Unable to go back to sleep this morning, I lay in bed considering what I wanted to eat for breakfast and trying my best to make a mental list of all the things I want to accomplish today. The list never really came together because my thoughts kept drifting back to food, but I wasn’t quite ready to get up and prepare any. On mornings like this, I really wish the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet near my home was still open for business; I would’ve gotten up for that, and I certainly would’ve gotten my money’s worth!
Why am I so hungry? I wondered. I’m not normally much of a breakfast person, but sometimes the desire for a huge country breakfast just hits me. And yet, I just stayed there, snuggled under my blankets instead of taking action.
All of a sudden, my thoughts jumped to “Grandma” Bratton, the matriarchal saint who was like a grandmother to almost everyone in the church I attended years ago. I still think of her sometimes, even though she has long-since passed-away. I’m guessing Grandma Bratton came to mind this morning because thoughts of her and breakfast naturally go together. I never enjoyed this meal with her, but I have never forgotten her steadfast diligence to meet with the Lord each morning, no matter what.
Every day, at 7:00 a.m. sharp, she would stop whatever she was doing to pray. There were many mornings, I’m told, she wasn’t finished cooking breakfast when prayer time came. But rather than finishing-up, Grandma Bratton would turn off her skillet and come back to it later.
Seven O’clock is my morning prayer time, she would say, and I’m not about to let anything get in the way of that. There is just nothing more important in this life than spending time with my Lord early in the day! My body can do without food, but my spirit can’t.
A late breakfast of cold, greasy eggs doesn’t sound very appealing to me, but the hunger this dear saint had for the Lord certainly does. I agree, Grandma, there is nothing more important than spending time with the Lord. And though I often fail at the whole morning thing, I would do well to learn from you —we all would. I know you will never read this, but I want to thank you for your godly example.
And now, having said that, I’m going to go fix some breakfast ̶ finally.
Have a blessed morning everyone!
In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch. Psalm 5:3
Some day, I plan to buy a steam cleaner for my kitchen and bathroom floors. But I have to admit, there are times when I actually enjoy getting on my hands and knees and scrubbing them the old-fashioned way. Of course, I do have a mop and bucket, but once-in-a-while I just get that toothbrush-to-the-nooks-and-crannies, kind of urge to do some deeper cleaning.
Last week, while I was on my knees scrubbing away, it occurred to me that some of the most rewarding things in my life are done on my knees —playing with children, cleaning, gardening, and praying, to name a few.
If only I could get up and down like I used to!
Since I can’t, I find the time on my knees is becoming less and less frequent. And for that reason, I don’t even pray on my knees as much as I used to. This has never really concerned me though, since our Lord hears our prayers despite our physical position. Many times, the luxury of praying on bended knee is not afforded us. In fact, it was reported of General Stonewall Jackson, “While the battle was raging and the bullets were flying, Jackson rode by, calm as if he were at home, but his head was raised toward heaven, and his lips were moving evidently in prayer.”¹
Still, there is just something special about those times spent on our knees in prayer. Scripture informs us that even Jesus prayed this way at times. Thus, I leave you with the following words from the apostle Paul:
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21).
¹ America’s God and Country, William J. Federer, p.27
We were sitting around the dinner table when the subject of numbers came up. Addressing my husband I joyfully said, I know what number I am -number 2. To understand the very special meaning of that statement, please read one of my most popular blogs, “Second Place Love.”
“Yes,” he said, smiling. “You are even number 2 on my speed dial.”
That surprised me. “I thought home would be number 2 and my cell would be number 3,” I replied.
He pulled his phone from its case and turned the keypad toward me. The number 5 is in the center of my phone, he explained, so home is number 5 because everything revolves around home.
I already knew that my husband’s life revolved around his family, but to hear this little tidbit just blessed my socks off because I love the imagery of it.
Dear reader, no matter how strong our prayer lives are, there will always be those times when we need to ‘speed dial’ the LORD. After all, urgent matters can arise very quickly. When they do, (and even when they don’t) it is good to know that our Heavenly Father is already right in the center of our lives, where He belongs.
I love the LORD, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.
Have you ever taken a few moments to examine your own life and said, “Lord, the older I get the more (fill in the blank) I become, and I don’t like it one bit!” Well, I sure have. And I must not be the only one. A few years ago I came upon a beautiful prayer written by a seventeenth-century nun whose identity is unknown. I find the prayer to be so inspiring I wanted to share it with you. If it touches your heart in any way, we can both praise God for the heartfelt words of an anonymous nun.
Lord, you know better than I know myself that I am growing older and will some day be old. Keep me from getting talkative, particularly from the fatal habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.
Release me from craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs. Make me thoughtful, but not moody; helpful, but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom it seems a pity not to use it all, but you know, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end. Keep my mind from the recital of endless details- give me wings to come to the point.
I ask for grace enough to listen to the tales of others’ pains. Seal my lips on my own aches and pains -they are increasing, and my love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. Help me to endure them with patience.
I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessening cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally it is possible that I may be mistaken.
Keep me reasonably sweet. I do not want to be a saint- some of them are so hard to live with- but a sour old woman is one of the crowning works of the devil.
Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places, and talents in unexpected people. And give me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.
*This Prayer of an Aging Woman was taken from Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations, & Quotes. Morgan, Robert J.Thomas Nelson Publishers. Nashville, Tennessee. 2000
Certainly, we all need to: Put on the whole armor of God, that [we] may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Ephesians 6:11
Although, truth be told, sometimes the devil has absolutely nothing to do with those insufferable days and seasons when everything that can go wrong does; and like the Energizer® bunny, just keeps on going. Comedian and Gospel singer, Mark Lowry, has often said that his favorite Bible verse is, “This too shall pass!” Of course, that’s not a literal verse, but the concept is certainly found within the pages of our precious Holy Bible.
Dear reader, I pray you start every day, especially the more difficult ones, with the full assurance that When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles (Psalms 34:17).
And, if you listen closely during those trying times, you will most assuredly hear the LORD gently remind you, “This too shall pass!”
Is your armor scratched and well-worn? If so, you may enjoy my Rays of Light blog:
KNIGHTS IN DAZE
(click on this link to view)
“Quit yer caterwaulin,” they used to say. As a youngster, I somewhat resented the sounds of children at play being likened to a bunch of screeching, quarrelsome cats. But now that I’m getting up in age, I can certainly sympathize with some of the older folks just wanting some peace and quiet.
I often feel that way when it comes to all of the clamor this world dishes out; unwanted phone calls from telemarketers hocking their wares, billboards screaming their messages to every passerby, soap box soldiers, and television commercials –many quite inappropriate, all vying for our attention, time and money. And the clangor goes on and on.
Admittedly, this world’s enticements and coaxing often seem to me to be little more than the raucous din of caterwauling. During those times, I am so very thankful for the privilege of being able to shut the world out and slip away for some quiet time with my precious LORD. As the Psalmist wrote:
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust (91:1,2).
As for today, the morning has just begun, yet I feel a stirring, a deep-down longing, for that heavenly quiet time. I cannot, therefore, think of a better time to silently tell the world, “Quit yer caterwaulin!” then slip off for some alone time with He who is worthy of all the time and attention we can give.
Dear reader, may you also find time today, and every day, to abide under the shadow of the Almighty and bask in His sweet presence. There, in the secret place, you will find peace and rest for your weary soul, and refuge from the bombardments of this world should you need it.
There are only a few days left in this year, so I guess it’s time to make a few New Year’s resolutions. As I was thinking about all the items on my rather long list of improvements and achievements for the coming year, it occurred to me that my family and I have somehow let one of our most important “traditions” slip into oblivion.
Years ago, we kept a decorative tin on the dining room table at all times. Inside the tin were the names of just about everyone we knew – friends, family, and acquaintances new and old. Every evening, just before the dinner prayer, one of the children would draw a name out of the tin and we would include that person in our prayer. We always trusted the LORD to guide our selections so we would choose the name of someone who really needed a little extra prayer.
Looking back, I’m not sure when, or why, we stopped using the prayer tin, but I am determined that we are going to add it back into our daily routine. Dear reader, I may not know you all personally, but I am going to include a name card for those of you who subscribe to my blogs. I also plan to include a generic name card for those of you who read my blog, whose names I do not know. I already pray for you at times, but number one on my resolutions list is to intercede on behalf of others more than ever before and it is my great pleasure to include you.
From my family to yours, God’s richest blessings upon you.
We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers (I Thessalonians 1:2)