From Frustration to Prayer

Sometimes I say “Oh Lord” when I hear about the shenanigans friends get into or when I glimpse the exasperating self-checkout where people who apparently have never experienced how to ring up things decide today is a good day to do just that…with their incredibly full cart.

Lately I have been listening to a lot of Lauren Daigle…while I cook, in the shower, working out, cleaning the house. If I could describe my current mood, it would be “Lauren Daigle” because she just seems to be singing what my heart and mind are feeling right now. One particular song has slowly become something I am praying instead deep within, and I find my cries of “O Lord O Lord” have been a welcome comfort instead of exasperation and frustration. It reminds me that He is right there with me, when I often like to lie to myself that He’s not, or He’s left me. He doesn’t. He hears. He meets me in my desperation, my loneliness and says “This will be made right.” It may not be mine to see, or experience, but it’s His.

So now when I cry out “O Lord O Lord” I know He’s already at work, but He’s there in the midst listening. I know my prayers are reflective of a God who is with me, a God who hears, who wants me to cry out to Him instead of in my own frustrations.


Part of Lauren Daigle’s “O’ Lord” is quoted below in how I have been praying it out. Maybe you needed it today or tomorrow. Maybe you needed to recognize your heart and mind have needed to cry out to God in a way that only you and He communicate. Whatever the means, know He’s listening.

Though times it seems
Like I’m coming undone
This walk can often feel lonely
No matter what until this race is won
I will stand my ground where hope can be found
I will stand my ground where hope can be found

Oh, O’Lord O’Lord I know You hear my cry
Your love is lifting me above all the lies
No matter what I face this I know in time
You’ll take all that is wrong and make it right
You’ll take all that is wrong and make it right

Your strength is found
At the end of my road
Your grace it reaches to the hurting
Still through the tears and the questioning why
I will stand my ground where hope can be found!
I will stand my ground where hope can be found!

Oh, O’Lord O’Lord I know You hear my cry
Your love is lifting me above all the lies
No matter what I face This I know in time
You’ll take all that is wrong and make it right
You’ll take all that is wrong and make it right

I will stand my ground where hope can be found!
I will stand my ground where hope can be found!

Oh! O’Lord O’Lord I know You hear my cry
Your love is lifting me above all the lies
No matter what I face this I know in time
You’ll take all that is wrong and make it right
You’ll take all that is wrong and make it right

A Hearing Problem

I have a pretty steady routine during the work week. So much so that I find it bleeds into my weekends. My internal body clock is just set for some reason and I often don’t have to set an alarm on the weekends. I find I am waking between 4:30am and 5am on Saturdays and Sundays. Yes, I get up about that time each day during the week. As I have moved my running to the mornings this has been incredibly helpful to start my day off as often as I can with a run and get a glimpse of the sunrise.

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Even in this new routine of sorts, I find how comfortable it is to become lulled into a routine that when thrown off can cause the mind to go haywire. One routine I find I do far too often is have noise on, at all times. Even as I type in my office at home I have the tv on HGTV in the living room and the dishwasher running in the kitchen while the dryer runs upstairs. I love writing with noise, which is another reason I often work on it at Starbucks.

For many of us the noise becomes routine in our lives, which comes int eh form of busyness as well. We stay so busy and our lives get so loud we often don’t hear what is being said to us. The hurt in a voice, the text that is an SOS from a friend, the pain in a friend’s eyes. Even the voice of the Spirit gets drown out in the midst of our lives as we attempt to fit it all in, most often under the guise of “living life.”

I can get to a point very quickly where I let the noise speak to me more than I let Him. I don’t push pause on life, on the noise of the world, as I go about my day. Instead I notch up the radio, I pick another playlist, and I go on with my day simply because that’s my routine. My routine has allowed everything else in but in return pushed His voice, His words, out. It’s lent itself now to a bigger problem of my hearing, where I find myself seeking Him each day when I haven’t taken a moment to truly listen for Him in moments. I give Him a designated platform at a pre-determined time. If He doesn’t speak then I turn up the noise of my routine instead. Seeking answers elsewhere.

So I have a hearing problem…and it doesn’t come with old age but with choosing the distractions of this world and all the noises of life. Much like the noise-cancelling headphones my dad has for his hearing issues, I need to cancel out the noise of life more and more in order to listen for Him in every moment. I complain about His quiet and yet I don’t turn down life in order to truly listen for Him.

It means choosing quiet instead of a playlist. It means filling my time engaged in means which He can speak to me instead of turning on the television. It means getting comfortable with the solitude of no sound in order to be present and aware of Him speaking, breathing into every moment of my life. It means turning off life in order to live it for Him.

Hear instruction and be wise; do not neglect it.

Proverbs 8:33

Cease to hear instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.

Proverbs 19:27

Hush Up

My mom worries about me. Then again, what mother doesn’t worry about her child? (I am sure there are some, but let’s not delve into that pit okay? K)

She really worries about me. How do I know this? Well occasionally she tells me. Other times she tells my sister, who then tells me. Like for instance, after my high school graduation. She worried that I would run off to join the circus and they would never see me again. A couple of things wrong with this scenario….one I had already made big plans for my future at UT, and two I am deathly afraid of clowns. The circus was not an option.

I also have a bit of the daring gene in my blood. I seem to find trouble, either physically or verbally. Granted I was a reasonably good kid growing up, I only got in one fist fight and let’s be honest, who didn’t want to punch David in the neighborhood? Mom worries my mouth will get me in trouble that I can’t get out of one day.

Lately, God’s been pressing that point in on me as well. He has been very explicit in telling me to be quiet and to listen. That has been incredibly difficult to bear, much less to follow through on. I want to scream. I want to fight it out. But more and more God keeps pressing His gentle hand over my mouth, whispering “Just listen.”

At first I thought it was to those around me, that I had been ignoring some things that were being said. Then I thought it might be that I was just hearing and not truly listening anymore. (As I told a student, those are two different things.) I finally got it though just yesterday.

I took a jaunt out to hike (another thing my mom worries about with me) and got just how quiet it was there. Normally I pop in headphones and listen to a particular album while I hike, but yesterday I just wasn’t feeling music. God knew I needed to listen, for Him. He pulled me out there in the great quiet to hear Him. I scrambled and slid to the base of a waterfall, and stood with eyes closed and a big ol grin on my face.

Why?

Because I was hearing Him, I was fully seeing Him. It was breathtaking and emotional. It was truth on display for me. He needed me quiet. All of me quiet. So that He could speak. So that He could show. That I would hear and see exactly what He needed me to see, about Him and about myself.

Sometimes we need only listen.

After all, most of what we worry about doesn’t come true and all that we hope for does, if we but listen and see.

One Cup…

I have a problem, probably more like an addiction if you really look at it. There have been interventions. There have been attempted weenings. I’ve gone through the headaches, the nervous shakes, but still I cannot get rid of this habit. You see, I have to have coffee. Starbucks is rumored to be naming my drink order the “Sara” in the coming months. If ever anyone’s veins would run with the dark loveliness that is coffee, it would be mine. So that’s where you all come in…

I have this crazy idea. For the next 52 weeks, I want to do life with others. I want to intentionally, and probably a bit awkwardly, meet others where they are in their lives.

“How does that work?” you say.

Hang on, I am getting to it.

You are nuts, no one will want to do that.

That is quite possible, but I am willing to take a step.

That’s kind of ridiculous.

Absolutely it is! 

Here’s how you get in on the action at no cost! (Cue audience “oohs” and “wows”) One Cup At A Time. For the next 52 weeks, I want to buy you a coffee (or tea, or soy latte, or Smart water) and hear about you.Your story, your life. All on your schedule. I have offered this to several people over the last month and am excited to see how this might turn out. I am honestly a little apprehensive that no one will take me up on this.

It doesn’t matter who you are, or what you do for a living, student, professional, retiree. Let’s do coffee and let me listen for a change.

Post below, email, text, Facebook, or Tweet to me to set up your time! Hurry, only 52 spots remain!