Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Raising Future Delinquents

Since #1 has been telling people about his future in the seminary, I've had a number of reactions. Most have been overwhelmingly positive. As a rule, I don't usually get negative reactions from people about much of anything, I don't know why it is, but it is. The worst have been raised eyebrows and a "That's nice?" I just beam and say, why yes it is! The reaction that has surprised me the most has been, "You must be a great mother!!!" While I try my best to be a good mom, I have so very many shortcomings that glare at me all the time. I guide my kids as best I can, but his vocation is totally a God thing. Just to show that I'm not going to be canonized any time soon, I offer this little glimpse into our lives.
One night this week, homework was finished and a minion asked if I knew how to pick locks. I wiggled my eyebrows mysteriously and said "Maybe." This set off a whirlwind of shouting & begging. "I knew you knew how!" "Teach me, Mom." and "Pleasepleasepleaseplease showmehowtodoit!" I tried to redirect, we needed to get ready for bed. No dice, the Minions were in full frenzy. #2 looked me in the eye and said "Mom, what if it was the zombie apocalypse, we were all locked in a room and you were passed out? Would you want to die because you never taught us to pick locks?!" How could I argue with that logic? I looked at the doors in the house, only the bathroom door has the hole allowing it to be picked. I thought, this isn't so bad, how much havoc could they wreak? Note to self: Never ask that question in this house. I locked the bathroom door, straightened a bobby pin and proceeded to unlock it. The Minions were wild with glee. I guided each one in turn in the magical process. They all did it, with varying levels of ease. It then was decided that the bathroom must always remain locked. If one wants to use the facilities, one must earn one's entrance. When I mentioned that might not be a good idea, what if, for instance, someone had a bathroom emergency? #1 replied "That is a good opportunity to learn how to function under pressure. If someone needs to use the bathroom, they will have to calm themselves and unlock it."
What followed was a day & a half of cursing at the bathroom door and lots of giggling. I've put an end to that new rule.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Best Christmas Gift...Tears!

As a child I always loved God. I remember understanding the Real Presence at a very young age, having a devotion to the Rosary and an appreciation for the Church. In my early twenties I really began to learn my faith and fell deeply in love. There were many, many years that God & I were really tight. I felt his presence with me all the time. There were so many times during the day that I would be moved to tears by His power and majesty and goodness. I learned that there were many saints that suffered years of spiritual dryness. I felt so sorry for them. My faith wasn't based on feelings, yet how sad it must be to not feel His presence, for faith and the practice thereof to be a purely intellectual pursuit, largely an act of the will.
And then it was all taken away. My tears were gone. It wasn't for a lack of belief, or prayer, or love at all, I was still doing everything I always had, the "feeling" was just sucked out of me. I kept soldiering on. Even thanking God for this opportunity to suffer for Him. As weeks and months grew into years prayer became increasingly difficult. It "felt" like I was just flapping my lips (something that I'm so very good at) for no real purpose. I taught my children about God's love and the fact that He is always with us and is waiting for us always to talk to Him. Though I know it is true, the words seemed hollow. I even prayed occasionally for the feeling to come back, to no avail. I eventually accepted it as my lot in life, noting that I was in the company of some of the greatest saints was small comfort.
In the good and the bad my faith never waived, it was just so very, very dry. In the past couple years, which have been so very difficult, my active prayer has increased, so I assumed that the feelings would come rushing back...not! God's goodness has been so evident in our lives, He has taken perfect care of us, but still no tears, for good or bad.
#1 is now actively discerning his vocation. God has been chasing him down all his life and he has gone back and forth as to what he wants to do. Sometimes he has been drawn to the priesthood, but he wants to be married and have a family. A couple months ago he met with Fr. Paul Sullivan about discernment and he has been doing the things he advised. He is so much more content now than he ever has been in his life. There is a peace about him that is amazing. On Christmas Day #1 told me that he is going in the seminary. He and God had a talk about it during Mass and this is what he needs to do.
And the flood gates opened.
It wasn't immediate, the boy dropped this news on me as we were walking in to the movie theater to watch Puss in Boots! But God is back, I feel Him all around me again, I get teary eyed over the least little thing. Now I do realize that this is a new thing and may not last, but I am so very grateful for it and will savor it as long as it lasts. The tears are as big a miracle for me as my boy wanting to be a priest.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Back in the Saddle?

Why is it so hard to write?

There are so many things I want to write about, but I don’t. It is so much easier to veg out playing stupid, meaningless games. They aren’t even that much fun, just brain sucking time wasters. Why?

Maybe it is because there are so many big things that occupy my mind most of the time that it is just so nice to be able to turn it off with the games. More likely it is the procrastinator’s deadly trap. I’ll just play for a little bit, the games don’t take that long. The writing or whatever is going to take a lot of time & thought, so I will wait until I have the time to do it. Unfortunately I will not have the time to do it…I need to make the time. And there is the rub, the making of time. That is something I haven’t done in quite some time and desperately need to start again.

Flylady really worked for me once. At a time when my health, physical and mental, was very bad I used the Flylady methods with great success. My house and my life ran so much more smoothly than ever before, or since. I will get back at it. Since the kids have school this week and Joshie & I don’t start until next week, I’m going to use the time to routines set up and begin to purge the crap from my house. When DM lost the house last May and subsequently moved all the crap from his house here, I’ve sort of lost the will to deal with it.

Seven months of despair & denial is wwwaaaaayyyy to long. It ends now. My putting it on here is a desperate bid for accountability.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year

New year...might I blog more/again? We'll see. It sounds like a nice idea tho.

I'm just stopping in right now to say how much I love my kids. Every single one of them has done something in the last week that has made me outrageously happy/proud/in awe of them.

The Princess wanting to give away her extra Easy Bake Oven to a poor girl, even after we told her she could take it to a store & trade it in for something else. #3, after having gone to my brother's non-denominational church today, was overheard telling his brother that "They didn't have the Eucharist! Jesus wasn't even there!" (This is not a slam to my brother or his church, but to show that this kid knows, understands & loves what it means to be Catholic.) #2, well it is so late that I don't remember the specific incident, but he is #2. Amazingly resilient, good natured and has made some very good decisions on his own with only gentle suggestions from me. Like his decision to NOT get the 7" blade in the groovy cane he bought. He really did make that decision, much to my shock & incredible relief. It made me so glad to have let him make the decision instead of forbidding it...the dude does have some sense.

Then there is #1. He has been actively discerning his vocation for a while now. On Christmas Eve Mass God gave him the gift of an answer. I have never seen my boy more happy and at peace. It was the best Christmas present ever...for me too.

So maybe after I sleep I'll write more...or not...we know my track record.