Sunday, October 2, 2011

2 Fish.


I stood on the dock peering down into the clear Maine water.
The air was cool, and my fishing line freshly baited with a worm.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


My out-of-use fireplace is a fun space to decorate,
but I felt like it was too dark.




While viewing other blogs,
I came across the idea of using a white base
and a mirror in the back
to help ad some brightness
and visual interest.


I painted a retired cabinet door white and set it on the floor of the fireplace,
and then placed this old mirror I had in the back...


but it was obvious to me that the mirror was too small.


I knew that if I went to the charity store
and found the right sized frame,
and if I could find a mirror that was larger than the frame,
I could have the mirror cut for a minimal cost.

I found a huge wall bathroom mirror;
it was $3.50 because one of the corners was broken.

But the frame was most important to me:
I wanted just the right size that I had measured,
and I wanted something that looked elegant,
but country.

I wondered if it would be possible with all my requirements.

So I silently and a bit sheepishly prayed,
"God, I hope this doesn't sound selfish,
but could you help me find the right pieces for my mirror?
It doesn't have to be today; I could live with what I have for now,
but I sure wouldn't mind if you'd help me out with this."

Praying specific prayers for seemingly foolish things
brings to mind a favorite story from when I was a child...

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Our vacation cabin in Maine sat right on a lake.
I looked out across it to the boat they were on,
my father and my older sister,
and heard their voices across the rippling waves.

I had decided to fish off the dock,
telling my father I'd prayed for two big catfish.
My mother had just finished going through chemotherapy treatments
and the doctor said the best thing for her was fresh fish.
I told him I had seen one drifting under that dock.
My father laughed:
there were no fish under that dock,
not with the canoes and row boats coming and going.



In my nine year old mind, it didn't matter.
I felt safer on land 
and besides, God was bigger than row boats and canoes.





A child has the distinct advantage of not being encumbered by the world;
its heavy dose of burdens haven't worked to lace him with pessimism
or dampened his enthusiasm for the small things.


Simplicity and innocence mask children to the reality of...

well,...

"reality."




As a child, I talked to God as if he was right there with me,
all day,
anytime.


"As if," 
see that?

Where is that childlike faith?

He was and is right here with me,
all day,
anytime.


Life, when its ugly points unfold and the world's empty philosophy daily strikes out at me,
punches down the child-like faith that I am so thankful to have known.



Dropping my line directly down in front of me off the pier,
I watched as the large catfish I'd seen earlier
came out and swiftly swallowed my bait.

Not long after his removal and a new worm positioned on the hook,
his brother followed a similar fate.

My father answered my bold announcement from the boat,
his unbelief wanting to see proof for my fishtale.


And so now, as a mother, a wife, a daughter, a friend,
a pedestrian on the sidewalk of life,
my moment-by-moment prayers that I breathed as a child
are dimmed by clean laundry baskets that get tipped over by rushing children,
bowls of Rice Crispies that spill on the floor,
socks and books that beckon from random locations,
their holes yawning their need for thread and needle,
jagged torn pages demanding tape.


My eyes look down,...
and I don't remember to pray.

Grumbling and prayer, like oil and water,
will not mix together on the same lips.

But,
when it happens,...




...when a prayer that is very dear and near to the heart is answered,
when my eyes see it unfold,
for the prayer I uttered even though my heart did not believe,
I feel awakened.
I am overwhelmed by the joy that I remembered feeling
as I lifted that fish out of the water.
It wasn't anything special about me,
but something amazing about a God who cared,
that His reality was smiling on me
just as real as my father's incredulous smile
as his boat bumped against the shore.

It is a joy unspeakable,
a treasure I sorrow that those who do not believe that God exists
may never have the humbling incredibility to feel.

Prayer is the hand reaching out to God,
the eyes looking away from the worry,
the burden lifted from the shoulders
and rested in His palms.
The answer,
however many minutes, hours, days, weeks,
years...

is our ability to see His smile.

 Tonight, for my mirror
and for answered prayers much larger
that have been years in the waiting,

I'm thankful to have seen God's smile
and I reflect it back with my own.


"Ask, and it shall be given you;
seek, and ye shall find;
knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
For every one that asketh receiveth;
and he that seeketh findeth;
and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
Or what man is there of you,
whom if his son ask bread,
will he give him a stone?
Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more shall your Father
which is in heaven
give good things to them that ask him?"
Matthew 7:7-11



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15 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post! You are such a gifted writer and it just brings your words to life! Thank you for this positive affirmation that God does smile down upon us, sometimes in ways that we don't even realize because of the "busyness" of our lives. I just loved that story from your childhood, and how wonderful that you still remember it and that it had such a profound impact on you.

    And, btw, your fireplace is absolutely stunning! You really need to come down and visit and help me decorate our home! I can whip you up a good Italian meal, lol! :-)

    Many blessings,
    Lisa

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  2. how wonderful! i, too, have seen these gifts bestowed after 'silly' requests have been made in prayer. it is a wonderment to behold. :)

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  3. That was such a wonderful vacation! Mom and Dad were so good at always pointing God's hand out to us and taught us to love seeing Him take care of us! We've been truly blessed! I was just sharing with my SS class the story of emboidery floss as a teenager. This month we're writing down all God's little blessing and gifts He gives us! Such perfect timing seeing your reflecting too!!! Love it!

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  4. I love your story about answered prayer. I think that it is true to too often we don't pray about the things that we think that God doesn't 'care' about. But then, that is really putting ourselves over His almighty grace! Who are we to decide what God cares about and what He doesn't!

    And I love your fireplace. I just honestly don't see how you do it. I mean, you have kids, too, and how in the world do you keep them from getting into things like that? I feel like the minute that I get something set, a cat or a kid or a tossed sock or toys gets into the middle of it and 'messes' it up! It makes it so frustrating! I feel like I am always pedaling backwards uphill trying to keep anything clean or organized around here!

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  5. It's wonderful! And I am a firm believer that nothing is too small to pray about. If it matters to us, it matters to Him.

    =)

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  6. Thank you for your sweet comments. Lisa, I'd LOVE to come for Italian food...what time do you want me there? :) Mama Bear, I have my backward pedaling going on, too. :) I just don't take pictures of that. Actually, Lillie is not as bad about getting into this type of thing...just shoes and clothes. I had a harder time when Levi was her age. You are one busy woman. When I was pregnant, I was doing well to get one fall leaf on the mantel for decoration. :)

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  7. yes, you are right...God is bigger than row boats and canoes.


    and much more.

    thank you for writing this reminder.

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  8. What an awesome story! I Love it and I LOVE what you've done to your fireplace. It's so Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

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  9. If your child asked for something, no matter how large or small, you would do everything in your power to grant that request. Well, God's love is even more awesome than ours and he wants us to have every little blessing!

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  10. What a great story! And your fireplace looks great, as well. I am following you via the creative blogger's party. I hope you will follow back! God bless you!!

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  11. Great story about the fish and your mirror turned out beautiful! I love how our God cares for us, and loves to show it to us even in the details <3

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  12. Great Post! Heavenly Father wants us all to be happy and if the little things like a mirror will make us happy, He's there to help.

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  13. I thank God for His gift to you. Writing & art. Plus a good husband & lovely children. Happy Anniversary!

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  14. Oh I love your fireplace and your mirror is just perfect. The vignette is stunning and it looks so real. Your post so warmed my heart. I talk to the Lord all the time and yes I even pray for silly things like mirrors on occassion. I so believe the Lord cares about even the little things. Thank you so much for such a special post and thanks for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

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  15. Hi! I featured this here, pinned on Pinterest and posted on fb. Thanks for linking up at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop :)

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