I just turned 60. As most of you know, I have had eleven children and I have many grandchildren (40, including those yet to be born)!
I deserve a break, right?
I have things that happen in my household that can ruffle feathers…
Hubby has been home all winter due to a bad leg that we can’t seem to figure out. He is constantly coming up with “new ideas” that can cause some chagrin as he pursues his latest.
For instance, he has the beginnings of his mushrooms started….under the table in the corner in our living room!
He has rabbits in what was supposed to be his greenhouse off the side of the home that, when the wind is right, and the weather has warmed, sends an aroma through the house that is not pleasant….to say the least!
He butchers his meat and proceeds to clean them in the sink, leaving guts and giblets behind much to the horror of the girls at home!
His brother works here with him, and I am bombarded regularly each day with adult male interruptions that I am not used to!
And on the kids’ side…
I have had the ping pong table out in the kids playroom, which is a room that enjoins the rest of the house and that has to be trekked through to get to any other part of the home. The table takes up ALL the space in that room, but…you know…the ping-pong tournament is coming up and practicing must be done!
A couple of them have chronic health stuff that cause much frustration and can’t be figured out.
I still pick up after those who leave things around. And I cook dinner each night.
I do the laundry for all here at home, and although it has downsized, it is still no little feat. I will just get done my loads and look satisfyingly at the empty laundry area when my dear son decides to clean his room and dumps twice as much laundry as when I started…
On and on.
Do I wish for some peace and order?
Do I wish that when something is put away and cleaned up, that it stays that way? Do I not deserve that?
Well…yes to the first question.
I will find myself muttering under my breath about something that is irking me at the moment. “If only….”
I DO stop myself short, though. I try hard not to give in to those thoughts.
Do I really want a life free of untidiness, lack of order, noise, and everything that comes along with running a household? In other words…do I want a life free of….people??!!
Kids leaving messes, dirty clothes, leaving stuff on the stairs and never remembering to bring them up until someone almost kills themselves IS annoying.
Bickering, regularly wanting some kind of “party” (they remind me it is not a party…just a few friends over), interruptions, wanting to travel in nasty weather (I have 3 relatively new drivers in the family…and may I also mention…fearless!), etc.
Do I wish for peace?? Yes, but…
No….I don’t want peace at the price of giving up an active, noisy, “happening” household, full of imperfect people making their way through life, rubbing shoulders with one another.
These are the things that life is made up of. And they are all good.
Life is a journey and it is meant to travel together.
A lot of the people of the world strive to stay in their comfort zone…to do whatever they want and as little of what they don’t want. They tend to isolate, to immerse themselves in technology or anything else that tickles their fancy.
Do I want a life like that?
We who have the faith and who realize this is not our final “landing place”, know that this kind of self-isolating life does not lead to happiness.
We have all felt the satisfaction of something hard that we have accomplished, of enduring something painful, of getting out of our comfort zone, of…well…embracing our crosses. It is a blessing.
And the crosses don’t have to be huge to be valuable. Learning to embrace daily annoyances is a powerful way of doing God’s will…and therefore of achieving happiness.
And it is also a powerful prayer for those who need our help….the suffering of others can be alleviated by our own sacrifices. How wonderful is that?
Martyrdom by the little fires of hidden fidelities constantly adhered to, of tormenting temptations courageously and perseveringly repulsed, of the exact and loving fulfillment of duties toward God and neighbor, of prayer faithfully practiced despite disgust, aridity and the pressure of work–is it not a martyrdom? Who can estimate the value of its countless offerings which are not publicized but which cost . . . and which count!” -Christ in the Home, Fr. Raoul Plus, S.J.
And on the flip side of this…
All of the things I just mentioned above come with another side to it.
My hubby, with his butchering abilities is providing us with food. The mushrooms will be tasty and makes a good hobby for my husband while he is down and out.
He cares deeply for his family and nothing seems to daunt him. If his next new venture is hard to swallow, well….
Would I rather not have a husband??
His brother has helped us very much as my husband is somewhat handicapped at this time. I think we provide some comfort to him also. He has been a God-send.
My kids are amazing. For the bit of inconvenience they cause me with their messes, their problems, their bickering (which has gotten so much better!)…
They return to me many times over!
They see the needs around here…monetarily and otherwise. And if they are in a position to help, they will.
And even if they lacked in this area…it’s OK.
God has called us to raise families and to accept…nay, embrace….what goes along with that.
We must learn not to complain. Sure, if things need to be confronted, then do that.
But there will be so many things that are just plain annoyances and we need to accept that. And be good-natured about it. God loves a cheerful giver!
So next time we wish for a quieter, more orderly, less worrisome life, may our response be…
Every day you need to lift your husband up in prayer. Ask St. Joseph to help him to be a good husband and father. He needs you, who are his closest companion, to lift him up each day to our Heavenly Father. Ask Our Lord to protect him and to protect your marriage. What a wonderful gift a praying wife is! -Finer Femininity
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Twelve sermons on key aspects of the Christian life given during Lent, 1622–fasting, how to resist temptation, the danger of losing one’s soul, living faith vs. dead or dying faith, Christian attitude toward death, proper conduct in illness, God\’s special providence toward those living a spiritual life, the hidden meanings of Our Lord’s Passion, eternal happiness, mutual charity, etc.
There are as many paths to holiness as there are saints in Heaven . . . but you cant follow them all. Yet there’s one thing every saint practices that you can imitate: the simple art of loving God, which the beloved St. Francis de Sales explains for you here.
Under his wise and gentle guidance, you’ll discover the secrets to growing holier through the simple things in life work, play, and rest. You’ll learn to avoid the distractions (even religious distractions) that trouble and weary your soul . . . and you’ll soon be able to focus your energy simply on loving God.
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