Friday, February 4, 2011

Redefining Happiness

    Last night I was blessed to yet again witness the wisdom, knowledge, understanding, dedication to faith, and just downright goodness of a group of mothers I am privileged to walk with in my journey. I am one of the oldest moms in the group and each and every time I am blown away with how these young moms are eons and eons beyond where I was at their age, and quite frankly probably where I am today!! I have a feeling that these young moms will accomplish many great things now and in the future.
    As I think about them, I hearken(old fogey terminology) back to my youth and think about when Don and I were first married. If an angel would have popped out of the closet at our wedding reception and told me that someday....I would be covered in stretch marks from my shoulders to my knees, burdened with too much debt (through the help of Dave Ramsey..we are trying to eradicate) sporting more wrinkles than I could count, a permanent baby bag for a belly, a messy house in the same neighborhood I grew up in, 2 vehicles that I will never be able to parallel park, and a constant volume just a decibel above insanity and be completely happy, I would have torn up the marriage certificate, shook Don's hand and said, "Nice knowing you, but that's not exactly what I had planned."
   We(cough cough)...I had dreams of making enough money to buy our dream house, furnishings, vacation homes, 3 or maybe 4 perfect children(2 boys & 2 girls) that we would send on to the "best" colleges. God must have just been rollin' around laughing in Heaven! Don't get me wrong, we still hope to have 3 or 4 perfect children...we are thinking of adoption. That was before I realized that we are called to live for God's will not our own. I had a re-version back to my Catholic faith and for the first time, I took a deep long look at it and saw the beauty of it's truth and light. And I knew I could never be the same. It took me 10 years to find an acceptable level of contentment, and that took many challenges to break me enough to accept it. Every year it gets a tad takes many Masses and lots of time pouring my heart out to my Love in Adoration.  In some ways, I know I will never be content and the whole time Don just wishing I would be. I don't walk around with a huge smile and sweetness exuding from me, but I can lose it one minute, hollering at the kids to stop fighting or pick up their stuff, and the very next moment, scoop up a little one(or big one) and cover them with unleashed affection..all without blinking an eye.....that defines happiness for me, a little bit of hectic insanity mixed up with plenty of cuddles, acceptance...and contentment.


  1. Debi, I sit in our group and (especially the other night) just look around in awe at the remarkable women God has brought into my life. He is good. All the time.

  2. I live in the neighborhood where I grew up, too. We downsized when we moved to Tn. after I had been gone for 20 years because I was ready to move home.
    Found you through Catholic Mothers Online.

  3. Hi Mary!!! Nice to meet you!! That's cool to have that connection...both of us moving back to our old stomping grounds, it's not bad at all, I really like being able to share stories about it with the kids, and it's comforting to take them to the same park I used to play at.

  4. I love that yiddish saying 'Man plans, God laughs' (Mann traoch, Gott Lauch), so true!!!

    This post really resonates with me. I had this idealised vision of what my life would be like and looking back am shocked at how so much of it was based on material wealth and status. We don't have our own home yet and we are not by any means materially wealthy by societies standards. But in the last 4 to 5 years i've also started on this journey back to my faith (helped so so very much by my friendship with you Debi xx) and I realise how rich and incredibly blessed I am with my wonderful husband and Matilda and mostly importantly with my faith. I still have a very long way to go but as I get older I appreciate the journey more and don't get too bogged down anymore in the frustration and disappointment I used to have because I wasn't at the place I thought I should be in life, if you know what I mean. Being happy exactly where you are and living out your faith in that exact place is the goal.

  5. Eloise, I hear you and I do know what you mean!!! XXOO sister!!

  6. I feel that our group is so blessed to have the collective wisdom and experience of all the moms. A woman who is a mom is defined more by her experience and wisdom than by her age. Since you've been a mom longer than me you provide a light ahead of me, (kind of opposite of what it was like in the snowstorm for us) and your example reminds me that the effort I put into my family and children is worth it. Your children are a testimony to your love and care for them.