Wednesday, March 11, 2009

An Answered Prayer

On Sunday, March 1, I knelt in church and prayed for help. I was beginning a crazy month, a month filled-to-the-brim and mindlessly overscheduled. I never set out to make March so crazy... I just didn't stop and carefully consider that all of my responsibilities would end up converging on each other at one time.

So, that Sunday morning, I knelt down and prayed for help. "Just help me get through these next 31 days, please Lord. I know I did this to myself, but please, please don't let anything else end up on my plate for the next month."

Four hours later, my sister called and asked whether we could take guardianship of my 11 year old niece. Our response was immediate and certain. Of course we would. In the immediacy of the decision, I had a fleeting thought about when this would happen, and how... how... how on earth I would make it happen this month. But the thought was fleeting, and I let it pass without dwelling on it.

The next few days were a flurry of activity, preparation, emotion. Every now and again, I wondered how I would possibly get everything done, take care of all my responsibilities, and still welcome a new family member into our home (physically, emotionally, educationally). Every time the fears welled up, I would pray.

On Tuesday of last week, at our CRHP meeting, I learned that we did not have 8 retreatants signed up after all, but only 4 (maybe 5). Suddenly, our conversation turned from prepping for the weekend to whether or not to hold the weekend. I spoke with our Pastor the next day, and he made the decision... we had one week to reach 10 retreatants, or the weekend would be postponed until the fall.

Initially disappointed, I began to see this potential postponement as a gift. I could certainly use the extra time (and the extra weekend) for my family. Everyone needed me a bit more now than they did before. My kids, because they would be sharing me in the coming months. My niece, because this transition, though welcome, still carries much emotional turmoil for her.

I found a free afternoon and a free evening in the past week, and completed all of the prep for the remaining Bible study sessions. My niece arrived yesterday afternoon. Last night, at the CRHP meeting, we made the difficult decision to postpone the weekend. We did not have enough retreatants to hold the weekend.

This morning, I went to mass, walked on the treadmill, homeschooled Niece, BigBro, and Princess. We had time to make Medieval Almoner bags before lunch. We even have a few minutes of downtime before everyone arrives for the Art History class I am teaching this afternoon.

And I realized that God had answered my prayer from March 1. Not in the way I requested, of course. He didn't ensure that nothing else was added to my plate, not by a long stretch. But He helped clear my plate of the less important responsibilities, making the necessary room for the more important responsiblities.

I was once again reminded that all prayers are answered... in God's way, in God's time, according to God's will.

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