I've been spending a lot of time recently wondering just why I've been feeling such a strong call to "unplug." I've mentioned it here before, so it might sound familiar to some of you out there. I've felt a nudge to limit my time online, not blog, and try to stay off of the computer and so on and so on. I originally thought it was so that I could be focusing on the "here and now" - focusing on being present in my day to day life with family and friends.
It's been about four months now, and while those four months have been filled with beautiful moments, sorrow and joy, laughter and tears......I haven't really felt the urge to put those things into written word. I haven't really felt it necessary to put it all out there on the interwebz.
I've spent the last little bit of time wondering just why that is (and yes, I recognize the inherent silliness of blogging about it now!). I'm hesitant to even put it out there at this moment because of that silliness, but writing has always helped me to get my thoughts sorted out.......so writing is what I turn to now.
The past four months of not blogging or not sharing every last thought or contemplation on places like Facebook or CMOMC has actually had a side effect that I didn't really expect. I went into this hibernation anticipating a more fruitful, more disciplined daily life and family life. A more dedicated or committed observance of my primary vocation of wife and mother, if you will. And while the past four months have been just that - a rededication to my vocation - they've turned out to be so much more than that.
You see, during the past four months, I've come to understand one very important lesson:
It's not about me.
Yes, my vocation is the path that God is calling me - only me - to on my way to Heaven, but deep down....it's not really about me. Being a wife and mother should be helping me to look outside of myself - toward the world around me, and helping me to evangelize to that world......and ultimately drawing myself and those around me right back to Him.
It shouldn't be about me. That's what I've come to realize over the past four months: it should be all about Him. Glorifying Him.....not me and my accomplishments or great ideas. After all, none of that was my own doing. It was all Him.
Being "quiet" the past four months has shown me just how important I thought I was....and how little importance I gave Him. I'd convinced myself that I was using these different outlets as a way of witnessing to Him, but if I was going to be 100% honest with you.....I really wasn't. I wanted the glory for myself. The "What a great idea!"s and the "You're so right!"s and the "Your kids are so cute!"s that each posting garnered. I wasn't really looking for any "Praise God!"s or "God is so good!"s or anything along those lines. I'd convinced myself that I was doing it for Him....but at the same time, I was keeping all of the glory for myself.
Isn't that the way it works sometimes? A good idea - a perfectly legitimate, moral idea - snowballs into something that's not-so-great. Something as seemingly innocent as an online journal turns into non-stop chattering with the intention of stroking my own ego. I didn't want to be challenged - I wanted to be affirmed. I'd started talking and forgot to leave room for Him to do His thing, touching and changing hearts.
My self-imposed silence helped me to recognize that I'd strayed away from my original mission - witnessing to family and marriage - and had led me to a not-so-great mission: witnessing to Heidi. My Mothers Day breakdown (not going to link to it here.....it wasn't pretty) only solidified that realization for me. While I firmly believe that my thoughts and feelings were appropriate that weekend (emotions are not a bad thing!)....my intention in sharing them here and other places was not. I wanted - I craved - my own hurting pride to be comforted, and I refused to give Him the room to heal me. I didn't trust Him.
I'd strayed too far from my vocation and made it all about reuniting me to myself....and not about reuniting myself to Him.
The past few months have allowed me to find my way again. They've allowed me the time to listen, instead of always looking for something to say. They've allowed me a chance to breathe and let Him guide me, instead of barging on ahead without giving Him the chance to lead. I've rediscovered my mission as wife and mother, and started to return to fulfilling my responsibility as a daughter of God. I've started to focus again on sharing the love that He is so generously pouring onto me, through my words and actions and witness.
There is a path that He has chosen for me. One that will lead me to Him someday in Heaven, if I keep up my end of the deal and remain faithful to Him. My mission is directly tied to that path - He is calling me (and has been calling me, faithfully) to witness to His love, His plan, and His Church.
I can't do any of that if all I'm witnessing to is myself.
Over the next few weeks, this blog will change a bit. Things will get cleaned up, the focus will be changing. It's not about me, He reminded me tonight.
It's about Him.
He's there in my daily life - in my role as wife and mother.
He's there in the good and the bad, the laughter and the tears, the beautiful and the ugly.
This will still be a witness to what it means to be a Catholic wife and mother in today's world. After all.....to live as a Catholic is to live a life in response to His love.
But I'm stepping back into the shadows and letting Him take center stage.
After all...it's not about me.