Andrew’s been waking me early every morning. A little nudge and a “Were you going to pray?” I croak “Mm hmm.” He goes to a corner of our room, Bible in-hand, and spends time with the Lord before the monkeys get up.
We’ve been talking about this – how we should “parallel pray” before the kids wake, before we start the day.
And because there’s zero pretense here at TCW, I’ll tell you my response has been underwhelming; I mumble a Hail Mary or half a Morning Offering before I convince myself that what Jesus really wants for me is sleep. Right?? I mean I’m tired, in-demand, pregnant, we’ve had a load of life changes, and chances are I stayed up late for Me Time.
Twenty minutes of dozing later, there’s a stampede of smallish feet headed for our bedroom door.
Jesushelpme. Amen. I’m up!
“Mooooooom! Where are my undies??”
“Mama I need bweakfast. Do we have cookies?”
“Can we watch a show?!”
Spills. Tears. Tantrums. And the kids are worse.
After a blur of daytime hours, we get the kids down and I’m ready to cry from the emotional exhaustion. Same plans to Sorta Pray tomorrow.
“You know,” Andrew prodded me, “Jesus told me to sit up when I pray in the morning because I kept going back to sleep.” Point taken. (And I’m loving his initiative on this.)
I really fought for it today – the peaceful start I’ve been dreaming of.
The alarm I rarely hear went off. Andrew prompted as he daily does, “Do you want to pray?” but unlike mornings prior, I bolted up and reached for my Small Steps for Catholic Moms and Unbound. Andrew’s Bible pages turned in the background as I approached the Lord myself.
I breathed and rested in Jesus, who I knew at once had been waiting for me.
I went over the forthcoming hours in my head, asking God to help me be generous to my children, supportive and encouraging to Andrew, and sweetly charitable in all circumstances. I wanted to receive the life in our home and respond with love.
I should mention that I have been finding all of the above – shall we say challenging. Downright impossible in some cases.
But this one morning of prayer was absolutely transformative. I was sweeter with the kids and we laughed together all day long . I surprised Andrew with a cinnamon roll (his favorite) and hazelnut coffee (also favorite) from Panera, leaving them right where he’d find them next to a jotted YOU CAN DO IT note. I was productive around our basement-apartment and cheerful.
I felt unburdened by life. Unburdened.
Most of the time I feel dry, taxed, weighed upon; that adult-wife-mama sensation we get.
But I see clearly that juggling the stress, to-dos, babies, and marriage without solid time with the Lord greys the brightness of each blessing. It turns them into burdens and makes us feel like they suck our life away instead of us joyfully giving ourselves to them.
Jesus had been waiting to relieve me of this – I just had to draw near.
And if, as daughters made in the Image and Likeness, we’re supposed to imitate the Lord in his responses to life and people, then being in direct, intentional, vulnerable conversation with him will sharpen that imitation.
In prayer, I give my burdens and ask for the grace to see blessings.
So here’s to the start of something new – the start of being made new. I have every intention of keeping up with Andrew’s prompting, which is absolutely the Holy Spirit working through my husband to get to me; and I can’t wait for how a build-up of days and days of Jesus in the morning will change our world.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:28-29)