Monday, July 26, 2010

meditations on # 10

Sunday morning our pastor wrapped up his series on the 10 Commandments--it felt pretty good to hear a sermon and not feel convicted of sin. I think I am an exceptionally contented person. (And proud--but I'll get to that.) Daily I embrace an attitude of gratitude, recognize my blessings. Don't get me wrong, I've got my battles in the Big 10--the pride and anger territory is littered with minefields. But I don't covet. I can admire without feeling the need to acquire.

For example, I admire people's daughters. Little girls are precious and lovely and wonderful. Braided hair, pink cardigan sweaters, tea sets and painted toenails. I think of all the books I could pass along to a daughter, my favorite dolls, together we might build a dollhouse. But I feel happy about my three sons. I'm not overwhelmed by any urge to go get me a daughter. I totally accept God's plan in my life involves boys (despite practically obtaining a minor in Women's Studies).

I admire people's houses and decorating. I can go into my friend Mary's house and fall in love with the cool, clean lines of her new couch and her eye for color and simple but striking touches in a room. Likewise, I adore my friend Marni's house, filled to the brim and busy with art, tchotkes and antiques. I can enjoy both houses, yet return home needing to run to Kirkland's to "get" the look for myself. Admittedly, it probably helps that I hate shopping. Even so, I don't feel pressured to keep up with the Jones's.

Pastor mentioned how God allows "unanswered prayers," and referenced that Garth Brooks song. God gave me plenty of unanswered prayers--there was a job in a small high school that I thought I wanted to keep. He placed me in a bigger city, a bigger school, surrounded me with awesome friends and fantastic opportunities. Had I gotten my way, my life would not be as rich. Then there was that ex-boyfriend who I thought I couldn't live without. Now I see how life with him would've stifled me, choked me into a shell of the person I've become. God sent Mr. D who is superior in practically every way. I begged God on both knees to get one of my novels published. Watching my author friends get published, I now realize the amount of time they invest in marketing their published books and have to admit I couldn't do that job justice with my kids being so young. God knew best.

It's tough to always let God steer this life, but so many times I see the wisdom in the path I'm given.

Thank God--for unanswered prayers, for giving me an attitude of gratitude, for letting me off the hook with Commandment # 10.

Spill it, reader. Are you thankful for any unanswered prayers?


  1. I had an eye on the job market looking for a change. Went as far as sending out resumes and going on interviews. And yes, felt disappointed when offers did not materialize.

    I have been thinking about this a lot lately. With my sister in the hospital going on three weeks I have been away from the office quire a bit, and scattered when I'm here, and my boss is totally supportive. What if I were in a new position six months or less? I'd be in the soup, that's what!

  2. Yep, it's so good that we don't always get our way! I need to remember that when I fuss about anything not being fair or what I want it to be.

    And on a tangent here...your comment about going to get you a girl of your own reminded me of the line from Raising Arizona, "H.I., go in there and get me a toddler." I guess this won't make sense if you've not watched it, but it made me laugh.

    Great post!

  3. Oh yes, I do. Had that past boyfriend been what I prayed he would be, I would not be here in Wisconsin, wife to Ryan, and mother to Lola.

    Of course I did have a few questions about this particular path, such as "Why do I have to forsake everything else, including plumbing, now that my prayers for a family have been answered?" I am chalking that one up to 'mysterious ways'...

  4. Talking about unanswered prayers makes me think of my situation. I had a prayer answered that I didn't even know I was praying for. What I was praying for was a cure for my daughter's two autoimmnune diseases. What did I get? A new career in health and wellness. Now not only is Elizabeth doing so much better but what we learned is helping hundreds of other people that I never would have know otherwise. What a blessing this has been in my life and of course in Elizabeth's too.
    BTW - Love Raising Arizona!

  5. My favorite thing about unanswered prayers is being able to look back and see how it all came together--always better than I ever could have imagined!

  6. Shelly just took the words out of my mouth! Great post!

  7. It's hard to know exactly which ones are unanswered prayers, but I am with you on the daily practice of contentment for sure.

  8. What a great post and an excellent question.

    Yes. I am thankful that when I prayed for money in my 20's that I didn't get it. I'm thankful that I learned some lessons the hard way so that when the money does come later, I'll appreciate it and be careful with it.

  9. Oh yes GG, I see that ex boyfriend of yours and think "Thank God GG let that one loose!"

    Unanswered prayers...didn't get job in the school district I live in..if I would have, I my job would have been eliminated this past spring..

  10. I thought I wanted a daughter too. Now hearing some of the things my friends with daughters are going through, I really think I have it easy. I think I was made to be a 'boy-mom'.

    That is true you don't really realize which prayers are unanswered or why until you look back a few years.

  11. I'm thankful that I can stay home with our kids - but I totally miss teaching kickboxing aerobics - it was just so much fun

  12. As pretty much anyone who knows me (or reads my blog) knows, contentment is a struggle for me. I accept that there is a *reason* why my Big Two (happy marriage and motherhood) have so far gone unanswered...but I have trouble coming to terms with the fact that they may always go unanswered.

    I am very, very slowly becoming comfortable with waiting, with God's time. His plans for me are so much better than mine, I just have to keep reminding myself to "be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him". (Ps. 37:7)

  13. I still can't figure out whether we're supposed to pray to be happy with what we have ("Thy will be done") or pray to change God's mind ("faith to move mountains"), so I don't really ask favors.

    It disturbs me when people give God credit for the good things that happen, but not for the bad. Really, you got the promotion because God wanted you to? But someone else didn't get that same promotion because God didn't want them to? Or because they didn't have enough faith?

    How do you explain a losing season in Notre Dame football?

    I let God be.

  14. Funny thing: with the advent of the Boy's birth,I became convinced that I was a Boy Mom. There would be a sweet trio or quartet of rough and tumble little fellows who would grow to be fine gentlemen under the mister's and my parenting. *cough*
    I so hoped to one day retire in our First House. Imagine my surprise at the blessings found in this new place that is so utterly Home.
    The unanswered prayers to keep my children by my side have been great blessings to them and to us all--- however challenging the periods of separation are for a Mama's heart.

  15. Mom on the Verge - a fellow Notre Dame football fanatic (I mean fan). Bless your heart! I was literally just uploading a picture to Facebook of the last ND game we went to. What happy memories. Go Irish! (btw- I don't want other football fans to take this wrong but I'm still convinced that God is on our side!)


Spill it, reader.