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Blister on pinkie toe, and one on my heel that you can't see that well

Blister on pinkie toe, and one on my heel that you can't see that well

I think that I just might have a problem setting limits in my own life.

I’ve been growing the blister you see on my pinkie toe for days now, and I knew it was hurting this afternoon when I got on the treadmill for my daily walk.  About .3 miles in, the blister opened but I kept on walking and got that 2 miles in.  After all, I’m not a wimp!  I gave birth to an 11 lb baby in a kitchen, so surely I can handle walking 2 miles with a blister.  Right??  RIGHT????

If this were a one time thing, that would be one thing, but I am seeing more and more clearly that I do this all the time in ways that are not helpful or healthy.  Giving birth without an epidural when you have a medical reason making this course of action safer does mean that I willingly choose pain, but it’s sacrificial pain with a purpose out of love for someone other than myself.  Walking 2 miles with blisters (I actually have blood stains in my sneakers from two other blisters) shows love for whom exactly?  This wasn’t a pilgrimage.  This wasn’t a march of love, or a race to convey an important message.  This was pain because I was not willing to show myself the same kindness that I would show anyone else. That’s not love, and it’s not good.

Intentionally choosing pain without purpose isn’t noble.  It’s not the sign of a strong person, but an arrogant one or perhaps one who doesn’t think that his or her feelings matter compared to some overly elevated concept of “obligation.”  I think it is good to be willing to push yourself and give your all, but are my feet best blistered walking a treadmill so that I am more physically fit?  How much am I no longer able to give because I am constantly draining myself in little ways that are thoughtless and downright wasteful?  Pain for absolutely no reason is not part of God’s design for anyone’s life.

Scripture tells us that the feet of those who preach the Gospel are beautiful on the mountainside, and this would be true no matter how pedicured or blistered those feet would be. They are beautiful because they convey the Gospel.   If my feet will be blistered and tired, I want it to be because I am carrying the Gospel with me, not because I wouldn’t stop doing something on my “to do” list just because it hurt.

Yes, I’m still here!

I’m still here, and I’m still working on having a productive Lent.  I have become increasingly aware of my own limitations and reliance on God, and that stress in my life for the past several years has resulted in some very bad habits that keep me away from God by focusing on what I think needs to get done, or being anxious about whatever is the next catastrophe coming in straight out of left field.  For Lent this year, I am doing the following:

1.  Eat food when necessary only.  I tend to thoughtlessly eat food I don’t need and thoughtlessly not eat food that I ought to eat.  NO MORE 3PM LUNCHES FOR ME!

2.  Learn to say when something is wrong and do what is necessary to address the problem.  I am far too used to ignoring problems and driving myself into the dirt in ways that aren’t healthy, and I am working to address this.  Every day I am holding myself accountable for finding one thing that wasn’t good and problem solving so that my life is happier.

3.  Reduce stress, which too easily becomes an occasion for sin.  If confronted with unavoidable situations with the potential for less than holy behavior on my part, pause before acting and ask for God to supply what I can’t give.

4.  Settle into a parish in our new area.  We tried going to one church in our area that we thought would be a good fit only to find really really bad liturgical abuse.   We’ve been floating since then, but it’s not ok.  We need a home parish by Easter, end of story and end of excuses.

What are all of you doing for Lent this year?

“His Holiness took the opportunity to speak of the requirements of the natural moral law and the Church’s consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death which enjoin all Catholics, and especially legislators, jurists and those responsible for the common good of society, to work in cooperation with all men and women of good will in creating a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development.”

http://www.oecumene.radiovaticana.org/EN1/Articolo.asp?c=266930

Truth in charity is crucial to the life in Christ. There is no substitute for speaking the truth, and the truth must always be conveyed with an eye towards liberation, not enslavement.

I do have more work that I’ve been doing towards sainthood, particularly in the area of kindness. I’m almost done writing up that post, and will get it up as soon as I can. 🙂

Dear Sassy

Sweetheart, you need to realize that you’re 2 years old.  Actually you won’t be 2 until next week.  This means that you are not a grown up, and you cannot cook on your own.  Today’s results of your inability to come to terms with your age are the following:

1.  You decided to break an egg open like a big girl, with a fork like the big girls do.  However, you broke the egg over the kitchen carpet, not over a bowl.  You then carried off the remaining eggs and acted like nothing had happened.  However, carrying the remaining eggs with you merely alerted me to an egg infraction having occurred and I knew exactly who had done it.

2.  While making pizza tonight, I simply could not find the cornmeal.  I looked everywhere I could have put it, and Daddy checked through the trash to make sure that you hadn’t thrown it away.  But you hadn’t thrown it away, had you, Sass?  Having looked everywhere else, I thought to myself “if I were a 2 year old girl, where would I put cornmeal?”  You almost always do things that make sense in some way, so it occurred to me to check your room.  There it was, my container of cornmeal sitting in YOUR kitchen pantry.

Sassy, I appreciate that you try to help.  It’s always sweet to see you trying to get stuff set up for meals, even pulling out the right number of plates and eating utensils.  HOWEVER, there are some things you can’t quite do yet on your own.  So sweetheart, please stop taking my cooking things.  I won’t take things from your kitchen if you don’t take things from mine…

It’s a ROCK AND ROLL VALENTINE’S DAY SONG!!!!

🙂

Time

We finally started getting some sunshine in today, and it’s really propelled me into action.  Floors are vacuumed, and some of the last things that had not been unpacked are now safely put away (as they should have been… 4 months ago?)

I know it’s still February, and snow is likely to come back again before we are safely into Spring, but this brief respite from Winter’s harshness also coincides with my due date 2 years ago with little Miss Sassy-Do.  Now, Her Royal Highness the Infanta deemed it most appropriate to arrive 9 days late (and at 10 lbs 2 oz!) but the day she was born was also unseasonably warm even for Texas in February.  The last hours of my pregnancy with her, I walked in the sunshine of the park near our home and Sassy came into the world in the late afternoon after a day of rare beauty.

All of this has made me reflect on just how much we do exist in time, and that our time is not God’s time.  Sometimes I get so bogged down in the idea of having a particular schedule or time line that I lose focus on the gift of what happens in that very moment.   Yet God’s time is far better than what I would come up with, no matter how minutely I may try to plan things in advance.  I was far from patient in waiting for labor to start, but God chose to give me a gift other than what I wanted and His gift was better than how I could have planned for things to be.

Lord God, You are the giver of all gifts who measures out the days in the fullness of time.  Grant me the grace to receive with gratitude the gifts You give in Your perfect time, and to accept Your gifts when they are given, not when I think they are “due.”

PS.  I updated my blogroll!  If you have a blog and I haven’t added you to the blogroll, please let me know!  Thanks, everyone and have a great day!

At tale of two popes

In watching the current uproars in the Catholic Church, both with regards to the scandal regarding the founder of the Legionaries of Christ and the trainwreck that has followed the lifted excommunication of the SSPX bishops, I have come to really appreciate Benedict XVI.  I don’t think that popes are always saints, but I think that our recent popes have been.

I loved John Paul II.  I was far from alone in this love, and John Paul II was absolutely worthy of the affection that he received.  It cannot have been easy for Benedict XVI to accept election to follow in the steps of such a well loved pontiff.  Benedict came to the chair of St. Peter, it was as a man who was (to put it mildly) not well liked.

However, the scorn with which then Cardinal Ratzinger had been treated is partly responsible for the gift that we have in Pope Benedict XVI.  Our holy father has already been scorned.  He has already been hated for Christ, and preaches love and unity just the same.  Being the object of such animosity freed him to become a prophet of charity in both words and deeds.  The world’s hatred did not destroy him.  Rather, it fashioned him to sit on Peter’s chair and keep us safe in the truth.

I can hope for sainthood by the grace of God, but if I do have any measure of sanctity it will be by virtue of the gifts God has given me in joy but especially through suffering.  And so I will open wide the doors for Christ.  Spring draws near, and Christ reigns forever.