i have a good friend that blogs more regularly than i do. she's long been a hero of mine, mostly because when she lived here she was a high school english teacher and i thought that was an impossible job. she wasn't just an english teacher, though, she was an exceptional english teacher. i may have finally had that job myself, but i know i wasn't as dedicated and academic and hard working as she was. i still admire her, even though i'm no longer teaching. she's the sort of teacher that makes me value public education and want teachers to be treated as professionals. probably because she is so professional. anyway, she won't be so comfortable with all this praise so i'll move on.
yesterday she pointed out that today was the beginning on november and apparently, for the last few years, she's done a daily gratitude post in the month of november. sort of a thanksgiving day/month celebration. she was feeling a bit less than grateful, though, and i thought one thing i could do to support her was maybe do my own list. you know how doing things with others is easier - at least it is for me - so i'm joining in the thanksgiving celebration.
for my first post i could list all sorts of things, like being grateful for julie and her good example, or i could say something about this being the month i was married in last year - but i figure gratitude for julie is implied by doing this whole shebang anyway, and gratitude for my good marriage will be saved for my actual anniversary. :) instead i've got a good story for today to express my gratitude for prayer.
yesterday was a hard day for bret and me. we were both pretty down and sad most of the afternoon and into the evening. some friends of ours in the ward are separating. well, we heard that she's leaving him. i'm not sure what all that implies for the future, but it was heavy news, just that bit. when it was time for bed we were also worried about the burdens of today. bret went into work an hour and a half early to take care of all the extra stuff he knew would pile up on a monday. he usually doesn't work at this particular pharmacy on mondays, but he does on tuesdays, and when he gets in on tuesdays there's usually a pile up of stuff that got put off, and he doesn't feel right about doing that, so he figured he better get in and get to work before the store actually opens. i'd like to point out here that his normal shift is already 10 hours so with an extra hour and a half he's in for a killer day. he has a hard job. but that's just me complaining - not him. so anyway, back to our story. last night we said our family prayer and specifically prayed for our friends and for bret to be able to sleep soundly and be ready for today. we even went to bed about an hour early in anticipation of the longer day. it just so happens i can sleep like the wind. i must have gone straight to sleep, but then i woke up with a start at midnight. according to bret i was shaking him. all i remember, though, is hearing him say, "good, it's not quite midnight, if i can just fall asleep now then i'll still be able to get 6 hours of sleep." i guess he had not fallen asleep at all; he had lain there for two hours trying to fall asleep and still hadn't. he's the sort that usually needs nine hours of sleep - six was not ideal but i knew he needed that. so i decided it was time for serious prayer on his behalf. i did it quietly because i didn't want to talk to him and keep him up longer. lately we've been reading the gospel of luke together and it's chock full of miracle stories. in our combined priesthood and relief society meeting yesterday we had a lesson on the power of the priesthood in performing healing blessings. part of the discussion mentioned that even when the priesthood is not available there is great power in the prayer of the faithful. i knew god can perform miracles and i felt like bret needed one and i knew that faithful prayer could work. so i prayed and kept praying and kept consciously reminding myself that the miracle could happen. after 20 minutes i heard the tell tale sounds of his breathing/snoring. i knew he was asleep. i said a quick prayer of gratitude and put my ear plugs in and went back to sleep myself.
it is not often i am the witness of such miracles. it seems when god answers prayers it often comes in the "fourth watch" so when this prayer was answered i felt i had seen a miracle. in the morning i asked bret how he had slept. apparently he hadn't dreamed and he hadn't woken up a bit. that's pretty rare for him, so i feel like that prayer was answered and then some. not only was he able to fall asleep, he managed to stay asleep. i am grateful for the power of prayer.
now i need to continue to pray for our friends who are going through such a hard time. i only wish i knew how to reach out and be a support when the problem is so sensitive and private.