For the past month or so, our son Christopher and his family have been living with us as he and Mary discern and find a new home in Oklahoma for their family of five.
Having our three grandchildren (and their parents!) living with us is an indescrible gift of joy, full of surprises and unexpected blessings every day. I often boast that I have the best daughter-in-law in the world. Mary and I are not just related, we’re also friends who work at building our intimate relationship.
Elena and Diego
Yet as beautiful as this experience has been so far, it obviously has its challenges as we all adjust to a new normal!
One area that I’ve had to rethink and recommit to doing is, surprisingly, my daily prayer, something that has always been the highest priority for me.
The trouble is, for years now I’ve been the queen of my own daily schedule. When i don’t take prayer time first thing in my day, I simply rearrange the day to take prayer time later on. That’s not so easy when there’s a 2-year-old and twin 6-month-old babies in the house.
With grandchildren waiting for me on the other side of my bedroom door, I confess it’s been hard to not rush out to join the fun chaos I hear. They also wake up much earlier than I do, which only makes me more aware of not being out there to help.
Much as I did when my children were young, I’ve learned that even in this temporary normal, I must be deliberate about taking care of myself—physically, mentally, and spiritually. That means, first and foremost, not leaving my bedroom until I've taken time to be silent in prayer.
Maybe before I die I’ll learn the lesson that seems to keep repeating itself: when I do my part to be at my best within the circumstances of my life, I am also better able to be present to the people in my life.
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“When we are distracted during prayer and find the time long because of our impatience to pass on to something else, it is good to say to yourself: My soul, are you tired of your God? Are you not satisfied with him? You possess him and do you seek for something else? Where can you be better than in his company? Where can you profit more? I have experienced that this calms the mind and unites it with God.”
~Saint Claude de la Colombière, S.J. (d.1682)
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Marge Fenelon's “Imitating Mary” to give away!
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