Catholic · faith · Family

Dancing in the rain

This morning V decided to get up early.

“We stay in bed until the sun comes up” I tell her, silently pleading for a few more minutes of shut eye. She nurses some more but is adamant it is time to “Get up!” I waver back and forth between putting a movie on for her while I get some more sleep and feeling horribly guilty about even considering that.

And then the rains came.

What a glorious feelin'I'm happy again

They started as a light pitter patter on our roof. I heard them before she did. But the raindrops grew heavier, beating a steady rhythm above our heads.

“Let’s go dance in the rain” I said, getting up and grabbing a sweater for us both. My little outdoorsy girl squealed in delight and ran to get her sandals on.

It was still dark but the first hint of morning was peaking through the trees. And we danced. We spun around and around, arms stretched wide, palms open to the skies, catching the raindrops, cold on our palms in contrast to the already warm summer air.

As I watched V run up and down the yard, giddy with fresh air and the splash of rain on her face, I was reminded of how abundantly the Lord gives to us and how often we miss these gifts or take them for granted. He has blessed us with a wonderful home and a daughter who continues to amaze and challenge us, but that is not enough to satisfy me. I need a daughter who listens, is more mature than I am, has the exact same wants and needs as I and who sleeps until I am ready to get up. He continually answers my prayers, yet instead of giving thanks and praising him, I ask for more, never satisfied.

I thought of the Israelites, who upon being delivered out of Egypt were still unsatisfied.

“Here, then, in their thirst for water, the people grumbled against Moses, saying, ‘Why then did you bring us up out of Egypt? To have us die of thirst with our children and our livestock?’…

“The Lord answered Moses…Strike the rock, and the water will flow from it for the people to drink.” (Exodus 17: 3, 6)

Lord please give me a husband I can love and cherish all the days of my life. Check.

Lord please give me a job that challenges, grows and fulfills me. Check.

Lord please give us a child we can raise to know, love and serve You. Check.

 

And yet that is not enough. He has answered my prayers but I am not satisfied.

Lord please help my husband read my mind as to what I need from him. Lord please make my job a little less busy. Lord please make my child go to sleep. Please make her a little easier to handle. Please make her a little calmer, a little less needy, a little less demanding.

Even when He has given me all I ask for, I want more. I am not satisfied. I am like the Israelites, focusing not on what I have been given, but what I still want.

‘It is most certain that the malice of our own hearts is the principal cause that hinders us from attaining to our beatitude and everlasting happiness, because it makes us slow to godly actions, dull to virtuous exercises, and suggests a greater difficulty in them than there is, which if it were not a man might walk without any molestation in the way of virtue, and at length without labor attain to his desired end.’

St. Peter of Alcantara

I am reminded that when you look for worldy happiness as your source of satisfaction, you come up empty-handed. True, lasting happiness and satisfaction can only be found by serving our Lord always. Dig deep, spend time in adoration or conversation with Christ, nurture that relationship and find your selfishness, impatience and resentments melt away. You will be filled with the same giddiness my toddler felt while dancing in the rain.

“Why do I get up each morning and start?
Happy and head up with joy in my heart.
Why is each new task a trifle to do?
Because I am living a life full of you.”
– Singin’ in the Rain
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