Gosh, it's been ages! I've missed you. I really have. I feel as though I'm sitting with a bunch of girlfriends talking about things that would make the men in our lives look blankly and then say something unfortunate like "That's great, Dear. Would you mind getting me some water while you're at it?" You've been missed.
In my defense I've been really, really busy. Couldn't exactly say what I've been doing but I'm always exhausted at the end of the day so that's something. One thing is that my youngest child is now two. Being two keeps children very, very busy. It's a fun age. The older two are in school and activities. Once the kids hit school the years fly by. As they say, the days are long but the years are short. All of that complaining from earlier posts about how things never change and I'll be stagnant forever? I don't say that anymore. As a matter of fact I don't complain about how much thankless work I have to do anymore. (Probably much to the relief of those around me.)
Why is that? What is my secret? Sleep. Like I have a shot at getting some. Pregnant? Not at the moment. Pregnancy for me is purgatorial. We have not been blessed with a fourth but you'll probably hear about it if it happens. Awesome parish. As you know I love the study of theology and have a hard time comprehending that others don't. If you meet me on a plane and I can't shut up about the Church Fathers or some saint it isn't that I'm trying to convert you. It's just that I think that it's Just That Cool. And our now pastor thinks so, too. Can you say Adult Faith Formation? (Without the tedious papers and the stress of being graded?) With free child minding? And coffee? This pastor is serious!
All joking aside there has been a major shift in my life - and people have noticed. One very good friend whom I'm able to see every few years mentioned that I'm more joyful than when she had last seen me. I realized it was true. She asked how (since I had had two more children and my husband was working crazy long hours) I could be less stressed than when she had last seen me. After a moment's thought I replied "Because before I was driving myself crazy and then going to God. God has proven Himself faithful so now I go straight to Him. I just cut out the crazy."
It's really easy to say "God is faithful" but I'm telling you there are times when you feel desperately alone. Alone with young, helpless children. And no sleep. With gifts from God. No help. Not feeling worthy of such gifts from God. Feeling like a total failure for totally missing whatever goodness God has given because obviously you're so pathetic that you wouldn't know Jesus in your life unless the baby miraculously stopped screaming or He showed up to change a diaper. And when you try to pray it ends up something like this: Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is - what on earth are you doing out of bed? Get back to bed!! - The Lord is with - what do you mean you just wet your bed? I just put you on the potty not five minutes ago... No that's not pee... what did you do? Ok, you get the idea.
The above was a real life episode which resulted in pathetic sobbing at the bottom of my closet. You see - I'm far from perfect.
About a year later I was thinking about that incident and many others. I was wondering, perhaps praying, why, why a time that should be so beautiful (the birth of a baby) could end up like the scene of a horror movie. I was pretty angry about it for a year. Maybe it took that long for my body to heal. Maybe it took that long for us to heal from a death in the family about that time. Maybe God was waiting patiently until I was quiet enough to hear Him. But I don't think so. You see, my prayer was answered.
As I was asking this I felt peace in my heart and then the voice: Let me tell you where I was. I was there the whole time. With these words my world shifted a little and I saw myself of the floor of my closet. I also saw the possibility of my feelings of isolation and worthlessness feeding upon themselves and becoming So Much Worse. Our minds are incredible things, aren't they? We can convince ourselves that some momentary setback is eternal failure. We can make some pretty poor decisions in those moments. Possibly regrettable ones. But God doesn't leave us there. My world rightened itself and I was a bit dizzy. The voice continued: I wanted it to be a joyful time for you. I'm sorry it didn't work out that way. I was there for you the whole time. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for giving everything you have for the souls I entrusted to you.
Just the thought God would thank me for anything made me sit down.
Ladies, I'm really not all that much. I'm not super mom. There are days when you would that my family a good fit for Super Nanny. I'm not Super Theologian. The likelihood of earning a PhD is slim to none. But God Did Not Abandon Me to My Fears. He Did Not Abandon Me At All!
When I think of where my mind was taking me....
But today was ok. And it only gets better. Not because of anything I'm doing but because I'm not allowing my own crazy to get in the way.
Some say that the Church is about mind- control. Don't believe it. It's about self control. It's about living in such a way that you would recognize God working in your life. Because God is always working in our lives. He doesn't ask for much in return. He just wants us to work with Him a bit. He'll do the rest.
And yes, the baby did scream. And yes, she did sleep. Sheets did not need changing. My husband got home from work and traveling. And I finally have time to blog.
Cut the crazy. All paths lead to God anyway. Might as well take the route that allows you time to grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the view along the way.
May God continue to bless you!