own needs.

The thing about change is that there are positive and negative changes. Many people are afraid of change, and they should be. Change is not easy. Even when the projected outcome is rainbows and Skittles, change isn’t easy. Instead of seeing the change as a challenge, I confront the uneasy feeling.

Am I scared right now about things working out like I hope? Sure am…but I’m not going to let that stop me. I see the end zone, I see the touchdown, I see the light flashing above the net after the goal. I have the ability to look beyond, “Ya, but The Boyfriend and I want to go to Mexico when he gets home and this will delay that significantly.”

What I do see is the opportunities in front of me, standing up like a tackling dummy just waiting to be knocked to the ground and run over. I see the challenges of finding productive things to stay busy. One of them is definitely going to be teaching Creation Station (Sunday school at our church). I can throw my heart and soul into that class. I can dig deeper into the curriculum we have and make it fit our kids. Another goal is to increase my physical fitness. I’m in decent shape for a mom…but I’ll never get a red-card if I can’t walk a 15 minute mile carrying a forty-five pound weight for three miles. I have the endurance, it’s the strength that will kick my butt.

This would be a perfect time to start my book. For years I’ve wanted to write a book and several people have encouraged me, maybe now is the time. I could also focus a little on my speaking and maybe sharing more of my stories with those who need to hear them. They cover a wide array of subjects and I love to do public speaking. Maybe it’s time to join a service organization or two. The women at our church are trying to set up a women’s ministry team/group. That will be a great opportunity for me as well.

All of these opportunities will make small changes in my life, my goals are fluid and will continue to grow, and change. Mexico can wait, the important thing is being happy.

Although the following Bible passage is often read at funerals, it is also fitting for this new life I am leading:

Psalm 23:1-6 ESV The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

When the passage is read intentionally as opposed to recited, it is easy to be at peace. I shall not want, He restores me, I am lead down righteous paths for Him, I fear no evil, my cup overflows…

How could I ever be afraid when I have that kind of back up? I felt like I was walking through the valley of the shadow of death when the ex was granted temporary custody; God brought me to a new church where I was given new life, comfort, new friends, strengthened faith. I was shown just how amazing my boys really are, they are strengthened by this experience, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

If I can walk through that dark valley and fear no evil, I’m pretty sure this whole job change, priority shift thing is gonna be ok. 😉