Lately, things have been tough. You may have noted this from my posts, which have included the themes of marital strife and kids climbing out windows. I have been reading a lot, trying to get out of my funk. I have been reading about disciplining children, about organizing the home, and uplifting little statements for mothers. I have been reading homeschool blogs, planning my curriculum, reading about burn out. I have talked and talked about my issues until my husband and friends can’t stand to hear another word about it. I have been stymied. Of course I am tired, I am pregnant mother of 5 and I have a cold. Of course I am emotional, there have been crazy things going on. I moved, people are misbehaving, the house is not finished, my husband is working long hours. The trouble was, I was coming up against this feeling that I just couldn’t do what I needed to do, and I know that I have done it before.
Finally, beginning this Sunday, I figured it out. My math about resources and hours in the day has been coming up short because I have not added in the multiplication that my efforts receive when Christ gets involved. Two of the gospel readings this week have strong relevance to my role in my domestic church. Jesus multiplied the loaves and the fishes to feed thousands, and he will take my meager offerings and make them sufficient to the needs of my family. The thing is, he did start with what the people had to offer themselves. I may have only a few minutes of one on one time with each child each day, but if I offer those minutes with love, God will multiply my efforts to feed the hungry hearts of my children.
The second reading I have been meditating on is that of Peter’s walk on water. Peter was able to walk on water because we are able to do anything so long as we are totally focused on Christ. Peter began to sink when he became distracted, when he became afraid, because he looked around him and saw the wind, because he stopped to think that a person cannot walk on water. Sometimes, I am distracted by the fact that the tasks in front of me can seem difficult or even impossible, I am distracted by the fact that I am doing something that very few of the people around me are doing. Sometimes other moms in my neighborhood joke that I am super-Mom, and often I feel all too weak and human. I am not super, but God is. I am not powerful, but God is. I am not more patient, more energetic or more talented than any ordinary woman, but as long as I stay focused on Christ, I can do what I have been called to do. Also, to my great relief, when Peter did lose his focus and begin to sink, the Lord did not just let him drown. So, right now I am not focused enough to walk on water, but I have looked up to God and asked for help, and he is giving me a hand back to the boat.
I am somewhat disturbed by how easily I seem to lose my understanding of my purpose, I think that the forces of the world are very strongly against us on this one. I am going to head to an Evening of Recollection for Women tonight, and I hope to make this, and monthly confession, part of my routine. I may also have to start posting bible quotes around my home, I just need to surround myself with reminders right now. In these dark nights I am very happy that in my household, and the one in which I was raised, we have a commitment to attend Holy Mass every Sunday NO MATTER WHAT. We go to church on Sundays whether or not it is raining, whether or not we feel close to God, whether the children are behaving. At the very least, this anchors my week, and I never leave without feeling renewed.
It is helpful that my husband shares in this commitment because we drag each other along in difficult stages. Actually, my husband understands this much better than I do, once when someone who was sad about their life told him “I want what you have” my husband responded, without thinking twice, the first thing you can do is go to church every Sunday. The reality is that no one who really saw the inside of our house each day would want exactly what we have, but they want what is right for them, they want the peace that comes with knowing that one is living out ones vocation from God. I have this peace sometimes, but not always, but the only way to get it, the only way to walk on water in this very stormy world, is to start by focusing our eyes on Christ.