"Go Home to Your Family..."
Happy Monday morning, friends! First of all, linking up to Fine Linen and Purple this morning for "What I Wore Sunday." Hop on over there for more Sunday Mass attire loveliness!
Here's what Sister Nugget and I wore...
And that is not what Sister Stinky wore to Mass (she was already in her play clothes at this point), but she was just being so darn cute playing in the closet and begging me to take a picture that I couldn't resist!
I try to read the daily readings every day, and this morning I was groggily working my way through them, when I happened upon the end of the Gospel for today. Jesus has just removed a legion's worth of demons from a man, and the man then begs to follow Jesus. But Jesus replies in an unexpected way,
As he was getting into the boat,the man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with him.
But Jesus would not permit him but told him instead,
“Go home to your family and announce to them
all that the Lord in his pity has done for you.”
Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis
what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed. (Mark 5: 18-20)
The daily reflections that I subscribe to drew my attention to the very end of that passage. I don't think that I'd ever really noticed it before, but Jesus tells the man not to leave behind everything and follow Him, but rather to, "Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you."
I think that ever since I became a mother, I've been trying to discern what balance God is calling me to in my life. Does He want me to work outside of the home? I've tried that in multiple stints since Sister Stinky was born, and I have to say that I don't feel that God is calling me in that direction right now. I very much feel called to be home all day with my little girls, at least for right now. I have enjoyed doing some writing in the last few years, and I even taught a religious education class at a local parish for a while. But ultimately, the main way that I feel God is calling me personally to use my gifts right now is by "...go[ing] home to [my] family..." For someone who's always been really driven, that's been a challenge for me. I've been telling the Abbot lately that I feel like all my years of academic theology were preparing me for catechizing my oldest daughter (and the youngest, too...but the oldest is the one asking the questions right now!). She asks me so many questions about her faith, and I honestly think that all that I learned and the training I had in catechesis helped me be ready to have these conversations with her. (Of course, this is not saying that you need a theology degree to teach your little ones about the faith! You certainly do not! The best way you can teach them is by living out your faith, in love. Any answers your little ones are looking for can easily be googled or looked up in the catechism!) For me, personally, I think that this is how God is calling me to use my theology training right now. I think He is calling me to work in a very small, very hidden place, with the smallest of students. I suppose I should start recording some of the conversations I have with Sister Stinky, because they are so precious...conversations about God's love and mercy, about the Eucharist, about good and evil. It has been a real challenge for me to try to see things as God sees them. As Blessed Teresa of Calcutta said, God is not calling us to do great things, but rather, "small things with great love." After years in school, it is really hard to not have positive affirmation constantly given for my efforts. It's hard to not always see the results of my efforts. But my goodness, great love? How could I not love those two precious little girls with all my heart?
I know that I'm not the only mom out there trying to discern a balance when it comes to using her gifts. What have your experiences been with this? How have you discerned what balance God is calling you to, in terms of sharing your gifts both within your home and without?