The kids were bouncing off the walls, the noise level was topping earth shaking, and I had a list that was still a half-mile long.
Maybe it just seemed fruitless to keep working before dinner. Maybe I realized that Scramble wouldn’t cut it for what I needed. Maybe I was desperate enough to realize what I really needed.
I did something astounding.
No, I didn’t scream at the kids to HUSH, I didn’t lock myself in the bathroom, I didn’t put earbuds in and crank loud music. I didn’t get in my van and leave (I may or may not have been tempted), I didn’t call or text my complaints to anyone (I may or may not have come close), I didn’t run outside and attempt to escape across a field (there was too much snow).
No, I did something that felt waaaaaaay more crazy: I cracked open iBreviary on my tablet and prayed Evening Prayer.
The chaos didn’t stop. Or still. Or change.
The background chorus was the typical before — dinner rough-housing and screaming. There was whining and interruptions and tears.
And somehow, it was all bearable. Somehow, I was fortified.
In that moment, when I turned to God at a moment when stopping and pausing and praying felt like the craziest thing I could do, I was freed.
Freed from the pressure to be perfect. Freed from the need to be in control. Freed to be instead of do.
The day didn’t end perfectly. To be honest, I don’t remember the details. What I remember, what I want to keep reminding myself, is the inner peace that came from letting go and letting God.
I’m not in control. And, thank God, I don’t have to be.
Sarah Reinhard is a Catholic wife, mom and author whose nose is probably in a book if she’s not scraping something off of her shoes. Her latest book is A Catholic Mother’s Companion to Pregnancy: Walking with Mary from Conception to Baptism. Check out all of her books at http://sarahreinhard.com/writing/my-books/.
Visit Sarah’s website: http://sarahreinhard.com/
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