It seems like just yesterday, I was a little girl, crying at the top of the stairs, in need of a little comfort. One of my earliest memories was a time when I thought I’d gotten too big to have my mother rock me to sleep. I remember crying at the top of the stairs after being put to bed, and my mother coming to me and asking what was wrong. When I told her that I was sad that I was too big to rock, she said, “Of course you’re not.” She scooped me up and carried me down the stairs and went right to the old rocker in our living room. There was a soft light on, and all was quiet in the house. I snuggled right in, and she hummed a little song to me, and the whole world fell away, in a moment so peaceful, comforting and beautiful, that it lives within me, as a quiet space to go to when the world seems to be moving too fast.
Entering that peaceful space in a specific moment in time would become one of the ways I would catalog my memories that have made the deepest impression on me. Seeing my kind and gentle father read his bible and pray in the very early morning every day, was a beautiful silent witness to the value he gave to spending time with God. I could sense the peace that surrounded him when he prayed. Walking into a church at age 4, and literally feeling the peace that surrounded the very air within, was my first real glimpse into the peace that God can bring to us, not in heaven, or someday, but in each moment of our everyday lives. When we moved to an antique house that was big and spooky to me at age 5, I remember feeling very scared in the night. I was used to our tiny house, where I shared a room with my 2 sisters. If I had to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I would ask Jesus to hold my hand along the long hallway and keep me safe. Even in the midst of fear, I knew that love and peace were there in that house to keep me safe. How blessed I was to grow up in a home that knew and loved God and brought me to know Him for myself. Even as an adult, I’ve never outgrown the need to reach out and ask Him to hold my hand as I navigate life.
As life tends to do, a lot has happened since those early days of my faith and my experience with the peace and stillness of God. I’ve gotten married to a wonderful man, had three beautiful children, and experienced all the joys and worries that go along with everyone’s lives. As a working mother, sometimes it would get so busy that I could go for days without taking the time to pray. I would promise myself that if I could just get the house picked up and the lunches made so the morning would run smoothly, that I would take the time to pray. But inevitably, I would fall into bed and sleep would take me away. I found that finding that peaceful quiet place within my life and within myself had moved far away from me and that all I could really see was “the tyranny of the urgent”. Always a pleaser, I wanted to be sure everyone in my life had what they needed, knew they were loved, and didn’t have to suffer any more than was strictly necessary. I got to a place where each day I rose with an anxious heart and struggled with how to do it all.
One day, I decided to take my mother on a religious weekend for her birthday. It was here that I took the first real time in years to focus on my relationship with God and accept His peace. I would embark on a road to prayer and letting go in the loving arms of God, which stays with me to this day. I realized that throughout my life, He has been patiently at my side, and at the times I have felt alone, I needed only to turn and see that He was there, all along. Being reminded of His constant loving presence gives such strength and peace. On our website, Prayer Life I’m hoping to share with you some of the ways that my family and I have found to pray and acknowledge the loving presence of God. We hope that you will find some peace here in this space, and that “…the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 NRSV