Picture perfect?


I had one of those blissful moments on Monday when all the pieces seemed to fall into place and I felt “successful”. I had to have stitches from a recent surgery removed and my sitter was not available and my mother-in-law is out of town. So I took my baby, 4, 5, and 6 year old with me. I couldn’t hold the baby when they took out the stitches, so my 5 year old sat on the floor and fed him a bottle while my 6 year old read geography questions to my 4 year old. I was so thrilled with their behavior. I relaxed for 2 seconds and smiled at my picture perfect children.

As I stood up from getting the stitches out it was JUST in time to catch the baby as the 5 year old dropped him. Then, making our less than graceful exit, our 4 year old went into another patient’s room mistaking it for the exit. Very. Embarrassing. Reality came back to me pretty quickly (as it always does). I constantly fall into the trap of thinking that holiness is about achieving good outcomes (which stems from my pride) rather than accepting the failures and joys as part of God’s plan for me with trust and abandonment. How I do things is as important as what I do.

That same day I lost my miraculous medal that I always wear. Given the amount of pulling and tugging that goes on for a mom of little guys, it is not the first time this had happened, nor will it be the last. I found the medal the next day as I was wiping under the kitchen table on my hands and knees and I thought about just how fitting of a way that was to find the medal. And I remembered that it was the Eve of this beautiful feast day: The Assumption of Our Lady. Her holiness was predicated on her humility. She trusted and followed God’s plans for her when they led her to give birth in a stable, to flee to Egypt and to simple, humble housework in a small town. It didn’t matter where she was or what she was doing as long as it was in service to the Lord.

The Magnificat, proclaimed today in mass is a beautiful expression of Our Lady’s humility and acceptance of the Divine Will for her. I can find Mary and her Son in the crumbs under my kitchen table, serving on my hands and knees, in silence and humility. I can find Jesus and his mother in the child throwing a temper tantrum or in a quiet snuggle. Where will you find Jesus and Mary today?

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  • jess a.

    thanks for this, texasmommy. i needed this reminder this week (and every day).

  • JMB

    Me too and I don’t have little babies anymore!

  • Kellie “Red”

    I think it is true that we find Jesus and Mary in our work and suffering, but we also find them in our joy and in those “picture perfect” moments. For me, if those good moments are few and far between, I have a very difficult time being joyful and I know it is time to reevaluate and do something different with our schedule and routine to make life have more good moments. If I don’t do this, I fall into being a joy stealer.

    Sometimes, as you pointed out, it is simply a matter of me having an attitude adjustment and looking more at the effort than the result. But other times, when life just seems so hard all the time, it is about really reevaluating our routine and doing something different. Obviously you couldn’t control having to take all the boys to the doctor for your visit, but having to do that regularly, or going it alone and just hoping things will work out has never worked for me. I can’t find Jesus in the crumbs under my kitchen table if I’ve been dealing with a screaming toddler or a crying baby at an appointment. I’m drained.

    I also think in the past several years I’ve learned there will never be any truly picture perfect moment. There will be great moments, and I have to learn to overcome looking at the things that aren’t perfect, and focusing on the things that are truly great. Because there really are so many great things, but my type A personality tends to overlook them and focus on the negative. This makes me a joy stealer ;-(