Prayer of Saint Francis of AssisiLord, 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
craploadlot 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 throughWhat does this mean for parents like my husband and myself? Three things:
incredibly selfish stages of brattinessdevelopmental phases that drive their parents into states of froth-mouthed insanitytest 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.
- 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!
- Teamwork: Recently, my husband was
on the other side of the freaking planetout of the country sightseeing and getting hours of uninterrupted sleepon 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 gypsieslosing 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.
- 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.