When I can, I try to jot down little lessons the Lord sends my way. Here are a few things of late I want to share with you.
- I've been reflecting lately on the fact that we are called to live in virtue all the time, to be the same person no matter who we're around or where we are. The tone of voice I use with my husband when I'm alone with him should be no less respectful, for example, than the tone of voice I would use with other people were around. When it's just me and the kids at home, I lose my temper or get lazy in my parenting far too often, even though I would rarely do that in the presence of others. With what I post on Facebook or Humble Handmaid, I shouldn't post something that I wouldn't stand behind or say (or say that particular way) in person. I think that a truly virtuous, holy woman strives for virtue and holiness no matter where she is or who she is with. I'm surely working on it.
- I heard a talk at an Opus Dei Recollection recently on St. Joseph, and the priest gave us some really neat thoughts on the fact that God permits challenges in our lives sometimes. The priest talked about how St. Joseph probably gave Jesus some tough carpentry projects to work on sometimes as he was teaching him his trade, tough enough projects that Jesus probably made a few mistakes! He talked about St. Joseph wisely gave his special son opportunities to learn some important lessons--and also opportunities to have to humbly ask for help. In so many areas of my life, I feel like God has given me big challenges and responsibilities where I constantly make mistakes. Parenting. Blogging. Marriage. Relationships. Finances. The talk on St. Joseph really reminded me that God is in control. I really pray for the gift of a faithful, humble, and teachable heart like that of young Jesus.
- At another recent Opus Dei recollection, one of the priests gave us some encouragement on persevering in family prayer, in particular with little ones in tow. My three-year-old and one-year-old are still pretty wiggly in family prayer (could you guess?), so it's hard to persevere sometimes for sure! We pray together as a family each night, before naptime, before meals, and sometimes just when we need to stop the craziness of the day and offer things up to the Lord. The priest encouraged us to be patient with our children in teaching them their faith. He said that we shouldn't use force or fear, but teach them with affection and by our example, and by persevering with kindness and good humor. Another thing the priest said that hit me was that our door must always be open for our children to talk to us. No problem should be too small, or later on, too embarrasing, for us to give them our full attention. I've been trying to do a better job of listening to little Gabriel tell me about his little toe hurting, or how he put Baby Jesus in the train, or how he found a bug under the wagon.