Making Crosses and Counting Blessings

Making Crosses and Counting Blessings August 13, 2014

Making Crosses (1)I’m in a bit of a funk today.

Perhaps it’s to be expected. I woke up in my own bed for the first time since the morning of July 6th. And instead of feeling comforted by the sound of my wonderful husband still slumbering nearby, I felt overwhelmed by the massive “to do” list scrambling around my brain.

So I made a wise choice, rose from bed, and went immediately to my favorite prayer spot to ponder today’s gospel.

But then that list reared its ugly head again.

And somehow it’s now eleven hours later and only one item has been crossed off of the list:

“Make Crosses”

Not the bills needing payment or the books begging to be reviewed. Not the scores of emails needing answering or the edits on my book project.

Nope.

Only the crosses. They’ve been made.

Why were they a priority?

Because those simple stick crosses take me back to the feeling I’ve had for the past five weeks as I’ve driven over 7,500 miles in a Mini Cooper with my nineteen year old Adam.

The sticks to make the crosses were gathered in the woods near Fonda, New York where St. Kateri Tekakwitha was born and found Christ. Stories about Kateri tell us that she used to gather sticks and fashion small crosses. She would place them along her walking paths as a reminder to pray. Her simple handmade sacramentals fueled the type of prayer life I desire for myself and my family.

So while visiting her birthplace and after having bathed my face and arms in her hillside spring, I picked up a few simple sticks. I smiled to myself thinking how perhaps these little remnants had fallen from trees that were alive when Kateri lived in those woods in the 1600’s. Unlikely, I know, but the place still felt absolutely sacred.

So I picked up those sticks, vowing to get them home safely so that they could be fashioned into simple crosses for our home.

I’m happy to say the sticks survived the miles. They are now souvenirs of a journey that is really only just beginning to be fully comprehended in my heart and soul. I imagine that much of what I learned in the past five weeks will be played out across these pages. I pray that some of it will inspire you as well — to dream, to adventure, and most of all to count in your own heart the amazing graces our God showers upon us as I’ve been doing non-stop back and forth across the continent.

The bags aren’t yet unpacked.

The stories have yet to be told.

But the crosses are made, and the blessings will continue to be counted.

"Only good things are to come!! Saying yes is the best. See you around, friend."

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  • Sherry

    Love it. Planning my own journey for next week. I will be collecting prayer cards from the churches we visit in the towns near where we will be for the same sort of reason.