”Aren’t you overwhelmed?” she asked. You betcha. Sometimes, what is supposed to be a fresh, new day feels more like I’m stuck, Bill Murray style, in my own personal Ground Hog Day. Didn’t I just finish folding that big pile of laundry yesterday? Where did this pile come from? Didn’t I spend 10 minutes removing that permanent marker drawing off the wall? How did it move further down and over to this other wall? More tears today, but a different boo-boo. More conflicts between kids to break up, and broken toys and statues to put together. (Right now I am in search of the Blessed Mother’s head; the remainder of our Our Lady of Grace is still intact, but clearly showing signs of living 15 years on our mantle.) Things like that make me want to lose my head; no time for that though, because I’ve got to spend the next two hours shuttling kids to practice at four different fields. Yes, most days have many moments that swerve close to chaos. That’s when I need the Holy Spirit to hover over my chaos and put things in order!
As overwhelming as the mundane often is, I am overwhelmed in a different way at the supernatural that breaks into the mundane. Overwhelmed when Jesus reveals the precious, unique beauty of this child or that one. A large family is overwhelming; in a filled to overflowing way. Tom and I didn’t imagine having this many children before we got married, though we were open to life and had hoped for several children; but nine? That wasn’t on our radar screen. As we were blessed with more children, they cemented and deepened our vocation as a couple and as a family. Day to day, when I have eyes to see, God gives a glimpse of glory; a glimpse of love circulating, goodness flowering and life flourishing. When our almost teenager rocks her baby sister to sleep; when our oldest plays dolls with the toddlers; when our 9 year old son teaches her 6 year old sister how to read; when I laugh over a funny Instagram post with my four oldest girls; when I look out my kitchen window and see a gang of kids chasing their Dad around the yard or playing four-on-four soccer or capture the flag. The glorious life of God breaking into the mundane. My heart is so grateful when God reminds me that the little things reveal the most important thing.
Nine children: each one is a miracle of grace from our Heavenly Father. “Each family is a cell of society, but large families are a more rich cell, more vibrant..” Pope Francis said in an address to large families. I rarely if ever feel equipped to manage such a treasure; but God has not made me a manager but rather a steward, one entrusted; one invited to make room for another, and another, and so on…; God looked upon what He made and found it good. I
need to remember this as I start each day. It helps; it makes all the difference. The humbling reality of a house that is constantly headed towards a new mess, gives way to the humility of being the recipient of a joy that overflows; the joy of being a Catholic mom.