There is always more on my heart than words can say, but I find journaling my thoughts or prayers a great exercise & makes a record to view of memories & our history - I invite you to join me if you can relate to authentic life.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Reflecting on 2011 - From Audrey Prairie

Written by my mom, a woman who leads others with strength and grace:


In one way the year 2011 passed quickly - one year ago today Joel had his
cancer surgery.  Where did the year go?
In other ways it went agonizingly slow - the painful cycle of praying,
hoping, waiting, trying to stay focused on the duties at hand, hope
dashed, hope renewed, more waiting, praying continuously.......and then
hollow grief.

It isn't as if I haven't experienced similar years.  Joel was our fifth
son to leave us and be with Jesus.  Each time more of my heart is torn
away and I am left a different person.  What is the purpose?  I don't

I Thessalonians 5:8, "In everything give thanks for this is the will of
God in Christ concerning you."

Give thanks, Lord?  When it seems all is going wrong?  The hot water
heater burned out, the well pump quit working the same day, the pressure
tank sprung a leak and the basement is flooded.  They say we need a new
well and now our car chose this moment to give up......

"In everything give thanks, my child...."

But my son-in-law is out of work, my daughter is not well, my son is
stretched to the limit with his job and concern for his parents and daughter-in-law lost her beloved husband, four
grandchildren lost their daddy.  I grieve for them all.  Give thanks,

"In everything give thanks....."

Give thanks, Lord when the doctors say my husband has dimentia?  When
another son has been taken and our family has once again been left with a
gaping hole?  Give thanks in all this?

"In everything........."

But, Lord, these things hurt; they worry and weary me.  I don't feel like
giving thanks.  It sounds silly to say, "Thank you, Lord, for letting my
child die and thank You, God, that dimentia has robbed my husband of
being able to share in my grief.  And, by the way, God, while we were
battling life and death issues, thank You for allowing all those other
things to go wrong and no means or money to fix them."

My dear, misunderstanding child, I did not say give thanks for
everything......I said, In everything give thanks.  In the midst of the
storm, when your lips cannot form the words, will your heavy heart to
thank Me.  By doing this you put Me in control of everything.  In return
I give you My peace and joy.

"In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ
concerning you."

Thank You, Blessed Lord, that You are my Comforter in my time of sorrow.
Only You understand the depth of a mother's grief and You shed the first

Thank You, Dear Father, that You are our Provider.  You supply all our
needs according to Your riches in Christ Jesus.  The universe is Yours.
You have your faithful servants at the ready - waiting obediently to help
in our time of need.

And, thank You for being the Protector of me and my family.  We are Your
children and nothing can befall us except it first pass through Your
loving hands.

I thank You, Precious Lord, that You are my Refuge and Strength.  In my
weakness, You are strong.

And, last but not least, I thank You that You are my constant Companion.
Though the road be rugged and uncertain You are there and will never
leave me nor forsake me.

What lies ahead for 2012?  I don't know, but I do know that He is my
Deliverer for He promised, "Many are the afflictions of the righteoeus:
but the Lord delivers him out of them all." Ps.34:19.  And, I can give
thanks in the middle of any circumstance for this is the will of God in
Christ concerning me.

Audrey Prairie

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Please God, Do What I Cannot Do...

Please God, do what I cannot do. I seem to not be able to do anything. I am unable to control so many things.

I cannot fix our cars. I cannot make those fixing them, fix them any faster. I cannot pay to get them all fixed. I cannot walk to work. I cannot buy a new car. I just CAN”T. Why don’t I have ANY control? I feel that I need to take care of these issues, because we have work and school in the morning. Certainly, You want us to keep up with our responsibilities.

I cannot make my sinus infection go away. I have tried to do all the at home remedies I know, which have helped a lot, but the infection is still growing. Certainly, You want me to be healthy enough to work well and take care of my family well, right?

I cannot fix my dad. His alzheimer’s is progressing and we are losing who he is. I don’t want to lose him yet. I am only 42 and just lost my 5th brother. I want to make him better and keep as many of the men in my life around, as long as I can. Certainly you don’t want me to lose more love and support – more everything that family gives- than I already have, right? Certainly, you don't want my kids and husband to lose more, right?

I cannot fix my mom. She is exhausted from caring for my dad and we are too far away to be of help. When we did try to go to help, over the break, our only car broke down. I could not help hers or our disappointment. I can't get her more sleep from here, or stay with my dad so she can do errands from here. I cannot send her money so she can hire help or move them closer to me. I cannot even hug her, and it's hard to help with decision making from here. Certainly, you want us to honor our parents and support them, right?

I cannot make more money for me or my husband or my daughter….all I can do is work every time you allow, and look for every opportunity. I can pray for sales for my husband, and jobs for my boys, and control what money goes out (except the unexpected bills, of which there have been so many)….but, I cannot control what we bring in. You promised to meet our needs. You have always taken care of us, I know, but there is so much need right now. Certainly, you want our family provided for, right? Certainly, You don’t want our kids to be stressed and uncertain of so much, right?

I cannot fix the school issue for our kids or the transportation issue. It is what it is – their school is too far away for our issues, and another school doesn’t take school of choice, and another is not going to work out as well with our senior's credits….. Do we homeschool again? Do we keep limping along, not sure how or when they are getting home each day? Certainly, You care about each of the needs the kids have involving school, sports, friends, etc.

I cannot fix my husband or my kids. I cannot steel them against disappointments. I cannot fix what they feel or have to go through. I miss the days when the kids were small, and a hug and a prayer would fix them. There is anxiety over our needs. There is grief over the loss of Joel, and the changes in Grandpa.  There are teenage issues for the boys, decisions that weigh on Alan’s heart, and pressures that only a man can fully understand of providing for the needs of his family. I can’t make Mark’s exhaustion go away after many, many hours of work. I can help, but that’s all. I can’t schedule his hours for him at WalMart or his meetings with his insurance job. All I can do is make home easier, since he is answering to the call of others, without much monetary reward to eliminate the stress. Certainly, You don’t want them to be overburdened and You want to bless the work of our hands, right?

Please God, do what I cannot do. Do whatever it is You want to do. If the things I believe are necessary, are not in Your will, I will accept that. Maybe the things I think are a certainty, are not for some reason, and if not, I will trust You.  Please, God, hold my family tightly in Your arms. Give us wisdom to know what we can do.  Please stop this neverending(seemingly) cycle of trials and grief. Please comfort us if You don’t.
While I wait on You to do the things I cannot, I will do what I CAN do. I will be patient, I will trust, I will sing, I will love, I will search for Your wisdom, I will pray, I will be still, I will be grateful and I won't worry about the things that are in Your Hands.