This past week I moved back home to Iowa for the summer. I have not lived at home for this long in over 3 years and it’s my last summer before I move away to start a life of my own. I had a few concerns about coming home, but I know this is where I am called to be right now. I went to confession the other day and my penance was to be good to my family, and love them. My home priest made me realize that even though my siblings have a hard time adjusting to sharing life and living space with me again, that deep down they look up to me a lot. Little did I know that every Sunday they would come and update Father on my blog, or my mission trips, or adventures. Certainly I have failed to be kind to them in every moment since I’ve been home, but I feel closer to them then ever before. I can feel the Holy Spirit knotting us more tightly together everyday. The last few days the four of us have worked together on re doing my parents back yard not because we had to, but because we wanted to.
Together we have torn apart our old broken picnic table, rabbit hutches, garden beds, and burned them in the fire pit that we replaced. I sat looking at the fire thinking how in that same spot we had burned our old crib that each of us slept in, our old desk, our old doll house, and all the wood that held so many memories for us.It made me realize how far we’ve come and the chapters of our lives that have come to a close. We don’t raise rabbits anymore, we don’t have any babies that need a crib to sleep in, nor do we need a doll house to play with. We’ve grown up,we’ve moved forward, and now here we are in our last summer together putting together a yard for enjoyment for my parents. No longer is our yard dirt pit for our mud pies, or a place for us to raise rabbits and chickens, times have changed.
It’s been really good to reflect on it, and what’s even better is we’ve ended each day around the fire, and the four of us pray a rosary together. Which is so strange because growing up we never prayed together, now here we are today and my sister is ecstatic to pray a rosary with her siblings. Praise God.
The reason I tell this is because first of all we all need more good news, and I want us all to think about our families right now, and how we could love them better, and how could we better lead them in the faith. For the past several months we’ve had to spend more time then usual with our families. The Good Lord has brought us back to home base where our true work is. And as we move forward, please don’t forget forget this lesson. Don’t forget about the love your family needs and deserves.Don’t forget they need your time an they need your prayers. I’m not saying you can’t leave home, because I know sometimes we are called to far away places, but as you shut this chapter of your life, make sure your family is aware of the truth, and the love that is found in the Father. If you can’t live mission at home, how do you expect to live mission afar. And I know some of you are thinking I don’t live mission at all in general. And that’s the problem. You are not listening. God has told you over and over, and He has sent people into your life to repeat it again. You do not belong to this world, you belong to him, and you were made to go out and proclaim the truth of eternal life. Our Lady of Fatima said “If men knew what eternity was they would live differently.”
Most of us spend more time reading and sharing fake news that spreads chaos and anxiety, and yet won’t lift a finger when it comes to sharing the truth of the Gospel. Who’s side are you on? The father of lies? Or the One who is and is To Come? And maybe you’re thinking it’s my life I’ll do what I want, but I hate to break it to you, but your life is not about you. Little do you know there are people out there watching you and wanting to do exactly what you do. There are people who love you deeply and want you to go to Heaven, and you can’t stop them.
So often we get caught up fighting ourselves for some Earthly value of goodness, looking for validation. Whether that be work, our grades, our wallets, or our looks. The devil gets us all worked up and riled up, and our followers do the same. They think oh they look happy on their instagram, so I’m going to do it too. Or there’s our family who has the front row seats and sees our every move, and either wants to do the exact same or the exact opposite.No matter who’s watching and how good you look doing it, please don’t do something that you wouldn’t want the one you love most to do.
Our zeal for Christ can’t stop when we walk through the doors. Because the work of the Lord doesn’t end till your home, and the Earth is not your home. I get it sometimes that it is hard, our families do not think the same way as us, or see the world through your eyes, but I beg you don’t give up. All the graces you need in order to endure are right there for you all you have to do is ask. Love your family with a passionate love, the love that hurts, but a love that endures. Be honest, be truthful, and never give up, because the good Lord has never given up on you. This is your family, this is your home base. You can run to all the other bases, but if you forget to touch home, you already lost. I’m not saying convert your family, or change them. They are humans, not a means to an end or your salvation. Love them, even when it hurts. And though it seems like the very least you could do, pray for them, I guarantee its the best thing you could do for them. Look what the prayers of St. Augustine’s mother did for him. I could tell you countless stories of families whose lives were drastically changed because of prayer. I promise the Father up above sees you, and your family. Leave the expectations behind, and surrender it all to Him and wait. If Jesus can feel one hemorrhaging woman touch his garment amidst a pressing crowd, have no doubt that He will be moved to compassion at the weight of your family surrendered at His feet. And He is delighted to answer your plea, for through this the Father is glorified, and the greatest desire of the son is fulfilled. He’s constantly at work because He lives and He reigns, now and forever.
He loves you, and He call you His.
Much love and prayers for you all,
P.S. since I’m home my editor is no longer my roomate Hannah, but my mother. And she does a great job, but she also reads between the lines. So as a disclaimer and a sweet message to her. My childhood was good, and we were raised in the church and my parents always gave us their best. And no I don’t think my parents are bad for burning old stuff, haha. It makes more room for the new chapters of our lives and helps us to remember we ought to store our truest treasures in heaven not on Earth.
P.S.S She also wants you to know we burned the stuff because it was too worn out to donate. Ha I love my mom.