Gun Laws, Praying Moms and Christmas Programs {This Is Why I Pray}

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=”//”;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,”script”,”twitter-wjs”);
2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Yesterday, I had a busy morning of errands. My Dear Hubby was home and we were spending time chatting over coffee, and planning Christmas details and his upcoming vacation time. I had a beach walk with a friend and a long list of things to accomplish before my sweet Girl’s Christmas program in the evening. 
I had planned to pick my daughter up a half hour early from school so that she would have a little extra time to get ready for her night. She is singing at the Christmas Program and this is a ray of light in a somewhat dark season of our life at this time. She often rehearses in the shower for an hour or more behind steamy curtain, under running water, before an unseen audience. 
It was a busy day and I do not normally allow myself a steady diet of news, although it comes my way various many channels including the social media kind.
I popped onto the computer for a quick peek into the Internet world and two comments catch my eye on Facebook. One is from a friend who speaks of Gun Laws, the next is from a sweet Bloggy sister via Twitter and mentions prayers for Connecticut families. I am in the dark, but immediately feel sick to my stomach. I shut off the computer as by the mercy of God my schedule does not have room today for me to jump into the News feed stream. I am expected elsewhere and my morning itinerary becomes my salvation. As I head out in the car, I channel surf the radio seeking more information. I think back to days before information overload and wonder it, at last settling on a local station that is speaking about details they are still piecing together and I am trying to absorb. Slowly details do emerge and my heart grows heavy as I pull into the school parking lot. 
I have learned that a young man in his early twenties has shot and killed one of his parents as well as a number of children in an elementary school in Connecticut. 

This is all I know at 2:30 yesterday afternoon as I arrive at my Girl’s school
The school nurse immediately shushes my mentioning the news, even though we stand in the foyer alone. She is protective for ears that might hear before parents have a chance to prepare them. I have grown to appreciate her fierce protectiveness and respect for privacy this past year. 
I scoop up my girl and with the few details I have mentally weigh when to tell her- before the onslaught from media assails her, sending fear straight into her already anxious heart. 
She is chatting, and I realize this too is grace…I am a parent torn between enjoying her presence at this moment and feeling the strong desire to weep for those that have lost their own precious little ones. I am living a double life. Beneath the surface with the little info I have I am imagining if it were my girl gone and feeling nauseous with suspicion of the magnitude of what has happened that I do not yet even know full.
We hurry home, I show her the scarf and tights I bought for her and she swoons.
She wants to shower. I fight the urge to turn on the news.
I debate if I should tell her.
“May I have my phone to listen to music while I shower?”
I give it to her.
She shuts the door.
“Wait, I need to tell you something, honey.”
I tell her the little I know and she is angry at me.
“Was it a Christian School?” she demands.
I explain that I wanted to tell her before she heard it elsewhere.
“Mom, now I am going to be paranoid. I wish you didn’t tell me.”
I am more sick inside, wondering that there is never a good time to speak of tragedy.
How it touches us all.
How I am filled with sadness for families I don’t know.
For children I will never know in this lifetime.
For all that is evil and unjust, I weep.
I did not want to tell her until after her Christmas program, as she struggles with anxiousness already,
but wanted to tell her before anyone else did.
I hear of so many children daily who are dealing with anxiousness.
Why wouldn’t our children be anxious?
The times are unprecedentedly evil.
Where children hate parents so deeply they wear anger like a badge and tote guns in their pockets seeking to kill.
Where God is not welcome in the schools, but everything else is.
This is why I pray.
I recognize that committing to one hour a week of praying for one school, those in that school and my child is needful, not optional.
I recognize that when I send my daughter off for 7 hours 5 days a week, it is a small sacrifice to commit to cover in prayer the students, staff and families who are part of this community.
I pray because sometimes I feel helpless.
I pray because the days are evil and there are no words for these kinds of events, but only crying out to God for hope and healing.
I am not saying that Gun Laws could not be better.
I am not a person who has much experience or knowledge of guns.
I am a mom who knows the power of prayer. 
I am saying that every school and child should have praying moms uniting together against the forces of evil and darkness. 
Last night we enjoyed the Christmas Program put on by our children at a neighboring church.I watched with both pride and joy for the children and my own sweet girl. I wept inwardly when a group of twenty or so 5-8 year old children sang, and parents clamored for pictures. My heart was breaking as I caught a glimpse in my mind’s eye of parents who have forever lost this opportunity. 
After the program, refreshments were enjoyed at our small school. 
I felt so grateful for this community.
Parents, teachers, children together celebrating, talking and sharing together.
Hugs are usually shared but they were a little tighter, longer. 
Children ran around the cookie filled tables, while parents lingered. 
This night the focus was our own children exalting the Babe in a manger with song and instruments.
But in the days ahead we will be mourning and grieving deeply for families who will need prayers and love and grace. 
Oh, Lord, God I am trusting in You for that which I cannot begin to fathom.That you will be the God of Comfort that you have been to me and many.That you will make Yourself known to every generation, and that your grace will be shed abundantly.In The Name of Jesus, I ask. 
A note: I have scheduled posts for most of December to allow for LESS computer time. I felt I had to share my heart about this tragedy. I also confess I still have not watched news and am trying to stay away from Social Media. The reason why is, I want to be able to pray and tune in to the Spirit of God more than the spirit of man. I know I could get sucked into 24 hour news bouts and really feel a strong conviction to pray diligently and fast from media for a period. My heart and prayers will be for the families and communities impacted through this tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.
In His Grace, Dawn

Pickled (Again)

(Picture Credit Wikpedia)
Whoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the LORD.
Psalm 107:43
Sometimes God takes drastic measures to get our attention. Other times he just uses the ordinary daily things. This time, in my case he used a pickle to remind me that He loves me, is merciful and prefers I learn to yield to Him. Always. 
It was close to ten in the evening. I remembered that there was supposed to be a “Super-moon”. Actually my dear hub reminded me. Of course, I wanted to run right down to the beach. Even though it was a bit cloudy. We are so close. I plead my case to the hub, who wants to head to bed…the “grumbling” in my heart begins. I ask my girl, who on second thought, decides she wants to squeeze in five more minutes of screen time over heading to the beach at ten PM with Mom. Mom, starts to complain within. Soon enough, without. But first I grab the last pickle in the dish on the counter from dinner. As I come down the hall to give them both a piece of my mind, I find myself choking. Really, choking in the way that everyone (except my preoccupied daughter engaged in her tiny screen world) would normally consider a potential Heimlich moment. 
Have you ever been pickled before? 
You know, like when you know you should just shut-up, but your mouth betrays your heart and mind? Suddenly I am preaching in my mind about the injustices of the reality of my family’s lack of spontaneity  and how I am the only one who gets it. God is still dealing with me and my Pious Platitude, as I groan and grow in grace. In the meantime, I am sporting horns, pitchfork and tail as I spout forth holier than thou words (which escape me now- but I assure you they were filled with “righteousness”, ahem), excuse me I’m just about to adjust my halo…
enter CHOKING.
Fortunately, God chose not to completely take me out as I really would prefer not to enter into His presence and exit this life through the means of a pickle. But, one never knows. 
Truly I was dealt with mercifully.
And I lived to tell the tale. 
Remember these three things and be truly wise:
1. Halos are for  children in Christmas pageants and really, you don’t have one. 
Even when you think you do.
2. A “Super -Moon” is cool but a Mom who is super gracious is way better. 
3. If you see a lonely pickle lying on a plate, walk away.
Zip. The. Lips.
“We serve a gracious Master who knows how to overrule even our mistakes 
to His glory and our own advantage”
John Newton
Originally written as “Pickled” for submission to Guest Post for  5 Minutes for Faith.
This is one of the most viewed titles on my own blog!
True story. Love those kind! Even if I almost choked to death.
Anything for a good story. 
*This post is part of The 12 Days of Blog Posts, Weekends and Wednesdays in December!*

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