prayer in action

Last week I posted about wanting to show grace in the midst of the busy.

Then I read a beautiful post by Ann Voskamp.  I wrote these words down on a 3×5 card and put them on my fridge. Glibly thinking, “This is good stuff. I should remember this,”

“Breathe in: Lord, I receive what you give.
Breathe out: Lord, I give thanks for what you give.”

Wednesday we picked up sweet little respite baby. Wednesday night I got sick. Again. For most of the week I battled nausea and exhaustion. Again. I tried desperately not to be discouraged (these are similar symptoms to what I had before my gallbladder was removed). I tried not to worry about what wasn’t getting done in my VBS planning. Finally, on Saturday afternoon I lay in my bed resting and my mind drifted back to the words that I had posted on my fridge. But I was skeptical. How was this prayer going to help? How could I receive this illness, and even more, be thankful for it?

I started breathing, and praying.

Lord, I receive what you give. I receive this illness. I may be fighting against it and discouraged but I choose to receive.

Lord, I give thanks for this illness. Pause. How? I give thanks for sensing your presence with me this week. For feeling your grace when I needed it most. For a loving, patient, generous husband who cared for me and these children so faithfully. For these two boys who were thoughtful and kind. For this sweet baby who was a joy to take care of. For knowing my weakness. For watching the Body at work when I needed help. For dependence on prayer.

Through the breathing and the praying the Holy Spirit began to change my heart. I began to feel the worry and despair lifting. Do I want to be sick? No. Do I trust that God will show himself good and faithful even in the midst of this sickness? Yes.

As the new week begins I keep breathing and praying. In and out.

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