January 13, 2012

Some days are really difficult.  Some weeks are made of many difficult days.

I was casting about for something to write about this week, wrestling with an upbeat article about God speaking to us in dreams (thank you, Magi, for the topic idea) and tweaking another piece I’d started about a woman in the American War of Independence. Neither was cooperating, a sure sign that I was trying to beat a wild creature into submission – something that doesn’t work on the page with any sort of conviction.

In truth, life isn’t easy just at the moment. Not for me, not for my immediate family, and not for the friends I catch glimpses of on everyone’s favourite social networking site. If we were to meet casually, say, at the grocery store, we would tell each other that we’re fine, everyone’s good, Timmy’s cutting his first tooth. I would notice how cute your outfit looks and admire your hair.  You would see the fruits and vegetables in my cart and think my family really has mealtimes sorted.  Meanwhile, little Timmy’s teeth are turning him into a temper-ridden terror, the laundry is piling up so all you have to wear is an old office outfit from the back of your closet, and in a fit of desperation you had your hair chopped off because you don’t have time to fuss with it every day.  As for me and the cart laden with produce, we haven’t eaten anything but quick meals in weeks so the rainbow of organics is more guilt than it is planning or Canada’s food guide in action.  In other words, the veneer you see in passing is likely covering a story similar to your own, and the title would probably be: life is wonderful, but it ain’t easy.

I look around me and see so many women who seem to be burdened with one difficulty or another, whether temporary like adjusting to a newborn, or more long-term and overwhelming like a chronically sick spouse and sudden job loss - in the same family.

As I was mulling over what to write about tonight, I opened my bible to Psalm 118:13.  It is one of those bracing, encouraging passages meant to remind us that all will be well in the long run, and to trust in God:  I was hard pressed and was falling, but the Lord helped me.  It is true!  And it is good to be reminded of it.  I wasn’t satisfied with leaving it there, however.

I know that God has a plan for each of us, and no detail has been overlooked. Perhaps we overlook the bit about how His plan will be accomplished.  As Caryll Houselander points out in The Reed of God, He uses our hands and feet for action, our words to encourage and teach.  That means we participate in the Father’s loving kindness for others.

We’re all so scattered now, my group of friends and I. We live from one end of the country to the other and even across the ocean. We can’t drop in on each other anymore to catch up on life and see what help can be offered. Our community and fellowship has become almost entirely virtual.  The same is true of us here in our little corner of cyber space. Still, I feel a strong prompting to do something concrete with The Feminine Gift to be a practical help to you Catholic women. Solidarity is a word that comes to mind. We are women together, each living our own story, yet bound by our love for God, and our desire to be faithful Catholics.

I don’t know how to answer that prompting yet.  I’ll be pondering that in the next little while, and would be very glad to hear of any ideas you may have.  What do you need?  A babysitter, help with the laundry, career advice, prayer support, the name of a good mechanic, someone to have coffee with, articles about finances... . 

Our Lady of Perpetual Help


Love one another, as I have loved you.  John 13:34

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What is a woman? What does it mean to be feminine? There is softness and hardness, compassion and ferocity. There is contentment and adventure, freedom and service. We're conundrums, especially to ourselves, but we all, in some way, possess beauty, creativity, intuition and love. We were made for love, and we are loved, cellulite and all. Here we aim to show every woman the richness and beauty of her own femininity and explore current issues relating to women in our world. We also wish to share our own experiences - exploring the joys and challenges of stay-at-home moms and single professionals and everyone in between. Welcome! So glad you're here!

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