Recently, I finished reading a book by one of my favorite bloggers, Micha Boyett (amazing what spending 8-10 hours a day nursing a newborn can do for that reading list!). Found is filled with so many jewels, so many wise words, so many moments that I identify with, as a still-new-to-motherhood mom and Christian struggling with balance and identity and jealousy and prayer and faith.
Which means that I wanted to share a few nuggets with you. And mostly just encourage you to read her new (and first!) book Found, because it is awesome.
I’ve been struggling with prayer these days. (And also with showering, and bitterness, and figuring out how not to feel constantly overwhelmed. I talk about this a bit in another recent post HERE.) I know I need to pray. I think it would make me feel better. I think it would make me act better, and have more hope.
And yet, I can’t seem to figure out how to get more than three or five words out in a row. And when I do, it usually looks like this…
God, help me. I want to love this season of my life. I want to be a good mom and a good wife. Oh – I need to finish that diapers.com order because we are about to run out of diapers! Shoot. Oh, right – I’m praying. God, help me not to keep a record of wrongs. I also forgot to respond to that email about the preschool coop. Because I wanted to talk to my mom about it, but I forgot to call her back yesterday since I had both kids the whole day and evening. I bet Harrison got to have dinner out — at a restaurant! with a friend! — between his rehearsals and performance. I hate my life. Oh, right – praying. God, help me to love my husband and not be bitter. Maybe I should make him a cake. Hmm, cake. Except I can’t fit into any of my clothes. I should stop eating cake. Should I join a gym with childcare? I wonder how much that would cost. Shoot – there’s HG. She must be ready to eat again…
And that’s not really prayer. That’s rambling about whatever comes into my head while I am trying to pray. But, I’m a new mom. I’m so tired I don’t feel tired any more. So, that’s how I pray. (Or, how I don’t pray.)
Micha’s book is all about re-finding prayer and a prayer life as a mother. You should read it (have I mentioned that yet?). And while you wait the few minutes that it takes Amazon’s whispernet (whatever the heck that really is) to deliver it wirelessly to your kindle, I wanted to share two ideas that she wrote about that have really had me thinking. She wrote,
I’ve spent my life hoping I would one day be whole enough to pray the right way. But the truth is, prayer is the very thing that makes me whole.
There’s never a moment when you learn how to be whole, just like there’s never a moment when you learn how to be a mom, or how to see the holy around you. There’s only practice.
I love the idea that each hour, each day, is practice. We don’t wait to feel complete before starting something, but in starting something, we will find completion. Isn’t it the same with everything? With relationships? With loving and serving? With cooking, running, studying, writing? If I wait until I feel ready, how many great runs would I have missed? How many great conversations would have gone unsaid, great friends would have gone unmet?
Is there ever a “right” time? For anything? Or is it that the act itself can bring us to a new place? Can I practice seeing the holy around me by being thankful for every smile from my three-month old (!!) daughter and every squeal of laughter from my son? Can I practice by learning to enjoy the feel of soft autumn rain on my cheek instead of longing for the sun? By eating slowly at a restaurant, enjoying food that wasn’t prepared by my own hands? (Even if I wish that I’d ordered something else?)
I know this applies to my prayer life also. I shouldn’t wait to pray. I shouldn’t wait until after my first cup of coffee or until the house is quiet or until I can sit by the river. I should pray in all the little moments, in the coffee that’s cold because sixteen things happened between when I poured it and when I remembered to drink it. I should pray when I’m changing diapers and when I’m walking to the subway and when I’m brushing my teeth.