Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Today, I just needed to re-read and pray this:

Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek

to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen
 I needed to read it s.l.o.w.l.y. I needed to read it thoughtfully. I needed to read it prayerfully. It seems that there is a crapload lot of upheaval in the world all around us right now. It also seems that there is a lot of upheaval in my tiny "world within the world" lately.

Nothing horrific. Mostly just your garden-variety angst. Typical parenting stuff that you would expect in any family, maybe just ratcheted up a notch because our family is more than twice the size of the average family in the U.S.. So, while it's typical for a child to go through incredibly selfish stages of brattiness developmental phases that drive their parents into states of froth-mouthed insanity test their parents patience, it's a little more tricky when you have 3 or 4 kids going through different phases simultaneously. AND, one child's phase can, directly and indirectly, affect another child's phase. 
 What does this mean for parents like my husband and myself? Three things:
  1. Prioritizing:  While each child's phase is important (especially to that child!), some phases require a more "hands-on" approach than others. This does not mean we ignore or downplay certain phases --hence, our exhaustion!--, it simply means that we deal with certain phases more directly and firmly than we do with others. And, it all works out in the end, because eventually you'll be that kid who is in that phase which merits "top priority" --- and you'll probably hate all the attention!
  2. Teamwork:  Recently, my husband was on the other side of the freaking planet out of the country sightseeing and getting hours of uninterrupted sleep on business and I witnessed the absolute and total need for a two-parent home. Sorry,I am not single-parent-bashing here, just giving those single parents major kudos if they can make it through the child-raising years without selling their kids to the gypsies losing all sanity. Instead of saying, "Listen Mister, just wait until Daddy gets home tonight!", I found myself saying, "Listen Mister, just wait until we Skype with Daddy tonight!"; not an equally scary threat. It really does take two present parents to raise children, and sometimes a third parent would be ideal.
  3. Prayer: Lots and lots of prayer. This does not include phrases uttered in exasperation, such as "Sweet Lord! Please remove the vocal chords from these children for just 5 minutes!". Wait. Maybe it does include phrases like that. As much as I know and talk about "giving all burdens over to God", it is really, really difficult to do that. Trust, hope, and pray. Trust, hope, and pray. C'mon, say it with me now!

Number three brings me right back to where I started: St. Francis.
THANK YOU, St. Francis. THANK YOU, Lord.
I need to be reminded to ask for peace, to let myself be used as a "instrument of peace", and that there is peace. Always.


  1. Mary Kate,
    My pot pie recipe is posted in the comments section of my post. I hope you like it! Thanks for the feedback!

  2. Mary Kate, you have a wonderful sense of humor! Love this post and your responses to rude questions on the side bar! I've sure heard all of those comments but never came up with those witty replies! I usually get attacked at the grocery story when I'm piling up my cart. When people ask me if I'm shopping for an army, I tell them "no, it's all for me, I'm just hungry!" And when the kids were little, people would ask me if they were all mine. I'd say "No, I just like shopping with kids, these are the neighborhood kids!"

    Thanks for your sweet comments on my latest post!

  3. We'll have to trade out visits! I'll come let them play in the snow for like, a day or two, and you can come in the summer, where when you go outside, it feels like you have a wool blanket covering your entire body. Even the pools are 89 degrees!
    Seriously, I plan to do a winter vacation someday where they can experience a different climate AND I'm getting a little sick of the beach, but don't tell anyone I said that! :)

  4. Enjoyed reading your blog tonight! I stuggle with my 3 going through their different phases, so I can only imagine it with 6! How blessed you are to have such a big wonderful family :)

  5. Thanks, Traci! I think phases are just awful whether you have 1 or 20. A necessary evil, perhaps? ;-) Thanks for reading!