Domestic Church: Prayer Turns Burdens to Blessings

0217domchurch

by Katie Sciba

Andrew has been waking me early every morning. A little nudge and a “Were you going to pray?” I croak “Mm hmm.” He goes to a corner of our room and spends time with the Lord before the kids get up.

We’ve been talking about this – how we should “parallel pray” before we start the day.And because there’s zero pretense here, I’ll tell you my response has been underwhelming. I mumble half a Hail Mary before I convince myself that what Jesus really wants for me is sleep, right? I’m tired, in-demand and pregnant.

Twenty minutes of dozing later, there’s a stampede of small feet headed for our bedroom door. Jesushelpme. Amen. I’m up!

“Mooooooom! Where are my undies?”

“Mama I need bweakfast. Do we have cookies?”

“Can we watch a show?!”

Spills. Tears. Tantrums. And the kids are worse.

After a blur of daytime hours, we get the kids down and I’m ready to cry from the emotional exhaustion.

“You know,” Andrew prodded me, “Jesus told me to sit up when I pray in the morning because I kept going back to sleep.”

So I really fought for it, the peaceful start I’ve been dreaming of. The alarm went off. Andrew prompted, “Do you want to pray?” but unlike mornings prior, I bolted up and reached for my prayer books. I rested in Jesus, who I knew at once had been waiting for me. I went over the forthcoming hours in my head, asking God to help me be generous to my children, encouraging to Andrew and charitable in all circumstances.

I have been finding all of the above challenging. Downright impossible in some cases. But the effects of this one morning of prayer were transformative. Throughout the day I was sweeter with the kids. I surprised Andrew with a cinnamon roll and coffee, leaving them next to a jotted note of encouragement. I was productive and cheerful around the house.

I felt unburdened by life. Unburdened. Most of the time I feel dry, taxed, weighed upon. But I see clearly that juggling the stress, to-dos, babies and marriage without solid time with the Lord greys the brightness of each blessing. It turns them into burdens and makes us feel like they suck our life away instead of us joyfully giving ourselves to them.

Jesus had been waiting to relieve me of this – I just had to draw near. And if, as sons and daughters made in the Image and Likeness, we’re supposed to imitate the Lord in His responses to life and people, then being intentional and vulnerable in conversation with Him will sharpen that imitation. In prayer, I give my burdens and ask for the grace to see blessings.

So here’s to the start of something new – the start of being made new. I have every intention of keeping up with Andrew’s prompting, which is absolutely the Holy Spirit working through my husband; and I can’t wait for how a build-up of days of Jesus in the morning will change our world.

Katie Sciba is married to Andrew and together they have four children (with another one on the way). She is the author of thecatholicwife.net.

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