My cup runneth over

I've always wanted to use that expression. To me, it simply means I am grateful. Very, very grateful. And that is exactly how I feel right now. I am grateful to be surrounded by many inspiring women who are striving to be.....better. Better wives. Better mothers to their children. Better Catholics. Better friends. Better at living out their vocation. Better at simplifying their life. Better people all together. When I am surrounded by these women, I too want to strive to be better. I thank God daily for positioning me in our little town, in our little parish and little school. I thank Him for all of my friends, these women, who are striving to be better. And I thank Him that I get to know them.

This weekend was spent sitting, sipping, laughing, learning, talking and eating. A few friends and I went to Kansas for an event called Advent by Candlelight.

And I LOVED it.

Damaris. You are the most hospitable woman I know. When I asked you if next year twenty of us could come you said, absolutely. I would love it. You don't worry about how much room you'll have or if you have enough towels, you just love people. I know where Lindsay gets that from!! Thank you for not only feeding us, and letting us stay at your home, but you also just sat with us. You shared with us your wisdom, your experiences with being a wife and raising ten children. Thank you.

I think one of my most favorite things EVER is being in the kitchen. Not just the baking and making of meals, but the conversation had between family and friends while peeling potatoes and scrambling a thousand eggs....

And having a couch in the kitchen is simply a MUST.

We talked about many, many things. But what I came home with, is a reminder of how much I must love TJ and my children. What seems like the most natural thing ever, to love our husbands and children, can be the hardest thing for me to do at times.
We figured out that we are trying to always find that "one thing" that ensures our children will turn out to be good holy people. Home schooling, sitting in the front pew at mass, camping as a family, going to the right school, living in the right house, living across the street from church, living on an acreage......the list can go on and on and on. However, our children are given free will. They will make their own decisions. Some good. Some bad. What I can control though, is love. I can shower my children with love. I can choose to love them, to be with them instead of always doing what I want to do. To just sit and hold them. To look at them in the eyes when they are talking to me. I want to love them too much....if that is even possible. Father Courtney said that the word love is found over eight hundred times in the bible. I think God wants us to love.
Lately, I've been yelling....a lot. That's not how I want to raise my children, in a yelling home. I just don't. I want to practice patience with them. Let me rephrase that, I GET to practice patience with them about a million times a day. I know that I will yell, lose my temper, want to do my own thing. But I can love them more. That way when they are older and may not have turned out how I envisioned them to be, I can say with great confidence, I loved them and showed them beauty. I showed them Christ. I did what God asked me to do with them. The rest was their choice.
It was beautiful to hear Damaris say that even though some of her children have made bad decisions, she now gets to witness them coming back around. See is seeing the benefit from her obedience and prayers. Sometimes we are afforded that, other times we won't be. We may not get to see them come back to their faith. But we still must pray. We must always pray for them.

The dinner we went to was beautiful and elegant. Each table was decorated differently. I felt like a child in a candy store. To someone who LOVES table settings, I was in awe of each table. I took pictures so I could bring home some great ideas!

And as we were leaving, Damaris sent each of us home with two of her famous rolls. They are heavenly. Seriously.

I want everyone to come with us next year. Mark it on your calendars now. It's so important to spend a little time away from our families so that we might come home with a renewed conviction of what God wants us to do. How we can live our vocation a little better. How we can ultimately love Him better.


sogladimhere said...

Thank you for sharing about the weekend, Kristi. I'm so glad you all were able to make a little retreat. I'll mark it on my calendar because there are a hundred things you said that I would have loved to have been there to experience.

HangerMom said...

Between your post and Janel's, I don't know how anyone could pass up this opportunity next year! I really hope I'm able to make it, since Peter will be a year older... Thank you for sharing your weekend experience!