Saturday, March 15, 2014

"The Saint that is Just Me" - Seeking Holiness in Your Ordinary Life

Linking up with Jen.

I wish that I could claim the rights to the title of this post, but I can't. It's actually the title of a song...a song that you should listen to right now! It is written and sung by Danielle Rose, and can be purchased on iTunes.



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Danielle Rose is a truly beautiful soul. I had an opportunity to hear her speak and sing in person at a conference, just a few short months after our sweet firstborn joined our family. I was in the thick of my first battle with PPD when I heard her, and needless to say...hearing her sweet voice and moving lyrics was like balm for my soul. (I actually bought a couple of her albums around that time, too, and they were such a comfort for me in the midst of such a difficult time.) But I remember hearing this song in person (I'm not even sure if it had been released yet at that point). And, oh friends...tears. Just tears, streaming down my face. 

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I've shared a bit about my vocation story before,  and marriage was not necessarily what I expected God to call me to. I felt so called to holiness...but marriage and family? That couldn't be my vocation! I wanted it too much! Surely, God would call me to something that I didn't want to do, so that it would be a true challenge.

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I remember, while an undergraduate student at Notre Dame, and thinking and praying a lot about my vocation, trying to find proof that one could be holy and be married. I remember scouring the library for a book about married saints, looking for someone, anyone to show me that you could be a saint and be married. I remember finding one book and finding hope in that but still thinking...well, if I'm serious about wanting to be holy, I guess that I'll have to become a religious.

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And then, God sent me Andrew.


Isn't it funny how we think we have things all figured out, and then God has a way of showing us just how wrong we are? I had dated and crushed on a number of guys before Andrew, but there was something so different about him. And only months into our relationship, God made it very clear to us that He was calling us to marriage. And ever since giving God our yes, I am daily, daily amazed by how God has used this vocation to chisel away my rough points, and slowly lead me closer to sainthood.

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And then, God began to send us babies.



And suddenly, our focus shifted. We knew what our individual vocations were...but now we were called to support these little people on their journeys to God. And so, we pray for their vocations, and we do what we can to point them to God. 

But ultimately, their vocations are not in our hands, and not for us to decide. They are in God's hands.

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Our daughters - Therese and Maria - are named for St. Therese and the Blessed Mother, the two saints closest to our hearts. (Our daughters each have one married saint as their patron, and one religious. Our oldest's patrons are St. Therese of Lisieux and St. Helena, and our youngest's are Mary and St. Faustina...so no matter what God calls them to, they'll have a married and a religious saint to turn to!) Every time I visit the Carmelite nuns near our home, I stop in the side chapel and pray near this beautiful statue:


...and it brings me such joy. I love this image of my daughters' patron saints, side-by-side and both so in love with Jesus. I love knowing that St. Therese and Mary are good friends, and it gives my mother's heart some peace to know that I have their help raising these two little girls.

I would love for them to emulate their patron saints. I want them to love Jesus that completely, to long for Him with all their little hearts, and to know, deep down in their very bones, that they are loved by God.

But, just as I had to realize the uniqueness of my vocation, so will they...God isn't calling them to be St. Therese or Mary. He's calling them to be saints in their own rights. He's calling them to be the saints that He created them to be. I have no idea how that will look for them, and I have yet to even fully see how it will play out for Andrew and me. But, I trust, oh, how I trust, that God is guiding us to sainthood.


Because we're called to be saints. And so are you.

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When you hung upon the cross, looking at me;
You didn't die so I would try be somebody else,
you died so I could be the saint that is just me.

(lyrics)






In my mother's heart, that is my greatest desire - for my family to one day be saints. Maybe not canonized saints (although what a blessing that would be if it were God's plan!) but to one day be with God, and each other, forever.


St. Andrew, St. Michael, St. Therese, and St. Mary...pray for us.




2 comments:

  1. Thank you for this beautiful post. This is a topic I'm wrestling with as I try to figure out the next step in my path. I feel God telling me to follow his unique plan for me and not the life plans designed for other people, as interesting as they look! How hard it is sometimes to not have a step by step blueprint of our lives! :) Thank you again.

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  2. Thanks for this, friend! I'm pretty sure I have a video recording of Danielle singing "The Saint That is Just Me" from the conference (and a few other songs. Typical me;) ). I'll see if I can send it to you:) I really like the picture of Therese wearing her crown--such a pretty little smile:)

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