Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The power of PRAYER!!!

In September 1960, I woke up one morning with six hungry babies and just 75 cents in my pocket. Their father was gone. The boys ranged from three months to seven years; their sister was two. Their Dad had never been much more than a presence they feared. Whenever they heard his tires crunch on the gravel driveway they would scramble to hide under their beds. He did manage to leave $15 a week to buy groceries. Now that he had decided to leave, there would be no more beatings, but no food either. If there was a welfare system in effect in southern Indiana at that time, I certainly knew nothing about it.

I scrubbed the kids until they looked brand new and then put on my best homemade dress, loaded them into the rusty old 51 Chevy and drove off to find a job. The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in our small town. No luck.

The kids stayed crammed into the car and tried to be quiet while I tried to convince who ever would listen that I was willing to learn or do anything. I had to have a job. Still no luck. The last place we went to, just a few miles out of town, was an old Root Beer Barrel drive-in that had been converted to a truck stop. It was called the Big Wheel.

An old lady named Granny owned the place and she peeked out of the window from time to time at all those kids. She needed someone on the graveyard shift, 11 at night until seven in the morning. She paid 65 cents an hour, and I could start that night. I raced home and called the teenager down the street that baby-sat for people. I bargained with her to come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night. She could arrive with her pajamas on and the kids would already be asleep. This seemed like a good arrangement to her, so we made a deal.

That night when the little ones and I knelt to say our prayers, we all thanked God for finding Mommy a job. And so I started at the Big Wheel. When I got home in the mornings I woke the baby-sitter up and sent her home with one dollar of my tip money-- fully half of what I averaged every night.

As the weeks went by, heating bills added a strain to my meager wage. The tires on the old Chevy had the consistency of penny balloons and began to leak. I had to fill them with air on the way to work and again every morning before I could go home. One bleak fall morning, I dragged myself to the car to go home and found four tires in the back seat. New tires! There was no note, no nothing, just those beautiful brand new tires. Had angels taken up residence in Indiana? I wondered.

I made a deal with the local service station. In exchange for his mounting the new tires, I would clean up his office. I remember it took me a lot longer to scrub his floor than it did for him to do the tires.

I was now working six nights instead of five and it still wasn't enough. Christmas was coming and I knew there would be no money for toys for the kids. I found a can of red paint and started repairing and painting some old toys. Then I hid them in the basement so there would be something for Santa to deliver on Christmas morning. Clothes were a worry too. I was sewing patches on top of patches on the boys pants and soon they would be too far gone to repair. On Christmas Eve the usual customers were drinking coffee in the Big Wheel. There were the truckers, Les, Frank , and Jim , and a state trooper named Joe . A few musicians were hanging around after a gig at the Legion and were dropping nickels in the pinball machine. The regulars all just sat around and talked through the wee hours of the morning and then left to get home before the sun came up.

When it was time for me to go home at seven o'clock on Christmas morning, to my amazement, my old battered Chevy was filled full to the top with boxes of all shapes and sizes. I quickly opened the driver's side door, crawled inside and kneeled in the front facing the back seat. Reaching back, I pulled off the lid of the top box. Inside was whole case of little blue jeans, sizes 2-10! I looked inside another box: It was full of shirts to go with the jeans. Then I peeked inside some of the other boxes. There was candy and nuts and bananas and bags of groceries. There was an enormous ham for baking, and canned vegetables and potatoes. There was pudding and Jell-O and cookies, pie filling and flour. There was whole bag of laundry supplies and cleaning items. And there were five toy trucks and one beautiful little doll.

As I drove back through empty streets as the sun slowly rose on the most amazing Christmas Day of my life, I was sobbing with gratitude. And I will never forget the joy on the faces of my little ones that precious morning. Yes, there were angels in Indiana that long-ago December. And they all hung out at the Big Wheel truck stop....

THE POWER OF PRAYER.
I believe that God only gives three answers to prayer:
1. 'Yes!'
2. 'Not yet.'
3. 'I have something better in mind.'
God still sits on the throne, the devil is a liar.You may be going through a tough time right now but God is getting ready to bless you in a way that you cannot imagine. This prayer is powerful, and prayer is one of the best gifts we receive. There is no cost but a lot of rewards. Let's continue to pray for one another. Here is the prayer:....Father, I ask You to bless my friends, relatives and blog buddies reading this right now. Show them a new revelation of Your love and power. Amen.

15 comments:

Lilly's Life said...

Congrats to the winner and Bella is adorable. I so loved that story too - thanks for posting it - I really like the message behind it.

Mama Wheaton said...

Thank you for the great story. A very nice way to start the morning.

imbeingheldhostage said...

Ahhh Jeannie, I believe God speaks to us through people when we're too stubborn to hear his voice. Bless you for this post.


Ask me how much I like your cookbook!! ;-)

Jamie said...

LOVE this post! Love the new look too!

sandy said...

Jeannie, you have no idea how much I needed this today.I awoke this morning feeling the greastest stress ever. Money is really tight for us despite the fact that my hubby works overtime 7 days a week. I have even considered going back to work myself, but with the cost of chilcare, it would just not pay. I now feel that if I would just put more faith in God and pray more instead of worrying so much that things might just work out. I pray every day. Not for myself, but for others. Now is my time:) Thank you!

ChicagoLady said...

What an amazing and inspiring story!

Kristina P. said...

What a beautiful story, Jeannie. Thank you for sharing.

LenaLoo said...

Wow that was an awesome and inspiring post, isn't God good? Thanks for your prayers and sweet words! Our interview went great today and we are looking forward to possibly starting up with FamilyLife Ministries within the year! Come by my blog, I've got a special offer for my buddies and prayer warriors out there!

SgtSudsWife said...

I love this story. It always reminds me things could be way worse than they are for me and to think positive when things are rough. Thank you for sharing!

Mandy said...

**wiping tears from my face**

Wow. What a great story. Thank you so much for posting this and reminding me that I have much to be thankful for and to do something for those that are in need.

The Blonde Duck said...

I don't know what to say! That's great.

Tranquility said...

I'm crying and sniffling... there isn't much that can do that to me. Well, ok, actually many things do that to me, but still, what a beautiful story. Do you know where it came from - or who the story belongs to? It's a wonderful reminder of how God takes care of us and how thankful I should be for everything that I have!

LadyStyx said...

I love this story, no matter HOW many times it shows up in my life.

Kristen said...

I heard about your post for Christopher Bedgood and posted it on my blog today. I have noticed some of my followers have also posted about him. I hope we can help make his wish come true and he gets lots of bags of cards. If you hear an update please let me know.
Thanks for posting this.

Christina said...

I need to keep this story close to my heart!