My parents recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. What a milestone! Life has not been easy for them and the two of them have overcome many obstacles in the course of their marriage.
My father has been ill since I was a child. He suffers from mental illness, diabetes, and polymyalgia. Though he worked when I was a young child, by the time I was a young teenager he was too ill to hold a job. This left my mother the sole breadwinner of a family with 5 children. She supported us by cleaning houses during the day and businesses during the evening. As you might imagine, this left her exhausted, and us kids pretty much fended for ourselves. My dad wasn't doing very well at this time and was usually in bed.
My mom grew very close to the Lord during this period in her life. With work, five children, and a household to run, she would virtually tumble into bed at night, totally exhausted. Her lack of prayer time concerned her. Well-meaning friends would tell her that she needed to pray more. One of her friends prayed for 6 hours a day (Yep! I'm serious!) and would tell my mom that she HAD to pray more if she wanted to progress spiritually. My mom would try but would doze off in the middle of them. She started fretting about her lack of a structured prayer life and worried that she was not doing God's will. One night, she went to bed and started apologizing to the Lord for praying so little. As she was apologizing, a perfectly clear vision of Jesus appeared in her head. In this vision, Jesus raised his right hand and gently said "I will accept good works." My mom was instantly flooded with a sense of peace. When she related this incident to me years ago she stated that the expression on Jesus' face was kind but a bit pained, as if to say, "Do you think so little of me? Do you think I am not aware of your difficult circumstances?"
My mom learned to make her work a prayer. She would offer Jesus her cleaning, uniting it with Him, during the course of her day. She learned to give Him every area of her life and in this way she found the "sacred in the ordinary". Her children, in the meantime, grew up with a roof over their heads and food on the table. And her children are thankful. She made her life a "living prayer".