/> Raising Angels: My Domestic Monastery

Friday, April 18, 2008

My Domestic Monastery

Last night the whole family attended the weekly prayer meeting that we had been missing for quite some time between Nelson being gone all the time and me having a rough pregnancy. It was very exciting to sit there with my whole family and I thanked God for this new season in my life. And then...

The boys spent almost the entire "quiet" time arguing about the crayons they were supposed to be sharing. When I wasn't monitoring the fight, I was answering the constant questions about the random words they heard in the songs or scriptures. Then...

I remembered why I hadn't missed these meetings too much. I rarely hear anything that's said and almost never get a moment to be quiet and meditate. I don't mind answering the constant spiritual questions because, as I was reminded at the baptism, Nelson and I are the primary teachers of the faith, but it's exhausting and hardly meditative for me. But then...

The woman sitting behind me tapped me on the shoulder. Now this was no ordinary woman. She is the mother of 11 children and I believe an angel, at least for the moment. You see, when she tapped me on the shoulder, instead of giving me advice about how to control my children or chastising me for their behavior she asked me a question.

"Have you ever heard of the domestic monastery?"

"No," I answered, curious as to where this was going and wondering if it was a place for mothers of young children to escape their lives for awhile.

"It talks about how mothers of young children live a monastic life of sorts because every moment of every day they answer the call of Jesus by answering the questions of their children. It is Jesus in the voice of the youngest humans." Then she smiled a reassuring smile, patted me on the back and returned to her prayers. And suddenly...

I remembered why even though it's hard to get there, and even though I often feel less holy when I leave than when I arrived, and more than occasionally question why I bother going at all, God spoke to me once again and put my focus right where it needed to be.

I am a mother, not a nun. My life is full of diapers, peanut butter, and sticky floors. I spend my early mornings running around like crazy trying to get everyone ready, the afternoons trying to reign the kids in and make sure they aren't breaking their or anyone else's bones. I spend the evenings cooking dinner, bathing dirty kids, and cleaning up after them. When I finally sit down, I usually fall asleep.

However, I know I am right where God wants me. My life's work is forming these blessed souls and right now that involves a lot of hard work and little time for quiet reflection. What it does involve is a lot of laughter, more than a few tears and loads and loads of love. And…

I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy, I needed to read this tonight! I was just thinking as I drove my boys home from the park about the constant questions that are asked. My answers are sometimes so short. Considering your thoughts posted tonight, I may need to change my answers. :) Thanks for posting!

9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Amy,

This was sent to me by my sister-inlaw, Shauna last year. It's an article about The Domestic Monastery. Hope you enjoy.


10:16 PM  
Blogger Amy Parris said...

Thanks Ladies. And Theresa, thanks for the article.

10:27 PM  

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