Monday started with a bang. I posted my thoughts on Sunday night and was ready to go when my alarm buzzed on Monday morning before the sun had the nerve to show its face. I started my morning routine before the kids got up, but started to feel very ill. I was soon in a useless heap on the bathroom floor. I'll spare you the details, just know that this was one of those days I wanted to call in sick.
This was a terrible day to start a prayer routine, so I thought. I heard the beep in the midst of pain and wished I was a swearing woman. Because of Drops and my commitment (why did I have to state my intentions to the world?), I grudgingly grabbed a paper and pen. I forced myself to start writing thankfulness. Oh, I didn't want to! In the midst of my physical misery and spiritual grumpiness, my "thank-you" prayers were far from deep and inspiring.
I named the simple blessings: #1, a writing utensil that had ink and #2, a clean-ish bathroom. My eyes wandered the room and I found one thing after another to praise God about. #3, a messy, blond-headed girl who expressed her sympathy with a 1/2 measuring cup to use as a "puke bowl." #4, my husband who calmed a crying baby and left for work a little late so he could help me. #5, warm house. #6, weirdly-colored pink robe to cozy up in.
And something amazing happened. My prayers to the Living God acted as an antidote for what ailed me. A pain killer, bad-mood buster, grouchy mama annihilator. I expressed my thankfulness over and over again with a realization that God was bigger than this moment. His goodness transcended all things. Believing took form as I prayed.
Throughout that tough Monday and every day for the last week, I put on my watch and listened for the hourly reminder. In all fairness, the beep is quiet and easily drowned out by louder sounds like the washing machine, a screaming child, or the hustle and bustle of the grocery store. But for the most part I hear, I stop (mentally and/or physically), and I pray whether it is 15 seconds or 15 minutes as time allows.
A few things really surprised me this week. I wanted to share them with you.
- I was surprised how my entire mood was more positive.
- I was surprised at how the hourly reminders showed me how busy I am with busyness. Stopping to pray and reflect helped me enjoy the moments instead of just the duties of being a mom.
- I was surprised at how blessed I felt to pray for others on a continual basis. Throughout the week, I was able to pray for other people's needs as I heard about them. It was encouraging to see God answering prayer and being able to participate in it.
- I was surprised at the overwhelming feeling of gratefulness as I enjoyed simple pleasures like talking to a friend on the phone, daffodils picked by a preschooler with "nice long stems Mommy," and 2 minutes of sunshine amidst a day of rain.
- I was surprised when I felt irritation about prayer. Occasionally, I didn't want to be interrupted at that given moment. This whole experiment revealed some more uglies in my closet.
I'm on to week two and I don't think I can stop even if I wanted to. A new habit has formed and I find myself anticipating the hourly respite with my Father. What a gift I was missing! I packed duties and deadlines into hours that passed without notice. I covered everything with, "of course I'm thankful." I said I was too busy for prayer, too busy to grow, too busy to change. It was true, I was too busy and I needed something concrete to help me find the time. The moments were there all along.... I just needed a reminder.
"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
I Thessalonians 5:16-18