And I Pray

Photo by Stephen Elliot in association with

I rub my eyes. I listen to the steady, rhythmic breathing of my children. I am fully present in the stillness. As I look up at the ceiling, my eyes follow the familiar cracks, and I think through the day ahead.

The sun isn’t up yet to stir the birds into their morning chorus. Whimpering in her sleep, my youngest, a toddler, tugs her blanket closer.

I’ll soon pull myself from the warmth of the blankets into the chill of the early morning air. The day will begin. The morning will involve pulling clothes over wiggling heads, washing squirming faces and breaking up sibling squabbles. There will be laughter and tantrums.

And I’ll pray,
Lord, give me patience.

I’ll walk the oldest two to school, trying to keep little feet from meandering. I’ll return home to pick up my business deliveries.

My arms full of bundles, I’ll follow the narrow dirt paths to the homes of my customers as I navigate around puddles left from the night’s rain. As I make deliveries, we’ll haggle over prices and exchange neighborhood gossip.

And I’ll pray,
Lord, renew my strength.

If the day is clear, I’ll wash our clothes in the buckets outside and hang them to dry on the wash line.

The afternoon will bring by customers to purchase more supplies and snacks. I’ll write down the purchases from the day and remove the washing from the line.

And I’ll pray,
Lord, provide for my family.

With my toddler on my back, I’ll pick up the other children from school. I’ll make supper—stirring, mixing and scooping. There’s no father to help—just me.

There will be more wiping, more tears, more giggles. Then the house will go quiet. In the stillness, my body weary, I’ll pray, Thank you God for this day—for my children, for my business, for your presence.

Clothing Sales/Delivery
Business Owner, Durban

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