wpid-20150716_161940.jpgFirst of all I want to thank Lindsay over at Between Hallowed Breaths for the inspiration for this series. I read her post and felt drawn to uncover my own search for these moments that really escape my notice most of the time. I try to practice being present in the moment with my family and my God but the necessities of life come crashing through my day and motherly commitments overtake my intentions. Daily I pray and strive to abide with God and daily I fail. Currently I am slowly reading through The Way of the Pilgrim and learning to live with the Jesus Prayer taught in the book. I only get through one or two pages a day sometimes maybe half a page. Through this thirty-day challenge I found myself turning to the Jesus Prayer for comfort and as a hook to remain in the moment seeking “the Holy Ordinary in the wholly ordinary” moments of my life.

breakfast with Batman
breakfast with Batman

I accepted this challenge without thought…just jumped into the waters…both feet forward. I’ve lived my entire life that way. When I feel the Spirit move me I just jump…sometimes into heartbreaking tragedy and other times endless joy. Trusting Jesus with abandon is the only way to live…for me anyway. I’ve always had faith in Him…even as a child. My earthly father taught me there is no god. Despite my father’s beliefs and numerous beatings to prove his point my faith never wavered. Faith is a gift from God above…why He graced me with such a gift I will never understand. I am grateful because this gift has sustained me through the darkest hours of my life and made the bright moments of my life all the more beautiful.

I’ve been through hell and bliss with Him and He has never abandoned me.

my husband and Middle Boy at Hutchen's BBQ
my husband and Middle Boy at Hutchen’s BBQ

The night I accepted this challenge my husband had left on his own life changing pilgrimage. He had left the part of the world he called “home” to interview for new career opportunities. I knew the potential for life changing events was well in hand. My husband received an offer but not for the job he really wanted. He was so disappointed when the offer he wanted did not come. I was overwhelmed with his disappointment. I wept for my husband. A man needs good work…work he loves. As I cried for my husband I asked the Lord to give him the job he really wanted. I told Jesus how much my husband sacrificed for me and our children. Couldn’t he for once have what he wanted? Please Lord! And teach us to accept Your Will with joy in our hearts. I end all of my prayers asking for joy to accept His Will for my life.

at Uncle D's birthday celebration
at Uncle D’s birthday celebration

God answered my prayer. When the job offer my husband wanted came I offered prayers of thanksgiving. I was not surprised only grateful that God heard me. I thanked my God for answering my prayer. I also thanked Him for my husband and for guiding my husband to share his heart with me so I would know how to pray for him. I also thanked God for this opportunity to pray big for my husband…to ask for his dream and see it happen. I thanked God for giving me the kind of faith that can pray big dreams and expect answers.

This thirty days saw amazing changes in our family’s life. Despite all the big other than ordinary changes taking place, I took the time to concentrate on the everyday beautiful moments. My

convergence of Ohio and Kentucky Rivers
convergence of Ohio and Kentucky Rivers

children are growing into amazing people. I have the privilege of watching them grow. I learned I need to take time each day to see and appreciate who they are at this moment. These moments I have with them are fleeting and in an instant will be gone forever. I am so incredibly blessed at this time to be their mother and guide in life. Each day, once passed is lost to the mists of history. I must grasp each day and live it beautifully with my family…intentionally in this moment. Be here, right here, right now…that is what I learned with this thirty-day challenge.

I think I should do this again…sometime next year.