Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Pray Like a Mom!

Let's talk morning prayers. I am not a morning person, so I struggle with my attitude about morning prayers a lot. This has been my thought process in 2014:

January - The baby isn't waking up at night to nurse anymore, so I should be able to get up and have some quiet mommy prayer time. However, he does wake up anywhere between 5:00 and 7:00am, making it impossible to guarantee my quiet time. He is still nursing immediately upon waking and is nursing a lot during the day, so I really do need my sleep. I can't go to bed earlier, because he takes two naps a day and the 3 year-old naps in between the baby's naps. So, I don't get time to myself except at night, and I'm usually in bed by 11pm. I'll just try to talk to God during that morning nursing. (Of course, more often I fall back to sleep.)

In February, I wrote this.

March - The baby is one. Shouldn't I stop feeling the foggy-brain haze by now? He still wakes up between 5:00 and 7:00am and is still nursing immediately and a lot during the day. I might have to try quiet prayer time with him, but as soon as the 3 year-old wakes up, he talks all. the. time. So, how is this supposed to work? The best I can do is stop for a quick morning offering while I'm getting dressed. That will have to do, for now.

May - The baby is the same. I'm still tired all the time. Maybe this is more than lack of sleep. I'll get some better vitamins. I went on a women's retreat (with the baby) and loved every minute, but I feel like I came back unchanged. I'm still drowning. I need God. The morning offering is good but not great. I just wish I had more time with Him!

July - I can breathe a little. Hubby and I are creating some empty spaces in the margins that have enabled me to not rush through every second of my day. That has allowed more peace and more thoughts of God throughout the day. I'm trying to do Morning Prayer from the Divine Office on my phone in the mornings. When I do, I am interrupted every time, but I do finish it and feel better afterwards. Do I feel better because I can check that off my to do list or because I'm really connecting with God, though? Don't overanalyze! Something is better than nothing.

September - In order to go on a trip this summer, I took photos of the morning offering and a few other prayers I like to say in the morning. It's helped tremendously to have no excuse not to flip to those and stop whatever I am doing to pray. So morning offering is happening. I've fallen out of the habit of Morning Prayer, though. I really long for quiet time alone with Jesus. I could try setting my alarm for 5:30am, as I'm more likely to be alone then, but I'm afraid I would just fall asleep. I do want to start a weekly hour of Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. If I do that and continue my morning offering and attempt Morning Prayer, that might suffice. Listen to me! I won't ever be satisfied, because my image of silent meditative uninterrupted prayer is what one would find in a convent, not in a house full of little people.

And so, the other morning, as I sat on the recliner, wrapped in a blanket, struggling to stay awake and keep an eye on the two little boys eating at the table at 6am, I prayed to God. I thanked Him for that day, for that moment to be with him. I begged him to help me say and do the right things to help my children grow in virtue throughout the day. And, I remembered the words Kathryn Whitaker had shared with us at the women's retreat I attended in May. She attributed them to a wise priest, a mutual friend, Fr. David Konderla (his amazing homilies are free here), who told her:

Pray like a mom, not like a nun!

And, I realized I just did.

So, dish, ladies. What, honestly, does morning prayer look like for you right now and what would you like it to look like?

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