Those wise words still echo in my head. They were spoken to me by the priest during confession several years ago. It was Lent and I’d finally decided to get my act together and celebrate the Sacrament. In preparation, though, I had been beating myself up about my lack of a prayer life. Everyone kept telling me, “Just carve out 15 minutes a day” or “Make time to pray the Rosary.” With three children under the age of four, if I had an extra 15 minutes then hell would’ve frozen over. Every waking minute was filled with diaper changes, dinner preparation, playing nurse to my older two boys’ escapades, nursing a newborn and refereeing fights. I tried to fit sleep and a shower in there, but I was poorly lacking in those departments, as well.
In the confessional, Fr. David spoke those words to me and it’s like the burden was lifted, some imaginary yoke I’d put on my shoulders was no longer there. I’d had it all wrong. I was trying to pray for a lifestyle I wasn’t living.
You see, today, as the busy mom of five, ages 11-2, I needed to find a way to meet God where I was. Funny thing is, He was already there, waiting on me.
When I was wash the dishes, I give God a shoutout for his vast abundance of food in our home.
As I fold the laundry, I offer it up for a friend going through a rough time.
During bedtime, as I read books to my children, I always make note to find at least one religious one so we can read about our faith.
When we are headed to one of 15 million after-school activities, I tune the radio to the Christian station or pop in a TobyMac CD and we all sing along. Or, if the kids are particularly cantankerous I make them pray five Hail Mary’s to themselves. Works everytime.
After school, when the neighbors are out playing and I head out the door, I say a quick (as in ten-second) plea to God to allow me to witness to my friends in whatever way He sees fit.
My husband and I have made it a priority to head to confession every three months and take the older two children with us.
As I kiss my children goodnight, I feel the flood of thanksgiving for my many blessings and say a silent, “thank you” to their Maker.
The thing is, my life doesn’t allow for me to pray Liturgy of the Hours every day, say a rosary on a whim, attend daily Mass or spend an hour in adoration every day. That doesn’t make me less of a follower of Christ. No, I actually think knowing my limitations and finding God throughout the day allows me to be the kind of Mom he envisions. I like to say my prayer life is organic. It changes every day, depending upon where I’m called as a Mom.
I know that someday, in the not too distant future, there won’t be any more diapers to change, food to cut up or little people to herd. My children will be more self-sufficient and I’ll get some time back in my day. Regardless, my vocation is and always will be, motherhood. We pray differently than a nun. And that’s okay.