by Lori Radun
It was breakfast time at Janet’s house. The baby was in the high chair watching her brother and sister fight over who gets the Mickey Mouse plate. The kids didn’t want cereal for breakfast, nor did they want eggs and toast. Not having much left in the house to fix, Janet was beginning to feel crabby. Why did the morning have to start like this? Janet took a deep breath, and vowed to remain patient.
Breakfast is done, and it’s time to get the chores started. Still trying to remain cheery, Janet assigns a small chore to her five year old, and another one to her eight year old. The kids are not in the mood for chores, and they drag their feet, begging to be motivated. “If we can get our chores done, we can go play miniature golf”, Janet announces to her son and daughter. “This is going to take forever”, her daughter counters. Just then the baby starts to cry. Janet has to tend to her little one, and this gives the older ones the perfect outlet for abandoning their chores. Not having the energy or the patience to deal with her children’s noncompliance, Janet wonders why she feels so out of sorts. Then suddenly, she remembers. Opting to sleep in a little this morning, Janet had skipped her morning meditation.
Is motherhood possible without God? Sure, I suppose it is, but regular spiritual practice sure makes life as a mom much easier. There are many ways to engage in spiritual rituals, and each has its benefits. What works for one person may not be the answer for someone else, but if you find the right outlet or combination of practices, life will be more fulfilling and peaceful.
For Janet, meditation was the answer. By spending 30 minutes every morning in a quiet space listening to her meditation program, she is able to connect to God and find the peace, patience and positive energy she needs to get through her day. The purpose of meditation is to clear your mind and body of negative energy, and center your soul so you are one with God. Meditation is an excellent way to relax and unwind at the end of a busy day as well.
There is power in prayer. Have you ever had a parenting problem you couldn’t solve on your own? I have. When my older son was in middle school, he was hanging out with a group of boys in the neighborhood that were unhealthy for him. Everyday these boys would get together, and there was always yelling and arguing over something. I tried to encourage my son to find some new friends, explaining to him what a healthy friendship looks like. I talked myself blue in the face, and the fighting continued. Exasperated, I turned to prayer. I started praying for God to remove these boys from his life. I prayed for awhile, and then forgot about the situation. One day, I woke up and realized that this group of boys that were once in my son’s life, were now gone. They hadn’t moved, or even had a big blowout. God intervened and answered my prayer. Today my son hangs with a good group of kids in high school. Prayer gives you the strength to face life’s challenges, and God gives you the wisdom to make the best choices.
The other night I was talking to a friend. She was telling me about her recent spa getaway and the wonderful experiences she had pampering herself. There was one incident, during her massage, that her soul opened up and feelings of sadness tried to engulf her. Waiting until after her massage, she went back to her resort room and pulled out her journal. The letter began, “Dear God”. All the feelings of grief and sorrow poured out of her onto the piece of paper. Journaling is a release, a way to purge your mind and spirit of the thoughts and feelings that are weighing you down. The result of a good journaling experience is often clarity, resolve and refreshment.
Yesterday I went out for a walk in the morning. It was a cool day, with a perfect breeze for walking. The night before it had stormed, so the clouds were still thick and actively moving across the sky. As I made my way around the ecosystem, I made eye contact with a beautiful Saint Bernard dog sitting peacefully in his yard. I noticed a big bird playing in the water. The wild flowers and grasses were swaying gently in the wind. Looking around, I was reminded of the beauty and wonder of God’s creation. Spending quiet time in nature grounds you and helps you appreciate the gifts God has given you. Nature simplifies our life, if only for a few moments.
I define the arts as anything that is created by another individual for the purpose of inspiring others. Any work of art can speak to us. Whether it’s a good book, inspirational song, or a beautiful painting, art has a way of touching our soul. By listening to, reading or admiring other works of art, we can heal, rejuvenate, and be encouraged. God speaks to us through other people. Just like others move us through their creations, we can return the same gift with our works of art. The process of creating connects us to our soul, and puts us in touch with the Master Creator.
Community Fellowship and Service
Every year our church organizes an event called Operation Helping Hands. The purpose of this event is to bring the hands and feet of God into the community, and be of service to the many people that need our help. This year our family was assigned to Eastwood, low income housing units, in the city of Aurora. Our job was to paint a room inside one of the resident’s homes. Although the resident didn’t get a choice, she was blessed with a beautiful and sunny yellow paint. As we began to transform her living room, our hearts were being changed forever. There is nothing that gives greater joy than to know you are making life a little better for another individual. And an even bigger gift for me was hearing my teenager tell me how good he felt about helping this grateful family. Being a part of a community group like church, or any organization that serves mankind, reminds you that you are not alone in this world. By serving other individuals and receiving support when you need it, life becomes a little easier. God created us to be in fellowship with other people so that we can learn and grow together in love.
Regular spiritual practice is essential for one’s total emotional and physical health. We were created by God and must remain connected to God to experience the spiritual benefits He has planned for us. Where else can you get an abundant supply of unconditional love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control that is required for motherhood?