God used Gabrielle (and her hand-made craft for me) as a beautiful answer to a heartfelt prayer in Autumn 2007, which resulted in an intimate testimony of His faithfulness and love for me and her, and in me having my very first published devotion: "A Heart More Beautiful".
Our children were home from school yesterday and Thursday due to another Nor' Easter Snow Storm, touted as a "Snowicane" due to the heavy winds and predicted white outs. I was up earlier than usual on Thursday morning waiting to see if school was on or off. Once I knew school was canceled for the day, I stayed up and enjoyed lingering quiet time with the Lord and in His Word.
Just after 7 AM when the cherubs awoke and our serendipitous snow day together began, I felt my body tiring. Tossing the third load of laundry of the day into the washer just before 9 AM, I silently prayed to the Lord. "Lord, I am feeling tired this morning. I'd love to take a little nap today. But the kids are home and I don't want to nap while they are home. I want to cherish this time with them. But if it pleases You that I take a nap today, can you please speak through one of my children? I'd love a little nap today. Thank you."
Now, I don't think I have ever prayed a prayer like that before. First of all, naps these days are a rare treasure. When the cherubs were babies and toddlers, I often napped when they did. It was necessary for my survival. Their napping days are long over, which mean my afternoon naps have vanished as well. Secondly, while I pray God lives and dwells in the hearts of my children daily, I don't usually pray that He would speak through them to me as an answer to prayer. (Perhaps I should pray that more often!)
I continued about my day asking the Lord to direct my steps. My private prayer to the Lord for a little nap was kept quietly in my heart. I was thankful to have an unexpected day home to get some projects and chores accomplished. (Mondays and Thursdays are the days I work outside of the home.) And being together with my cherubs on our snow days, making memories of hot chocolate with a dollop of Marshmallow Fluff and having warmed outerwear ready for them to go outside and frolic in the snow are privileges I treasure as a mom. I asked God to balance my day and establish the work of my hands. "May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands." (Psalm 90:17)
Shortly before lunch on Thursday, after spending some time in her "craft corner" in the basement playroom, Gabrielle skipped up to me and said, "Mommy I made something for you. I made you a scroll with a special message just for you!" She opened the scroll and began reading her edict to me: