The Power of a Praying Friend

Last night was very difficult at our house.  I was relaxed and didn’t see it coming; it knocked the wind out of me.  The evening had been lovely.  In an effort to be a more fun mom, I went out and jumped on the trampoline with the youngest kids. They showed me all of their fanciest tricks and then demonstrated their tree climbing skills.  From there we went to the playset where Little Man practiced hanging by his knees and flipping down off the trapeze bar.

Back inside, I fed the kids a bedtime snack, then Dimples, Sunshine, Eby, and Little Man got ready for bed. When all was in order, they spread out on the floor of the living room to draw as I read two chapters of Little House in the Prairie.  It was pure bliss for me and the children were peaceful and happy.

Things  began to unravel when we went upstairs for bedtime. Remember setting up a long row of dominoes and then tipping the first one into the second, causing a reaction that tipped the entire row over?  That sums it up.

For two hours we struggled.  Eventually Dimples was in my room, Little Man was tucked in with Honeybee and Sunshine, and Eby was in his room with lights on drawing at his desk.  He couldn’t sleep in the midst of it all.  I was sitting in my room, as the turmoil swirled around me, praying for wisdom and texting my friend Kathleen who was praying for and encouraging me.  When Dimples asked who I was texting, I told her that Mrs. H. was praying for us.

After awhile, I asked Dimples if she wanted to sit in my lap, thankfully she agreed and she nestled in.  This was a far cry from what had  been happening over the past two hours. We sat together and I tried to breathe slowly and remain regulated in the hope that I could  help Dimples regulate herself.  Finally exhaustion began to creep over her and I asked if she was ready for sleep; she crawled in my bed.  Then she said, “Can I call Mrs. H. so she can pray for me?”

So we did, through the lump in my throat, I told Kathleen that Dimples was finally tucked in bed and she had asked for prayer.  We put Kathleen on speaker and she prayed over Dimples.  It was all I could do not to weep with sheer relief and gratitude that this was how the night was ending.

If you are parenting children from “hard places,” it is imperative to have at least one good friend who will walk the road with you, who will not judge you, and who will urge you to fight the good fight for the sake of our children and our Savior.

If you don’t have a friend like that, consider joining the Trust Based Parenting Facebook group or another group, and you just might find a somebody who you can call night or day who will help you through the challenges and give you the support you need to make it through the hard days.

Four more days until Russ is home – I am missing him so much.  He called last night after the kids were all asleep; just hearing his voice was a comfort to me.

Have a good start to your week, friends.

Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

16 Comments

  1. Julie Blair Pitts
    June 25, 2012

    Thanks for being real. It is hard to journey this road. I'm thankful for the one or two people I can ask to pray with or over me and my family.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 25, 2012

      You are so welcome, Julie. I'm glad you have some praying friends.

      Reply
  2. Jennifer
    June 25, 2012

    just came home from meeting with a friend, who shared her story and listened to mine. so grateful to hear that others have someone who GETS it and can relate and encourage them on the journey. praying for your week till your hubby is home.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 26, 2012

      Yay for friends who share the journey. I spent the evening with a good friend of mine and it was just plain good for my soul. Thank you for your prayers, Jennifer.

      Reply
  3. Cindy
    June 25, 2012

    Tears of gratitude for your friend. Tears of remembrance of those days. Tears of grief knowing that even in her RTF our daughter still has those days. Tears of joy that you were able to overcome. Thanks be to God.
    Cindy Mc.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 25, 2012

      Cindy, I know you understand this. Thanks for sharing this journey with me.

      Reply
  4. Ann
    June 25, 2012

    Lisa, thank you for sharing this. I recently began having a prayer time over the phone with a prayer partner and it has been amazing. I used to think I couldn't do that because of all the interruptions in my life, but have found God and prayer works around those–we have many interruptions and sometimes end in laughter over them but it is always good (it helps that we go into our prayer time expecting interruptions).

    Lisa, I often think of you and send prayers your way–so know that there are those praying for you even when you don't know it! Keep putting one foot in front of the other! Know that your words encourage others–like me. Thanks for sharing the good and the hard.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 25, 2012

      Ann, it is so good to hear from you. You know, you are my inspiration for being a fun mom – I admire you!

      Reply
  5. Laurel
    June 26, 2012

    Oh the Domino Affect. Great analogy! That is exactly what happens at our house . . . often.

    I so totally understand what you walked through last night, and I have walked through it when dear hubby is out of town, too. And, I am so thankful that I do have a friend or two that I can call (or text or email) any time day or night, to pray for us.

    Just had lunch with a Bloggy Friend the other day . . . someone who totally GETS IT. I got to meet Dorothy from MN. It was WONDERFUL!!! (Have you actually met her, or has she just met your daughter and son that were recently at her place?)

    Hugs from a friend that understands!!!

    Laurel

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 26, 2012

      Laurel – amen! Good support makes all the difference. You got to meet Dorothy – I'm so glad! We met at the Orphan Summit in MN a few years ago and we were joking that now we're nearly "cousins" since she is so involved in Hannah's new life in MN. I plan to see her again when I go visit Hannah, hopefully this fall.

      Reply
  6. sleighs79
    June 26, 2012

    Thank you for this and the catalyst to find someone to back me up. My husband and I are the only ones we know in real life who are trying to parent this way (well, we don't know very many people who are parenting kids like ours either). We're failing more often than we're succeeding right now, and we really need a friend like this.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 26, 2012

      I hope you'll join the FB group or seek another adoptive family that might be able to understand. When we were isolated and afraid to let anybody know of our struggles, it was terrible and frightening. We're not meant to do this alone. I'm praying for you this morning that God will provide you with friends who can walk this road with you.

      Reply
    2. Laurel
      June 26, 2012

      I have found my closest friends to "walk this walk" with are friends that I met through the blog world. In my family's cross country travels we have now met these friends "in real life", but our friendships started by connecting through our blogs. If you don't have any local friends that understand, I encourage you to get in touch with some of the Blog Mamas that most resonate with your heart. (Most blogs have contact info. in their side bars.) I love to correspond with, and pray for, women who contact me that have become regular blog readers.

      You NEED to have at least one person in your life that UNDERSTANDS and knows how to PRAY at the drop of a hat.

      Laurel
      mama of 12 (ages 10, 10, 12, 13, 15, 19, 21, 23, 23, 25, 26, 27)

      Reply
  7. KmG
    June 26, 2012

    We just had a night like this one tonight. And after an absolutely wonderful day, where during nap-time my heart was singing, rejoicing that we are going to adopt again. It seems to us that it is some sort of spiritual warfare. Whenever I am having a really good adoptive mommy day, am thinking rightly/biblicaly about adoption and parenting in general, one of these nights strikes. It saddens my heart that our children are involved in such things, but it always happens when the day goes right or we move another step closer to bringing another child home. Prayer really is the only thing. Prayer has to be the way of life.

    Reply
  8. Jennie
    July 10, 2012

    Lisa,

    Thank you so much for blessing all of us with this blog. The kids have been 'home' for six months now. I think we have a Dimples in the making and I am so tired, discouraged and disappointed in the way I handle life most days. The seven bios look at me with sadness, mourning what was, and some days anger over what they've lost. We're trying so hard to survive through these days of adjustment, grabbing for moments of joy and making the best of a hard situation. I am battling my flesh and wanting to react in anger many days and praying for peace, wisdom and joy in the midst of it.

    Thanks for the FB link . . . going to sign up now!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      July 11, 2012

      Jennie, thank you so much for the comment. I would encourage you to seek professional help sooner rather than later for your little one. We waited nearly two years and it was far too long. While therapy has not been a quick fix, the support Russ and I have received has been invaluable. We needed help figuring out our new life and how to live as a family with a child who had severe challenges. Hold on – seek help – and take good care of one another and the other children. You all need to stay as healthy as possible and you work to help your child heal.

      Reply

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