I have always struggled with my weight. I have always measured in the overweight/obese category on a BMI scale. I never learned anything about nutrition or a balanced lifestyle from my childhood and acutely felt the lack of knowledge as an adult. It wasn’t until after my first child was born that I finally began my journey to a healthier self.
“It seems only the old are able to sit next to one another and not say anything and still feel content. The young, brash and impatient, must always break the silence. It is a waste, for silence is pure. Silence is holy. It draws people together because only those who are comfortable with each other can sit without speaking.” – Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
There is a special plan for each and every one of us. We were created by love, for love. We were created for Paradise, for perfection, for greatness for fulfillment (see Longing).
But, this world falls short of what we were created for. We lose hope. We lose focus. We lose sight of our value and our purpose.
We need a reminder. We need to come back to what really matters. We need to remember that we are particularly called.
I thought Tarcisius was going to be a dejavu child, a replica, an afterthought, a double take. After all, when he was born he looked indistinguishable from my others and his birthday is the same week as 2 of them. I thought that the fact that we didn’t travel during his pregnancy to pick out his name (like we have with all the others) would make him less special. I thought that somehow he was going to get lost in the busyness of 4 children. I thought that he would forever live in the shadow of my first boy who even daddy is jealous of most of the time. I thought I wouldn’t have enough love to go around and that I wouldn’t be a good enough mom once I was stretched this thin… but I was wrong.
Last week I was told to reflect on Psalm 22. I had been crying to my friend about the trials of bedtime with 4 littles and a tired mommy especially when daddy isn’t there to help…. and my prayer was a beautiful experience, not just, I think, for mothers but for anyone trying to live out any vocation or, simply, a truly Christian life.
The Psalm is meant to be a foreshadowing of Christ’s sufferings at Calvary and the biggest shock I had was how much I related to it – how we all can relate – how much it felt like the Psalmist was describing my own life at that moment (minus the melodramatic psalmist vocabulary choices – or maybe with them – I’ll let you decide – haha).
Fr. Al Lauer from Presentation Ministries gave a beautiful meditation on the feast of St. Martha on “busy-ness”. He explained how busyness can be a healthy and beautiful thing if we are called to it, but that the moment it takes us away from Christ and the peace he wants to offer us, then our busyness is no longer godly.
Is there a way to KNOW God loves you? Ever felt like saying “… it’s been such a crappy day/week/month/year/life that it sure doesn’t feel like it”? If we are struggling with the question of lovability, hearing about God’s love for you can almost feel nauseating in its commonality. We can’t even get away from the cheesy emoticon bumper-stickers that say “Smile, God loves you!” and most of the time it feels like people are “just saying that”. Is there a way to get past that?
The first question this obviously leads to is, what is God’s will for us? We think of it as something scary, oppressive, controlling. When we consider following God’s will, we tend to think only of rules and regulations. We think of lines like, “Whomever wants to come after me must take up his cross and follow me” (Mt. 16:24) and of having to do hard things and give up what we are most attached to. We think of having to change. We think of Job, Lazarus and Calvary. How could that possibly make us happy? What’s in it for me if I’m called to “die to myself” (Mk. 8:35, Jn. 12:24, etc)?
How do you feel about the way others see you and the way you see yourself? Did you ever try to put on a front hoping to make someone else see you in a different light than how you see yourself? Have you ever thought about it? There’s a whole new craze of self esteem promos out lately… how are those working out for you? Does repeating a mantra change the way you see yourself? Does it ever make you feel torn between worlds when the way you see yourself, the way others see you and the reality of who you want to be don’t seem to match up? Have you ever asked why?