Tender Mercy #10: a need met

There is a hymn with the line, “Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire, uttered or unexpressed . . .” Often we do need to go through the formality of asking, but I like how the song refers also to those unexpressed prayers–our deepest wishes perceived by a loving God.

Though I have had specific prayers answered, I’m not saying things always turn out rosy for me. Sometimes things go like I hope and plan, other times not. (Like there was the time I took off another volunteer mom’s bumper in the school parking lot prior to a class field trip–but that’s a story for another post. . . .) My faith is not contingent upon a constant feed of divinely orchestrated moments or perfectly packaged outcomes. And yet, by the mere fact that even sometimes I distinctly feel God’s help and blessings, this does build my faith. There have been specific times when I’ve had a need–even without realizing it or praying about it–and that need has been perfectly met. If you think about it, I bet you can recall times like this too.

Now for some examples:

  • Before traveling for residency interviews, it began to dawn on me that I’d need a double stroller to navigate the airport with a baby and toddler (this was back in the day when clunky strollers were allowed in airports!). I hadn’t even begun to brainstorm about where I could get one, but as I walked through my neighborhood, a lady I barely knew dashed out of her house and told me she had a double stroller for me. She was pregnant with her second baby and had found a stroller at a yard sale. She said, “I can’t even use it for months, but I’ve been thinking of you and wanted to lend it to you until I need it.” I had barely acknowledged this need to myself and had not yet prayed over it, but the blessing was right there. It gave me the assurance that God would be with me in other ways too, as I faced the difficult task of residency interviews, residency itself, and balancing all that comes with being a mom.
  •  Once our freezer stopped fully freezing ice cream (basically, a minor emergency!) and we didn’t have money for a new one. It made me concerned that possibly other foods were not being kept at safe temperatures. That same week our next door neighbor called to ask if we happened to need a new fridge/freezer. She was getting married and in merging two households they’d have an extra. Another time we needed a new bathroom sink. Just after having done the preliminary browsing to pick one out, we saw a nearly identical sink on the curb with a “free” sign. It was used, but it was perfect.
  • I could go on, but instead, what about you? When have you had a personal need met?

Are these miracles? It has been said that, “There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.”* Maybe some good things just happen, but all goodness derives from God. All goodness has a divine fingerprint. Miracles and mercies are part of the evidence that God is there.

*Some attribute this quote to Albert Einstein, but whoever said it gave us something to think about!

Happy Mother’s Day!! And the video contest winner is . . .

I’m sharing my Mother’s Day wishes now because on the actual day, I just want to quietly savor my family (and I hope the same for you!). First of all, I want to give you and all women out there permission to really have a happy Mother’s Day. A hearty celebration on Mother’s Day (or any day) has no prerequisites. Happiness in this very moment does not require perfection of us, our children, our our circumstance. I, for one, am going to accept any crayon-traced handprints, wildflowers from the backyard, job coupons (that may or may not ever be redeemed), best-mommy awards, love notes, or homemade treats wholeheartedly despite having no claims to perfection as a mother.

This is our special day as women to receive some extra thanks for the mothering and nurturing we do, so let us be gracious about it! A blog post I read recently acknowledged how we sometimes vacillate between the “good mom/bad mom” extremes as we characterize our parenting efforts. This dichotomy is unnecessary and inaccurate. In reality, we are dedicated moms who are developing  and learning and growing alongside our children.

A friend of mine recently faced life-threatening complications following the delivery of her 4th son. She acknowledged that her focus quickly changed from the “good mom/bad mom” question, to the simple wish to just “be there”–period. She wanted the gift of watching her children grow and being there with them. Her insight inspires me to let go of my constant self-evaluation and gently replace it with appreciation.

This is my first Mother’s Day without my own mom around, so there may be tears amid the celebration. My posts keep being about my mom, though I keep telling myself, “This is supposed to be a parenting website!!” But our day-to-day parenting is so wrapped into our underlying emotional experience; right now my life is about processing and coming to terms with the loss of my mother. I just ran across an amazing book entitled, “Motherless Daughters” by Hope Edelman (she also wrote another called “Motherless Mothers,” which I’d also like to take a look at).

OK! Now for the moment you have been waiting for . . . (drum roll) . . .

The 2017 Video Contest Winner is: “Journey of Motherhood” submitted by Elicia

In this video, Elicia captures her mothering journey, which involves joyful moments she has shared with her children, as well as the loss and sadness of losing a baby. Though Elicia acknowledged that she has not had a mother involved in her life, she honors her grandmothers (who both recently passed away)–one who helped raise her and the other who taught her she could be happy and upbeat despite the difficulties of life. Elicia’s video spoke to me because it shows the richness of her experience–both joys and sorrows.

Here are pictures of Elicia with her grandmothers.


Thank you, Elicia, for sharing your beautiful video! I hope you enjoy the yummy fruit bouquet that is coming your way 🙂