the feast of the exalutation of the holy cross

Of course.

That's all that comes to my mind as I sit here to write.

Of course, George and Evie were the worst they have ever been in mass today.
Of course, she was screaming at the top of her lungs while the church was silent.
Of course, we were late to school today.
Of course, George stood on the basement steps, naked....peeing all over the carpet.
Of course, George wouldn't share any toys with the Vacek children.
Of course, I have a mountain of laundry waiting to be folded.
Of course, I have a sink full of dishes that need to be washed by hand since our dishwasher decided to stop cleaning them.
Of course, sweet, little, Kate Vacek said to me "what's wrong with your kids?"
Of course, there is pee all over the bathroom toilets and toothpaste sprayed all over the mirrors.
Of course, I didn't get up this morning to meet my good friends to run
And of course, TJ didn't come home tonight until 7:30.

Do you get the picture? It hasn't exactly been a great day today......or has it? It all depends on how one looks at it. I had forgotten that today is the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. I was reminded of it during mass this morning. Now it all makes sense. I guess it was a good day for practicing to carry my crosses.

We must carry our crosses if we want to get to heaven. Right. I forget that in order to get to heaven we must do what is hard and carry and accept our cross. My crosses today were many, many, small annoying ones. Nevertheless, they were my sanctification, my path to heaven today. Father said in mass, Let us carry our cross today with joy.... I know that God wanted me to hear that because I miraculously heard him over one who was screaming and one who was just naughty. Thank you God for letting me hear that and reminding me to accept my cross and carry it.

I was talking with Lindsay the other day and she was telling me about a woman who's blog she had read. She lost her 18 month only child to drowning not long ago. In her blog she says that We are called to do hard things.... I can do things that are hard. I thought that was absolutely beautiful. That is how I want to live my life. That is the mindset that I want to have every time things don't go my way. When I'm anxious, worried, or full of fear. When life gets chaotic, messy, and stressful. And when things get really hard like when someone is sick, terminally ill, or even death. My biggest fears of all. When those happen, I hope to have the courage to say, I can do hard things. And know that it is God who is right there with me, helping me.

I have this constant battle going on inside of my head. It's a battle between wanting life to be easy.....to conceive children with no trouble, have no morning sickness during pregnancy, have children behave perfectly, be polite, sleep through the night the day they are born and never have any sleep issues there after, and have good manners......always. To escape all sickness during the flu season, to never experience a serious illness for myself, family and friends. To buy whatever we want at the store, decorate my house just perfectly......

And then knowing that we must suffer and carry our cross to gain eternal life. To do what is hard. By hard I mean, caring for sick children, washing sheets for the third night in a row after they were peed on....again. Waking up little ones from naps in order to load them up and drive to school to pick up the older ones. Watching your husband come home from work stressed from a hectic day. Putting the three year old back in his bed for the one hundredth time that evening. Folding a mountain of laundry and then having to put it all away. To give in and let your husband have a night off after you've had a very long day yourself. Listening to whinning children all day long. Standing in the back of mass every Sunday with children who won't behave....And then there's the REALLY hard stuff. Caring for your spouse or child who is dying from cancer, losing a child unexpectedly, your husband losing his job, watching your children grow and make mistakes, or even worse, get into drugs, alcohol, pre-marital sex, and leaving the church. Battling cancer while trying to love and care for your husband and children. These are hard situitations.

I want to teach our children that we can do hard things. Because isn't life hard? Isn't that what God asks of us? To carry our cross and follow Him? I want our children to know how to pick up their crosses, big or small, and offer them up.

But I can't teach them something I'm not doing.

So I better start with myself. And practice carrying my crosses. Practice offering up the days when things just don't go the way I would have like them to....you know, easy and fun. So I guess today was a good day. A good day to practice joyfully carrying my cross. I want to look at the crucifix tonight as I end this day. Really look at it. And thank God for giving His life, so that I may live. And for giving us the example of how to carry our crosses.

Thomas set the table tonight all on his own while I was upstairs giving the kids a bath. I came downstairs to see this. For the feast of the Holy Cross he said.

George did have a nice moment today....while eating snack he made a cross out of pretzels and was pretty happy with himself!


Anonymous said...

Beautiful, Kristi. Thank you for some reflection on this feast day.

By the way, I just twittered about my own bathroom always being soaked in pee. Smiling now to read yours is too. My little (smelly) cross.

Laura said...

I'm still laughing at Kate Vacek's comment! Hilarious! I'm starting to understand your frustration at mass. Sunday was the first time Andrew lost it and screamed through half the mass. Not fun. Thanks for the perspective. And thanks for the prayers at mass today :)

fullofgracex7 said...

Beautiful...simply beautiful.

Jenn said...

I love you Kristi, you truly are a sister in Christ. You know what to say when I need to hear it. God bless you.

Aubrey said...

Beautiful post, Kristi!

Kari Lee said...

thank you for the inspiration and beautiful perspective! Yes, we can do hard!!! (and really, we don't have a choice, do we? the choice we have is HOW we do hard - with joy or with resentment.)
and thank you for introducing me to the world of blogging!! I didn't know what I was missing.