Friday, July 19, 2013

Morning prayer

blogger's note: here is another post from the past. I wrote this before I had an active blog and after I had met Karen Maezen Miller at a retreat in Pittsburgh. At the time, I did not know what was waiting for me; but I knew it was a golden opportunity. I got an invitation and felt it was my calling. It was the first time I leave JR for 8 hours since she was born to focus on me. I was nervous, and I was thrilled. And, I was glad I went. It changed my life.

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011
My morning prayer….
I do not start my morning by brushing my teeth. Nor do I start it by washing my face; taking off my PJs; or checking my email, the news, the mail. I start it in the kitchen. I end it in the kitchen too. That is my morning prayer.

Every morning I get up and the first thing I do is head over to the kitchen. I put away yesterday’s dishes and start on today’s. I clean up what we enjoyed last night and plan for what we will tonight. I make Jeff’s breakfast, his lunch and snack. I envision what JR is going to eat and carefully, mindfully, almost religiously put her food together. I take my time selecting what fruit is going into the yogurt today. Will I put honey or will I let it be a little tart. Is she going to have oatmeal this morning, or grilled cheese or maybe scrambled eggs? Will I put fresh fruit in the oatmeal or will it be dried, frozen or squeezed? Add a little milk to get that extra calcium in there or just have faith in that she is eating enough calcium as it is? And dinner? Will it be cooked from scratch? Defrosted? Or assembled from leftovers I already have? All these thoughts run through my mind in the early hours of the day before anyone else in our house has risen. Every day I make those little decisions that will affect my family on that day and the many days to come.
For a long time I dreaded waking up in the morning to what I had erroneously conceived as a “chore.” Why did I have to be the one waking up first and getting to work as soon as I did? Where was the reward? I had nothing to show for my labor. The food got eaten; the mess got tidied up. But one day it struck me, this is my morning prayer. This is who I am. This is what I was meant to be. The caretaker, the caregiver, the mother – a mother to my child and in some ways to my husband. It struck me that this role was beyond the narrow limits of the domestic, the here and now. This role was here and now but it had effects, consequences on the beyond, on the tomorrow. The decisions I make each and every morning will in some way or another affect what will be in the coming hours, days and months. And so, after many months of scowling at my role, I finally embraced it. And embracing it has made it that much more enjoyable. It has made my life that much more enjoyable. It changed my life. And it started with a book: Hand Wash Cold.

note: you can read an excerpt from the book here.

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