Becky Eldredge writes – and prays – from the real world! As Becky shares her God experiences with us, they are rooted in the everyday: the joys, the excitement, the gifts, the messiness, the worries, the sorrows of our everyday lives.
Becky highlights for us the reality that God is found everywhere, in all the happenings of our lives and that the time for our prayerful response is now – amid all the busy-ness! The many practical examples of prayer and listening to God are shared in a way that enables all of us to begin – or continue – using them within our sometimes harried, frenetic – but holy – lives.
Like the unfolding of one's spiritual life, her book unfolds naturally, as one acknowledges their restlessness, moves into a deeper identity of Christian life, awakens to God's love, and amid struggles and joys, discovers the life-changing power of prayer. In fact, throughout the book Becky is very clear that if one does not want to change then one should not pray. Prayer changes your life. It's risky. She writes:
There are consequences to creating space for prayer in your life. If you are looking to keep your life the way it is, then, please, don't pray. If you want to stay the person you currently are, then I suggest not making time for prayer in your daily life. Because here's the reality: If you intentionally show up every day in prayer to be with God, your life is going to change. And guess what else? You are going to change!
Becky took that risk on a busy-person's retreat in college where she discovered the life-changing gift of praying with Scripture. From that moment on Becky realized that she could find God in the "thin spaces"—that she could pray and encounter God while changing diapers or cooking dinner. Within all of us, she says, is an "interior chapel" where we have access to God. And that encounter with God comes in many forms. Becky uses the stories from her daily life to bring to life various prayer methods. For her, the Examen is central to her spiritual life. She explains how the Examen has helped her to find God in all things, how it helped her become aware of her need for God's mercy, and how it helps us in discernment. We must bring to God in prayer all the parts of us, even the broken parts.
Busy Lives & Restless Souls truly reveals in one person's story the joy of the faith and how prayer enflames it. Becky's background in spiritual direction and giving retreats helps her know the spiritual facets and nuances of different people. She speaks words that are bound to resonate with all of us, opening up the reader to a deeper self-awareness. Each chapter contains practical steps one can take to pray and ends with some relevant reflection questions. This book isn't meant to be rushed through, but meditated on and applied to your life. It's a call for busy people everywhere to find rest in God through prayer. I always tell my students that prayer should be easy, because God is never far. Prayer can be a blessed moment of awareness or gratitude or a word of praise. Becky understands this. And this is the message of her book.