I had planned on blogging last week, I swear. But you know what they say about “plans”, right?
By the way, has anyone ever said that to you when you were in a really bad mood? If so, how furious did it make you?
|Thanks but no thanks, Woody Allen.|
So, on Monday nights Dan has an Adoration hour and last week I was able to take it. I went and had a nice hour with Jesus. Then the next guy never showed up, so I was there for two hours. Usually this sort of thing would send me into kind of a seething mode, which I know sounds really messed up, but come on – it’s not like I’m living a carefree life over here. I mean, I have kids and a nursing baby that need me and a husband who would really rather not have to stay up till midnight on a weeknight waiting for me to come home, since he gets up early for work in the morning.
As I sat there during that second hour, I was feeling pretty good about myself. Perhaps a mite too self congratulatory.
Really, though, I felt at peace, very happy, and even grateful for the extra time I got to spend with the Lord.
I did lots of praying and reading and just plain “sitting there”, because even if you accidentally space out while being in the presence of Almighty God, He is working on you anyway. Because He’s God! And we can’t control Him. We sometimes forget that, right?
When I got home, things were fine.
Okay, the baby had screamed for two hours, so they weren’t really fine, but at least the house hadn’t burned down to the ground.
That night though, things went from “at least the house hadn’t burned down” to “I’m ready to burn the house down”.
The baby was awake constantly. Over and over and over and oooooover again.
It was exhausting! I really barely got any sleep at all.
The next day I was an utter disaster.
I was yelling my dumb head off all day. When Dan came home, he got the hell out of there with the kids, fast mercifully took the kids out for awhile so I could lay down.
Stupidly, I thought, “Well thank God that’s behind me! I feel well rested now.”
Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.
You know what happened?
I’ll tell ya what happened. Welp, the baby stayed awake again until about 11pm.
Then I fell into bed and said goodnight to Dan.
“I’m so exhausted”, I thought. “But you know what? Lots of people out there are exhausted, and they just push through it and get the job done. If they can do it, so can I!” and I set my alarm for 5 am.
And then I laid there.
And laid there.
And laid there.
See, I have this insomnia problem. Sometimes I just can’t sleep.
What makes it even worse is that I’m a “creative thinker”! I get all my best ideas when I’m laying in bed with nothing to do but think my little head off.
I think of cool decorating ideas, I think of funny pictures and blog posts for my blog. I think of hilarious pranks.
|It’s hard to draw an apnea mask.|
I think of these things, and burst out laughing in bed.
I cover my mouth to not make so much noise, since I am polite.
Unfortunately this sometimes results in snorting sounds.
Sometimes I laugh so hard I can’t breathe. Dan becomes irate and demands, “WHAT is so FUNNY!”
This is the equivalent of getting yelled at by a teacher or your boss. It’s not appropriate to laugh, which makes it even more hilarious.
If I’m not thinking funny things, I am thinking of stressful things or terrifying scenarios.
Sometimes I start crying or just breathing/huffing really loudly.
“WHAT is WRONG!” Dan barks.
“I think I might be predisposed to having a brain aneurism,” I squeak. “I just read about it online.”
You would think that those words would bring on a wealth of compassion, but after all these years, all Dan does is roll his eyes and turn his apnea machine back on.
Then it’s back to me just laying there all over again.
This is what happened the other night. I was laying there and laying there and I couldn’t sleep. I was tossing and turning. I tried praying, but somehow I went from meditating on the first Sorrowful Mystery to meditating on an adorable little burlap wreath that I’d like to craft for my livingroom mantle.
I know. I’m the worst.
I tried refocusing my mind. I prayed a few more Hail Mary’s, then I started thinking about getting a pedicure, growing apple trees, buying a really cute pair of boots and wondering if gluten free pasta is any good.
Note: it is disgusting. Save your money and just eat gluten pasta. Or leather shoelaces,which I am convinced would be far more delicious.
“I have alot of laundry to do,” I thought. Then, “Hey, I wonder what it’s like to live in Italy?”
Look, I’m sorry. This is what my brain does.
I tossed some more. I turned.
Toss, turn, toss, turn.
Dan sighed loudly, the way Bert does when he’s ticked off at Ernie.
“I can’t help it,” I stated.
“Help it!!”he demanded.” Just HELP. IT.”
Finally I began to drift off, and for some demonic reason, my alarm clock went off, and not to the music station I’d set it too. It began to beep very loudly, out of nowhere.
BEEP! BEEEP! BEEP! BEEP!
It shook me out of my million different thoughts, and I screamed bloody murder.
Dan yelled something inaudible, and not appropriate for your ears.
Then the baby woke up. She was crying. She wanted to nurse.
She nursed and nursed and nursed.
I know some of you ladies out there have the amazing Superpower of nursing and sleeping at the same time.
Not me. I can’t seem to do it. It’s one or the other in my world.
You probably think I hate breastfeeding, but I promise I don’t. But am I the kind of mom who reposts those pro breastfeeding memes on facebook or has vivid nightmares about formula or would relish the opportunity to breastfeed abandoned wildlife (fawns have teeth, you know)??
No. No way.
|You want a nursing cover like that now, DON’T YOU.|
At some point, it dawned on me that my life had been a living hell ever since I spent that two hours in Adoration.
After realizing this, I became enraged. Somewhere between the endless nursing, the extreme exhaustion, and the red alert awareness that I only had a few more hours before the sun would come up and I’d be dealing with this all over again, I lost my ever loving mind and began having an adult tantrum.
“THIS?!?!” I yelled. “THIS is the thanks I get for doing TWO HOURS OF ADORATION!?!?!! NEVER AGAIN, GOD! THAT’S THE LAST TIME!!!!”
I punched the mattress a few times for effect.
I’m so grown up.
|At least YOU know how to be a friend, St Teresa.|
Yes, I actually said this.
Part of this was me being a selfish tit- for- tat brat, and part of it was me just feeling a wee bit …abandoned, I guess.
I was whining about my first world problems to my new friend about this, and here was her reply:
“Two hours in adoration fo sho put you on the enemy’s radar! No kidding you can’t find time to blog, you’re busy being spiritually attacked.”
– the amazing Cari Donaldson, y’all
THUNK! duh. Why hadn’t I thought of that?
Thank God for people who just tell it like it is!
You know, it’s funny. There was a time in my life where I would have said this right away. I used to read alot of spiritual warfare books and even though I did learn alot, I also became filled with some weird demonology arrogance, as well as a ton of fear.
But I have seen alot of situations where people would do something truly stupid or irresponsible and then be all like “I’m being spiritually attacked!!” And I would sit there thinking, “No you’re not. You’re experiencing the consequences of your own dumb behavior, Bozo. Satan doesn’t even need to get involved here. You’ve got it covered.”
Other times I’ve witnessed situations where someone was being criticized for their own wrongdoing, and instead of accepting responsibility or taking an honest look at themselves or a situation, they’d cry “ATTTAAAAAACK! We’re being ATTAAAAACKEEEED!”
I’ve seen whole groups of people get crazy paranoid, becoming so focused on what satan might be doing that they totally lost perspective and stopped focusing on what GOD is doing, or just thinking that everyone was satan in disguise, out to get them.
So I’m often slow to use those words, but let’s be clear: Cari is spot on, because as we know, satan does exist and he does attack us.
Look at all the evil in the world! Never underestimate satan’s power.
But more than that, LOOK AT ALL THE GOOD IN THE WORLD. NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF GOD!
And to be really honest – even though I’m joking about it here – it was a really crazy few days that we experienced here. It’s normal for me to feel tired, but the kind of exhaustion I was experiencing was way beyond normal. Exhaustion can lead to arguements, and argueing can make life miserable. And life was pretty damn miserable!
When we’re trying to do something for God, or be faithful to God, satan will try to stand in the way or scare us off, maybe by discouraging us and attempting to use our sometimes frustrating circumstances to fill us with enough resentment to say “NEVER AGAIN, GOD. I’m not doing it your way. Next time I’ll just do my own thing.”
I mean, after all, that’s a move right out of satan’s own manual.
So what can we do when we find ourselves attacked?
TRUST OVER FEAR – don’t freak out. There’s a reason why St Teresa of Avila said “I am more afraid of those who are terrified of the devil than I am of the devil himself.”
In the scriptures, God tells us over and over again to “Fear not.” And remember our beloved Pope JP2 saying “Be Not Afraid”?
Fear ruins us. It bullies us. It keeps us stagnant, stunts our growth.
Fear paralyzes us when we should be acting and sends us into a confusing rush when we’re suppossed to be still. It messes everything up.
Even when Jairus found out that his little daughter had died – a moment of major crisis!! – Jesus tells him “Fear is useless, what is needed is trust.”
But don’t worry….God is doing something even if you’re frozen in fear, even if you’re running in crazy circles. He’s got you, little lamb.
Remember God is with you. He has not left you. You can trust Him with your problems, He will work them out.
PRAY – pray the rosary (yo mama? she still wears combat boots, you know), or the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Ask Jesus to cover you with His Precious Blood. At the very least, say the name of Jesus over and over, as a prayer.
FOCUS ON GOD – Seriously. Start focusing on God and His blessings in your life. Think of things you’re grateful for and thank Him. Don’t waste your time being a crime dog for satan, chasing him around with a magnifying glass and going on a Demon Scavenger Hunt. Besides, see what happens when you do that? You’re focused on that arrogant bastard, and that’s his M.O – to focus your attention on himself instead of God! You fight him by focusing on God, who is truly worthy of your attention.
KEEP GOING – you really wanna scare him away? Just keep going to see Jesus. Go to confession! Get your soul in the box and make a really good confession. And if you feel afraid, just remember this:
1.God is bigger, SO MUCH BIGGER, than anything that satan could ever do.
2.God is much more powerful
3.God always wins.
Tell satan to Go to Hell – it’s therapeutic!!. So say it loud, say it proud.
And ya know what? That’s why I took my husband’s adoration hour again the night before last. I don’t want my discouragement, or my bad attitude, even the lousy devil to keep me away from God. I was even able to bring my five year old daughter with me, and it was pretty special.
Then last night, I brought three of the kids with me for about ten minutes. They were so excited. As we were kneeling, my 3 yr old said in his very loud whisper, “Mommy?? Is dat circle fing Jesus?”
“Yes, Jude. That’s Jesus. He loves you.”
Then he pointed to the red candle, flickering beside the Blessed Sacrament. “Den who’s dat fing over dere?”
Just in case you thought we were winning at Catechism over here. haha.
*NOTE: I don’t even know why I’m writing this, but I felt like I was suppossed to. I wanted to do something way more light hearted, but you know what? When I was in the chapel I asked Jesus to inspire me and I think that’s what happened. And seeing as it’s St Teresa of Avila’s feast day, and she’s such a buttkicker, I think it’s maybe meant to be.
**ANOTHER NOTE: Her feast day was yesterday. Dammit.