I am over-the-moon to have Deidra share her words of wisdom here today. She is one of those gals I’ve known a short time but feel I’ve known forever. Deidra writes of love and grace with amazing clarity. As an empty nester Mama, her parenting perspective is always grounded and real, so I’m mighty excited to have her sharing been-there-done-that wisdom on parenting tweens! Not only can you read her God-inspired encouragement at her own place of beauty, Jumping Tandem, but you can find her at both (In)Courage and The High Calling. Deidra is also on Twitter @DeidraRiggs.
I made it through our childrens’ tween years because of two important resources: prayer and prayer. Seriously.
When I was pregnant, and then again when my children were babies and toddlers and preschoolers, I found myself surrounded by books and pamphlets telling me what to expect and how to address it when it actually happened. But during the years my kids were old enough to earn an allowance, yet not quite old enough to get a job or drive a car, it seemed as if the resource bank dried up completely.
So imagine my surprise when, after my very first PTA meeting in my children’s new school, the president of that very same PTA walked up to me and asked if I’d be interested in praying together. For our children. For their school. For their teachers. I know, right?
Nothing particularly spiritual had taken place in that PTA meeting. It wasn’t a Christian school. Just a regular neighborhood elementary school trying to raise money for playground equipment, and looking for a way to keep people from parking in the school bus lane in the mornings. But my new friend and PTA president had asked God to show her some moms she could pray with, and God thought I might fit the bill.
It turns out that Mimi (that was the PTA president’s name) had felt God telling her to start a group of mothers who would pray. She reached out to a few moms God put in her view. Later she would tell me that she’d had to dig down deep for courage. How could she know if the women she would ask to join her would actually say yes? But I look back today and shake my head at all we would have missed if she had chickened out.
She lured us in with promises of coffee cake around her kitchen table.
We were just six moms who got up and sent our children off to school each day. But each week, we sat around the kitchen table, bowed our heads and closed our eyes, and asked if God would bless our kids, their school, their teachers, and their friends. We prayed for classmates who were bullied, and we prayed for the bullies. We prayed for teachers who were having babies or pressing through the yuck of cancer or just trying to make it to retirement. We prayed for safety on the playground and we prayed for new playground equipment. We prayed for the principal and for the school board. We didn’t have an agenda. We didn’t pray an agenda. We just asked that God would bless and show us how to be a blessing.
And God answered our prayers. Every single time.
Something happens when mothers pray together. You know? We think we’re just sitting around a kitchen table whispering hopes into the air while babies slumber in our arms and preschoolers make truck noises beneath the table. But God is sitting right there with us, and nothing that we pray escapes His heart. Not ever.
So how about you? What do you think God might do with a little bit of coffee cake, and a few praying moms, sitting around your kitchen table?
I’m an East Coast girl, living in the Great American Plains, under a great expanse of wide-open Midwestern sky. I’m an ocean-seeker, a dance, a reader, a writer, a mom to two adults, and wife to the man of my dreams. I don’t like putting away the laundry, and I often talk way too much. Other times I’m much too quiet. Sometimes I feel insecure and think I don’t measure up. I love Jesus. I can’t help it.