Summer is so bittersweet for us moms. We can’t wait to finally be free from the hectic school schedule, but we also dread being home – day in and day out with our kids – stripped of the structure that the busy school schedule gave us. We brace ourselves for the first day of summer, and then we’re forced to dive right in!
I actually started this blog 3 weeks ago today – on Monday, June 8th– our first official day of summer. Summer swung into motion with no mercy for this mother of five. By noon of that first day, I had already made 5 car trips (that’s 10 times in the carJ). And crazily, that was only for one child and a grocery run. Hello, summer.
My days have pretty much gone that way ever since.
So I started this blog, but it’s taken me three weeks to finish it. The reason?
I took the summer plunge, and I’ve barely had time to come up for air.
So how do we moms normally tackle the madness of the summer crazies head on?
√ – Hang the chore lists.
√ – Roll out the list of to-dos the kids have to accomplish before earning their precious screen time, time with friends, or whatever else they want to do.
√ – Sign ‘em up for camps – church camps, sports camps, art camps, music camps, VBS, mission trips, vacations… whatever we’ve scheduled to bring some semblance of order, activity and routine into their lives, and ours.
We long for the freedom summer offers, but we desperately need routine to maintain our sanity in the midst of it all!
As human persons, we thrive on rhythms in our day. We need order and structure. Our kids do too. The very physiology of our bodies proves it. Our skeleton. Our bones. Without that structure built within us, we simply wouldn’t have the freedom to run, and jump and play. The very structure within us doesn’t bind us, it frees us.
But there’s a fundamental structure and rhythm to our daily existence that often gets overlooked, lost in the hustle of activity, or perhaps just excused away. And that’s the rhythm of prayer.
We plan for tons of activities in the summer, but quite often – we fail to plan for prayer. And perhaps summer is the season when we need that rhythm the most.
One of my prayer warrior mom heroes embraces her summer in a very intentional way, with a very intentional plan for prayer. And more importantly, she lives her life as a mom in a very intentional way.
For years this mom has battled the craziness and chaos of not only summer, but life in general, by embracing a daily commitment and rhythm of prayer. So much so that she has written a litany of books entitled “The Power of a Praying… “ Fill in the blank – Woman, Parent, Wife, Husband, Teen, even Kid. Her list of book titles goes on and on.
Her name is Stormie Omartian. A few years ago, one of my dear friends gave me Stormie’s book “The Power of a Praying Parent”.
I will never forget reading that book – I remember the night like it was yesterday. Propped up on my bed against my pillows, I became instantly engrossed from the very first page and quickly arrived at page 20. There I read the story of what Stormie did every summer…
“…once a year, when we went to the beach for our family vacation, I used those cherished early morning hours before anyone else was up to spend time with God making a master prayer list. I would sit and gaze out over the ocean, pencil and paper in hand, and ask God to show me how to pray for each child over the next twelve months. After all, He was the only one who truly knew what each child needed and what challenges they would face in the future. The Bible says, ‘The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him.’ (Psalm 25:14) He reveals things to us when we ask. God always met me there with good instructions, and I came home with prayer lists for each of my children. Then, throughout the year, I added to them whenever I needed to do so.” (The Power of a Praying Parent)
After I read that paragraph, I closed the book, set it down beside me and said to myself with unforgettable conviction and determination, “I want to do that! I want to make a personalized prayer list for each one of my kids, and for my husband!”
Stormie’s story became part of my story, because at that moment, a fire was lit inside of me to begin praying for my family like I had never prayer before.
Never in my life as a wife or mother had I ever done that – prayed specifically and intentionally for my precious children and my beloved husband. And it was time to start.
I wasn’t going on a beach vacation any time soon, but I was determined to sit down and make those master prayer lists. And I wanted those personalized prayer lists to be written in not only an organized place, but a sacred place. A place where I could pour out my heart – my desires, concerns, fears, hopes, dreams; and most importantly, my profound gratitude for the unique beauty of each of their personalities.
And that desire gave birth to what eventually became “A Mother’s Prayer Companion.”
If you’re a mom and you’re reading this, I know you’ve already taken the summer plunge. But this summer, do it differently. Dive in to this summer, by diving in to prayer.
Whether you’ve got one kid, or five; whether you’re stranded at home with babies and toddlers, or flying all over the place with teenagers. No matter what season of motherhood you’re in, let’s face it – it’s hard to find time to pray.
Be intentional. Just do it. Take the summer prayer plunge… and let God plunge you – into a PEACE that the summer crazies can never take away, and a POWER beyond your greatest imaginings.
And though the summer will come to an end, His graces will never end. If you seek Him, you will find Him – and He will plunge you into more than you could ever imagine! (Ephesians 3:20)
“We must begin to believe that God, in the mystery of prayer, has entrusted us with a force that can move the heavenly world, and can bring its power down to earth.” -Andrew Murray