Tonight I had one of those mommy moments. Those moments where you are just filled with an overwhelming sense of love and thankfulness for the precious souls God has entrusted you with.
It's been a long Friday. I stayed up too late Thursday night having fun with my new online "find"...Facebook. Then today started early, with Steven Joseph awake and ready for the day around 6am (which, if you know me, this is early). He and I fell back asleep for a short while, but the girls were rearing to go soon after and I needed to do some final touches before the First Friday homeschool class today.
Somehow we made it to daily mass (during the homily, with kids literally bouncing off the kneelers), and then had some time to get ready for the class. It went very smoothly...a discussion about St. Cecilia and the gift of music. The kids made little jingle bell bracelets and paper plate tambourines and had a fun time singing and dancing. Apparently Mary Clare had a good time in her Little Flowers class too...she was buddied up with an older girl and they all helped lead a rosary and talk about things they were joyful about. She made some tissue paper flowers and was very happy when I picked her up from the class. That made me glad, since earlier in the semester she was wanting to come back to my preschool class so as to not miss out on our fun crafts and activities.
After the classes, we went to one of our homeschool group's favorite parks. It was an absolutely gorgeous day. The girls had a blast playing with their little friends and Stevie was showing off his new walking skills to all the ladies (he's taken about 8 steps at once this week!). I had to make myself leave; I could have stayed there for hours visiting with my friends. But we needed to go to a ballet make-up class, so straight there we went! The girls enjoy ballet so much. It makes me smile to watch them enjoying their class...Ellie sends me grins and waves, and Mary Clare has that toothless smile that makes my heart melt. Steven Joseph was a bit challenging during the 2+ hours at the dance studio, but I digress.
When we finally arrived home it was almost 6pm! What a day! And Steven will not be arriving home anytime soon. Right now all my homeschool friends are hanging out at a mom's night, but there was no way I could handle that after our busy day and without Daddy home. So I thought I would have a relaxing evening, bribing the kids with a favorite online show...just knowing they'd get ready for bed in a jiffy! Well that didn't happen. There was a firetruck and police cars two houses down, we couldn't find the toothpaste, Ellie lost her pajama top, and to top it off...once I had Stevie asleep the girls decided to come in and start jumping on my bed and wake him up!
Needless to say, they lost their movie priviledges and Mary Clare was utterly upset. She can spout out some mean words when she's upset with me. One of the best tonight was "You are the meanest mommy in the world...in all the countries!" "I guess so", I said. "Then you need to adroove your attitude!!!" We were all laying in my bed and they kept teasing the baby and keeping him from falling asleep.
Mary Clare cuddled up next to Stevie and all of a sudden started bawling..."Mommy, I'm sorry! I want to be a good big sister. I'll try harder next time! I just really wanted to watch that show!" My heart melted at her remorse and I comforted her as she drifted off to sleep. Oh, how that sweet girl can get at my nerves! We are so alike, and our personalities really bite at each other a lot. But at that moment my love for her, and the other precious bodies in my bed just started overflowing and the tears started falling.
I had the Christian radio station on and the song just hit me. It's one I'd heard before you, but never really listened to the lyrics. So beautiful:
By Your Side by 10th Avenue North (google it)
Why are you striving these days
Why are you trying to earn grace
Why are you crying
Let me lift up your face
Just don't turn away
Why are you looking for love
Why are you still searching as if I'm not enough
To where will you go child
Tell me where will you run
To where will you run
And I'll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don't fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you
Look at these hands and my side
They swallowed the grave on that night
When I drank the world's sin
So I could carry you in
And give you life
I want to give you life
Cause I, I love you
I want you to know
That I, I love you
I'll never let you go
I've been thinking a lot about contentment. How I'm one of those people always looking to the next-big-thing, never quite content in the present moment. I was talking to a friend the other day and telling her how nice it was that we didn't have any huge events this week, no costumes to make, or big parties to attend. She challenged me in sharing about how she really tries to be present and content in each moment, and I knew that was something I needed to work on.
So looking at my peacefully sleeping children and hearing those words, "why are you striving these days, why are you crying, why are you looking for love, where will you go child"...and "I'll be by your side whenever you fall, in the dead of night whenever you call, please don't fight, these hands are holding you, I want to give you life, I love you, I'll never let you go"...they just hit me.
I want so bad to give these kids "life"...life in Christ, a life full of love, full of grace, full of every beautiful thing, every pure childhood joy I can give them. I want their days to be filled with happiness and beauty...but most of all I want to give them Christ. But it's not me that can give that to them. It's his hands that are holding me, and holding them. His death that gave us life. Abundant life.
I have no need to worry. No need to stress about costumes or lesson plans, finances or food. He'll be by my side whenever I call. But oh, if I could just listen to those words more often. Hear his voice more clearly. Many of my friends will be attending a silent Ignatian retreat next weekend. That's always such a true gift of prayer for me. I'll be praying for them and hoping to have some fruitful prayer myself this week. Now that we're on an earlier schedule I need to just get out my prayer book, bible, and spiritual reading each morning. It will start my days off so much better!
So this was kind of a random post. Haven't had a reflective one in awhile. But I'm starting to see the beauty this autumn, starting to feel like we're turning a corner after a stressful few months, starting to feel more confident in schooling and more hopeful that I can stop fretting over mundane details and just love. 'Cause that's all we need anyway.