Susanna’s Cloak of Invisibility?

One afternoon, I couldn’t find a quiet place to pray…

so I attempted to be like Susanna Wesley, mother of the great John and Charles Wesley.

Susanna was a spiritual heavy weight who had 19 kids.  It’s been reported that from time to time when seeking out a quiet place to pray in her home, and none could be found, she would throw a sheet over her head and go into the corner of a room – in the middle of her bustling, noisy and undoubtedly crowded home – to pray.

I’ve always admired that about Susanna (the prayer thing), this great woman of the faith.  It was actually knowing this about her life that caused me to go out and buy her biography.  After all, a woman who understands the necessity of having fellowship with the Father, at any cost, is my kind of woman.

Well, today, after returning from work, I knew that I was on empty spiritually, and was in dire need of connecting with the Father to refuel my batteries and help me be a better mommy.  Well, I already told you that I live in a little house on a freeway (hence, the name of this blog), so it should come as no surprise that I couldn’t find any quiet places to pray.

Let’s see…

My bedroom was inhabited by my hubby who was sleeping, as he works the night shift.

Alexis was sitting on the living room floor (the room adjoining my bedroom), doing what?  I really don’t know.  (Sometimes ignorance is bliss.)

Jonathan was in the kitchen cooking – one of his favorite past-times; only second to eating.

Autumn Joy was in the school room eating at her Disney’s Princess play table (eating at the play table may sound a bit haphazard, but it actually saves the school books and assorted papers which are always scattered across our kitchen table from food spills – one of our kids is still homeschooling this summer.)

Angel was in Autumn and Lexy’s room – cleaning it – as a belated birthday gift to me.  (Oh, Angel, you’ve no money to buy Momma a birthday gift?  Don’t worry; I’d be just as happy if you’d agree to clean your sister’s room as a gift to me?  You will?  Great! I’ll go ahead and remove the big yellow caution tape the department of sanitation placed over their door so you can begin.  Don’t forget to wear your father’s tall rubber boots.  You’ll need them!)

Josiah was walking back and forth throughout the house in preparation to put on a load of laundry.

The only empty room left upstairs was the bathroom, which had no appeal at all considering that when I return home from work everyday – after having left my kids in the house for hours (supervised) – the bathroom looks worse than the neighborhood gas station.  (Remember, I’ve two tots that still require assistance wiping their little bottoms.  And, they run into the bathroom all day to fill up their doll house furniture with water and spill it everywhere in the process.  And, they wash their hands and drop the soap all over the place.  And, they wash their hands and wash the mirror with the soap, too.  OK, I’ll stop enumerating here, you get the point.)

Lastly, I wouldn’t go downstairs to pray, into the bedrooms of my teens, if it were the last place available on earth, as it is a virtual abyss filled with dirty laundry, putrid smells, and other things that hide under beds and go “bump” in the night.  It’s just not recommended.

So, I proceeded to commune with the Father right in the middle of my noisy, highly trafficked living room – in plain view of everyone – which seemed most inviting, as I was able to kneel by the sofa with a cushy throw pillow under my achy knees – all the while, thinking of my heroine – Susanna!

Then the following ensued…

One moment later…I felt something moving from under me.  It was Josiah trying to retrieve the cell phone I had unknowingly landed upon.

One moment after that…Josiah interrupted me with the “newsflash” that he couldn’t’ put on the load of laundry because he couldn’t find the key to the laundry room.  (Why we have a key for our laundry is the subject of another post.)

One moment after that…there’s a knock at the door.  It’s one of the kids friends comin’-a-calling as kids usually do.

One moment after that…Lexy interrupts to say what? I don’t know because I quickly quiet her to instruct her not to interrupt Momma when she’s praying (as evidenced by my posture) because I want to teach her to reverence God.  She goes away upset, which saddens me – and I’m not exactly in prayer mode anymore.

The short of it is that I just couldn’t focus because I was continually dialoguing with the kids during my “sacred – out in the open – Susanna Wesley inspired” prayer time.  That’s not exactly the message I want to send to my kids – which is that they can pray to God and carry on casual conversation with others simultaneously.

My Susanna Wesley inspired prayer time went something like this:

Father, thank you for this day…

Mommy, can I have a Popsicle?

Popsicle?  I’m praying!  Now drop and give me 20!

(**mildly annoyed**)   Lord, please forgive me for my sins…

Mom, I can’t find the key to the laundry room.

You’re kidding, right?!  That’s only the second copy we’ve made this month!   Why can’t you kids ever put anything back where it belongs?!

(**frustration mounting**)   Dear Lord, please help me to be a good mother…

Mom, how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop?

AHHHH!!!!!!  UUUUGGGGGHHHH!!!!!  (**screaming at the top of my lungs**)  I’m praying here!!!!!  You’re such rotten kids!!!!  Have some respect!!!!  You bunch of sacrilegious…

So, eventually I quit and decided to pursue more profitable endeavors, like picking up laundry off of the floor.

It left me wondering if that sheet the great Susanna draped around herself was a cloak of invisibility?  Yeah…that’s it! I think I shall try that the next time!

Matthew 6:5-6

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.  But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

For moms:

Where do you go to pray in your home when it’s busting-from-the-seems with kids?  When you pray, do your kids interrupt?  If so, does this bother you?

For anyone:

Do you have a favorite place to pray in your home?  Do you pray?  Why or why not?

Holla Back!


1 Pellowe, Susan – Susanna Wesley Biography

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  1. Hi Aunt Tiff I was Just passing through your website to say hello and to let you know that I think the page is really coming along very well and keep up the good work. =)

    • Oh, Carrell, my dearest Carrell. Of course, you would be the only one out of almost 50 people who would come back and actually comment on Aunty’s site. You are such a rare delight, and to think, you’re barely 15 and you spoke with such maturity. You’re mom and dad are doing such a great job! I’m so proud of you and i’m so glad that you are my son’s best friend.

  2. Hi Tiffiney! When I read your post I thought of the movie The Royal Tenenbaums and the scene where Chas pulls Royal into the family game closet to have a private argument. Do you have a little closet where you could put a lamp and close the door behind you? And perhaps others in your family could use such a room specifically for prayer also. I don’t pray, but I find it easiest to leave the world behind while I walk. Somehow even the busiest street with trucks, bikes, taxis,and pedestrians can fade away while I am walking and thinking. Of course, I’ll take a quiet park over a freeway any day, but walking anywhere is enough for me to quiet the usual monologue running through my head. – Jenny

    • Thanks for your suggestion, Jenny! Funny, just about every room in my home seems like it’s just a bit larger than a closet, so that may not work. But I’ll have to figure something out.

      When I clicked on the link you provided I had such a good belly laugh! (Thanks for that. We all need at least one a day!) I’m glad walking helps you to clear your head, but don’t discount the power of connecting to the One who created you. He loves dialogues. 🙂

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