19.10.14

When can a new mummy pray?


I wrote this post about a week ago and I have been 'umming and ahhing' about it since. However, as I have said right from the beginning of blogging, I want my posts to be authentic and real and this is a real part of my life that I know I share with many other mummies out there... 

Do you ever find yourself in a situation where you have a problem, but you also know the answer? More than that though, you know solving that problem isn't about discovering the answer, it's more about accepting that answer? Sound a bit cryptic? Let me explain...

I remember before I got married it was very easy to decide exactly when I was going to say my prayers and for how long. I could also choose to stop what I was doing in the moment and offer some time to God, or just to have some quiet time thinking, reflecting or even reading a good book. My faith had this kind of luxury element of being completely scheduled around myself: my time table, my needs and my day in general.

Looking back, I think the control I had of when, where and how I prayed made me feel secure in my faith and 'on track' with my relationship with God.
Making the transition to becoming a married wife meant, to begin with, introducing my husband to my way of praying and then learning to love my husband's ways too. Each if us offering the other spouse something new in our joint prayer lives. 
And then, all of a sudden and quite unexpectedly, when our first baby came along...well, everything pretty much went to pot. The scheduling of prayer time, the chances for relaxed quiet time, even time itself! I really struggled with never knowing when my next opportunity for prayer would come.

 Because my previous way of 'measuring' my relationship with God was based on quite a child-like perception where I felt the time I gave Him in my thoughts and verbal prayers equated to the strength of my faith- I soon began to feel very isolated and unworthy. Knowing that I could not offer any guarantees to God in the way I used to was a hard pill to swallow. My whole day now circled around my beautiful baby, and for a while I honestly didn't know how to live without it seeming that God was now second in my life.

Like many aspects of family life and marriage, I simply wasn't prepared for this new challenge and it wasn't exactly a commonly talked about topic either. As Noah grew, things got much easier and we got a handle on a family routine that allowed us family prayer time and also individual space to pray alone. Slowly I began to adapt to the new changes in my life, but I found it very hard to balance initially.

About a year after Noah was born, I managed to have a wonderful conversation with a priest who, surprising me, seemed to actually completely understand my worries. He reaffirmed to me that it wasn't that I wasn't praying or that my new prayer life was less worthy. It was more that as part of a family, my daily offerings to God were becoming a lot more active and practical than they once were: Changing a nappy, feeding a baby, staying up through the night. He really helped me to understand that in the physical motions of caring for a newborn, that was where my new prayer life was being nurtured.

Again, I think it's just important to know that it is okay and completely normal to take your time with an adapting prayer life. When everything else in our lives is changing with raising babies, of course our prayer life is affected. Rather than remaining stuck in mourning what it once was, we can marvel at all the new things we have to pray for! Our children mainly, but also the new ways we can pray as a family and begin the all important mission of raising our children in the faith. 

In many ways my prayer life has become much less complicated and far more child like. From singing grace at meal times with Noah to going through the family list of 'God blesses' at bedtime, I am rediscovering a simplicity and authenticity of prayer that at some point growing up, I forgot.

...just a few thoughts this evening as I contemplate the past year and the year to come! 

Love Bunty
xXx

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