Princesses and Prayers

Today was one of those days, loveys. The kind where you read something on the Internet, or hear a terrible story and stop instantly to pray--the kind where you shake your head in disbelief and wonder why bad things happen.

The kind where your mama-heart aches and you ask again why God lets monsters roam the earth who hurt children. Monsters in the form of people. And you pray. Then you hear more news of monsters--this time in the form of cancer. And you pray.

And you pray. Because what else is there?

So my thoughts have been heavy today.

And it's bedtime and my mind is filled with scattered, random thoughts. And doubt is creeping in . . . and anger. And in all that haze and fog, suddenly, clearly God reminds me to have compassion.

Really. He stops me in my tracks with a push for compassion for those people hurting tonight. And I slow down a bit. There's anger and doubt fighting for first place inside me, and yet compassion inches its way up to the surface. Just pray. Just ask God for help. Breathe for a minute and place everything back in God's hands. Pray for those feeling broken. It's all we can do, but it's something.

I walked into Ashtyn's room and knelt by the bed. And I prayed for my little princess. For her future. For this tiny girl who's sound asleep and who is loved to the point of distraction by her parents. We're just consumed by love for these two kids sleeping across the hall. And so I'm confounded by people who hurt children. Because nothing seems quite so precious to me.

And I feel this comfort because I believe they're precious to God too. He cares about his people. All those broken hearts and tears and dark days for people--I believe He sees them. And if He sees and He cares . . . all is not lost.

My mom and I were looking at an old yearbook today--all these familiar faces from my childhood. We loved seeing the pictures and reminiscing about days gone by. And I count myself lucky for all those good memories. For parents who loved me and cared for me and still do. For grandmothers who were so fun and loving and wonderful. For aunts who were and are extra special. For a sister who was always my playmate and still is my best friend. And for another sister who came along when I was fourteen, just in time to complete our family in a fabulous way.  . . . And I'm holding my family closer to my heart tonight because we're not promised as many days as we'd want. I want to hug my mother while she's here helping me pack. I want to call my dad and hear his voice. I want to kiss my kids. I want to invest in the people God has surrounded me with. They're a gift.

And through all the mixed emotions of a day like today, I'm thankful for faith in these moments. It makes all the difference in who we are. I'm thankful for family. For love. For my little princess and superhero. And the chaos of my schedule shrinks back as I remember what matters most. Not work. Not things to do. Not obligations and responsibilities.

Love. People. Family.

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