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

Friday, October 18, 2013


Alone is not something that I am very often.  I am constantly surrounded with people. My beautiful children, my wonderful husband, our families, our very close and dear friends, the homeschooling community I am part of.  No, it is not very often that I am alone.

And yet, sometimes I feel as though I am. I think this is one of the biggest lies I tell myself.  As the great Dr. Seuss says in one of my very favorite books,

I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot.

I am not alone.  But sometimes it's easy to feel like I am.  To feel like nobody knows my daily struggles.  To feel like nobody understands what it's like to walk a mile in my shoes.  And maybe they don't.  But it doesn't mean that I am alone.  Because this feeling is not unique to me.  In fact, everyone feels alone at some point in their lives.  But if we allow that feeling to cut us off, to alienate us, that is when we find ourselves in real danger.  Because then we run the risk of isolating ourselves, of shutting people out, and creating the very thing we suffer so desperately with.

It's true that nobody in my inner circle can possibly get my life.  And sometimes that makes me feel like I can't really talk to them about it.  I don't want to be pessimistic, I don't want to complain.  And too often as a result, I find myself saying, "things are great!" When really, they're not.

This morning, for example, was one of the worst I've had in a long, long time.  Despite my little one just turning a year old and being down to four nursing sessions a day, I have come down with another clogged milk duct.  These things plagued me for a good two months when she was younger, and I really thought I was done with them, but it's been a week already and still not much improvement.  And it's so frustrating!  When she nurses (which I try to do often to keep the breast empty) there is such searing pain for the first little bit, and when this happens at a time when the four oldest are clammoring for my attention for school and my toddler is breaking Lord knows what or getting into something he really shouldn't be, it's a recipe for disaster.  I have had several clashes of will with my older children over the past few days, and I know it has very little to do with them and everything to do with my disposition these days.  After a huge outburst in response to them not listening to me (does any 6, 7 or 9 year old listen consistently?) I retreated to my room and collapsed on my bed.  I sobbed and sobbed, and poured my heart out to God.  "It's just so constant sometimes," I said.  And it is. Nobody can plan that.

I texted my husband and asked him to pray for me too.  And I started to feel just a little bit better.  I realized in that state of brokeness how destructive it can be to think that you are alone.  And maybe Satan thrives there.  I began to think, Oh wouldn't you just love for me to think that there's nobody who understands me? And it's true, he would.  Because there is nothing so completely debilitating.  I chose instead to not let that happen.  I would not let the enemy have the upper hand.

I stepped out of my room and the kids, God bless them, were sitting and waiting to start school.  My baby toddled around the corner and gave me a huge smile, that I believe in certain moments really is life-saving.  I am not alone, very far from it.  And these people that surround me, my kids, my husband, my family, my friends, they all have the same desire in their heart as me - to love and be loved by God.  Though the circumstances may differ, every person can tell you of something in their life that pushes them to the brink on a daily basis, and we can all be united in our desire for goodness.  This is what I need to remember, this is why I need to give voice to my struggle.  Because in doing so, not only do I release the power it holds over me, but I also find that others are walking the very same road, and that I am not nearly as alone as I sometimes think.

May I always draw strength from the people You have placed in my life, and find freedom in knowing that we are all on the same path.

"Pray, pray to the Lord with me, because the whole world needs prayer. And every day, when your heart especially feels the loneliness of life, pray. Pray to the Lord, because even God needs our prayers." — St. Pio of Pietrelcina

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