The parts I play in my head rarely look like the life I lead in my home.
In my brain I serve my children quinoa and granola, knit the days away and tend to our small farm animals all while my children run in a field of wild flowers. My days are slow and quiet. I have plenty of time to light a candle, reflect, and praise God daily for the life I’ve been given.
In reality, I feed my children boxed cereal, work as an elementary school teacher, and navigate the dirty and congested city of Mumbai, India on a daily basis. My days are loud and chaotic. The only quiet I find are the moments that I scrape away from my early morning sleep. I often pray, but I sometimes use that time to squeeze in a run. Rarely I can do both before six o’clock when my children wake up and the morning rush begins.
In the life I lead in my head, I’ve embraced my Catholic Faith since childhood. I’ve accepted the Church’s teaching without doubt or question and my children and I parade down to our local parish every Sunday morning. My Catholic husband holds my hand and we look on in adoration at our three obedient children kneeling in the pew beside us.
In actuality, my faith is messy. I’ve struggled with doubt and questions since adolescence trying on different Protestant churches and Bible studies until, ultimately, finding my way back to Catholicism. On Sundays, I take a quick rickshaw ride to the only Catholic Church in our predominantly Muslim neighborhood. My daughter and I are the expats among a sea of Indians when we walk the lane down to the open-air church. The prayers sound different than the ones of my childhood. They take on a different cadence with the strong accents of the congregation and I find myself struggling to keep pace. My husband is not Catholic, and while my youngest daughter attends mass with me, the other two children only take part sporadically.
Since winding my way back to the faith, I’ve struggled to embrace the idea that there are many ways to live an authentically Catholic life and very few of them involve granola, knitting and farm animals. It is only recently that I’ve accepted that I cannot wait to become holy until my life reflects the picture-perfect Catholic life in my head.
I must seek holiness in the midst of my daily ordinary life. For me, it is the children I welcome to school every day, the colleagues I collaborate with, the lunches I pack, and the morning rush out the door. For others, it may be the diapers they change, the noses they wipe, and crumbs they sweep.
Our challenge is not to determine the value of my Catholic faith based on these differences because we are all called to answer the same charge. We are to spend each day loving, praising, and thanking God for His love even when our lives follow his design instead of our own.
Abigail Kasky juggles the roles of wife, mama and teacher all across the globe. She’s fueled by a steady stream of caffeine, Instagram, and HGTV.