I’ve been away from blogging for a while. Not that I don’t have things to say, but I haven’t been inspired to share anything in which I am feeling and/or learning. I’ve been in Africa for a little over five weeks and it feels no different being here than if I was in the confines of my own home in the states. With the exception of me not being able to go to the store and buy an unlimited supply of goldfish (I have a slight obsession).
The amount of things that I have already experienced, given input in, prayed though are extensive. The laundry-list of tasks that I find myself doing daily are different than what I hoped to be doing, but God works in mysterious ways despite our expectations and/or desires. For the past month I’ve been meditating on 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
This verse has been reminding myself no matter the situation or circumstance that I can pray through it, rejoice through it, and give thanks to God for it. Easier said than done, I know. Through this passage the Lord has been taking me back through a journey of prayer. I don’t know about you, but I am a visual person. I need to physically see my prayer needs daily so that I will remember to pray. So what does that look like for me? STICKY NOTES!!!! Lots and lots of sticky notes EVERYWHERE! I have a wall of sticky notes of prayers, dreams, desires, and burdens that I am offering up to the Lord in prayer for myself and my husband. One wall for my friends and family abroad. My new favorite wall is dedicated to the Hosea’s Heart ministry; the staff, the girls, and the workshop.
Excuse the mess! There is a whole huge wall of sticky notes missing!
So every morning at 6:30am I hear the sweet soothing sound of a waterfall. As minutes past it grows louder and louder. Majority of the time I am already awake, and have to rush from wherever I am in the house to find my phone. It’s the beginning of my many alarm sequences. The name of this alarm is: pray for yourself. 7:00am another alarm goes off entitled: pray for Hosea’s Heart Swazi Team. Like clockwork (is that a pun??), a third alarm goes off and I begin to pray for the girls part of the ministry. Around the time that my tummy begins to rumble for another meal (12:30pm) it’s time to lift up my husband in prayer. The last and final prayer time is 7:00pm for my friends and family around the world.
Please understand that though these alarms go off everyday it is a struggle to pray at those specific times. One day I pressed snooze for at least an hour until I could excuse myself to go and pray. Prayer is a discipline. It requires sacrifice, focus, and special attention that most days I struggle to give. I find myself setting aside my rest time, my binge watching of Gilmore Girls, or dance parties to stop and pray. Its not easy, but the fruit that comes out of doing it has been greater than anything that I could ever ask for.
God is strengthening me each day to do His will instead of my own. He is teaching me what it looks like to be a good daughter, a friend, a mentor, a lover of all people, a prayer warrior who fights for others, a wife, and most importantly a follower of Christ. I’m growing deeper in the ability to hear His voice and discern the things he wants me to do and the people He wants to use me to reach. I’ve gotten to sit back and watch as prayers I have prayed have been answered in my life or in the lives of others. Do I for sure know that it’s the prayers that I have specifically prayed, no. However, I do know that prayer is a key ingredient in my life pot.
One day I will not need alarms to remind me to pray for myself, my friends, my husband, my children, ministries abroad, my church, or anything else. It will one day intertwine it’s self in the normalcy of everyday life, but until that day I will continue enjoying my alarm going off at 12:30pm and a 5 year old telling me “Auntie BB it’s time to pray for you husband.” Or one of the girls’s asking me can they join me in my room so that they can pray for themselves too. I know that my obedience in this prayer marathon that I’m currently running is not only blessing me, but those around me. For that I am truly thankful.
My 3 and 5 year old friends joined me for prayer time.