(I hope my readers take this in the spirit in which is was intended, and do not find it scandalizing)
Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved taking bubble baths. I would see those bubble bath commercials on t.v., and be magically transfixed by the idea of sinking into a tub full of those velvety little spheres. Bubble baths are my small indulgence when tired or stressed. Some women shop, some women drink wine. I soak.
Sometime, I take a book into the tub with me. Many a book in my library has water spots on the pages, or some corners swollen with the memories of being dropped among the bubbles. But then, there are other times, when I am in the tub, that I just want to, well, talk.
When I lived alone I would call my best friend almost daily, and often we would chat while I was having a soak. Sometimes it was my mom I would talk to. Now that I am married, I often talk to Hubby. Sometimes I call him into the bathroom to talk to me, and sometimes, when he is in a nearby room on his computer, we just carry on a conversation from different rooms, all while I lie in the calgon-take-me-away utopia of my tub. We have laughed, we have cried, all during the course of these bathtub conversations. Sometimes, I think it is in these moments when I am most real with my thoughts and feelings. Hubby never seems to mind being called into a steamy hot bathroom, just to chat with me.
Lately though, I have found myself talking to someone else while in the tub. God.
Having been raised a Catholic, for a long time, I thought prayer had to be scripted (and memorized), and would be afraid of getting it wrong. That good little Catholic girl does not know how to pray the rosary? The horror! As I got older, and became friends with many Christians whose ways of worship were different from mine, I realized, prayer is less about getting the words in the right order, and more about getting them from our hearts to God's.
Do not get be wrong, I still love lofty flowry prose filled prayers about me falling before the throne of the Lord, and lying down in verdant pastures. I think, for me personally, there is a time and place for such prayer, and many times those prayers have carried me through spiritual dry spells.
But then there are times when I just want to, well, talk. Everyone throws around the phrase "personal relationship with Jesus". Sometimes I think people forget that the phrase contains the word relationship. So, if I am going to have a personal connection with God, I am going to approach Him personally, as me, in the way that I relate to people. Sometimes, we talk about my day. Sometimes, I tell Him my fears and struggles, sometimes my blessings and thanks. But when I have these bathtub conversations with God, I always feel peace. Some people may think it irreverent, but I find it to be a way for me to come to Him honestly, stripped of the Pharisee like pomposity that some rote prayers seem to have. We talk, each listening to the other. That is what a personal relationship is to me.
So, the next time you are stressed, and feeling like your prayers are going unanswered, or you do not know if you are even praying for the right thing, just try drawing a bath, adding some bubbles, laying back, and talking to Him. What do you have to lose?