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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

An Answer to My Prayers

Jules here-

Often I have prayed for someone to get a job or recover from an illness, and those prayers seemingly go unanswered.  Most faith is tested when we are struggling to see God's will in our unanswered pleadings.  I do believe that we, as humans, are unable to comprehend the grand plan of God; however, sometimes we must focus on the seemingly insignificant blessings he bestows on us in answer to our small prayers.  Recently, the phrase "You ask and you shall receive" has resonated with me, as I have had some prayers and needs answered almost instantly.
  • At the first snowfall in the start of winter, my children eagerly scrambled to don their snow-gear; however, being the youngest of two older sisters, James was relegated to pink snow pants.
    New Hampshire Ready
    After sending the trio outside, my husband begged, "Really? Pink snow pants? Can't you buy a pair at the consignment store or something?"  I reluctantly agreed to check out the consignment (because quite frankly I don't really care if my son wears pink snow pants)....however, they did not have any snow pants in his size.  Upon arrival to my Mom's Group the next day, one of my friends walked in with a bag and said, "Hey, do you need snow pants for James? My son just out grew these."  A perfect pair of 2T blue snow pants.  My prayers were answered! 

  • A couple of weeks later, James watched the girls coloring their Strawberry Shortcake and Princess/Fairy pages and asked, "Mommy, can I color a soccer page? Where's my sports book?"  Um.... I don't have one....  Once again, being the younger brother to two older sisters has its disadvantages.   Later that day, my neighbor Lisa called asking, "I have a few old coloring books and preschool learning books that Austin has outgrown, do you want them?" I said, "Sure."  When she dropped them off, this was amongst them:

    A sports sesame street book. Perfect
    James was thrilled to find a Elmo soccer picture on the first page! Once again, my prayers were instantly answered!

  • Most families who do not have dual-incomes have to make lots of sacrifices to maintain their lifestyle, and around the holidays that lack of "extra" money becomes more noticeable.  I have neighbors down the road who have two older children (teenagers), and she called me in late November asking if I wanted some toy/book hand-me-downs. I eagerly agreed and I was blessed with such an abundance of gifts for my children. I spent $20 (including stocking-stuffers) on my kids this Christmas because of my neighbors generosity. 
    John Deere Tractor Set for James
  • During a stressful financial and family time, I was overwhelmed just trying to work, care for the children and homeschool them.  Without being asked, my friend Tanya just swung by with a meal for my family.  Having a night off from cooking allowed me to de-stress a bit and re-focus my organizing efforts!  Plus the meal was awesome:
    Pasta Fagioli

    Coincidences? I don't think so! I truly believe God works through my friends and neighbors to give me things I need.  Sometimes what we need is very different than what we want.  I also can look back and see times in my life in which God used me to answer someone else's needs:
  • Still love those Oreos....
    When I was a senior in college, I was speaking to an acquaintance of mine, Tony.  He then said, "Do you remember when we were freshmen in the Film as Lit class?" (I honestly barely remembered Tony being in that class with me... )"Well, the first day you offered me one of your oreo cookies. I'll never forget that. I was such a nervous freshmen guy and then you were so friendly!"  I was so surprised that my simple gesture (that I have no real memory of) had such a big impact on him.

    In my first job out of college, I worked at a hospital in downtown Lancaster, PA. I had a 32 year old woman who had just had brain surgery to remove a cancerous tumor.  With a complication from the procedure, she had had a mild stroke. She was very depressed the first session, so I took her to a private therapy room and started talking to her about her four young children. Soon, we found out that her husband had coincidentally been my husband's confirmation sponsor the year prior. She instantly burst into joyous tears saying, "I have prayed for a miracle today. I felt so sad and self-pitying, but God send me a good Catholic girl as my therapist to help me through!" 
             We spent the next few weeks practicing walking and holding a make-shift baby (out of a pillow/weights) so she could be discharged from the hospital.  She had a terminal diagnosis, but she was able to spend her last year with her family, at home. I worked with a dozen other OTs at that hospital, and the chances that I would be blessed to meet this amazing woman was slim--but by "chance" we became friends.

    Easy Rule #427730  Make sure you recognize the times in your life when your needs have been met-- was it just a coincidence?

    Easy Rule #53948- Never pass up an opportunity to be someone else's answered prayer.  Listen to that little voice inside!!