A Mother's Prayer Life

Originally published Monday, 17 March 2014.

~~She meets each new day
 as rays begin their streak across the morning sky.
 Already weary from midnight risings
 and drained from the long day before.

She starts her daily tasks
 knowing they'll never be completed:
 the laundry overflowing,
 the dishes piled high,
 the meals always needed,
 the floors always spotted.

Pushing start on the coffee pot,
 she hears the pitter patter of feet.
 Voices raise to be heard,
 bombard her ears in rapid fire succession.

The day rushes past in a whirlwind
 of tasks, duties, and responsibilities
 She referees squabbles,
 teaches manners,
 feeds bellies,
 cleans up spills,
 runs errands,
 instructs minds,
 kisses wounds.

She lies down at night with a deep sigh
 knowing tomorrow's a repeat of today.
 Wondering what she accomplished
 and what surprises await the next sunrise.

Though her life is chaotic
 and she's tugged and pulled
 left and right,
 up and down.
 Though the to-do list is never finished
 and the house cleaning is never done.
 Though she is always tired
 and never drinks her coffee until its cold.
 Though she's seldom thanked
 and with rarely a moment to herself.

She knows peace.

In her heart there lies a sacred place
 of calm, quiet, and stillness.
 There she tastes the Word,
 feasts and delights in sweet morsels of manna.
 Each verse and passage awaits her coming.
 Throughout her day she seeks them,
 recalling, remembering, reciting
 all while voices clamor beside her.

She seeks her Savior and visits him in that private sanctuary.
 Prayers are whispered from within,
 short bursts and sometimes just a word or two.
 Staccatoed and brief, they speak volumes.
 He hears her pleas and her humble dependence.
 While on the outside, busy all the day,
 she lies prostrate in her heart,

This season of life will all too soon pass.
 The voices will go still and the messes with them.
 Her sleep will be restored, her time will be hers again.
 Though all things change and time passes,
 one thing remains:
 the sanctuary of peace with Christ in her heart.

Some days I look back to those early mornings before I went to work with fondness. I enjoyed sitting at the breakfast table in the quiet, reading Scripture and communing with God. Since becoming a mother, spending time in prayer and in the Word is hard. I feel pulled from every side. The interruptions are constant. I can't predict when I'll have a quiet moment. And time to myself is rare.

This is a struggle all Christian moms face. Balancing our spiritual life and the chaos of motherhood is a daily, moment by moment challenge. But it's not a challenge we face on our own. God is not bound by time and space. His availability is not limited to set times of the day or only in places of quiet reflection. He hears us in the midst of a violent storm and in the depths of a dark cave. He hears those who wander in desert wildernesses, who weep in the olive groves, and who cry out from a wooden beam.

"When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles." Psalm 34:17

Because of what Jesus did for us at the cross, the curtain between God and man was torn in two. We can approach the throne of grace in freedom and confidence, anytime and anywhere. "Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16).

One of the greatest lessons I've learned in motherhood is the importance of seeking God in the midst of the noise and clamor of my life. No matter what is going on around me, Jesus is there with me. In the depths of my heart there lies a quiet sanctuary, a place of rest in the midst of a busy life. I can go there whenever I want and sit with God. Perhaps it's just for a few moments. But in that short time, I can reflect on the truths of his Word I've hidden there and pray about what's going on that very moment. I can pray brief sentences of praise, petition, or just a plea for strength.

Because Christ lives and reigns in our hearts, he is always there with us. He has an open door policy; we don't need an appointment. Moms, life is busy. The noise and chaos around us is loud. Quiet and solitude is rare. But peace doesn't have to be. Seek him every moment of your day. Speak to him in the quiet of your heart. He is there, he hears you, and he will strengthen you with his grace.