Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Lesson in Prayer

I had decided to do a lesson on prayer for the kids yesterday for Family Home Evening.  (A time we set aside once a week to discuss gospel principals or have a fun family activity like picnic, go to the movies, etc.) This week I wanted to focus on prayer--since it is a huge part of my life, I wanted an opportunity to reinforce it in the kids life as well. 

I had come up with some great scripture stories to share, etc.  But then yesterday while sitting down to type the first chapter of Snow White, I did what I always do before I begin typing.

I folded my arms and prayed to God to give me the words he would have me write.  And then I began typing as the words flew to my mind. 

It turned out to be an incredible lesson for my kids, one that hit home especially well.  So many people think I am a very good author--I am not.  I am a good listener.  I can hear God speak and I type what he says.  He writes these books.  I don't.  Yesterday, I got to prove to my children how truly real this is.  I do not write these books.

As I began to type out Snow White, it was about halfway through the first chapter, that the name Hansel popped up, which I found odd... actually, the whole beginning of the story did not seem to fit into Snow White at all, but I trusted the lord and so continued to type.  By the end, it was definitely confirmed I was writing out the book I had hoped to write next--Hansel and Gretel and not Snow White at all.

God was definitely sneaky.  When I read the first chapter of "Snow White" that I had written earlier out loud to the kids... I did not tell them what had happened, I wanted them to experience it as I had.  And so by the time I was done the kids were giggling like crazy, but all amazed.  Asking me why I would write that story instead.

It was then that I asked, "Now do you see that it is Heavenly Father writing these stories for me?  If I was truly writing Snow White, don't you think I would have written a story more like Snow White and less like this one?"

Their jaws dropped and then hands and mouths and smiles everywhere asked how to do it themselves. How to have God help them in their lives too. Sometimes, it takes an eyeopening experience and a funny miracle to finally hit home.  I am so glad it happened to me, right before I was to teach my children the importance of prayer. 

Thank you, God.  You make being a mom so much easier!  I love you.

P.S.
If you're curious... here is the rough draft of the first chapter of Hansel and Gretel I wrote yesterday:

Snow White

CHAPTER ONE:

The boy’s cries were loud and strong—strong enough to be heard through the torrential rain and roaring wind.  It had been one of the worst summer storms the region had in years.  –Just simply breathtakingly horrid. The farmer hunched down within his thin saturated coat and wrapped his useless soaking scarf tighter around his head and mouth.  Though it was rain and not snow, it was a fierce, biting rain.  A rain that was not forgiving or kind.
It brutally pelted his face and hands, stinging them with every slash of the drops of they flew through the air to bite into his covered flesh.  The clouds had come so quickly and forcefully that though it was just past four, you would have believed it to be nigh on midnight.  So dark and cold it was.
The farmer heard the shriek again, and turned in the direction, skirting the old forest. 
“Hello?” he shouted into the sleeting rain.  “Hello?”
The answering cries were louder this time and the farmer knew he was very close to the boy.  In fact, he was most likely tucked within the rock crevice.  Attempting to climb a large boulder next to him, he slipped and banged his knee.  No doubt there would be a hefty bruise in the morning.  Mumbling a curse under his breath, the man attempted again to scale the sheer rock and this time managed to grip well enough to haul his wet body up and on its ledge.  Peering over the other side, he flinched as a great strike of lightening lit up the sky—it’s jagged lines spearing every which way. 
The loud crash of thunder that followed immediately after, shook the whole slick rock wall he was on.  When another bolt of light enraged the sky, he looked down and saw the shuddering boy about ten feet below him, right within the crevice as he had assumed. 
He was drenched, his arms wrapped around himself.
“Come here, boy!” he shouted to the child.  “Come!  And quickly too!  This lightening is getting dangerously close.”
He held out his hand and the boy stood up just as another crash of thunder exploded all around them.  “Hurry!” he shouted again.  “Grab my hand!”  The farmer’s other hand was slipping from bracing himself in such an awkward position upon the boulder.  “Now, boy!”
The trembling child, clutched his gloved fingers just as the farmer began to slide back down the sheer boulder between them.  Another flash of lightening tore into the rain as it poured all around them and then the bang of the thunder immediately descended.  In a show of superhuman strength, he hauled the boy up and over the rock as he slid down. 
He balanced the small child against the boulder above them and continued to slip to his feet.  Once he regained his footing, he quickly glided the child the last yard or so into his arms. 
The sky boomed and lit again as the farmer ran as fast has he dared in such a downpour. He clutched the boy to his chest and thankfully made it the fifty yards or so, into the waiting cottage without mishap.  His son met him at the door, and stared in great shock at the whimpering child in his arms. 
“How did you hear him over this storm?” he asked.
“The Gods, son.  They led me to him.  They must have.” The farmer shook his head as he set the boy on the table and removed his overcoat, handing it to his son.  “Hansel, will you hang my coat up for me?”  He slipped off his gloves and scarf and tossed them into a bucket near the door.  They would need to be wrung out later.  His clothes were soaked through.  One look at the sopping boy and he knew this would be a rough night. 
The child was merely dressed in knee breeches and a simple shirt, with a worn wool hat atop his head.  His shivers alerted the farmer to the great urgency needed to help him.  “Hansel, fetch me a blanket for the lad now.”  His son was quick to place the coat atop of the peg by the door and run to the bedroom. 
The father pulled the dripping hat off the child and gasped when a long golden braid plopped out.  Its end tied with a battered green velvet ribbon.
“You are no boy at all child!  You are a girl.”
She nodded and looked away, her arms going tighter around her trembling legs. 
“Where did you come from?  How are you to be out in a storm like this?”
“I,” the little girl opened her mouth to speak and then her eyes darted to Hansel as he came back in the room carrying a thick blanket.
“Yes?” asked the farmer as he took the blanket from his son and wrapped it tightly around her.  “Who are you?  How did you come here?”
Her voice stuttered through her shivers, but he finally made out, “My home—it is gone.  Th-they took it.”
“Who took it?  Who are you?  Why is such a small girl left all alone in the woods?”
“Father, let her speak.  You ask too many questions at once.  Cannot you see she is frightened?” Hansel smiled at the girl and asked simply, “Where do you live?”
She took a deep breath and tried again, this time not so unsteadily. “I do not know where it is from here, or I would point it out to you.  I became lost.”  Her voice had a distinct accent. 
The farmer hissed and stepped back.  “You are from the Larkein kingdom?”
“Yes.” She smiled, not realizing what danger she put herself in by uttering such words in this house.  “Yes.  My father was the king.”
“Your father was the—?” Hansel gasped and looked at his father.  “My word! What have we done?” he asked him.
“If they knew we had the Larkein princess in this cottage we would be hanged.” 
They both looked back at the little girl, her bright blue eyes blinked back at them. She was a very pretty child and clearly frightened.  Hansel asked, “How old are you?”
She put on a brave smile and sat up straighter.  “I am six!  How are old are you?”
“Ten.” He turned toward his father.  “What should we do, Father?  We cannot toss her back out, surely?  She is too young.”
His father stumbled back a few more steps and then slammed his palm forcefully upon the rocking chair.  “We cannot keep her here!  We cannot!  Not with the king’s men invading her home this very day.  If they knew—if they knew she was with us.”
“What if they never found out?”
His father nearly fell to the wooden floor.  “What?!  Never found out?  Are you mad?  How can we keep a child—a female child—with a distinct Larkein voice in our home without anyone being the wiser?   Hansel!  No.  I must take her back into the night and allow the Gods decide what is best to do with her.”
“Father please!  I know they are a wicked kingdom, but please!  It is not saying the girl will be too.  We can hide her.  We can.  And she can learn how to speak properly.  We will say that she is my cousin, an orphan—from your sister Claudine.  Everyone knows she has just passed on and left a score of children.  They will not think anything of it.  Please, father.  You cannot send her out there.  She will die.”
“Hansel!  It better she die than us!” He pointed at the girl and she began to cry.  “Take her outside this instant.”
“No!  I will not.  For it is not right.  She is a child, Father.  She can be trained to be good.  Let us keep her, please.”
The farmer walked around and collapsed upon the rocking chair.  “My heart is too soft,” he muttered into his hand.  “It is too soft by half.  Now what will we get ourselves into?”
“I promise I will take full responsibility for her.  I will see that she is safe and teach her our ways.  Just do not let her go back out to meet her fate.  Perhaps her fate was that she was meant to come to us?  You yourself said it was the Gods who led you to her.  It can only be good that she brings.”
His father groaned and hunched over in his chair.  “I hope you are right, my son.  I hope you are right.”  He threw his arms out. “Fine.  She may stay.  Though it is with great trepidation and folly I agree to this.”
“Thank you, Father.” Hansel walked closer and peered into the little girl's bright eyes and asked, “What is your name?  What is it they call you in the castle?”
She smiled big then, showing a missing top tooth.  “Gretel.  My name is Gretel.”

8 comments:

  1. you are so cool. a lot of people dont toke about god but to say bad words but you toke about god to give him thikes for your storys.
    ps he das do funny saff to you but he das ot for a resn :)

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  2. Just throw in some dwarves and you'll be back on track. :)

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  3. Hot dwarves, Tristi! Don't forget, they need to be smokin'! ;)

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  4. Awesome blog post! And wow, fabulous first chapter as well. :) Love the Gretel twist. Could there possibly be a future romance here? What possibilities.

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  5. Love the blog, love the stories! We live in Durango, and the local settings are so much fun! Just wanted to say, all you have to do is what God puts in front of you, so follow the story He gives you. My daughters and I love your stories, and we are praying for you and your family.

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  6. I want to suggest these stories for your fairytale series.
    1. Little mermaid.
    2. Aladon.
    3. Thumbelina.
    4. Peter pan.
    5. Swan princess.
    6. Alice in wonderland
    :)

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  7. I Love it post a lil more and it'll be AMAZING lol jk
    ~ love VAMPIRE MONKEY!

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