A few years ago I read The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence, a devotional made from a compilation of letters and conversations from a seventeenth-century French monk. He had learned to practice the presence of God at all times, in every daily task and duty. His simple letters encourage readers to practice God’s presence and see His glory in every facet of your life. “He found that the shortest way to go straight to God was by a continual exercise of love and doing all things for His sake. “ (first conversation)
He purposed to engage in the Lords presence during every hour of the day. He began to find an effortless, uninterrupted state of awareness and constant union with his creator at every moment, unrestricted by whatever task was at hand. He also acknowledged that it is solely by Gods grace that we can engage in this uninterrupted union with our creator, giving no credit to works or deeds.
The time of work does not with me differ from the time of prayer. In the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great a tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the Blessed Supper. ( fourth conversation)
This was the concept he devoted himself to throughout his life, that wherever you are and whatever task is at hand, God’s presence was to be known and practiced intentionally through his grace.
I enjoyed the notion of this idea but I was skeptical. Monastic living seemed a much more conducive lifestyle to engage in this type of uninterrupted awareness.
How did these experiences translate to my world? To my sleep deprived, nursing, potty training, house cleaning, laundry folding, can’t even remember when I had my last uninterrupted moment of quietness, phase of life.
I wanted the awareness of his presence and grace to transcend the noise and clutter in my life. The peace and grace brother Lawrence spoke of to be consistent in my every day duties of motherhood. I knew the Lord desired for me to find full pleasure in every moment, as unglamorous as it may have seemed. I began to take the practice of His presence into my world, finding pleasure in the awareness of His grace and the joy of his company, even while changing a dirty diaper. I remember thinking “ one day I would like to write a devotional like “The Practice of the Presence of God”, for mothers.”
This book is meant to be just that, an encouragement for mothers to engage in a constant awareness (practice) of His presence in the every-day, mundane tasks of mothering. A call to all mothers to feast on his grace, grace that wants to invade every aspect of your home, your family and you!