Friday, April 27, 2012

Babysitting - An Exercise in Many Virtues

This journal entry is from September 2011.  I'm including it today, because God keeps giving me opportunities to work on this thing I'm not very good at.  He keeps sending me little boys who are in desperate need of a family setting.  I often ask God for opportunites to prove my love, but don't always recognize or love the ones he sends very well.  I daresay I am making progress (with God's grace) and time.  Everything seems to be getting easier as my boys get older.

It is really hard for me to babysit (Sorry, friends - Hang with me on this one and you'll see why).  Is this a lack of charity due to selfishness?!  I hate whining, picky-eating, bad manners, lots of noise, and chaos.  Is it pride?  Because I think my kids are better than their kids?  Lack of mercy because I haven't needed their mercy (because I have an awesome mother-in-law 2 doors down)?  It steals my peace.  I feel like my plate is already full and is simply too full with more kids. 

I think I should be able to do it well - with no thought of self, without any reservations, or feelings of negativity.  It bothers me that I don't do it well, but pretend that I can.  I don't feel like I can say "No" without being uncharitable or selfish.

It requires me to be mindful of another person's state in life.  COMPASSION.  God is calling me to suffer, albeit a trifling matter, in this way.  It is suffering because I am embarassed about the way I feel about it and I wish I felt differently.  HUMILITY.  It demands more of my time, which is already so painfully little.  GENEROSITY.  It requires me to be merciful, gentle, and patient in the face of whininess, demanding natures, bad manners, and bigger messes (KINDNESS, PATIENCE, GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTROL).

Wow!  It is requiring of me the practice of all the virtues I pray for!!  Kindness, gentleness, patience, self-control, generosity, humility, and compassion!

Wow!  Thank you, God for this clarity.  This is the answer to the prayer I requested when I entered into Your Presence (in the Adoration Chapel, where I was writing this).

You are so merciful, generous, patient, and gentle!  Help me to be more like You!

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!

Note to friends - Please don't feel like you can never ask me to babysit when you are in a bind!  Clearly, you would be depriving me of an opportunity to work on many virtues that I need a lot of work in!

Note to friend, Janet - You amaze me that you always have kids with you that are not your own.  You take it all in stride and I can see that God gives you this grace.  Thank you for your example in living this generosity so well!

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