My every day struggle to live fruitfully, productively, and faithfully is just that...a struggle. There are always so many things that I try to accomplish and I fall short all too often. Isn't that everyone's struggle?
But I was thinking that if this is everyones struggle shouldn't there be something that we can do about it? It's the ultimate goal in life after all, to do all and be all that we can. I've been searching for answers. It's funny to me that it's taken me almost 30 years to start to have questions. I often am amazed that I didn't have so many struggles as a young person, but now that life is a little more complicated, with more people depending on me...well the questions come many, and come often.
The things I struggle with are: being more productive in my day, teaching the children all they need to know (which I'm finding is a whole lot more than I thought), doing some of the things I want to do (which include reading, studying drawing, crafting), doing the things that I'm called to do (which include house work and all that goes with that). I have this ultimate goal of being able to do it all. And be joyful and happy! And have sweet obedient, God-fearing and God-loving children. That last one I'm really struggling with right now.
My kids are really testing me lately. Everything has become so hard to accomplish. Just getting through a meal, with some food eaten, is like this huge event. I'm seeing that I've been too lenient with them. I allow to much, because I'm tired or frustrated. I've fallen short in my parenting department. Anthony is 5 already. I just hope it's not too late to start with some new rules! (Although, to children, aren't all rules new?)
It became very apparent at Mass yesterday that some things need to change. For one, Anthony thinks that because his sister acts out that it is ok for him. Despite the coloring pages and things that I brought for them to do quietly, Annie (who is 2) would rather climb, jump and make a general nuisance of herself. She's 2. I can understand that. When you make noise in a quiet church it echoes. That is cool! But at 5...I know he understands what he is doing. Testing boundaries? I think so! Argh! So I decided that once a week I will take him with me to midday Mass at the Abbey and we can discuss matters of God-stuff on the way. We will practice behaving appropriately during Mass so that we are prepared to be a good example (to, say, a rambunctious 2 year old).
I found this passage while I was reading my devotions this morning, and it gave me great comfort...
"Life must be lived in its reality. Everyday must see some progress, small and simple though it may be, toward a well planned, well-advised, definite desired goal. We cannot live on dreams. We have to start from the bottom, and slowly, surely, work our way up the path of virtue." Saint and Thought for Everyday, Profiles of Saints by the Daughters of Saint Paul, Thoughts by Rev. James Alberione, SSP, STD
That was like a breath of fresh air on my open wound!