We're walking towards the Western Wall, the Kotel, as the first stars appear. They blink hesitantly in the aftermath of a furious red sunset that has painted the darkening sky with streaks of red that fade to orange and then to baby pink, melting without warning into the encroaching darkness. I'm pushing a baby stroller along the uneven stones as my children reluctantly walk beside me.

We're tired," They complain.

I feel like there is a wall of resistance blocking me from prayerBut don't you want to pray at the Kotel?" I ask, a tiny sliver of guilt inching its way towards my heart. I want to pray at the Kotel. No, I need to pray at the Kotel. I desperately need to pray. Not because there is anything awful happening in my life. Not because I need to ask for something specific, but my soul is parched. My hands long to touch the ancient stones. My eyes ache to see that slice of sky that rises above the Wall, carrying millions of prayers beyond the edge of this world. My childrens' whining continues as we make our way down the narrow street leading towards the Kotel. The shadows play with our echoing steps, which weave their way into my childrens' voices as I try to convince them to cooperate.

"Maybe you want to write a note to G‑d?" I ask them. My beautiful, Jerusalem born children look up at me with surprised eyes. Despite our many trips to the Kotel, they have never thought of doing this. They thought that it was maybe a practice reserved for tourists. But I see the idea flicker through their minds as they walk a little faster.

"Will G‑d really read it?" "Do you have paper and pens?" We are all walking faster now. The baby begins to whimper. I find his pacifier without missing a step. I feel like there is a wall of resistance blocking me from prayer, and somehow I think that if I walk faster then I will break through.

But when we actually arrive at the Kotel, I am suddenly reluctant to begin. It has been so long since I really prayed. So very long. I busy myself with finding papers and pens and coins for charity. I glance at the crowd of women around us. Each one so different. Some of them are praying. Some of them are sitting and gazing at the Wall. Some of them are rummaging in their bags for...something. There are young mothers with baby carriages. Women in skirts, in pants, in scarves and bare headed. Women with wrinkles etched upon their upturned faces. Young girls with eyes lost in prayer books. The sound of a child's laughter loses itself in a woman's lonely, aching sobs.

"Mommy, why aren't you praying?" my daughter asks me. I look at the baby, now peacefully sucking his pacifier. I watch my other children clutching their sheets of paper, writing their notes to their Creator. Why am I suddenly afraid to pray?

I walk towards the Wall, each step unblocks another wall around my soul. I lay my head upon the hard, cold stones. The tears come so fast. They fall without warning. They fall without reason. I find myself closing my prayer book and whispering my own prayer into the spaces between the stones. I feel like an exhausted child as my words fall into each other.

Please G‑d, help me. I am so tired. So exhausted from ordinary life. I stare down at the angelic face of my newborn baby. I have been up for what feels like months and months without more than two hours of sleep. I feel drained of the inspiration that usually graces my life. Like my purpose in life has suddenly shrunk and folded in on itself. Like I will never be myself again. But You can give me back my passion for Your Land, for Your Torah, for Your children. You can give me the strength to keep driving even when all my tanks are empty. Please help me strive and climb again. Please show me how to pray even when I feel like I am speaking to myself. Because I know that I'm not. I know that You hear me. I know how You wait for my prayers, for my reaching. Show me how to reach again. Show me again how to be extraordinary in my own life, in my own home.

Show me again how to be extraordinary in my own life, in my own homeI wipe the remaining tears from my cheeks. It is getting late. I hope that my children won't be too tired to walk back to the car. I signal to them that it's time to go. They don't want to leave.

"I haven't been able to pray yet." One insists.

"And I haven't finished my note…" But somehow we make it back to the car through the meandering, narrow streets. I try to hold onto my prayer as the ordinary noise of life pulls me back into its whirl. But it fades slowly away like the stars that disappear in the sky at dawn, winking at me from the window of the nursery. The night has been long, the sheer bliss of feeding and holding my baby struggling with my overwhelming exhaustion. By breakfast time, I am in a bit of a daze, winding my way through bowls of cereal and lunch sandwiches, the spilled Cheerios crunching beneath my feet. The day stretches impossibly before me. I try to conjure up the image of the Kotel stones cradling my weary head, but I can't quite get there. I try to get back to that place within in me that still reaches unceasingly for meaning. I can't get back. As I kiss my children good bye by the door, the glare of the morning sun is sharp and unforgiving. I want to climb, to run, to inspire. But the heaviness tugs at me, warning me to pause, to rest, to give up. And then I spot it. A crumpled up note in the bottom of the stroller beside the couch. Tentatively I open the paper, my heart instantly warmed by my daughter's lovely, tiny letters curling across the page.

"Hashem, You give me so much. Thank You for the food, the home, my parents, my brothers and sisters. Thank you for all the blessing that You always give me, all day and all night. Thank You for always taking care of me. And I just want to ask You for one thing that is very close to my heart…"

And that is where the note ends. What is the one thing that my daughter wants? How does she have such deep wisdom, such a mature ability to express gratitude at such a young age? And then I realize that I need to say thank You too. For the beautiful children and the newborn gift. For my marriage blessed with peace and growth. For the opportunity to live in this sacred Land and for all the tiny, huge blessings that arch across my days. The ability to see, to walk, to hear, to nurture, to smile…And then I know what my one request would be at the end of the note, at the end of a sleepless night, at the end of my thoughts, I ask for one prayer.

If You give me the words, if You give me the strength in my heart, if You return to me a spark of the purity of my soul on this ordinary weekday morning then I will have one prayer. One line of connection to You, to myself, to the ultimate purpose of my life. And that is all I need. One prayer. And suddenly I am almost back there. The cold stones cradling my worn out soul, the slice of sky beckoning to my weary heart, the space between the stones that swallows my prayer and pours it into the sky, transforming ordinary words into precious jewels of eternity.

One prayer.