Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Like Peter


Lately, things have been tough. You may have noted this from my posts, which have included the themes of marital strife and kids climbing out windows. I have been reading a lot, trying to get out of my funk. I have been reading about disciplining children, about organizing the home, and uplifting little statements for mothers. I have been reading homeschool blogs, planning my curriculum, reading about burn out. I have talked and talked about my issues until my husband and friends can't stand to hear another word about it. I have been stymied. Of course I am tired, I am pregnant mother of 5 and I have a cold. Of course I am emotional, there have been crazy things going on. I moved, people are misbehaving, the house is not finished, my husband is working long hours. The trouble was, I was coming up against this feeling that I just couldn't do what I needed to do, and I know that I have done it before.


Finally, beginning this Sunday, I figured it out. My math about resources and hours in the day has been coming up short because I have not added in the multiplication that my efforts receive when Christ gets involved. Two of the gospel readings this week have strong relevance to my role in my domestic church. Jesus multiplied the loaves and the fishes to feed thousands, and he will take my meager offerings and make them sufficient to the needs of my family. The thing is, he did start with what the people had to offer themselves. I may have only a few minutes of one on one time with each child each day, but if I offer those minutes with love, God will multiply my efforts to feed the hungry hearts of my children.


The second reading I have been meditating on is that of Peter's walk on water. Peter was able to walk on water because we are able to do anything so long as we are totally focused on Christ. Peter began to sink when he became distracted, when he became afraid, because he looked around him and saw the wind, because he stopped to think that a person cannot walk on water. Sometimes, I am distracted by the fact that the tasks in front of me can seem difficult or even impossible, I am distracted by the fact that I am doing something that very few of the people around me are doing. Sometimes other moms in my neighborhood joke that I am super-Mom, and often I feel all too weak and human. I am not super, but God is. I am not powerful, but God is. I am not more patient, more energetic or more talented than any ordinary woman, but as long as I stay focused on Christ, I can do what I have been called to do. Also, to my great relief, when Peter did lose his focus and begin to sink, the Lord did not just let him drown. So, right now I am not focused enough to walk on water, but I have looked up to God and asked for help, and he is giving me a hand back to the boat.


I am somewhat disturbed by how easily I seem to lose my understanding of my purpose, I think that the forces of the world are very strongly against us on this one. I am going to head to an Evening of Recollection for Women tonight, and I hope to make this, and monthly confession, part of my routine. I may also have to start posting bible quotes around my home, I just need to surround myself with reminders right now. In these dark nights I am very happy that in my household, and the one in which I was raised, we have a commitment to attend Holy Mass every Sunday NO MATTER WHAT. We go to church on Sundays whether or not it is raining, whether or not we feel close to God, whether the children are behaving. At the very least, this anchors my week, and I never leave without feeling renewed.


It is helpful that my husband shares in this commitment because we drag each other along in difficult stages. Actually, my husband understands this much better than I do, once when someone who was sad about their life told him "I want what you have" my husband responded, without thinking twice, the first thing you can do is go to church every Sunday. The reality is that no one who really saw the inside of our house each day would want exactly what we have, but they want what is right for them, they want the peace that comes with knowing that one is living out ones vocation from God. I have this peace sometimes, but not always, but the only way to get it, the only way to walk on water in this very stormy world, is to start by focusing our eyes on Christ.

6 comments:

Drea (Monkey Monkey Underpants) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Drea (Monkey Monkey Underpants) said...

Amen. I have some really horrible days sometimes and I only have one baby! (Though the 4 pets and showing our house definitely doesn't make it any easier!) Thank you for this beautiful reminder that God is there for us in our everyday lives if we just allow Him to work through us. :)

Right Said Red said...

Love your thoughts on this. I would only emphasize that you have REALLY had a lot on your plate.

I also love the pic! So appropriate.

Sophie said...

I too found myself at a bit of an epiphany with last sunday's readings of the loaves and fishes. Of course to come to the realization that there is no way I could do this job without God's being in control and making up for my failings, well, it *should* be obvious. But somehow I tend to forget.

Have you ever read Holly Pierlot's "A Mother's Rule of Life?" The multiplication of the loaves is the basis for her reasoning of mothers having a Rule much like religious orders. The book was a huge life changer for me. Thanks for the little kick I needed to get back into this...

Juris Mater said...

MaryAlice,

Thanks for this beautiful reflection. I couldn't find our Missal today during my quiet time and I used your post as my material for meditation : ) I LOVE your application of Christ multiplying the bread and fish to His multiplying the good that all our efforts do when they're consecrated to him. I really need to remember to make an effort to give thanks for what I have and offer it to God, just as Jesus did before multiplying!

Kristen said...

Great post! And I haven't popped in for awhile, and I gotta say, this is a great blog. The real deal is that the woman we get to become out of the crucible of motherhood is infinitely better than the one I mighta become if I hadn't had my brood...