As the Family Goes

JP II Quote

"As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live." John Paul II

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Wanting for Something

I am five weeks away from delivering my sixth child, and am doing some serious nesting.  Getting my little home ready for one more child has been thrilling, because with each new move not only am I closer to meeting my new baby, but I am also discovering that the space I have, while small, is everything I need to be happy and raise a family - even a large one, even with more children after this one (God willing). 

It was only a few months ago that I really began to feel settled in this space that I have.  For the first time in my life I have been living with the feeling of being completely satisfied with what I have.  None of my debt disappeared, my house didn't expand, and we didn't win a lottery - what happened within me was even more profound, a moment of grace where the Lord made me understand that what He has given me is good, is enough.  Since then I have been living with this euphoric freedom, almost giddy about my tiny little house, with as much children as can possibly fit jammed into small bedrooms together (two in one, three in the other).  I feel satisfied.

And then, through a school of community that meets at our house once a week to study readings together and share our own personal experiences of Christ in our everyday lives, we began talking about this word, satisfied, in the context that we should never feel that way, because then we stop searching.  And I struggled with this, because for so long (and even still) it is the word I most feel describes where I am at with life, and even with my relationship with the Lord - I am satisfied.  And I find freedom in that.

Who are you baby?  We will know soon!
This evening after tucking the kids into their respective beds, after a successful week of pairing my toddler and preschooler together in one room (even putting them down together, awake, without issue!) and spending some time in my now vacant nursery, with the blue blankets on one side and the pink ones on the other (we don't know the gender of the baby yet) I was filled with gratitude.  And as I puttered around my kitchen tidying up a weekend's worth of mess that had been neglected to spend time with family and friends, I was happy.  And it dawned on me that the change that has happened in me is not that I am totally satisfied with every aspect of my life, but that I am satified with the things that are given to me as a gift - that I am not longing for material things as much as I once did, the bigger, perfectly clean house that always looks spotless when friends come to visit. The Lord is teaching me that people are far more valuable than things.  But I realized also that this while satifaction with my material goods, simple though they are, is a good thing - it is not enough.  I need to allow that to point me Heavenward; to be satisfied with the little I have on earth is not enough by itself because it is not my permanent home, it is a temporary step on a journey to perfection that cannot be found in this world, but CAN be found in the next. 

Lord, may my happiness with the gifts I have been given in this world always allow me to feel Your touch, so as to awaken within me a desire for You and the joy that awaits me in eternity.  May my longing never be for material things, but for the joy found in You alone.

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