Thursday, January 28, 2016

Still Praying with my Feet


It's been many years since I started this blog and named it "Praying with my Feet". Here's the story:
When my oldest three children were very small (i.e.-three, two and infant), I complained to my spiritual father that I seemed to spend more time outside the church than inside: walking/nursing the baby, removing the loud/crying toddler(s), etc. He told me that I was "praying with my feet." I have had many, many occasions to remember his words with gratitude.
At the time I wrote that my five children were aged 2 to 9, I was still working full-time as a nurse, and we were living in a different state. I had not miscarried yet. I was still six pregnancies away from where I am now. I hadn't started an Etsy shop. Heck, I didn't even know how to knit!

So much water has gone under the bridge, and yet I still find his advice, given so many years ago, to be helpful. Over the years I have bumped into many people, 'in real life' and online, who have heard that consolation from friends and fellow parishioners, from people who have read this blog and from those who heard it third-hand. It warms the cockles of my heart to think of some poor exhausted mama, blinking back tears as she drags her small children out of church yet again, hoping people aren't judging her, bump into someone in the narthex who tells her, "don't feel bad - you're just praying with your feet." (This actually happened to a friend of mine several years ago. I have no idea who the man was who passed it along to her.)

Anything we do, we can do in prayer, whether it's washing dishes, helping with algebra, patiently listening to someone who needs to talk, enduring bodily pain, or pacing with a baby. God gave us five senses and arms and legs with which to pray, not just our mouths or our hearts.  Lately I've had to accept bodily limitations and just rest. It's tempting to feel guilt when asking someone to do something for me that (ordinarily) I could do for myself. It's tempting to feel useless and burdensome. But my husband and children, in fetching and carrying for me, are praying with their feet too. I need to accept help with gratitude and not allow despondency to grey everything out.

So pray with your feet, pray with your hands, pray with your senses and mind and heart. For everything there is a season. Today may be the season of praying with our feet, and tomorrow that of praying with our ears and heart.

7 comments:

  1. Yes, it is like this! May God bless you and give us peace, esp. when we are exhausted. ♡

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  2. This is a good reminder for me.

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  3. How insightful of your spiritual father and what a blessing to your sanity! As Br. Lawrence said, do everything as if you are doing it for God. Then, you will have peace of mind and an aura of grace. What a lovely family!

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  4. How true!
    But I can't believe there was a time you didn't know how to knit. Based on what you've made, I would have guessed you were born with knitting needles in hand (I'm sure your mom's thankful that wasn't the case, cause that would be painful). Maybe there's hope that one day I can get the hang of knitting.

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  5. Indeed. Lovely photo, my friend <3

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