Anglican, Family Prayer
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Common Prayer & Parenthood — The North American Anglican

I’m excited to be a new monthly contributor to the North American Anglican. Here is my first article, summarizing the changes in my understanding of common and private prayer: 

From when I was a teenager, silent mornings of Bible study and prayer rooted my spiritual life. This “quiet time” habit served me well—until I became a mother. And then, it was ripped away from me and I resented it.

Despite efforts to wake up before my children, their infallible instinct that I was awake, plus the creaks of our old house, made this time alone impossible. When we could manage it, my husband would watch our kids so that I could slip away. But it was never enough to fill me up for the demands of life with a toddler and infant. So, in my soul, I raged against my children. Because they were “bad sleepers,” I practically didn’t have a relationship with God anymore.

Of course, I tried to fit prayer and Scripture into the crannies of my day. But, inevitably, it was accidental, serendipitous – not part of the fundamental structure of my life. And, though I knew what Jesus said about not hindering the little children, I felt that they were hindering me.

Nowadays, my children are a little older and sleep a little better, but the fact that I’m not despairing anymore didn’t change because they slept better. To use an image from my unfolded (though clean) laundry, I found that my spiritual life was “inside-out.” The seams and tags were showing. Understanding that common prayer precedes private devotion turned spiritual life the right way out, so that I no longer feel like I must escape from my children in order to love God….

Read the rest at Common Prayer & Parenthood: Loving God with My Children — The North American Anglican

This entry was posted in: Anglican, Family Prayer

by

Wife of Jon. Mother of two little girls (three in March, God willing). Music director at Christ the King Anglican Church. If I have any time by myself, I'll probably spend it reading and writing...

2 Comments

  1. justonerobin says

    What a great analogy of the spiritual life being inside out like clothing. I often forget that motherhood is the path to so many things in the spiritual life rather than being an obstacle. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m curious — now that you have this experience of your own journey thus far, seeing the value and … ‘propriety’, I guess? … of the Threefold Rule, does it change your perspective on the non-liturgical quiet time of those pre-kids years? I.e., do you think that younger-you might have benefited even more from liturgical quiet times?

    Also, how does this arc of your experience affect your thinking about the process of trying to transmit a habit of daily prayer to your girls? I’m especially wondering about the later point in time where they’re getting old enough to start exerting their own agency over the process.

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