As I said in an earlier post, my husband is away with work for the week. This usually does not phase me in the day to day schedule... but Sundays are different. Our morning was insane! Everyone needed a shower this morning, and of course we woke up an hour before Mass started... well, to be honest, I was up at 6:30 but there is nothing I enjoy more than running around like my hair is on fire in order to get out of the door so I will lounge around until I look at a clock and think "holy cow! I need to get in gear!" Like I said, we all needed shower... but only my oldest and I were able to accomplish that chore. My son just sprayed some Tag body spray on his manly 9 year old body and was ready for the day-smelling of pond water and an Italian car salesman. (please do not email me if you are an Italian car salesman-you know you douse yourself with cologne everyday hoping to get that big sell!). My youngest has not had her hair washed in three days... I know I know! So we just sprayed it with de-tangler and put it up in a bow. I am so out of the running for "mother of the year" it is not funny.
I was able to shower, but I had to walk out of the house with semi-damp hair and no make-up. I also could not find matching knee-highs in my drawer. How does that happen? I put them in my sock drawer, but they must have a party when the drawer is closed and pair off with different socks-darn promiscuous socks! I had on one black knee high and one navy blue one-close enough.
So I am driving to Church while trying to write the offering check on the steering wheel and think... why is Sunday morning so much easier when my husband is home??? I will tell you why-he gets the kids moving. He makes sure they have shoes on (and socks--my son forgot to bring his socks into the car to put on with his shoes so he just wore his dress shoes with no socks today) and my husband makes sure the dishes are put away, the dishwasher is turned on, the offering envelop is filled out and all children are in the car with coats and waiting for me to simply walk down the stairs and put my coat on (that my husband has set next to the door) and get in the car. I don't think of this on normal Sundays when he is home-if anything, I grumble under my breath that he could be doing more to help. Oh, my humble pie is tastey today!
Anyway, we made it to Church with 1 minute to spare! We rush up the steps only to see Fr. D looking at me a bit puzzled. I must have looked completely disheveled--so I wonder if when he was on the altar with his head bowed and his eyes closed if he was saying a prayer for me... I won't tell him that I brought this whole frazzled morning on myself. Well, we walk in and THERE IS ANOTHER FAMILY IN OUR PEW! Oh the horror-the nerve! I say that with great sarcasm because when I was a little girl my father had a certain pew that he had claimed for our family and if someone else sat in our pew, we heard about it the entire drive home from Mass. This morning we had to sit on the opposite side of the church than usual and my youngest refused to get into the pew. After some pushing and poking-she gave in only to look around and say first... "It smells like my brother's breath! ewwww" and then "Mowma, why is that lady dressed like she is on fire?" It turns out the woman behind us had red hair and dressed entirely in red (I am sure because of Valentine's day). I just closed my eyes and tried to catch my breath from running across the parking lot-with a pregnant belly and carrying a 40 lb. child. I needed peace and I was full of complaints in my mind.
Then Fr. D said his homily. It was on how not to have Christ call you a woe. He reminded us to count our blessings-not to tally them up, but yet to remember them and be ever so thankful for them. He told us about his father who is very educated and has many degrees. He also has 8 children-6 married and 2 in the religious life, and 15 grandchildren. His father works for the government-and in the government/military world, many people have "I love me" walls in their office. This is where they place all of their degrees and awards, with photos of Presidents and World Leaders they have met and so forth for all to see (not that these are not blessings). He said his father keeps all of those things in a box in the garage... his "Love Me" wall is full of pictures of his wife, children and grandchildren.
I turned and looked at my children-my oldest so beautiful and brave, my son so kind-hearted and protective and my youngest so sweet and innocent. I turned and looked at the elderly couple in front of me who sat sharing their Magnificat with their heads tilted toward one another-I thought of my husband and the life we have ahead of us. I thought of my parents who have been married for 40 years and who love me and love my husband. I thought of my sisters who are always supportive of me and who I love so much that I ache when I think of them. I thought of my husband's brother and his wife who without their faithful friendship I would be lost and I thought of my 6 nieces and nephews (#7 and #8 on the way) who are all such happy fun-loving kids who hold my heart and I thought of my friends who are my treasures. With all of this, I sat in complete awe of my blessings. I was finally able to take in the refreshing breath that is the Holy Spirit and I felt peace.
Take time today to count your blessings. Look at life through less frazzled eyes--we forget that each person is a deep mystery to be explored and appreciated, someone with whom we can connect and for whom we can pray--BLESSINGS!