I’ve flirted with many different prayer routines. I’ve tried the Liturgy of the Hours in different ways and times throughout the day. I’ve set alarms on my phone to remind me to pray. I’ve tried audio prayers and scriptural prayers and novenas.

Photography by Andy Coan

Photography © by Andy Coan

And what it comes down to is really simple.

So simple that I have to rediscover it approximately twice a year.

How I begin my day makes all the difference.

Usually it’s with a rosary, but there are plenty of seasons (with a non-sleeping infant or child, with sick family, with late night work) when I have to allow myself some flexibility.

Summer’s a good time to step back and take a look at things. While my schedule is “off” (and will be until the week before school starts, if last year is any indication), I’m also more open to trying new things. Maybe it’s desperation. Maybe it’s the state I have to be in to be truly open-minded.

This summer, I’m turning to Mary in a big way, but not so much for the big stuff. I’m drowning, this summer, in small stuff, details and responsibilities and projects that, taken alone, aren’t a cause for concern. Together, though, they make a whopping pile of screaming.

My rosary isn’t optional. I can stomp and whine and procrastinate, but it’s the only way I’m not going to lose my mind completely.

Because how I begin my day…well, that’s how the day is going to go.

Sarah Reinhard is a Catholic wife, mom and author whose nose is probably in a book if she’s not scraping something off of her shoes. Her latest book is A Catholic Mother’s Companion to Pregnancy: Walking with Mary from Conception to Baptism. Check out all of her books at http://sarahreinhard.com/writing/my-books/.

Visit Sarah’s website: http://sarahreinhard.com/

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