May should be a time for joy. With the Easter season underway, the school year winding down, beautiful weather shyly creeping in and summer vacation on the horizon, there are an abundance of opportunities for evangelizing moms to sing the praises of the Lord.
In reality, though, May can provoke a seedier side from us ordinary Christian mothers. Because May also means end-of-the year parties to be attended, teacher gifts to be bought, recitals to be watched, sports championships to be played, work to be balanced, and consequently we moms wishing we had homeschooled our kids after all, we can feel ready to be institutionalized because, hey, at least there we wouldn’t have to do the dishes.
And to add insult to injury, Mother’s Day comes along and we become even more overwhelmed with guilt. Our children and husbands (if they have been properly trained) champion our efforts in the home and attempt to make us feel special–all the while we are secretly scrolling through the Internet admiring and yearning for the solitary and lucrative life of a crab fisherman or wondering why more Mother’s Day cookies don’t look like this:
(visit http://www.hungryhappenings.com to place your order)
The truth is that as May’s pressures mount, it can be easy to give into feelings of defeat, guilt, and frustration and consequently feel disconnected from the faith we normally long to share. So how can we not only survive but also revive our faith in this month of madness? While this is not an exhaustive list (that would be too exhausting to accomplish in May, by golly), it is a start:
1. Keep it simple.
As moms who love Jesus and His church, we are passionate about our faith. The Eucharist, the doctrines, the theology, and all the “shadows of heaven” draw us closer to the Lord, and we naturally desire to share it. At times, though, we can let the abundance of God’s teachings overshadow the most basic truth we should be clinging to: that Jesus died for us and loves us. And it is during times like May—when we really just want to hide inside a gopher’s hole until our kids are in their 30s—that we can truly appreciate God’s most merciful and redemptive power.
Wikipedia confirms the existence of the phenomenon known as spontaneous human combustion. While it doesn’t list May as one of the igniters, it very well should. It doesn’t take a scientist to know that pressure has to be relieved or it will explode. Therefore, when May’s stresses increase, we shouldn’t just grin and bear it; rather, we should grin and share it.
One of the greatest healing sacraments in the Catholic Church is Penance. Bearing our souls to a good priest through a confession can work wonders in strengthening our perseverance and our faith. It also doesn’t hurt to find a faithful friend—probably one who actually is holier than thou—to share our anxieties with and to ask for her prayers.
Fortunately for us wiped-out mothers, prayer can take on various forms. It stands to reason that it can also include a grown woman crying to God on the kitchen floor in the perfect fetal ball. And should such a fetal ball seem too daunting during this month, we can always remember our friend from #2 and pray for the Lord to at least listen to her.
4. Lighten up.
When life is hectic and we are tempted to become undone by it all, it might just be time to lighten up because God is, in fact, still in control. Rather than dwell on all of our challenges, it might be worth finding alternative, less serious, ways to celebrate life. Yes, bed racing or elephant polo are actually viable options, but the choice is our own. In fact, this month’s blog admittedly does not offer any great theological insights, but it does offer practical advice and perhaps a smile. And hopefully, that’s worth something.
Copyright © 2013, Krissie Allen