Growth Spurts

Growth Spurts

For those of you who follow the blog regularly, you know that last fall I wrote a lot about being pregnant. Then, at the end of December we welcomed our baby girl into the world and now I have to write a post about nursing.
 



Because sometimes it feels like feeding the baby is all I ever do anymore! Last week, I nursed this chubby child for two days straight minus sleeping. I couldn’t get anything else done and the other three children were starting to be seriously unsupervised. It felt like I’d never be able to do anything but feed the baby ever again! But that’s the funny thing about growth spurts: they come in spurts. Intense eating is followed by intense sleeping, and it’s a constant adjustment as our bodies grow and change.

Just like growth spurts, life is always changing and no two days are ever the same. Growing has a lot of ups and downs on the way. So whether you are raising kids, learning to live with your spouse, trying to have children, or working hard at your job, we all work through growth spurts where things are always changing. The goal is to press on and take what God has to teach us through these ups and downs.

I find that a baby’s growth spurts are similar to the growth of my soul. Prayer is the way our souls grow, and there are some days where I get good prayer time in, and some when I don’t. On good days, I have patience and quality time with the kids, and the house gets cleaned. I thank God for these days. Because I know there are other days when it’s all I can do to get everyone fed and beg God to get me through the day.

Some times my prayer life is rich. I have a growth spurt on which I’m feeding on the Word of God and listening to the Spirit in my heart. Like a tree planted beside the water, my faith is rooted deep and I grow closer to God.

Other days all I can say is, “Jesus, help me. I’m hanging on.” The world can start to spin around and I don’t know which way is up or how I can keep my head above water. But if my roots are deep from the times of rich prayer, they can get me through the times of dryness and desperation.

Bad days keep me humble and remind me of my need for God. Good days are ones that I can be thankful for seeing God’s presence in my life.

So the one thing I can tell you from my experience of these growth spurts: even when things are bad and I feel desperate and overwhelmed, I never tell God to go away.  I make sure to go to Mass each Sunday, no matter what state I am in (physically or emotionally) because I know that my short spurts of prayer and the grace of the Eucharist are my lifeline. I can survive without a shower or a hot cup of coffee. But I can’t survive without grace. I need Jesus daily (even if its in a short cry of help), and I need to at least get to Sunday Mass (even if it’s in the cry room).

So even when you are feeling overwhelmed and far from God, one thing is for sure: never give up. The worst thing you can do is give up on God (because He never gives up on us!) There’s always hope that we can do better, pray better, and that tomorrow can be different. If you’ve not tried praying in a while, or you’ve missed Sunday Mass a few times, there is always the present to start over: get yourself to confession (it’s Lent!) and get a brand new start. God meets us where we are and wants to grow with us.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

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A Very Bitter Lent

A Very Bitter Lent

Dear Reader,

In September 2015 I was privileged to meet the Maronite Archbishop of Damascus Samir Nassar during the World Meeting of Families.

I was deeply moved by his accounts of the bitter suffering of the Syrian people during the relentless war, then almost 2 years ago.

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This Marriage Prep is different, and here’s why

This Marriage Prep is different, and here’s why

In speaking to a group of priests on February 25th, Pope Francis urged that during marriage prep, couples must be helped to understand “the profound meaning of the step that they are about to take. . . They say yes, but do they understand this? Do they have faith in this? A true catechumenate is needed for the sacrament of marriage.”
 

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A Helper on the Way

A Helper on the Way

These thoughts come to you on the eve of his solemnity the 19th March. Last year I had a few ideas about how this great Saint can and must play a significant part in our family and faith life.

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"Lest We Forget...!"

"Lest We Forget...!"

"Lest We Forget...!"

The phrase above is one we adopt and use year in year out to recall with gratitude and solemnity the countless war dead who sacrificed their lives to defend and preserve our freedoms
 

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Heaven is Full of Legos

Heaven is Full of Legos

The other day my 5 year old announced that he didn’t want to go to heaven. That’s problematic for several reasons, mainly because of the salvation of his soul, but as Catholic parents we teach him that heaven is our ultimate goal. We talk about how the saints are in heaven with God and therefore we want to be a saint, too.

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Catholic "Jihad"

Catholic "Jihad"

We've all heard time and time again of so-called "jihad" concerning Islamic fundamentalism and its ideological links to tyrannical radical Islamic terror.  But "jihad" is really about declaring "war" on self - i.e. self-mortification; self-denial; self-control etc. in order, fundamentally to be a better person, to be a more rounded human being. Selfless, more compassionate and considerate and full of humility, which as CS Lewis wisely said, is not about "thinking less of oneself but thinking of oneself less."

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Caught Between Heaven and Earth: A Reflection on Death

Caught Between Heaven and Earth: A Reflection on Death

In what seems like a lifetime ago, I used to work as a youth minister for a Church. In my last few years there I had a girl in youth group, shy with braces, who was pushed by her parents to attend with her sister and step-sister. She came on retreats and mission trips and I saw a beautiful young woman start to emerge, but I lost contact with her in my whirlwind of birthing babies. Last week I received the news that at the age of 21, she died in a car accident.

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An Academy of Truth and Freedom

An Academy of Truth and Freedom

Marriage is the only school where you get the certificate before you start. It’s also a school where you will never graduate.

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SWSWSW-N

SWSWSW-N

You're probably thinking what on earth do the letters above mean? Is it a typo?


I heard this on the news on the radio this morning. It is the working motto of the chief executive of a call centre. This is his mantra to his staff who are trying to generate new customers by phoning them up.  When the other person either puts the phone down, ends the call abruptly or is just not interested, he wants them to go through this thought process.

So what does SWSWSW-N mean?

“Some will, some won't. So what! Next.”

In other words, it's the philosophy that says, "if at first, you don't succeed, try, try and try again. In the words of Our Lord, “shake the dust from your feet."

So, when despite all your best efforts to achieve something important by persuasion, advocacy or persistence, you just don't get anywhere, then SWSWSW -N might be a useful mechanism for emotional resilience to obstinacy.

That's not an excuse to give up totally on individuals because the Lord never does, even if He has to wait and wait and wait.

One day we may need patience and forbearance of another. So, let's never give the other an excuse to think SWSWSW-N.

Edmund Adamus

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