Finding God in the Dish Soap
I wasn’t prepared to write this post today. In fact, it’s been on my list of possible topics for several weeks now, and I still don’t know if I can do it justice, but I feel I have to try precisely because I don’t feel up to it. You see, I’m overwhelmed.
God has blessed me with six beautiful, healthy, children (plus one little saint in heaven). They are rambunctious and loud and lovable. And much as I love doing so, in caring for their physical and emotional and spiritual needs, I sometimes don’t have time to care for my own. Some days, as I crawl into bed well past midnight knowing that I’ll be awake again in only a couple of hours to feed the baby, it dawns on me that I haven’t prayed. At all. All. Day. Long. I have no idea how it happened, but there it is. And I wonder why I’m feeling overwhelmed.
After one such realization, I decided to make an attempt at improving my prayer life. I had it all planned out. I was going to “find the time”, somewhere, and pray. I gathered my favorite prayer books and placed them on my night stand so they’d be there when I was ready and I planned on sitting down sometime after breakfast, but before schoolwork. That was before the baby spit up all over her clean clothing and the toddler needed a third trip to the bathroom. So morning prayer time was out. On to plan B.
Can you see how the day went? Yeah. Every time I made a new plan to pray, someone needed something or something needed doing, and there went my plans. God help me.
All those times when I thought I wasn’t praying, I realized that I spend most of my days doing little else. While I stand at the sink and scrub plates, I notice the way the light bounces off the bubbles and I thank God for the beauty of the little things. While I help my little girl get dressed, I silently pray that she will always follow the example of modesty that I am trying to set for her right now. When my son asks about how something works, I explain it to him the best I can and we share a moment of amazement for God’s creation. While feeding my baby, I marvel at the connection we share and never cease to be amazed at the beauty that God has allowed us to participate in by making us helpers in the creation of new life. When we say goodnight, it is not until after saying a family Rosary, which, as confused as it gets sometimes between silly interruptions and sleepiness, is still a Rosary after all, I am not only praying myself but instilling a love of prayer in my children.
I may no longer have the freedom of someone who is unattached to spend time in Eucharistic Adoration every day and attend daily Mass, but I do pray, all day long. I’m not in that season of life at the moment, but I will be one day. While I will continue to work towards actual planned out prayer time in my daily routine, for now, I have to look for moments when I can connect with God in prayer wherever I can find them, and if that means my only prayers for the day come in the form of fleeting requests for help that never even get beyond the thinking stage, then so be it. As St. Frances of Rome said, “A married woman must leave God at the altar to find Him in her domestic cares.” In other words, she might not make it to prayer group, but she can always find God in the dish soap.