First thing this morning, as I lay in bed and as my eyes creaked open to greet the rising sun, I thought to pray. I have a confession: I don’t formally pray as much as I should, let alone think to pray very often. I guess I just sort of feel like I’m always praying as a mother, my heart so full of hope and faith in God as my children experience His world. But there is so much to be said for actually dedicating a moment to a thought-out prayer, straight up to Heavenly Father. I was grateful that I had the thought to pray, because then I prayed. I prayed in a way I haven’t prayed in too long. I asked Father to help me feel the Spirit in my home today and to appreciate each of my children individually and for who they are throughout the little moments of the day. I prayed for discernment to help me not be grumpy and to be fun and playful. I’ve been too grumpy and not fun and playful lately.
And then I started my day. It went pretty typically. I tried to recall the things I prayed for here and there to make sure I was doing my part to help my prayer be answered the way I needed it to be, but the day felt pretty normal. I felt a little spontaneous and took the kids to a picnic at the park and thought that was really something special. The boys played so well together and my heart felt a lot of peace. But it was sort of the normal peace it feels most of the time, it wasn’t a new found prayer-answered peace. But I appreciated it so much. I was just grateful I wasn’t being a grump towards the kids.
Nap time came around and I decided to get some laundry done while I watched some Netflix. I ended up watching a show that said way too many bad words and showed way too much skin and I thought to myself, “Welp, there goes the Spirit I was hoping to feel in my home today.” Then the boys woke up and I realized we were out of milk and had no food for dinner so I drug them to the store and spent all the gas money on milk and cheese and dish soap and realized the grumpiness had emerged. And I’m just now realizing the bad show is what brought it out of me. But it was there and I was feeling like my little prayer was in vain because I honestly felt like I couldn’t for the life of me control those darned grumpy feelings.
We got home and I threw a dinner together just in time for John to get home, eat it, and head out again, leaving me with my grump and two slap happy hyper boys to get ready for bed by myself. But then something special happened during bath time. It wasn’t anything monumental, it was just more of that peace that I was talking about earlier. In my heart. While the boys splashed and squealed in the tub. I have a strict “let-the-boys-splash-as-much-as-they-want-in-the-tub” policy. It might be a pain to clean up, but they love it so much and they won’t be little forever. Plus it’s not like they bath every day….. It ended up softening my heart a lot. And then we played and laughed so hard and had a sock snowball fight and read books and scriptures and said prayers and I realized that my little prayer had been answered.
I also realized that the Spirit I was praying to feel in my home today is there everyday, and that if I’m not careful I just get used to it and take it for granted. I don’t need these huge grand Spirit gestures to help me feel the Spirit. I just need to recognize when the Spirit is present. And as a mother to young, pure, perfect babies, it happens more often than not. I can feel the Spirit every time my child laughs, every time one of them apologizes to the other, every time they show excitement for something so little to me but so big to them, every time they hug me, every time Charlie copies his big brother hero, James, every time they need me for something. And you add all those little things up and there’s your whole day, one long stretch of the Spirit. That’s not to say every moment of motherhood is magical, and that’s okay. I’m just grateful that today my prayers that were spoken were answered and that the prayers that are unspoken are answered too.