Are you sure this is the right number, Lord? Because it sort of seems like what you're calling me to is not the best use of my talents. Case in point: four children. Did you realize I am an introvert and idealist? I know that's not a flaw in my character. I know that people like me are meant to think deeply, love fiercely, and be the moral voice for the busy majority. Why did you make me who I am if I am meant to give up my writing Saturdays so I can do laundry, clean up dog poop, and fight with my 13 year old about his iPhone?
I'm sorry, my Jesus. I know you are the Lord of Hosts and far wiser than I. I don't mean to question you. But if you are offended and would like to strike me dumb for 9 months, in all honesty, I could use the break!! I know you're aware of my stress levels and my desire for solitude and contemplation. I'm sure you put them on my heart for a purpose. It's just that the purpose escapes me because, Lord, see, you gave me a boy with ADHD and a call to homeschool and for some reason that I really can't fathom, a husband who doesn't share my values. Maybe that was more me than You? Yeah. Probably. But the kid is entirely Your doing, Lord! We did NFP, we opened ourselves to life. I wasn't ready for a child, my husband was still in law school, I hadn't dealt with the wounds from my childhood, and yet, baby boy...perfect little miracle. I love him so much, Lord. Thank you for giving me the Doob, and for the amazing subsequent gifts of GinnaBee, Moozer, and Pookanaut.
Here's the thing. I want this life. I believe in what I'm doing. I know I am building cathedrals. I know that if something is worth doing, it's probably going to be hard and test the upper limits of my mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual abilities. I want to be married and have children and be involved in their care. I want to sacrifice my needs (within reason) for their benefit. I want to live an authentic and deliberate Catholic motherhood.
It just doesn't seem to me that I'm a very good candidate for this life. Wouldn't I have a much greater impact finishing my book and writing novels that (ideally) inspire hope and give a taste of joy and beauty to the world? Isn't that still Your plan for me?
Maybe, if it's not too much to ask for, I could see some of the fruits of this labor? Maybe ONE of the children could clean up after themselves without responding like I'm a hostile enemy occupying their rightful lands? Perhaps You could do something about the rancor and ignorance all over the internet so I can go to Facebook for strength and support without experiencing all four horsemen of the Apocalypse? Or, and this is a stretch, Lord, I know, my husband and I could agree on some aspect of life other than the fact that it's really hard right now?
I guess what I need here is some clarification that I'm meant to persevere. Am I really on the right path or should I totally switch it all up? Would I be a better mother if I put all my kids in public school, stopped their activities, and dedicated my time to writing and volunteering with refugees and the homeless, or even got a job as an admin assistant for a not-for-profit? In all honesty, I felt like I made more of a difference in the world when I was fighting with copier vendors at Hull House than I do fighting with Moozer to take a bath. Our public schools are very good. My kids would still have their parish community and the benefit of my example as a Christian to form their consciences. They don't NEED Catholic school. And if the Doob isn't going to try, then does it matter whether he doesn't try at home or doesn't try at school? Your plan for him doesn't involve college, that's for darn sure. So why take my time and energies to try to mold him into something he's not? You can reach him wherever he is. Would my efforts would be better spent elsewhere?
Of course it doesn't have to be all or nothing. But Lord, when I try to do both things (help the world and care for my children) I end up overwhelmed and resentful. I just don't think You created me to be pulled in two different directions. So I need to either embrace my vocation as a mother and let go of my desire to be a force of good in the world, or I need to pull back on my involvement with the kids and go out into the world.
I am waiting for Your direction, King of my heart. You will show me where I am meant to go.