Answered Prayers

Have you ever tried to think back to what you wanted for your last birthday?  Two Christmases ago?  It’s so easy to wish with all your might, discover the outcome, and then move on with life, forgetting the “Oh, I hope with all my heart” phase all together.

Last Saturday (just four short days ago) I was stressing over Angel Girl, wishing and praying for friendships to develop and provide a sense of belonging for her (F is for Football and Friendship, I Hope).  Yesterday an amazing thing happened.  The two girls that she wants to get to know better specifically asked her to join their group in a super fun school activity. That might not sound huge, but it is!  They came to her, she wasn’t in their shadows or on the fringes, they sought her out to be with them.  I was so happy for her!  My heart was soaring, yet it took a few minutes for my head to catch up.  Then, like a bright light switching on in my brain, I realized: THIS IS MY PRAYER BEING ANSWERED!

My Angel Girl

Their invitation wasn’t just a really good thing that happened, it was the dream I desired, it was exactly what I prayed would occur.  Doesn’t that feel good, when things go just right?  I have to remind myself, though, it wasn’t random – things go right for a reason!

My epiphany comes on the heals of another endeavor I recently began.  Taking a page from Aibileen, I have started writing my prayers.  I don’t write them all (I find that I have a lot of conversations with God as I’m driving hither and yon), and mine will not be anywhere near as eloquent as Aibileen’s, but I’ve realized that I love to write, so it might be just the thing.  The first page of my prayers begins with this scripture:

Be joyful always: pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.     1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Nothing fancy - just my heart.

I am really touched by this one, partly because it keeps popping up in front of me from various directions.  I heard it in Bible Class a few weeks ago, then I wrote it in my journal, then I saw it in a card, then the preacher used it in Sunday’s sermon. Obviously, I need to pay attention to it!  Now I am sharing it with you.  I hope that no matter what your heart desires, you pray for it continuously, and acknowledge the outcome as an answered prayer when it is revealed.

I also hope that Angel Girl and her friends have a blast with their project and walk away true BFFs!

Raaauuuuuxanne…

I can’t say the name without thinking (and hearing in my head) that 1978 song by The Police.  I’m pretty sure it’s about a woman considering, or already engaged in, prostitution (“…you don’t have to put on the red light…”).  You’re singing it in your own mind right now, aren’t you?

Roxanne also happens to be a dear, sweet friend of mine.  Although I haven’t seen Roxanne in a terribly long time, I still feel wonderfully close to her.  Roxanne’s Coach and my Coach coached together for a few years, a few years ago.  Amazingly, it’s actually been over 5 years since then…my how time flies!  In fact, I know that if I saw Roxanne tomorrow, it would be as though we still lived in identical floor plans, in the same neighborhood, and visited daily; she is one of those ladies who is always in your heart because you know exactly who she is, and you adore her for it.

Roxanne is the quintessential coach’s wife.  She is uplifting, supportive, strong, and optimistically positive.  ALL the time.  Even when the refs stink and the guys couldn’t catch a break all game.  Even then, she is an incredible role model for me.  When I close my eyes and envision the coach’s wife I wish to be, I see Roxanne.

I often think of Roxanne and simply smile!

I especially think of Roxanne every Sunday, when I’m sitting in church, open my Bible, and a piece of her love is right there where it has stayed since she gifted this little card to me:

It reads:

Lord, burn these five benefits into my eyes that my focus will be changed permantly.

* Benefit 1: know God and believe Him (Isa 43:10)

* Benefit 2: glorify God (Isa 43:7)

* Benefit 3: find satisfaction in God (Isa 55:2)

* Benefit 4: experience God’s peace (Isa 48:18)

* Benefit 5: enjoy God’s presence (Isa 43: 2-3)

What wise words! And what beautiful handwriting!!!

No matter who guides your life, no matter where you go for encouragement and direction, no matter what religion you choose, I pray that you have these 5 benefits, no GIFTS, with you every day. I pray that this beautiful Sunday has been a blessing for you, and that the week ahead is simply marvelous!

PS: Thanks, Roxanne, for the incredibly sexy photo you took of my man all those years ago…it still lives in the frame you put it in, prominently on my bath vanity, and I hope you don’t mind seeing it on the top of this page.  Love you!

Fall is for football and friendship, I hope

Indiana High School football team, circa 1921

Image via Wikipedia

Last night was our first foray into football this fall.  We went to the high school game here in town.  It was not crisp and cool as football should be…it was still 106 degrees when we arrived at 6:30, but the community was supportive, the crowd was a good size (although a little quiet for my liking).  The team looked good, but not yet great (which is fine for the first game of the year).  I didn’t see any injuries, not even cramping up in the horrendous heat, which is a prayer answered at any ballgame.  Best of all, from a football standpoint, we won!

** Please note that like a good coach’s wife, I described all the football before moving onto the mommy stuff.

SonShine had a blast!  After thoroughly enjoying his first week of jr. high school, his night was just the icing on his cake 🙂  He spent the entire game (with the exception of when he needed $$$ for the concession stand, of course) hanging out in the “student section” of the endzone with all his friends and classmates.  He was still riding his “first week high” when I tucked him into bed and said how happy I am that he is having such a fantastically great year already.

I, too, had fun sitting with friends, socializing at least as much as (maybe more than) actually watching the game.  I have had 16 years to perfect that art of juggling both activities, and I have to say, I am pretty good at it.  I can hold up a conversation, pause for breath while we make a quick interception, cheer, and continue on without missing a beat!

The only less-than-stellar part of the night was a nagging sense and saddening feeling that Angel Girl was a third wheel with her two school friends.  I hope and pray that they consider themselves her friends, anyway.  They were never rude or mean in any way, yet I couldn’t help but get the impression that Angel Girl wasn’t completely welcome into their twosome.  She tagged along anyway, and she sat with them trying to interject herself into their conversation when possible, but I could tell by everyone’s body language that having her there was not a good thing in their minds.  It was so obvious (and painful) that I felt compelled to mentioned it to one of the girls’ moms…”Please let me know if the girls would like Angel Girl to give them a little space; she really enjoys hanging out with them, but I know they are very close and might like to have some time just the two of them.”  That wasn’t easy!  Finding a polite way to phrase “Look, let me know if your kids don’t want mine around” is a trifle difficult.  She, of course, was a sweetheart saying that it is good for them all to have time with new friends.  That is 100% true, but my heart still broke a little every time I glanced down the bleachers in Angel Girl’s direction.  She is very in tune with feelings and people’s behavior, so while she had her game face on (a big beautiful smile), I know she felt out of place and a bit left out all night long, and that is really hard for a momma to sit and witness 😦

It’s not a question of popularity.  I don’t need for Angel Girl to be the center of attention, but no parent wants their child to be the one the other kids are trying to shake.  I feel for her especially because in 6 years, this is the very first time Angel Girl has EVER returned to the same school campus two years in a row.  Literally: every year she has had to start fresh, meeting new people, making new friends.  This is the first time she is not a New Kid which is great, but it also means that while she knows kids from last year, she still does not have that BEST friend to sit with at the games, invite to sleepovers, and look forward to seeing on the rare occasions when they are not together.

I had that in school, and while CC and I don’t talk often and haven’t seen one another in years, I still feel our bond is so strong that I can call her up without hesitation for any old reason and pick up exactly where we left off last time.  I want that friend for Angel Girl, so I hope, and I pray every single night, that this fall will be for both football AND friendship

Coach

Ree nicknamed her husband Marlboro Man…my guy is Coach.  Also brooding, quiet, and intensely sexy.  In fact, when we met 16 years ago, Coach was sporting boots and Wranglers, too.  Years of football practices and school-provided wardrobes have changed his look a little, but in his heart, he is his own type of cowboy.

Coach is my hero.  He is also my best friend, and he is, as the song says, “the world my world revolves around.”  If you’ve never been married to a coach, it is difficult to truly understand the life of a coach or the life of a coach’s wife.  It is difficult to grasp the hours they work, and the dedication they possess for the boys/men on their team.

I use the term “boys/men” to describe the lot because sometimes they act like boys, and other times they show themselves to be great men.  Coach does way more than direct his players on which play to run and how to run it, how to read the defense, or how to release the football.  He is much closer to his fellow coaches than your typical 8-5 co-workers.  He acts as mentor, friend, father, confidant, brother, sounding board, disciplinarian, and faithful, loyal champion to each and every one of them.

He works himself ragged, yet he is anxious to get back to it bright and early the next day.  He is one of the lucky ones…he loves his job, and I love him for it!

Call me Inspired

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl by Ree Drummond is my favorite cook book.  In fact, it sits open in my super cute Southern Living at Home iron cookbook holder right in the middle of my kitchen every single day.

The irony there is that I have never actually attempted even one recipe from the book.  It doesn’t matter.  It’s still my very favorite because I love the idea of it, the story woven within it, and I feel a bit of myself in the stories and people found within it.  Ree says that she began with a little blog, so I find myself sitting at the computer, designing a blog, just to give it a try.

Pray as well as cross your fingers for me, please.