Prayer. And Humor.

We are watching a Twilight marathon on DVD this weekend (swoon) since we missed all the films when they came out in the theatre.  We do not get out enough.

Last night’s Breaking Dawn was interrupted by a call from Sir’s father that his mother had had a “malaise” and was in the hospital. Apparently she was disoriented for about six hours and had short-term memory loss, in what I think translates to a small aneurism. My practical, energetic, open-minded, sweet, dynamic mother-in-law did not know where she was or what day it was.

You know, because things were threatening to return to normal.

She’s doing great right now and the doctors assured us that just because it happened once doesn’t necessarily mean there will be a repeat-performance. She came home from the hospital today and is ready to pick back up where she left off with hiking and all the other social activities that she’s involved in (with the doctor’s blessing).

So we’re back to Eclipse tonight, and the pale-faced cuties.

Speaking of pale-faced cuties (who get suspicious moles removed from their face instead of diamond dust) … if you’ve read my blog consistently for awhile now, you would know that a year before I started dating Sir, I was walking across a parking lot with my friend José and I asked him out of the blue who my future husband was. Sir happened to be crossing the path at that moment and José (who knew him and had mentioned him to me before) pointed without hesitation and said, “Him!”

Oh no, that guy – he’s totally not my type,” was my outward response. “Too pale and aloof” was my inward retort.

But then on our first date after getting to know each other over coffee, Sir took me out for dinner and dancing. I am not a good dancer, but he surprisingly, definitely was.  As I stood there frozen on the dance floor and he moved towards me confidently with firm hands that pulled me close, I knew that I was a goner. Hello weak knees.  (Hello Edward Cullen).

If you were reading me back then, you might also remember that Sir had suffered a heartbreak at one point a couple of months before we finally got together and was inspired to pray while performing the mundane un-vampire-like task of washing the dishes.  He said something like “not only do I not know what kind of wife I need, I don’t even know the kind of wife I want. So God, I pray that you find me a wife.”

That same day his buddy Neyra said, “ hey you should really take my roommate Jennie out. You would like her.”  He thought, “could this be the answer to my prayer? So soon?”

“No. Impossible.”  So he didn’t call, and destiny was pushed back yet again.

Did I ever tell you about the time that Sir was getting ready to leave for two weeks in France and he prayed to get a free parking spot on the streets of New York City? Do you know how hard it is to get a free parking spot on the streets of New York City?

But there was one – one tiny street in the Village that didn’t have those street-cleaning signs that force you to move your car on alternate days so they can clean the streets. That was the only free parking option, and you can bet that there was never ever a parking spot available on that street because a lot of people knew about it.

But my faithful husband prayed. He pulled up to the street and turned on to it. There were no spots anywhere in sight.

He wasn’t ready to give up yet, so he drove around the block and as he was waiting at the stoplight, he prayed again. “God, if I’m not going to get a ticket and there is no other risk in parking here, I pray you give me a spot on this street. Just think of all the money I can save on parking – I can give that money to you!”

And just at that moment, a car pulled out.

He couldn’t believe his luck and was on pins and needles waiting til the light changed so he could have his chance to grab it. It was his! He got his free spot!  So with a light heart, he headed off to the airport where he killed time by cruising around the duty free shop and examining the watch selection. He wasn’t planning to buy a watch, but one of them caught his eye and in a rush, he decided to get it.  He brushed off the fact that it was a little expensive, justifying it with “I just saved a bunch of money on parking!”

When he came home two weeks later there was a message from a friend of his who lived on that street and who knew his car, saying he had a bunch of tickets on the windshield. Apparently the very week he left for France, they put street-cleaning signs up on the one remaining street in the City that didn’t have them and he no longer had a get-out-of-parking-free card.

Oh, the betrayal! Oh, the anger! God I specifically prayed that you would give me a spot on that street if I wasn’t going to get a ticket. And now I have a bunch of tickets that I’m going to have to pay for.  How could you?  

Then he remembered what he had promised to do with the money he saved on parking. He had promised to give it to God, and he had bought a watch instead.  When he counted up the parking tickets, you want to know how much the total was? The same amount that he had spent on his new watch … to the penny. (He paid his tickets and then donated the equivalent amount, just as he had promised).

And then there was that time I prayed to be a better servant – did I ever tell you about that?

Sir broke his foot that same day.

“Ah honey, while you’re up can you also bring me a glass of water? Oh, and can you help me to put another pillow under this foot?  Uh … sorry, but I left my book on that end of the room.”  By nightfall, I was well on my way to servitude.

I don’t know, I kind of think God has a sense of humor.

I mean, my mother-in-law was actually taking a First Aid course when she had her aneurism. At the Red Cross!  I can’t even be shocked by this “coincidence.” This is the same woman whose car engine burst into flames while she was idling at a stoplight a few years ago. And parked right behind her was a fire-extinguisher salesman who was all eagerness to demonstrate his wares. 

I seriously can’t make this stuff up.

So I think God has a good sense of humor.  Or he just loves us humans like crazy.

Or both.


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I am the daughter of a symphony musician who was raised in upstate New York, and I simply breathe all things classical, be it music or 19th century literature (English and Russian). I married Sir Renaissance in New York City, and before I knew it, he had swept me up and brought me back home to his own country. So here we are. Three children, a rather ordinary life in a rather exceptional place. I am now ‘A Lady in France.’

Posted in Family, La Famille (The Family), La Femme (The Lady), The Kids, The Lady, Tout le Reste (Everything else)
46 comments on “Prayer. And Humor.
  1. I think God loves you all. :)

    Glad your mother-in-law is alright!

    • ladyjennie says:

      You’re a sweetie – after reading your comment, I changed my post to read God loves “us humans” so no one would think I was trying to corner the market. 😉

  2. Stephanie says:

    Although my faith is shaky (and has been for at least a few years) I completely believe God has an awesome sense of humour.

    I am glad your MIL is good!

  3. Galit Breen says:

    Both. Definitely both.

    {Lovely, and lovingly told!}

  4. ayala says:

    Smiles…. You know they say you can make plans and God laughs…thank you for sharing.

  5. anna see says:

    Loved this post. Praying your MIL is well on the road to recovery today.

  6. Hillary says:

    I loved this. I always enjoy these kind of pieces, because I know what can happen with prayer, and it gives me joy to hear what God has given to others when they asked or when they simply needed. The part about the parking space was great.

    However, I always feel I have to pray like crazy and with due diligence for God to answer my requests. He does often, but sometimes, the small little pleas are left to shrivel in space.

    • ladyjennie says:

      Hi Hillary,

      I do know how you feel. I alternate between being the persistent widow (Luke 18) and remembering that God knows what I need anyway before I ask (Mt 6:32). I suppose there’s something to be said for both.

  7. Ameena says:

    I feel for your husband…parking tickets are no fun. And my husband? He excels in getting parking tickets.

    Poor guy!

    Glad your MIL is doing okay!

  8. It’s been a LONG while (far too long in fact) since I have visited your blog Lady… and I *know* it was God that sent me here today.

    First, I am thrilled that your mother in law is doing so well – and I’ll be here praying she make a full recovery.

    Second – because I don’t want to write an entire blog post here in your comments… let me just say that you may have given me a significant amount of hope and faith today. Things have been hard for me in the past week… and I realize now that I really haven’t been praying through it much at all.

    Anyway – I can expand much more some other time (probably while I am not at work) but just know that my heart thanks you immensely for sharing the answers to prayer – and God’s sense of humor.

  9. Sally says:

    Yes, I’m sure God has a sense of humor… and let’s face it, HE must find US hilarious! Glad your MIL is better, we recently had a similar scare with my Dad & it just makes me more grateful for every healthy day we are given.

  10. Andi says:

    I am not very religious, but I would substitute God with The Universe and totally agree!

  11. Jackie says:

    I’m happy to hear that your MIL is well! And did you make it through all the Twilight movies??? (that’s the real question here)

  12. Anne Marie says:

    Yes, God does have a sense of humor…that’s probably why HE loves us like crazy!!

  13. Tracie says:

    Both. Definitely both.

    I needed to read this today. For the reminder that God loves us like crazy, and the smile in how He has showed that to your family.

    Happy to hear your mother in law is doing okay.

  14. Melanie says:

    Heh, heh. God is amazing like that isn’t he, with his sense of humor and all.

    So glad you’re MIL is okay. And you’re pale faced cutie is a gem. So much better than that Edward Cullen – who honestly isn’t so bad. :-))

  15. Carole says:

    So glad your MIL is better. You all have been through quite enough already!

  16. I was hired for my first teaching position at the high school I myself had attended. It was odd, as I had been gone only five years and my teachers were suddenly colleagues.

    “Why, hello Al (Old Mr. Isenberg)! Nice to see you today!”

    Despite the initial awkwardness, the job quickly felt like home. My dream career had come true.

    Until the district, in their wisdom, made my father the principal and thus transfered me (an untested teacher) to our rival high school so as not to put him in the ethically questionable position of determining whether or not I was deserving of tenure at the end of the year.

    Oh how I raged. The injustice! The frustration! I was angry at EVERYONE.

    I sulked for the first three months at my new school. Then, one day, a beautiful fellow teacher (with a giant engagement ring on her finger) entered my room one lunch period and said, “I know this will sound crazy, but I just moved here and my fiance and I don’t know anyone and his friend is visiting from out of town and you seem very nice and we were wondering if you’d like to have dinner with us.”

    I seemed nice? More like spoiled and ungrateful. Still. For reasons I can’t explain even to myself, I went.

    18 years later, I am still married to their visiting friend and Al Isenberg is happily retired.

    Thank God.

  17. My husband and I have many of those prayed for you or for a spouse moments as well. The stories still make me swoon.

  18. Katharina says:

    I too have learned that you have to be very specific in your prayers as God has a delightful sense of humor and is well known for teaching us lessons.

    Lovely post sweet lady. Hope your MIL is feeling better.

    • ladyjennie says:

      Well said Katharina – a delightful sense of humor. 😉

      Not to make an unjust comparison, but did you ever see Bedazzled? It’s one of my all-time favorite comedies. (Again, no direct comparisons intended).

  19. I think it’s time for some easy days for your family, don’t you think, Jennie?

    And next time your husband goes to New York, let me know and I’ll ask my SIL to remind me of the street cleaning-free spots in Queens. :)

    • ladyjennie says:

      Oh boy, we sure could use a break – you’re right about that. :-)

      Hmm free parking in Queens, huh? We usually stay in NJ at friends’ houses and take the subway in so we’re good on that front.

      Thanks for the visit, friend.

  20. Oh I agree both!! (and I guess there really is no thing as a free parking spot :) )

  21. For got to add I am so happy to hear your MIL is okay. Enough already with life’s hard days!

  22. MommaKiss says:

    I’m absolutely going with “both” – I’ve had my ups and down with God, but in the end when those “coincidences” happen, I can’t help but smile.

    Very crazy about the watch / tickets. Mysterious ways…

  23. There was an old New Yorker cartoon with a bunch of stone-age looking natives standing around while cream pies descended from the skies. the one stone-age guy said to the other “the gods are larky tonight.” I completely agree. Or you could get all shakepearean and say as flies to wanton gods are we…but that would be morbid and awful, so I won’t say it. I will only say that god/fate/karma/dame fortune… that wheel spins and sometimes wacky crap happens. And I bet you’re right: edward cullen NEVER does dishes. am overdue to watch those movies. hmm. must make date with self and bottle of wine. my husband would simply laugh and ruin the mood.

  24. Harmony says:

    Amazing stories!

  25. Alexandra says:

    Coincidences. BLessings. God’s Hand clearly in our lives.


I'm Jennie. Welcome to A Lady in France! I write books, and also this blog on faith, French culture and recipes ... ( To continue reading, please click here. )

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