I have been trying to write this post for over 6 weeks and it has not
I haven’t been sure if my journal musings were just for me alone or
to be shared.
But something that Caleb said yesterday and again today gave me (I think)
enough to bring this post to completion.
Perhaps I was waiting for the utterances of a seven-year old to give me a bit
Yesterday the five of us took a drive to the place where Courtney will call “home” in just a couple of weeks.
Her sister and brother had not seen Linfield College yet so we piled in the car and took a pint-sized road trip.
Note: I am beginning to think that whenever I see “fees” on statements if that means flowers and landscaping. 🙂
Whenever we have visited this campus, the grounds have been so beautiful and most of the time color coordinated
with the Wildcat colors of purple and crimson.
The kids are standing in front of two huge hanging baskets.
No offense meant…none of the three are all that tall…so you know I mean huge!
Okay, I will try not to lose my direction.
Before this picture was taken, we drove to the entrance of the campus and we asked Caleb what he thought.
He took a moment to look around and he said,
“Oh, I was hoping that this place would be really horrible with people throwing litter and garbage all over so
that Courtney would want to move back home.”
I will say that I am glad I was in the front seat because my eyes started to water.
I could hear Carl swallow.
I could see out of my periphery, Courtney giving Caleb a squeeze.
He later gave the place a thumbs up albeit a disappointed one.
Let’s rewind time to a couple of days before the 4th of July.
I was sitting and waiting my turn to have my hair reassigned.
For me that means, the curly becomes straight and the gray attempts
to be turned black.
It is a cultural thing but there is always a wait. I have just given into this reality.
I was fortified with reading material to pass the time.
I took out one of Court’s college handbooks and started reading.
I was reading about orientation and dorm life. I perused sections on
clubs and academics.
As I was reading, I began to make a mental prayer list of all the things
that I needed to continue praying about regarding college.
To give you the highlights, it contained such items as the right dorm,
a great roommate, the right professors, finding a church, making good friends and the
list probably had a few more bullet points.
As I thought some more, I thought about Caleb and whose class I wanted him to be in
for second grade.
I should add that to the list and then there is soccer and his potential teammates and will
he have friends in class and on his teams?
I had barely finished Caleb’s list to move on to another family member,
when I felt like the Lord whispered to me,
Helen, those are all good and fine things to pray for and about.
But you are praying for outcomes and not praying for my will.
In the days and weeks that have passed since I made that prayer list in the air,
that whisper has not left me.
It has reminded me of my need for perceived control.
Have my prayers been an attempt to control situations and life?
Seems crazy but the more I thought about it, the more I had to confess it.
Perhaps not consciously but somehow I was praying for outcomes.
Praying for positive scenarios because that was the best thing, right?
I read during this time that sometimes we pray as if we are trying to make
I shuddered when I read that.
If I believe in God who is able to do more than I ask or imagine in Christ Jesus,
certainly it doesn’t mean that He only brings more good out of good.
It means that by the very nature of who God is, He can and does work in every
situation, that of ease and that of struggle.
The person that I think is not the best choice for Courtney’s roommate might
be the one that builds in her a quality that she might not gain otherwise.
A difficult class may create strength and perseverance that some other
situation would not render.
I have no idea what God has in mind for me and for the people who He has
placed in and around my life.
Perhaps Caleb needs to expand his circle of friends.
One reason this has been hard to write is that by NO MEANS, am I suggesting that
we don’t pray for what we need.
We are commanded to pray.
We pray for healing.
We pray that the broken would become whole.
We pray for all things…absolutely.
This whisper just reminded me of our example in prayer being what
Jesus taught those he called brothers and sisters and friends.
We honor and praise God first.
We ask and acknowledge that His will be done.
We present our needs and requests.
We ask His pardon and extend it right back to others.
We ask for protection.
We ask for deliverance.
We present everything we have voiced and our lives back into His hands,
so His will can be accomplished.
What do Caleb’s statement and my prayer list have in common?
They were definitely all about outcomes.
Caleb was hoping that a negative thing would happen to cause a good thing.
I was praying for good things to continue the flow of good.
Gosh, I want a smooth road so often.
But I would have no need for a Savior that makes the crooked path straight.
Lift your hands to the heavens.
Fall face down.
Know that God is good and His mysterious and
glorious will is to be highly desired and prized.
In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Matthew 6: 9-13