Karen Edmisten has an inspiring article up on her blog about prayer and motherhood:
As mothers, we often find it difficult to keep our prayer lives strong because of the unpredictability of our days. If we remember a simple guideline, both our prayer lives and our motherhood can be strengthened: our duty is to make an appointment with our Lord, and to keep it. If He allows our appointment time to be consumed by making pancakes, settling a fight, or getting a Band-Aid for a scraped elbow, that�s His choice. Our end of the bargain is to patiently, faithfully follow His lead, attending to whatever He has deemed to be the most important prayer of the moment. Sometimes that prayer will be profoundly contemplative, lifting us nearly to the heights of Heaven. Sometimes it will be as simple and earthly as showing our children we love them enough to put down a book, look into their eyes, and say, �Will that be purple or green today?�
I had one of those moments this morning. I had just opened my prayer book when Isabella started whining in the other room. I had to put the book down, walk across the room and ask her: “Show me what you need.” She can’t express most of her frustrations in words yet; but can frequently lead me to the source of her anxiety and I can figure out how to help her. But today as soon as she had my attention she seemed to forget what she’d wanted. She meandered about the dining room, poking about on the desk and pushing the chair. Then we wandered aimlessly into her bedroom. Finally, I said, “If you don’t need me, I’m going to go say my prayers.” At that she went to the night stand in her room and picked up the bottle of holy water and handed it to me. Well, yes, when we say bedtime prayers with her we do begin by blessing ourselves with holy water. So I put a bit of water on my hand, made the sign of the cross and blessed her. Then she seemed satisfied. She handed me The Very Quiet Cricket and I read the “short version” where I omit all the repetition that drives me crazy. Then I was able to go back to the living room and pray.
Well, with a few more interruptions. A couple more books had to be read. I had to activate the light on my cell phone. Etc.
But all those interruptions I accepted with a peaceful heart. Some days God speaks through the psalms, other days God talks to me through The Very Quiet Cricket and a warm body snuggled in my lap.
Thanks, Karen, for the much needed reminder.
I also needed the reminder in the note she added as a preface to this essay:
But, if I could change one thing about this essay, I would remind mothers that there are seasons in their lives wherein “scheduled prayer” is nigh impossible. Pregnancy, newborns, illness … all can lead to times when prayer is offered up (desperately, it sometimes seems) only in the carrying out of our duties at mothers. Walking the floor at 3 a.m., rocking the screaming baby, feeding and feeding yet again … they are all forms of prayer—the prayer of the moment—when given to God.
That’s a reminder I’ve needed many times in the past weeks. Fortunately, I’ve been very blessed with many friends, more experienced mothers than I, who have reassured me that this season in my life when prayer seems impossible and schedules non-existent, is one they’ve all been through and that it too is a gift from God.