When letting go broke my heart wide open.

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I didn’t expect this major life lesson this week.

I thought we had the week covered: we had a weekend to ourselves and spending it together: our most valued commodity: time as a family. Homeschooling. Work week would commence shortly.

And then I got a call from my husband as he was taking care of some business from his Air Force desk with our eldest in tow. {I only presume he actually has an Air Force desk btw, I mean, stripes Must allow for an actual desk, right?}  The phone call was not- “hey- can you look up so and so dates for me? like I expected. It was a, “Hey! There’s a guy here who needs to sell his dog! Guess what? It’s the dog- puppy- you want, honey! Do we get him?!?!?!” phone call.

Gulp. Questions question questions from wife.

This is me thinking to the Jeapardy! tune…. Think hard Falls, think hard.

So we got said adorable German Shepherd ball of cute and ball of energy pup delivered to our door. Little did we know that waiting inside was a very frightened – unbeknownst to even herself- 3 year old. She really – thought- she wanted a puppy and had turned the “I’m afraid of doggies” corner. No. She had not. And then our little guy took cues from big sis and it was kinda mayhem in our house.  We made All of the classic mistakes introducing this pup to our kiddos. All of them. In hindsight- 24 hours later, had we known they would be so afraid we would not have gotten this dog. But- I learned a very very valuable lesson out of having this sweet guy in our life for a day. That no matter what, even if it is the dog of my dreams that I never ever thought was within the realm of reality for us, that our kids come first. They need to know that. The one caveat – that they do not come before our marriage.

So I woke up in the middle of the night and found some amazing puppy training resources for him and thought and thought until I was 4 am hungry and could finally rest after reading enough and downing a yogurt. Phew. Back to sleep so that I could poooosibly deal with the morning that was sure to arrive all too soon.

This morning arrived with husband waking to get pup out and us fighting over logistics and daughter and little guy seriously screaming at the top of their lungs from atop the kitchen table because pup was looking in their general direction. Le sigh. Poor pup. He seemed so eager to please and there was just no having it from the two littles. None. And a broken hearted mama and dada. So daddy had to make the hard call and try to get the previous owners to take him back. Uhhhh- no go. They were like- peace out suckahs. And did I ever feel suckered- even tho we weren’t. And did I ever feel like a jerk. Even tho we really wanted to keep him. It turns out you can’t force a child to change his fear into non fear because of your desire for it. It also turns out that we – Jeff and I had to put on the parent role and take care of our kids. Suffer for them. Love them thru our suffering. Lift up our suffering to the cross and ask Jesus to take it for us. And to carry our own crosses. I mine and Jeff his. I had to be nicer and stop snapping at him. This was not his fault. I had to lift up my sadness and ask Jesus to take it for His holy purposes and especially for our daughter that she might come thru this with love and patience and a desire to do God’s will in her life.

It turns out that lifting up your children is the hardest thing. Abraham did it, didn’t he? But wow, me? I often hide them under the bushel. I can lift up anything, I find- except for them. I am too afraid to let God into that place where I think I have it all covered and under control. How can He help, I think underneath it all? Why would God actually care to carry MY children when I’m supposed to be doing it? — It turns out that I don’t. I don’t have it all- not by a long shot. But also- and more importantly – that I am better when I realize that I don’t need to have it all covered or controlled. Our priest asked recently what it is that we keep to ourselves and don’t let God into our lives with. This is mine. My kids. I think I do. I tell myself I do. But I don’t. I’m selfish and want to do it all myself. I think I’m supposed to -and that if I don’t do it all I’m an abject failure.

I am not a failure. You- if you are reading this- somewhere relating- are Not a failure. But I have to let God into those places that I keep to myself. Those moments I deem too precious for anyone but me. I would do well to let my husband into those moments, too. And not play the martyr SAHM when he comes home from work. I succeed sometimes, but I could definitely do better.

So I found that we could get the pup re-homed to a good home and the seller is giving us and incredibly generous “credit” for when we are ready and have the right breed in mind for us all- and approved by kiddos.

I also found Christ in this little animal. In his eyes and his pawing at me and in my kids’ pleas to get him away and in my yearning for him to stay with us and in my husband’s easy smile with him and in letting him go to a new home. I cried some serious tears like I haven’t cried in a while for the loss of something or someone. I cried for wanting to be a better Christian and better wife and better mother and better me and for letting it be in God’s hands for once.  Last night before the dog came as I was preparing the house a little, I prayed that this dog would teach me about love and about kindness to grow spiritually. Our son named him Patrick because it was St. Paddy’s day yesterday. Sometimes God answers your prayers in such unexpected ways, doesn’t He? Unexpected indeed.

This song played as we were driving home tonight and helped me remember that it’s okay to feel. God gave us feelings. And to trust in the Lord.

 

St. Patrick, pray for us.

 

 

The Light of the World.

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Yesterday in and among our vigil mass and kiddo wrangling, I actually heard some of the homily that our Deacon gave. This is a rare occasion. He’s just the sweetest man and for some reason very very hard for me to listen to, or not have to get up and go to the restroom in the middle of or some other distraction. Anyway, he pointed to the painting of the Divine Mercy and asked us all to pay attention to it.  I did.  

He asked us to look and notice that it is just Jesus and the text.  He is coming out of the darkness. There is nothing besides our Lord in the picture. No background. No trees or mountains or context of any kind. Just darkness. Because He is the Light of the World. Him and only Him. In this time of cultural darkness, I will hold fast to this.

Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ,in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

 

Happy Sunday. Peace be with you friends.