Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Desert Love

That's what Jesus did for me today: shared the desert love.  If He issued any easy passes or get-out-of-the-desert-free cards this Lenten Season, I was absent.

Because I had a really challenging Ash Wednesday.

I know the scriptures reminded us this morning not to be all gloomy and sad faced when we're fasting but people, please.

This was a hard first day in the desert.

So hard, in fact, I think all of Cyberspace should have to read about it.

It all started when I got the harebrained idea to bring the children to Mass this morning--alone, without John.  I wanted all of us to kick off the next 40 days with an austere focus.  And nothing sobers me up quicker than a few ashes on the forehead coupled with the reminder that "you are dust and to dust you shall return".  It kinds of puts things into perspective for me, if you know what I mean, and I was hoping it would do the same for the kids.

The problem was, Christopher didn't get the memo.

(Maybe because he couldn't read it?)


The point is, he was in particularly rare form--which is a nice way of saying he was totally out-of-control.

(Perhaps he's not receiving enough attention since I've started homeschooling?)

(Probably true, but that's a post for another time.)

To give you a brief overview of what we were dealing with--he threw books, he prostrated himself on pews and floors, issued ear piercing screams (at various pitches and tones), and tantrumed  "I want that!  I want that!" after he realized he wouldn't be receiving his First Holy Communion. 

He was so wild and so wickedly misbehaving, I had to leave the cry room to ask another homeschooling acquaintance of mine to take the baby so I could properly deal with him.

 (Um, yes, that's correct.  We were in the cry room and the rest of the congregation could still hear us.)

 She kindly obliged and I survived (and so did Christopher), albeit barely.

Another mother, whose 9!!!! children sat perfectly still and quiet behind me, leaned over after Mass to give me a hug.

"I have 9 children," she said.  "We've all been there, we all know how you feel.  I prayed for you the entire time."

"I could feel the prayers," I confessed.  "I didn't loose my patience once."

"That was my intention," she smiled back.

When my mom friend wandered over with Camille, I humbly thanked her for her help.

"I heard you struggling and I should have come over earlier, I'm so sorry," she gushed.

"No, thank you so much for taking Camille.  I was desperate.  I think I got a soul or two out of purgatory with that show we just put on," I said.

"Honey, " she chucked as she threw her arm around my shoulder, "after what you just went through, the souls FLEW out of purgatory!"


There's nothing like Ash Wednesday, a day purported for fasting and abstinence, to remind me exactly how overly attached to food and other certain pleasures I really am.

All day long, all I wanted was a big, cheesy, greasy hamburger.

I didn't eat one, though, so there's that.

That's good.

John, in his goodness, called a dentist and made an appointment for me to go today, Ash Wednesday.

I hate the dentist.

Natural childbirth?  I'll take it any day over the dentist.  Hell for me includes the sound of drilling teeth.

The good news?  I survived and I even liked the new dentist.

The bad news?  It's gonna cost $6000 for crowns and cavities and nitrous oxide.  I was tempted to ask for a prescription for Valium to be used during the procedure but I thought it might be a bit over the top.

I expect a few more souls will flutter out of purgatory after all that dental work.

It's a good thing it's Lent.  I'll have to temper all the complaining--though I'm not off to a great start with this here post.

Good luck in the desert, friends. 


  1. Thank you for sharing! We only have two so I can really admire you supermoms. Love, Sarah Beth

  2. Hehehe - great laugh. I needed that. Sorry about your rough time. Way to take it well.


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