Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Beatitude Attitude {vol. 7}: In the Aftermath...

"The Lord is near to the broken-hearted, and saves the crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18

It seems surreal to write a post about how blessed my life is when so many are grieving and in shock after the storm in Oklahoma. News like this brings out the fight v. flight instinct in most of us, and in some of us a "fright v. flight" instinct. Some of us want to deploy and go help*, others become anxious for themselves and their children, and then others of us become detached and bury our heads in the sand because it would probably just be too much to admit that "but for the grace of God go I."

However you slice it, this should shake us out of our daily routines enough to take a good look at how much we have and realize how temporary the things of this world are. Imagine where you are - now imagine a mile around you decimated. Imagine two miles. Look at those tiny people (and not so tiny people) in your lives. Sure, those screams and antics are like nails on chalkboard right now, but what if you woke tomorrow to them ripped from your life? Even the screaming gets put into a bit of perspective. We are not here forever, those we love are not here forever - it makes it more evident that we need to be sure our lives and priorities are rightly ordered. It really shouldn't take tragic news for that perspective to wash over us. More on that in another post.

Today, while lifting up prayers for those who are suffering in the aftermath of this current tragedy, it is even more important that I live out of an attitude of thankfulness for all of God's blessings and how He continues to turn those things I think are "hardships" into fodder to draw me closer into the heart of Christ and teaching me to love more purely, which should be my first priority.

1) Blessed am I that God continues to use the smallest things, like sunglasses, to show me areas where I am still attached to earthly things so I may better follow Him and realize that the laughter of a child is more important than a pair of glasses...even if I might not acknowledge it right away.

2) Blessed am I that we have holy priests who help me to grow in wisdom and love leading me to greater holiness...now if only I would make a beeline to it instead of a meandering path!

3) Blessed am I that I have children who enjoy the simple things in life, and lead me to remember that there is joy in simplicity.

4) Blessed am I that we live by several parks within walking distance, so when the morning turns into a veritable whinefest, I can scoop up the babes and head over for some fun. There isn't a single whine or scream a good swing can't fix at least momentarily! After that, blessed am I that this house came with air conditioning, even though the upper level doesn't cool off well. Mama was not made for overheating!

5) Blessed am I that God waited to bring me my husband until I was on a path seeking Him. I can't imagine my life with someone who wasn't in love with Jesus or seeking to help me attain sainthood.

6) Blessed am I with a husband who adores his children...and whose children adore him, especially at the end of a day where I struggle to adore the littles!

7) Blessed am I that the Lord came seeking after me, even if I was slow to follow. I cannot imagine living without the hope of Christ or the wisdom of the Saints or the Sacraments of the Church or the promise of heaven. I need to get better about sharing that blessing in word and in deed, and get to writing more about my conversion. Summer project.

*If you would like to reach out to those affected by the tornado in Oklahoma, here are a couple of organizations who are already helping and can best help direct your charitable donations. In the aftermath of disasters such as these, it is important that we allow the experts to assess, organize and direct our efforts - please, oh please, do not just go to help - it often ends up adding extra chaos. Also, as a friend wrote quite wisely, "paying attention to the organizations that you are donating to is important - do they already have feet on the ground in the area and therefore know the community before the disaster? Does your money really go to where you want it to go?"

Catholic Charities - Catholic Charities of Oklahoma City have set up a site where you can donate whatever amount you would like. This will help them offer assistance and support to all affected.

Mercy Chefs - Mercy Chefs is a non-profit, faith based, charitable organization committed to serving high quality professionally prepared meals, during local, state and national disasters and emergencies.

Thanks, Jennifer and Ashley for those links!

I hope you will take a moment to thank God for all the little things in your life that you may take for granted normally. 

No comments:

Post a Comment