Pray Without Ceasing: A New Perspective from Harriet Tubman

Today was the first time in three years that I mopped my kitchen floor. “I” being the operative word.

Three autumns ago when life was hard pressed on every side, my husband traded services with a local businessman who owned a cleaning service. Every other week, they came and cleaned my house from top to bottom. Even down to the last service two weeks ago, I would walk through the door and sing a song from the musical “Oliver” that I learned while performing in our 5th grade school production. Amending the word food for clean.

“Clean, glor’E’ous Clean!!!”

My girls would wander off, and I would bask in the blessing that was NEVER lost on me.

Well, the professional cleaning well has dried up, and I am back to cleaning my own home.

Thankfully, life is different now. It is no less busy, but I am in a much better place emotionally than I was then. Also my children are at an age where they need and are able to take an active part in the process. So, I have tried to have a positive outlook being very, very grateful for the gift that I received when I desperately needed it.  Though understandably, it has required lots of mental gymnastics to overcome my inner grump.

Even at Target this past Friday I was in line to pay for cleaning products when a man in front of me said rather rhetorically, “So, I guess you are cleaning a lot this weekend? Heh Hehee”

“Yes,” I smiled, “We let go of our cleaning service last week, so I’m back to cleaning my house.”

“Well,” he said, “Life’s too short to spend your weekend cleaning.”

To which I replied, “Get behind me, Satan.”

Knowing I would wake up this morning to begin these new additions to our already busy routine, I received inspiration and encouragement last night from a very unlikely but timely source.

Before bedtime, the girls and I finished up a read aloud called Courage to Run: A Story Based on the Life of Harriet Tubman. I was reading the epilogue when I came across in her own words how she managed all of the tasks set before her.

I may tape these words as they are to my kitchen window along with my other favorite gems that help remind me to look up more and look inward less.

It was PERFECT for today, and really for any of the days to come.

Harriet Tubman:

“‘Pears like, I prayed all de time,” she said, “about my work, eberywhere; I was always talking to de Lord. When I wen to the horse-trough to wash my face, and took up de water in my hands, I said, ‘Oh, Lord, wash me, make me clean.’ When I took up de towel to wipe my face and hands, I cried, ‘Oh, Lord, for Jesus’ sake, wipe away all my sins!’ When I took up de broom and began to sweep, I groaned, ‘Oh, Lord, whatsoebber sin dere be in my heart, sweep it out, Lord, clar and clean….'”

4 thoughts on “Pray Without Ceasing: A New Perspective from Harriet Tubman

  1. I have been loving your blog.. reading it ever since I got the newsletter from Barnabas. This is absolutely something I needed as I try to pry myself away from the quietness of the morning and get moving toward a garage filled with 29 years of teaching materials I must wade through today. Practicing His presence and prayer without ceasing is a journey… thanks for the reminder that some of our journeys are so much more difficult than others. I am thanking God I don’t have to go to a trough after I finish my task today!

  2. We need a new mop — and I haven’t been in a hurry to get one because…well, then I have to mop. But, (Lord, help me, please!) I’m gonna do it.
    Love ya,

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