Musings From the Sky: Thoughts on Prayer {#WholeMama}

Today I sit. I am enjoying the small everyday moments. The moments I have missed as I have been traveling this week. I am remembering the hard moments and the loud moments that come with this life of littles. The hugs, the playing, and the sweet words. I ease back into the routines of the day. I itch the mosquito bite and nurse the sleep deprivation/jet lag. I sit glassy eyed watching littles play and trying to remember to count them all (you know, so I don’t lose one). I talk with neighbors. I enjoy the cool air and cloudy sky. I rejoice in all of these small beautiful moments.

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When I saw that the weekly prompt for #WholeMama was prayer, I smiled. I think it is because prayer is something that has evolved. I grew up thinking of prayer as a time to rush through, eyes closed, hands neatly folded. I would pray at meals, bedtime, and when requested. But it wasn’t a relational prayer. As I grew, I kept that idea of prayer and expanded it. I allowed prayer into more of my life, but it was still in the dark. In the quiet. Hands folded neatly. Prayer wasn’t messy. It wasn’t the real, vulnerable prayer. It was tidy, exactly what I thought my God wanted.

But now. Now prayer is so much more. I still love the prayers whispered in the quiet, as I fall asleep. I love the prayers with my hands folded, just speaking to my God. I instill those same ideas into my children. But I add one more. That prayer can, and should, be more. It should be a relationship. It should ebb and flow into each facet of your life. God should be invited into the mess. Into the chaos of daily life. And my children are learning this. Though they still close their eyes (because everything is a distraction!), they are learning to stop and speak to God in the small moments. They are learning to hear God’s voice.

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Now, this busy life has brought me to a deeper prayer. One that is my life. It happens in the noise. It can happen in the mess. It happens in the quiet stillness. I simply talk to the One who knows my heart. I talk to Him throughout the day. I pray when I smile at the little moments. I pray when I itch that festering mosquito bite. I pray as I shout for Baby Boy to please stop hiding from me. It doesn’t look like something formal. Instead, the moments of prayer look like a close relationship with a dear friend. Someone with whom I share a knowing smile, a quick word, a whisper of thanks. Someone who knows. 

So today, I am going to share some of my thoughts, my praises, my prayers as I flew to Greece and back home. A glimpse, all be it a far from normal peek, into my whispers to God. Thank you for the grace to deviate from the normal every day for just this moment.

Travel Flight

As I wake, heading toward Switzerland, on my way to Greece, I marvel at the beauty of the clouds. Their stunning, pure white. Their new-ness. And I cannot help but to sing praises to their Creator. The Psalms come to mind and heart as I examine the never ending expanse of bright blue and white. Beauty in the never ending. Beauty in the simple.

Leaving Zurich is hard. Though I did not venture out, I am sad to say goodbye to the views I have so quickly grown to love. In even just these few moments. Because I see the Creators hand in them. There is a river. Winding slowly. Between the farms and small towns. The homes but a vague shape nestled among the green: the light green of the farms and the darker green of the forests.

And then. I turn my head once more. And I see what I had hoped to see. Poking out, above the fluffy white clouds. Mountain peaks. Endless mountains. I see the grey-brown of their dirt. The green of their lush mountain valleys. Their crags and crevices. The tops covered lightly with snow.

And I marvel. I am in awe.

I rejoice the One who made them. Seemingly, just for me. Right now. In this moment. For me to see their largeness. Their vastness.

I cannot help but stare out my window. Like a child seeing anew the wonder of creation. I am seeing creation with fresh eyes. Eyes focused on adventure. No longer eyes focused on fear. Eyes delighted in the creation of the King. Eyes seeking to see all He made. To really see it and truly delight in it.

Each moment singing glory to God.

Watching intently, unceasingly out my tiny airplane window. Staring at these mountains, seeing small pools of water nestled safely between the mountain crests. I wonder at the hand that formed them. With all their splendor and majesty. How delicately and intricately He designed them. Each mountain ridge. Each peak. Created for His glory.

And now, here I am, flying into Athens. The blue sea. The sloping hills. You can actually see parts of the water sparkling. Rays of light. Almost as if the waves are clapping. And they are, aren’t they? Rejoicing in their Creator.

And then. Just like that, my week has come to an end. As I board my plane, I notice the pink beginning to peak out from behind the mountains. Soft wisps of color spread across the sky. And my eyes fill with tears. Suddenly and surprisingly.

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I am almost home. A full day of flying behind me and we near the city. There is a storm coming towards Chicago and I am thankful that my plane was able to fly home. But the clouds below us tell the story of a storm preparing.

Anvil shaped clouds tower over the light cloud cover beneath us. Puffy clouds springing up, raising high. Seemingly dancing, leaping for their Creator. In joy. Simple and pure joy. Unable to restrain their worship for the One. They gracefully move. Beautiful shapes floating. Reaching high into the heavens. Quietly proclaiming. Quietly worshipping their Creator.

And as the sun begins its decent, the clouds glow. Radiating the vibrant light of the sun.

Just as I should be radiating the vibrant love of the Son. And that, dear friends, is prayer. Seeing the glory of Creation, the mess of life, and all the moments in between. And praising God. Talking to Him. In frustration, wonder, awe, praise…He wants to hear it all. He desires to be a part of it all. So I invite Him in. I welcome Him into the small. And I see His glory. And in the end, prayer should be like the sun setting beneath the clouds. Prayer should leave me reflecting Christ’s love. 

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Be sure to follow me on Instagram for more pictures of my adventures in Greece! And stop by on Friday for a look into my trip and a GIVEAWAY!

Love this link up as much as I do? Here are my other #WholeMama posts:

Power to Flourish

Intentional Quiet

Embracing the Mess of Me

Today I am joining Esther Emery for the #WholeMama link up. I am excited to be in a community of mama bloggers that are willing to be real, vulnerable and honest. But most of all, that can show the amazing beauty and grace through it all. Each week we will be discussing one word and what it means to each of us. I would love if you joined in too! You can find more information on the original #WholeMama post, here.

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36 thoughts on “Musings From the Sky: Thoughts on Prayer {#WholeMama}

  1. This is beautiful! Like you, my prayer life has also evolved from the same ole routine prayers to deeper more thoughtful prayers. I think that after having kids, your worries increase and you are taught to rely on God a lot more. At least, that’s what did it for me. 🙂

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  2. Prayer is always evolving for me, too. I feel like I go through phases of beating myself up over my prayer life and do best when I develop the habit of listening. Inevitably I wander away from that habit over and over, but when I find myself frequently “mentioning” things to God during my day as well as stopping to listen, THOSE are the times when things are on the level for me. I wish I was on the level more often. You have such a beautiful way with words (and prayer) and I have no doubt it stems from your beautiful view of life and your quiet, real relationship with the “one who knows your heart.” See?? That’s so lovely!

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    • Thank you, Brooke. Truly. And I completely understand that push and pull. I think that state of real listening but and talking to Him throughout the day is so important. Everything else can look a mess, but when our day wraps around talking to Him. Grace. Just grace. Thank you for your encouragement, friend. 💛

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  3. Beautifully written! My spiritual goal for this year was to grow in my prayer life. I, too, grew up thinking prayer was something you do with your eye closed, hands folded. I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and pursuing Jesus in new venues – praying through worship music, spontaneous prayer during worship songs at church, praying out loud while I’m driving by myself, praying with people more often. Sending up prayers while I sit at my desk and write. Prayer can be all-encompassing and so refreshing.

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  4. You’re so right. Prayer is, or at least becomes, about relationship. It evolves over time, peaks and wanes. Thanks for sharing your prayer journey as well as your wonderful travels. I’ve been enjoying seeing the photos on Instagram!

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  5. I loved reading your beautiful reflections on prayer, and how it is woven into the beauty of creation and travel and returning. Your grateful and worshipful response to God for your experience is inspiring. Thank you for sharing! Love it!

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  7. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and beautiful photos! I love the descriptions of prayer and how it has developed becoming deeper. Inviting God into the mess and the chaos because prayer is really a relationship. This statement I love: “Instead, the moments of prayer look like a close relationship with a dear friend. Someone with whom I share a knowing smile, a quick word, a whisper of thanks. Someone who knows.” Beautiful!

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  8. Ashley, I loved your pictures and your prayers. It’s so encouraging seeing the sunset, or the mountains and realize, “wow those are for me.” Thanks for linking up!

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  9. I’m so glad you’re a part of what we’re doing here this summer, Ashley. And wow, the travel images, in words as well as Instagram! What a gift to have you share these experiences with all of us.

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  10. I loved this – thank you for sharing. Flights do the same to me – it’s so extraordinary isn’t it to have that view of the world. I often find my eyes filling with tears at the extraordinary beauty of a sky scape. Last year I flew over Greenland and it was almost more than I could cope with. Even though I’m sitting at home in my bed this morning you’ve lifted my heart.

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  12. “That prayer can, and should, be more. It should be a relationship. It should ebb and flow into each facet of your life. God should be invited into the mess.”
    I love how you and Jamie both brought mess and prayer together as part of the same whole.

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