It’s been 12 days since I said goodbye to Grant. In preparing for this last goodbye, I left the week after this final farewell to my three Tuesdays in August—blank. I knew I would need some breathing room. Time to work through the disorientation of an empty house. Not an empty “home” but an empty “house.” My home is still full of warmth, love and living reminders that my children will return, but the physicalities have definitely changed. No trails of tennis shoes. No dirty socks on the steps leading to the second floor. No backpacks. No dirty dishes in the living room. No—just alot of quiet. For years I dreamed of this time. I remember thinking, “Lord Jesus. . .give me five minutes to myself.” Well, He did. A little later than I hoped for but all I have now is five minutes to myself. Oh, I am not complaining, merely stating facts. There are benefits to this empty nest thing. Little loads of laundry. Dinners out with my husband. Almost complete control of the remote. Very few dishes. Cheaper grocery bills. Only one car to fill with outrageously expensive gasoline. Free afternoons for long walks (usually occupied by soccer games and sporting events. . .which, of course, I miss dearly). Long lunch dates with long lost friends who still love me after many years of neglect (smile). And, most importantly, early bedtime. No more staying up late to help with school work or mother/son/daughter bonding. I am definitely more rested.

But, in the midst of all this change, one thing remains the same. My children need me. They need my constant connection to God on behalf of them. A mother never stops praying for their children. I honestly believe their absence physically actually calls me to even more fervent prayer.

Grant is having back trouble. Oh how I want to fly to Boston and take care of him. Make sure he is getting the right treatment. Accurate diagnosis. But I am learning he is a big boy. He actually can take care of himself. Amazing how that works. Everywhere I go, I am surrounded by memories. As I stood at the bank on Tuesday, a young mother was talking to a friend on her cell. She had just put her little girl on the school bus for the first time. “Girl, I just wept,” she whispered. “She didn’t even look back. Imagine that. Didn’t even look back.” Then, a mother and son were at the teller’s window. I watched the mother stroke the cheek of her little six-year old boy. Rub his back. Tell him how proud she was of his good behavior. Yes, I had a moment. I wanted to tell them I understood. But, I didn’t. I soaked it in. And, I prayed. I prayed for two things: my children and selfishly, for my ministry to young mothers.

“Lord,” I prayed. “You must give me an audience. I am bursting at the seams. I am talking to complete strangers in WalMart, in the grocery store, in the post office. I want to tell them how extremely important they are as mothers. In Your time, Lord. In Your way. Amen.”

I’ve been working on a teaching I want to share with you today. I call it “Surrounded by Seven.” Surrounded (v.t.) means:

  1. To enclose something. To occupy the space all around something.
  2. To close off means of escape. To encircle something completely. Key word here: encircle.
  3. To be around somebody. To associate closely with somebody.

Consider its’ synonyms: bounded, bordered, enclosed, encircled. Soak in this visual image. Doesn’t it make you think of olde westerns, where the covered wagons form a circle as the enemy approaches?

In researching the scriptures on this powerful concept, I discovered (7) scriptures concerning the power of God surrounding his people. As I mulled over these seven powerful truths, I saw a pattern for prayer. A very powerful pattern. One for each day of the week. I saw that I could pray these one by one over my children. Even though they were each far away from me, they are but a breath away in the spirit. I hope you find encouragment in this powerful prayer pattern and join with me as we pray over our children:

Surrounded by Seven

  • Sunday: Psalm 5:12, Surrounded by God’s favor.

  • Monday: Psalm 32:7, Surrounded by songs of deliverance.

  • Tuesday: Psalm 32:10, Surrounded by God’s unfailing love.

  • Wednesday: Psalm 89:8, Surrounded by God’s faithfulness.

  • Thursday: Psalm 125:2, Surrounded by the Lord himself.

  • Friday: Psalm 3:2-4, Surrounded on all sides. (Great prayer for the start of a weekend!)

  • Saturday: Hebrews 12:1: Surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.

Each and every one of these is a teaching in and of itself. Over the next few days, I will be expounding a bit more. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Until then, remember the power of prayer. No matter how far away our loved ones might be.



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