The Catholic Church has made headlines for all the wrong reasons lately. And, quite frankly, right now is a heavy time to be openly, proudly, unapologetically Catholic. To stand by the Church in Her hour of need has created as much tension in the blogging world as it has in the real world.
This move to the Sunshine State came with a personal promise – to work on building my Catholic blogging brand and platform, to expand my audience to reach out to fellow Christians, but to also focus on my primary and secondary vocations – being a wife and mother.
As the Catholic community was hit upside the head with a two-by-four from every direction, faithful Catholics, already left reeling from years of abuse and systemic cover-ups need prayers, encouragement, and a community now, more than ever. In the midst of all this, I found myself faced with the struggle of whether or not to continue writing for my blog.
I spent hours ruminating. I spent hours stewing. I spent hours trying to find just the right words.
And, when the words failed, I shifted my focus.
I turned attention to releasing my first newsletter for e-mail subscribers. I wrote microblogs for social media. I began putting finishing touches on my upcoming Advent devotional (scheduled to be released shortly). I focused on what I can control in my life – on my immediate circle of influence.
In the midst of those little projects, plodding along feeling the weight of the Catholic world on my shoulders, I received an e-mail out of the blue from our Catholic community priest. He explained it was urgent I contact him, and gave me the numbers to reach him.
I had spoken with him exactly twice, since our move here – neither conversation lasting more than fifteen minutes. He knew I was taking a knee from volunteering in leadership with the Catholic Women of the Chapel, so I could focus on the blog… and the whole “being a good wife and mom” gig. So, perplexed, I returned his e-mail (and a missed voicemail), with a little trepidation.
Apparently, the Religious Education Coordinator had tendered her resignation with a week and a half left before the start of Religious Education classes. And, our priest was calling to ask if I would consider submitting my name for consideration of the position.
After a call to my husband, and a couple of messages back and forth with my previous chaplain, I fired up my computer, and created my first resume in six years. Six years!
Some people have asked me in the past how I handle the stress of moving, and not knowing where we’re going to be living every couple years. They have wondered how I keep my anxiety at bay, when there is so much I am unable to control.
Let me clue you, dear reader, in on my little secret:
I make no concrete plans.
I don’t worry about what I am unable to control, simply because I am not in control.
And, I have accepted that.
I planned to focus on growing Beautiful Camouflage. I planned to not do anything more than absolutely necessary at the chapel. I planned to stay close to God by focusing solely on my vocation and avocation.
But, apparently, God laughed at those plans.
He knows better than I, and I firmly believe He is challenging me to give my best – to my husband and children, but also to His community. He has work for me to do, both literally and figuratively. And, while undertaking this new project, I am vividly aware of how He will equip me, when I need it the most. I firmly believe He will do this provided I hold Him close, seek His guidance, and allow Him to mold me.
The chapel is currently willing to work with my two little ones coming to my place of employment… for now. And, the clock is counting down to the first class this weekend. I have yet to meet all my teachers, and am unsure of the curricula being used in each grade.
Yet, God has placed me right where He needs me. He has put me perfectly in this moment.
And, it’s daunting…
Mostly, though, it’s humbling.
Jeremiah 29:11 says it best, “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you – oracle of the Lord – plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope.”
The focus of my priorities will shift, yet again, to being the wife and mother I am called to be. I will chuckle at how I thought I knew better than God, as I add chapel ministry back into my planner. And, while my writing certainly won’t cease entirely, I feel peace in my heart when I consider taking a step back from growing Beautiful Camouflage even larger.
I feel peace because I am placing my trust in God.
I am focusing on changing the world that I am able to change – beginning with my family, and my local community. I am refusing to carry a heavy burden of guilt for being staunchly Catholic. I am refraining from shying away from Christ, the One I find at every Mass I attend.
And, I will choose to find a reason to laugh with God:
For a little boy who is learning the fine art of sarcasm and wit, as well as the fine line between socially acceptable and socially inappropriate humor.
For a little girl who insists on living life on her terms, taking her world by storm, wearing sunglasses, a sparkly purse, and doing dance twirls as she storms.
For giggles and squeals of a little boy, whose presence in our family was a pleasant surprise just a year ago this month.
For the gentle reminders I am given to trust in God and His plans.
For changes in my plans, so that His will be done.
Dear reader, I pray for you today – that you will open your heart to God’s call in your own life. I pray that you will heed His call. And, in the midst of struggle, doubt, turmoil, and fear, that you will have the courage and strength to answer His call. I pray that you will see His beauty in your life each and every single day.
Because God has a plan for you… for each of us. And, when we answer His call, we can radically transform this world. We grow, and through that growth, we create change.
Where is God calling you to be right now? Right at this moment in time?
Ponder that in your heart as we face the days ahead!