Happy Easter, ya’ll! I’m learning that I need to pre-write blog posts when I’m going to be really busy, because as much as I think I will get to blogging, it’s behind school & my “job” and a few other things on my priorities. It’s back there with time to read, time to be crafty, etc.
This Lent I did the Do It At Home Retreat book again with Michael. In the past when we have done this retreat, it has been at a time when at least we were contemplating big changes. Should we move back close to family? Should Michael go back to grad school? Should we seek other employment?
The retreat book is very helpful for encouraging detachment from one’s own desires & seeking God’s will. In the past it has helped us to not be too disappointed or feel that everything was riding on Michael getting a certain job, or getting into grad school. This year, as we were going through the retreat, I noticed that there are not these huge decisions looming over us this time. And there was a lot of peace and even joy in it.
Lent often grants me clarity in my life. Because I’ve allowed the distractions to be stripped away, and opened myself even more to God’s will in my life through prayer & study, I can see what God is leading me to. And right now, it involves contentment with our state in life. I keep going back to Michael’s post about the Humiliation of Mary and an acceptance of our humiliations. We exist on a single income + whatever I have time/energy to earn through my own Thirty-One business.
Knowing that Michael’s calling was to teach, we have always known that we would not have all the things that other families enjoy. New cars with all the bells & whistles, time shares, annual trips to Disney, etc. And we are okay with that. But you reach a new level of humiliation when your main sewer line is broken and you can’t flush the toilet every time because you’re saving up to get it all fixed. And you reach a new level of humiliation when Turbo Tax cue’s you in on the fact that you probably qualify for government aid on your food bill and your gas bill. And until this Lent, I was having a hard time swallowing some of that.
And with four kids in tow, I find new levels of humiliation every time I drag them all through the grocery store, and the bathroom talk and the nose-picking, and the diaper blow-outs ensue. I’m sure it’s quite a sight, especially for those who have never been thus entangled.
O felix culpa!
But by the happy fault of Adam, these humiliations and opportunities to learn humility and a true dependence on God for having our needs met and conquering sin are everywhere! How hard would it have been to recognize our need of our Creator if we did not sin daily, or find ourselves lacking something we need so very badly (financial needs, health, peace). The depths of our sins forgiven seem to open us up to a greater capacity for grace.
Wherefore I say to thee: Many sins are forgiven her, because she hath loved much. But to whom less is forgiven, he loveth less.
My kids get it. Yesterday I was leaving the house with the girls, and we had to make a quick dash back home because I forgot to put any make-up on. And honestly I should have just listened to my daughter. Nikki (almost 6) said, “Mom, you don’t need it. People do not need make-up. It is not about you. You need to just think about Jesus.” (I’m not even paraphrasing!) Even as I write this, I wonder when I ever displayed such an attitude to her, or how she could have learned such a beautiful perspective. Because I am far too attached to my concealer and eye-liner. I think she must have picked up more from those saint stories we’ve been reading than I realized.
St. Rose of Lima cut off all her beautiful hair and because people said she was lovely, she tried to burn her skin with peppers. She did not want people to praise her beauty. She wanted people to love God.
St. Clare, a beautiful and wealthy woman, answered the call to a life of prayer and allowed St. Francis to cut off her beautiful hair when she made her choice.
Maybe that’s she learned it?
A fresh start
Every Easter and every Reconciliation is a fresh start. On Good Friday, we watched The Passion. Something we always intended to be part of our Good Friday tradition, but circumstances have not allowed it in the past several years.
The best scene by far is the meeting with His mother, Mary. He falls and she she remembers Him falling as a child. She rushes to Him to comfort Him, and His words: “Behold, I make all things new.” (Rev. 21:5). I have no words. Just a flood of tears and thankfulness.
We are His new Easter creation. Let’s go serve Him!