Saturday, February 1, 2014

Making Time for Prayer for this Busy Mom

As part of my new years routine, I wanted to make time for prayer. As Jen Hatmaker wrote in her book Out of the Spin Cycle, (which is a wonderful devotional for mothers, by the way!), she said a statement that has stuck with me. 

Goodness in, Goodness out. 

When we deplete ourselves, which mothers tend to do, we have no goodness to come out when our children decide to learn to use the ice-maker and carry glasses full to the brim of ice and water back and forth to the couch while you're upstairs putting laundry away. Then decide that the couch cushions are definitely sturdy enough to set the fuller-than-the-brim water cups on as they get comfortable. (I can't make this stuff up.) Deep breaths. 

Now if I have goodness left in me I can use some good old Love and Logic on them and never lose my temper or complain that I slipped on the icy river running from the fridge to the couches. I can just smack them with loving, but tough, consequences. If I have no goodness left inside of me, and have given everything away, I will crack. 

Which I have done more times that I want to remember. 

So this year I've been making a gigantic effort to get up early and put some goodness in me before the family wakes up with their demands of cheese sticks and pickles for breakfast. However you get goodness I'm sure would be wonderful, but for me I like to turn to prayer and solitude. So I traced my adorable little naughty monkeys hands, and wrote prayers for them on their tiny fingers. While they are looking all angelic asleep in their beds at 5am, I read some Bible, read some Out of the Spin Cycle, and pray for them. Their tiny hands remind me how tiny they are, and how much they have to learn, and mistakes like icy rivers are just part of the learning process. 

I made a square for my husband and put prayers for him, too. I didn't make him let me trace his hand :) 

It takes commitment and it takes me turning the tv off and not seeing if Chef Ramsey changed the burger joint, which doesn't really matter anyway really, since it's in LA and I'm in 'fly over country' as LA likes to call Colorado. 

This habit really does make a difference in my mood and attitude during the day. It reminds me that getting to preschool on time with the perfect bow and matching outfit is much less important than treating my daughter and her choices with respect and love. It reminds me that Jesus didn't ask us to be perfect and live a perfect life in a perfectly decorated house with perfectly behaved kids who go to perfect prep schools. He asked us to love and do good works and help the poor and do so much more soul fulfilling things. 

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?To act justly and to love mercy    and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8