Do you ever worry? A friend once shared with me something I have never forgotten.

“Worry is a lack of prayer,”  she would say. This was after our family’s house fire in 2001. I marinated in that for quite a while.

Some may say that the root of prayer is anxiety, but I realized long ago that I pray because I trust…

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

For about three weeks now I have been awakened in the middle of night. I get up, make myself a cup of hot tea (in one of the pretty mugs my family and friends have given me). I am huge tea drinker. As much as I love the flavor of tea I really enjoy the comforting ritual of drinking tea —
I enjoy the quiet time. I sit quietly, with warm mug or tea cup in hand, and sip on one of my favorite flavors — Chai, Earl Grey or Lady Grey. I’m a wild one, I know!

For several nights I have sat in the stillness of our keeping room, as I felt the need to pray. As I sat there with my warm mug in hand, I began to trust in the Lord rather than be anxious. I prayed and prayed and prayed, which means we basically sat there and chatted. Well actually, I chatted and God bless Him… (I just blessed God :))… He listened. My family and friends know how that works. I talk. They listen… smile.

As I sat in the stillness of my keeping room I experienced an anxious feeling about my family. Everyone was safely tucked away in the comforts of their  beds. I couldn’t shake the feeling however. I continued to pray for their health and safety. I prayed for extended family members and friends as well. There in the middle of the night I sat up. I have been so incredibly busy lately that I have not even had time to realize that something was burdening me. I guess it was due to the stillness of the night that I realized something was burdening me. I began to pray even harder, all the while thanking God for His grace, mercy and protection.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

A few days later my mother called to tell me that my sister and niece were in a car accident. An older woman had ran a red light and hit them on the driver’s side. With the exception of soreness, they were okay. I was very thankful.

With thanksgiving, God and I had one of our many daily fireside chats.

Here we go again!

During the next few days, I found that anxious feeling still within me. I trusted. I prayed.

On Wednesday morning, I kissed my son goodbye as he headed out to work, then my sweet hubby as he headed out for a business trip and finally my youngest son as he headed out to class.

So much has been going on: my son’s upcoming wedding, making big decisions about Cooking with Elise which has kept us all very busy and it feels as though this once-homeschooling family is now in eighteen different directions. We were spoiled once upon a time. What remains the same for us, even in the midst of so many changes, is that family and faith is the foundation that keeps us connected.

With Mike out of town, Nate helping Amanda unpack and put together things in their soon-to-be home and Alex busy at work, I called my good friend MJ who has been prompting me to get the dress for my son’s wedding which is, well, a little over a month from now…

Off MJ and I went.  I thankfully found my dress but not before griping about how much I disliked shopping. I quickly turned to MJ who also disliked shopping and realized that I wasn’t just shopping. I wasn’t just looking for any old thing. I was shopping for my son’s wedding!

An excitement entered my heart and I began to gain a sense of enjoyment as we discussed his wedding and his new life to come. I suddenly did not mind trying 50 dresses which felt sort of like a workout. You know what I am talking about! We found the perfect dress.

After returning home at around 8:30 pm, I made a cup of tea for myself and called my hubby to say goodnight before he got ready for bed. ‘The boys should be home soon’, I thought.

Shortly after 9:00 pm my eldest son called. He told me that he was in a very bad car accident. After missing his turn coming home he ended up on an unfamiliar road with a very sharp turn. He hit two trees which actually kept him from driving over a 20-foot cliff which would have ultimately landed him onto a highway.

He sounded a little shaken up but okay. He was composed more than I surely would have been. He didn’t know where he was. His phone battery was very low and he had little time to talk to me or to find his location on his phone. After calling 9-1-1, my good friends and neighbors and I headed out to find him. With 9-1-1’s help we found him on a very dark road and his car which was totaled. Both airbags had deployed, the passenger window had been blown out and the entire front end was not only damaged but detached from his vehicle. A ride to the ER completed our evening and we were back at home safely by 2:00 am. A little while later, we both said goodnight as we embraced (we hugged each harder than usual) and off to bed we went. I went off to sleep thankful…

I awoke the next morning with the most grateful heart! I kissed both my son’s goodbye and wished my hubby a good day over the phone.

This weekend my son purchased a beautiful white Toyota Camry and his future wife had her bridal portraits taken.

Thank you God for your grace, mercy and protection!

Beautiful butterfly photograph taken by Inspirational Creations by Deb Forster.