It’s one of those days where I have zero clue as to the actual day. I was swearing to my husband that it was Monday, which gave him one of those please-let-her-be-wrong-it-couldn’t-possibly-be-Monday looks. Fortunately I was wrong. But gee-whiz! If that’s any sign that I/we could use a break I don’t know what is!
We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. // Blessed Mother Teresa
With late work nights, scattered with holidays and life responsibilities, I feel like my head is just above water. Peeking out. Trying to find land. I know it’s there. Just a few more strokes till my feet can touch the ground so that I can find my bearings and hopefully trudge my way to dry land. It’s there. Dry land. Sunshine. Salty breezes. And, warmth.
The soft sand that squishes beneath your toes. The landing place that lets you sit back and enjoy the sounds of the ocean instead of forcing yourself to fight the current. Where you can just enjoy the salty air. Breathe it in. Feel it on your skin. Enjoy.
I know it’s there. But when you’re out treading past wave after wave, it’s hard to really know. All you see is the next wave coming your way. You pray that you can get over this next one — just this next one — because that’s the only energy you can muster up for that moment. Enough energy for the next one.
And, sometimes that’s okay. Sometimes that’s just the season. We’ve been up to our ears in that season these last few weeks, but thankfully, the water is getting to a place of calm. And, thankfully, I can swim. Even if it looks rough. Even if it’s not entirely efficient. I’m just thankful I can tread. Thankful.
Long work hours are tough days/weeks/months for everyone. Limits get tested both physically and mentally. Throw a teething baby into the mix — the one who likes to arch his back and not be consoled — and you have a mix for the potential to drown.
But, I’m not drowning. I’m not going to drown. Grace abounds. And, this is good.
Let us throw ourselves into the ocean of His goodness, where every failing will be canceled and anxiety turned into love. // St. Paul of the Cross
The passion of Jesus is a sea of sorrows, but it is also an ocean of love. Ask the Lord to teach you to fish in this ocean. Dive into its depths. No matter how deep you go, you will never reach the bottom. // St. Paul of the Cross
The words of the saints hold me during these times. They remind me that every little bit counts and the fact that I am treading water is okay. They remind me that even though my little ocean exhausts me from time to time, I am forever thankful for every part of it. The two toddlers and wonderful husband make up my little ocean of goodness. It’s the same ocean where His Love can always be found whether it be on the sandy beach or deep in the crashing waves.
Every time I respond with love and tenderness, His Goodness and Love meets my children and husband. The saints remind me that His Love abounds and somehow my failings can be transformed with His Grace. They remind me that I’ve been taught to love. And, therefore, I am capable to share it daily and to the best of my sleepy-mama ability.
As much as I struggle, I know I love them with all that I am. And, because of that truth, I know that at the end of my days I have erred on the side of Love as much as my little mama self can.
The challenge for me is to find Him and His Love in my crashing waves and in the sunshine. To know that this is a season. That it will pass. And, with His Grace, embrace the ups and downs of my vocation with joy.
The saints are always so great about encouraging perspective in me that calms my soul during these tough times. What helps you ride the waves calmly as they come crashing one after another?
Amanda Perales is a Catholic wife and mama to two littles. She’s a saint-wisdom seeker, lover of all things coffee and sleep, a foodie who loves to bake, sorta crunchy, and a mama-tographer who is trying to say her daily Fiat for Him whom her soul longs. She blogs at Erring on the Side of Love.