When I was young and would play outside in the snow in the winter, I remember occasionally looking towards the house and seeing my mother standing and watching us through the big bay window. Yesterday, Alan and Indy went outside to dig us out before we headed to the Ash Wednesday service at church. They weren't out there for long, and I only watched them for a few minutes out the window, but I think I had my first genuine moment of feeling like a parent, feeling like I was standing in my mother's shoes for just a fleeting second. Standing there in the warm, dim house, with Tenny wrapped on my back, him watching Indy over my shoulder, it was just so quiet, quiet enough to actually hear myself think - a rare moment in the life of a mother of young children. It was a moment of feeling very present, with this comfortable, settled feeling, anticipating the mother-henliness of welcoming my loves back into the warm house with dinner steaming on the table, and peeling Indy out of her soggy snow clothes. I suppose I felt very blessed.
Later, during the sermon, our Bishop was speaking about the idea of "keeping company" with God in relation to prayer. When you keep company with someone, you don't always have intention for it, sometimes you just talk about the weather, because the point is just to spend time with the other person. I like the phrase, and I'm a girl so I don't compartmentalize - instantly my brain was a web of applications; I thought about that moment earlier, standing at the window, how I could draw closer to God and keep company with Him without needing to really pray anything. I thought of this space, and how that phrase applies to what you do when you come visit me here - you keep company with me - and this space can also often mirror my feelings about my prayer life: I feel all of this pressure to have great intent, something thoroughly crafted to say, a clear end goal, and if I don't have that then I just don't write or I don't pray. If I free myself of that pressure then I am free, free to come here and write and free to pray, about the weather or plants or food or deeper thoughts if I have them, and growth happens naturally. In fact, even the act of writing here can be prayerful, spiritual, if I invite God to keep company with me here, too. When I write here, I'm inviting you into moments of my life, an act which mirrors what I'd like my relationship with God to look like: the practice of continually inviting Him into every moment of my life.