Thursday, June 22, 2017

In The Midst of Your Work

What amazes you seems quite natural to me: God has sought you out right in the midst of your work. This is how he sought the first, Peter and Andrew, John and James, beside their nets, and Matthew sitting in the custom-house. And -- wonder of wonders-- Paul, in his eagerness to destroy the seeds of Christianity!
The Way, 799, Saint Josemaria Escriva

Saint Josemaria is one of my all-time favorite saints, his feast day is coming up on Monday so it seemed liked an apt time for a little post in honor of him, or at least in honor of how his spirituality impacts my days.

Every single day I struggle to pray. I struggle to prioritize some quiet prayer time, and since Fred is still up at all hours of the night nursing, I have not gotten back to waking before the kids to pray, (because that is obviously the ideal and I hope to attain it one day, but I'm not there yet). At this point my goal is to send them outside or downstairs to play after breakfast so I can shoot for my whopping 15 minutes of prayer time, and you would think that this could happen easily, but that would mean you have never met my children.

It currently looks like this:
Breakfast is done, baby is back down for a morning nap, kids are dressed. 

Me: Ok kids, head outside to play!
Kids: Ok! all run outside

3 minutes later

Kid #1: running in the house I need to poop!
Mom: Ok
Kid poops, goes back out

3 minutes later

Kids #2&3: running in the house screaming, She hit me, she kicked me, she called me ugly and stupid!!!!!!!!!!!
Mom: handles squabble, sends them back out

3 minutes later

Kid #4: runs in the house I pooped!!
Mom: changes diaper, sends him back out

3 minutes later

Kid #4: Runs in house screaming THERE'S A BEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mom: Did it sting you?
Kid: NO BUT IT LOOKED AT ME LIKE IT WAS GOING TO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mom: Calms kid, send him back outside

3 minutes later


I would say that this is just summer time, but at this point in my life summer time is life time. They are always here, they are always needing me, the work never ends and the struggle to find quiet time is constant. I won't ever stop struggling to find it, I can't and won't give up the struggle to pray, but there is another important struggle that I neglect to see right there in the above detailed events: God finding me in my work, in the work of my children.

The above detailed situation is a mish mash of a thousand different scenarios that happen every single day, 20 times a day, and not because there aren't enough items on our summer bucket list to entertain the minions, but because my kids are weak, fallen individuals, and I am a weak, fallen individual. They fight, they scream, they are discontented and entitled, and they remind me of myself to a tee. But I am called to love them, to serve them, to deal with ALL of their poop, every day, all day-- and that is where God's will is being done in my life, that is where prayer is actually happening.

The quiet prayer needs to happen, and I will continue to fight to fit it in where ever I can, but I cannot lose sight of God's presence in the work of this house, and the power of prayers uttered in the midst of my work. That is why I love Saint Josemaria, he will not ever let me forget these things and so I will continue to seek his advice daily, as a supplement to prayer. These are some of my favorites by him, in order of my very favorites first. I know there are so many more, recommendations welcomed!

1: The Way of the Cross. I realize this is mostly a Lenten resource, but I really love it as an every day prayer companion. There is a short description of each station of the cross and then several small meditations by Saint Josemaria.

2: The Way, The Furrow, The Forge. These little books are perfect prayer companions. They have little bite-sized meditations on the spiritual life, but they pack a holy punch, I love them.

3: The Holy Rosary. These Josemaria wrote this book of little meditations on the mysteries of the rosary in one sitting and are wonderful- they have a strong theme our spiritual childhood.

4: Friends of God. I had a chapter from this book printed out years ago and I read it probably 100 times, it was so good. I am finally reading the rest of it and it is blowing me away the same way that chapter did.

5: I think that I've read some of Christ is Passing By, but it's up there on the top of my must-spiritual-reads. 

I haven't used it as much as I should but this website is a really great resource for all things Josemaria as well as Escriva Works, where you can find most if not all of the above linked writings.

I have been reading the biography At God's Pace over this entire year-- it is super detailed and not a huge page turner (hence why I've been reading it for a year, very much at Ana's pace) but it's really good.

Basically I have no idea what I am doing and so I am constantly going to him for help, I absolutely need it.

Saint Josemaria Escriva, pray for us.


  1. Pregnant with #4 and we just moved and renovated a house. So fortunate obv but hardest first trimester. I was super wallowing in pity and then on retreat I started The Man of Villa Tevere and realized Villa T was under construction for like 10+ years.... Sooo humbling haha. Thanks for the help always, but especially this yr St Josemaria!

  2. OMG that is exactly what it looks like in our house when the girls are shooed into the backyard- haha, bee and all!!

  3. Yes!!! SJM would be so happy with that effort to pray with all those interruptions from your kids.. which I am sure he would also say those interruptions or the true means of sanctification!! My prayer so many times looks like this.. and when pregnant.. if I just start praying I immediately fall asleep even if I'm sitting up! 😂😂😂 such a beautiful post!

  4. Thanks, I needed this. I struggle with time for prayer too. Am encouraged to see am not alone.

  5. Thanks, I needed this. I struggle with time for prayer too. Am encouraged to see am not alone.