Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary Life

This was a talk I gave about living our ordinary life in a supernatural way.

Trust you find it helpful.

Splendid read for the weekend.

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Most of us are mothers staying at home. We all know how its like.

We wake up early enough to rush the children to school and give them some decent breakfast. We go through our household chores – grocery shopping, cooking, washing the dishes and clothes, ironing, cleaning up the house. On top of that, we have to feed, care for our young children.

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Apart from the physical demands of motherhood, we are faced with the psychological and emotional needs of our husbands and children that we need to meet as well. Are they getting enough time with me? Are they happy? Are they learning or making friends in school? Are they with good friends? Are they developing beautifully?

The litany goes on and on. It is never ending.

It may even come to a point when you have to drag yourself out of bed to do what you have to do over and over again. There is the perennial screaming or fighting of the children, not to mention the increasing state of chaos in the house. There is the demanding seeking of attention from the young ones which can be frustrating and irritating especially when you hardly had a night sleep. There are times of sickness and extreme tiredness when all you want to do is to lie in bed. There are times of anxiety and uncertainty when your husband’s job is on the line, your only mean of earning a living. Plus, there are expectations we set for our husbands which never seem to be fulfilled.

When is he going to be around more to help me with the kids? When will he ever learn how to cook? When will he ever take me out on a date? When will my husband and children ever appreciate whatever I do and have given up for them?

So on and so forth.

This may sound like my story or yours.

But it does not have to be this way.

St Josemaria said that “There is something holy, something divine, hidden in the most ordinary situation and it is up to each one of you to discover it. Our ordinary everyday life can be a path to holiness”.

Rightfully said.

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God is present in every moment of our lives. We just have to correspond. Love is in the little things.

When we wake up in the morning despite hardly getting any sleep at all because of the children who woke us up due to bad dreams, wet pants or the baby who needs her feed, let it be with gratitude and joy.

Thank God that we have another day to serve Him. There is nothing which we do for the love of God which is ever wasted.

Nothing.

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The least of our sacrifices brings immense joy to God who is our Father. Isn’t it that there is great joy we feel as mothers when we see our children try their best to rectify a defect?

 I think it was Black Saturday and I was doing my prayer in my room. Sasha, then 5 years old, came in to greet me a good morning and to chat with me. I asked her to sacrifice a bit and to not talk to me while I am doing my prayer. She asked me what a sacrifice was. So I explained that it is something which you do that is good but which you don’t necessary like to do. In this case, it is keeping quiet. I think this is the ultimate sacrifice for her because she can hardly contain her words. So there I was praying peacefully with my grumpy looking but quiet daughter. I was so laughing in the inside. Happy that my daughter is finally learning how to say no to herself.

We have to begin our day with a spirit of service. From the words of the wise Rabindranath Tagore:

“I slept and dreamed that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”

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We have to be contemplatives in the middle of the world. We have to realize that taking care of a baby is nothing trivial. In every baby, we should see the infant Jesus. We are taking care of Jesus. Imagine that? In our children, we should see Christ.

Whatever you do to the least of your brethren you do it to me.

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Sure, children are not perfect, they are not angels. They scream, they demand, they fight or argue back. But they will be our lives’ greatest teachers. From them we learn how to be virtues, to be heroic. You will never know patience until you have children.

From them we will learn how to be strong and disciplined since we want them to be such. From them we will learn to forgive since they are the most forgiving souls. For them, we will begin and begin again.  For them we will learn how to give ourselves totally, completely.

We will learn to love, we will be another Christ.

We should also learn to approach our household chores with gratitude. Not only do it keep us occupied but it’s a constant reminder that our basic needs are sufficiently met. Those basket full of clothes to be folded mean that our family have enough clothes for every kind of season/weather in Melbourne. We have dishes to wash means that we have had meals to share together with the family. We have a house to clean means that we have a place to call home. There are many families who are not as fortunate like us.

Our housekeeping duties which can be boring to some degree can be means to receive more graces.

What makes a job pleasing to God is not the amount of money you earn out of it but the amount of love you put into it.

We can offer up cleaning the toilet or the task we like least for a particular intention or person. We can offer up each meal we prepare for those who are sick or depressed. We can offer up the temper which we controlled after the children spilled milk/soup at the kitchen table for our husbands. We can offer up so many things for the good of all souls.

We should also take care of our husbands. 

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Marriage should be a path to sanctity and not to perdition. We have to love our husbands unconditionally. Like Christ loves His Church. Husbands are not perfect. Neither are we. We always have to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it’s a good idea to let them have a nice dinner first and to relax before we start complaining about the children.

With husbands, timing is key.

Sure, taking care of the children and ensuring the house is in order is more difficult than the jobs that they do. But they have bosses and they work for companies which are profit driven. The corporate world is very competitive and intense. People tend to forget the golden rule when they are constantly pressed for time or for results. Bottom line is all that matters. Our husbands may be stressed and stretched to the limit at work and the only thing they want at the end of the day is the comfort of a warm home, the kindness of a wife, the company of his children. At least, let us try to give them that. We always have to ask ourselves, how can I make my husband happier?

Then after doing all these we ask ourselves, but what about me? Who will see that my needs are met?

God will make sure of that.

But we have to exert a little effort. We have to go to the fountain of love to fill up our love bucket. How can we do this? By frequenting the Holy Mass and receiving Holy communion regularly. By being consistent and regular in our prayer. God has so much love to give. Let us drown ourselves in it. God has all the answers to our anxieties, tiredness and worries. We just have to ask Him.

“What God has planned for people who love him
is more than eyes have seen or ears have heard.
It has never even entered our minds!”

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