Monday, November 16, 2009

My Best Friend

I remember being shocked when my professor made the statement to the class in college. "Your best friend is actually someone of the opposite sex." Maybe it was because I'd never been in a relationship; maybe I was surprised because I was only just making real friends for the first time. Whatever it was, I adamantly disagreed with him at first. The girls who were accepting me and with whom I was forming deep, permanent friendships were kind and open to me. It was a long time before I fully understood what my professor was saying.

Women understand women; we can commiserate, empathize though only in certain aspects. Only the opposite sex, however, can fill the void, replace what's lacking in you. I learned that fact slowly through out college, as I came to understand people and life. However, it wasn't until I met my husband that I came to completely understand. While women can understand you, he completes me.

After having spent the last nine months learning to be married and preparing for motherhood, I am still so surprised, daily, how incredibly blessed I am. As I struggle daily to be a better person, a good wife, and ready myself to be a parent, he is so patient and kind. Supportive and constant, his love never falters. He instills in me a desire to keep improving myself, in solid and practical ways. I watch him, stunned by his kindness to others, his quiet strength, his constant willingness to help out anyone however he can.

There are romantic moments, where he sweeps me into his arms or dances across the living room with me. These moments, I find myself holding him, thinking, "Thank you, Jesus." There are other moments when, while sitting in the doctor's office waiting patiently, he never questions me. Then there are the real moments, sitting at dinner goofing off in the middle of a restaurant like we are twelve again. Laughing so hard, people are staring at us, I think how grateful I am for this man who has come into my life and promised to stay there. This person who has made me life so full of joy.

As we prepare together to be parents, I know that he will aid me daily in my goal to be the best wife and mother I can be. Just when I need it, I know he'll sweep me into his arms and hold me close. Just as I can't take another night of crying, he'll sit up with me and never question or complain. When life seems to be unbearable or incredibly heavy, he'll keep me laughing.

I look so forward to each new day with this incredible man. This man who inspires me, challenges me, loves me. After years of searching and praying, here he is. Such an incredible man, amazing husband, sure to be a wonderful father. I really have found that person, though at times this seems unbelievable. The one who not only understands me, but completes me. Who not only accepts me, but calls to me. The man who not only likes me, but truly loves me. I really have found my Best Friend. Thank you, Jesus.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Divine Secret of Motherhood

Life is lived in chapters, filled with ups and downs, crosses and blessings. Childhood. Junior High. High School. College. As I stared out onto the silvery lake this evening, I suddenly became aware that one Chapter is my life is getting ready to permanently close while a very permanent and foreign one is about to open.

Young women always look to their mother during practically every stage of their lives. Despite all the shared moments, a mother always has one thing on their daughter--their motherhood. Then that special time of motherhood arrives and, suddenly, it seems as though they share a divine secret. A Chapter they both can share with each other.

My life has always been about me. Even following marriage, I can come and go with my husband as we please. Dinner can be early or late and we can throw our suitcases in the car on a moment's notice to be whisked away on a vacation. Nothing was ever holding me back nor weighing on my mind. I am suddenly cognizant that this is going to change. We are not getting a dog, who can be put in the kennel nor will this precious life be with us for a few months or years. This person will be mine for the rest of my life. Worries, joys, happiness, all will be focused on my child.

It moves within me, squirming sometimes and other times just slip-sliding around slowly but deliberately. I am most aware of the humanity growing within me at these moments. In a matter of weeks, I will be holding that child and will be a forever changed person. I cannot imagine that, after looking into the face of your child, a woman is ever the same she was before. Life will forever be altered.

Yet, I feel the anticipation of a child--all the Christmases in my life taken and wrapped into one. I am living my own Advent, and am taking great inspiration from the Blessed Mother. Waiting on her own Little One, she quietly pondered on the great Change within her. I so rarely share with anyone the thoughts that roll through my head through out the day, only taking them to Mary and quietly smiling as we share a moment of the divine secret of motherhood.

I am sure I will feel a tie with my earthly mother as well as my Heavenly Mother following the birth of my child. I cannot wait to wrap it in the tiny blankets and hold it close to me, to watch my husband hold it close and look down at his offspring. Visions of holding my little one at Mass or gently placing it in the bassinet makes me deeply excited.

As this current chapter closes, finishing up days of self-fulfillment and a freedom of responsibility, and the new one begins that contains complete self-abandonment and motherly fulfillment, I pray to remain selfless. I hope I always remember to put my children and husband before me and, through this loving and serving vocation, obtain salvation for my family. I pray, more than anything, to be a good and loving mother, always full of kind words and prayers for my little family. May we always be a model of the Holy Family.