The only thing I did right (and it’s not nothing, I guess), is that I told God I had complete trust in Him that He would show me what I needed to do. He would be sure to put something in my path to speak to my ridiculous heart.
Whether or not I listened was another matter entirely.
Then I went downstairs to go watch episodes of “The Haunted” until Ken got home and turned off all the lights in the house, which I’d put on because ghost shows scare me half to death.
Friday came, and I was emotionally, physically, and spiritually exhausted. I couldn’t yell at the kids if I wanted to. I couldn’t clean up the kitchen if the ants had formed a committee to come personally speak to me about the day old lettuce wilting on the island. All I could do was sort of miserably slump over the keyboard, and wonder why all the bloggers on my reader weren’t listening to the messages God was surely sending them about writing funny posts to amuse and distract me.
So I did.
And I cried. And cried. And picked myself up off the computer, went downstairs, and watched “Tale of Despereaux” with my children, even though the screenwriters completely compromised the integrity of the book with the film adaptation. But I sat with the kids, and they lay all over me and stroked the giant freakshow of my abdomen and speculated on how long until their much anticipated sibling arrived. And I just loved them. I didn’t worry about the kitchen or long division or syrup-induced tooth decay.
I didn’t feel holier. But I did feel like a better mother. I felt like the kind of mother who is present in the presence of her children, and even I can figure out that’s a good thing.
Then today I came across this reflection on the change in the crowd toward Jesus. How five short days could mean the difference between jubilation and homicidal rage.
And I realized that was the other piece. I’m never going to allow myself to grow into that holy mother of a large family until I realize who that woman is. I want that holy woman to be like the Warrior Messiah the Israelites craved- someone who would throw off hated oppressors of messy kitchens and ant trails, and grant me my own autonomy (and uninterrupted computer time).
But that’s not what God has in mind when he calls women to be mothers. He wants us to copy Christ as He Came- a Messiah is was forgiving and generous, even though many of us will perceive this as weakness. He wants us to ask that question we’ve heard so many times- “What does God want me to do for Him” and not “What is God going to do for me?” He wants us to see what He sees as holiness, even when it doesn’t come close to our conception of the word.
Until I get my head on right about what a holy woman of any size family is, I’m never going to see her in the mirror. I’ll repeat the manic-depressive mood swings of the Jerusalem crowds, going from jubilation to rage, without ever understanding that it is my own misconceptions that are the cause and source of my anger.
So here I sit, in front of a post I started writing five hours ago, then had to stop to go teach Sunday school, then come clean a house, then tell the four year old for the 17th time that he was not only barred from wearing his big brother’s underwear, he was not allowed to wear anyone’s underwear out of the house as the sole piece of clothing.
I’m going to start baths and the hunting/gathering of clean clothes for Mass, and this evening, when I have a palm in my hand, and join with the crowds welcoming Christ into Jerusalem, I will do my best to remember that holy women of large families have children who sword fight with the palms, too. I will do my best to look for the path to holiness God’s laid out for me, even if it doesn’t look like the path I’d like to take.
And if we can make it through Palm Sunday Mass with no one poking a sibling in the eye with a piece of spiky vegetation, it will be a miracle.
(taken after Mass this evening. No eyes were injured. What Joaquin is doing is preserving night vision in his right eye. Thanks, Mythbusters.)
Pages: 1 2