Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Bella Marie, Updated

Bella: Age 9, going on 15.  Being the oldest makes her The Pioneer: forging her way through the jungle of growing up, crossing the expansive wilderness of her parents' inexperience with her current age.  Personality, temperment, birth order, family life all collide in this exciting and sometimes explosive package.

 But here's the thing about this girl - She Loves Deeply.  She feels and thinks and loves in the depth of her soul.  She is fiercely independent... and wants to be tucked in a night.  She writes angry letters when she's hurt... and soul-cleansing apologies afterward. Her words are fiery and biting... or affirmative and consoling. There is nothing lukewarm about my Bella. I can be certain about that.

Another thing about her, is that she thrives on being in charge.  Not just steps up, but THRIVES.  The gleam in her eyes, the confidence of speech, it's there just waiting to be tapped. In that role she is a fantastic teacher of littles, leader of games, coordinator of rules.  Most of her outbursts could be traces to a feeling of loss of control and feeling overwhelmed; however, the best antidote is to put her back in control of something.  Like helping a sibling or deciding a schedule. Or cooking. I tell her regularly that I think she will serve God is great ways... if she continues to stop and LISTEN.  Thankfully her prayer life is strong, her desire for Christ runs deep.  Yes, this girl will do great things for the Kingdom... as long as no one tells her no.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Ordinary Time - the Time Between

I need Ordinary Time.

I don't really like it, honestly.  I hate taking down the Christmas decos and the cessation of endless carol singalongs. There are no twinkling lights to break the darkness of a cold winter night, and I'm out of excuses to bake endless trays of goodies under the pretext of sharing. The first week of liturgical green leaves me feeling... bored. Already.

But this is the way life goes. This is the way life is SUPPOSED to go, with fasts and feasts, penance and rejoicing.  But the time in-between? What of this time in between?

This is when we have to live out what we have learned in our fasting and celebrated in our feasting. I need the normalcy of the day-to-day to practice my vocation in the mundane and allow Him to turn it into greatness.  The same old boring hymns, the routine of our school day, the fussing over chores and the uninspired healthy meal planning is when I have to listen the hardest. Perhaps this ordinary life in Ordinary Time is the Stillness. The reliable structure that should challenge my soul to grow.  When the festive trees and bright poinsettias have left the church we are left with - The Tabernacle. Just Him. He shines in the Ordinary.

God asks great things of mothers, but He offers great graces. We see them overflowing in the miracles, the celebrations, and times of great trial and suffering.  We Pray to see them, at least.  We pray to be open to them.  But it is hardest to see them in the Ordinary. We need Ordinary Time to refocus, to open ourselves to the Greatness of He who is in the mundane day-to-day. He is not contained to the  celebrations.

If the Eternal God of the Universe chose to humble Himself to partake in an ordinary family in an ordinary world, perhaps I can humble myself to an ordinary life in Ordinary Time.