But amidst the chaos and exhaustion that feels like a lead weight dragging me to the bottom of the pool, I started to see a little more clearly.
As we began to tumble deeper into our pit of toddler and baby fatigue, news seemed to be crashing in from every direction about pandemonium breaking out around the world. From the most recent Gaza War, the massacres in Iraq, the upheaval of Ferguson, Mo., the loss of our favorite actor that made us laugh in these dark times, to so many friends who seem to be battling one thing or another right now.
It can be overwhelming, depressing, terrifying. But in the thick of all of this, we have to make a choice.
We can choose to block it out, pretend it doesn't exist, move on with our day before we get upset.
We can choose to take action. If you don't know how to go about making a difference, start with some of these simple yet effective ideas:
- Write a letter to Congress. Don't know how? This article will show you.
- Donate to one of these organizations on the ground in Iraq that are making a difference right now.
- Pray. And pray. And pray some more.
On Sunday evening several of us gathered at church to pray together over the situation in Iraq because it was heavy on our hearts. There is something powerful, encouraging, enlightening and moving when everyone takes turns praying out loud in a group of people.
"For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” -Matthew 18:20
My sweet friend, Danielle, made an agenda for our prayer time so we could be wise and intentional in how we prayed. It was very helpful for me to direct and focus my prayers outside of the group as well. I want to share it with you in hopes that it will help you, too. Reformat it for the appropriate people or issue that is heavy on your heart. Invite other people to join you.
- Worship, thanksgiving, and asking for God's will
"Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." -Matthew 6:10
- Prayer for the persecuted church and others afflicted
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." -Matthew 5:4
- Prayer for the ISIS- justice, conviction and conversions
"Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" -Matthew 5:44
- Prayer for the response of the church worldwide
"In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." -Matthew 5:16
- Prayer for the preparedness of His people for the times ahead
"but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect" -1 Peter 3:15
As I started writing this blog, I opened another window on my computer to search for something and found shear JOY! I stumbled upon this article: "Joy in U.S. at News That Yazidi Plight Is Easing"
This is so excited because this is a specific group I have praying for as my heart was burdened for the people stranded on the mountains. But supplies have been received and protectors have been escorting THOUSANDS of refugees to safety! Praise God that He hears and answers our prayers! There is still much to pray for and the battle will be long, but it is encouraging to see prayers being directly answered. It gives me hope and faith that other prayers we lift up will be answered as well, even if we don't see it in a news article.
I have been up for the better part of every night this week. But as tired as it's made me, it's also provided me time and perspective. As I pray worried mommy prayers over my little ones in the darkness of night, my thoughts quickly turn to those with little ones that have had to flee in a moment's notice. As I worry about my kids not getting a full night's rest, I pray for the moms whose laps are their child's pillow and whose arms are their child's only shelter.
I think about how desperate and scared I would feel in their shoes. And I realize that is exactly how we should pray for them, as if we are in their very shoes.