Ritual of R.E.S.T.– Morning Coffee and Prayer

May 8, 2013

There are two rituals of R.E.S.T. that are foundational periods of my day and of my life:  Morning coffee and Prayer.  These two rituals on many mornings happen simultaneously. Weeks after Abby was born,  I felt the tremendous impact of  always been “on” with two kids in the house.  I felt there was no time to breathe, let alone find time to pray.  I felt cranky, frazzled, and overwhelmed, and I was bringing those emotions into my relationships with my kids and Chris.

I knew something had to change.  Leaning on the wisdom of Stephen Covey I knew I had to shift how I was living or I was going to end up in a bad place pretty fast.  Two principles of Stephen Covey drove my thinking:

  1. “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing!” 
  2. “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

My relationship with God was the “main thing,” and yet I was not keeping it the main thing.  I fit my prayer in when I could, and many days I would miss time with God completely.  It was a priority, but I was not keeping it a priority.

So four years ago, my morning ritual of R.E.S.T., prayer, and coffee began.  What does this mean?  It means I commit to getting up before my kids are awake.  Not hours earlier, but at least a half hour earlier than they do.  It means I get out of bed and stumble to the coffee pot in my PJ’s, and pour myself a hot steaming cup of coffee (because Chris always sets it to make the night before).  It means I take a few minutes each day to sit in silence and pray.  I sip my coffee, breathe deeply in the silence, and spend a few moments each day with God.

What does my prayer look like?  Some days I pray the Examen.  Some days I might simply read and reflect on a scripture.  Some days I may pick up my journal and write.  Some days, I simply be with God and acknowledge God’s presence.

This ritual of R.E.S.T. is the foundation of my life and my relationship with God.  It is truly a time of Renewing Energy in Spirit Time.  This daily time of prayer helps my life to be rooted in God.  It provides sacred space in my day that allows me to keep my main thing (God) my main thing.  Committing to this daily morning time of coffee and prayer helps me keep my relationship with God a priority.

And many, many days, the time within this sacred space ends with an abrupt, energetic voice saying, “Good morning, mom!”  It is then that I know my time of R.E.S.T. is over, and it is time to go live out my call as a mom.  As I go, I bring with me the fruits of the sacred time spent in prayer with God.

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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2 Comments

  1. Kathleen Hockey

    I have done exactly the same thing for 20 years! When the kids got older I continued because once I buzzed from the coffee it was impossible for me not to think about the day’s tasks!

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  2. Ginny Kubitz Moyer

    I love this post and it really resonates with me. My husband always gets up first to make the coffee and sometimes our four-year-old (a SUPER early riser) gets up with him. I have learned that if I grab myself a cup of coffee and take it back to my prayer desk in the bedroom, I can read the Scripture readings for the day when everyone else thinks I’m getting dressed. It’s something I’ve just started to do and it makes the day start off on a much more prayerful note.

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