Over at Don Miller’s blog, Penny Carothers contemplates the battle for many parents, especially stay-at-home moms, to find time for God in the ways we usually think about: devotions, prayer, quiet contemplation, etc. Here is a taste:
I’ve always elevated the lives of others above my own spiritual aspirations (especially people like Thomas Merton and Juliann of Norwich, and really, anybody who seems to have a rule of life that brings the spiritual into the everyday). This mistaken belief parallels my long-held view that spirituality has to look a certain way to be legit. Being the good girl that I am, I want to do it right: have daily quiet time, read the Bible every day, and (at least try to) pray without ceasing.
But Miller-McLemore has got me thinking: what if there really is a different way? What if God intended the hug of a child to mirror the numinous moment others achieve through meditation? What if attending to the needs and the play of children – really attending, not reading the news on my phone or folding laundry while I listen with half an ear – was a window into the spiritual? What if all I really needed to do was simply be present? After all, God calls himself a lover and a parent, and perhaps there is something to learn in embracing my life rather than trying to escape it so I can have real communion with God.
It’s still a little shocking, but perhaps the most spiritual thing I can do may be to embrace my life as a mother. Not a spiritual, metaphorical mother, but a snot-wiping, baby-chasing, diaper bag-toting mother. Because sometimes it’s not the bible stories or the lectio divina, but theHelp! and thank you that a relationship is built on.
You can read the rest here. I find this to be a daily battle as well. At work there are so many things looming over me that I need to get done, and when I get home I have family duties. I’m usually at school before 7:00, and the kids don’t go to bed until 8:30 or 9:00. Then I finally get to focus on my wife. Finding time for God in the everyday moments is a realistic way to commune with God and include Him in every moment, rather than inadvertently sectioning Him off to His few minutes of my day. I really appreciate this view, and hope that it helps me to refocus my life moment by moment.