Monday, January 24, 2011

Enter Into My Rest...

I wake, exhausted before ever leaving my bed, force myself out and into the day, feeling a bit on top of things as I have the kids ready to leave by 6:45, pleased that for once we won't be late for Mass! Then, I sink to despair-my keys are gone! The last time this happened, my husband had taken them to work with him and I helplessly waited for him to return home with them. A frantic call to him at work and he tells me to check his dress coat pocket...and there they were.

On the drive to church, I have to smile as I recall the reason why my keys were in his coat pocket: last evenings dinner-the usual chaos over chicken dumpling soup-boys fighting, daughter crying, father yelling-this is the glue that holds family together?

But, then, dad gets our attention when he tells the fighting sons, "Just think, in one hour we will all be sitting close to one another with forced smiles on our faces!" Yes, it was family photo night for the church directory, that dreaded night when nothing we do can seem to get us all looking pleasant at the same time and I am reminded of how much I hate having my picture taken. Paul hates it too, and was probably so glad to be home that he forgot to put the keys on the hook in his relief to be home. So grateful that's over...

... we arrive at Church with a few minutes to spare, to quiet ourselves in the presence of the Lord before Mass begins. Then...

...I stand at the ambo, trembling as He speaks His words through me..."They shall not enter into my rest" (Hebrews 4:1-5)

I feel like a Hebrew follower of Moses, constantly complaining about my lot in life and His words meant for ME, "You shall not enter into my rest." (Hebrews 4:1-5) makes me think hard about how I live and refuse his gift of rest for the doing...

...instead, I push and I strive and I do too much...but it's never enough...

...I make it through the morning at work and return home to last night's dishes in the sink, a basket of never-ending laundry to fold, dirty floors and a sidewalk that needs shoveling once again. I'm tempted to crawl back into bed and pull the covers over my head.

But instead, I come upstairs to the computer with a bit of green pepper to feed to Daisy, the guinea pig, and take a few minutes of rest here before continuing with the tasks of life. With Daisy contentedly nibbling on my lap, I look at the words of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross on the sidebar of this page...

"When night comes, and retrospect shows that everything was patchwork and much that one had planned left undone, when so many things rouse shame and regret, then take all as is, lay it in God's hands, and offer it up to Him. In this way we will be able to rest in Him, actually to rest and to begin the new day like a new life."

...and I remember to lay my life in his hands, now, in the midst of activity and to-do lists and somehow trust that He will allow me to enter into His rest, and tomorrow will be like a new day.

continuing to count the gratitude...

6. a good night's sleep, a short moment of rest compared to what I hope He has in store for me eternally

7. waking to husband's kiss as he's leaving for work

8. yes, I'll write this, too-the Packer's beat the Bears and are going to the Super Bowl

9. quiet evenings alone with my daughter

10. BBQ pork sandwiches

11. work and an opportunity to earn money to support my family

12. coffee-warm and flavored sweet

13. daily Mass and oldest son who wakes early on his day off from school so that he can attend Mass with me

14. a brand-new journal covered with golden sequins that jingle-jangle, a gift from my long-time friend, Judy

15. a warm house on a cold day

16. hazelnut scented candles flickering shadows in the evening

17. listening to George Winston quietly tinkling the ivories

18. the soft eyes of the Lord looking out at me from my Sacred Heart of Jesus bookmark

19. my daughter's golden strands shining in the lamplight

20. starting a new day like a new life (and remembering a favorite quote from Anne of Green Gables-"tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet")

21. having a friend whose gift of words reminds me that I am a nobody, which is just the way I like it!

4 comments:

  1. Thank you Ann! I pray those words to the Psalm every morning *I will not enter into His rest". I guess I never gave them much thought but not I will. I am glad we are sharing the struggle together and counting gifts along the way friend : )

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  2. It's a gift in itself, to be given the ministry of sharing the word. For me, it's done as psalmist, not lector, but often the words seem chosen for me, too.

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  3. Reminds me of a word I have on a post-it on this laptop: "contentment". So hard to remember, yet impossible to live without.

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  4. Beautiful post. Beautiful list. Glad you are back taking comments!

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