Updated: Apr 15, 2021
There has always been a time of day in which things seem to be extra hard. The volume on the emotions are turned up high. It comes as predictably as clockwork each day. As much as I try to prepare myself for this time, or just embrace it, I can't change the course of that time of day. It’s in these moments of the day that I begin to question my every ability to do the simple, most innate things for myself and my family. The morning after a particularly challenging evening, I found myself in the Walmart parking lot writing down the words of this poem.
5:00- World is collapsing in on itself. Can I multiply myself to cover all the needs? Put out the fires? 5:03-The worst parts of all of us are sneaking out. Quickly colliding. 5:13- Need to cook dinner, Recipe is too complicated. Just can’t. I think I forgot to buy the ingredients, or were they eaten? I yell. Get it together.
5:18-Second grade math homework. The chaos clouds her mind. She makes the same mistakes. We do this everyday. Why does it continue like this? She’s refusing. I’m at a loss, Be patient. There’s not enough of me, I’m withering inside. Why can I not calm this part of the day? 5:23- Frustration welling up. They are all fighting. Now crying. Lord, surround us. Don’t even mention the needs of the dog. 5:30- Husband should be home, No, he said he was working late. Can’t do this. I need to change the course we are on. 5:37- Don’t think this will help but- “Pandora play hymns”. Sing even though you don’t know the words. Sing even though it doesn't feel like you deserve this. Dinner is leftovers. It’s fine. Turn up the volume on the music. 5:45 -Give someone a hug Apologize for losing my patience, losing my mind. 5:50- Homework finished, incredibly. Please set the table. I still need help. We can do this together better. 6:00- Daughter says the dinner prayer. “Thank you God for my family, " Did she hear me yelling? "For this delicious meal, " It’s leftovers from last night! "My friends." Yes, we need to feel accepted. "Keep us safe and healthy." I can do this, we made it. "Amen.” Hope.
Coincidence, I think not, that this poem was scratched down on the back of a piece of paper outlining St. Ignatius Loyola's Examen. It is a method of prayerfully looking at your day and seeking to find God in it. So in the company of the Holy Spirit we are invited to become aware of God’s presence and look back on the events of our day with gratitude. The mess of happy, confusing, fun, disappointing, ugly, beautiful moments that made up the day. We are encouraged to become aware of God’s presence and movement in our emotions. This is an opportunity for God to point out where we may have fallen short. We then pick one moment of the day and pray through it with the Holy Spirit. This could be a positive moment or negative moment, monumental or insignificant. Allow the prayer to arise from your heart and push you to praise, repent, or ask for guidance. And finally, look forward to tomorrow. Ask God to go before you in tomorrow’s challenges and be a light. Be aware of your feelings and offer them to God and pray for hope.
THE LORD’S LOVE SURROUNDS THOSE WHO TRUST HIM. -PSALM 32:10
BE JOYFUL BECAUSE YOU HAVE HOPE. BE PATIENT WHEN TROUBLE COMES. PRAY AT ALL TIMES. -ROMANS 12:12