Life. Like any other living thing, people grow. We change, we adapt. Whether tip-toeing or running, we move forward. Friends come and go. Life circumstances change, whether we like it or not.
I’m finding that, while I can’t stop the change, I can change how I react to it. And it hasn’t always been a smooth road.
When I was in college, I went to Mass almost daily. Mass was the cornerstone of my spiritual life! I prayed the rosary privately much more often, I went to Bible studies, spent hours in Adoration… But with two small people in my life now, holiness doesn’t look like that anymore. And it’s left me feeling pretty dry, and searching for a new way to connect with God that complements my family’s needs and doesn’t take me away when I’m needed at home. I know some moms are the super-disciplined type who make the sacrifice to get up before their kiddos and have a quiet “God time” in the morning. I’ve never been one to spring out of bed in the morning, so sometimes getting up with the kids are calling for me is still hard.
I’ve bugged God more than once about this, and His answers are always interrupted by a cry for “MAMA!” issuing from a tiny human Ben and I made. So, disgruntled, I mentally put God on hold, and see to what is needed.
Need. I seem to be using that word a lot. My husband has needs. My daughters have needs. My house has needs. There is laundry, diapers, picking up, planning, organizing, more laundry, more diapers…. And for some strange reason, in the midst of ALL OF THAT, people still expect three meals a day! (Any other moms feel like they live in the kitchen?) And, as I keep reminding myself, I only have TWO littles! Many moms I admire have five, seven, eight, eleven children. So many needs…
The other night, I was walking my 6.5 month old to sleep. She loves the dark, so I threw a blanket over her, turned off all the lights, and started the nightly pacing back and forth and back and forth until she sleeps. As I started the sojourn across the living room, I had a funny feeling that it would take three “laps” and she’d be asleep. Oh cool! I thought. Maybe that’s God telling me! We’ll see… and off we went. Nope, three laps later she was still wiggling. It took well over a dozen laps before she was peacefully slumbering. Oh well. Must have been my imagination. I dismissed the thought as silliness. The next night at the same time the thought returned, and I pondered the seemingly inconsequential idea as I paced the room. When E was finally asleep 14 laps later, it occurred to me that three is a Holy number. Three Persons in the Blessed Trinity. Three days Christ spent in the tomb. Three is often used in Scripture to point to the Divine.
I believe God put that little thought in my head to show me where to find Him. While it’s true I can’t get to daily Mass as often as I’d like (and have two precious interruptions with me when I do go!), or spend the time in Adoration I used to, He is still providing access to Himself. My holiness is now in my family. I’m worshiping God as I walk my baby to sleep.
(Of course I don’t mean this to say I don’t need to make time for personal prayer or Mass isn’t a priority anymore! Only that the ways I’d looked for God before have grown, and my own understanding of my Vocation as wife and mother is maturing.)
There’s a line from a musical that always tugs at my heartstrings – “To love another person is to see the face of God.” I’m blessed to see the Face of God in little grins, slobbery kisses, grubby fingers, childish interests… and what’s more, I get to BE the Face of God to my girls. As their mother, I am the very first experience of love they have. Through me and Ben, they’ll have their first experiences with love, affection, trust, and security. They’ll learn what it means to be a part of a family. Through that, they’ll meet God, and learn of His love. I get to be a conduit for God to touch my child. And THAT is pretty stinkin’ sweet.
I think I like my new normal. It’s sure different than my college days, or even my days of teaching fulltime. But there is Peace here. Peace that God is here with me, and that I’m doing alright. Holiness may look different, but it’s still awesome.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Since it’s been a while since I last posted, here follows a brief life update for those interested.
I got married to a wonderful man August 15, 2015 (Feast of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven – Yes, on purpose!) by the name of Benjamin. God took us on a roller coaster of a journey to get to the Altar, and I’ll type up a post on that some day to post on here. I feel a picture is called for so here you are:
Ahh, he’s so handsome.
We got pregnant on our honeymoon and our daughter was born at a planned home birth May 13, 2016. I will type up her birth story eventually! Picture:
Zélie – 8 lbs. 2oz., 21 inches long
We love having babies and didn’t waste any time in giving Z a little sister. Our second daughter was also a planned home birth on August 29, 2017. Her birth story is also forthcoming. She and Z are 15 months apart. Picture:
Ellie – 9lbs. 2 oz., 21 inches long – Those cheeks though!
My family and I still live in the town where I grew up in East Texas.
My girls and I <3