It’s the middle of summer and I’m happy to be with my mama before school starts back. Today we’re at her friend Walter’s house and I’m playing with his son. This boy has Castle Grayskull and all the people to go with it. But he doesn’t want to let me into his room. He says no girls are allowed in there. I try telling my mama that he won’t let me play in his room, and he’s in there playing with He Man toys without me. She doesn’t understand the severity of the situation. I decide to take actions into my own little hands. I knock on the door and tell this brat that his daddy said he wants to talk to him in the backyard. Walter isn’t even at home.

The boy falls for it and runs into the kitchen towards the back door, leaving his bedroom open. I rush in and quickly close the door, fumbling for a lock. I’ll show him. Turns out the door doesn’t have a lock so I push a chair under the door knob like I’ve seen on TV. I have all the characters to myself, and all of Castle Grayskull. I hear him run inside and ask my mama where his daddy is. She tells him that his daddy ran out and will be back soon. I laugh to myself when he tries to open the door and it sticks. I don’t even say a word. I just keep playing with She Ra.

After a long day of showing this kid who’s boss, I climb onto a brown couch and Mama covers me with a blanket. She walks away and returns with a flattened pillow in a green case. She tucks the pillow under my head. I close my eyes. She kisses my forehead and says she loves me. I love her too. I hear the lamp switch click and the bright light on the other side of my eye lids fades. The room is empty and dark and quiet. I feel safe here in Walter’s house. I quickly begin to fall asleep.

Just when I start to dream, I feel my mama’s warm hand on mine. She stands over me and holds my hand in hers. I don’t open my eyes. I don’t want her to know she woke me up. I feel her kneel down on the floor in front of me. I wonder if she’s OK. She begins to whisper and her words are heavy as they float over me.

She asks God to know me and keep me forever. She says that I’m precious and sweet and smart and beautiful. My mama tells God that she’s sorry for all the time we are away from each other, and she begs Him to keep me safe while we are apart. She asks God to help me understand her and forgive her. She kisses my hand and holds it to her face as hot tears slide down her cheeks.

This is the first time I’ve ever heard anybody in my family pray. I want to open my eyes and tell her everything is alright. But I’m scared and unsure in this unfamiliar moment. And the whole thing feels sacred, somehow. So I stay still and quiet. I fall back to sleep under a soft euphoria of my mama’s love and sacrifice.

So many times I’ve learned to pray. I’m told that we don’t pray for things we want, but we should ask for understanding, awareness of our needs, peace in our hearts, that sort of thing. So I wake up and say Shalom to my face in the mirror. I say a prayer before I pull out of my driveway and I say little prayers throughout the day. I recently read in Found by Micha Boyett that Saint Benedict asked his monk brothers to make prayer the first step in anything worthwhile that they would attempt. Micha says raising her child must be most worthwhile, so she writes this down and tapes it up so she’ll see it often and remember. I write it down in my journal so I see it everyday. I want to remember, too.

Agere Contra, friends

This post is part of the #WholeMama movement. You can Link Up toΒ  this wonderful collection of writers, and find my previous posts in the series below.

The Messy #WholeMama

The Quiet #WholeMama

The Empowered #WholeMama

For Shalom & the #WholeMama

10 thoughts on “The #WholeMama in Prayer

  1. Did you enjoy Found? It’s on my to-read list.

    Just here from the #wholemama linkup crowd, I think. I think you’re the first on this topic who talks about their own mothers praying. My mother’s prayers were always secret – she never talked about them, I never heard them. We are not a prayin’ out loud family.


    1. I did enjoy Found. It was inspiring and well written. My family wasn’t a church going praying together kind of group. I was probably 5 or 6 years old during this visit and had never heard anybody in my family pray before. And it didn’t happen often afterwards. But it’s always stayed with me as a moment of importance in my life. Thank you for reading this post. I’m glad you found me through #wholemama. πŸ™‚


  2. What a wonderful, sacred memory of your mother praying over you that night! I enjoyed reading your post. Your writing always seems to pull me in and it feels like I’m right there. I have Micha’s book on kindle and I really liked it. I need to remember this: “make prayer the first step in anything worthwhile.” It’s so easy to just jump in and get started, but prayer helps me focus and put things into perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When I read your words Rose, I find my breathing slowing down and I’m right with you in that room playing with He Man. I did stuff like that too πŸ™‚ It’s got me thinking about how I pray for my children. Do they know I pray for them? My favourite thing on my birthday used to be that my Dad would pray for me – we were very much a praying out loud family – ever morning in fact, but on our birthdays my Dad would gather us to give thanks for the life of the birthday person. I’ve carried that on with my family now, and it’s incredibly moving every year to hear the whole family thank God for whoever’s birthday it is. But I shouldn’t just keep that for once a year. keep writing please x


    1. I love your family’s birthday prayer tradition! I’d like to adopt this for my own family. Thank you for reading. I’ll keep writing because now that I’ve actually started I couldn’t possibly stop. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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