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

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Blessed Trials

I have been in quite a slump lately.  And I could give you a whole laundry list (literally and figuratively) of all the reasons for that.  A list which probably wouldn't be that different than most other mothers, and would likely be far less than many.  But I won't do that.  For the sake of not making excuses, I'll spare you (and myself) the list.

But my slump, oh dear how I obsess about it.  I start off every day hoping and praying for positive, for productivity, for peace.  I stare at that mountain first thing in the morning and think, "today's the day I conquer you!" and yet with the first stumble, I hurl myself over the side crying, "why, why can't the road be easier?"  But the thing about mountains is that they are always there.  And the only way to get to the top is to just keep going.  Through the rocky roads, against the steady gravity that is gently but constantly pulling you downward.  Onward and upward, one foot at a time.

I had a message on my phone the other day.  When I checked it, I realized it was a recording of us (likely taken when a wee one dialed our number and let it ring to the machine while I was unaware).  My stomach sank as I worried about what it might have recorded - would I be screaming in the backround?  Would I be confronted with that side of myself that I wish would just stay hidden? I wasn't.  Instead I heard the sweet sound of children playing make-believe, and me responding back to them.  I was listening, I was attentive, I was loving.  And I praised God that was the moment that was played back to me!  I have a similar message on my cell phone from a few weeks ago.

I think the Lord is trying to show me that these low points are not the whole of my life.  These mistakes I make, they're not the whole picture.  And I can either identify myself with them and stay at the bottom, or pick myself and start walking again, with greater determination than before.

Climbing a mountain doesn't happen without hard work.  And you never reach the top of a mountain without being better and stronger than you were when you set out.  The rocky terrain, that is meant to strengthen you - your body and your spirit.  When you encounter a moment where you feel like you can't go on, and then you push through anyway, you see that you can.  But it takes focus.  It takes diligent and constant prayer. It takes not looking back at where you came from, not looking down at the road that seems so difficult, but looking ahead at your final destination, that glorious peak where you will find everything you're working towards.  May I never forget that these trials are a blessing, and that the only way to reap the rewards that they sow are by taking it one step at a time.

Burning ember I remember love's first light in me
I was cold and like a stone when I saw your flickering
Burn forever and let me never curse the pain you bring
Somehow I know I will be whole in your burning.
(Steve Bell)

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