You'd think this would be pretty obvious by now...

...but I suppose we all need reminding.  All the time.  Every stinkin' day of my life.

"I have so much to do today that I shall have to spend the first three hours in prayer."  [Martin Luther]

Last night in a moment of anxiety (okay, lots of consecutive moments), I told Dan, "I just need a babysitter.  I want a babysitter so I can mop.  I want a babysitter so I can write.  I want a babysitter so I can exercise.  I want a babysitter so I can plan small group, I want a babysitter so I can SIT and paint my toenails. "

I felt the pressure of a Girls Night to plan (which involves quite a bit of cleaning, baking, and uninterrupted prayer time - right.)  I felt the pressure of roughly 20 people to get back to via email/facebook, dinners to plan, etc.  I won't bore you with the details of my life, (I know that trying to explain the burden of housework tends to make non-stay-at-home moms roll their eyes -  because I did it too).    Suffice to say that I was anxious - the kind you feel in the pit of your stomach.  Somethings gotta give.

So this morning my prayer was, "God, give me grace in parenting.  Do not allow me to punish Madeline with a dull, unfair day for my anxiety and unpreparedness.  Remind me that she is my precious one; show me opportunities to give her my undivided attention - teach me to mother her today - give me grace and wisdom in parenting."

Next on the docket: "God, I recognize that I am not the leader of girls night.  I am a servant to you, and a servant to the girls that come here.  My only job is to provide them with the tools, the environment, to grow closer to you.  This evening does not rise and fall on me - it rises and falls on You.  (Thank God!)  Please bless tonight.  But I'm also not above begging - please give me time today to do all the things I have rolling around in my head - it would just be so cool and fun!  Thanks for the opportunity to serve you - help me to be a good steward of my time and my talent - You've given me this thing to plan - so let me plan it with excellence!"

And here I sit, at 2:49 in the afternoon, with time to BLOG!?!?  Yes.

Let me be clear - God did not grant me "more time" - obviously.  That is ridiculous.  Neither did He give me less to do.  He did not send help, still no babysitter.

But that is all sort of irrelevant.  Because, as it has wisely been said before, prayer is not about getting a hold of the answer; it is about getting a hold of God.  And prayer is certainly not about changing the mind of God, or even about changing our circumstances - prayer changes US.

Do not underestimate the importance of beginning your day in prayer - not lazy prayer either - real prayer.  If you've never done it before, give it a shot!  You've got virtually nothing to lose, and bunches to gain.

This morning - I loved Madeline, in action.  We played, we chased each other around the house, danced to her favorite songs.  She "helped" me make lunch, put away dishes.  We read FIVE books.  She giggled and smiled and amazed me with all the insane cuteness.  She was not white noise in the background of frantic Girls Night preparation.

There is tremendous freedom to live, really live, when everything in life is in it's proper order.  It is the difference between "making it" and "thriving."  I never want to merely exist.  And I will say it again - there is such freedom to revel in the things that matter when Christ is the center, where everything begins.  I reveled in Jesus this morning - and it is a magnificent, peaceful, fulfilling feeling.  I reveled in my husband and daughter next - they are my gift, my blessing, and certainly my priority.  And tonight I will revel in ministry - in serving the girls of BBC.

*sigh* It's going to be awesome!  :)

And I'll throw this in here for good measure:

"Action without prayer is arrogance; Prayer without action is hypocrisy."  [Jose Zayas]