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Prayer, Patience, Parenting and Other Things I Naturally Suck At!

Parenting, Prayer, Patience and Other Things I Suck At! Believe it or not, people often ask me for parenting advice. Every time someone asks me how I raised such great kids, I stumble for an answer. I usually say, “My kids are proof that prayer works, because they all turned out better than me.” And while that is totally true, it is a pat answer that barely skims the surface of parenting issues. I’m sure that most every parent ever has uttered millions of prayers. I bet even atheist parents throw out requests for help to some unknown force they hope will help them understand why their precious toddler is beating his head on the floor in response to not being allowed to eat a rotten banana peel. (Yeah that happened!) So, while I absolutely 100% believe in prayer… (well I know logically and from experience that prayer is powerful) I still really, really stink at it. (As I start to write, I realize I have tons of stuff to share about this, so I will probably make this a continuing post.) Here are my first three lessons about prayer, parenting, and patience: God isn’t manipulated by rituals and religious practices. (You can’t nag God into doing what you want. Trust me! I’ve tried!)   There is no amount of prayer, Bible reading, giving money, serving, church attendance, quoting scripture or listening to KLOVE that will guarantee me the outcome I am seeking. This is a really hard truth to accept when your child is going through something hard. It is a truth that I still fight. Twenty years ago, we found out my oldest son’s pituitary gland did not function which meant he had to have daily growth hormone shots. While this is a commonly used therapy these days, it was brand new back then. And giving shots to a toddler was not easy. On top of that, he had asthma and some severe allergies. One doctor told me, “Yeah, treating all of these conditions is more of an art than a science.”!!! My second son also had a heart condition and somewhere during this time, we were surprised with the addition of my third son. My husband was in grad school and I worked in daycare. I was beyond overwhelmed. I remember people coming up to me during my pregnancy and asking, “What in…