Sunday, August 5, 2012

Oceans and Antibiotics

I'm back!!!  The me that I like, anyway!  I am finally back to feeling great (after 9 yucky days).  Good-bye, random bacterial infection!  Thanks be to God!  It's amazing how when you don't feel well, everything else seems like an affront to the senses. 

I'm learning about times of consolation and desolation in the spiritual life and how God uses them.  My spiritual director told me that you should NEVER make/change a decision during a time of desolation.  I can see why!  My perspective shrank down to such a limited one.  No wonder the devil wants us sick, tired, or discouraged...he seems much more powerful during those times than he really is. 

Yesterday, we got to take my brother and his fiancee to the beach.  They live in Kansas and it was her first time.  We got to spend the day enjoying God's beautiful and powerful ocean, and each other.  Oh, how I love to watch my boys from a distance!  They have beautiful smiles and great energy.  It feels good to see and experience them, independently of myself.  I would be an awesome mom if I lived next door to them! 

But, parents of young children can't do their job from a distance - long or short.  Being a parent of young children is intimate.  The interactions are many and close.  It can be messy and lack proper grace.  Parenting with love is practical - not perfect, but enduring.  At the end of a day, there are "I love you's", night prayers, and a kiss goodnight.  It doesn't matter how many talking-to's or time outs the day held; there are things that are the same no matter what - and that is what love looks like.

This is a timely reflection for me (as they always are when you write your own blog :)), because parenting hasn't been pretty at my house for the past couple of weeks.  Not feeling well lent itself to more time at home, less swimming, shorter tempers, and more sibling fights.  I guess it's true, "If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."

I guess feeling badly about my parenting and second-guessing almost everything at times has its upside - It means I still care if I'm doing a good job or not.  It means that I have room for improvement and that I know I have room for improvement and I can act on that knowledge.  A little daytrip to the beach was a great start, made better only by the many graces received at Mass this morning. 

I hope you are happy and healthy, and if not, that you submit to God's plans for you (and take antibiotics, if necessary).  He is faithful and is always leading us to Himself!

Dear God, thank you for being available to us in Mass.  Thank you for sending Jesus to be our bread from heaven.  Jesus, thank you for being the sacrificial Lamb and the new manna.  Thank you for your generosity and patience.  Thank you for the ocean and all of your creation.  Thank you for good health and the means to attain it.  Please forgive my lack of faith and self-centeredness during that past week and a half.  Please help me to be the woman that you had in mind when You created me.  I love you.  Amen.

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