One of the biggest obstacles to my prayer life is finding the time. As a busy mom of five, I just can’t believe how some days go by and I’ve barely muttered a word to God. For many years I would “say my prayers” by greeting God quickly in the morning, maybe a quick check-in at some point during the day (maybe) and then hopefully (if I could manage to keep my head off the pillow) a good night to God and a check-in with my guardian angel. I know God was pleased that I was attempting to acknowledge him, and He was always there listening no matter how surface the prayers were. But after enthroning our home to the Sacred Heart a few years ago, I felt a tug to do more. How do I carve out more tor for God?
When my kids were really little I had a small, cushioned stool that I put in a little nook in our hallway upstairs. We called it the “prayer chair”. I told the kids whenever they needed time to regroup or ask for some help, they could easily talk to God while sitting on that stool. As I thought about carving out more time for deeper prayer I decided I would create a special spot. This place would be just for talking to God and it would be comfortable and inviting.
I went out and bought a real chair to replace the stool. I also bought a small table where I could place my special holy reminders. I placed a small holy water font right on the wall next to my chair. This space was set apart; different than other parts of my home. Among the religious trinkets (crucifix, rosary, votive candle, holy cards, and small statues) I placed the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary images on the table. It was my sacred space! It is located just outside my bedroom door, easily accessible upon waking up or going to bed.
When I sit in this comfy chair and light the votive candle I take a deep breath. It’s time to talk it out with Jesus. Every day in raising a family brings so many challenges, questions, joys, and sorrows. I need to make time to sort it all out with God. I feel like this sacred space I created in my home actually invites me in. Who doesn’t want to sit down in a cozy chair with the soft glow of a candle and relax? I encourage you to try it. Find a spot. It doesn’t have to be big or fancy. Just a place where you can have some peace and spend time with the one who has the answers. Instead of mumbling a few quick prayers here and there, this special holy place right in my own home allows me to be much more intentional about my prayer life. I find myself sitting there for quite a while sometimes as I read scripture, learn about the saints or pray a decade in the silence. Sometimes I even lose track of time contemplating how I should handle a certain issue I’m dealing with. I now find that I look forward to going to this little nook in my own home and spend some real time conversing with God. I knew I needed to do it, I just had to find the right place!
– Jennifer Mulligan