When you have two sets of twins, and you have them back to back within a couple of years, there are a lot of things that become a blur in your memory. I can say this fairly confidently because it just so happens that I had two sets of twins about two years apart, and I know for sure there are lots of things that happened during those couple of years that I do not remember at all.
It's funny though, how certain things make it through when it comes to our memories. There are moments and pieces of memories that stick. We can't go back and fully relive or recreate past scenes in our lives, but there are parts that feel vivid and strong, even if they are small. It's almost like each piece of our memory is a small beautifully colored fragment, and when we put them all together, they create a whole new wonderful work of art.
One of the memories I have from those early twin years is a statement made by one of our dear "helpers" (we were blessed with many willing friends and family members who pitched in and kept us sane during that crazy season!). We were having a conversation about parenting; I think I was asking her for advice because I respect her a lot and knew she had kids who I thought seemed like they were turning out to be pretty good kids. So I guess I was hoping she could share with me whatever secrets there may be to being successful as a parent.
I can recall at least one bit of practical wisdom she shared from her experience - something to do with getting a stack of board books from the library and letting her kids look at them during their quiet time in the afternoon - but the part of our conversation that stands out the most is when she offered the simple but powerful encouragement to "pray 'em through".
I don't remember now the exact context of this statement, bu I think the idea was that as parents there are plenty of times when we have no idea what we are doing but the best thing we can do is to keep praying the whole way through. And somehow, by God's grace, our kids will make it, and so will we. The more I experience life as a parent, the more I appreciate this bit of wisdom.
Maybe it's a little like the wisdom of Dory from Finding Nemo. "Just keep swimming", she says, or rather kind of sings if I remember right. "Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming..." What a simple concept, and yet how grounding it can be for us to have something we can keep doing no matter how much things change around us.
Whether you're a parent or a teacher or in whatever role you have, what would it look like for you to "pray 'em through"? What if you saw prayer as the one thing you could keep doing no matter what season you are facing? To me one of the big differences between praying and swimming is that with swimming we tend to think it takes our own strength to do it. With praying, by its very nature it involves relying on the strength of our heavenly Father.
When we "pray 'em through", we're opening ourselves continually to the truth that it's not actually us who is getting them through. Maybe our prayers are like the sails on a sailboat, and God is like the wind. We put up the sails, but ultimately it's the wind that gets us where we're going.
Whether it's our children, our families, our schools, our churches, our co-workers, our neighbors, or anyone or anything that we feel a responsibility to care for, may God help us to "pray 'em through".
Pray with me...
... Father, make each of us people who are faithful in prayer
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12
.... Jesus, we lift up each person and situation that are on our hearts today
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
... Holy Spirit, empower us to keep praying and give us the words to pray when we need them
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and pray for Alliance Christian School District! Lord willing, I plan to publish a new blog post weekly on Wednesdays throughout the school year. Feel free to subscribe (at the bottom of this page) if you'd like to be notified each time a new blog post has been published. We also have a prayer team that is always open for new pray-ers to join. If you'd like to learn more, email me at email@example.com.
~ Carrie Warner, ACSD Prayer Team Coordinator
Soli Deo Gloria To God alone be the glory