I'm sitting outside on my mom's deck, enjoying the peace, the breeze, the summer air, the hum of distant traffic, the rumble of trains, the scent of honeysuckle, and the company of my friends online.
Thank you for summer nights. And decks. And stars. And chairs with cushions. And orange hoodies. And friends who walk n talk and journey alongside.
Thank you for the internet and connections that are real and lovely and deep. Thank you for people who can talk with their fingers on keyboards. Thank you for language and communication and relationships.
Thank you for friends who are friendly. And open. And willing to share their knowledge with other friends. Thank you that my life is filled with good people.
THANK YOU for good PET scan results this week. (Well, as good as can be expected when cancer is present.) Thankyouthankyouthankyou that for both E and M, the cancer cells/tumors where contained and it is operable/less scary than if those cells were everywhere. THANK YOU for the miracles ahead and the healing that will take place. God, I pray for all those who are facing shitty diagnosises this summer, are dealing with painful procedures and invasive tests. God I pray You would give them courage and peace. And I pray You would provide them with friends who hold their hands, drive them to appointments, pray beside them, bring them meals, weed their gardens and uphold them with laughter and love. God I pray that no one goes through this scary season alone.
And for those who are overcome with grief as they mourn the death of a loved one or the death of a relationship, I ask that You be especially gentle with them. Overwhelm them with blessings of peace, of friendships, of family, of hope. Provide them with a vision of the future, one that You have planned for them, one that is filled with life and love and cupcakes. God I pray You would give them a sense of purpose... a reason to carry on.
It's now a few days later, Saturday night, 11 pm. I'm at the lake, on the deck. The sounds? A fan blowing cool air INTO the cabin is propped here beside me. Clint and Jesse discussing Everything Under The Sun on the lawn below next to a crackling fire. And Amy and Max arriving, "Hi mom."
Today? Is a good day.
Thank you God for summer evenings and this place. Thank you for families and friends and conversations and laughter and sweet voices and boy voices and my people.
I pray for those who are struggling because of broken families and difficult relationships. Please comfort them. Give them a measure of Your peace. And flood them with hope. God, you can heal all things, so I pray for those who have hearts that need Your touch. Restore marriages that are on the verge of ending; enable them to see each other through Your eyes. Bring wise counsellors and good friends to come alongside.
And God? I pray especially (and endlessly) for those struggling with addictions. I pray You would open their eyes to see how the drugs and alcohol are affecting their lives and their relationships. I pray You would have gone ahead of these prayers and prepared mentors and sponsors and friends and peers to speak life and love into their lives. I pray You would protect them and keep them safe. I pray You would provide them with a way out. I pray You would allow them to get to a place where they become sick, physically and mentally of the effects of their addiction. And I pray you would meet them at that place. Open their eyes to the things You want them to see. Help them find a way out. In a profoundly personal way, wow them with Your presence. Enable them to respond. God, I pray for these lost ones whom You love. Please don't get weary or worn out in Your efforts to help them. Thank you for being God.
And God? Can I bug You for something else? Jobs. Meaningful work for friends who need employment. Jobs that are in line with the gifts, talents, education and experience You've allowed them to have. Jobs with co-workers who inspire the best, and yet make work a good place to be. Jobs with bosses and supervisors and leaders who encourage excellence and recognize effort and lead well. Jobs that provide opportunities to grow and lead and learn. Jobs that are fulfilling and satisfying. Jobs that have been handpicked by You for Your purposes.God, I pray Your will be done in the lives of those who need work. And while You're sorting out the details and pulling things together, I ask that You protect the minds and self-esteem of those who are actively looking for work.
God, I pray Your will be done in the entertainment industry. I pray for directors, writers, screenwriters, cameramen, set designers, costume designers, producers, actors, editors. I pray You would open and close doors of opportunity according to Your purposes for this industry.
And I pray for friends who are writers. Continue to give them words and stories. Surround them with good editors, agents, advisors, marketing support, publishers... God I pray that You would protect their minds from being overwhelmed with doubt and despair while they wait for inspiration, confirmation and contracts. You are the giver of gifts; writing is a gift. Help them to trust You with the gifts You have blessed them with.
Lastly, I pray for those who are traveling this weekend (specifically Drew and Danica and her whole family, coming home from Prince George); please protect them on the road. Could you arrange for this to be an accident-free Sunday? Could all travelers be sober and clean and alert and careful and prepared and not-distracted? Please bring my kids home safe.
Amen and amen and amen.
Three things I'm thankful for:
1. Decks and patios and back yards and candles and fires and stars and conversations and family.
2. Internet connections, comfortable chairs, electricity, photos.
3. Jubilee corn on the cob, warm brownies, cold milk, Kindles, and weekends.