My two-year-old Violet stopped taking regular naps several months ago. That’s my excuse.
Here’s another one: I tried getting up earlier than said toddler and husband, but the condo is close. The gate at the top of the stairs clicked. They were up. The next day I rose at 6:00. So did they. Daniel, my husband, suggested I meditate at the Dunkin’ Donuts after working out. Ask me how often I work out?
When she does nap and I do sit in the red chair, cross my legs, pet Briscoe the Cat, and breathe deeply, my mind strays to all the toddler-impossible stuff piled on the desk. If I write myself a to-do list and return to stillness, I doze like a disciple (Luke 22:45).
So in 2010, I resolve (again) to pray daily. I’m not sure when I’m going to do this, but I am sure I should. Jesus is only a stone’s throw away, praying before me (22:41). I need to be with him. I need to be in the habit of listening to him. Otherwise, I’m the one throwing stones.
Here are several things that might help.
Once a week, I’m going to report to you on my success and . . . the other thing. A blog doesn’t take the place of a prayer partner, but I recently watched Julie and Julia and am entertaining visions of fame and writing gigs.
I’ll work through Tricia McCary Rhodes little book The Soul at Rest: A Journey into Contemplative Prayer (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1996). Later I’ll tell you about the book. For now, here’s her remedy for “Wandering Thoughts”:
- “Don’t fight mental distractions or try to resist—this will make it worse! (What happens when I say: Don’t think about a pink elephant?)
- “Do jot down things to do later on a piece of paper.
- “Do picture yourself filing thoughts in an imaginary file cabinet for future perusal.
- “Do write your anxieties, emotions, fears in a journal.
- “Do see distracting thoughts flowing by you in a stream, emptying into the vast ocean’s waves.
- “Do gently return to prayer when you have released them.
- “Don’t let them get you down—every thought you have is known first by God.
- “Do keep on trying—it will get easier with practice!”
Finally, each week I’ll post, sometimes suggestions, other times quotes, book reviews, prayer practices, and reflections.
Want to join me?