M-A-R-C-H! It feels oh so very good to say goodbye to February and move one day closer to spring. I’ve been off my game: doldrums, cravings, weight gain, apathy, restlessness, confusion … and I’m not even pregnant! Chalk it up to two parts “The Februaries” and one part spiritual warfare. Scratch that: it’s probably more like two parts spiritual warfare and one part The Februaries. I met up with a friend earlier this week and she asked, “Are you still seeing a spiritual director.” “Nope,” I quickly replied. And my friend said, “I can tell.”
Ugh. (We laughed about it, but still … ugh!)
Without getting into the details, my husband and I are discerning some changes for our family. God is speaking to us, nudging us to reconsider things as they are, yet the path forward really hasn’t been made clear. So we wait, and I’m very restless and impatient. I want answers, Lord! Thank God for this season of Lent and its focus on prayer and fasting.
On a recent episode of The Jennifer Fulwiler Show on SiriusXM’s The Catholic Channel, Dr. Bill Thierfelder, president of Belmont Abbey College, was chatting with Jen and said, “Whether you are a world-class athlete, a world-class mom, or a world-class business man, when you put everything into that present moment, not only will you perform your very best, you are in union with God in that moment. The degree to which we remain in the present moment is the degree to which we are in union with God.”
Powerful words, huh? What initially grabbed my attention was Dr. Thierfelder’s words “world-class mom.” How often do we moms lump ourselves into the same category as world-class athletes or world-class business men? How often do we even believe that the work we do rises to the level of world-class anything? How many times have I instead allowed the snarky title of “World’s Worst Mom” to creep into my thoughts and impact my actions?
As I pondered this world-class athlete and mom connection, Russell Wilson, the quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, came to mind. (Because nothing screams world-class mom like Russell Wilson, right?!) Wilson had another terrific year on the football field, leading his team to a second consecutive Super Bowl. By now you most likely know how that game ended. Russell Wilson threw a last-minute interception, crushing the Seahawks’ chance to become back-to-back champions. The play leading to the interception was mercilessly analyzed and scrutinized by the sport’s talking heads; one football legend even said it was the worst play call in the history of football. Really, the worst play ever?
Russell Wilson’s reaction?
Thank You God for the opportunity. We’ll be back… I will never waiver on who He has called me to be… Thanks 12s #GoHawks
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) February 2, 2015
Now there’s a man who is secure in his identity as a beloved son of God.
I concede that the demands Russell Wilson faces on a daily basis really can’t compare to the demands we moms experience day in and day out. But how often lately have I become overwhelmed by the “defensive pressure” and thrown an interception. It’s not so much the interception that pushes me to the sidelines, rather my response to the setback. In these moments, I allow the “world’s worst mom” thoughts to creep into my mind and play havoc on the present moment that God has gifted to me. I ought to take a page from Russell Wilson’s playbook and shift my focus: Thank you God for the opportunity to mother these children. You have wired me to be the very best mother these kids need, and I shall never waiver on who You have called me to be.
This also circles back to Dr. Thierfelder’s profound thought:
The degree to which we remain in the present moment is the degree to which we are in union with God.” — Dr. Thierfelder
Have I told you lately how relieved I am that March has arrived? Not only am I more than happy to say sayonara to “The Februaries,” I’m finding consolation in the Holy Father’s March evangelization prayer intention: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church be recognized always.
I try to begin each morning praying the Morning Offering. Its words help unite my will to what God wills for me that day.
through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer You my prayers, works,
joys and sufferings of this day
for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart,
in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world,
in reparation for my sins,
for the intentions of all my relatives and friends,
and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father.
The last line unites our prayers with those of the Holy Father’s. Throughout March, when we pray the Morning Offering, we will also pray for the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church, including us moms who bear witness to the faith and devotedly rear our children in the spirit of the Gospel. We are heroically doing so against a backdrop of an increasingly secularized culture while combating the evil one who would have us believe we ain’t cut out for this thing called motherhood. Each time I pray the Morning Offering this month and whisper “for the intentions of the Holy Father,” I will link arms with moms around the world as we pour our everything into the present moment, remain in union with God, and recognize our potential as world-class moms. Join me, please.
- Dive deeper into the Pope’s monthly prayer intentions with resources from the Apostleship of Prayer.
- While we’re praying for women’s unique contribution to the life of the Church, now seems like a good time to dust off St. Pope John Paul II’s Mulieris Dignitatem or On the Dignity and Vocation of Women.
- Finally, Lisa Hendey wrote a timely and inspiring piece for The Berkley Forum titled The Blogosphere as Mission Field: Catholic Women on the Web Transform What Women’s Leadership Means that is really worth a read.