As the hustle and bustle of the holidays wind down, the quiet evenings are welcomed again. The rare quiet evening. When our home is filled with Legos, dirty diapers, and all things ‘boy’, the murmur of the dishwasher can be surprisingly peaceful!
The vocation I have as a wife and mother is attributed to all of God’s Love. The vocation I have as a Catholic is much of the same. As I reflect on both of these areas of my life, I am not one without the other. I could be, but I know the even more challenging journey set before me if I try to separate the two. When I was asked to define stewardship in my own life, “Be Present” continued to resonate. That’s what the gift of stewardship is for me.
Be Present. When God blessed me with joy and laughter, he also taught me that the challenges of the day would be worth it. He asks me to show up, focus on the importance of the people around me, and allow some things to ‘just be.’ The story of Mary and Martha is such a powerful one. Neither was lacking in wanting to serve the Lord, but the stillness of being present with Christ is immeasurable. Stewardship comes with giving of our time. I am able to take part in our monthly Eucharistic Adoration, and I cannot describe what a positive impact in has continued to make in my life.
Be Present. Each Mass we get the opportunity to experience so much beauty in the Liturgy. As a young family, we also have the opportunity to allow our self-doubt (Satan) to creep in and chalk up the noisy three-year-old, and the wiggly one-year-old as a way to stay away. I’d encourage the opposite. Despite some weeks thinking we’re at the circus instead of the sacraments, keep coming. Our family has been able to participate in Mass by signing up to be the Presenter of Gifts. It’s so special to see the childlike faith come alive right in our very arms, or quickly paced feet, as we direct them back to the correct pew. Our parish family has been nothing short of amazing in their encouragement as we fully embrace this season. We are so grateful.
Be Present. St. Francis of Assisi parish reminds me so much of what my parents have shared when it comes to my home parish back in Kansas when they first broke ground. The grassroots, help your neighbor, love at the door, welcoming. Prior to even becoming members of this parish, we experienced it. We were drawn here. To serve. To give. To love. We haven’t looked back.
It’s a crazy time in our lives. I don’t anticipate that slowing down, but I also know where we can come to be part of something greater than ourselves. I know who I can come to when days are long, and I need our Savior. That’s what has been beautiful about my stewardship journey. It doesn’t have to end. It may look differently at some point, but it can still produce a bountiful harvest.
- Sara Walraven