Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Mother's Prayer

Dear Lord, sometimes I feel like I know what you must have gone through in Gethsemane, that terrible in-between, the night air caught, trapped like light in a prism, caught like a laugh in a jar; waiting for something that you hoped wouldn’t come

Dear Lord I am tired, every day I wake up tired and work all day and go to bed tired; but in my sleep I do not rest but only practice over and over how to be awake

Dear Lord I wonder why you chose me to be a guardian of souls and tiny tender hearts; I forgot about my parsley plants until their feathery stalks reach to the height of my forehead; and I am not a short woman, Lord; sometimes I wonder why you chose me to be at all

Dear Lord I want a hot shower more than I can say, a long hot shower with no one screaming or coming in the bathroom to ask for a juice box or a story; I like to think you would have yearned for a hot shower too with no Pharisees commenting on your facebook status, no temple scribes or jeering crowds starting groups called “Sometimes when that dude from Nazareth talks I wonder if he knows how ridiculous he sounds” and “Can this camel get more fans than Jesus?” (Click here to like/dislike)

Dear Lord I miss the days when I thought it was a problem to have nothing to do; I miss preparing a meal, sitting down to eat it, and then cleaning up afterwards

Dear Lord I actually miss cleaning; can you imagine that? I miss straightening and vacuuming; I miss following a load of laundry from the hamper to the bureau drawer; I miss cups of clear liquid detergent and stacks of neatly squared t-shirts; I would leave them out for a few hours to admire their uniformity and then put them away at my leisure; I miss that

Dear Lord I miss wearing necklaces, miss those 18 or so months when, walking down a sidewalk I might draw a glance or smile from a stranger; a handsome stranger who did not know me or want anything but just smiled to see me, a pretty girl, walking down the sidewalk to class, or to the store

Dear Lord I miss cake, and the Indigo Girls, and impromptu trips to the beach and eating dinner with both hands at once; I miss waiting for my final course grades, calling 8506448888 to see what Senor G gave me in Spanish; I miss living on cans of soup; I miss my girlfriends

Dear Lord I miss you, we don’t talk much these days; I try but then someone cries; I try and then I realize I am scared to hear what you will say; that you will ask even more of me than this here and now which I can barely do; which I do not fully do; which blares on at me as I attempt to finish typing this; which blares on at me as I attempt to hear from you


  1. Hi Lisa,
    This was a touching blog - interesting because I could echo a few of your thoughts as well. But, I'd like to encourage you a little. Here is what I miss: I miss having the door to the bathroom open to see a little smiling face peek in and ask what I'm doing; I miss giving up my favorite TV show to hold a little child on my lap to read the same story over - and over - and over again; I miss feeling little hands cling to my neck a little too tightly, and the sloppy kiss on my cheek; I miss children's happy noises as they play together in the bedroom (and I miss yelling at them to go to sleep!); I miss making lunches and helping with homework and driving to a dozen different activities on the same day. I could go on and on. But, suffice to say, all these things that you think you miss will be available to you once again (even the smile from a stranger to a pretty young woman), but those interruptions in your life are fleeting and won't return.
    Savor them. Delight in interruptions to your shower, and sharing your dinner with a little one, and holding, holding, holding your sweet baby for as long as you can. One day your arms will ache to hold her one more time, but she'll be scrambling down, toddling away - oh much too quickly. Cherish these moments when your "self" is put on hold. These will then be sweet memories.
    Allow God's voice to whisper to you during these moments...

  2. Thanks for your encouraging words. There are definitely the good moments, too, and they outnumber the difficult ones by far. I think something I am trying to do with this blog is give voice to the difficult/messy moments of being a mom because too often, in my opinion, mothers are encouraged to forget about what they need and forget about their own feelings and needs (emotional, spiritual, physical) in favor of making an image of perfect motherhood, etc. We wouldn't tell a woman in any other position to just ignore the fact that she is unhappy or stressed or overwhelmed, but somehow it is still okay to say those things to a woman with a baby. To me, the difficult moments make the good moments even better, and I like to acknowledge both sides of the coin. Even during my brief time as a mom, I can see that what you say is true -- that it really does go by very quickly -- but I think there is a reality there in the moment of being sleep-deprived, stressed, totally out of control of everything, etc., that is ignored, and it makes mothers feel lonely when their reality is not acknowledged (even though at one time or another, we have all shared that reality).

    God definitely talks to me in those difficult moments! Things are already better, actually, and I think that giving voice to frustration helps it to dissipate. Thanks for your thoughts!