Wednesday, April 29, 2015

My Version of the A-Z Challenge

In the world of writers there is always a pen to paper challenge. For the month of April, bloggers were charged with the task of “Blogging A-Z.” The premise is simple. Write a blog post for each letter of the alphabet.

I didn’t take part in the challenge. It is very time consuming and I’m in the middle of writing a novel. The second reason was more compelling. I was heading for India to work with girls who had been rescued from sex trafficking. I needed time to prepare.

However, for years I have prayed what I call the Alphabet Prayer. It is a list of praises – at least one for each letter of the alphabet. Sometimes I pray it when I have trouble going to sleep. Sometimes I pray it when I’ve had a difficult day. Mostly I pray it because I am grateful to God for all He does for me.

This practice of praising God through good times and bad has become all the more important to me these last few months. You see, six months ago today, my life…my life as I knew it…changed forever.

Today I offer you a version of my A-Z Prayer.

A- Thank you, God for ALWAYS being AVAILABLE to me. You are with me, caring for me, looking out for my every need.

B- Thank you, God for the BIBLE, your words spoken to me. Incredible. I read the words and realize that if you were standing in front of me, these would be the very words you would say.

C- Thank you, Lord Jesus for your sacrifice for me on the CROSS. Unimaginable.

D- Thank you, Lord for my DAUGHTERS. Each is a special gift and treasure in my life. Where would I be right now if you had not sent them to me? You knew how much I would need them now.

E- Thank you, God for ENERGY and strength each day to do your will. I want to do what you intend for me to do.

F- Thank you, God for your FORGIVENESS… and for my FAMILY and dear FRIENDS –for their love and care.

G- Thank you, Lord for giving me GODLY GRANDPARENTS. I know my relationship with you is between you and me, but I appreciate the heritage of faith. And thank you for my GRANDCHILDREN. I pray I will be that same kind of light for them.

H-Thank you, God for giving me a HOUSE, a HOME…and for HEAVEN, home now to my precious HUSBAND.

I- Thank you, Lord for the opportunity to go to INDIA and serve you by serving the young women in the aftercare home. I continue to praise you for rescuing them from the unthinkable and continuing to heal them in every way.

J- Thank you God, for Your Son, JESUS. I put my trust in Him.

K- Thank you God for putting so many KIND people in my life. People have helped me with everything from learning to do my taxes to mowing my lawn and everything in between.

L- Thank you, Lord for Your unconditional LOVE. Loving me in spite of all I’ve been and done that I know was against everything you intended for me. I don’t deserve it which makes it all the more special.

M- Thank you, Lord, for my MOM. She is a model of the woman I strive to become: A woman who cares and loves and serves others because of her relationship with you.

N- Thank you, God for my NEIGHBORS. They’ve kept a watchful eye out for me, shoveled snow from my driveway, and continually served me in small but powerful ways.

O- Thank you, God for teaching me the power and freedom I have through OBEDIENCE to you. Help me to always follow your direction for my life.

P- Thank you, Lord, for PRAYER. That I can come directly to you, and talk to you, and know that you care, that is beyond human understanding.

Q- Thank you, Lord for QUIET times. Those moments when I can shut out the world and remember that you are my center, my core strength.

R- Thank you, God for REST. Sometimes my sleep has been difficult since Tom died, but I trust you and know you give me the rest I need.

S- Thank you, Lord for my SONS-IN-LAW. I couldn’t have picked them better myself. They are strong, caring men who not only care for my daughters and grandchildren, but look out for me as well.

T- Thank you, Lord for TOM. I doubt that I will ever be as cherished by anyone else in my lifetime as I was by Tom. I treasure the time I had with that man. Thank you.

U-Thank you, God for UNDERSTANDING me and putting up with my childish and stubborn ways.

V- Thank you, God for allowing me to see my own VULNERABILTY. Without it I doubt I would see the need for you. I know I am weak. I need your continued strength.

W- Thank you, Lord for your good and perfect WILL. I know it was Tom’s time. I know it was your will. He lived the days you intended for him. I find comfort in recognizing that. I miss him like crazy, but want desperately to live within your will until that day comes for me as well.

X- Thank you, Lord for this verse “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” You’ve given me a map to find that treasure. X MARKS THE SPOT hmmm…looks more like a cross.

Y- Thank you, God for YOUR mercy, YOUR grace, YOUR forgiveness. Thank you for being who YOU are. And thank you for people who care deeply for others so much they share YOU with everyone they know.

Z- ZEAL. Yes, Lord I thank you for creating in me that burning desire to share who you are with my family and friends… and neighbors… and acquaintances….and strangers…and young women half way around the world.

Thank you, God.  Amen.

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