meeting the challenge

     There are some prayer intentions I pray for everyday.  One of them is a true impossibility: it feels like it would take a miracle.
     New subject: Annie has been SO HARD of late.  She screams and thrashes when I try to put her down for a nap; yesterday, she threw a temper tantrum that lasted over an hour–that is a LONG TIME.  Of course I did everything I knew to do, but sometimes, you just have to say, “This too shall pass.”  You can’t fix everything in the moment.
     Annie has be so hard that I have considered quitting homeschooling.  After the hour long temper tantrum yesterday during which I resolved to quit homeschooling, I arrived downstairs to an immaculate kitchen and four sweet children quietly tending to their assignments.  Oh my goodness!  Clearly, they are not the problem, and sending them to a different school would not fix my wild toddler.
     So I thought about it.  In an otherwise wonderful life, I have a temporary nightmare, which is a tantrum throwing toddler.  It is an isolated issue.  What do I do about that?
     Then it hit me: Annie is a perfect match for that prayer request!  Offering up the challenges that she presents to me consistently for this one intention–AHA!  I finally have power in my prayers because of the hardship with Annie.  As I offer up her behavior right now for this one intention, I can be “content in all things,” as Paul says.  I am content in this short-lived hardship, since it has power in it for God’s vision of things.  Not to mention the fact that Annie gets to be blessed by cooperating in the advancement of good in the world without even knowing it.  Surely, her soul will be blessed in a deep-seated way through the process.  God, grant me the ability to stay “content” and hopeful!