Interrupted Quiet Time

November 20, 2009

On most mornings, I get up at 6am to have some quiet, prayer time before my kids wake-up.  I find this time grounds and centers me.  It is my time to renew and rejuvenate and take things to prayer that are on my mind, build my relationship with God, and listen to the deep longings of my heart.  My intention and hope is that the rest of my day will flow from that hour of quiet reflection time.  I find that my days seem calmer, and I am calmer, more patient, and more flexible when I have this time. 
For some reason, yesterday and today my kids both woke up earlier than normal.  Yesterday, I got five minutes of quiet before I heard Brady’s door open.  This morning, both Abby and Brady were awake before my alarm went off.  Being brutally honest, I was a little aggravated by this—no, I was completely frustrated by this.  Inside I was saying in exasperation, “Don’t you know I am trying to pray here?”
As I sat yesterday and today, trying to have quiet time that was interrupted by the chattering of a 2 year old and the coo’s and cries of a 5 month old, I found myself pondering the question my friend Peggy always posed to me, “what is my greater ‘yes’ in this moment?  Do I attempt to have my prayer time, which is incredibly important to me and ignore the fact that the kids are awake?  Or do I just forget my quiet time and go take care of my kids?  Both are important to me.  Am I called to be a Martha in that moment or a Mary?  
In the end, my mom instinct won out.  I could not ignore the cries of my children!  I figured God would understand because in that moment my greater “yes” was to not sit in quiet and reflect and pray, but rather it was time for action. 
We are called to prayer because it roots our lives and our actions.  It centers us.  However, we are called to action and service also.

I know not everyone is a parent, but we all have these kind of moments in our lives where we struggle to make the right decision –how do we chose our “greater yes” in these moments?

How do we resolve the reality that we are faced with moments like this constantly in our lives? 

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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