-1-Grace is…finding a pro-life, Natural Family Planning only doctor in your area, realizing God put some of the most fervent prayers you’ve prayed on your heart so He could bring them to fruition in ways you couldn’t have imagined or dreamed, catching up with old friends and getting to know other people better, grandparents who have been such loving, nurturing, compassionate examples throughout their lives, people who can make you laugh no matter how long and tiring your day has been, the gift of prayer, attending Mass with people you love, being accepted for where you are…
Harvesting God’s Abundance I know there have been times in life when I have felt more like one of the women in the famous painting by Jean-Francois Millet called Les Glaneuses (The Gleaners). I am a peasant scrounging for leftovers in a field once full of golden wheat. When I am more focused on what I lack inside and out than on God’s abundant blessings, I feel as if I have been sent out into a field once rich in grain that has already been harvested. I come with a downtrodden spirit to glean what I can from what’s been all but picked clean, thinking this is all I am going to receive, what’s left over from God’s best crops. I feel an even deeper void at the thought of having so little to bring home for my family and friends.
During those times, God is probably up there shaking His head with a warm smile, wondering when I’ll look up at the endless rows of golden wheat all around the extremely small area I’m focusing all my attention on, which has, indeed, been picked clean… To read the rest of this reflection, click here.
Keeping It Real Thursday evening Kevin and I got to catch up with a Cursillo friend who we haven’t seen in far too long though he lives and works nearby. He was a Babe Chick when Kevin served on team for the Cursillo Men’s Weekend back in March 2009, who has distinguished himself in many ways, one of them by being known as Handsome Joe in certain circles. He invited us over, cooked out on the grill, and shared some stories with us about what he’s been up to lately. There are some people in this world who are such characters, you can’t help but be amused by their take on things.
Don’t Take It Personally Joe’s invite got me thinking about how it really is such a gift to be invited over to someone’s home to share a meal. I really want to get our place to the point where we regularly have more than just one person over at a time for dinner and to hang out. Actually, our place is coming along, but our lives in general still feel so hectic that the idea of having a few friends over for dinner, rather than just say, my mom or a close friend who’s basically family anyway feels like more than we have energy for right now. In other words, don't take it personally if you haven't been invited to our place for dinner. Pretty much only like three or four people (that includes my mom, by the way) have in the nine years we've lived here.
The Job Search Continues Kevin’s still looking for a new job. It’s reminded us both of how discouraging it can be to be caught up in a routine and way of thinking that is so set on society’s priorities instead of God’s. We’re hoping and praying that something that’s a good fit for him will present itself soon. In the meantime, we’re trying to be patient and grateful for the other things we’ve been able to take care of during this time that may have been neglected if Kevin was working full-time and stressed out.
-6-Just a Nanny It was October a while back when Kevin was burned out from work that a few family members were hassling me for being a nanny when I have a Masters’ degree and several marketable business skills that I could use for a much more prestigious, lucrative job. During the time that Kevin has been out of work, and we’re figuring out what’s next, I’ve been reminded what a blessing it is that Kevin understands how important the main caregivers for young children are in helping kids build a foundation of trust, develop and learn, feel safe and loved. He has never once belittled me for wanting to provide the most loving, nurturing environment possible for children to grow up in. I know and have always known that I couldn’t do what I do taking care of children if it weren’t for having such a loving husband who “gets it.”
What Cushion? I will say it certainly requires a great deal more faith when your medical bills are really high, and you’re not sure what’s next in terms of your career. I’ve had so many reminders that we never know how long we have left. A couple weeks ago, I was sitting outside praying in front of my dad’s niche in the Columbarium at St. Michael’s after hearing at Mass that a family had lost their father at age 53. Dad lived only 16 days past his 54 birthday. Kevin turned 50 this past summer.
There’s nothing safe, secure, or sure in this life except the Lord. Thank goodness for the gift of faith and the love of God that persists no matter what. If we draw closer to Him, we can rest and trust that the Lord is all that we really have and gives us all that we need.