Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The mind of Christ....the mind of a Mother

Piper says that to find Joy in our life, to really "Fight for Joy"--we must "pray earnestly and continually for open heart eyes and an inclination for God."

But what does that look like for a busy mother? I can't exactly have extended prayer times--alone--throughout the day. The Lord knows this.

Holly addresses this in her excellent post Communion Amidst Chaos. Much of mothering does consist of that.

Because we are busy, and interuppted mothers, our thoughts must be trained to turn continually toward Him.

~Are we in the Word? If we are not, we can't hear or discern His voice.

~Do you have a "routine" for prayer? There have been days when a lot of my prayer is captured in momments: in the shower and at the sink are two favorite places.
Barbara Curtis even wrote a book on how she meets the Lord in the laundry room!.

This great post by Ann has been around the blogosphere many times, and it is worth mentioning again here. Often times we as mothers feel we "need" a "quiet time", when really we need to learn to have peace in the storm.

~What's in our heart? Truly, this is the "heart" of the matter. Where are my thoughts? Am I thinking of things that are "true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy?" (Phil. 4:8) This is defnitely a challenge.

We need not worry that this work will take up too much of our time, for "It takes no time, but it occupies all our time." It is not prayer in addition to work, but prayer simultaneous with work. We precede, enfold, and follow all our work with prayer. Prayer and action become wedded.
~Richard Foster on Prayer

So, Mother, put the mind of Christ..in your mind.


Sarah said...

What a great reminder. I can be so hard on myself when it comes to the quantity of time I spend in glorious concentration on the Lord and His Word, but perhaps if I would give Him my thoughts amidst the chaos, my prayers at every turn of the day, perhaps if I would hide His Word in my heart instead of thinking my only access to it is through reading, then I would understand what it is to abide in Him, to pray without ceasing. IF... Thank you for the conviction my friend!

Brenda said...

You have blessed my entire week! Thank you so much for this post and the link posts as well. I am so excited! I am just coming home (next week) to be a homemaker and begin homeschooling and my husband just started a new job and everything is changing and I didn't know how I was going to really deal with all of this and then..................I read your post. Thank you. You have given me hope.

goodlikeamedicine said...

Hmmm, great thoughts. To answer you, this is just where I am in my journey at the moment: I once read a post at Girl Talk that helped me try a new concept, which was keeping my morning prayers on the computer with my "to do" lists for the day, and devoting some snippet of morning alone time before kids to this. The key to success with this for me has been disciplining myself to go to bed early (which tonight, like some nights, is hard, when I am working on web design stuff late at night)!

Another "door" that God unexpectedly opened for me in the last few years has been what I mentally label as "spanking prayers." I am finding (with a 3 and 2 year old who need discipline and another who will be there soon) that those times when I have to force my children to stand quietly along the chair, the wall, or wherever I need them to at the moment of correction, I give ample "quiet" time with no noise, either after or before a spanking, depending on the attitude and reaction of the child's heart.... anyway, this "quiet time" has turned into the sweetest time for me as a mother to seek God, sometimes bowing down behind them or touching my child's back gently, and calling for God to draw my child's heart and my own heart to His.... I find myself in tears many days, whereas I used to be irritated or angry when prayer was not apart of this time for me.....oh, this has become a sweet, powerful time of intercession and made my times of discipline much more hopeful and God-centered.

Sorry for the long comment!

Andrea said...

Thanks for sharing! I *love* that idea of prayer amidst discipline. What a sweet intercession is right!
Thank you for the ideas.

Beck said...

You know, I always pray while I'm doing the laundry and loading the dishwasher, my way of remembering how blessed I am in the midst of the mundane. Good post!

Betty said...

Great post, Andrea. I can't help but recall E. Prentiss (from Stepping Heavenward--the book) advising women to do the same thing, to learn to pray in the midst of where you are. She also said that the image of her mother running to her room to pray during the day also left a huge impression on her.

The focus is not so much on the how, where, when, but more on Who and Why.

I'm also reading Calm My Anxious Heart by Dillow, and I think praying this way (keeping communion with the Lord throughout the day) also helps us experience His peace and contentment. Two things I long for.

THanks so much!
Grace & Peace,

L.L. Barkat said...

If I make my prayer simultaneous with work, what a consistent and busy pray-er I will be! :)

Natalee said...

love the thought of training your mind...and every thought captive. sooo important for the King to infuse everything...and for me to be a dependent child. thanks, girl.

Christine said...

Prayer simultaneous with work....beautiful. I look forward to reading, or re-reading, the posts you linked to.

You are a respite in my busy day when you write things like this!

Holly said...

Seasons...stages...what works in one might not work in another for me. Some times, I get GREAT study, I soak in it and revel in it. Other times, I must take it in bits..."yes" to the Bible open on the counter or scriptures written on a notecard in the window...

But ALWAYS - He is the Living Word. We ALWAYS need Him and need to know Him.

It might be tidy sometimes, or messy at others - systematic or come-what-may...but He is our sustenance no matter the method.

Thanks, Andrea. You're such a constant encourager to stay in His Word!

EEEEMommy said...

This is a great post! Brother Lawrence's Practicing the Presence of God is another great resource which encouraged me to worship and intercede while peeling potatoes. I've grown in my mastery of praying without ceasing, but I struggle to cease striving and spend the quantity time at Jesus' feet. I had a rare opportunity to do that yesterday and feel like a new woman!
You have a lovely blog!

truevyne said...

I meet regularly with Jesus in the kitchen, garden, while writing sometimes, running, and lawn mowing. He's in the ordinary and everyday for me. When I'm too busy, I don't notice Him, so I fight for the quiet.

Katherine@Raising Five said...

"Our thoughts must be trained to continually turn toward Him."

My constant prayer. How did you know?

Amy Jane said...

Jumping into the conversation late, I wanted to say this post made me think of something I wrote in March about a different way to think about "quiet-time."

Perhaps it's just a less-spiritual way of saying what Br. Lawrence did, but I've always loved analogies I find in "ordinary" stories, as well as scripture.

(This one used Lord of the Rings.)