Soooooooo, I had a totally different post planned for today about discernment. And then...today happened. It was not a good day, work-wise. The semester starts Monday, and as is our new normal, we're all running around putting out fires that NEVER start back in June. They only start 2 days before classes begin. Every.Single.Time.
I felt frustrated. I felt stressed out and harried. I felt like I was forgetting things from moment-to-moment, as is always the case when I'm trying to do too many things at the same time. I developed a headache.
As I popped an ibuprofen, I thought of the text string I had with Sam last night. As we were talking about the stress of the new semester approaching (Sam is starting a brand new job as a teacher in a combined 1st/2nd grade classroom!) I said that I was really feeling deep in my soul how important prayer was going to be for me this semester. So that I wouldn't sink back down to the abyss of anxiety and depression and happened last fall (we will heretofore refer to the fall of 2016 as "That Semester" and shudder whenever we hear it's name). I had an official "Fall 2016 Managing Stress Series" last year for a reason. It's painful to reflect back on.
At any rate, back to prayer. Sam, my sister, and myself are in the midst of a 30 day yoga challenge for stress relief and relaxation.Which may not seem to have anything to do with prayer, but stay with me! :0 I mentioned to Sam how I longed to get back into a routine with praying the Liturgy of the Hours, but it's just SO difficult to stay consistent with it (footnote: the Liturgy of the Hours is the official prayer of the Church; it is made up of hymns, psalms, and other short prayers relating to the liturgical season and/or feast day). She and I both then commiserated on just how many times we've failed miserably at keeping up with Morning and Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. Then I had a eureka moment:
"We should do a 30 day challenge for *that*!"
Right?! For 30 days, we'll endeavor to keep up with this form of prayer. Now, Sam and I both agreed that Morning Prayer? It's just not happening. We're realistic, you see. We're up by 6 (Sam even earlier than that), I have kids out the door by 7:20, Sam has a 40 minute commute, we both have classes first thing...Morning Prayer just isn't going to fit in there. Doesn't mean we can't pray a morning offering, but official Morning Prayer would only make us cry. So what we thought we would try is for 30 days, praying Evening and Night prayer. Something to look forward to after our long days, and both are designed to be SO soothing for weary souls. Would you like to join us?
If you own Christian Prayer, or the 4 volume set of the Liturgy of the Hours, you're all set. If you'd like to use an online tool, there is the iBreviary app, which is available for both Android and ios, or you can use Universalis. I have the Divine Office app, but I know that isn't for sale currently while they work out a copyright situation. It doesn't matter what you use, as long as it allows you to pray!
We're going to start Monday, 8/28. I can have accountability posts in here from time-to-time, so we can check in with each other and see how it's going. It made me feel SO much better to think of this today in midst of my Nightmare Day From The Pits Of The Evil One.
If you'd like to join us, or just have thoughts generally on helpful forms of prayer for stressful times, please comment below!
I'd love to join in! I've always wanted to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, but never have been able to follow through. Focusing on the Evening & Night prayers should be doable -- what a great idea! Hope your headache is short-lived :)ReplyDelete
Kevin, this would be awesome! Yes, I'm digging the latter day idea as well, hoping that it "sticks"! Do you have the book(s) in print?Delete
I don't have the books, so I think I'll go with the Universalis website for this challenge. Can't wait to get started!Delete
Morning Prayer would definitely make me cry, which is why I haven't touched my book all week despite its presence in my car.ReplyDelete
I completely forgot our conversation last night until I got back into my car to drive home today. It made me very happy, and I'm adding it to my "weekly goals" section of my planner right now. ;-)
There will be lots of offering up and prayer to get us through this semester, to be sure. *hug*
Sam, yay! It's so nice to have little nuggets like this to carry us through busy and challenging days. <3Delete
Prayers for you (and Sam, congrats on the new job) for the start of the semester. The semester started at the community college where I'm an adjunct on Monday. Reference has been busy (line forming, no down time between questions busy) with typical first week of school questions. I've been wanting to revise my evening routine and I'm open to trying out evening or night prayer. I just need to acquire a print copy hopefully from the library for now. I'm trying to cut out phone use 1 hour before bed. It is just too tempting to check email, twitter, or look things up and end up later than I want.ReplyDelete
Melanie, excellent points all around. If the library doesn't have a copy, what you could do is use your phone for Evening Prayer, and print out Night Prayer during the day (it's one of the shortest offices) for use right before bed. And I *think* (it's been a long time since I prayed Night Prayer) that that particular office only rotates on a weekly cycle, so you could save and reuse your printouts. I'll look into this tonight!Delete
Thank you, Melanie! :-)Delete