Last night I was digging around on my desk. That’s a pretty scary endeavor, my desk is known to hide all sorts of things. I’ve tried to organize it, to clean it off, but the clutter just finds it’s way back shortly after I find my way to the wood grain. Even my mother tried to clean my desk once. She was really upset about the chaotic mess piled around my monitor, but then I sent her this:
Anyway, I was digging around for a spiral and I picked up a turqoise notebook and I noticed the label on the bottom had my maiden name printed on it! Woah, this must be old! So I opened it, and I had only written on a handful of pages, but what I had written were my prayers.
In July of 1997, I was struggling to count my blessings, so I started writing down the many things I had to be thankful for. I wrote to God like I was away at summer camp sending my best friend a letter…. I wrote the good, the bad and the ugly- then I asked for His guidance in sorting it all out.
The last entry was dated in May of 2000…. I wish I could say that I’ve spent the last 15 years diligently listing the things I have to be thankful for. I never stopped praying, in fact I got pretty good at seeing the silver linings, but I guess I started thinking maybe I should only take the big things to God. This spiral was written by a girl who was much more vulnerable. I prayed for my sisters to have healthy pregnancies and happy babies. I prayed God would turn my boyfriend into my husband. I prayed for my parents, both sets of them. I prayed God would keep my father safe as he fought fires and that he would bless my step-mom as she taught children and that their marriage would continue to inspire me to build a loving relationship. I prayed for my mom and her stomach aches and my step-dad and his job transfers and all the little things that happened in between. I prayed that my mother-in-law would like me! (Surely I’m not alone on that one…) I prayed for my mentally ill uncle and all of my sisters, especially the one who was lost on drugs. Then I prayed for my husband’s ex-wife. Yep, I prayed to become friends with the ex-wife. I didn’t just want to be her friend, no, I wanted to learn to love her as my sister in Christ so that we could work together to raise this beautiful child my husband brought into my life. I wanted us to host play dates and barbecues together, forever! I guess you might say I’m a dreamer, or an eternal optimist, or simply a nutball- who knows! Chris Rock would probably have a field day with the level of naivety I functioned on. All I know is that when I was 21 years old, I was full of ideals… Life was going to be all sunshine and sparkles.
With all those sparkles, I prayed about the children who blessed my life. I had a collection of nieces and nephews, and for each of them I had a wish, but the first two I ever prayed for were my niece Cheyenne and Blondie… I prayed that God would watch over them as they grew up, that he would keep them safe and guard their innocence. I prayed that HIS light would shine into their hearts because they were the sunshine in my life.
I think I got everything I asked for. That boyfriend gave me a ring, a home, more children- a life! Those stomach aches ended and that sister was found and that ex-wife and I survived the teenage years, maybe not unscathed, but we got through them. The mother-in-law even loves me, but how ironic is it that the first two girls I ever asked God to watch over are the same two girls I ask him to watch over today? They’re 20 years old now, not 2, but they’re still growing! They can still light up the room, and I’m still hoping God will shine his light through them, because no matter what life brings, I still believe it can be full of sunshine and sparkles… and blessings.
Don’t forget to count the blessings…