Pray Without Ceasing

One whole wall in my home office is whiteboard, and the other day I got on a chair, and in purple whiteboard marker in big, looping cursive I wrote, “Renewal.” It has been my prayer, my meditation mantra, my plea, my daily bread.

Until a few months ago, I lived hard. I worked hard and played hard and then crashed out when needed. In parenting, there are no days off. There is no spring break, no sleeping in on a Saturday, no vacation to recuperate. Very quickly I have had to figure out how to live without crashing. I could no longer go without taking a breath knowing I could hide away and regroup when I needed to. The day after big turning points like my spouse being out of town or a weekend trip, when I would usually lay low, I struggled realizing that I had to just keep going, no crashing possible. I have to pace myself. I have to take one day, sometimes one moment at a time. And I humbly pray a whole lot more often.

When my baby needs some comfort or transition time, I rock him, walking slowly in the circle of my house’s main floor, from living room to kitchen to family room to office, and I see that purple prayer of Renewal staring at me. Because it is my focus, it is my lens, it is my daily, hourly prayer, I see and feel renewal in places I never looked before. I am consciously grateful for each new morning sun, each cup of coffee, each shower, each stroller walk, each time a friend visits or each time I sneak in a nap. Every day I cobble together these mini gifts of renewal. They give me hope and the strength I need to keep going.

These mini renewals are all I have, and they are enough. I pray for renewal from a deep and honest need, and I receive it. I pray without ceasing and God gives me what I need.

Published by Ellie Roscher

Ellie Roscher is the author of How Coffee Saved My Life, and Other Stories of Stumbling to Grace. She holds a master’s degree in Theology/Urban Ministry from Luther Seminary and an MFA in Creative Nonfiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College.

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