But suffice it to say his surgery kept him out of commission for quite a while, and during that time wrangling the 2 kiddos became my 24/7 responsibility. I was so nervous about this that prior to the surgery that I solicted anyone and everyone's prayers: for my hubby's recovery and adjustment, for my wee ones to have extra grace with Daddy, and strength, endurance and *joy* for me.
One of the first places I took these requests was to my friends and family. (OK, I first took them to God... but after that, then I took them to friends and family). I was so humbled to immediately receive those prayers and then some! (More on that in a minute).
But I also did something I never had before - I shared them with folks on a website: PrayMoreNovenas.com. Right before his surgery, the folks at PrayMoreNovenas announced that their next novena would be to St. Anne - the mother of Mary and grandmother of Jesus. She is often asked (by single women) for help in finding a spouse, but she has also been known to intercede for people in need of healing. In addition to this, the novena was perfectly (miraculously?) timed to go for the 9 days prior to my husband's surgery. Well, this sounded like more than just a coincidence to me so I logged on and typed in my prayer requests, and hit "Publish".
I have to admit: praying novenas, especially to saints, is still very new to me. Because it's so new, my senses are heightened and I'm paying close attention to everything I say and do. Well, come to find out I have some phrases that I use in prayer that come out, just on auto-pilot, that are really not appropriate in a prayer to a saint (like St Anne for instance). Like, I say "Lord". A. Lot. If anyone else were to be listening to me pray they would think that I have either forgotten who I was talking to, or that I think Jesus has nodded off and needs to be snapped back to attention. It's bad. So I learned I have to really pay attention to what I'm saying.
In any case, praying this novena to St. Anne was a great consolation to me. As was having my friends pray for us as well! They loved on us with prayers and food - and I can say with certainty - our bodies and souls were blessed. My husband especially loved our friend Monica's chicken bites that he had to have the recipe - which he doesn't often say things like that! So you can trust that this one is a keeper.
Course: Main Course
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 24 Ritz crackers (Original, whole wheat or a combination)
- 1⁄2 cup grated parmesan
- 1⁄2 tsp seasoned salt
- 1 tsp thyme scant
- 1 tsp basil
- 1⁄2 cup butter melted (or avocado oil or EVOO)
- Preheat oven to 400 deg. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Put crackers, salt, thyme and basil into a gallon ziploc bag. Close bag and crush crackers into crumbs.
- Add parmesan to bag and mix thoroughly.
- Cut chicken into strips and coat in butter (or oil).
- Toss 5-6 strips into the bag and shake to coat. Remove and place on baking sheet.
- Repeat till all strips of chicken are used.
- Bake 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is done.
Oh, and the best part? Our prayers were answered!! Praise be to our Lord and Savior for hearing the prayers of His saints.