This blog's mission is simple--to encourage moms who are married to non-Catholics and raising their children in the Faith. If you know a mom who needs a little encouragement in continuing her efforts, I would be delighted if you would share Kathleen's Catholic with her. Thank you!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Clearing Away the Angst and the Dust

This is a whole new thing for me, to have two teenage boys. They were at each other's throats again yesterday, as they have been for months. This is the part of homeschooling I wish I could simply erase. Can't we go back to the elementary years when the biggest tempratantrum was over a little spelling assignment and the two of them wrestled on the living room rug?

I've been chalking up the tension to the typical wintry cabin fever, and I've been told that this is normal for teenage boys. But my motherly instincts are telling me otherwise, that this is not normal for brothers who are otherwise very close.

What gives?

I have to admit that I haven't been the cheeriest family member among us, either. I wonder if my own interior angst is directly affecting the boys.

My impatience.
My selfishness.
My eyes not on Heaven.
My days have a decisive lack of prayer, contemplation, petitions, and thanksgiving.

I feel like I am alone, struggling to educate and raise the boys, struggling to care for the house, struggling to help my husband in his own struggles.

In many ways, things have been looking up. All the things we have prayed for are happening. Roger is gaining some strength back, and his blood tests prove that his health is slowly improving. (He looks so much better! Just a few weeks ago, he called the boys outside to have a snowball battle. I loved watching him from the kitchen, running through the snow while carving a softball in his hands, sneaking around the garage, looking for his next victim. He hadn't been able to do that in ages.) His business has new and bigger opportunities, offered to him through just one timely phone call. I have two writing projects on the table. And the boys are healthy, doing well in their schoolwork, and enjoying their activities in the parish's youth group as well as Boy Scouts.

And yet you could cut the tension in this house with a knife! Why?

Well, all I can think of now is thank goodness Lent is here. Talk about needing to get back on track!

A chance to pray and contemplate again.

A chance to fast and give a little gift each day to Our Lord, starting with my morning cup of coffee. The operative word is starting.

A chance to put my eyes back on Heaven.

A chance to go from my desolation to consolation--that is, the consolation I can offer to Jesus.

A chance to clear away the sins that have been piling up.

A chance to turn to Our Blessed Mother and observe the operations of her soul.

Of course, I could have done these things--and had the proper mindset--throughout the year,  avoiding all this angst that has accumulated. But I am human, a mom human, and I have a human habit of losing track of these imperative devotions when the world knocks on my door with homeschool research papers and fair projects, with knitting projects, with writing cleaning, shuttling kids, groceries...yadda, yadda, yadda. The noise of busyness!

I ignored our quiet and gentle Lord, who has been waiting for me all along.

Have a wonderful Ash Wednesday.

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