Small Success Thursday: Calm in the Chaos

IMG_0615I don’t know about you, but I tend to feel like I’m not doing enough sometimes. There are times I feel like everything I try to do fails (or at least comes up just a little short). I know somewhere in my head that I’m not failing at everything, but it takes some effort to find the successes in my life when they’re not Great Big Things. That’s why CatholicMom.com’s Small Success Thursday is a favorite link-up for me. It helps me purposefully find my own successes and lets me cheer on other people’s successes, as well. And very often, when I read some of the other posts at the link-up, I can see similar Good Things in my own life. Sometimes you really need to step back from your life to see that. I’m really grateful to Lisa Hendey for starting CatholicMom.com, and I’m grateful that she came up with the idea to share the little joys in our lives this way. (Thanks, Lisa!)

Quarterfinals Game

Quarterfinals Game

I mentioned last week that this was our Annual Week of Insanity, and that is still true. But I’m finding peace in the midst of it, and there have been some unexpected blessings along the way. No sooner had I published the post at that link when I got an email from my daughter’s coach telling us that the semi-finals and finals for States were not going to be on Friday and Saturday of this week — instead they’d be on Thursday and Friday! This means that I can send her to her game today in the carpool while her sister is at stage rehearsal and my mother-in-law arrives and that tomorrow the entire family can go see her play in (hopefully) the Championship Game! Not only that, but my parents realized that they could drive through the city where her game is on their way here, so they left this morning before 6:00 AM so they would be able to see the entire game! I’m so happy for her because she’ll be able to have family at her important game tonight, even if she doesn’t play in it. (She isn’t a starter on the team.) This also means that she will be able to see her sister’s recital on Saturday, which is another huge blessing.

imageBacking up a bit to last weekend, I was grateful that everything went pretty smoothly. We were able to get the girls to their friends in the evening and leave by 5:30 on Saturday morning to go to Northern Virginia for our God-daughter’s First Holy Communion. She loved the custom Rosary we had made for her (complete with her favorite colors and patron saint), and she was really happy we could make it. The child did not stop smiling the entire time we were there, though I have a feeling Jesus had more to do with that than we did. I told her parents that I hadn’t seen a child so excited about her First Communion since my own First Communion. Nathan commented that he was pretty sure her smile was so big that her lips were touching her ears. The smile you see in the picture to the right was on her face all day long. We’re so happy for her, and I am so grateful to our friends who helped us out and took care of our girls overnight.

imageBecause we had co-op on Monday and a quarterfinals game on Tuesday, Wednesday was the first day we could really get down to cleaning the house for company. I made a huge list of things to do over Wednesday and Thursday, knowing that I really needed to get the bulk of it done yesterday. I asked the girls to sign up for chores simply to make sure things were split somewhat evenly. Not listed is the fact that my older daughter also mowed the lawn. We have only a few things to do today (though baking four batches of scones for thank you gifts is on that list), and I’m confident we’ll finish before I have to drive my daughter to the carpool this afternoon. (Also not listed: last-minute grocery shopping for the weekend.)

I think one of the best things about my girls is that they are so willing to help out. There were no complaints that they were being assigned chores: no grumbling about vacuuming and swiffering and cleaning bathrooms. They just signed up and dug in, and when one of them needed a hand with something on her list, the other would jump in and help out.

I mentioned in the title of this post that there was calm in the chaos. This is why:

imageI made my usual Holy Hour this week, and it was probably the best Holy Hour I’ve had in ages. I was able to pray, I felt at peace, and the time did not stretch on for what seemed like forever. I’ve been having a horrible dry season in my prayer life, and it’s been extremely difficult for me to pray at all. I know in my head that I shouldn’t need consolations, but the joy in my faith life just seems to have been sucked out completely. I was happy to have prayed a Rosary and really get into the meditations as I prayed, as well as make a deep connection to the Evening Prayers I prayed there. I also brought flowers to our parish’s little Marian Shrine that our pastor set up for the month of May. When I stopped at WalMart for flowers on my way to Adoration, there were daisies! Since those are my favorite flowers (and I really love when I get them for myself), I chose them for the Blessed Mother.

imageThis picture is actually from Sunday, since I didn’t step back to snap a picture during Adoration yesterday. There are more flowers than this, since the First Communicants placed flowers there during Mass, and more people brought flowers for Mother’s Day, as well.

So it’s been a good week. A blessed week. And a much calmer week than I anticipated, which is a good thing. How about you? Tell me what is going right in your life in the comments, and be sure to check out the other posts at the link-up on CatholicMom.com.

10 thoughts on “Small Success Thursday: Calm in the Chaos

  1. Glad it is all calm before the hectic weekend ahead! Enjoy your family time, good luck to your daughter’s team in her game and “break a leg” to your dancer!
    What time will the homemade cinnamon rolls be ready? 😉

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    • The cinnamon rolls did not happen, but I JUST NOW pulled out the last of four batches of mini-scones: ChocolateChip/Espresso, Chocolate Chip/Cranberry, Peanut Butter/Chocolate Chip, and Cinnamon/Raisin.

      The peanut butter ones are new. Funny all the things I can do with a basic recipe I found and modified, huh?

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  2. I’ve been longing for a Holy Hour for YEARS. I’ve even tried trading off time with another mom, but that wouldn’t work for her. I’m just going to have to make it happen somehow, even if it’s once a month or once every two months.

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    • I didn’t get a Holy Hour until about 3-4 years ago, when I could leave my girls alone for a while each week. They were about 12/13 and 9/10. Before that, I couldn’t do it regularly, but I would sub in for people when I could.

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    • Does your church have perpetual Adoration? Would you be able to take an overnight hour so that your husband is home with the kids? Or could you bring the kids? Our Adoration chapel has a little basket on the floor with children’s religious books, a giant wooden-bead Rosary, etc.

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      • These will sound like excuses, but no, I have to travel a good 20 minutes to get to parish with adoration of any kind. I believe both places I have in mind have perpetual adoration. My two-year-old still wakes and climbs in bed and wants to nurse throughout the night, so that doesn’t work yet either. The big kids I could bring for sure. The little ones aren’t the “play quietly” type. In the cry room at Mass today, the two-year-old spent his time trying to move chairs to climb so he could get to the automatic hand sanitizer dispenser. Then they brought about 20 books off the shelf and ran cars over the top of the baseboard heater. (Don’t get me started on cry rooms.) Thanks for your suggestions though. It’s the kind of creative thinking I need to do.

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      • Another option might be the online Adoration sites, where you’re making more of a spiritual trip to Holy Hour.

        But life is full of different seasons, and it just might not be your season for Adoration yet. 🙂

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      • OK, first of all, Satan REALLY does not want me to leave further comments on this post. I have had more computer issues in the past 5 minutes…
        Sometimes I forget that not everyone has an Adoration chapel within walking distance of their home. I need to be more grateful that I do, and I need to pray for those who don’t and wish they could get there, even for 5 minutes.
        I hear you on your reasons, Carolyn, and I think they are good ones. And I know you don’t want to view your children as an obstacle. You and your kids have other avenues to grace that are more open to you right now, and you will find those, and when the time is right, you will be able to get to Adoration if that is what you are called to do.

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  3. Thank you for saying these things. It sometimes can be isolating to feel I am the only one who doesn’t always have a joyful or fruitful prayer season. Not that I am happy you aren’t…. I’m relieved it isn’t just me.
    I hope that makes sense.
    I love daisies too…. always have.
    May your week continue to be blessed.
    Em

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  4. My current contract job has me in an office on Tuesdays and Thursdays across the street from the Archdiocesan Cathedral. I have been trying ti get to a mass, but yesterday when I saw a class of graduates going in I looked up the website of the Church and saw they have adoration. I will have to try that. Right now a lunchtime walk is preferable, but when the weather is bad, I should head over to the Church

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