If you want God, and long for union with him, yet sometimes wonder what that means or whether it can mean anything at all, you are already walking with the God who comes. If you are at times so weary and involved with the struggle of living that you have no strength even to want him, yet are still dissatisfied that you don’t, you are already keeping Advent in your life. If you have ever had an obscure intuition that the truth of things is somehow better, greater, more wonderful than you deserve or desire, that the touch of God in your life stills you by its gentleness, that there is a mercy beyond anything you could ever suspect, you are already drawn into the central mystery of salvation.
Your hope is not a mocking dream: God creates in human hearts a huge desire and a sense of need, because he wants to fill them with the gift of himself. It is because his self-sharing love is there first, forestalling any response or prayer from our side, that such hope can be in us. WE cannot hope until we know, however obscurely, that there is something to hope for; if we have had no glimpse of a vision, we cannot conduct our lives with vision. And yet we do: there is hope in us, and longing, because grace was there first. God’s longing for us is the spring of ours for him. --Maria Boulding
Increase my faith, Lord. Make me more aware that things really are somehow better, greater, and more wonderful than I deserve.
Take a walk outside today, no matter the weather. Breathe deeply. Be very aware of your surroundings: the sun on your face, the cool of the air, the crunch of the snow, perhaps? Notice. Notice every little detail the Artist has left for you to see. Isn’t it more wonderful than you think you deserve? Now fix yourself a cup of something warm and just sit and look at the Christmas tree. Squint a little and let the lights twinkle merry over the imperfections. Aren’t you made in the image of your Creator, you mama who makes things wonderful for your children?
(Psst: Share the image at the top of the page with a mother who could use some encouragement on what is likely a very weary day.)
Motherhood can feel like the loneliest vocation in the world. Surrounded by children, who frequently bring us to our knees, both literally and figuratively, we can be overwhelmed by isolation. Mothers need community. We can be community for one another. We can encourage on another and hold each other accountable. If you like these short devotions, please share the image and send another woman here. And when you're here, please take a moment to pray with another mother who is visiting. Leave a comment and when you do, pray for the woman whose comment is just above yours. Just a moment--blessed--will begin to build community.
I like to pray when I run in the morning. Often, I listen to Divine Office and pray Morning Prayer or the Office of Readings. Then, I just take up a conversation with God. I'd love to pray for you! Please leave your prayer requests below and we can pray for each other, no matter how we spend our morning prayer time. Meet me back here tomorrow and I'll share the ponderings from my #morningrun.