Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Crying to God

David is currently studying maternity (women's health, pregnancy, labor & delivery, newborn care, and lactation) in nursing school. Last week in his clinical he spent hours holding, diapering, feeding, bathing, swaddling, and otherwise caring for newborns in the nursery. He came home and reported that such work requires a high noise tolerance - at any given time, several of the babies in the nursery were crying! They cried when they were hungry, needed a change, felt cold, etc. David drew a beautiful comparison between newborns and all of God's children, who cry out to Him (or should!) with their every need. He said it so beautifully - I won't attempt to do his analogy justice here. But I will say that I LIVED what he was describing today.

Today was a difficult day. This kind of day comes every month we go without the pregnancy we so desire. A combination of squashed hopes and hormonal flux leave me emotional and weary. Whenever I found myself becoming overwhelmed with anxiety at work, I tried to pray. And this is how it usually came out: "I need You!" That's all: "I need You." I was like a helpless baby letting the Great Caretaker know I didn't feel good.

And He answered my cry. On most Wednesday evenings I am able to attend Adoration and Mass at a local parish. Today I knelt before Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament and God brought a song into my heart (as He does so often): "I lay it down, I lay it down, I lay it down at Your feet." I released my burden and stretched out my empty hands, asking God to fill them with His love and mercy and peace...and Himself. The Giver of all good things.

Our Heavenly Father once again reminded me that I mustn't let myself get all caught up in anticipation of pregnancy. Yes, I am still certain that God has called me to motherhood and I'm all too eager to fulfill that aspect of my vocation. But I cannot neglect my relationship with Him in the interim! Every day is an opportunity to draw close to Christ and to cultivate the virtues I will need to be a holy wife and mother. Every day I can find countless ways the Lord has blessed me, countless reasons to shower my God with grateful praise.

Lord, help me. Mary, pray for me.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

First unsteady step: Humility

First, I must thank you for reading. It's amazing to observe and then participate in this blogging arena which our culture has adopted. I attribute blogging to the lack of "community feel" western society encounters in day-to-day existence. I feel blogging is one way for those who want to reach out and share. So, for those who are reading this, I am grateful that you are willing to explore and catch a snap-shot of our life.

Now, my wife is an avid blog reader and has fully integrated herself into this new community. I, on the other hand, feel like a waddling toddler being led by his mother's hand into a room full of talking adults. With expressions of confusion and amazement, the little toddler lobs his head around at the people sharing with each other. He wonders at the different tones, pitches, shrills, mutterings, and occasional silence. With unsteady steps, he grips his mother's hand tighter and moves further into the room, constantly feeding off of her secure presence.

Yeah, that's me and our heavenly Mother.

With most new ventures, no matter what my age, I have a tendency to revert back to an egocentric, infant-like approach. Then with God's grace, I grow beyond myself and then reach out to those around me. So, please excuse me for the baby talk. In time, I'll start giving like a grown-up, but for now, I like being His child.

So I leave off with a wonderful prayer that has kept me grounded in His love for weeks now: the Litany of Humility. For those who have read St. Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle, I have found that her words ring true: "And so I repeat that it is a very good thing - excellent, indeed - to begin by entering the room where humility is acquired rather than by flying off to other rooms. For that is the way to make progress..."(p14, May 2004). I find that when I embrace my dependence upon God and aspire to love others, I can truly move forward. Thus, I hope to do that with this first post. Thank you and I love you, brothers and sisters in Christ.

(All glory to God and all corrected grammar and punctuation to my wife.)

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Beginning

Welcome! David and I are so grateful to have you with us here at Loving and Serving. As we approach the six-month mark of our marriage we continue to seek ways to foster unity between us and share our love and God's love with others. We hope this blog will become for us and for you a sacred space of sharing - we'll ponder everything from the ordinary to the Divine, all for the greater glory of God (one blessing - and I count them where I can - from my Jesuit college education is my familiarity with the phrase ad majorem dei gloriam). You can expect to read about our Catholic faith, our hopes for our family, living in Charlotte, frugality, nursing school (David), going green (Frances), technology, music, good reads, prayer, and more.

We hope you'll consider bookmarking our website, subscribing to our feed, and commenting often. We look forward to hearing from you!