This afternoon, I was as busy as the bees in my lavender. I had laundry in the washer, laundry on the line, laundry being folded. There were sleeping girls and calls to make. I remembered about the hamburger in the fridge, and was just about to fry it up when I walked in my (inconveniently messy thanks to Termite Warfare) office and saw an envelope that was in the bill pile. “Hmm,” I thought, “maybe I’ll just take a peek.”

I’m glad I did take a peek. There was an immediate call that I needed to make.

I walked back into the kitchen, post-call, and saw the laundry happily folded, heard the washer plugging away, and thought about the many things I could dig right into while the girls kept on with their late-afternoon nap.

But there was this thing. It wasn’t a voice, not exactly. It was just a nudge.

Then I spied my iPod.

And I hadn’t listened to one of the two daily requirements, Pray-as-You-Go (the other is the Daily Mass readings via USCCB or Verbum Domini).

Easy enough.

I pocketed it, and started shuffling around.

“Today is Tuesday, the first of July, in the thirteenth week of Ordinary Time,” it began. And then, “Whatever activity and noise and distraction there are around me, whatever worries and concerns are vying for my attention, I begin this prayer today by finding that center of stillness within me, settling into a moment of peace, asking for the peace that only God can give.”

I walked outside and stopped my fiddling around. I walked to my lavender and I picked some. The dog, ever helpful, inserted his face in mine. I walked over to the beebalm and picked one.

With that homegrown aromatherapy in my hand, I walked over to my favorite tree, and I settled down in the grass. I took in the green of the corn, the feel of the wind, the sounds of the birds and bugs and life all around me. (The dog was not feeling so contemplative and he hurried off to some important business in the barn.)

I listened to all eleven minutes of today’s prayer and reflection, calmly. I made time. I sat down.

Today’s Gospel reading spoke to me. It pointed out just how the storm rages in my life, how the chaos swells up around me, how the pile grows and overtakes my ability to conquer it. And, most importantly, it reminded me just Who is in control, really. The storm is nothing.

I don’t have to be in control. I don’t have to know the answers. I don’t have to figure it out.

I’m not alone.

I never have been.

Sitting there, under my favorite tree, my hands full of lavender and beebalm, my heart full of prayer, I let go of the worry.

In this newly refreshed frame of mind, I am going to set about those chores that waited while I prayed. They’re still there. Those things that were worrying me? They’re not going anywhere either, though I’m looking at them differently – and much more calmly – now that I’ve taken this deep breath of prayer.

Why do I let this get to the bottom of my priorities? How does if fall from being the Wonderful Thing That Saves the Day to the Morning Chore I Just Can’t Get Around To Because {fill in with excuse of the week – kids aren’t sleeping/I overslept/running late/etc}? This month, in spite of the Bathroom Shelf Organizing Project that’s been waiting a year and the little things I need to improve all over my Domestic Palace, I’m going to resolve, instead, to stop and pray and listen once a day. Even though this is something I should already be doing (and which I already plan to do), I’m going to swallow my ambition and place myself at His feet.