When it’s not easy to pray

Welcome to Tending Tuesday!

This week, I want to introduce Miriam Kook. She collaborated as a composer and music director with playwright and lyricist Steffi Rubin on a play about adoption called “My Other Mother” which enjoyed two staged readings in the Maryland area recently. She is currently writing her own musical about fatherless girls for which she is acting as playwright, composer, and lyricist. She has written a memoir through Amazon which is titled, “The Long Way Home: Father Lost, Father Found.” She volunteers for a local hospice where she plays and sings piano for residents. Her favorite music lovers are her six grandchildren.

Here is how Miriam tends her way by the Word…

I have been a believer for 48 years now. I did not come from a Christian family and I grew up in a lot of chaos and strife.

I was never taught about forgiveness or God’s love or how to work through problems within myself or between myself and others. I knew nothing except how to get by as best as I could.

It is a hard life out there in the world without the Lord! When I miraculously and mercifully found the Lord at age 18, I had a lot to overcome and a lot to learn.

Early on in my Christian life, I was introduced to having a quiet time, setting aside a special time (for me in the morning) to read my Bible and to talk to God from my heart.

The problem was, I struggled to talk to God.

In my family, we did not talk about heart issues. We kept our feelings to ourselves and, when we talked, we mainly talked about politics and gossip.

While I loved the idea of talking to God, the practice of it was (and still is) hard for me. Someone in my life at the time suggested that I try writing my prayers down- these days we call it journaling!

I bought myself a notebook and started a practice I call “writing letters to the Lord.” In these letters, I write all kinds of things to Him. I tell Him about my day, I talk to Him about struggles I am having, I tell Him about people that need His help, I even draw simple stick figure pictures to try to capture what is going on in my life.

I write down things I am learning in the Bible and things I believe God is saying to me, whatever is on my mind and heart.

I just counted and I have exactly 48 notebooks full of letters to the Lord. I have appointed my granddaughter Naomi, who loves to write, to be the keeper of the notebooks and to do something creative with them when I am gone.

I have already used the early ones to help me with writing a first edition of my memoirs. And once in a while, I pick a notebook at random and read through some of my writings. When I read my letters to the Lord, I will often laugh or cry and it inspires me to speak out loud from my heart to God, to praise and thank Him for what He has taken me through.

I am still growing in my ability to speak from my heart to God.

David Jeremiah, a wonderful Bible teacher and pastor is an enthusiastic advocate of journaling. When he went through an ordeal with cancer a number of years ago, he observed that his journal became a place of self-examination.

He felt that without a journal, the devil could have used his down days as a tool of destruction. Instead, his down days became a source of seeing how God works and building faith for future down days.

The Bible itself is an advocate for writing things down, such as Jeremiah 30:2; Job 19:23-25. God Himself has a book where He keeps records of things as seen in Psalm 56:8, Psalm 139:16, Malachi 3:16

Not everyone has a hard time talking to God. But whether talking comes easily to you or you struggle with it, I encourage you to try writing letters to the Lord. It will be a record of your spiritual life that you and your family will be able to delight in for years to come.

Psalm 102:18 Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord.

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