Insomniac Prayers

My Momma’s Daddy was a prayer warrior, and developed the habit of praying for his family, each one individually, including his children’s spouses, and their children, and their children’s children.  He confessed to my Mom in his later years that he often fell asleep mid prayer, but would just resume when he woke up, and finish as much as he could before falling asleep again.  I can totally understand as he had nine children, many who had large families themselves.  He was an example of perseverance in prayer, even in his drowsiness.

My Momma received this legacy and built on it.  She would list her children’s names, and their spouses, and our children’s names, and our children’s children, and even some of her grandchildren’s children…and she would pray through her list.

I find myself doing a combination of the two.  I’ve been working on my prayer journal, and will be posting pics as I continue to get it up and running, but I wanted to get these thoughts down, as the Lord gave me a beautiful treasure from Old Testament Scripture.  I suspect the prophet Jeremiah had similar habits, as he instructs:

“Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches! Pour out your heart like water before thepresence of the Lord! Lift your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint for hunger at the head of every street.  Jeremiah 2:19

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The best cornbread recipe EVER

Cooking in my little kitchen today: Homemade chili con carne and this wonderful cornbread! Yummmmmmm!

New Things

Girls, write this one down, and keep it.  You won’t find a better cornbread recipe from scratch.

They say that necessity is the mother of all inventions (or in my own words; “necessity is a mother”), and I believe it’s true.  When I had a large grocery budget, I would pick up “the best” cornbread mix from the shelves, Marie Calender’s.  But when cooking from scratch became a necessity, I found this recipe online that rivals my favorite mix, and wins hand’s down in the competition.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups cornmeal (I picked up the cheapest bag available, I don’t think brands matter much, cornmeal is cornmeal is cornmeal, imho)
  • 2.5 cups milk
  • 2 cups all purpose white flour
  • 1 TBSP baking soda
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 400*

Soak cornmeal in milk for five minutes  (I like to think this…

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On earth as it is in heaven

I love this time of year.  Next to Lent/Easter, Advent/Christmas is my favorite time of year!

I was introducing my granddaughters to the cast of the Christmas story, using my nativity scene.  We don’t have baby Jesus out yet, but for now, I focused with them on the message that the angel brought to Mary, that she would have a baby, even though she didn’t have a husband, and that the Holy Spirit would put that baby, the Son of God, into Mary’s belly…and how Mary said yes, and obeyed God even when it challenged her reason.

We talked about the manger, and how it is a place where the animals come to be fed, and how when Jesus was born, Mary laid him in that manger.  These girls are 3 and 4, so Jesus being the bread of Life is a little over their heads for now, but we will make that connection in time, I’m sure.  Anyway…it was fun seeing how much I could communicate the Christmas story without the words right in front of me…if you want to know if you understand a certain topic, or narrative, try telling it to a 4yo in your own words.

Their attention span is not long (whew!) so, I didn’t get to the part (yet) where Jesus was born, and the angels sang, but I was thinking about it after they went to sleep.  I made a new connection that I had never ever noticed before.

Where had I heard that…”in the highest…and on earth”, it was familiar, but it took me a minute to recollect:  the Lord’s prayer, of course.  Remember my retreat here last year?  I talked about how the Lord’s prayer alluded to the communion of the saints, or at least, it put me in mind of it.  He taught us to pray for His Father’s will to be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.  Well…before Jesus prayed that prayer, the angels proclaimed it to be so!

Glory to God in the highest
(Hallowed be thy name)
Peace among men with whom He is pleased
(thy kingdom come, thy will be done),
in the highest and on earth
(on earth as it is in heaven).

Do you see it?

Mind.
Blown.

A New Name

My sister shared this song with me years ago that I will not forget.  When she first sang it to me, I knew the Lord was speaking the words to my heart, but I had no idea how long the valley would be through which He would guide me.  The song brings to mind the Sunday School lessons of Abram, Sarai, Jacob, and Saul as I contemplate my own name change, which Isaiah prophesied would be “My delight is in her”.

I will change your name.  You shall no longer be called “Wounded”, “Outcast”, “Lonely”, or “Afraid”.

I will change your name, your new name shall be “Confidence”, “Joyfulness”, “Overcoming one”; “Faithfulness”, “Friend of God”, one who seeks My face.

I wanted so badly at that point to have my name changed.  I wanted to see myself as God saw me; confident, full of joy, faithful, instead of how I felt others saw me, and how I was beginning to view myself; easily intimidated, afraid of confrontation or correction, and alone.  Life continued on, and I remembered this song, but didn’t know what to do with it anymore, it seemed like my name was just my name, and that this song wasn’t for me.

That was all years ago.  Then, this week, in an effort to reconnect with my long forgotten blog, I found a post I had started titled “A New Name” with the following excerpt from Scripture:

IS 62

1 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet,
Until her righteousness goes forth like brightness,
And her salvation like a torch that is burning.
2 The nations will see your righteousness,
And all kings your glory;
And you will be called by a new name
Which the mouth of the LORD will designate.
3 You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD,
And a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
4 It will no longer be said to you, “Forsaken,”
Nor to your land will it any longer be said, “Desolate”;
But you will be called, “My delight is in her,
And your land, “Married”;
For the LORD delights in you,
And to Him your land will be married.
11 Behold, the LORD has proclaimed to the end of the earth,
Say to the daughter of Zion, “Lo, your salvation comes;
Behold His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him.”
12 And they will call them, “The holy people,
The redeemed of the LORD”;
And you will be called, “Sought out, a city not forsaken.”

Of course it brought to mind the song, and all the old thoughts I had about who I am, how I see myself, and how God sees me.    I felt that God was going to teach me about this, so I went on a bunny trail of looking up my first and middle names, to see what they mean.  I already knew that my first name meant “beautiful” in Spanish…I had a Spanish kindergarten teacher who told me so.  I looked up my middle name, and there are two meanings; The first is “Lively One”, but the second is from a variant of the Hebrew name “Abigail”, which means “Father’s joy”, or “gives joy”…and when I saw it, I literally was brought to tears…because, look…see for yourself verses 3 and 4.

It says that I will be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord…and I will be called “my delight is in her” (Father’s joy?)

…that’s already my name!  I have been called “beautiful joy of the Father” even before I was born and named so by my earthly parents.  I have not always responded positively or rightly to those names given me.  I have believed that who I am is connected to how others see me, or as I see myself, instead of how God sees me.  Believing the enemy’s lie, I have worn his counterfeit name tags “Unattractive”, “Wounded”, “Afraid”, and “Loser”, instead of the truth.

Maybe God is not changing my name in the way that He did for Abram and Sarai, Jacob or Saul…maybe for me, God is changing the lies I have believed about who I am, and what I aim to accomplish. Maybe it’s not about changing my given name at all.  Maybe He is removing the name tags that I have chosen to wear, and giving me His…the name He already gave me, so that I can also be called “Redeemed”.