What I Mean to Pray

mocha_smallIt seems a little self-defeating for pastors to give up something habitual or take on something extra during Lent. My Lenten fails far out-number my Lenten successes. Even when I accomplish the goal, as in the year this confirmed mocha drinker gave up chocolate in her coffee, there are repercussions. My children begged me never to do that again. It’s hard to say how a cranky mom did much for her relationship with God or her children.

This year, when I have just layered the work for a coaching class on top of two half-time jobs and a further vocation of writing that I squeeze in where I can. Recognizing that it would not be uncomplicated, I committed to make space for writing each day.

(I hope this counts.)

The truth, however, is that 1/2 + 1/2 + a class with weekly work + family = already a lot of things even without including some basic life tasks like laundry or the things that keep me going like a little knitting here or the occasional DVRed episode of Downton Abbey or Fixer Upper for those times when I am too tired to pick up the needles in the evening.

Today I spent some time during a walk with my spouse and my dog questioning how I can be called to any more things. I was admittedly multi-tasking, squeezing in relationship time, dog time, fresh air time. Each of those things is good, but I feel like I left my thoughts scattered along our mile route, discarded on the snow like the stick our pup decides he doesn’t want after all.

Which is why it matters to make the space. When I write, I have to complete the thought. If it doesn’t feel right, I work on it until I know what I mean to say. I put it all in front of the Great Reader, until I know what I mean to pray.

*****

(Originally shared via the RevGals Weekly e-Reader. You can subscribe at the link.)

4 thoughts on “What I Mean to Pray

  1. Martha that is also how I feel. I am a full time pastor of two churches — that are constantly demanding my time ( a little bit like toddlers), mother of two active young girls and involved in my regional church along with having to supervise two interns at our church, along with the other extra ministry activities. And in addition to all you said, I am fighting my annual Lenten cold. Where all I have done is try and sleep this week. Thank you for your words.

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  2. Rev. Pat Raube

    I have felt that I was running flat out for months. Lent started with a stomach bug, and that was that. Thank you for your honesty. And also for modeling how we can be gentle with ourselves.

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