I have a spiritual accountability partner (henceforth referred to as SAP). Like many souls, my drive and motivation tend to fluctuate and I can’t tell you how this girl helps keep my heart above water. We check up on each other every few weeks and though our discussion frequently strays from the spiritual to the domestic, I’m always inspired at the close of our conversations. We haven’t been doing this for long, but it’s certain that God is working through her to move my soul. The other day we were talking about disciplining young toddlers and she mentioned maintaining “the angelic sweetness of Mary” toward both her little ones and husband. Since our conversation, this phrase has been playing non-stop like a song in my head. I’ve read that angelic sweetness stems from a prayer life that is constant – a life that is centered on God. What’s particularly wonderful to me personally is that my confessor recently advised me to always stay in touch with God; to bring Him everything – EVERYTHING. (Side note: How cool that my SAP and confessor mentioned the same ideas around the same time!) I want to bring God all matters great and simple because I know that without Him, I’m nothing but bad habits on two legs.
Ok – for example :) It’s rough getting out the door to scoot about town running errands with Liam and a [very large and active] in-utero baby boy – I need the diaper bag, keys, my wallet, the to-do list, Liam of course, energy, God’s grace, and a third arm. Hauling everything and everyone out to the car after first setting the house alarm and locking the door is a juggling act; and in this relentless heat of the South, it’s sticky and frustrating. This is the type of thing I want to remember to bring to Christ, asking Him to get the little men and me to the car, strapped in, and on the road. Will disaster strike somewhere between the front door and end of the driveway? Probably not, but knowing that Christ is present in my endeavors strengthens my will profoundly. In bringing Him everything that’s on my heart – each stress and joy – my soul will certainly obtain angelic sweetness. I have long had the desire to be sweet, but could never put my finger on how to go about it. Prayer should not be limited to a routine 15 minutes a day, 20 seconds before dinner, or 1 hour per week; rather, it should be breath, constantly flowing in and out of my soul, receiving the love of God and offering it back to Him. It goes without saying, however, that the virtue of constant prayer develops from these instances of habitual and ritual prayer.
The other part of the concept of “the angelic sweetness of Mary” is the Blessed Mother. Consider how sweet she is – the Queen of even God’s heart. I was thinking the other day about how earth-shattering it would be to have Christ physically present in your family at all times as she and St. Joseph did. The quality of marriage they had must have been HUGE! and that’s what I want. To a certain degree, I’m limited because I wasn’t born without sin like Mary; but if I allow God’s grace in my soul and breathe prayer in and out, I can bring so much more to the table than what I do now. With just one person moving toward a life of prayer and virtue, things change for every surrounding life. My husband is already a “man after God’s own heart” and inspires me because he actively pursues to be even more so; and Liam sets a great example because he hasn’t even sinned yet, so I have to catch up! The truth is that developing angelic sweetness is a feat in itself, but when I do remember to offer Christ the on-goings of my mind and heart, there is nothing more comforting or empowering than His presence in every nook and cranny of my life. With persistence and the grace of God, this extraordinary virtue can become ordinary for my soul.
- My mother-in-law and aunts-in-law threw Thomas a baby shower just this past Saturday. It was so exciting because receiving the new things on his behalf made his imminent arrival a little more real to me. I’m pregnant. WHAT??!! It was a wonderful blessing and everyone had a great time!
- Liam is 17 mos. now and I am LOVING this early-toddler stage! He is so sweet (with a bit of a bite sometimes) and we have a great time. He turned on his radio the other day and “Livin’ On Love” by Alan Jackson came on – he got up from the floor so he could shake his arms and bounce up and down (read: dance), and I swept him up and we laughed and danced and tickled to the whole song. What a BLAST! He is so playful and darling that I know when this passes, I will forever miss it. But at the same time, I’m so eager for the increase in fun his increase in age will allow!
- Of the 7 women I know who were expecting at the beginning of the summer, 2 of them have delivered and 1 is having her baby on Friday! The domino-effect is underway and it won’t be long before it’s my turn! 7 more weeks til Thomas Joseph Gabriel arrives! In the beginning of my pregnancy, I thought it was taking FOREVER but I can’t believe it’s almost over. As of right now, he is pretty active and playful, which I’m sure will grow with his size. My due date is October 15th, but I’m crossing my fingers for an early delivery. Maybe on the 10th – his great-grandma’s, uncle’s, AND grandma’s birthday??
- A big occupant of my time lately has been NESTING. When we found out that Thomas was a boy, I sat down and made a GIANT To-Do list for the house; deadline October 1st (I’d like to have it all out of the way WELL before the littler man arrives). I’m so proud to say that thanks to the unwavering and sacrificial support of my husband, there remains but a small handful of items to check off! I’ll have to post pictures soon, but the boys’ room is painted, decorations hung, bathroom tub re-caulked, living room rearranged, corners de-cluttered and closets purged – among other things. The summer has been VERY productive and so much fun! I’m all about doing it on a dime, too.
- BEST for Last: Andrew is my hero and favorite person. Have I mentioned that? Last week he came home with a dozen roses and just the other night surprised me with a dinner date at a restaurant neither of us had tried! We’ve been having a great time lately and life is happily moving right along. It’s a blessing and sweet comfort to know that (God willing) he will be by my side for the rest of my life.