Lent brings along with it a longing of the heart. For me, it is sometimes a longing to go back to the days when my worship was more pure, and I felt I was more devoted to Christ. Before marriage, I easily spent 60-80 hours a week ministering in His name, and much of that ministry was filled with prayer & worship, Adoration, conversation about Christ and how to know and love Him better, retreats, Mass, devotions, bringing people into relationship with Christ.
At first glance, it seems life sure has changed. A typical play by play of my day now involves getting up later than I should because I've been up at some point during the night due to kid or cat, rushing to get ready, changing diaper(s), getting bottles, brushing little teeth, arguing about breakfast, picking up spilled food, wiping faces, arguing about clothes with buttons and why we can't always just wear pajamas, thinking about what to feed the people in our home, running out the door to rush to work during which time I will wonder about what will face me as I come home. Then on the days I work, I'm rushing out of the office to come home to make dinner, and finally breathe for a moment before bedtime routines start, most of which still involve begging for toys to be put away and not strewn about the floor, several attempts to delay, more drinks of milk and trips to the bathroom, starting bedtime music over, and pleas for more bedtime stories.
Life in these five years has changed immensely. When I saw Brandon's graphic today with the quote from St. Frances of Rome, I exhaled. "Yes," I thought. "She gets it. Now I need to let it sink in more deeply too." I long for quiet adoration, when what the Lord is asking of me is probably more quiet snuggling with the littles. I long to be leading reflections and prayer groups, when what the Lord is asking of me is to be leading my children in prayer, telling them stories, teaching them to play, laugh, love, and live. I long for mission trips and helping the forgotten, when what the Lord is asking of me is to call my mother and care for my husband, who can go a little unnoticed by me when there are two noisy and needy little people tugging at my sleeve (or more likely my hair). The Lord is, and always has, asked me to serve exactly where I am with whatever He sends my way.
While before it may have been building houses with the poor, it may now be building forts and towers with my children and building a home with my husband that will be our refuge.
If I wasn't already sure that God was trying to get through to me, the song below popped on the radio on my way in to work. I think I've got the message loud and clear - it's just a matter of letting it seep into my soul and become a part of me so living it out is a natural part of life.
Enjoy the video! It reminds me of something akin to a mashup between Sledgehammer and Mario Bros. - ahhh, the 80s...
by Stephen Curtis Chapman
You're picking up toys on the living room floor
for the fifteenth time today
Matching up socks
Sweeping up lost cheerios that got away
You put a baby on your hip
Color on your lips and head out the door
While I may not know you,
I bet I know you wonder sometimes, does it matter at all?
Well let me remind you, it all matters just as long as
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