love and prayer and purity, is doing something better than anything
else her hands could find to do beneath the skies.”
― J.R. Miller, Home-Making
MY PRAYING POTS
I love to cook. It’s a good thing, I have four boys who eat like grown men. We had an interesting Christmas. My son shared the flu Christmas Eve & one by one, we were going down. We opened presents. I wasn't feeling too bad at the time so I was able to take my usual fifty-million pictures. The ten year old, Elliot, is stretched out on the living room floor while his Dad is reading through Luke, sharing the true story of Christmas. Jacob the college kid is not willing to share the couch because he feels so bad. The three year old could have been sick, but you would never know it. Spencer, the one who shared the flu, is burning up with fever. The flu hit me later that night. I was in bed for a few days and I wasn't really all that excited about anything other than Tylenol Cold & Flu. So today, four days after Christmas, I took the time to take a look at my Christmas presents.
Paul always asks me what I want for Christmas. I usually have to go to the store & point. I let him surprise me this year. I really wanted a new cookware set. Nothing fancy, just new. We have been married for twenty-two years, and I bought my Revere Ware set a few months before we married. They still work, a little stained & dingy. Well, Paul came through. He bought me the CUISINART, 11 PIECE SET, CHEF’S CLASSIC NON-STICK HARD ANODIZED! It even sounds cool. I opened the box. All the pieces were carefully & individually wrapped. They were so shiny & new. Anodized, I have no clue what that means, but it called for a wow. I soaped, rinsed & dried each piece.
I began to take all my Revere Ware pieces out of the cabinet. My heart began to feel sad. How silly, these are old. I put them in a box & set them next to the front door to take to the Samaritan Center. As I looked at the box of pots, I was reminded of all the prayers that were prayed while stirring those pots. I started praying for my husband when we lived in England while stirring those pots. (I was only 19! Eeeek!) I prayed for my son Jacob when he got his braces & I thought I was the cruelest mother on the planet for putting such a contraption in his mouth. He has a handsome smile now. I prayed for Spencer when he was struggling through his math. He conquered it. I prayed for Elliot when he was in the hospital as an infant & I would come home & cook for the other boys before I had to head back up to the NICU to be with him. He has a funny ticker. God has kept him here with us for a reason. Can't wait to see what God is going to do with him. I have prayed for Asher while stirring those pots, that he will know Jesus very soon.
I have prayed for the healing of my mother. I know God hears me, and I take comfort in that. I know He loves her & our bodies are imperfect. Wednesday nights I stir & pray for Rebekah B. I boldly pray that she will stand up & walk. I prayed for my sister years ago when she was dealing with some physical pain. It was usually in the evenings that I would call & check on her while I was cooking. God answered, she has two awesome, healthy children. Prayed for friends when they were going through personal trials. My dear friend Malinda battled cancer last year. I think I left some stressed out stirring marks in one pot praying for her. When my Dad had a heart attack I remember coming home from the hospital & crying while stirring those pots. God answered.
I have prayed for college students, Andrew, Sam, Caleb, Tabitha, Brian, Justin, Kayla and others over the years. My nieces Jessica & Katrina as they entered college & culture shock. Pastors, church leaders, Mom’s group & youth leaders. Missionaries that have been imprisoned that were shared in the Voice of Martyrs. I've prayed for our country. I've prayed for the salvation of many. Some have found Jesus, for others, still praying.
I keep a prayer list on my refrigerator. I see it before I pour my coffee in the morning & I see again when I am cooking in the evening. Prayer is powerful. We are never helpless because we can pray. The power of prayer is never to be taken for granted.
God has spoken to me while I have stirred those old dingy pots. Boy, they are beautiful! It is such a reminder of all the prayers that God has heard & answered. Some of those prayers were not answered the way I hoped they would be, but they were heard.
Do They See Jesus in Me?
Last week I made a trip to the grocery store. I had to pick up a few things. With a family of six, this would be a cart full. I was in Walmart so my stress levels were already climbing. I always feel the need to exfoliate after shopping at Walmart. I usually shop at PUBLIX, both my sons work there, but I needed water filters for our well water tank. After walking around the store I realized that I forgotten my French bread on the other side of the store. I went back & picked it up on the other side of the "football field" and headed for the checkout. There was a young couple in front of me. You could tell they were on the Newlywed Budget. Generic brands, Ramen noodles, only the necessities. I began to smile remembering those days. It was like You & Me Against the World, Babe. Paul & I grew so much during that time. Learning to trust in God for everything & learning to be accountable to one another. Started to wish that we could go back & do it all over again. Sigh, sweet memories.
As I mentioned, they only had a few items. I peeked over to check out the cashier. She was an older woman, maybe in her late seventies. She had a sweet face & leaned over a little while she stood. My stress level climbed again as I realized that I really needed to get home. I yelled in my head, if that is possible, SHE IS TAKING FOREVER! My eyes quickly found my favorite candy bar. Snickers was calling my name. Chocolate makes everything better, it told me. I did not cave. The cashier finished the couples transaction & now it was my turn. Finally, I thought. When I approached the counter, the cashier asked how I was doing today. I responded with an almost robotic answer. “I’m doing great!” “How are you?” “I am doing good”, she said. As she begin to ring up my items I realized why it was taking her so long. Her hands were shaking with every item. She had to scan each item at least three times to hit the scanner. WOW, Holly, so much for being Christlike. YOU SURE DON‘T LOOK LIKE JESUS TODAY, I yelled in my head. You went from reminiscing about the times that God provided for you to absolute impatience. I was ashamed of myself.
A few moments later a lady came in behind me. It was obvious that she was in a big hurry too. She started double stacking her items on the grocery belt. She had smoke coming out of her ears as she held items in her hands waiting for the grocery belt to move up. Halfway through my grocery order the cashier had to go & get a key to unlock my printer ink from its security case. When the lady behind me realized that she had stepped away from the register she yelled to me, “Where’d she go”? I responded in an almost singing voice as if I was trying to settle a three year old during a temper tantrum. “She went to get a key to unlock my ink”, I responded. Then I realized, I looked just like that a few minutes ago. Oh, I hope no one saw me. When the cashier returned, she went right by the register. Laughing, she came back and told me she went right by it. “That’s okay”, I said, “They all look the same.”
I had a few more items for her to scan, and the lady behind me did not put a divider on the belt. I soon realized that she had rung up her yogurt with my order. Hoping the lady behind me wouldnt notice, I leaned over and whispered to her that the yogurt wasn't mine. She scanned one & took the amount off. The lady behind me yelled that it was her yogurt. Her face was so scrunched up her chin almost touched her nose. I began to “sing” to her again. Told her that my son loves Greek yogurt. She quickly let me know that she only eats it because she can’t have ice cream. So that’s her problem. Come to think of it, I haven’t had ice cream in a while either. We talked a little, her faced relaxed. I wanted her to be joyful before she made it to the register. The cashier told me to have a wonderful day & I told her thank you & hoped that she has a wonderful afternoon.
I made my way to the car. Got in the car & asked God for forgiveness. I asked Him to help me to remember today. On the way home I began to ponder. How would Jesus have acted in the checkout lane? He would have been patient. He would have laid his hands on the sweet cashiers hands and healed her of her shaking. He would have washed her feet after standing on them all day long. Hey, he may have even stepped over to Subway, picked up a sandwich and fed 5000 again, right there in Walmart.
Everywhere we go is a mission field. People are looking for Jesus. I pray that they see Jesus in me.
Oh, and JESUS IS COMING VERY SOON!