This Is Why We Write: a Mother, a Prayer, and an Answer

This Why We Write- A Mother, a Prayer, and an Answer. #365StrongStories by Marisa GoudyWhy write? Because sometimes you give yourself the gift of scribbling down a fervent prayer.  And then, years later you get to read it from the other side when you're living an answer.

Six years ago, I used to pour my earnest, new mother's heart into a blog called The Girl Who Cried Epiphany. (Heavens! I was a babe in the blogging woods - I use "one" like the academic I used to be!)

On this Mother's Day Eve, I discovered what was essentially a journal entry. I wrote the post as I looked at my newborn and worried over what would happen at the other end of my maternity leave. 

Prayer is a word I have and flirted with and danced around and fled from.  I used to worry about the term’s religious baggage.  Also, I have worried that I did not know how to do it properly.

Now, I know that no tradition has a monopoly on prayer and I am aligning myself with Spirit, not with a specific tradition when I talk about the practice.  As for concerns about whether I am doing it right, well, I want to say I really don’t have time for that stuff any more.

Motherhood makes you appreciate each activity a little more because you have less time to spend on everything. Every breath in downward dog is deeper because you don’t know when a wail from the next room will pull you from the mat.  Every chance you get to type with two hands because baby is sweetly sleeping in her sling is to be treasured and exploited fully.  Even though a huge part of me is dedicated to simply experiencing Moira each day, the other side of that equation means that efficiency is more important than ever.  This applies even to talking Goddess or God, or whatever I am calling the Divine on a given day.

Like I said, I do not have time to worry about whether I am crafting perfect prayers, I just have to unleash my soul’s dialog and hope the ideas organize themselves.

And yet, I am left to wonder, how literal is Spirit?  What matters more, the intention of one’s petition or the way one words the prayer, the way one might craft them into mantra?

My deepest prayers as I look into my baby girl’s great blue eyes are that we may find a way for me to stay home with her full time. I always knew I didn’t want to be a working mom, but I thought that was because it would be too draining to do both and because I never liked my job that much.  Never could I have imagined the all consuming love that would make being with my daughter a need not a simple desire.

And so I have found my days and nights filled with a constant refrain: “Please, please, please let me stay home with my baby.”

But then, I wonder about how true “be careful what you wish for” really is. What if the Universe decides to answer my most fervent prayers through a lay off?  You see, it’s economics that is keeping me at work. Not only do I need the courage to leave the security of my job, but I also need to find another source of income to make staying home the idyllic portrait of mother and child that I dream of.

And so, here I write, six and a half years later, a second child born and weaned, several lean seasons survived, a business built and growing.

I'm left to marvel that I did find the courage to leave that job and to feel sick at the "how." Then, I didn't know anything much beyond the mystery of prayers and their answers.  Turns out, it wasn't a lay off but my mother's unexpected death a few months after my daughter's birth that broke my heart even as it allowed me my heart's desire.