It’s time once again for Joel’s deacon formation summer school at Conception Abbey in Missouri when we pack up all of Das Schmidt Haus, kids too, and live with the Benedictine monks for the week. Yesterday, probably sensing my stress level slowly but steadily rising while trying to get everything in order for the week (while also being sick as a dog the last couple of days — yes, please feel sorry for me), Lucy asks,
“Why aren’t you excited to go to the Abbey, mom? You’ve been there lots of times. You love it there.”
That kid always knows just what to say, just at the right moment, too. I DO love it there, and it WILL be a good week. It will. Yes, it will. (I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…)
Throughout this diaconate journey, my constant plea to God has been, “Lord, just please send me Mary Poppins! I can’t get through this without her.” While my plea for the perfect nanny doesn’t quite match up with the criteria Jane and Michael Banks’ demanded in their song, we wish the same outcome: a nanny (okay, just suitable childcare) for two adorable children (and one on the way!).
From the moment this diaconate formation journey began, I keep searching for signs — validation that we are on the right path; that this is His call and not Joel’s or mine or anyone else’s inward desires. And God keeps gifting us with little signs; giving us motivation to keep on running this race with perseverance. He helps us find a Mary Poppins every time we need her to balance family needs with formation commitments. Sometimes Mary Poppins is a family member — my mom, sister and sister-in-law specifically — other times Mary Poppins looks like a family of six who welcomes our kids into their home and treats them as one of their own. This week Mary Poppins comes to us via two teenagers who live on a farm near the Abbey. Their mom is also the registrar at Conception Seminary College. All three just happen to “have a cheery disposition, rosy cheeks and no warts, who play games, and are kind, witty, very sweet and fairly pretty.” Okay, more than just fairly pretty. They are beautiful, lovely women … all three!
Even with these more than adequate childcare arrangements, we humbly ask for your prayers for our week at the Abbey. Pray for us, please? In return, will you allow us to pray for you? A week at the Abbey affords plenty of quiet moments to pray the Liturgy of the Hours with the monks, celebrate Mass in the beautiful Basilica, sneak into the chapel for Adoration, and meditate in quiet places found in every nook and cranny on the Abbey grounds.
Can we pray for you, too? Let us know by sharing your prayer request in the comments below or privately via our contact form here.
Here’s to a blessed week!