Wednesday, April 8, 2009

From the trenches

Most mommies have been there, and I would think that just about every mommy with several kids has been there: those days that seem like they will never end and which are one long litany of "What Else Can Go Wrong?" By evening one's nerves are raw and one is just dying for bedtime and an end to it all. Yesterday was one of those.

1) On Friday something happened with my left foot and ankle--I don't recall injuring it, but I have trouble putting pressure on it. I limped around the Homeschool Conference this past weekend, and it is no better. In combination with varicose veins acting up, I feel like I'm nearly crippled. So be it.

2) Una slipped on a patch of ice (yes, ice--it actually snowed a bit Monday evening) while putting out mail yesterday morning and came in muddy and teary-eyed. She'd hit the pavement hard. I got her into a hot tub and gave her homeopathic arnica. She has a half-dollar sized bruise on one kneecap.

3) Adrian being better, he was back to fighting with his brothers yesterday and teasing Dominic into shrieking fits. Dominic began throwing up at naptime and could hold down nothing more than ice chips. Two teaspoons of Chamomile tea came up on him. He dozed on the sofa yesterday, waking every twenty minutes or so with dry heaves and tears. I also had to change 5 diapers in 2 hours. I think he is empty now...

4) Since I was rather stranded in the living room due to these sudden gagging spells of Dominic's, I decided to try to work on a craft at the coffee table--and promptly sliced through the skin between my thumb and index finger with a scalpel. No stitches needed, thank God.

5) At 6 p.m., Bret still wasn't home. We don't have cell phones, so I had no idea where he was. I was trying to fix the older kids something to eat and noticed our milk cow way out on our neighbor's pasture. In heat, she apparently jumped the fence.

It was after 6:30 when Bret got home and got the cow in (Una and Sebastian had not been able to do it) and then fixed the fence until dark. He ate dinner at 7:45.

I lay in bed, Dominic finally sleeping deeply on the floor beside me, feeling depressed and despairing for the first time in ages. I was thinking of the future of this country and wondering what it would become as my children get older. I thought about what life would be like should anything happen to Bret. It seemed that every negative thought hit me all at once. Truly, the Enemy had found a little foothold in my soul and was trying to get a good grip.

I fought it with all my being. I thanked God for an opportunity, albeit a bit late in the day, to offer all of it up in reparation for the sins of this nation and begged him to keep His little flock pressed close to His heart and safe. I thanked him for Una, who did her schoolwork without any need for me to press her, and who also kept Adrian busy with his own "school", and who made peanut butter and jam sandwiches for everyone when I was sitting on the sofa with a crying toddler on my lap. I thanked Him for my faith, without which I think I would have found a day like yesterday utterly pointless.

Maybe if I'd been better at mortifying myself during Lent, the Lord would have found little reason to mortify me so and the devil wouldn't have found a way in. But I haven't been really good about it. Yes, I have for the most part stuck to my little sacrifices, but my spirit has been far from our Lord. It is not the sacrifice, but the intention that is of any value on God's sight. I have known all through Lent that my spirit and intention were faulty, but I have done little or nothing to set it right.

And so, I accept these little crosses, although they feel so heavy, with all humility and acknowledging my weakness and need; I express sorrow for my tepidity and beg for deeper faith, hope and charity. With the Blessed Mother and my patroness, St. Mary Magdalen, I will stand at the foot of the Cross and try to keep my eyes on the Lord these last few days of Lent, and I pray that I will merit some of the joy of the Resurrection come Easter Sunday.


  1. O Nadja - sorry it was such a tough day. Praying for you - esp. for healing of all those physical problems. Hope Dominic is on the mend.

    I too don't react well to those kind of days - I am so trying to accept them. I will find you a quote from Peter Kreeft that I carry around with me - brain cannot remember where it is right now.

    Hugs my friend. The path to sainthood is never easy!

  2. When I read the things you were thankful looked to me like it was a pretty good day. I constantly find myself getting sympathy for a good day! Try this (at least in your head)--write it up again (the whole day) from 2 differing as the victim of "what-else-can-go-wrong-itis" and the other as the grabber of unique opportunities to serve and teach-rejoycing in ALL. Do them both up BIG and over-the-top dramatic-it's great for a laugh and a perspective adjustment dontchaknow!---also please tell me this in about 10 minutes :D

  3. It's normally what I do...after being a big baby and wallowing in self-pity the whole day, I finally get a moment to breathe at day's end and I see how much worse it could be and how god has preserved me from so many other more serious disasters.

    I am NOT good at rejoicing or teaching rejoicing from the trenches...I know it is something I certainly need to work on.

  4. LOL Nadja! who IS good at it??

    As far as the positive side? I was thinking of more than just "how much worse it could have been" I mean that difficult ability to see 3 children playing cooperatively and sharing crayons-giving and taking advise from one another instead of focusing on the crayon on the wall. LOL It IS a gift to be able to see that-not just be glad it is an easy-scrubbing wall or that they did not find the sharpies-make sense? All of the happiest and most surrendered to God Moms I know have this gift to some degree...

  5. Well, you said just about everything that's been on my heart lately, and you nailed it, my friend. I'll pray for you, and maybe you can slip one in for me? I need it.

    Have a blessed Triduum :)

  6. Sorry to hear about your rough day!

    I feel the same way sometimes - wonder if I should even BOTHER homeschooling, etc., the way things are going. Giving up. Husband and I have seriously talked about putting one of the children in PS because it's just so hard and I worry he's not learning anything.

    I never thought of it as the Enemy... thank you for that, now I know what to do.


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