Little Efforts

James FINALLY is in the boys room!

I am amazed at the number of times my kitchen explodes in one day.  Something about feeding 11 people three times a day leaves a mark.  Wasn’t this counter top just wiped off?  How is it possible to have that many crumbs on the floor after one meal?  Not to mention dishes, dishes, and more dishes.  Everyone pitches in of course.  However, if everyone who pitched in really put their mind to it things would get accomplished fairly quickly.  Instead, I am surrounded by the walking dead.  


You may get tired of hearing about the book I am reading, I Believe in Love, but I can’t help but share a little nugget from the past week.   Father Jean D’Elbee reminds us, that God is pleased simply when we turn our will to Him with firm resolve.  When we firmly desire to love and serve God above all else, this brings joy to our Lord.  Now, this is not to say we think it and it is over - far from it.  Any exercise of our faith begins with a firm resolve.  It is a first step.  This first step is then followed by a living out of what is held in our hearts.  


For example, in marriage, we promise to love each other in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, through richer and poor, till death do us part.  At this point, we are simply saying to our spouse, “I will it.”  Our beloved’s intention in that moment is enough to fill our heart with joy.  After the wedding, we begin to live those words.


I know for myself, I can become so disheartened by my continual falls into those sins I so greatly desire to avoid.  As Jesus tells his disciples, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  Father Jean’s words encourage me to realize that God isn’t always looking at me shaking his head in disbelief at my latest blunder.  God sees in me a will to love Him above all else, and continues to hold out His merciful hands to me to encourage me to respond to His love with my own.  


I am sure you have heard the saying, “Where there is a will, there is a way.”   That Way is Christ!


If my children could simply turn their will to doing their tasks well before even beginning them, it would be a whole different house.  Instead, they allow themselves to despair at the task ahead before it even begins.  As a result, they are bound to fail, grumble, and ultimately cause themselves more work.


There is a wonderful prayer for mothers that asks God to, “Bless our little efforts.”  If I could continually turn my will to God, each moment of each day, my actions will follow.   My little efforts of seeking to be a good and holy mother will steadily lead me to closer relationship to Christ and to a truer version of myself.  


As for my children and cleaning the kitchen - I will continue to encourage them to start with their will and hopefully, in time, their actions will follow.  Until then, I will have to continue to shake the “living dead” to life with a taser as necessary :)  JMJ


A Mother's Prayer

Sweet Baby James

O Good God, we thank Thee, that Thou has given us children, made them heirs of heaven by holy baptism and entrusted to us their training.  Penetrate us with a sense of our responsibility; assist us in the care of their health, but especially in the preservation of their innocence and purity of heart.  Grant that we may teach them early to know and serve Thee, and to love Thee, with their whole heart.  Grant that we ourselves may carefully avoid all that we must forbid them, and may assiduously practice all that we should inculcate to them.  We commend them, O God, to Thy paternal care and to the guardianship of Thy holy angels.  Bless, O heavenly Father, our little efforts!  May our children's advancement in years be to Thy honor, and may they persevere to the end!  Amen.