The past few weeks I've been trying to really get on track with having some type of prayer time at the beginning of my day. It may not be when I first wake up, but I am trying to make sure I do it before getting on the computer to read email. I figure if I have time to read email, I have time to pray. Sometimes I do morning prayer, sometimes I do the daily readings, and sometimes I just pray. Depending on the day, I may be doing this at 7:00 in the morning or at noon.
Saturday morning I decided to do the readings and found some inspiration that I frankly could have used the day before. It was a rough day for me. Andy was home sick and Philip was giving me the hardest time with sleep. He didn't go down for a nap until late afternoon and didn't stay asleep for long. After I put him down for bed, he woke up several times before it was even my bedtime. He has the uncanny ability to know exactly when I am worn out and about to go to bed for the night - he always wakes up for a feeding at that point. After this late night feeding I had a really hard time getting him back to bed. This all made for a cranky mom and cranky baby. The next morning, I read this Gospel:
"The Apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. He said to them,
'Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.' People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them. When Jesus disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things." - Mark 6:30-34
It really struck me that after all the work the disciples and Jesus had done, Jesus told them it was time to rest for a while. But when they arrived at the deserted place for their much-deserved rest, the people were there and they needed to be ministered to. Instead of Jesus telling the crowd that he needed some time to himself, he selflessly met the needs of the people. Isn't this what weary Moms (and Dads) are called to? Children most definitely give parents the opportunity to practice virture and this reading reminded me that I have to look to the example of Jesus. When I start to feel overwhelmed, impatient, and tired, I try to remind myself of what a gift parenthood is and that this time will pass all too quickly. Didn't I spend years longing to have even one sleepless night to care for a child of my own? How blessed I am!
I also really liked the first reading - Heb 13:15-17, 20-21. There are some gems in there as well.