Mother's Day Reflection

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Every year I set myself up for disappointment with unrealistic expectations of Mother’s Day. All I want is to get to church on time with no behavior issues from Henry during mass and a day that is free from cooking and planning.  That’s it.  Oh and maybe a card or gift.

Can’t we all just look adorable at church, and bask quietly in God’s beauty at Mass??!!  Is that too much to ask?

I think my expectations stem from a romanticized version of motherhood.  You know, the one you see for a few minutes in a Hallmark commercial.  Mom looks beautiful, kids are clean and dressed in coordinating outfits, Dad buys a ridiculous gift for Mom and everyone hugs her.  The end.  Back to your regularly scheduled program.

As much as I know it’s not real, I still allow this image to creep back in my mind every Mother’s Day.  But why? 

For me, it happens because I buy into a worldly view of motherhood for just long enough to become disappointed.   The world tells you that motherhood (or insert just about any other subject in here, your career, your life choices, marriage) is all about you.

How can other people view me as an amazing mother today?  How can the people around ME serve ME and my wants on this day? 

And yes, my small desires of looking “put together” and on time is not unreasonable.  But in my heart I know that these desires are really just about me and outside appearances. 

What usually ends up happening is we’re late to church, Henry has a few meltdowns, kicks me during mass and screams “no” over and over and I end up feeling like the worst mom ever.  Yay, Mother’s Day! And inevitably I end up angry for about an hour until I realize I’m being ridiculous and slowly God reminds me that motherhood is not about me, it’s about true love. 

Not the love that the world sells us wrapped up in neat bundles filled with chocolates and diamonds.  Real love is as St. Thomas Aquinas so beautifully puts it,   “ willing the good of the other as other”. 

In other words, it’s not about me.  

True love is choosing to do what it is best for those I love when it’s inconvenient for me.  

It’s waking up in the middle of the night for the millionth time with a child so your spouse can rest, it’s doing the dishes even after you’ve cooked the meal and just want to sit down, it’s taking your child out of mass because they need a time-out but all you really want to do is listen to the Gospel message.

When I struggle with motherhood and love and all that is required I ask for God’s help.  And where does He point me?  To His own mother, Mary.

When I think of Mary I think of selflessness.  In her Fiat when she says "I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your Word” she says not only “yes” but “I completely trust you”.  She lets go of her desires and lets God take over. 

How often do I do just the opposite? Sure, she had questions but she said yes anyway.  Holiness is about surrender to God, letting go of our own egos and allowing God to transform us into a new being that radiates love. 

May God bless each mom out there and help us to say yes to love each day!

P.S. After I stopped pouting and God helped me to pull myself together we had a great impromptu celebration.  Complete with flower crowns...because every woman should wear a flower crown at least once in her life. :) 

A Place for Art

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Artistic talent is a gift from God and whoever discovers it in himself has a certain obligation: to know that he cannot waste this talent, but must develop it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pope St. John Paul II  

In his Letter to Artists Pope John Paul II writes to the people who "are passionately dedicated to the search for new 'epiphanies' of beauty so that through their creative work as artists they may offer these as gifts to the world."  Art and beauty have always held a place of significance and esteem in our Catholic faith.

Art allows you to peer into the soul of the artist.  Look at a painting, a sculpture, listen to a song or witness a playwright's creation on stage and you see something unique that can only be created by that person.  Sometimes it's serene, sometimes confusing or full of pain or even full of small imperfections...and yet all of these elements add up to become something beautiful.

See...?  Imperfect and still beautiful.  And kinda weird.  But beautiful. (Our wonderful friend and teacher had this great idea to have the kids color this picture and mount it on wood given to them by a local church.  All I can say is, uh, sorry St. Joseph, Henry's medium of choice isn't crayon these days.)

And in the same way that man-made art reveals a little of the human artist, the beauty of creation, the things that take our breath away, reveal just a little of the goodness of God the Heavenly Artist.   And all I can think is Wow, we are so loved. 

While we may not be the kind of artists Pope John Paul II was talking about in his Letter to Artists.  There is still a place for art and an emphasis on making time to create it in our home.

Here is a very simple way to elevate the art created by your family. Take it off the fridge and give it a proper frame!

Art Wall Project


Frames (Goodwill and thrift stores offer affordable options)

Spray Paint (the color in the photo: Krylon Colormaster in Bright Idea) and Primer

3M Velcro Strips

Small clothespins (craft stores carry this size)

String or twine

Staple Gun

Glue Gun

The frames at Goodwill with the craziest pictures often have the best frames and are marked down at the lowest prices.  I think it's fun to imagine the people who had this stuff hanging up in their homes and what the rest of their house may have looked like...

I couldn't bear to repaint the Eiffel Tower picture or frame but the rest got a healthy dose of Primer and Paint.


I finally have a place for some of my artwork and hand lettering too! Oh, and Josh made that arrow out of scrap wood and a jigsaw! 

I also made a little holder for an air plant (tutorial will be posted in a few days). 

A close up of the frame.  I hot glued popsicle sticks to the back of the frame and glued small clothespins on top. 

For the yellow picture holder simply use a staple gun to attach cotton twine to the back of a large frame. Clothespins hang freely and can be moved around as you like.  I love having this little space for pictures and cute invitations.  All of these items simply lived in a stack on my countertops and now they finally have a home! 

Have questions?  Send them my way! 

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