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Today was one of those days in which the rubber hit the road - literally. Errands and commitments required a lot of traveling, and with the warning of another impending snowstorm approaching here in the snowbelt, we knew we had to get it all in. At one point, in the middle of all of this running, my 7-year-old suddenly announced that nature was calling.
'Of course it is,' I thought, sighing. The nearest bathroom wasn't exactly within throwing distance. Then, suddenly, I had a thought.
'Hmmm....the church isn't too far away. We'll stop and visit Jesus! And, since the chapel just so happens to have a restroom, we'll accomplish two things at once!" Smiling at my resourcefulness, I took the next right turn to the chapel.
Now, I won't deny that I felt guilty for choosing to visit the chapel with the intention of taking advantage of the "facilities." Somehow, the excuse I was using didn't sit right with me. So, when we got into the chapel, I took my son to the door that he needed, then made my way to the door that I needed, promptly falling to my knees to ask God's mercy on my fallen nature.
I have no doubt that God was smiling at that moment. And it wasn't just because one could hear the faint sound of singing from a certain 7-year-old emerging from the other side of the restroom door.
No, it was because God had undoubtedly planned this visit. I spent some brief quiet time with him as I waited for my little guy to join me. Once he did, he grabbed a rosary someone had left there, took his place on the kneeler and bowed in unusual silence.
I tried to act casual, glancing at an older woman praying in the back. A little pride crept into my heart as he knelt there looking so angelic. I'd like to say that my son is the perfect penitent - silent, prayerful, adoring - but that would be breaking the 8th commandment. However, today he honestly astonished me with his silence, bowed head, and closed eyelids. I would have given more than a penny for his thoughts.
So into his prayer was he that I actually had to interrupt him to let him know that time was ticking and that we had to get on the road again. He looked up and smiled. He started to talk, but after catching a glimpse of my finger over my lips, he restrained himself until we exited the chapel.
"Mom, I feel so good!"
I looked at him curiously, not sure from which direction regarding the word "good" he was coming from.
"I mean, talking to God...it's just amazing, Mom!"
I broke out into a huge smile.
"You're so right, Bud!"
"Really, I can't believe how good I feel. I should talk to Him like this everyday."
As he jabbered on about his conversation with God while he jumped into the car, I just smiled in intense gratitude.
Yes, God had planned this little visit. He had brought His child closer to Him today, and in doing so He had brought his mother along as well.
I know I say this often, but what a great God we have! Despite a crazy day, He made sure that we remembered our Advent committment to spend time with Him, using "nature" itself to meet us where we were.
Thank you, Lord, for loving us in such unusual ways! And I pray that as Advent moves along, you will experience Him in the unusual and in the unexpected as well.
May God open our eyes and ears to these moments! :)
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May your Lent be truly fruitful and fill you with longing for His Resurrection!
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Hi! I'm a Catholic mom who loves to encourage and support others in their journey to live the beauty of our Catholic faith in a modern world. It can be a struggle, no doubt, but God has given us the tools we need! Join my family (both immediate and extended!) and me as we take on this incredible journey of our path to holiness.
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