So, she inspired me for my Five Favorites post this week.
When you become a mother...your prayer life really changes. That's probably stating the obvious, but I was so unprepared for just how much it would change. Here are some ways I stay afloat in the midst of this vocation.
Short sprints, not marathons.
A wonderful and wise priest once gave me the advice that, as a mother struggling to find time to pray, spending a very short amount of time pouring out my heart to Jesus every day was more valuable than worrying about whether or not I was praying enough. So now, before bed every night, I spend two minutes (or somewhere around there) having a heart-to-heart with Jesus. Do you know what? Aiming for only a couple minutes relieves the pressure and I sometimes end up praying for much longer. But, many nights I don't...and that's okay! There was a time in my life for marathon prayer sessions - and I'm sure they'll be a time for those again, eventually - but it's alright that right now I'm in a time in my life when my prayer time is shorter, but just as heartfelt.
Let Jesus "rub off on you."
A different priest - but one who is equally wise and wonderful - recently called attention to the fact that just spending time with Jesus in the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation goes a long way. He reminded me that, like the Apostles, what ultimately will have the greatest effect on my growth in holiness is just spending time with Jesus. Sometimes, of course, that time will be perfectly focused. Sometimes it won't be. Sometimes I'll be extremely distracted at Mass or in adoration...and that's okay! Jesus can still "rub off on me" (as this priest so aptly put it).
Find what form of prayer feeds you and make time for it every week.
I really, really love daily Mass. I don't know why, exactly, but it completes me and fills me in a way that nothing else does...probably that Eucharistic Jesus rubbing off on me! Anyway, I live in a larger diocese and so it's totally feasible to find daily Masses later in the day (since 8am daily Masses aren't feasible right now). I don't go to daily Mass because I feel like I have to, or because I think it's a good thing to do. I go because it really feeds me. It helps me de-stress and be a better wife and mom. That's not to say that going to daily Mass isn't a good thing to do even if it isn't your favorite thing...but for me, it is!
Often, I take the girls with me, but once a week I try to go either by myself or with only one of my daughters. It's quieter that way, and I have an easier time just being with Jesus.
Some moms love the rosary. Some love adoration. Some love keeping a spiritual diary. Some love weekly Confession. Some love praying the Liturgy of the Hours. Some love going for a walk or run and listening to spiritual or liturgical music, or just being in the silence. Find what feeds you and make time for it, even if it's just once a week. Set a manageable goal for yourself and just do it. You'll be so much calmer if you give yourself that quiet time with Jesus, in whatever form of prayer suits you best.
Say a morning offering.
There are all kinds of longer, beautiful morning offerings out there. I hope to learn one of them at some point, but in the meantime, the Abbot and I came up with one that is short and easy to pray together and with our daughters every morning. (And some mornings we forget to pray as a family, but it's so short and easy that I can usually manage to pray it by myself as I'm waking up):
Loving God, we offer You this day
All we think, do, and say;
May it be pleasing in Your sight.
And then, there is this:
Sometimes I want to stop at adoration on the way home...but I have two crying, tired, or hungry daughters in the backseat with other ideas. Ultimately, my life is about obedience and love for God, and putting my desire to please Him above my own preferences. And, in those moments, I remind myself that this is my vocation - that God has called me to be married to the Abbot and mother to Sisters Stinky and Nugget - and that it pleases Him when I love them. It pleases Him when I make them dinner, or quell my frustration over a toddler meltdown, or choose not to nag my sainted husband. This vocation...it is a gift. God wants me to put my whole heart into living it out, and not worry about praying perfectly. He wants me to find Him in this beautiful vocation I've been given!
How does your prayer life look like, as a mother? Do you have any tips of your own to share?