I just couldn’t get motivated today so I am indulging a musing mood today.
I am contemplating the new normal my family is creating and I am liking what I see…thorns in little things and all. I am beginning to think we are like pioneers and the blessings that accompany this life are worth the fight for.
Do you mind if I am slightly long winded? (just slightly ;o)
Something Dh and I were discussing last night…This is kinda what I mean…who do you share the JOY with??:
After my ds’s First Holy Communion
…after everyone went home and I decidedly turned my back on the mountain of dishes I was left with, I sat with my dh in the living room feeling odd. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I felt…lacking. I know the house wasn’t perfect (lol …what would THAT look like anyhow 😉 But the food was good and plentiful and we extended hospitality. Why did I feel…so…empty. After all, what a great feast! What graces! What blessings we enjoyed together!!
My dh…very wise man my dh…said,
"it is because you are so far ahead of them and they know it. I was confused and I asked him to explain.
He said, "you are trying to really live fully your faith. Faith is a tangible necessity in your life. Don’t take this the wrong way but you are a "religious fanatic". You would have rather stayed at church all day today. You would have looked at Jesus and had Him look at you so much would have happened between you. (our church had adoration yesterday after the mass through devotions at 3 and confessions…I sooo wanted to be there) It is like you are a sports fan and want to rattle off every amazing stat and no one around you even watches the game. The just don’t understand what they see."
"They" don’t get it and wonder why it is such a big deal. It is though their body language says "Isn’t church just an obligation they meet for their prescribed hour each week? I am so stressed out, don’t ask me to do too much more unless I grew up with it…like stations of the cross is ok, but keep those beads away from me…I have no TIME. It isn’t my "thing"" It is like their life comes to a screeching halt right before the JOY part kicks in.
I, on the other hand, would disintegrate into many many atoms scattered throughout the universe without this kind of devotion on an hourly basis!
He grew up with it and is only now understanding what I have been trying to say and live for the last 14 years of our married life. (I love you St Monica!!) I never knew what God was working in me since my "Emmaus moment" that took place right around the time we got married. My heart burned with a mission and no one in our families really truly shared that with me. But it was soo good, so meaningful…surely they can see that too? ( why could they not embrace the idea that being open to life does not equal living in poverty…it is a fear, not the reality.) Too bad I have such a hard time using words to explain myself with. Maybe it isn’t the use of words, but the reception of the ears that hear them…no place for them to relate. No box to check that off in.
I grew up with a very big extended family made up of many great aunts and uncles that hugged and laughed ate and talked and hugged you again. I belonged. I fit in…I was family. I mourn the loss of family in the deeper sense of the word. They are gone now, and their kids have no time. Their families are small. We speak different languages. They are curious, but can’t imagine what it is like to think more about others needs on a 24 hour clock.
Our extended family members act like they are empty in some ways rushing around life and keeping up with images…and here I am trying to fight my own feelings with having to serve…faithfully every day..no real help. I get the "you chose this life so it is your responsibility to live with it " attitude. Not like just trying to live a good life doesn’t find you down at times, or sick or lonely. They see us trying to instill devotion in our children and they are wary of it…how will they ever get along in the "real world" I am not working…and they are waiting with an "I told you so" in regards to financial hardships we encounter with me being home. Which is a heartbreaking thing to hear from them.
Furthermore if any child carries a cross they blame that cross on home education or being part of a larger family, which is just using these things as a scapegoat for imperfection which are two totally different animals altogether.
Poor souls! They could have so much but they build hard high walls around themselves. They give "wow" gifts for Christmas, Easter and birthdays. That is the way they show they care, when we cannot return in kind we are not being loving towards them. We try, but! The fact that I have a bad memory for somethings that they hold in esteem is a problem too. We have different "normals". I have too much on my mind. That is what comes from trying to do it all on an island of simplicity…I am just happy to find shoes that match and such. Every time we have another child, that is one more child that they have to buy for. "I can’t spoil them like I should." "I can only visit with a few of them at a time."
they don’t see that we are the ones being spoiled with the youthful exuberance of each child and we are blessed by the time the children spend loving us.
"They" don’t see that it is them that we want. We want to assimilate them. We will take no bribes to love. We want to love them as the great big hearts of our children so desire to. Resistance is futile. Take your medicine for your heartache and like it!
can I say that? ;o)
They interact with our family rather formally and not personally. I am the kind of gal who likes to work hard then grab a cuppa to chat and gab…I love to share laughs while doing dishes after we have eaten at someone’s home. They visit like they are punching a clock. If dinner isn’t served within a half hour of them arriving, they wonder how late they will have to stay..so therefore it SEEMS I barely have my act together when dinner hits the table after an hour and a half…after dh and I ran like crazy to serve it by ourselves. After dessert is gone, so are they ..leaving dishes and my emptiness in their wake.
I would love to socialize with any family with a paintbrush in my hand and home made cookies in the other. I am more at home with a broom in my hand making someone else’s life easier…and I don’t care what may be found lurking under the couch…it may be a good science project, for heaven sake! I don’t judge someone’s worthiness as a parent by THAT…silly people…if crumbs under the table make you feel uncomfortable maybe it is because God just wants you to grab a broom…not grab a moment to make that person’s life harder to bear. God plants moments ( or allows them) so we can rise to the occasion and grow. But there is that "God thing" again. You can have your own life, but being part of our family you can choose to be the weed or the flower in this garden…your choice.
We are the ones with a "different mission" to plant this garden. We have to be obedient to the mission entrusted to us. This is our calling. We are open to life, willing to live more simply to find joy in the little hidden places…our hearts have grown from it. Every sigh, every piece of laughter magnifies that joy ten times over for us. Others see something they are attracted to, but don’t know what it is they are seeing. They want to come back for more, but what IS the more they want? We want to live a family-centered Christ-centered existence and the more the merrier…the more joy the better. and I am known to say "if you need me, tell me what time and I will be there with bells on!" But whoever it is has to realize that the children are my primary mission. Many times I can do both at the same time because living the life that is one of a servant makes both possible. We are choosing to love with our actions as a family. The more reasons to celebrate and make the ordinary extra-ordinary the better. The more things we can do as a family with everyone in tow the better. We have no formal living room so to speak…. (lol) Life is a little messy…so what? That is what God made soap and water for and many hands to make those neat little footprints in the puddles! Don’t worry, I know what a mop is and how to use it. Be not afraid!
Sharing burdens makes your heart lighter and more courageous to fight the good fight and win the race…together. WE learn to make lemonade out of those lemons we have and we deliberately enjoy every valued sip. …and all the blessings hidden in the crosses!! Praise God! And we reuse every part of that lemon that there is to use..even that neat sticker on the outside of the rind. (I can hear Archbishop Fulton Sheen yelling out "THERE IS JOY IN THAT CROSS!!" Amen.
But it is such a bummer finding this JOY and not finding a blessed soul to share it with!
When we visit…we visit! We talk laugh and love. Pass the chocolate and I will save the best piece for last and it belongs to you so I can see you enjoying yourself! :o)
I like a good cry amongst friends.
I was once visiting my bil and sil and they had a friend there that said
"I firmly believe the disintegration of our nation lies in the fact that we no longer put front porches on our homes"
Communication…we don’t know how to visit anymore. We don’t know the art of conversation and love that should transpire amongst family. Family is a gift. and it’s fruit is joy …to be shared! God makes the best deep joy…you just HAVE TO share it…or the rocks will just cry out! Do you hear the rocks in my yard singing?
"by their fruits you shall know them"
Oh golly…does anyone want some of my "I like cocoa with my coffee" cocoa or some "I like coffee with my cocoa" coffee and a piece of left-over (it’s better that way, you know) creamy cheesecake?? We can just belly-laugh through our sugar high…LOL!
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