Daily Prayer and Family Life

By Ryann Kuykendall

Sleeping in is a rarity but it is something I try to sneak in now and again, especiallyon dark winter mornings. But then I hear my two children running up and down the stairs. And soon after awakening, the children at my clinic site come to mind and I put my feet on the floor. My days are busy, not unlike most mothers all around the world. My day generally begins at 6:30 a.m. and many nights I get home after 7:30 p.m. because of classes and clinic. Then looking over the kids’ homework, cooking, studying and being a wife and mother begin. Going to the grocery store alone is a luxury. The weekends are my time to recollect and clean. Often times this busy schedule only allows me to steal time for reflection and prayer in car drives and walks to class. Thankfully my husband supports me in my dreams and is every bit the 21st century dad. He picks the kids up from school, listens to their woes and championships, reads to them, and breaks up bickering matches. We work as a team raising these two children. There is a great spirituality in what we share. The gift is something I don’t have the rights words to express. I love every minute of the madness.

I don’t think there is any mistake that God choose to send Jesus to be a part of a family. Being a part of a family mirrors the relationship God shares with us. Our parents will love us despite all our mistakes, even wrecking the family car (which I have done twice). My favorite piece of art in my childhood home is a small ivory sculpture of Mary holding the infant Jesus close to her cheek. The image is so sweet and pure. It is a reminder that like God, our parents can’t guarantee us earthly happiness, but they will support us and hold us close. Being a part of a family also teaches us how to work together. I often wonder what daily life was like for Mary and Joseph. What did they do to keep life flowing smoothly?

I once had a friend tell me that I wasn’t that busy and at first I was extremely annoyed by this comment. I often thought afterwards, “Does she have any idea all that I do?!” Later I realized that I don’t know what her daily life is like. To her maybe I do appear to be at leisure. More than that, maybe she sees that my husband, children and I live a life of peace despite our hectic routine.

One thing I do to keep peace in my heart is each morning and evening I read the same prayer. It is hanging where we all can read it while brushing our teeth. I don’t know the author and it is simply entitled My Daily Prayer:

Heavenly Father, walk with me today, and grant that I may hear your footsteps and gladly follow where they lead. Talk with me today and grant that I may hear your tender voice, and quicken to its counsel. Stay with me today and grant that I may feel your gentle presence in all I do, say and think. Be my strength when I fear. Help me to know that it is your hand holding mine through all the hours of the day. And when night falls, grant that I may know I rest in your Sacred Heart. Amen

This prayer is simple but means a lot to me. I believe asking for help gives me strength to start and end my day as loving part of family. Some days I fail to meet my expectations for myself, but the next morning I wake up to the charging children, read my prayer and I am inspired to begin again.

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