The Next Right Step

About a month ago, maybe 2, I was listening to the Abiding Together podcast, the one I talked about in my last post. The ladies were talking about how often we want to wait for God to move, and then we follow. We are hesitant in what we know He is calling us toward, or where we feel He is desiring us to move next. We want assurance, some kind of sign or confirmation, that this is the way forward.

Have you ever felt this way? I know I have. I felt that way before starting this blog, I’ve felt that way every time I’ve taken a break from writing and feel urged to start again. I feel that way at the start of each school year that we continue homeschooling. Questions run through my mind, is this what we are supposed to be doing? How will this work? Should I wait to see if some new idea strikes me instead? How will I begin?

For a brief moment, Jesus felt the same way in today’s Gospel reading – the Wedding at Cana. Here He was, minding His own business, having a nice time at a wedding. Then His mother comes over and tells Him that the couple ran out of wine – a social disaster. He not so politely to our modern ears informs His mom that “My time has not yet come.” He wasn’t ready, it wasn’t the moment. But in that moment, she demonstrates all of her faith and trust in who she knows her Son to be: “Do whatever He tells you.” 5 simple words that have changed the world again and again and again.

Jesus hears those words and His moment of doubt disappears. Confidently, and obediently to His mother, He instructs the servants to fill jars with water. And with no explanation of what would happen, the servants obey, even to the point of pouring what they expected to be water into the head waiter’s cup to drink. They did not understand, but they obeyed. And in their obedience the miracle happened.

The saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” We are so like horses! God leads us daily to true, living water. But it is our free will to drink deeply or not. There is grace and life waiting for us if we just dip our heads in obedience and humility to the One who brought us to this point.

What are you waiting for? Where is God calling you, already more than halfway through the first month of the year? Where is there grace awaiting you to just take that next first step?

Update on my Word for the Year

So I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, reflecting and praying about my Word for 2019. I’m almost ready to say it’s “Follow-Through” but man, that takes a lot of courage for me to say. I am an ideas person, I love ideas. My husband somes calls me the “Idea Fairy” when I through too many ideas at him at one time. What I often don’t do so well is follow through on those ideas. I get stuck halfway through when the enthusiasm wanes and more ideas jump in my way. So, in order to follow through on things I need to do 1. A better job of discerning which ideas are actually from God 2. Taking the right next first step toward actualizing God’s plan and 3. Stay the course.

I’m sorely tempted to shy away from this Word, because it’s going to be a big big challenge. However, there is so much good that God could do with me, it seems like the temptation to set it aside might be from the opposing side.

Like I said, it’s not definite yet, but writing about it here makes it feel pretty decided. Maybe it’s the push I needed to make the next right step. I know that there will be grace waiting for me when my foot lands, ready to help me take the next right step after that.

Daily Graces.

Extended Family – Extra Grandmas

We are a military family and are stationed far from any family. With the type of work my husband does in the Air Force, it will be difficult for us to ever be stationed by either set of our parents. This is a hard fact of our life. It is something that we chose, each in our own way. Ben was committed to the Air Force before we got married and I knew (as best as I was able at the time) what type of life I was committing myself to.

So far we have been stationed at two bases in the U.S. and are starting to mentally prepare for another move, probably in the next year. Where to, you might ask? Not a clue. But we’ll leave that for another post (think TRUST and PATIENCE – not exactly easy or particularly pleasant most of the time but so necessary for every life, military or not).

As I said, we don’t have any family close by us. Since we don’t have any blood family in reasonable distance, we have had to make a family, an extended family so to speak. A key part of our extended family are our relationships at church. There is one special relationship I’d like to share with you.

There is a woman at our church that loves our family. She is a lector (reader) at Mass and her husband plays guitar for the choir. They are an older couple and have been at the parish as long as we have and probably longer. When Ben is away on a trip or deployed, going to Mass can sometimes feel like I’m climbing a mountain that has no peak. The kids are everywhere, no one is listening, goldfish are being crushed with each step into the carpet and no one in at least a 10 foot circle around us is praying in peace, though they might be praying for some peace and quiet!

We were having one of those Sundays when Miss Judy sat down with us. It was during the homily and I was already exhausted. She joined us in the pew and took John in her lap. John is a super friendly kid and as soon as he saw that he was staying in the pew with us he had no issue hanging out with Judy. John has some great hair – it’s thick and curly and goes everywhere. Judy sat with him and played with his hair, listened to his stories, helped him keep relatively quiet, gave him his snack, everything. For that half hour she could have been his grandma.

Judy has helped me a number of times since this first instance. She knows all the kids and they love to see her. When we get to Mass they ask me, “Mommy, is Miss Judy reading today?” or “Mommy, where is Miss Judy sitting? Can we talk to her?” It is so sweet. She gets right down to their level and gives them all the love and attention that they want.

I feel so blessed that she is a part of our life. And Judy isn’t the only person like this in our lives. I have had a number of parishioners help me chase kids, do bathroom runs, walk to communion, and hold hands in the parking lot. Our family has been enveloped my our community in such a loving embrace. Each time someone holds open the door or helps one of my little ones put on their coat I feel God’s presence with us.

Sundays when Ben is gone are difficult. In some ways I dread the day, knowing what a challenge Mass will potentially be. But at the time time, every Sunday is an opportunity for me to humble myself and accept the help and support my community wants to offer me. This community is family. They have seen us at our worst and our best and still they come to check up on us, help us and love us.