Happy Monday, friends! I want to tell you a little bit about prayer, something that has been on my heart recently and something I’m really trying to work on in my life. Dom snapped these photos of me on a couple slow Saturday and Sunday mornings when I had the chance to enjoy a cup of tea, pray, and lounge in my favorite pair of women’s boxers, made by My Liliana’s. Before I go any further, I have to tell you about this awesome company. A friend of mine started this company with the pursuit of creating ethically made, environmentally friendly cotton boxers (with pockets!) for women that are both comfortable and stylish. They’re perfect for watching movies at home on Friday night, personal prayer time on Saturday morning, or really any other time you want to be comfortable! I was super excited to hear that they’re ethically made with environmentally friendly organic cotton. I’ve been trying to switch to ethically made items, and these came at the perfect time. There’s a bunch of beautiful patterns to choose from! I’m really loving my blue and white polka dot pair. I tend to wear a lot of blue and the polka dots were too cute to pass up. They arrived wrapped in the nicest yellow bow with a note from my friend who owns & runs My Liliana’s. I think you should check them out on Instagram & Facebook because I think you’ll love them too!
Back to prayer, this is something that’s been on my heart to share for a while now because it’s something I’ve been working on in my own life. Our prayer lives are a part of our faith that will always be evolving, often determined by what our lives look like in the present moment. We’ve had a crazy year navigating life as newlyweds, starting new jobs, buying a house + farm, and now renovating it. Initially, my prayer life was suffering because I was struggling to find time for personal prayer. I didn’t feel myself growing closer to God, and this weighed heavily on my heart. When we finally moved into our new home, I decided to make a commitment to daily prayer time, despite how busy my days felt. It’s amazing how peaceful my days have become since instilling changes to enhance my prayer life.
In our new home, I’m actually working on creating a prayer corner. This idea was given to me by one of my friends in a small group I attend. I had confessed that my prayer life had suffered since college. During my college years at Seton Hall I made time everyday to stop inside the beautiful chapel on campus in between classes for truly fruitful prayer time. That chapel became a special place for me, and it really inspired me to embrace my faith, grow closer to the Lord, and pray fervently. Once I graduated and no longer had access to the chapel every day, my prayer life suffered. I struggled to find the right time, and the right place to pray. My friend mentioned that I create a space in my own home to inspire me, the way the chapel did.
I’m in the midst of creating this special space for prayer, and I was going to wait until I finished it to share a little bit about my prayer life on the blog. I decided against that because I felt it is equally important that I make time to pray now, instead of waiting for the perfect time and place to pray. We can’t wait for the perfect timing or the perfect location. We can’t wait for the moment when God will fit perfectly into our lives. We need to make the time to pray now. We need to put God first in our lives, despite how hectic our days are. It’s amazing how when we do this, God honors our faithfulness and brings peace to our days.
So, how exactly do we find time for God when we’re in a busy season of life? The answer is simple, but not easy. We don’t find time; we make time for the Lord. I currently have a long bus ride to work. It’s not fun or glamorous. It’s long, and it can be really dreadful. I like to pray in the morning, so the first thing I do every day on the bus is pray the rosary. I like to listen to a recording of it on my phone so that I can meditate on the mysteries without worrying about what bead I’m on. After I pray the rosary, I do some spiritual reading. Yes, this is prayer too! I alternate between a few books. I really love my Blessed Is She journaling bible, The Diary of St. Maria Faustina, and Searching for and Maintaining Peace by Father Jacques Phillipe. Once I get off the bus, I attend daily mass at a church near work. Either before or after mass I’ll pray for specific intentions and have a few minutes of contemplative prayer time to let the Lord speak to me. I’ve learned it’s really important to listen to the Lord, rather than doing all of the talking ourselves. When I get to work I usually read the Blessed Is She daily devotional, because they’re tied into the readings from mass that day. The devotionals are written by other women and their reflections usually speak right into my heart. After work, I’m back on the bus. I’ll usually pray a Divine Mercy Chaplet, listen to a spiritual podcast or some praise & worship music. Podcasts I love include anything recorded by Father Mike Schmitz, The Catholic Feminist, Fountains of Carrots, and Thriving in the Trenches. For praise and worship music, I really love the album Heaven’s Light by Saint Paul’s Outreach, go find them on iTunes! Before we go to bed, Dom and I like to pray together. We try to say the rosary together every night, and we really love this little tradition.
I hope that this post is able to inspire you in your own prayer life. I certainly don’t want my routine to overwhelm or confuse you, but help you and encourage you in your own prayer life and routines. This prayer routine has developed after I had a year of very little prayer. I felt so empty by this, which cause me to make some radical changes. I decided to take advantage of my time consuming commute, and make the best of it. It’s also not seamless and perfect every single day. Sometimes, I really hate waking up early to take the bus. Sometimes, I’m tired and fall asleep on the bus instead of praying. Sometimes, my bus is running late and I miss daily mass. Sometimes, I listen to a podcast about the Bachelor instead of one about Jesus. What I’m really trying to do here is show you how you can take any moment of your imperfect, hectic life, and make time for God. He wants to meet you where you are, in whatever season of life you’re in, no matter how busy or tired you are. Let Him.