When all else fails…

We often use the phrase,”when all else fails _____”. We fill that blank with all kinds of words:

  • Call your Mom
  • Phone a friend
  • Google it
  • Pray

What if we started with faith before all else failed? 

What if we had a plan?

We were on the defensive instead of the offensive?

Sometime, we can go through life with a failure mindset. I’m sometimes guilty of that. What about you? Are you “the sky is falling” kinda gal? An “everything is going to fail anyway” gal? Do you pray and hold your breath for good measure? Do you have a scarcity mindset?

So many times, I pray for energy and grace to make it through a difficult day. God answers me. He provides what I need, not always what I want, but what I need. He always astounds me, does overly, abundantly above all that I could ask or think or imagine. What’s my response? I thank Him and then play out the same scenario the next day as if I am stuck in the old classic, Groundhog Day- replaying the same day over and over, yet not learning the lesson.

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Instead of “when all else fails”, I need to replace this with “God never fails”.

  • I will be expecting answers.
  • I know He will meet all my needs.
  • He won’t relax His hold on me.
  • He is always present with me.
  • Even when I don’t see it, He’s working.
  • All things work together for good for me. I’m called according to His purpose.
  • He always provides a way out. He won’t give me more than I can bear

Today, instead of “when all else fails”, say this aloud, “God never fails”.

The Guire Mantras

I’ve been loosely working through a study on Praying Circles around Your Children. Thanks for joining me!

“There is something powerful about a single God-inspired prayer repeated throughout a child’s lifetime. I’d like to call it a prayer mantra.”- Mark Batterson

The Guires have many mantras. People are more important than things is one of them. We have many habits that make us who we are.  One of our habits is- when someone is sick we buy blue Gatorade.  It can’t be any other color.

We also have some daily prayer mantras.  Every day after Bible study, I pray “that we would study to show ourselves approved and we have the discipline and desire to read and study the word.”  Another one I pray often is “we will walk in love towards one another.”  Of course I have more specific prayers for each child.

One of the failings of the current public/social system is the neglect of purpose.  Children are asked what they want to do with their lives in terms of monetary and material gain instead of what makes them “cry or pound their fist on the table”.  In other words, what are they passionate about?  What makes them lose track of time?  What makes them weep or leap for joy?  God has placed giftings in each one of us.  He expects us to use those to further his kingdom with gladness.

Enjoy

 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it <sup class=”footnote” style=”background-color: white; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;” value=”[a]”>[a]overflows).- John 10:10

Nothing sucks the joy out of life more than doing something I despise. It destroys life.  It kills joy.  Pete Seeger hits the nail on the head in his song “Little Boxes“.  Are we teaching our children to fit in the box or do the glorious thing that God has put them on earth to do?

Sometimes it is difficult to see past the now of our children. Their current outward behavior does not dull the vision God has for them.  He sees them through his Godly lenses.  He knows who they will become.  Two year old Einstein probably threw some tantrums.  Billy Graham probably was disciplined a time or two.  Queen Elizabeth fidgeted in her seat at some royal ceremonies. Michelle Duggar had her moments of disobedience.

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When I look at my children, I must see their potential not their poor behavior.  I must circle, pray and look for their passions. Instead of seeing a hurt child, I see a someone with a heart of compassion.  In the bee catcher, I see an adventurer.  In the comic, I see a someone who wants everyone to have a slice of joy.  In the child who takes everything apart (and doesn’t put it back together), I see a problem solver.  The great news is- God sees even more!

“Now FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. -Hebrews 11:1

“What makes our kids laugh?  What makes them cry?  What gets them upset?  If we want to discover their destinies, we need to follow their trails of tears, their clenched fists, and their smiles.”- Mark Batterson

Praying Circles around Your Children- Yard Walking

When I’m pressed for time and cannot get in a full-fledged walk, I walk around my yard.  Usually when I yard- walk, I listen to my Ipod, a podcast or blast Mary Mary to get me moving.  Yesterday, I listened to a podcast, then thought, I am going to circle my house!

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“There is nothing magical about physically circling something in prayer, but there is something biblical about it.  The Israelites circled the city of Jericho until the wall came down.”- Mark Batterson

I headed up the hill to my front yard and walked the perimeter, praying for my home and family. I felt as if I were doing something historic, powerful, holy.  I set a walk-like-you-mean-it pace and prayed out loud.  Could my neighbors see me? Probably.  Hear me?  If they wanted.  It didn’t matter.  Word just poured out of me.  I am my family’s Herald.

Since we  started this study, my prayers have been more purposeful.   I am not as vague and thoughtless.  Definitely God.  Scriptures just begin to pour out of me and piece together that I didn’t even know were buried deep in the recesses of my heart.

“Jesus Christ broke the curse of sin at Calvary and secured every spiritual blessing as our inheritance.  This is our birthright as children of our heavenly Father, and it is our responsibility to pass down this generational blessing to our earthly children.”- Mark Batterson

I didn’t  have paper (which is my crutch) and a sharpie.  The Holy Spirit is the professional list maker. The Holy Spirit: convicts us, teaches us, lead us in the way we should go, makes our path straight, supplies words and prays through us when we do not know what we should pray.

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My children do not have to remain under the curse of the past. My adopted children can be free from the generational sins of their biological parents.  Curses are traded in for blessings.  Life for death.  It is my job to speak it.  I pray it.  Blessings.

I am going to keep circling my home, weather permitting!

How is your week going?  Any answers to prayer?

Praying Circles around Your Children – Are you a prayer warrior or prayer worrier?

Are you a prayer warrior or a prayer worrier?

I habitually try my mind at both. How about you?

A few years ago, blogger friend, Selena, encouraged me to choose a word for the year instead of resolutions.  I prayed. My word (two years ago)-  REST.

REST?  Are you sure God?  I’ve been battling health issues for several years and the last word I wanted to hear was REST. I want to run and not be weary, walk and not faint.  I’ve had to put wider margins on my life then most and I’m still adjusting to the new normal.  After the word popped in my head, I wondered if the God was telling me to make my margins even wider.

I pulled out the Concordance and began my study on rest.  Turns out, God isn’t asking me to rest ONLY in the physical sense.  He is asking me to rest in HIM.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] –  Matthew 11:28

If you are a mother of children with attachment issues, FAS, autism, any capital letter syndrome (or are at home all day with children)-you PROBABLY need some extra rest. YOU may be overburdened. YOU may need help carrying your burden. I do.
One of the areas I struggle with daily is slipping into prayer worrier mode.  Morning prayer time is great.  I recite scripture.  I sound holy, confident and inspired.  Then I step into reality.  The kids are up.  The school day begins.  I take the burdens of the children on my back.  I am weary and heavy laden.  When a child has a challenge and I give him a directive- he has a meltdown, I pray worry:  O Lord, did I ask too much of him?  Could I have approached that differently? Did he have too much sugar yesterday? 
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Before long, I have the worry hunch and an Eeyore attitude.  I have forgotten what I look like all covered with the Word from morning prayers.  REST.  Let it go, the Lord is telling me.  I cannot control my child’s reaction nor can I predict how any child is going to behave on any given day. There are too many variables; too many things I cannot control.  Therein is the truth- I cannot control my circumstances.
 
And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life?  Matthew 6:27
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I am not adding anything to my children’s spiritual or physical well-being by worrying.  REST.  The best thing I can do is hand my burdens over and take Jesus’. They are light.  He refreshes my soul.  I want to be relieved and refreshed.  Don’t you?  Hand it over.  Join me for a REST.

The pity party and the journal

The Journal

Sometimes I get tired, not just take a nap and feel better, but bone-weary-I- want- to- give- up- tired.  Then my brain retreats into old negative grooves, dark and damp. My Wormwood (demon receiving letters in Screwtape Letters) whispers, “Why pray?  It’s not having any effect is it? Your children break your precious heirlooms.  They don’t listen.  Your home is filled with strife.  You have no peace.  It’s only going to get worse!  Look, your children are regressing AGAIN! Give up!”

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And sometimes I have a pity party complete with tissues, maybe a Hallmark movie in which a single woman saves ten thousand inner city children through art and classical music, possibly some chocolate and definitely pajamas.  Then I hear the knock.  “Hello, it’s Jesus, just wondering how long you are going to stay down there in the pit?”

After my pity party, I get out my journal.  It is my Herald, shouting out the Word and past victories. When King David got bone-weary tired of fighting the enemy, he rehearsed his past victories, so I am following the advice of royalty.  There is a catch!  When my child is struggling with Algebra and I am praying: ______ has the mind of Christ, he can do all things through Christ who strengthens him.,suppose he miraculously grasps a Algebraic concept a week or a month later, if I don’t write it down, how can I Herald it to myself? Suppose I am praying for my hurt child to accept Jesus as his savior and begin the road to healing and recovery.  He does and I don’t note it on paper.

Journals are not for wimps!  It takes discipline to write down prayer scriptures.  It requires backbone to stick to it.  I know, not everyone a journaler.  You don’t have to be.  Journals can be all sorts of things, prayer lists, Bible references, that may be enough for you.  Or maybe you like to mark scripture with sticky notes or write things on index cards that you keep on your bedside table.  I’m a little obsessive compulsive about words, so I do all three.

Circle scriptures  to pray for your children.  Write them down.  Pray.  Write down answers when they come and they will.

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Some answers:

When I prayed for my pre-adopted children all those years ago,  that someone would be taking care of them.  My prayer was answered in the form of their legal guardian, Pani Eugenia- a bubbly-happy woman and a committed Catholic Christian!  She prayed for us! She went to her priest and asked if she were making the right decision to recommend us as parents.  She recommended us to the court.  She took us to the church of the Black Madonna to share her faith. Thank you Pani Eugenia!  God transcends time, culture and continent!

I’m still circling, still praying!  How about you?  Do you journal?  Have some victories to share?  Post them in the comments, I would love to hear them.