To pray is to listen, to move through my own chattering to God, to that place where I can be silent and listen to what God may have to say.
- Madeleine L’Engle
My brain is officially on overload this morning.
There is too much–way too much–that has to happen before I leave tomorrow morning to help Elizabeth pack her dorm room for the last time. She graduates on Friday.
As I write to-do lists for each child (and my spouse), and check off item after item on my own endless list, I have to stop myself when I feel frenzy starting to creep into my soul.
“Blessed be God,” I say, reminding myself that my lists are neither the Alpha nor the Omega.
I tackle the next task, and the next, and soon paralysis sets in again.
“Blessed be his holy name,” I say, to recall that this isn’t all about me.
I move on to the next job, and the next, and the next, and eventually begin to feel stressed again.
“Blessed be Jesus Christ,” I say, forcibly turning my heart in a better direction.
Eventually it starts to dawn on me that stress has a positive side–if I use it as a signal that it’s time to make contact with God. And slowly, task by task and prayer by prayer, I make progress.
Julia Attaway is a freelance writer, homeschooler and mother of five. She is the editor of Daily Guideposts: Your First Year of Motherhood, a book of devotions for first-time moms. She lives in New York.