Monday, November 18, 2013

Hurs and Aarons

A few months ago when I was being chatty Katrina on the phone with my mother-in-law, she told me that sometimes she feels like Moses in the bible story when he has to hold his arms up for Joshua and his men to fare well. When he let his arms rest, they did poorly. So Hur and Aaron held his arms up for him, and the battle was won. My mother-in-law is Moses, her children are Joshua and his men, and her arms are her constant prayers.

This story was one of the readings the weekend before Conor joined our family.

That previous week I remember sitting in a random Mass overwhelmed with teary eyes when I realized what parenthood is. Parenthood is a humbling experience. It is the most humbling I have yet to undertake because you know what? A lot of the time I have no idea what the in the world I'm doing. No idea. I'm just a mom with a whole lot of love, a fantastic husband, and the gift of getting to pick apart God's parenting wisdom through prayer.  As a parent, I need that gift. But really how often do I use it? As often as I check Instagram? No. I should stop letting that gift of prayer gather dust in the closet.

Sure, Ryan knows the last word of many Mass responses and alternates between one-knee and two-knee genuflecting depending on his level of balance for the day. He can do a sign of the cross shimmy, helps me sing hymns at bedtime and his most frequent matching activity is correctly putting the prayer cards he scattered about in the church lobby back in their spots. But you know what word he uses the most impeccably out of all the words that he knows?

Looking mischievous, but really an innocent parrot
Well, shoot, darn, insert euphemism here, you can tell that layer of dust is pretty thick. And it's a wonder he hasn't picked up my other not-so-prayerful sailor curses. Well, sometimes it might seem that he has, but that is really just toddler pronunciation. I hope. Thankfully, the reading my mother-in-law talked to me about is just the story that I need to get my praying action where it should be.

When I heard the reading on that Sunday when I was 39 weeks and 1 day with child, I knew that, through prayer, I need to constantly and intentionally hold my children's arms like Hur and Aaron and to actively and consciously support the arms of many wonderful people. So many people pray for me, and I'm so grateful.

Fast forward four weeks, and I have met that babe that was punching me in the kidney during that Mass.

And he is sweet. Sweet, sweet, sweet.

All he wants right now is to be in my arms, to be bounced, to hear my voice, to nurse and nurse and nurse, and I can do that. I can do that. But on those nights when I feel like I can't and when he. won't. go. to. sleep, I know I'll have my Hurs and Aarons holding my arms as I hold my babe.

So thanks. 

I hope that metaphor makes sense.

Anyone have good ways to sneak in extra prayer? My best ways are during nursing and walks. 


  1. In the shower! A few precious minutes alllll to myself and there aren't usually children to be heard.

  2. When I run, I pray. You can get a lot of praying done when you have nothing else to distract you. (I don't use an iPod when I run). I also use my time in the car for prayer.

  3. Oh I love this dear. I have a hard time sneaking in the extra prayers too. I second the shower (though usually I am not functioning enough to form a thought at that point). I also just say little things through out the day. Brief little cries out for help or guidance or charity... often selfish, but sometimes not. Better than nothing!

  4. I agree - running, shower, when I'm doing dishes, folding laundry, etc. Of course, don't have a toddler or a nursing baby anymore, so largely my people scatter when I'm doing those things so they don't get drafted! And that picture of Conor is beautiful!

  5. Great post!

    I take my Rosary when I go on long walks...but then again, when I go on walks these days, I don't have two wee ones along with me, so it's easy to lose myself in prayer.

    Back when my boys were little, I didn't have dedicated prayer time--I just had an on-going conversation with God. Sometimes, it sounded like this: "Please give me more patience. I need more patience." :)

  6. Wow, this was like I was reading about myself (except my kids are older) especially the dammit and curse words part :( This is the second post I read today that has to do with prayer. God may be trying to tell me something. Katrina, I also wanted to tell you that I have nominated you for a Liebster Award. You can read about it here:

  7. Love this post Katrina! You're the sweetest. And I hope you're getting some sleep - its so hard to have a newborn and a toddler to take care of at the same time!

  8. I pray when I fold laundry. Most times I pray specifically for the person who's socks I'm pairing, other times I just pray for whatever is on my mind. I have to learn to cultivate a better prayer life too, but the laundry prayers help.

  9. He is adorable!!

    xo & now following

  10. Love this image, who holds up our arms in prayer for us. I wrote this post once about carrying the laundry basket as a way to pray in an embodied way for friends who were pregnant and carrying so much of their own. Now that I'm carrying again, it makes me realize, every time I stoop to lift up the #$%^ basket again, that so many people are carrying me in prayer too. The spiritual life is full of beautiful give-and-takes like that! Blessings on you and your boys.