The Surprise Blessing of Desperation — While My Child is Away – Part 2

The Surprise Blessing of Desperation

Imagine sitting across from two of your kids as they describe waking up, floating in a river hours after having been struck by lightning and blown out of their kayaks.

Edie Melson lived that nightmare.

Read the excerpt here if you missed yesterday’s post.

Motivation to Pray

Edie and her husband have raised three boys.

Three boys.

Boys get blown out of kayaks.

They say, “Hey y’all! Watch this!”

Boys are motivation to pray.

I’ll never forget when my son and his friends started their own Fight Club.

They pummeled each other for fun until we parents complained about the broken bones and outlawed it.

I’ve got other stories, but fortunately none involve our son getting thunderbolted out of a kayak.

Edie and I talked about her journey to becoming a prayer warrior and writing her latest prayer book, While My Child is Away: My Prayers for When We Are Apart. 

Her story will encourage and inspire you.


Edie Melson, author of While My Soldier ServesEdie Melson:

I wanted to share my story to empower other people.

I write books on prayer now, but prayer for me didn’t come easily.

I thought I was really bad at it. I felt inadequate, like my prayers weren’t powerful enough to affect anything.

But I knew I had to pray.

The biggest thing was the desperation.

My kids needed prayer, and I couldn’t do anything but pray.

At that point, I didn’t realize that prayer was the best thing—the strongest thing—I could do.

I looked for books on prayers, but they were formal. And they weren’t my emotions.

One morning I called out to God in my quiet time.

The disciples asked You to teach them how to pray. Do it for me, too.

Everywhere I turned for the next six months, information just showed up. Scriptures would appear on billboards.

God finally got through to me that prayer wasn’t about the formality, the words, or the ways. It wasn’t legalistic. 

A huge weight fell off my shoulders. I can do this!

But I still felt awkward.

I began going through Psalms, inserting my children’s names in Scripture.

I began to write them out because I’m easily distracted.

This process of journaling and praying scripture for my children revolutionized my prayer life.

When I finally clued into the fact that the power in prayer didn’t rest in me or my words, it rested in God, the whole world opened to me.

All these prayers that were in me, waiting to come out in just the right way, started flowing because I finally got that it didn’t have to be perfect.

We want our prayers to matter the most with our kids.

Without realizing where the power in prayer comes from, we can dam up our prayers ourselves.

God wants us to be free and able to come to Him without feeling stressed.


The Surprise Blessing of Desperation

Desperation isn’t fun, but it’s a great teacher. It reaches us when logic and reason can’t.

God used desperation to clue me into the power of prayer, too.

With my kids far away, the only real power I still had to impact them was prayer.

Like Edie, I felt a desperate loss of control.

My desperation led to the surprise blessing of peace.

Peace comes whenever we let go of the need to control and choose to trust in and rely on God instead.

Fully trust in and rely on Him.

God knows all our kids’ needs, and He’s always good and faithful to work exactly as He knows best for their good and His glory.

And He knows how to move us from desperation to peace.

One helpful tool is Edie Melson’s Parents Survival Kit.

Enter to win it!

[Read more…]

While My Child is Away (Part 1 — And a Give Away)

Is your child away? Learn how to best pray. While My Child is Away (a book by Edie Melson) Interview by Jean Wilund

Here we go again. Kids scattered around the country.

Is your child away? Learn how to best pray. While My Child is Away (a book by Edie Melson) Interview by Jean WilundLast night Larry and I drove off from Clemson University with an empty U-Haul and without our youngest.

Year two of our empty nest begins. Tweet Tweet.

Every time one of our children flies away, I turn to prayer.

This year I’m turning to prayer and my friend Edie Melson’s new book, While My Child is Away: My Prayers For When We Are Apart.

Edie’s book is a beautiful healing balm and great reminder of the power we hold in our prayer-clasped hands to affect our children’s lives.

Our prayers make a difference whether they sleep in the room at the top of the stairs or lay their heads down 4,677 miles away.

Take a Peek Inside:

 

While My Child Is Away:
My Prayers For When We Are Apart 

by Edie Melson

Three days after I signed the contract for this book, two of my sons went for an afternoon kayak trip on a nearby river. They are fully grown and capable young men—one served in the military and the other has a degree in outdoor leadership. They’re both married, are not novices about the outdoors or about life in general. As experienced outdoorsmen, they don’t ever take unnecessary chances. So the confidence I have in their ability isn’t misplaced. Even with that, I felt a momentary battle of what-if when they told me about their proposed outing. Instead of voicing my fears, I told them to have fun and took my motherly worries to the One who can ensure their safety.

The next day I found out just how close I’d come to losing both sons.

They’d been on the river when a strong thunderstorm moved in with unusual speed. Immediately they headed to shore, but never made it to safety. They woke up three and a half hours later. Both were in the river, separated from their boats and each other. One son was caught on a snag in the middle of the river, the other was lying half-in and half-out of the water on the shore. After they’d found each other—a harrowing ten minutes later, they’d assured me—they assessed the injuries they’d sustained and realized they’d been struck by lightning.

While both are fine, with no lasting damage, this once again reinforced the fact that we never know when our children are headed into a dangerous situation. Whether our kids are headed to first grade, camp, college, or just a day at play, we need to be praying for them. Not just general, “God, please protect my child” prayers, either. We need to invest in a solid set of knee pads and be ready to do battle for them on a daily basis.

That’s what this book is about.

Any time our children are away from us can be a time of anxiety. We can’t always help the emotions that accompany specific situations, but we can always take those emotions to the One who will provide the protection they need and the peace we crave.

 

Parents’ Survival Kit

It’s hard being the parent of a kid who’s out of the reach of our loving kisses. Right? Some of us could use a Parents’ Survival Kit.

On Friday, August 19th I’m giving away just such a kit.

I asked Edie Melson, if she were to create one, what would she put into it.

I love her idea, so I’m creating this Parents’s Survival Kit as a Give Away.

Win:

a signed copy of While My Child is Away,

a fabulous journal, and 

a framed copy of Isaiah 65:24.

Is your child away? Learn how to best pray & enter to win this book. While My Child is Away (a book by Edie Melson) Interview by Jean Wilund

I’ll announce the winner in Friday’s blog post.

Will it be you?

How Can You Win?

Oh, so many ways to win!

1. Leave a comment = one entry (You may comment once each day.)

2. Subscribe to my blog = two entries

If you’ve already subscribed, leave a comment and let me know. You’ll automatically receive three entries — one for commenting and two for subscribing.

3. Tweet out each day’s tweet = one entry (Located online at the end of each blog post)

4. Share my Facebook post = one entry

Comment, Tweet, and Share the post on Facebook each day and rack up entries for a better chance to win.

I’m Praying for You

If your child is away, I know how you feel. I’m praying for all of you this week.

If you have something specific you want me to pray, leave a comment or email me. I’m honored to pray for you and your child(ren).

Maybe you’ll want to pray this prayer I prayed last night as Larry and I drove off with our empty UHaul: [Read more…]

My Lighthouse: Because a Stubby Nightlight Just Won’t Do

Seriously? We need a lighthouse not a nightlight! John 8.12 & My Lighthouse by Rend Collective via www.JeanWilund.com

 

Lighthouse or Nightlight?


I just spent a fabulous week in Cape Cod. So much beauty.

But seriously?

Some of their lighthouses are so stubby they seem more like a nightlight than a lighthouse.

My husband laughed and said it’s as if their lighthouses are barely whispering, “We’re over here.”

If I’m sailing in troubled seas, a stubby nightlight just won’t do.

A Drowning Woman


Early one morning, while Jesus taught in the Temple, t
he Pharisees and Scribes tossed a drowning woman at Jesus’ feet.

They’d caught her swimming in someone else’s waters, and now she was treading in a sea of trouble. 

Like a puny nightlight that can’t even protect our toes in the dark, the leaders revealed only partial truth. They reminded Jesus that the Law commanded anyone caught in adultery be stoned.  

Actually, they told Him, “Moses commanded us to stone such women.” They twisted the truth and spared the guilty man.

 

SOS: Stoning Or Salvation


After Jesus heard the woman’s accusers, He stooped down and wrote in the dirt.

Unimpressed, or maybe confused, the accusers pressed Jesus to condemn the woman. 

Jesus simply straightened up like a towering Lighthouse and said:

“He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Grace, love, and truth screamed through the darkness and offered salvation.

Then Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dirt again.

What did He write?

Scripture? 

The names of women these leaders would recognize in an incriminating way?

Who knows? But the impact can’t be missed.

One by one the leaders slithered off. 

The older men probably had more stone-able secrets they wished to keep hidden, so they scuttled off first. 

Flip Flopped


After Jesus spelled it out for them, their anticipated judgment flip flopped. 

The “righteous” men saw the Light and walked off, judged by their sins

The guilty woman saw the same Light and remained, saved from her sins.

Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?”

She said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”

The men could’ve fallen at Jesus’ feet and received the same salvation she did.

Instead, they preferred to slip off and drown in judgment rather than bow to Christ.

Safe To Shore


Jesus didn’t tell the guilty woman, “Go, and sin no more” and then He’d bring her safe to shore.

Nope. He gave her a full pardon upfront.

My Lighthouse Child Holds a LighthouseI’ve tread in many a troubled seas.

Sometimes I never saw the craggy cliff. Blind or careless, I slipped and fell off.

Other times I dove off headfirst.

And still other times, I was pushed.

It doesn’t matter how we got into trouble.

Jesus is a towering Lighthouse of salvation for all — the blind, the careless, the victim, and, yes, even the culprit.

Then Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world;
he who follows Me will not walk in darkness,
but will have the Light of life
(John 8:12, NASB).

We all make it safe to shore, free of guilt, if we look to Christ — our Lighthouse — and follow Him.

My Lighthouse by Rend Collective


As I read John 8:1-12, I couldn’t help but think of Rend Collective’s song My Lighthouse

I’ve featured Rend Collective before, but If you’re not familiar with this fun Irish band, I’m thrilled to introduce you to them.

They present God’s life-changing truth in their own quirky style.

Enjoy: [Read more…]

Orlando, I’m so sorry! 6 Ways We Can Respond Better.

Orlando, I'm Sorry! 6 Ways We Can Respond Better via www.jeanwilund.com

Orlando, I’m so sorry!

I’m sorry for what you’ve gone through. And I’m sorry for the many horrible reactions you’ve endured. We can respond better.

In fact, there are at least six ways we can respond better to tragedy, but first let’s briefly review the horrors that descended upon Orlando this past week. [Read more…]

Five Truths To Know When The Days Get Darker

5 Truth to Know When the Days Get Darker. #Christ #Light via www.JeanWilund.com

It’s an eerie feeling standing in pitch black hundreds of feet underground. 

God bless coal miners. 

I visited an old mine in England several years ago. At the bottom, our guide told us to turn off our helmet lamps. 

Sometimes the only way we see our true need for light is to experience how dark the darkness is.

A single flicker of light would’ve broken the blackness enveloping us. But it took all of us turning our headlamps off to surround us in pitch black.

When our days get darker — and they will — here are five truths we need to know: [Read more…]

small boat. Big Storm. Sleeping Jesus?

Need help in the storms of life? Ever feel like you're in a small boat, big storm and Jesus is asleep? Traci Burns understands and has a message of hope.

I’m thankful to my dear friend Traci Burns for sharing more of God’s story in their lives. [Read more…]

When Our Dreams Shatter & God Doesn’t Move, We Will TRUST IN YOU (by Lauren Daigle)

When Our Dreams Shatter and God Doesn't Move, We Will TRUST IN YOU (music video by Lauren Daigle) via www.JeanWilund.com

I’m going to a friend’s funeral today.

Cancer.

I hate cancer.

Ten years ago this May, my mom died of cancer.

I lost my dad three years later. Not to cancer, but something else hideous and destructive.

God didn’t move the mountains I needed Him to move. He didn’t part the waters I wanted Mom, Dad and our friend Kyle to walk through.

But I will trust in Him.

Two days after Mom’s funeral, I sat beside Dad. Our shoulders slumped with grief. Dad stared at the floor, fighting tears and hopelessness. 

I cried out to God. “Why did You leave us here without Mom? You know Dad’s health is not well. What will he do?”

The answer immediately came to my heart. [Read more…]

Life Is a Daring Adventure ~ Take It On! (Praise Picture)

 

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. (Helen Keller) Trust God and take life on. (Ephesians 3:20) via www.Jeanwilund.com

He had no fear.

The bodyboarder on the island of Kauai had no fear — or perhaps no sense.

He stood on the beach doggedly waiting for only the biggest waves before he charged recklessly into them.

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.
-Helen Keller

Some of us stand before crashing waves and see only terror. Others see a daring adventure.

As I took the bodyboarder’s picture, I belonged firmly to the former crowd.

I stood safely out of reach of the waves on the cool sand.

But what if I couldn’t fail? [Read more…]