I use an old picture of Ronan as a bookmark. The bookmark can be found in a prayer book that my parents gave me. The book, Celtic Benediction, can be used for both morning and night prayer (when I haven’t misplaced the book).
I’d recently misplaced the book (story of my life), but found it just a few weeks ago. As soon as I saw the book, I quickly opened it to make sure Ronan’s picture was still there. It was.
Each morning, prayer begins with a reading from the book of Psalms. What follows is a prompt for silence and this message:
Be still and aware of God’s presence within and all around.
Be still. That’s sometimes hard for me to do. That’s because there is so much going on around me. Five kids. Their full schedule. My own full schedule. Appointments to get to. Phone calls to make. Emails to answer. When I see that prompt to be still, I have to remind myself to not think about what keeps me busy and think instead about something else.
I close my eyes, take a deep breath and reflect.
I reflect on the blessings I’ve received. I reflect on my children, my husband and our family. I reflect on the people who’ve inspired me and who’ve supported me. I reflect on the events of yesterday and on what I hope will happen today. I imagine today. I imagine who I’ll see and what I’ll get to do. I take another deep breath.
Then, I open my eyes.
Each day tends to be full—my kids’ activities directs most of how my day will unfold. I’m there for them. To drive them. To pick them up. To encourage and support them. To guide and discipline them too. My kids make me stronger. They make me better. They drive me nuts too. But that’s what makes our family our family. I can’t imagine life without them.
Be still and be aware of God’s presence within and all around you.
I’m aware of God’s presence and of the blessings He’s bestowed on me. I may not always be aware of them during moments of sadness or of grief, but I do recognize them. I know that my family and my children are the greatest blessing. I am theirs and they are mine. I am grateful that they are mine.
Today, when I pray, when I slow down enough to be still, to be aware, and when I see and feel God’s presence within and all around me, I will again reflect on the blessings that I have. I will pray for others too so that they may also receive blessings, blessings of peace and of hope and of thanksgiving.
May we all be blessed with moments of peace, of hope and of thanksgiving.