|Linking up today with Jenni Mullinix over at Live Called.|
In high school I had a very dedicated prayer life. I would journal and read scripture daily (I found this to be the best way for me to really converse with the Lord); I would often pray the rosary, usually with my sister Mary while we were in our bunk bed (we shared a room for basically our entire lives); and sometimes I would get to daily Mass. Life was simple then. There was lots of time. After high school, I was blessed to attend a great Catholic university, the University of Dallas, where there was also plenty of opportunity to foster daily prayer. I attended daily Mass, often spent time in the adoration chapel, prayed openly with friends, and continued my habit of journaling. Life was a bit busier, so things maybe didn't happen every day, but generally prayer was a big piece of my life. Of course, there were bouts of spiritual dryness, but all in all, I had a habitual prayer life. As I moved into adult single life, I was able to maintain some of these same habits. My first year in Arizona, I attended daily Mass (it helped that Danny and I would often meet in the morning for Mass, grab a coffee after, and then head out to live our separate lives. Having a handsome guy meeting you at Mass is definitely not a bad sign!) and used my Magnificat to pray and reflect. But I have noticed that as I move more into adult life, further into my vocation, my career, and whatever else, it has become harder for me to pray regularly.
This summer should have been a great time to dig my heels into some serious prayer habits. For goodness sake! I basically didn't have a job this summer! I started praying the rosary on a daily basis when I was back in Santa Cruz, but that faded when I came back to the hot desert. I filled up my days doing baby projects, writing this blog, and lived life fully. Danny and I do read the daily Mass readings each morning and discuss them; we say grace before meals; we pray in the car; but I didn't carve out daily time for personal prayer. Looking back at my goals for summer, I accomplished all of them (and more!) except that. Yesterday, I felt particularly convicted about this. I got home from running errands and forced myself to sit on the couch to journal. No scripture or rosaries. Just me, my journal, and Jesus. And I was amazed at what was revealed to me. I asked our Lord: why do I avoid personal prayer? In response, I heard in my heart, "You avoid prayer because you like to be in control, and prayer makes your realize that you are not in control. I am in control." This really struck a cord in me since I really have done all this preparation this summer (getting the nursery ready, prepping my sub plans for maternity leave, and a number of other busy-body activities) so that I can maintain some level of control once the little one arrives. In reality, while all those things are important and good, they do not give me control. Control is still in the hands of the Lord. He can control things much better than I.
I recently told Danny that I am nervous about going back to school because of all the transition. In addition to going back to school, I am also dabbling in a new job on the side, I want to keep blogging (I love it!), I am going to be a new mom here pretty soon, and I want to serve and honor my husband by being a rockin' wife. I told him: "I want to be awesome at all of those things and I just don't know how I am going to to do it." After yesterday's 10 minutes (that might be generous...maybe 5 min) in prayer I know how it will happen. I am not going to do any of it. The Lord is going to do it. He has, after all, put all of these great desires and opportunities in front of me, but He can only do it if I give over control to Him. And the first step? Adding quiet prayer time to my daily life, even if it is a measly 5 minutes. Only with the habit of prayer, and that habit alone, will I be able to thrive as a teacher, blogger, recruiter, mother, and wife.