When we built our house ten years ago, we decided to not put very much carpet in it. After years of cleaning carpet stains and eradicating smells from carpet, we decided it was time for the Fouts Family to live the life of the carpet-free. We were ecstatic – hardwood floors and tile was all it was going to be for us in our brand-new house! That was the plan, anyway. Until it came to our bedroom.
As we were finishing up our master bedroom, I started to have doubts about hardwood floors in the room in which my feet would hit the ground straight out of bed each morning. Even though we discussed area rugs around the bed, I still just couldn’t wrap my head around the idea of hardwood floors in my bedroom. It just seemed cold, somehow. It just didn’t fit.
So, after much discussion and debate, we decided to get carpet in the master bedroom and in the master bedroom only. (That would be for me, aka mom, the princess.) I got to pick it out and everything. It was the perfect oatmealy color and loosely looped shag that I wanted. For a few years, I loved it.
Of course, that was before someone spilled fruit punch on it.
And the outdoor water faucet on the opposite side of the wall burst and leaked.
That was before Joanna Gaines made hardwood floors in bedrooms look so perfectly cozy.
Now, over a decade later, my Pinterest boards are filled with pictures of master bedrooms with hardwood floors and area rugs.
However, even though I have so many reasons to detest my bedroom carpet, there is one reason I still like it – the Prayer Trail.
...when I pray, I walk.
You see, I’ve developed this strange habit that when I pray, I walk. 'Round and 'round my bedroom, I walk. Over the years this prayer walking has worn a path that has special meaning in my heart. That path has been walked unenthusiastically by a tired mom who was just completing her regular morning ritual of praying for her family, and that path has been walked by a woman who was so moved by desperate circumstances that her prayer walking was so intense it’s a wonder her feet moving across the carpet didn’t spark a fire.
I remember requests I prayed on that carpet that seemed like they’d never be answered. For days, weeks, months, years, prayer walking and tongue talking for specific needs that seemed impossible – but then, finally, miraculously, in God’s timing, those prayers were answered! And right now, with three teenage boys and pastoring a church and just life in general, it seems like there’s always something that needs to be brought to the carpeted path.
And so, I walk. 'Round and 'round. Sometimes I trudge, exhausted from the day and from how cruel and frustrating people can be, and sometimes I almost dance, overjoyed at the results of answered prayers.
I don’t know how people who don’t communicate with the Lord make it. I really don’t.
This life is so complicated and confusing and heartbreaking that I can’t imagine trying to navigate my own way through it. If you haven’t ever claimed a Prayer Place, I encourage you to do so. There’s just something about having a go-to spot, a dedicated time and place that you meet with the Lord. It gives me great hope when I can look back and remember prayers I prayed in that place that seemed like they’d never be answered – and they were.
What about you? Do you have a prayer path worn smooth in your carpet? Do you have a closet dedicated to prayer? Knee prints in the rug next to your bed? An outdoor spot that’s your meeting place with the Lord? Please share! I’d love to hear where you pray, and how the prayers you’ve prayed in that sacred location have enriched your ministry, your family, and your life.
Martha Fouts and her husband, Kevin, of 22 years have three boys, ages 16, 15 and 13. Her primary passion in ministry at Discovery Church (Yukon, OK), where the couple are lead pastors, is to serve wherever she is needed, from women's ministry to hospitality. But her personal passion is to write. With four books to her credit, as well as a blog, Martha has a wide variety of offerings for the female reader. When she manages to find free time between her taxi services to three active boys, Martha loves to go shopping or snuggle up with a good book. Looking for a new book to read? Find her works at Amazon or your favorite e-book retailer.