Where to Find Me

She finds me on my knees this morning and wonders why. Why I come here before the sun comes up, before the laundry and the lessons and the dishes pile up, before her little brother wakes up and beckons me from his crib. When a fresh coat of white still covers the driveway outside my window, when I can’t sleep another minute, she asks me why I come to this place.

Where to Find Me

It’s cold down here and certainly not comfortable, especially this time of year, when thermostats are set to sixty and the joints are stiff.

But it’s low, “about as low as you can get in this house,” I tell her. And that’s important to me. It’s quiet, too, a rarity under this roof with constant kids and pets and pots and pans banging, life on parade.

Where to Find Me

I come this morning with a sick spirit, and maybe it’s all those parenting books I’m reading, the ones that inspire yet intimidate. Or all those episodes of Little House on the Prairie she’s making me watch, the ones where Ma might possibly be the Best Mother on Earth. And I’m feeling a bit like a failure, a tad overwhelmed.

I’m feeling the pressure to make my kids turn out right. To make sure they’re well fed and well read and polite and kind, that they won’t smoke or do drugs or marry a jerk. That they’ll wash their hands after they flush and know the value of a dollar and memorize lots of scripture so hopefully, God, hopefully they won’t turn out like me someday.

Where to Find Me

I lay my head on the antique chest, the one filled with her dress-up clothes, by the quilt which bears my name, and I pour out my heart to the One who always hears. I tell Him all my dirty little secrets, all my petty concerns and fears, and confess my complete lack of faith in myself to raise my children well.

I go on and on until my knees start to ache, so I open up my journal and jot down the date and write the names of each of my children. I sit there for a while then scribble that they’d know they are sinners in need of a Savior. Forget good hygiene or academic excellence. This is what I decide they need more than anything else today.

Where to Find Me

That’s when I turn around and find her standing there in the doorway staring at me, her eyes still heavy with sleep, her hair looking like she’s slept with a flock of ducks.

“What are you doing?” she asks in a sleepy voice.

“Praying,” I answer, motioning her to come sit beside me.

“Why here?” she asks as she snuggles into my lap.

And I tell her this is where I come to humble myself, to kneel down low and admit I need help, especially on mornings like this when I feel like the Worst Mother on Earth. I show her the dog-eared Bible and the journal I’ve kept for years, the books that lend words when I can’t find the right ones to pray. And I tell her she’s welcome to come use it anytime she wants, too.

She smiles sweet, hugs me, then gets up to toast some frozen waffles.

Later, after she flips out over incomplete Latin lessons and sentences herself to a summer’s worth of schoolwork, after she slams a dozen doors and I text my resignation to the husband-principal, she walks into the dining room red-eyed and weary.

“Mom,” she says sniffling, “how do I ask God for help?”

And I take her by the hand and lead her through the kitchen, down the stairs and around the corner to that old familiar trunk. And for the second time today, we kneel together on that cold carpeted floor, two sinners in need of a Savior, banging on Heaven’s door again.

I know there are lots of prayer guides out there, but here are a few I use almost daily in my prayer time. Just click on any of the links below to download a free, printable copy.

Daily Prayer
31 Days of Prayer for Your Child
31 Days of Praying for Your Husband
A Prayer for Casting Our Burdens Upon the Lord
Scripture Prayers for the Lost

Comments

  1. You’ve written what every believing mother feels…thank you for your honesty. I love your posts.

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