Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The hidden life

A note sent to me from my sweet mother last month.
Amongst her many gifts, letter writing and the use of words is by far her best. My mother writes more people than anyone else I know. After my father's funeral, she had a couple thousand thank you notes to write. She had them done within a month if not sooner AND she really wrote each person a personal note. I always tell her what a unique gift she has. Her letters sing when opened. I have kept every single note, letter, package she has sent to me.
I especially loved her words in this little note. God really does see absolutely everything we do. He sees EVERYTHING all the time. I was aware of this several times today. We had about an hours worth of errands to do and Damaris was crying the whole time. Dominic turned to me and asked if it was hard for me to listen to her. I told him of course it is, but can you only imagine all the souls in purgatory that are getting our prayers of sacrifice and imagine if we offered it all up for abortion to end. His effervescent smile of knowing what I was talking about rang true to my heart. He replied, "You mean, you've been praying this whole time?"
I hope I always remember that our reward usually does come in the next life and to stop waiting for it here. Before I had children, a priest told me to pray that I will have final perseverance. I am slowly understanding what he meant. One of the things I am most grateful my parents taught us by example and words is that when the going gets harder, put your head down, don't complain and push harder through. I have thought of that so often during labor, daily life with children, exercising, and many other moments. I relate this wisdom of theirs to even the smallest detail of driving today. I could have lost my patience, but I did hear their words and prayed, smiled at the other children, tried hard to not let them feel my annoyance, and tried to make the trip uneventful in regards to myself.
Most, if not ALL of our life is hidden. In reflection of just today, it was just me and our children for 10 hours by ourselves mostly in our home. No one, but God saw anything I did for them and I know he saw everything. I drove past a nursing home the other day and saw one of the employees pushing a resident outside. It was an especially hot day. It struck me because I wondered how many jobs would people do if they weren't getting paid. How many people would stay at their current jobs if they weren't getting paid with money? Mothers are amazing people. It made me giggle at all my good and holy friends ever doubt they are "good" mothers. They have given their lives completely for the care of another human being usually under brutal conditions and little appreciation by that human being. Would that nursing home employee be pushing that resident outside in the heat if she was being yelled at and completely unappreciated by the staff, and most of all not getting paid?
Luke 22:19 applies directly: "This is my body which will be given up for YOU." Every time I hear this during mass, I always hold my baby extra tight and smile a bit inwardly. The words of consecration apply directly to motherhood. This truly was our body given up for them. We give every ounce of self to them each day. How close we must feel to Christ! His words are our words each day.
Press on my friends. Our reward will be grand. As my mother's notes alway continually remind me of where I am going, I want to encourage you again, those who've chosen the hidden life, and although it apparently seems that no one knows or sees your work, the best news is that GOD SEES EVERYTHING BIG AND SMALL that you do for Him and your family.

19 comments :

  1. Thank you for this. It is so hard to remember sometimes. Although, lately when I remember that He sees all it's been a bit scary as I haven't had the patience and grace I should. Pray for me :) (P.S. Love all your saint dolls!)

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  2. Bookmarking this for a rainy day...thank you.

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  3. Lindsay, you share your mothers gift for beautiful writing, You put into words what are only incoherent rumblings of my heart. I aspire to have as much faithfulness, selflessness, and virtue as you. Even though we have never met, I am always inspired by you and your phenomenal mothering skills and reflections. Thank you.

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  4. Good reminder this morning. Thank you! ...There must have been a mistake because I don't think I got a St. Brontasaurus in the swap ;)

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  5. Love it, Lindsay. Well said. (And Robyn's comment made me laugh.)

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  6. Great thoughts for today. I love knowing you and your mom!

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  7. If you see endless clicks to your page from Virginia when you haven't posted for awhile, that's me, aching for another post like this. Your prayerful, loving, and reflective thoughts on motherhood are really helping me as I transition to no longer working outside of our home!

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  8. Best part: eyesballs over "sees" in Mech's letter- this post is awesome Lin.

    -Kri

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  9. Today was a rough day for me. My patience snapped a few hours ago and my husband just walked in the door about 15 minutes ago. He saw my desperation and took the kids outside for a walk. I was going to work out right away but wanted to check some emails first. I don't usually jump to your blog but for whatever reason I was reminded that I hadn't read it lately and I DO like your posts. So I clicked.
    And now I am crying. This is exactly.....EXACTLY what I needed to hear. Thank you. Really......Thank you.

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  10. This made me cry. Nobody understands how awful and hard and long these daysrunningintomoredaysintoweeksandmonths really are...and then I read this, and I realize: other mothers do. Thank you.

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  11. I am a mother to 5 on Earth and 5 in Heaven. Homeschooling two sets of twins (8 years and 3 months) and a 6 year old. I stumbled upon your blog and love to read it. I am an adult convert, traditional Catholic. I wish I had been raised in the faith, as I would be better suited to my calling. I read your posts and think that I too will grow and pass this on to my children. Thank you for sharing. It has been a hard few years, but I must continue to look at the tremendous blessings I have received and persevere. The world thinks that we need to hear constant praise, but truly we must look inward and listen for His voice of love and forgiveness.

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  12. Thank you for the beautiful reminder! I never thought of the words of consecration in that way before...but now I will! PS: you mother sounds like an amazing woman! How blessed are you!

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  13. I was reminded this morning of 1 John 3:16 "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ lay down His life for us." That's what mothers and fathers must do, too, so that their children will understand the love of Christ.

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  14. Beautiful Linsday, just beautiful...as I wipe my tears :)

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  15. thank you! there is not a day that goes by that all mothers (myself included!) don't need to hear this! God bless you and your family!

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  16. I just stumbled across your blog and read this post. What a blessing you have done for mothers in putting these words down. Thank you for your thoughts, they have inspired me so much.

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