After returning from the T.O.B. Institute last week life came at me in a rush. Jerry and I don't travel often, especially with Court, so it is a major undertaking. The blog has been a little slow this week as I have tried to get caught up on life. Now that the home front is back in order I have had more time to write.
Since coming home, I have been doing a lot of thinking about relationships. Theology of the Body is all about seeing the dignity of the human person. It's about seeing humanity as God sees us, made in His image and likeness. Made by Him for Him. His love for us is unfailing and eternal. All He asks is that we are open to a relationship with Him. He gently knocks at the door of our hearts, never pushing or forcing, waiting to be asked into relationship. What an amazing love He has for us. Do we do the same for Him? For one another?
This question has directed my prayer life as I seek clarity and a few answers. As I continued to walk through this course, many things were brought to my attention. One was God's amazing love for me. Another was that anything that stands between me and a deeper relationship with Christ needs to be removed from my life. I spent many hours thinking and praying about what these "idols" were and came up with a few humdinger's that needed to be addressed.
How often do I put off prayer time or daily Mass because of the busyness of my life? How often do I ignore or put off a request from my husband seeking my help because it "wasn't on my list" for the day? How often do I ignore an opportunity to serve someone in charity and love because it's too inconvenient with my schedule? How often do I ignore that knocking at the door to my heart because the "noise" in my life drowns Him out?
The answer to all of these things is way to often. So what can I do to make it better? How do I honor my commitments to family and God while living in this world? It's simple really...proper priorities and balance.
Since coming home I have removed myself from many extraneous activities. I sat down with my husband and we discussed projects that needed to be done around the house, both together and individually, and prioritized them. I made a new daily schedule to include prayer time and exercise. I have turned my attention once again toward home, both the physical and spiritual. I need to seek the quiet so that I can clearly hear what God is trying to whisper in my heart. I can't do that if I am so "busy".
This has NOT been easy. I have stumbled and fallen often. The evil one does not want me praying or seeking Christ. He wants me busy and ignoring that ache in my heart for My Beloved. Change does not happen all at once, but God has been so faithful. The rewards from these few changes have been bountiful and I pray I will continue to persevere.
Need for Attention:
This particular idol is not so easy to write about. It's down right embarrassing.I have always sought attention, even as a kid. I am one of eight and every opportunity that I had to shine I took. I made sure that people knew my name not just what family I was from. It was crucial to be different and not be compared to someone else. I have always needed to be "seen" and "validated". Why? I am still figuring this one out but God is slowly healing past hurts that came from humiliations and embarrassments stemming from this need.
He has also begun to take some of this need off of my heart. I have learned it's really OK to do good things for the sake of doing, to serve without a name. I do not need to be compensated or complimented. I am happy to do them because they give glory to my Creator. I don't need to write about EVERYTHING in my life on this blog. Some things can remain quiet and personal. I need to carefully examine what my motivations are when I do something that may garner attention as the world defines it. Not everything I do in public is about me. God is showing me that humility does not seek "false" attention. I pray that He will continue to fill my ache to be "seen".
I love to bake and cook. Anyone who reads this blog knows this. However, when I sit down to a meal I do not need to obsess over every little thing. The glistening carrots, the sweet corn, the hearty stew. I need to eat to live, not live to eat! This has been one of the most difficult truths that God has revealed to me. Many people handle this preoccupation with food different ways. What I am learning about myself is that to remove certain things does not really help. However it has helped a great deal to have a menu plan and to simplify that plan significantly. That way when a special occasion arrives, it's actually special. I compare it to living with a "Lenten" mentality. I also need to watch portion control, especially in concert with my emotions. Emotional overeating is a sin. It shows a severe lack of trust that My Creator will walk me through whatever turmoil I am experiencing. He is the only one who can fill that eternal ache, not mashed potatoes or ice cream. I ned to honor this "temple of the Holy Spirit" with exercise and care. Pray more and eat less.
My choice is what will I fill that eternal ache with? God or things that this culture says I need in order to be fulfilled? Where will I find that ultimate satisfaction? I am going to stick with God. It's time for me to answer the knocking at the door to my heart. He is the Truth, the Life and the Way and I thank Him for gently and not so gently reminding me of this during one week on a mountain in Pennsylvania. Transformed indeed.
Blessing and Grace,
Labels: catholic family life, food and emotions, married life, prayer life, Pro-Life Issues, theology of the body