confessions of a new mom

“Today… was officially… the WORST day EVER!” I exclaimed after a long day of what seemed like hour upon hour of a fussy, overactive, nap-fighting, teething baby.

I knew I was exaggerating. I knew I was being a drama queen.

But sometimes, that’s the best therapy (for me, at least): to speak in fourth grade level hyperbole. To let that frustration out like a bang.

“And guess what? It was also the BEST day EVER… because we have HIM [our son]!” Matt chimed in.

I smiled. He spoke truth.

“You’re right… you’re SO right.” I agreed.

Recently, I have found myself an ungrateful mother. I may be a saint in the making, but I am no living saint now! (Ha, ha, ha!)

“God, you say you know how many hairs I have on my head? Well, I want to pull out ALL of them right now!” I kept thinking today.

It’s amazing how much of “my life” I have felt that I have “lost” since giving birth to my son. Career plans? What career? Hobbies? What hobbies? Free time? Ha! Ha, ha, ha!

But my husband is right.  When we got married, we vowed that our marriage would be ,”free, total, faithful, and FRUITFUL.” And God sure did deliver (fast!) on that fourth “f” (when he blessed us with the FRUIT of our LOVE: our dear son)!

We said “yes” to being free, total, faithful, and fruitful… we said “yes” to LIFE. Which is actually quite funny. Because while that YES meant gaining the CUTEST, most LIFE-filled baby in our arms, it also meant LOSING *our* lives as we knew them! It is our dear son’s life over ours now. We are called to LOVE by laying down our LIFE for his.

Yet in the end, it’s like a 1,000,000,000^infinity return on LIFE– just a different kind of life. One that is full of suffering, sacrifice, and selflessness. Yet it is precisely that life, I’ve found, that grows… that grows me and my husband as a woman and a man, respectively– and that, hopefully, will make the world a better place one day: via passing on that spirit of sacrificial Jesus-like love to our dear son.

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He ended up tryin’ to eat my Confirmation teaching materials today! This boy’s on the move, and boy is he fast now!

the human experience

The last few days I’ve been pondering the fragility of the human experience.

…My husband and I have dealt with a very fussy baby recently. In the learning process, we found that our son falls right asleep quickly when he is placed between his two parents in bed. So precious! Such a simple solution that we stumbled upon in serendipity! He rolls to his left, sees Daddy, rolls to his right, sees Mommy, and drifts off to dream.

In this little moment, I realized just how precious the order of marriage and family is, even to the tiniest and youngest of children.
…I also visited my workplace this last Friday. As I have been on maternity leave, many feelings were evoked upon my return: of my work there, of my overall life mission, of my dear friend co-workers, of my former clients. As a counselor, I work with “the human experience” in the raw, in real time, at its worst and at its best.I realized just how much my coworkers and I truly care for our clients, and moreover, just how much we care for one another as a team, as a family.

…This week, I was also jolted in shock by the report of two newscasters and their interviewee being shot point-blank by their former co-worker. Both the newscaster and the cameraman were killed instantly.  Both were about my age. Both were in similar life situations that I have just gone through myself: finding true love, getting engaged, living passionately in newly started careers.
Perhaps to my regret, I even saw the video of the newscaster’s last moments. That look of terror on her face will forever be etched in my memory.
I realized just how ephemeral, how fleeting life is. Every day, every moment, every opportunity to love and to serve… truly is a gift. We cannot count on tomorrow.
…I’ve also felt so utterly disgusted (and betrayed by the government) regarding the heinous crimes against children, women, and humanity itself by Planned Parenthood. These crimes recently surfaced via undercover work at Planned Parenthood. The main man behind the undercover work is a friend of many of my close friends.
Doctors at Planned Parenthood have been selling baby body parts and intact fetuses. Worse yet, doctors and other employees at Planned Parenthood have been harvesting baby body parts, such as brains, while those babies are still alive.
Who has the gut to stomach this and to say that it is permissible on any level? Why do my tax dollars fund this evil? My human heart is grieving.
I realized just how vulnerable life is, especially life that does not have the strength to defend itself.
I realized just how ugly life can get and just how evil and greedy (if not for money, for pride) we as humans can be. And no, I am not exempt from those temptations.
The only thing my heart can conclude is that at the intersection of all of these realizations is the ultimate reality that this LIFE is not our own and that as humans we are not meant merely to do as we please. Instead, God has given us a plan for love and for life, and we are to live accordingly for our good, the good of others, and the good of LIFE itself.
This beautiful LIFE given to us by our Creator is meant to be cherished, to be treasured, not taken for granted, and worse yet, destroyed.
(And hey, I’m not just writing this post because I want to point fingers. I too take life for granted. I too destroy the LIFE in me and in others when I sin.)

Little ol’ me…. just one in a trillion humans of all of humanity.

But my MISSION remains and I DO have the power to change.

I am called to protect LIFE and to wholeheartedly to live out God’s plan for life and love. Come what may.

They call it the human experience. Yes, at its very finest.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”John 10:10-11

I met Saint GIanna’s daughter, also Gianna! Saint Gianna Beretta Molla was a true testament to someone whose mission was to protect life, to live according to God’s plans for love and life.

they’re one in the same

Ah, this.

Yes, this.

Silence.

My two boys asleep: my hubby and my son.

Silence! Time to think uninterruptedly. Alas…. alas!

And yet, I am so tired. It is SO late.

Who knew the vocation of motherhood could be so exhausting?! Really, zillions of other women have gone through this?!

And yet, it’s an exhilarating feeling that I am left with at the end of the day. Honestly, I’ve dreamed of being a mommy even before grade school. (As I experience all of this joy being a new mommy, I can’t help but pray even more for those struggling with infertility and miscarriage– I cannot imagine that pain. <3)

All of those moments that I want to bang my head during the day when my son is fussing, screaming, or just being overactive and not napping… they are put to *shame* when, at the moment that my baby finally DOES fall asleep, I pull out my smartphone and peruse my photos and videos of him. Ha! Ha! Ha ha ha ha!

What I am learning about motherhood is this: sacrifice. Isn’t that the single word that comes up numerous times on this blog?!

Sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice. Whew!

Yet what I am also learning is this beautiful, mysterious paradox: that I revel in this sacrifice. That at the time that I hate it, I also love it, because I know that it is edifying.

Sacrifice and love: one in the same. THAT is what I have been learning. 

I am being edified… refined… purified.

The one event that has made me “grow up”? Having a child of my own. Cliche, yes. But true, so true.

I often wonder if this is how God feels with me as his daughter. He sees me crying, he sees me blindly hurting myself, he sees me confused, he sees me needy, he sees me being just a little bit naughty sometimes (or maybe other times, very, very in the wrong), he sees me THIRSTY… he sees me HUNGRY. AND IN IT ALL, HE LOVES ME! He only wants the best for me! HE SAYS, “COME, DRINK MY BLOOD. COME, EAT MY FLESH.” Oh my! ” ❤

My motherhood is teaching me soooo much about my daughterhood of the King Most High…

But I am exhausted. So, good night for now! 🙂

#tobecontinued

“Look mom! Sushi! Mmmmm” 😛

My great uncle took a candid of us at dinner one day... we never get family shots! Life is going by too quickly. Hope we get another one soon. ;)

A (blurry) candid of us at dinner one day… we never get family shots! Life is going by too quickly. Hope we get another one soon. 😉

“Make me a channel!”

In light of the new pope, Pope Francis, I’d like to share a “Culture of Life-ism.” As coined by my youth minister friend, a “Culture of Life-ism” is a short catchy saying that someone can use to promote, you guessed it, the Culture of Life.

Culture of Life-ism for today: “Make me a channel!” A short, handy-dandy saying that you can pray all throughout YOUR day so that you can be fully alive.

So when can you use “make me a channel!”? Why, any time!

In the morning, when you wake up and don’t want to get out of bed. Hop out of bed, and onto the floor on bended knee. Clasp your hands together, and pray: “Make me a channel!”

When you’re talking to someone who’s challenging your Faith and your beliefs, and you’re about to loose your cool, or you’re just at a complete loss for words. Smile at that person and silently pray: “Make me a channel!”

When you’re sitting in front of a pile of textbooks that you have been dreading cracking open. On the top of that juxtaposed pile of lined paper, write: “Make me a channel!”

When you’re on the job, filling out some tedious paperwork, get out the sticky notes and write: “Make me a channel!”

When you find yourself at your wit’s end with either your significant other, or a parent, or a child. Whisper under your breath: “Make me a channel!”

When you’re having a bad, bad day, and someone does something that really irritates you, like cut you in line or cut you off on the road. Start to hum: “Make me a channel!”

Sanctity is not about doing great things. Sanctity is about letting Our LORD use you as His channel in the smallest things imaginable, and in your every day life happenings!

Sanctity is everyday discipleship.

Grace is the life of Christ in us. We can only be fully alive in Christ (as St. Irenaeus says) if we first let Him use us in the littlest of ways. Only then can He use us in big ways! Let us always let Our LORD make us a channel of not only His peace, but moreover His eternal life!

Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring your love.
Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord,
And where there’s doubt, true faith in you.

Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness only light,
And where there’s sadness ever joy.

O Master, grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled, as to console,
To be understood, as to understand,
To be loved, as to love, with all my soul.

Make me a channel of your peace.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
In giving of ourselves that we receive,
And in dying that we’re born to eternal life.

–The Prayer of Saint Francis (song version)

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This one is mad that Pope Francis is in the Chair of Saint Peter.