Prayers in the Margins, Time and Documenting the Hard Stuff
When I was a sophomore in college I purchased a prayer book at Sam's club of all places. Some roommates from college had memberships. I had never been in a warehouse store and it was fascinating, now it is a weekly habit. At 19, the idea of needing 10 pounds of hamburger at a time was unfathomable. Now it means two meatloaves and spaghetti sauce for weekly meals.
The prayer book was already dated when I picked it up in 1997, the pages featuring women with pastel dresses, lots of wicker furniture and primary color clad kids. Hidden with the photos were sound advice and biblical verses.
I started to jot down worries and moments of answered prayer. My biological father passed away and I wrote about my final conversation with him, simply writing Phoned Ken, he sounded like he was thinking about God. He said he hopes where he goes next will have the sound of birds. I'm sad. Later on a new note on the same page jotted 5 years later, Praying for an easy birth, thank you Lord for all our blessings.
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12
Without context these notes are difficult to understand, as a whole it is now 20 years of quick notes. No note is more than a few lines, sometimes a piece of paper is in-between the pages. One is about MMO coming early, praying a bump on his wrist was harmless. It was not, it was a staff infection, he ended up with a broviac IV at home. That same baby caused the entry 14 years old, and six feet, thank you God for our little fighter who has gotten so big.
Many entries are during Lent over the years, things given up and things taken on. Least favorite was giving up coffee in 2010. Most favorite was taking on daily blessings for the children as they left for school in 2009. As I read through these moments of reflection I am awed by the power of memory and grateful for the promise of hope in difficult times.
Time turns forward today, daylights savings 2017 and I am thanking my teenage college self for taking the time to grab that prayer book. Thanking my younger self for trusting in the collection of tomorrows and writing down snapshots to give my older self perspective.
Psalms for Women, God's Gift of Joy and Encouragement
Published by Honor Books 1989