Good Books

This morning as I woke, my tiny tot jumped down and immediately began searching for yet another rosary to break. I think we must have 30 rosaries in the house. She's managed to find and break nearly half. As I snuggled in next to two of my kids I bellowed for my husband to take her. I needed a few minutes with my older children.

In the last few weeks ALL my attention, mental, physical and emotional has been spent on Serrie. I have felt I can "fix" whatever this is that is "plaguing" her and I have gone through a myriad of emotions from feelings of relief, understanding and acceptance, anger, jealousy and pure stubbornness that this isn't happening.

Yesterday I shared my feelings of jealousy. I thought about the kids at the zoo. I thought about my cousins children developing in a traditional fashion and while I can easily say I am grateful the diagnosis isn't one that is more severe, will potentially kill her or cause a life of sorrow and pain, I am still going through the motions and emotions.

One thing I will promise to her, to my others, to my husband and you is pure honesty. It won't always be a pretty life wrapped in a bow touting the good news. I will share what I feel and how its going and much of it is dedicated to a book I just finished.

Divine Mercy for Moms, Sharing the Lessons of St. Faustina came out shortly before Easter. I immediately ordered it after seeing it on CatholicMom.com and insisted that it was because I needed to learn more about how to be more merciful to others and this I do.

There are so many dog-eared pages that have been flipped down so I remember to "do" the little actions that the authors, Michele Faehnle and Emily Jaminet suggest. I have taken the time to "do" these actions and have felt better for it. Today though I read the last two chapters and it couldn't come at a better time.

I have spent that last year struggling at Mass. It culminated in one mass when both Serrie and my only son were acting up during our Priest's Homily. I wanted to hear and feel the presence of our Father. I felt I needed it so I stayed in mass as long as I could before exiting from the front pew, all eyes on me. As I traveled up the side aisle, I saw it. There were eyes of sadness, eyes of compassion and eyes of anger. As I approached the Narthex, I set her down and breathed a sigh of relief. She still screamed and I am certain people heard her inside. This was confirmed yesterday when the director of the choir let me know even people in the choir were questioning my not taking her out of the church, perhaps they meant completely. As I stood in back, an older woman approached. I knew in my heart she was going to gently touch my arm and remind me of "being there" when she had kids. What happened I could never prepare myself for. She suggested I not bring this child to church anymore. Hurt. Sad. Overwhelmed, I walked to a corner, held my child can cried. How could someone be so heartless?

In the weeks since, we have been not going to our Parish. We have been at a Parish near our home and no matter what the behavior, no one has said anything hurtful. In fact, people have only been positive, thanking me for bringing the future of the church even when its not easy.

This weekend though, I need to return. In the book, the authors remind us that not only are we called to work on our own faith journey but also help others. Perhaps one reason I am facing these struggles isn't just for my own journey but to help others. To be a voice. To make a difference. In the book, they tell us that we are to "admonish the sinner". This does NOT mean that we are to go pointing out peoples shortcomings and downfalls but to teach. We are called to lead. We are called to do so with "charity, clarity and kindness".

Taking my Serrie to mass, I am not doing so to cause turmoil and to cause grief. I am taking her to build her relationship with Christ and HE has called her to be HIS child or He would not have allowed her to be here. I must take her to continue her journey, not hide from the discomfort I may feel because she is not behaving the way an almost 3 year old should. I should be proud of the gift she is to our family and eventually to the world. I am also called to forgive. I am terrible at this merciful act but today, I choose to work on that. I choose to let that conversation go. I choose to make this journey one where many benefit from the situation at hand? I think of our Mother Mary and all she endured for me, so why can't I endure just a little to give back to her?

I am grateful I picked up this book even with other intentions because it was truly a gift that has helped me grow.

So tomorrow, if you see me at mass, and if I don't have it all together, choose Mercy and if you can't, I will choose to forgive.

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