Monday, March 7, 2011

Small Steps Together

From Elizabeth's blog - 2/28/11 :
"Just give up.

Give up me. All of me. Give up worry. And all my illusions of control. Do I really want to be in control anyway? Wouldn't it be better for all of us if God were in control? What is worry anyway? Can I hold worry and trust in the same soul? If my soul is filled with worry, if I am anxious about the things of this world, can it be filled with Him? If I am worried, am I really able to seek God's kingdom and His righteousness?"
From Small Steps - March 2 :

"Unhappy is the soul enslaved by anything that is mortal."  --St. Augustine

From my heart - March 2011 : 
It makes so much sense, doesn't it?  My brain and my heart get it, they know what I should do... and yet the free will, the habits, the weaknesses, that affect my daily actions are constantly working to the contrary.

I had a fairly typical day yesterday.  I was thinking after lunch, "this has been a really good day".  Mr. Smith got home, we ate dinner, and pulled out a family game to play.  I was slicing fruit up for dessert and the boys were getting the game ready at the table....when my mom called.  Let's suffice it to say it was not a pleasant phone call.  Something that was important to me, that I had worked hard on, had gotten really messed up.

I was angry with her, with other people involved, with myself for my part in it.  I was so upset, of course I got short with the boys.  I was close to tears, and over the top with anger.  I went off by myself, abandoning my family, to breathe (and seethe).  Mr. Smith was sympathetic, he understood why I was upset and he tried to talk it over with me.  I had been saying Hail Mary's and asking for peace, but it wasn't coming.

Then, I just made a decision.  I decided right then that I would not let it take this evening with my family away from me.  What had happened was nothing life-altering.  It was mostly vanity and annoyance that was eating at me, I realized.  Not good reasons to abuse my family.  So I told myself and Mr. Smith that I was over it, not going to worry about it.

At first I had to fake it, for sure.  My insides were still boiling, I just wasn't showing it anymore.  Then after a bit, the inside caught up with the outside and I started feeling more peaceful.  A little time brings a lot of perspective, and I knew by then that what had happened wasn't worth sacrificing a good day for.

So that's what I'm trying to do, to look for times when I can make a conscious decision to just stop, and change my path.

We can't expect not to hit those bumps, they'll always be there.  And our failed human nature will allow the initial flare up.  But there's always a point where we make a choice about how far we take it and how deeply it affects our day and our spirit.

Initially I'll still feel like I failed, just by letting something get in and cause a hiccup.  Victories are sometimes small and imperfect though, and a victory it is, to make that decision for the better.  We bless our families by sparing them, even if not perfectly or wholly.

When I bump into something that I can feel is getting me off track, I've been trying to keep this (sent to me by a friend with good timing), or something like it, in mind:
 "The accomplishment of the divine will is the sole end for which we are in the world."   --St. John Eudes 
Again, it's so much easier to stay on track when you keep your eyes on the goal.  I ask, "Is being upset,  worrying about this, or concerning myself with it at all, going to bring myself and my family closer to Christ, now and eternally?"  Most of the time, the answer is no.  Then I know what I need to do.

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