Raise them up! today, lifting hands in prayer…

GrapevineSummer2013 133It’s one of those prayerful mornings.

My sister is interviewing for the coveted position of a female fire chief, on the right coast. She’s worked toward this. She’s sought her dream career with grit and determination. Learned things the hard way, and has become the leader she was meant to be.

On this coast, I’m praying for her. I’m at the keyboard creating my future. Thinking about her. Praying for her. Contemplating the remarkable peace of our heavenly father, and contemplating the power of prayer.

God, our eternal father — as the consummate parent — knows what we need. Just as we, as parents, know what our kids need. Now, when my daughters were little, I’d scurry after every sweet request, but lately, I have developed selective hearing. Yes. I can get them every little thing they want or need, but I don’t always do it. Sometimes, yes. I love to spoil them, but now, I want them to experience the joy and promise of seeing a job well done.

Yesterday, my youngest decided she wanted brownies, and I was not in a place to indulge that whim. At 9 and 1/2, she determined she could do it if I’d supervise. In the thick of dinner, I couldn’t think of why not, and brownies for dessert sounded just fine with me.

Entertaining down to the dishes!
They weren’t always big…

We’ve made them together many times.

So she gathered the ingredients, patiently measured each out while I watched from the corner of my eye amid dinner preparations. She wanted the brownies, she asked for advice when needed. I assisted with getting the pan prepped just right so they’d come out perfect, without her knowledge. I even helped her scrape out “most” of the brownie, and adjusted the timer for the way our family likes them. Goopy.

When they came out of the oven, it was her hard work. She reaped the benefits and the joy of her family’s thanks and admiration at her efforts. My heart was full for watching her glow. We both knew I’d stepped in a little, but it was mostly her. Her will. Her desire. Her stick-to-itiveness.


God is like this, I think. He watches us, hears our prayers, knows our needs before we even ask for them. And, he knows what we are capable of doing, and when we need him to step in with a push, from a gentle word to a windfall.  I trust that my God is forever watching, waiting, guiding, and I feel his presence daily.

I told my daughters why I raise my hands in church… When I am full, I raise them up–palms open, hands to heaven, blessing my heavenly father for all that he has bestowed upon my family. I am so very grateful for his gifts, my girls, my husband, our life together…and all the extra fixin’s that are butter on the biscuit, as my friend Gwyn Sanborn says.

When I am in need of his extra guidance, that gentle hug, that direction on what to do next? I reach up as a child. Daddy, pick me up. Carry me to what comes next… show me the open door, and please, if you can, and if I’m ready, please open it for me.

E at the rec soccer championship game, 2013
E at the rec soccer championship game, 2013

I raise my hands up today for my sister on the right coast. Let her have that door opened for her today. I raise them up for my parents, in gratitude for all that they do for us. I raise them for my husband, thankful he’s with us this week and that he get some extra revival on his vacation. I raise them for my nephews, one getting ready for marriage, one serving our country. My niece, ready for college. And most of all, for my daughters — that they will know you as I know you. That they will be healthy, strong, confident young ladies, and bless the world with their determined spirits.

I’m raising them up. How about you?

Read Mammoth Secrets, now available from Pelican Book Group, in print and ebook.

Read for FREE this week on Kindle: His and Hers, by Ashley Ludwig — a contemporary sweet romance.