Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Faith I Live

When I first started blogging I thought I was going to be a Catholic blogger.  There were many Catholic mom blogs and writers I read and admired.  But it wasn't too long after I started blogging that I realized a solely Catholic blog wasn't up my alley.  There are some things I'm comfortable putting out there for all to read.  Things I'm willing to take a stand on in a public forum.  And then there are things I hold close to my heart and choose not to write about because I'm just not ready (or willing? or called?) to be a warrior for those issues.

But make no mistake.  I am Catholic and my faith plays a large role in my life even if I don't wrap up all my writings with a nice a little Catholic angle.  There's inspiring women who can do that.  But that's not me.

Sometimes I feel like less of a Catholic when I write about petty things like watching The Bachelor or buying a new pair of skinny jeans or wondering what kind of eye cream to use.  I feel like I might be shunned for not constantly wearing my faith on my sleeve.

But I am a mom.  A wife.  A 30-something American.  I was not called to be a cloistered nun. (Even though some days that life sounds like the most wonderful, peaceful, QUIET place to be!)  I am a person of and in this modern world however unholy it might sometimes be.

We go to mass every Sunday without fail.  For some I know that makes it sound like we're devout Catholics.  But if you could only see us in that pew.  With our potty breaks and breastfeeding and shushing and arm-squeezing and Richard Scarry book-reading, and you-better-watch-it looks, and the cold sweats, and the kneeler-crashing.  It's not pretty.  But we're there.  We're there because we care.  We're there because our parents loved the faith so much that they put up with those same cold sweats to bring us to mass every Sunday when we were babies, toddlers, preschoolers and beyond.  We're there because we hope that this small act of effort and sacrifice just might be enough.  When all other parenting skills have failed it feels good to know I least I've brought my children before God each and every week.

My prayer life isn't a silent meditative hour.  Instead it's quick requests of please, God, please.  For a good hair day.  For less screaming.  A close parking spot.  That we make it through the grocery store without making a scene.  That the small wail in the middle of the night will sooth itself out.  That my feverish child will feel better soon.  For patience.  And gratitude.  And understanding.  And generosity.  And energy.

And then I pray for forgiveness.  That in this season of giving everything I have to give to everyone else, He accepts the small amount I have left over for Him.

I pray He doesn't think my prayers are petty.  Or short.  Or meaningless.

Right now I'm called to serve Him in poopy diapers and dirty laundry and breastfeeding and potty-training and making a grocery list and giving baths and making beds and combing tangled hair and putting on boots and reading Pinkalicious for the thousandth time.

I hope He see these as little I love yous to Him.  Small prayers, small acts that add up to something bigger.

I thank Him for these three beautiful and healthy children.  However sassy and whiny they might be.  I thank him for my generous and patient husband who has an unbelievable unconditional love for me.  I thank Him for this house, our school, our neighborhood, our life!

This is the faith I live.  I know it will never be enough.  But, with grace, I pray it is anyway.

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