The story is told of an overworked mother of eight who lived in the 1700s. In her house jammed with children it was extremely difficult for her to find a place to withdraw for a little quiet time of prayer and meditation. Finally, she constructed her own little prayer closet right in the midst of all the bedlam. She did this by pulling several layers of her voluminous skirts over her head — and the children learned to respect that as a sign that they weren’t to interrupt her unnecessarily. Too bad, perhaps, that in today’s world we don’t have that many layers of petticoats.1
Then there is the story of the 20th century mother who had the same problem as that 18th century mother. She had just finished the back-breaking job of stripping several layers of old polishing wax from the kitchen floor. Her nerves were a bit frayed and she needed some quiet time — right now! But before she could retreat…
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