One of the most precious times, and the highlight of my day is the time I manage to snatch in the morning, while the house is still asleep, to pray and simply be with God. Sometimes it's a long time, sometimes shorter, but even the shortest stretch of time of lifting my heart up in prayer is a treasure and works wonders in the life of my family and beyond.
I start with the standard set of morning prayers, and then proceed to personal prayers and requests. I pray for my family, and myself, and for my husband and daughter separately. Sometimes about things in general and sometimes about something more specific which I know is needed at the moment, be it physical or spiritual. If there is time, I also pray for other people who, as I know, are needy of that.
There are days when I wake up to so much to do, the house sometimes still being messy from yesterday, that I'm tempted to forgo the prayer time and just rush off to do chores. However, I have come to know that a day started off with prayer, sincere thankfulness, and pouring out my heart to God, will bring forward much peace and sweetness with it, even if other things are seemingly – and only seemingly - delayed. In this case the longer road is actually shorter.
Other people could do my household chores, but no one could love and pray for my family the way I am meant to. I know it is one of the most important gifts I can give my loved ones and myself, and what's even better - it is freely there for giving and taking. Nothing can replace the deep sense of contentment that washes over me after I have spent that special time dedicated to being alone with God. I pour out all that is in my heart, even if it's too complicated to put into words, and I know He understands, and I come away encouraged and uplifted. Things I cannot tell anyone, I tell Him, and He is always most loving, thoughtful and considerate, and my burdens are lifted off my shoulders, and what He plants in my heart is good and right.
I have found that virtually the only opportunity for me to have such a peace-filled stretch of time is to get up before anyone else does, and be alone while the house is asleep. Admittedly, it means that I get less sleep than I might have had otherwise, and getting up isn't always an easy task. I do not want to set an alarm clock because I try not to wake my husband, and so the only way left is to simply pray, before I go to bed, to wake early the next day. And usually it works. He is ever close to those who seek Him.
If it's still dark, I might light candles, and enjoy their flickering flames as I contemplate the day/week ahead of me. I like to think and plan on what there is to be done, and if there is time, I make a start on the many things that are to be done at home. But even if there isn't, my heart is at peace: He is walking with me along every step of the way.