A parishioner asked me recently if I ever have time just for myself. “You know,” she said, looking me in the eye, “without the kids.”

She was not saying this to imply that my husband should step up. Nor did she mean to make me feel like taking them to work is overkill. She knows me well enough to know that (a) Bob would give me any time I wanted, if I had asked, and (b) without the kids, the job at the parish becomes just another office job, and as such, it loses the sparkle, allure, and, well, relevance to my life.

No, what she was observing was a crack. She made me stop and think: Just what do I do to make sure Sarah is still inside?

These sorts of things mostly make me roll my eyes. Just as I used to say “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” without appreciating how much I’d love sleep once I had a couple of young kids, so now I wonder about “Mom Time,” though I’m a little cautious of cocky phrases.

But it came to me, sitting in the rare hour of silence I set aside each week, that I do have Mom Time, of the very best kind.

For one hour every week, I pause in my life of chaos-rush-juggle. I drop the kids off with my mother-in-law and I go to sit at my Father’s feet.

Amazing things happen.

During what has been the roughest hour of my days as a mother, I’m stopping. The laundry’s not getting done, the kids aren’t getting bathed (by me), the to-do list isn’t shrinking.

You know what?

It’s all there after my hour with God.

What’s amazing is that I come out different: calmer, quieter, listening.

There are a lot of ways a busy mom can get a little time by herself, but which of them takes you back to the reason you’re a mom in the first place, the Creator who gave you the blessing of your vocation?

I thought once we were into mowing season, I would have plenty of time to contemplate not-so-straight lines and dandelion faith. That’s been a kind of Mom Time for me in the past, but this year, it just hasn’t worked out. And, thanks to that hour each week, that’s OK.

If I have to pick my Mom Time and if I’m honest about my spiritual needs, I can’t not have my hour of Adoration each week. I need the extra graces from an hour freely given. I need the hug of silence, the peace of hangin’ with JC, the joy of gazing and listening and pouring it all out.

I need my Mom Time.