Eternally Grateful

As we settled into the pew for Ash Wednesday Mass, I’d reminded my kids to “talk to Jesus” before Mass starts. At 11 years old, she knows the drill by now. Elizabeth leaned over to me as we both knelt in prayer, and she shared what had just happened.

Over the past few years, as my spiritual life has deepened, I have learned that sometimes God speaks to us through a Scripture that hits us a certain way, a poem, or a song lyric. Sometimes, He uses a more subtle approach, whispering into our hearts during time with nature or as we study beautiful art. So when she pulled me aside to tell to me about the connection she’d made, I was filled with a feeling of joy – joy for my girl’s discovery at what I am sure was the prompting of the Holy Spirit. So what was this sweet insight?

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I Am Not the Savior

I am not the Savior

I sat in his office, my body wracked with sobs. I went through quite a bit of Kleenex. Thankfully, he had a whole box. I couldn’t speak very clearly through my tears. Emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally – I felt like I was drowning. My husband and I weren’t communicating well. Someone I knew was about to make a choice that terrible for her soul. A fallen-away Catholic, she also put me in the incredibly uncomfortable position of explaining to her non-Catholic spouse exactly why it was considered sinful, and now they were both angry with me. My sister was in nursing school and was struggling to get good sleep and good nutrition. Her health has always been a challenge, so this was a lot for her body to go through. My brother was in his sophomore year of college, and still struggling to adjust to college life. Another brother was going through teenage challenges. My life at work was difficult due to a lack of direction and poor communication. I was a wreck, and I knew it, so I’d finally made an appointment with my pastor. Which brings me back to the sobbing.

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I See You, Hardworking Mama

Path to sainthood

Maybe, just maybe, God calls mothers to different stations in life for the benefit of their souls. Maybe I benefit from working outside the home because God know it’s the best way for me to provide for my family since I have more earning potential than my husband. Maybe it would be a temptation to spiritual pride if I was a SAHM (pretty sure it would be. Like 100% sure, because I know me…) Maybe the searing pain I felt for the vast majority of my working years – the anger and jealousy that I couldn’t stay home with my newborns – gave birth to an understanding between me and God that I was squandering the opportunity He was giving me to embrace where He has me “right now,” versus pining over what I thought was best for me, at the time. I slammed the door to holiness in His face, every day, as the opportunity for embracing my Cross of being a working mom was wasted. I spent many years being angry, bitter, and sad. In part, it was resentment that my husband couldn’t find better work, so it made me angry and resentful towards him. In that respect, it drove a wedge into our marriage. In part, it was because I kept reading on the internet (usually in the swampy muckiness of the comboxes) that anything but being a SAHM would irreparably harm not only my soul, but the souls of my kids.

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Two Thousand Eighteen: A Game Plan

2018 goals

 

It’s the last day of the year, and we wanted to make sure to end 2017 with Confession and Mass. Experiencing the cleansing mercy of absolution, closely followed by the reception of Our Lord in the Eucharist, was just what my soul needed on a day when the temperature outside is dropping like a rock and the hours of the year dwindle to a close. We went to one of the only parishes in Houston that offers Reconciliation on Sundays – Our Lady of Czestochowa on Blalock. Would you just look at this gorgeousness?

Our Lady of Czestochowa, Houston

Without further ado, here’s where my head’s at we venture in 2018, knowing full well that the Lord is the one in charge and there’s no telling where I will actually be 365 days from now. Continue reading

The More You Know

https://cajuntexasmom.com/2017/12/28/the-more-you-know

When we celebrated the turning of the calendar page at midnight on 12/31/2016, here’s what I knew:

  • I knew that 2016 had been tough physically on my body, with baby #5 arriving in August after sapping every ounce of energy throughout the entire pregnancy (not to mention the 30+ weeks of twice weekly progesterone injections)
  • I knew that 2016 had been tough for me mentally, as my sister got married in June and I was the self-appointed Wedding Planner, a role which under normal circumstances I would’ve relished, but given the pregnancy described above…well, way to think that one through, genius!
  • I knew that 2016 saw a move to a new home, where water rose in the streets when Houston was drenched in rain on April 15th, now known as the Tax Day Flood. I saw the creek near our home escape its banks, flood the houses that sat along the bank, and I breathed a sigh of relief that the house we lived in just half a block north maintained its record of staying high and dry since its construction some 30 years earlier
  • I knew that the county I live in failed to dredge the creek near my home after the “historic” amounts of water, sludge, and earth that flowed downstream in torrents during the flood
  • I knew that the year 2017 spread before me like a bright, open book, full of hope and wonder and possibility
  • I knew that God’s love, mercy, and steadfastness are ever-present and unchanging

Here’s what I didn’t know: Continue reading