Today is the Feast of St. Therese. I haven't "blogged" for so long because... well... twins... toddlers... homeschooling/caring for four littles who don't sleep nearly as much as they ought to and a husband who works long hours make for little blogging opportunity. Maybe quick facebook posts while nursing said twins, but not much "blogging". I miss it though, so today seemed as good a day as any to "begin again".
Today I woke at 2am to a 2 year old who wasn't sick yesterday, but somehow was sick by nightfall and came in just in time to throw up all over my sleeping husband... our bed... and our white carpet...
...so began our walking of the "Little way" first thing while half asleep.
I actually find that no matter how tired I am, it's hard to not be loving towards your toddler who feels like crap in the middle of the night and looks at you with a face like an angel in her feverish sickness. God in his wisdom in return for the sacrifices required of us gives us such tremendous love as parents that it would be harder NOT to respond to their needs than it would be to stay in bed and let them fend for themselves. As a single person I'm pretty sure I wouldn't respond as "lovingly" if a random person just came and threw up on me in the middle of the night and asked me to take care of them... yeah... the visual alone!
Today I am so appreciative of Therese and the many reminders she offers me personally in my daily life that is rife with opportunities to practice this slow steady walk towards Christ. Motherhood (and Fatherhood) is truly a vocation to holiness if we embrace lovingly the little gifts given to us each day. I do NOT always handle things as patiently as I could, but I suppose that's why I'm given so many chances to try again!
I keep saying to myself that I need to put little signs or reminders through my house to lift my heart up to God. I remember when I would visit convents (particularly the Carmelites) years ago that they often had these little sayings posted everywhere that I just loved. Over the clock would be something like "A little while and it will be eternity" or something of the sort.
Over my changing table I need to post something like "Do Small things with Great love" or "Remember you are changing the BABY not just changing the DIAPER".
...I need SOoooo many reminders.
Today I had a great chat with my "big girls" (by BIG I mean a whole week old 4 year old and a 2.5yr old) while changing the twins diapers first thing. We were chatting about St. Therese and who she was and how she wanted to be their friend in heaven and pray for them and help them. I told them how she was very much like them as a little girl. She was beautiful and sweet and loved Jesus and Mary, but she was also very stubborn and had a bad temper and a strong personality. I told them how they also have all the makings to be great saints someday. We talked about how she wanted to be a great saint, but didn't think she could do all the difficult things the other saints did (I hear you, Therese. I can't even finish a novena! ...or my laundry!) so she decided to ask God for help to do small things with love and offer them to gain graces for souls. It did not matter how "important" the task she was doing seemed, she needed only to do it with as much love as she could.
While we were coloring their new calendars and doing their "schoolwork" I reminded them as they sat beneath the pictures of Jesus and Mary at our dining room table that sometimes they were going to be tired and not feel like coloring or paying attention to their lessons, but if they did it their best and offered it to Jesus and Mary, they could gain many graces just by coloring that one rectangle on their calendar or doing their best work painting or cleaning up. They could offer it for whoever they wanted or give the graces to Mary and she would decide best who to give them to. I was so proud of how hard they worked and the questions they asked and for the opportunity to talk to them like this and encourage them not only to learn and to "work" but to do it in a virtuous way. Of course I want to foster my children's intelligence, but more importantly I want them to be "good".
At that moment I (like occurs to me many times) thought of my husband and how he was working so hard where he was today practicing his own "little way". All this after being thrown up on at 2am being woken up many times during the night and heading off to work before 5am to provide for all of us. He was walking his own path to holiness (and traveling quickly upon it) and if it wasn't for his hard work, I couldn't be home with the children teaching them and kissing them and cuddling them on sick days and doing all the things that fill our ordinary days. I felt very close to him at that moment even though he wasn't with me and I realized again how the family is connected and each has a role to play ...and it is beautiful. At that moment Shaun shot me a text message and I smiled knowing we were thinking of each other where we were in our daily lives. Such are the simple things marriage is made of... and I was (and am) so grateful.
...anyhow I suppose I just wanted the day not to escape me without taking a few moments to express my gratitude for my "ordinary" life. There was a time when I thought of nothing more than doing great things, but now I couldn't be happier than in this little life full of simple, but extraordinary blessings.