The February Prayer Project – Mottos and More

22 Feb

More than Mothers writer Lisa chronicles her thought-provoking experiment in faith and friendship in “The February Prayer Project.”  Here is the final part of her story.  Click here for Part Three.

During the course of The February Prayer Project—last year’s month-long spiritual challenge among Lori, Jen and myself—I interviewed my fellow MTM moms each Monday. I’d ask each about how they’d done on their week’s worth of prayer and meditation. Then I’d launch into a series of Proust-style questions, which gave me such fun and fascinating insights into my two dear friends. What’s your biggest regret? On what occasions do you lie? The moment you felt like an adult?

Among the most intriguing question turned out to be “What’s your motto? Lori, the born-leader in our girl gang, rattled off, “People over things” with the practiced efficiency of a military commander. Of course Lori would have a motto! (It wouldn’t have surprised me if she had a coat-of-arms, too.)

Jen’s answer held every bit as much interest:  She didn’t have a motto. Our high-achiever seemed downright flustered that she hadn’t ever considered the question before! In typical Jen fashion, she said she’d get on it right away. I know she devoted serious mental energy to the task. That’s Jen.

I’ve had plenty of slogans/mottos/catchphrases over the years. In high school, it was “prior planning prevents problems.” My group of gumbas in college would all say, “I suffer more than most,” a perfect reflection of our wry humor at the time; we’d start guffawing at the word “suffer.” As a mother, my motto morphed into, “Do what you need to do.” If Paige had a bad night, I’d sit up with her. (Now that was suffering!) If Chip had a tough day, I’d cancel evening plans without a twinge of remorse. I was doing what I needed to do.

During the February Prayer Project, I landed on the best motto of the bunch:

Believing is seeing.

I have always believed in God, usually believed in Christ, never quite understood the Holy Spirit but believed in him, too. I believe in lots more. The power of saying, “thank you.” That a great tailor can transform an inexpensive blouse into couture. A great novel is better than a vacation. The Mets will blow a lead in the 9th inning when their games are televised in Texas (my husband swears this is the case, too).

In soulful matters, “believing is seeing” makes my life so much richer. I actively look for the hand of God and have faith in His mysteries—that I may not understand His plans vis-à-vis my current situation, but He does have a plan for me. I no longer believe in coincidence, either. An old friend I dreamed about earlier in the week calls out of the blue. (Believe it!) A writing assignment I hadn’t wanted to take yields some great insight or contact. (Believe it!) My special-needs daughter’s disastrous 7th-grade year propels us into a new school situation—and it’s the best yet. (Believe it!)

I used to envy anyone who said, “faith sustains me.” For most of my life, my faith simmered in the background. No more. I have the zeal of a convert.

I believe.

And I see.

4 Responses to “The February Prayer Project – Mottos and More”

  1. Lori February 22, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

    I absolutely love the ending to this saga! Kudos to you for being brave enough to put your true beliefs out there! It makes me beam with joy and gratitude to see you making such strides spiritually. For although we all take different paths, we are certainly all headed in the same direction! Much love! And you’re right, believing IS seeing! Welcome to awareness, my friend! 😉

    PS- My personal mantra is actually People “Before” Things!

  2. Lisa February 22, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

    People before things! Of course!!

    This was a life-changing experience. Thank YOU for all the work you did–and do.

  3. Jen February 24, 2011 at 2:49 am #

    ACK! I still don’t have a motto! I do have a mantra for this year, though: simple, simple, simple,…


  1. I Am « More than Mothers - May 18, 2011

    […] in my spiritual quest since my girlfriends and I began The (February) Prayer Project (click here for the blog).  The ideas introduced in this movie were not news to me; however, I feel they are […]

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