Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Breakdown and the Recovery

Who hasn’t had the day where everything feels like it’s crashing in on you? It seems nothing goes right and the more you try to do, the less actually gets accomplished. Sometimes I think this is a very feminine reality. Not that men don’t have bad days, but women might feel it more deeply. Or perhaps it’s the deep emotions that we feel that can allow us to get overwhelmed. We try to manage family, children, church activities, social groups, our job and then we feel awful when something doesn’t go right.

My dad used to describe my mother as a juggler. She just could keep throwing those balls up in the air and as long as there was a rhythm to it all, it just kept going. Yet, if we are juggling and get pushed to the side, everything falls.  

Some women would argue that this is why life was better “in the old days” when women knew what was expected of them. They took care of the children and the home and that was that. Now, we enjoy doing all kinds of things! I’d go crazy if I couldn’t do all other things, but I absolutely love being a wife and mother too.

The temptation – at least for me – is to expect that as I perform the juggling feat in my own life, that if I stumble at all or drop a ball, I’m a failure. That feeling of failing even if it is just in one area then casts a shadow over every other thing I’m doing. I’m tempted to doubt myself, doubt my ability. If I make a mistake at work or don’t get back to a friend with what I had promised to do, my motherhood, my womanhood itself seems shaken.

I was reading “Abandonment to Divine Providence” this morning. One of the main points so far is that God is present in everything we are doing. No matter how mundane or ordinary, He is there – and we can see His presence if we but look for it! And what’s more, as long as we are doing His will, then we can find peace in our hearts.

My take away? Be at peace! Don’t try to do it ALL. Just do all that you want (or feel called?) to do. Some things we can’t help, because they are part of the vocation we chose. For mothers, taking care of messes, even changing diapers is part of motherhood and so God is there - and when we care for our children, we can be at peace. For women who work (whether mothers or single), you can find God there too. You can align yourself to His will in your life wherever you are! And when you do, when you give it over to God, then mistakes may happen but we can be at peace that He is taking care of us.

Seriously, you are wonderful! You are doing an amazing job! Our emotions can guide us to a deep love but they can also confuse us and knock us over. When we adhere to God, the shadows become light. In Isaiah chapters 52 and 58, he says God is our “rear guard” and God will "guard us from behind." In other words, be at peace, God’s got your back. ;-)


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