Friday, December 2, 2011

My Quest for Quiet

How can a busy wife and homeschooling mom find quiet? It seems next to impossible. On Thanksgiving Day, after cooking all day and feeding my family, I put the baby in the stroller and took a short walk around the neighborhood. The quiet was so alluring that it was difficult to go back home.

In that quiet, I could really talk to God, honestly. I knew He was with me, near me, could truly feel his presence.

Late at night when I am up with my wakeful toddler, I try to pray. I can get through one or two decades of a Rosary with a sincere heart. Then, I either get too tired or too frustrated to pray meaningfully. My words are empty.

In the morning, if I remember to stay in my nursing chair for just a few extra minutes to pray an offering, I am already being pulled in several directions by the needs of my family. Breakfast, schoolwork, laundry, and more beg my attention. Two minutes is something but not enough.

We periodically have quiet time in the middle of the day, but when the toddler is ready for his nap, my older two children are still finishing schoolwork, often needing my assistance. Taking time away from them for prayer escapes me. Most often I just escape online, an easier way to “get away.”

Several times in my life as a mother I have made early morning quiet time work for me, before anyone else is up. That time has been like precious gold and fed me in miraculous ways. It has not worked, however, in quite a while. I am generally trying to keep the wakeful toddler quiet long enough for everyone else to sleep.

And, so this Advent, I am begging God to show me the quiet. I want to be with Him and talk with Him, to share my joys and struggles, to open myself to His love and His mercy, both of which I so desperately need. I know He is all around me; I pray for my eyes to see and my ears to hear.

I have all confidence that God will give me opportunities for quiet. He wants me to be with Him even more than I desire to be with Him (but I am the one who *needs* Him). My greater prayer is for the self-discipline to accept these gifts of quiet, to allow myself moments with my Lord.

I pray for you, my friend, that in ways and times that suit our seasons in life, we may both embrace the quiet we are given to be with the Lord in peaceful anticipation of the Birth of His Son.



Apron Appeal said...

Praying has evolved for me throughout my life. When I hear my children pray I remember what it used to be. I think of what my prayers were as I struggled through difficult issues in school and early marriage. I was able to use that time to build the foundation for what I have now.

As the hours of the day slip away more quickly as my children grow I would often feel guilt for not kneeling in formal prayer or giving myself the time to have a complete meditative prayer. I strived for that because I felt the loss as I moved away from something that was familiar into something that was unknown.

You will find what you desire, just be aware that what you desire may not be what you expect. Prayer does not have to be quite reflection cut out as a sacrifice from an eventful day. It does not have to be in quiet or in solitude.

antonina31 said...

Thanks for the great reminder! God often changes our desires if we are open to His will. In this season of my motherhood, I think it is vital to my spiritual health to seek ways to find Him in quiet moments (however brief those may be) and to find Him in the busy-ness, too, as long as I am continually open to whatever He wishes for me!