Do you ever just feel like what is the point? What is the point of all of this "stuff" in the world? What is the point of joining this "rat race"? Why deal with all this stuff...television, movies, radio or podcasts, facebook pages and blog posts? Do you ever just look around in life and notice it's filled with "Distraction. Distraction. Distraction." one right after the other? Sometimes all I hear in my life is noise, noise, noise. With all this noise and distraction in life, how in the world am I supposed to know where the Lord is calling me? How am I supposed to "hear His voice"?
What does it the bible says? Oh that's right..."Be STILL and know that I am God."
Be still...while a 5 year old is shoving his wonderfully creative uniquely self-made lego creation in my face. Be still...as my 13 month old has crawled to my feet and is now crying while grabbing my pant leg wanting to be held. Be still...while my 13 lb. bichon barks (all day long) at the NINE neighborhood dogs that surround our house. Be still...while my husband calls to check in with us and see how our day is going. Some days "being still" is quite the challenge, don't you think?
The best part about life is that I can always look to our Blessed Mother and know that as a human mama herself, she experienced days full of distractions and noise. She knows what it's like to not have a minute to herself all day until the kids go down for bed at night. Our Holy Mother knows what it's like to look in the mirror (or in her day, her reflection in a pool of water, I'm guessing...Ha!) and realize she doesn't recognize the person staring back at her. She knows what it's like to reluctantly open her burning eyes far too early in the morning after a night of terrible sleep in response to hearing "Mom. Mom. Mom, you up?". She knows that there are days I just want to sit in prayer. She feels my desire to have time to pray and meditate on the bible. She understands how I long to pray a rosary without children to distract me. Our Mother knows all of this, however, she also realizes that in my state in life, sometimes this is not possible to do.
Here's the challenge for me. It is a form of suffering to have to be brought back to focus on these "earthly" things and to not have the time I would like to spend with Our Lord and Our Lady in silence and without distraction. I could spend time thinking about all the things I wish I could do, or all the things I don't "get" to do because of my "state in life". I could spend time focusing on all the things I would like to be able to do yet cannot, but what would be the use in that? That only results in a pity party for me and no one wants to come to a party of one, do they? I'd much rather spend my time, wisely. Through Our Lady's wisdom, I know I can offer up this "suffering", the distractions, the noise, the headaches, the frustrations, the lack of focus during the Eucharistic prayer due to having children (the classic cry of the church-going Catholic parent)...all of it. I can offer it all up to and place it at Our Mother's feet. Then she can take these gifts of love and sacrifice, package them beautifully and present them to her Son for me. What better way to send a gift to my Lord than through His beloved mother? So this is what I now do.
Nothing is wasted. Distractions are blessings. Noise is welcomed. Headaches...well headaches are still responded to with a bit of ibprophen and dim lights, but even these are offered up. All have become part of my daily prayers. And how grateful I have become for my children, who are the makers of all distraction and noise in this universe, or at least in my universe. Without them, my prayers would be dull, sterile, and bland. But because of them, because of my lovable little boys, my prayers, although not deep or earth shattering, are full of the joy, perseverance, patience, and compassion. Because of my boys, I am learning how to make my life into a prayer!
Praying for wonderful distractions in your lives as well!
Blessings to you and yours,