Would be sooooooo great right now...
My stomach and my hips (ahem, apparently) ALWAYS have room for chocolate chip cookies though...
And now I promise I am returning to blogging from my late-night sugar craving tangents. :)
That's sort of where I am sometimes right now.
I'm having some general Lenten struggles (surprise, surprise:), some family struggles, some spiritual struggles, and some wearying-business-of-taking-care-of-two-little-children-and-a-house-by-myself-most-of-the-time-while-in-my-third-trimester struggles. I know I need this rocky road right now. It's here, so it must be the Lord's will, so He must be using it for my good in some way.
I think that, for me, the relationship struggles I am having in my life right now are the hardest for me. I am finding that I have much more to learn about the virtue of charity. Not the almsgiving kind of charity, either. The charity that you practice in your relationships with people, especially people who are close to you. Leave it to St. Josemaria to have just the Ponder-in-My-Heart quote for me.
"Charity consists not so much in giving as in understanding." -St. Josemaria Escriva, The Way, 463
Wow. I know.
We can give and serve all we want, above and beyond even, but if we do it without an understanding and willing heart, it's not worth a thing. I think that understanding is about really trying to figure out where the other person is coming from in every way, and making excuses for them whenever possible. The Lord doesn't call us to excuse poor behavior, just not to become self-righteous and angry about every little thing. We're not called to be doormats, but anyone who reads the Gospel has to see that Christ certainly calls us to bear patiently with more slights and hurts than our society tells us is "right" or even dignified.
There are plenty of times when there is absolutely no way we can "understand" the poor behavior of someone who is hurting us. It's at those times that I think we've got to remember how much we ourselves still sin. When it comes down to it, if we have so many defects of virtue and character in ourselves, why are we so surprised and dismayed to find defects in others? Maybe "understanding" is sometimes just about remembering that we've all got things we need to work on. Just because you have figured something out (by the grace of God alone!) that somebody else hasn't figured out yet (even though you think they should have it figured out by now:) doesn't mean you are any better than they are.
A friend sent me and some other girls an email this morning with an encouraging quote for the day, but it was this quote in her signature line that really got me through the day today by reminding me to just be present to whatever I was doing and whoever I was with.
"Perform faithfully what God requires of you each moment, and leave the thought of everything else to Him. I assure you that to live in this way will give you great peace." ~St. Jane Frances de ChantalPraise be to God for the amazing, holy, uplifting women I walk this path of womanhood and motherhood with! What would I do without you?