Linking up with Kelly for another round of 7 Q Takes.
Last Saturday was a really nice day because me and my family didn’t do anything at all. I was just getting over a 24 hour fast and hard cold/flu type thing, so Saturday was reserved for reading and hanging out with my family. In that time, I was able to read Mother Teresa’s book, No Greater Love. I couldn’t put it down. Every thought she had on prayer, love, family, sanctity, suffering, death—all of it—they were insights from the heart of a true saint.
My plan for the month of February is to share her thoughts on particular issues with you, so be on the lookout for that soon. For now, here is a quote that especially struck my heart:
After I got bit by the bug, the kids came down with it too. Eli was having a hard time sleeping, which we found out was due to a mean ear infection, and Lucy…well, not quite sure what was up with her, but she was especially trying. I felt a bit like I did back when she was a newborn, because she wouldn’t let me put her down, and when I did, she resorted to screaming and throwing herself on the ground. It was a tough couple of days, but I had to keep reminding myself that she lacks the words to explain when her little body is aching and in pain. When I remember that, I only feel selfish for wanting a moment to myself, or at least a moment when the kids are not crawling all over me. I found myself pondering the paradox of love a lot this week—the paradox of having to completely pour yourself out for another—and found Jenny’s post, which perfectly summed up everything I was feeling. She has a real knack for doing that.
I was coming up short with ideas to keep the babies busy while we were stuck indoors, so I tried painting with the kids. Eli loves painting, but I’ve always avoided it with Lucy because I figured she would just end up eating the paint by the container-load. Well, I was right. The paint brush went straight into her mouth, and the only interest she had in painting was eating it. I was ready to give up, but found an idea on pinterest to use yogurt as paint.
It was really easy to make (just one drop of food-coloring in a small tub of yogurt), and Lucy went to town on it. She mostly just ate it, but I like to think the work of art was in the mess she made.
Only my Lou could make a mess this beautiful.
I was feeling pretty antsy and down by Wednesday. Since the babies were sick, we hadn’t left the house much other than to go to Mass and to the doctor’s office. When my husband came home to the second day of me sighing to myself and obviously frustrated, I told him the only way I could describe how I was feeling was depleted. Five days indoors with the kids was getting to me: I needed some adult time. I needed some me time. Good thing it was Wednesday, because I got a lot out of my RCIA class that I teach. Nothing brings me out of a coma like RCIA; the people going through RCIA are so inspiring to me. They are so receptive to God’s will and ready to listen and ask questions, and it is always refreshing being around them.
I also got a huge boost by going to my women’s Bible study on Thursday. This has been one of the greatest blessings in my life lately, because the women who are a part of it are so very inspiring. They have an openness to God that is exciting, and all of our talk on suffering, trials, and obstacles (especially in marriage and motherhood) are always examined under the light of God’s will. How is he working in our lives? What is he trying to say to us? Where is he calling us to go?
It’s amazing that most of the time I feel I need air, it’s not so much to get away from my kids and my family, but rather silence my own negative and frustrated thoughts enough so that I can hear God speaking to me and evaluate where He is working in my life. When I do that, all I end up feeling is a sense of gratitude: gratitude for every elbow in my rib when I’m trying to relax on the couch; gratitude for every over-zealous kiss my kids tackle me with when I am trying to get something done; and gratitude for all the desperate cries and pleas for love when I am trying to accomplish something separate from them. My family is my life’s greatest gift, and I am so very thankful for them and especially that they continually draw me out of myself.
This morning I watched the Inauguration of President Donald Trump. I have to say, it was a bit of a surreal moment. A few days ago, a quick commercial for the inauguration came on TV and I couldn’t help but flash back to a year ago, and think to myself how I never thought it would come to this. But here we are: Donald J. Trump is the 45th President of the United States of America.
I was thankful when a friend of mine invited us over to watch him be sworn in. I thought, Beats hiding under a rock and pretending this isn’t happening. But really, all joking aside, watching it with friends while our kids played was the best thing for me to do. It reminded me that we live in a country that, albeit in ways divided, is free. We are free to practice our faith. We are free to worship our God. We are free to speak our minds and voice our opinions; to educate ourselves on the things that matter; and to get involved when and where we can. I am thankful for that. Today, more than anything, I am proud to be an American.
If you’re angered that Donald Trump is our president, I plea with you to pray for him. Really, really pray for him. I love what Hallie Lord says in her book, On the Other Side of Fear:
“Someone once told me that if you pray for your enemies, you will no longer be able to hate them. That the moment you begin to advocate for goodness in their life is the same moment that your animosity will begin to exhaust. This is because the light of love and the darkness of hatred cannot possibly exist in the same space.”
Remember that his goodness, is goodness for our country. I will be praying for the good of our President Trump. Will you join me?
My sixth point was on the women’s march which begins tomorrow, but decided to save it for then. Check back in with me tomorrow!
Today is the 4th anniversary of the death of one of my dear friends from college. This day always saddens me. Any reminder that we won’t see his smiling face again, or feel his wild and carefree spirit is enough to bring me to tears. He was so full of life; always ready to jump head first, spreading laughter and light wherever he went.
Though today is a sad day, it’s also a reminder to me that I have a friend who has seen God face to face. I have a friend on the other side who I can pray for, and who can pray for me. I have a friend who blessed my life with memories and love, and shared the light of his life with all those around him—a friend that I pray I will see again. He reminds me that hope is real, and that love lives on through Christ. I miss him, and I know many others do as well because in his short life he touched many people’s hearts. I’m telling you about this today, so that whoever is reading this might say a quick prayer for him and his family with me. Pray that God’s perpetual light is shining upon him, and pray that those who miss him are comforted by God’s love and presence.
Lord, Peter is gone from this earthly dwelling, and has left behind those who mourn his/her absence. Grant that we may hold his memory dear, never bitter for what we have lost nor in regret for the past, but always in hope of the eternal Kingdom where you will bring us together again. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.