Yesterday, after I dumped my worries on the blog, the kids and I went out for a dinner of burgers and ice cream. My youngest was dolled up in her old ballerina costume and a pair of my heels. How could I not smile at her absolute joie de vivre and the smiles she received from everyone we encountered? My oldest daughter was just as proud... because SHE'S the one who dolled up her sister. She's my little fashion designer.
On the drive back home, we drove past a church. I don't attend this church but I love the prayer garden behind it. Sometimes, I stop there just to sit, breathe and ponder. I thought for a second and decided to introduce one of my favorite spots to my daughters.
Part of the prayer garden is a small trail that includes the 15 Stations of the Cross. The Stations of the Cross are points along Jesus' journey from His condemnation, to carrying the cross, to His crucifixion and finally His resurrection. I'm not a religious person, as you well know, but after growing up Catholic, I have a special place in my heart for this quiet meditation.
I had no idea my daughters would immediately take to it but they loved each resting place along the trail. They loved the carved stones of Jesus and each Biblical quote. With no prompting, they instinctively began kneeling at each stone, saying the same little prayer each time. They loved the story and how it relates to real life now, in them and every person. They were enamored with every step and every station. They listened in awe about the journey and His bravery. They connected with it realizing that they too will stumble and they too will be hurt by people in life and they too will be helped by strangers and they too will have opportunities to forgive.
My heart was nearly bursting.
The center of the prayer garden is a stone labyrinth. I told the girls to follow the paved stones and they would eventually be in the center of the labyrinth. "Along the way", I told them, "you pray and send love to all of those people you care about."
Silently and deliberately, we walked the path. Sometimes, as we'd pass each other, we'd giggle. I thought about every heavy feeling I'd experienced earlier that day. More than that, however, I simply enjoyed watching my daughters along their own paths.
Once we all arrived in the center of the labyrinth, each of us said prayers and gave thanks. I also took some amazing pictures of my sweet girls kneeling, eyes closed, hands together in humble prayer. I fell a little more in love with motherhood in that moment.
As we were leaving the prayer garden, we stopped to take the picture at the top of this post. It's a prayer that fits perfectly. It's a prayer that my daughters asked that I frame for their bedroom wall. I found it online and am posting it here... for them... for me... and for you.
"Your life is a sacred journey. And it is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way. You are on the path... exactly where you are meant to be right now... And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing, of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love."
~ Caroline Adams