Since Miriam is the youngest of the group, and needs help on the swings, I hung with the 7 kids for the first 20 mins or so and chatted, played, helped all of them while their parents were lounging by the picnic table enjoying an adult beverage. Was I bothered by this, slightly. Did I wish that at least 1 of them would come over and acknowledge my presence or the fact that I was taking care of their kids, yes. Was I somewhat relieved that I could get to know the kids better and they know me better without any influence from their parents, absolutely. After awhile, Miriam got bored and wanted to play on the porch and the big kids went off and did their own thing, so I meandered over to the adult table and sat down, awkwardly.
"Oh, Colleen. We were just saying how it stinks that you have to be over with the kids all this time, since Miriam is so little."
"I don't mind it much. She still needs help"
"Just wait, in a few years, they can do it all on their own. Just don't have anymore!!!!!"
"Well, we probably will have more...I'm only 29... "
"You're crazy. We are done!"
So I've heard, for the past year you've said that, very openly and it makes me sad. Because that lady is just 30 and has two little girls that I am sure would love another younger sibling. And the other two ladies got married in their later 30s and may not be able to have kids anymore, but still, they think more than 2 is crazy.
And ya know, two is nice. They play well together, they have each other to learn from, talk to and hang out with, but honestly, the more I watch them, the MORE KIDS I WANT!!!
Seriously, those two girls are my life. They are my everything. And, I was thinking, this life I am living isn't mine at all! It's a gift from God. I am here to do HIS work and live out the vocation that HE chose for me and that vocation is to be married and be a mother. I feel so selfish when I look at motherhood as a box to check just so I can get on with MY life and persue MY dreams and fill up on all that society tells me is important.
I try to read the readings of the day and a reflection every morning and it never ceases to surprise me that the reflection hits the nail on the head within relation to my musings of late.
Here's the reflection (today is Mary Magdalene's feast day 7/22):
DOING YOUR OWN THING?
"He died for all so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for Him Who for their sakes died and was raised up." —2 Corinthians 5:15
Many people think that living for themselves, doing their own thing, getting their way is the goal of life. However, after they try this for a while, they feel empty. At first, they think that the cause of their emptiness is failing to get their own way in everything. So they try to do their own thing even more, but this makes matters even worse. Finally, they begin to suspect that the constant, self-centering brainwashing they've received over the years was a big lie. Then these people hear about or remember when they heard about Jesus, the cross, dying to self (Lk 9:23), and following Jesus. Could it be that Jesus crucified is the Truth, the Way to happiness, and the Meaning of life? (see Jn 14:6) Mary Magdalene found out that there's no such thing as doing your own thing. When she thought she was doing her own thing, she was being manipulated and enslaved into doing the devil's things. She was possessed by seven devils (Lk 8:2). Finally, she met Jesus and decided to do His thing — even if it meant weeping at the foot of His cross (Jn 19:25) and at His grave (Jn 20:11). Through, with, and in Jesus, she discovered the meaning of life. She met Jesus, Who is Life (Jn 14:6), when He rose from the dead. Prayer: Father, may I live a life of love, not of self.
(Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from June 1, 2014 through July 31, 2014.†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 2, 2014.)
I have "lived" for myself before and let me tell you where it got me....So freaking far from Jesus I was two steps from falling into a deep, deep, deep disrepair. I came to Jesus and asked him what He wanted from my life and slowly but surely, He has led me to the life I lead today.
How blessed I am to have these beauties call me Mom,
to have a husband who loves me and cherishes our marriage
and friends and family surrounding me endlessly.
How could I not want to watch the love to continue to grow? How selfish I feel when I say, yeah we're not going to have anymore so I can sit and drink the night away instead of spending 20 minutes pushing the kids on a swing.
Even Mark the other day said "The girls are growing so fast...they're not going to be little much longer." He's got a heart for the Lord and I know that he desires another sweet little soul to love on as much as I do. If that makes us crazy, then so be it. At least we'll be crazy together.