The Word Weaver
Deb Weaver ~ Communicating God's love, grace, & truth
"Workbench"
by The Word Weaver, Deb on May 3rd, 2012

I'm a middle kid.  Go ahead.  Say it.  I know you want to.  If you're feeling shy, you could chime in with others and even say it in unison.  Ready?  1, 2, 3... "Aw.  You poor thing."  (Grin.)  Thanks!  I appreciate your sympathy, but actually, I don't mind being one.  

I have two older (they would say 'wiser') siblings and a younger (actually, he'd probably say 'wiser' too) one.  Okay, stick with me here...because this birth order business affects who I am, what I do, and what I'm about to write.

Middle kids tend to be more flexible.  We take life as it comes.  We adjust ourselves to others around us because we're used to making do.  It can be a great attribute.

But not always.  Many times we're so yielding and pliable that we accept things as they are rather than envisioning how things could be; therefore, we don't always affect changes around us.  At least that's the case with this middle kid.

Sometimes I just assume that things can't be different.  I hate to admit this, (but then again, we're among friends here), I forget to even pray about changes.  Instead, I expend energy just trying to make things work.  For example, my husband was moved to third shift for what was promised to be only six months.  Six years (and three bosses) later, the schedule and the resulting exhaustion/crankiness was getting old and hammering our family life.  My friend Aimee declared that we needed to pray asking God to change his schedule.  The thought actually surprised me (I know, I know!), and I assured her, "His bosses have refused his requests to change his shift.  We're just going to have to continue to deal with it."  Within a few months of her beginning to pray about it, guess what... Yep, his schedule changed.  All because she dared to ask the right Boss.  

Author and pastor Mark Batterson says in his book, The Circle Maker, "The greatest tragedy in life is the prayers that go unanswered because they go unasked."  (p. 17) Now, I realize that the answers won't always be yes~we're talking about Almighty God whose purposes stretch further and farther than we can imagine, and sometimes "no" is best~but He does want me to ask.  So I'm learning to do so.

This week, I began a double prayer challenge.  Tuesday, I linked hearts with other Moms to begin a twenty-one day effort to pray for our sons.  It's an effort spearheaded by The MOB Society (Mothers of Boys) called #21Days4Sons.  

As we read and respond to Brooke McGlothlin's e-book, Warrior Moms:  Praying the Word for Boys in the Areas They Need it Most, we're praying because we recognize how much we need God to intervene in our lives.  Brooke reminds us that "we serve the God who bends down to listen."  What encouragement that is!  He knows, He cares, and He understands, but He desires for us to share our hearts, our hopes, our hurts, and our requests with Him.  She cautions us to remember that this isn't a quick fix for our families or a crash course in more effective mothering.  She says, "It's not about what you can do.  It's about what God can do IN SPITE of you.  That's what prayer is."  (2012 introductory video)  That is good news! 

Then yesterday, my small group from church started the book/video series,The Circle Maker.  This excellent resource underscores the importance of praying circles around the impossible things in our lives in order to give God the most glory.  Mark Batterson says, "Change the way you pray and everything changes."  He challenged us to spend the next twenty-one days praying and establishing habits of prayer.  

I am intensely lifting up my children during this period of time.  I've been graced with a daughter who is twenty-two and a son who is seventeen.  They're independent thinkers, wildly creative, deeply talented individuals.  They're among my very favorite people.  They make me laugh and they make me cry.  (Occasionally at the same time.)  Though I don't always agree with the choices they make, I love them madly.  I delight in moments spent with them.  I worry over them.  I hurt for them.  I dream with them.  I want what's best for them.  

Since they're nearly grown, it's easy to believe that their characters and habits are pretty much set.  The foundation (a mix of good and bad) that my husband and I have built is pretty well set by now, and that's that.  As I view the looming empty nest period, it's tempting to believe that my influence and role in their lives is extremely limited, if not over.  

In the past several months God has challenged and scraped away these lies.  Though my role has indeed changed, it is still vital.  My kids need me.  They need my prayers.  They need my unconditional love.  They crave my encouragement.  They sometimes even still need my guidance.  I'm learning to speak less, but pray more.  Much more.

And I'm finding that my prayers are just as much for me.  As I've prayed Deuteronomy 13:4 over them this week, "May Ali, A.J., and Estomi (our Compassion son) follow and revere the Lord their God.  May they keep His commands and obey Him, serving Him and holding fast to Him," I'm praying it increasingly over myself.  It's difficult in this fast-paced, oft-times painful life to hold fast to God.  To remember that He's always good.  That He loves me and wants what's best.  To obey His words.  You see, I need this verse (and many others) worked out in my life just as much as they do.

You may rest assured that He's working on middle kids like me!  The Bible promises that He will complete the good work that He has started...in me, in my kids, in you.  Never forget that the Master Carpenter does exquisite work.

The following poem entitled "Workbench" describes some of the processes that Jesus has used while reshaping and rejuvenating my heart. 
Photo credit: Carol and John Bieganek, 2012
 

"Workbench"


Rusty dreams
Squeaky fears
Failing efforts
Splintered visions

Darkened thoughts
Neglected tools
Shelving designs
Wasted moments

Hammered hopes
Weathered desires
Sifting callings
Strengthened purposes

Reclaimed moments
Enhanced designs
Sharpening tools
Reframed thoughts

Refurbished visions
Untarnished efforts
Fading fears
Daring dreams

##
Copyright 2012, The Word Weaver, Deb Weaver


Posted in A Work in Progress, Poetic Thoughts, This Parenting Gig    Tagged with Poetry, Tools, Hopes, Prayer


8 Comments

Lisa - May 3rd, 2012 at 4:34 PM
Beautifully written Deb. I believe in the power and energy of prayer and I often forget to include it when I'm working through something.
The Word Weaver, Deb - May 3rd, 2012 at 4:38 PM
Thank you, Lisa. Sometimes it takes me bumping into the problem over and over before I remember! Hopefully we'll remember more!
Sara H - May 4th, 2012 at 2:23 AM
Thanks for sharing the link at the FB group. I'm always looking for insight into teenagers since I don't have a whole lot of friends with them. I appreciated your comment about them not truly being set in stone. What a great encouragement to pray. I definitely need to speak less *at* my teenager, and pray more. Thanks. :)
The Word Weaver, Deb - May 4th, 2012 at 8:53 AM
Sara, thanks for stopping by! I'm appreciating the group for the perspective too! We need to remind one another that prayer makes such a difference.
Mary Anne Fellows - May 4th, 2012 at 9:46 AM
I love this post Deb, I really do....it reminded me that, I too, need to pray more intentionally. Rather than in a vague, bless everyone I know, way LOL! Thank you for sharing this!
The Word Weaver, Deb - May 4th, 2012 at 9:58 AM
It's so easy for us to fall into that vague habit, isn't it?! Thank you for reading, Mary Anne. I always appreciate your perspective.
Mary Beth - May 8th, 2012 at 3:43 PM
The story about your husband's work situation reminds me of me. I feel like so often praying and asking God to work in a situation is my LAST resort when it should be my FIRST!



Thanks for this post and putting yourself out there!



MB
The Word Weaver, Deb - May 8th, 2012 at 3:45 PM
Thanks, Mary Beth. I am the same way, but I really want this to change! Hoping to learn to pray first, more, continually...
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