Each December as the year ends I reevaluate the ways that I have organized my life in all areas. Have I been doing the best that I can in meal planning? Have I been effective and efficient with all of the doctors appointments without running myself ragged? Have I spent enough quality time with each one of my chillies? Teaching them things that they don't/won't learn in school? Have I been spending quality time with my husband? What about the time I spend in prayer with the Lord? Is my desk organized effectively? How about my kitchen? Is everything in order so that if I have to go to the hospital for X amount of days that everyone will be fine at home? and so on. But one of my favorite things I do this time of year (other than preparing my planners) is to choose those friends whom I will pray for throughout the year on a regular basis.
When I first came to know Christ in 2002 I would take my church directory and pray over the families in my church (and my own family members) every night before I went to bed. I would lay my hands on their pictures and go through a couple families until I went through the entire book and then I would start over. I did this for a while but as life changed so did my prayer habits. In college I would pray for people on a weekly basis. It was completely unorganized and I would just go with the flow on who I thought needed some extra prayer. Then when we moved to Tinker I would pray for the single airman who were new to the Air Force like us but without any family. Each year my focus would change. One year I choose ladies that really meant a lot to me and I would give each of them a day. I chose about 21 people including family as always, and I would organize them by days. That year I told the persons in the beginning of the year that I would be praying for them each week for the entire year. Then as I became a stay at home mom I decided to make a prayer wall with pictures of families or friends that I would pray over throughout my days at home. It has been a constantly evolving prayer journey that I love and look forward to each year.
However, to be honest, this fall/winter has been very hard to do anything that I regularly do. Being in a rental with rental stuff has put a damper on my excitement of organizing and planning. I know that soon we will be back in our home and it will be better than ever, even if it is lacking furniture for a while, but why organize when I will just be moving soon anyway?
So I would like to remind myself publicly of something that I have learned. When your life is turned upside down and the rug is pulled out from under you-going through the motions is one of the best ways to find normalcy. Living in a hotel for two and a half months and then moving here, in a strangers house, it has been so easy to throw off tradition and feel like we were in a constantly spinning dryer. However, when Christmas came and we were able to deck the halls with our own decorations we had our first exhale. I know that we are not supposed to build up treasures here on earth, but God understands the importance of history and tradition and he taught us that lesson through our Christmas "stuff".
With that new found excitement I threw myself into traditions; too many Christmas traditions to list on this blog, planner shopping, organizing what I do have, and now choosing my prayer persons for this year. And this year is more special than ever before, do you want to know why?
Because we have been loved on and cared for by so many people that prior to this year were just acquaintances or people we had not even met yet. This year we felt and learned what agape love truly is. I am not saying that we were not loved prior to this year. I am simply saying that this year, we had a lot of hard lessons. One of which was who truly cared for us. And I am honored and so excited to return that love through prayer for so many wonderful people . People who either loved on us this year or that my heart has been turned toward because they are needing some love. Now the question is: Should I tell them that I am praying for them, or should I keep it a secret? What do you think?