A Three Minute Sabbath

"The 3-minute sabbath" by Claire McGarry (CatholicMom.com)

Image credit: Pixabay.com (2015), CC0 Public Domain

I started back to work last month, after fourteen years of raising kids and doing small, paying jobs from home. I’m still learning the juggling act of working outside the house, while still keeping up with all the responsibilities of motherhood. Most days I’m completely wiped out by bedtime, and I can’t get rid of my kids fast enough.

After one especially hard day, my eight-year-old daughter, Jocelyn, asked if we could kneel down and pray together before I tucked her in. Because I’m such a bad mom at that hour, we do our family praying in the car as I travel all over town dropping off and picking up kids. So it took everything I had not to yell “NO! We already prayed today!!”

Seriously, how can a mother of faith turn down that request? Regardless, I knelt down with resentment and impatience, wanting it to be over before we even began.

I’m the queen of distraction in prayer, especially when there’s still a to-do list a mile long to be done. As Jocelyn opened her little book of prayers, I was listing in my head all that was still on my plate. Then Jocelyn’s sweet voice broke through the hamster wheel spinning in my mind.

It was if time suddenly stood still, and stretched out in the most glorious way. Clear as a bell, I could see that as I’d been spending my days running at full tilt, God had been trying to shower me with what I needed to get me through this tough adjustment period. But my racing had me in a zig-zag pattern, moving between the raindrops of His grace.

Now that I was still, and on my knees, He was able to catch up to me. He rained down His blessings, filling me up, and soaking me through. Although the prayer was less than three minutes long, it was as if I had spent an hour in His presence. I was restored and renewed, and went on to conquer what was still on my list, and then some.

No doubt we live in a fast-paced world, with a lot to do and not enough hours to it in. What we forget is God can conform to our culture and meet us where we’re at. Just like two-day shipping and drive-through eateries, God can fulfill our needs in expedited ways if we simply respond to the prompts in our days that lead us back to Him.

Copyright 2019 Claire McGarry


About Author

Claire McGarry is the author of the Lenten devotional "With Our Savior," published by Creative Communications for the Family/Bayard, Inc. and All is Blessing: Finding God in the Tensions of Life, to be published by Our Sunday Visitor in the fall of 2021. Her freelance work has appeared in various Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Focus on the Family magazine, Catechist magazine, These Days devotional, and Keys for Kids devotional. The founder of MOSAIC of Faith, a ministry with several different programs for mothers and children, she blogs at Shifting My Perspective.



    God bless Jocelyn, His little messenger!! He uses little ones to get His message across, doesn’t He!!

    Love this post, Claire! xoxo

    • I love that you asked, Mary! It was some random prayer she chose out of her children’s book of prayers. It wasn’t so much the actual prayer, as it was my little, eight-year-old daughter blessing me with her deep faith that God was listening and present. Through her faith and sweet voice, my heart was opened wide so God could bless and transform me. 🙂

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