What an incredible fun, and adventuresome summer we had! I have written many posts in my mind, but alas, haven’t published any… I hope to get you, dear reader, up to speed with the stories of the Traveling Thomason Family! There are many highlights, but just before we left for our big trip, we were able to enroll our older girls in a Challenge Camp, led by some Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi.
When I had the pleasure of meeting several Consecrated Women, my first question was, “What is the difference between being a nun and being a consecrated?” And they happily explained that these two vocations are very similar. Both require perpetual or life-long commitments, both take vows, and both are actually a calling…more than simply a lifestyle choice. The only real difference is that nuns typically wear a habit, and are a part of a community. Consecrated women do not have to be a part of a community, they are considered part of the “lay” population, and do not wear the penguin suit…
I found these women very inspiring. They expressed joy and pleasure in their life, but also shared with sorrow the different reactions of family members, some of whom were initially, or sometimes, still, very opposed to their commitment to Christ. The Consecrated women undergo a period of discernment, much like a religious would, and then take vows after a period of time. What I really found beautiful about this is that these were YOUNG ladies, drawn to God in a very distinctive call, not thirtysomethings who used it as a fallback plan because marriage didn’t work out.
What an incredible desire, to love Jesus so much that the only answer would be to spend one’s life serving Him in His church, with His people.
Phenomenal. Give me a desire like these ladies. Come, Lord Jesus!
Now I have to get back to my life of absolute craziness and remember that I too, chose my vocation, as well. And I am fit for the task, and God is here ready to pour His mercy over me because it can be very stressful. It can get weary. It can be tiring… God is ready to hand me the grace I need to make it through this day, and tomorrow too, and he commanded me not to worry. So I am not anxious, I am not concerned. I am more precious to God than the sparrows, and He knows the number of hairs on my head. I am relying on him to satisfy my heart, keeping me in the palm of His hand.
This recovery (baby number 8, in case you’ve lost track) has been different than the others. Each baby is so unique, and this child has been a wonderful, fat, and happy baby, with a longer and harder recovery. I’m not sure if the recovery is harder simply because I’m getting older, or if it’s a combination of being busy, with extra wear and tear that makes the healing go slower…needless-to-say, I am relying on Gods grace, every day! I feel I am being told through this experience what is most critical, and what can be saved for another less busy time of life. There are times to be running around, and there are times to be still. This is a be still time! I do what I can, and then I have to say “no.” But by saying that no, I am saying yes to my infant, my healing process, and the other people in my family who need me to be around for the long haul.
We used to be a family that only did one activity per day. And spent Sundays at Mass and with our family, but in the past few years, we had gotten used to running around like headless chickens because that’s what we could do. That’s what the kids seemed to want. Everyone wanted to see their friends, everyone had to play sports, everyone was needing something. It’s all I could do to not be in two places at once. Yikes! What I learned is that the children will never be content. They are human, they always will want more! They always will want friends, attention, experiences! It’s a good thing! But, as parents, we need to decide what is best for them, despite their desires. We are allowed to say no to the kids. Actually, we must!
There is a bit of wisdom our Pastor, Father Ed Fride, shared in a homily once, there are many things, many good things, so many that we will have to pray for wisdom, and make a choice. There is such a thing a too much of a good thing! I am thankful for this insight.
I am praying for discernment, and constantly asking for my mind and heart to be open to what God has for me and my kids. The nice thing about having a herd of children is if things aren’t suiting them, they will let you know. If you have a child who seems to be overwhelmed and is always crying or fussing, or whiny- there’s your signpost- too much going on. Or you may have a threenager. That is a disclaimer. If you have someone who is three and figuring out how to be a big kid, you may just have crying, fussing, and whining anyway. I’m sorry. Keep saying those things like: “use your words, please tell me how you feel,” but I won’t tolerate all that crying….. And you shouldn’t either!!
So, this fall when you are all doing your best to think of what is best for your family, say a prayer for me and my chunky baby and that obnoxious threenager. I have a high schooler this year and it seems like every grade in between, …and I know you probably do too. Go easy on yourself as much as you can, and I will hold you in prayer, asking that like the Consecrated, you too will be overcome with a desire to please Jesus, and do His will.
If we are trying to serve Him, we’re doing it right.