Since I started staying home, my girls have been my #1 focus and frankly, have taken away from my relationship with God. Many mothers have assured me that the additional time I am spending with my girls is in itself a form of prayer, but I must admit I am selfish. I miss my private prayer time. I have struggled with this for the past three months not out of a sense of duty, nor I am trying to sound holier than thou, but because I feel like a boat adrift with no sense of direction. I am missing the discernment and peace of mind that comes with contemplative prayer. When I worked, frequently I would sneak out to my car to pray during my lunch break. It was a huge stress reliever for me. It also helped me put things in perspective and focus on what was truly important in my life.
I do pray with my children, with my husband, and with the community of our church, and I am not trying to take away from the importance of these prayers. However, my soul is searching for something more. Saint Teresa of Avila called contemplative prayer “nothing less than a close sharing between friends”. This saying makes sense to me, because I now understand what I have been missing. I miss the quiet time that I spend listening to my friend, Jesus.
So, what do I do? I have decided to try two different approaches for my day. First, I am going to wake up one hour earlier than I do now, while my family is still asleep. This will give me time to mediate as well as read the scriptures following the liturgical calendar. I am also going to instill afternoon quiet time. Bumblebee still takes a nap, but Ladybug does not. This was actually an idea I found in The Well-Trained Mind A guide to Classical Education at Home by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. They encourage an afternoon break for everyone in the house, for sanity sake. They also suggest with reserving special toys, books or activities that older children can enjoy in their rooms.
So, this is my plan. This morning, I woke up early and prayed. This afternoon, I placed my oldest child in the guest room with her favorite books, blanket, and her beloved Baby Mei Mei. She complained at first, but now she is quiet. We shall see how the week unfolds…