Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tools of the Trade: A Working Moms Spiritual Arsenal and a GIVEAWAY!

I'm going to let you in on a little secret - I'm the jealous type.  It's one of my worst flaws and oh boy does it come out in spades as a mother, particularly when I let myself start comparing myself to my stay-at-home friends.  Obviously, they get to do all the things and all the things are perfectly, blissfully wonderful.  Are you laughing at me?  Rolling your eyes?  If not you should be because I'm fully aware at my ridiculousness.

One of the biggest struggles I've had over the last few years is realizing that while I can't do everything I can do the things that I think are important in some way, shape or form.  I can be in mother's group and have friends and children over to my house.  I cook meals and do crafts and I can do these things not because I'm perfect or with the knowledge that my efforts will come to fruition, but because I can try.

Fitting prayer into my life is one of those things I could shrug off as the domain of those who don't leave their house at six a.m. on a regular basis and for a while I did just that, but that was not what was best for me or those around me.  I needed to find time for prayer even though I spend a good chunk of my time on someone else's clock, unable to take advantage of a well timed nap or brave decision to try adoration or daily Mass.

After a lot of trial and error I now have three tried and true tricks up my sleeve when it comes to working in some part of my spiritual life into the day to day.

1.  Offer It Up
2. Use the Commute
3. Use the Little Moments

The first tool I discovered a few years ago during Lent, I was new to this idea of "offering it up" and wanted to see if I could figure it out.  It was simple enough; I kept a mental list of causes or people who need a little extra thought or prayer in their lives and dedicated that days work to them.  My work, particularly when away from home, became a tool for those around me.  A frustrating day at work was given as prayer to someone struggling worse than me.  A sad goodbye was given to those who wanted children.  It wasn't much, but it gave those days a direction and a focus.

The second tool is also simple enough in today's day and age - using time in my commute to eek out a little time to listen to a cd or read a book.  I'm not saying that I always use my commute for prayful reasons, but when I'm feeling out of balance that time is there whether I listen to uplifting music, religious radio or add a spiritually themed book for my bus-trip reading material.  The time is there, it's just up to me to use it.

That brings me to the last tool, using all the little moments.  While it can feels like we never get a break during the day there are minutes, and sometimes only minutes.  Saying a quick prayer is still a prayer, saying part of a rosary still counts.  Use those little moments and they can add up to something big.  My friend Shannon, whom I met at Edel this summer, was kind enough to give me one of her rosary bracelets from her store Organic Mama's Shop.  Not only is it beautiful, but not obviously a rosary (so good at work) it helps me add up all those little moments.  I can say a Hail Mary on the way to the bathroom or riding the elevator and keep track of all the little moments of prayer I can find.

Image borrowed from Organic Mama's Shop because it was late and dark when I wrapped this up.  ;

I'd love to encourage you - whether you work in the home, out of the home or all around - to gain extra tools for your spiritual arsenal.

Shannon is offering 20% off with the code MOLLYMAKESDO from now until the 29th!  Plus 10% of all sales go towards supporting a local crisis pregnancy center.  Each of her pieces comes with a lifetime repair or replacement guarantee, but folks - I can attest to my rosary breaking pro of a three year old these things are solid.



But that's not all.  As you know I write for the devotional Blessed Is She, which is part of my arsenal - not only of my own growth as I write my devotions, but reading others reflections and insights.  This year, to help fund this project (we're all volunteers and uncompensated, but it still takes money to host and run a beautiful website) our lead Jenna created a beautiful devotional just for the Advent Season and I'm giving away a free copy to one lucky reader.



This is going to be a fast giveaway and it closes on Saturday at 12 a.m.!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(*I was generously given my rosary bracelet for review, but opinions are my own and I'm not being compensated further for promoting any of these items.)

16 comments:

  1. Offering up the everyday and quick prayers sprinkled throughout seem to be the standard for me. I'd love to be a little more focused on this.

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  2. Love this! It's so easy to let prayer fall through the cracks when I'm trying to keep our family going. Thank you for this!

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  3. i love this idea of offering up the hard parts of your day--i work mostly from home but on days that i do go to the office, i'll remember those moms that work longer hours at home or that don't have enough money to provide for their families and wish they did have jobs. thanks so much for this post!

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  4. Love having these ideas at the ready for when time gets eaten away!

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  5. Oh thank you for this giveaway!

    I try and make time for prayer right after all the children are in bed. If it's at a regular time like that then I'm more likely to do it!

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  6. I try to work prayer in while I'm nursing my babies to sleep :-) It's quiet as they drift off to sleep.

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  7. Loved your post and was inspired! Ave Maria ( :

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  8. Beautiful! I love those three tricks :)

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  9. I love to pray while I walk -- I don't do as much walking now as I did in college, but for me that's such a productive way to pray with fewer distractions!

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  10. I love the idea of the spiritual arsenal :) I'm (not a mom yet but) a teacher and sometimes I do forget to pray in the mornings. It's horrible because it's so important I begin my day with prayer because there is really no rest spending all day with a room full of 7-year-olds. Last year, I used a similar book for lent and I loved it. The guided reflections are so helpful!

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  11. I tend to use nap time as prayer/Bible study time! I often pray novenas throughout the day as well :)

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  12. I pray a lot in the car! I also have an app on my phone that leads the Divine Mercy Chaplet that I LOVE. And lastly, I meet once a week with other moms from my Parish to say a rosary.

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  13. I try to get to prayer in the early morning, with a cup of coffee. I've also found praying while doing the dishes works too :)
    ~Ruth Anne

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  14. Yes, prayer in the car is definitely a time well spent! :)

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  15. I love to pray the rosary while I exercise!

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  16. Excellent piece. St. Ignatius of Loyola was famous for stating, "God is in the details". The emotions, the feelings, the smells, the words, the interactions you have with everyone around you. You can find God everywhere, because He is everywhere. One of the best tools you can use is the Daily Examen. It's not, like many erroneously believe, a recounting of all the sins and faults through the day. In actuality, it's primarily about recalling all of the good things God is doing within your life that our business may have caused us to miss. It takes about 10 minutes, and if you do it for awhile, you'll find that your awareness of God throughout the day will grow exponentially, and you'll find Him in those moments as they happen, not at the end of the day. Check out ignatianspirituality.com for more information on the examen. It's probably the more important prayer we can say every day (yes, even more important than a rosary).

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