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The Most Loving Thing For My Family

ConfessionMolteni_Giuseppe

A question I often ask myself when discerning big life decisions is, “What is the most loving thing for my family?” Over the last few years, sometimes the answer has been a part time job here or there to bring in money. Other times the answer has been to stay home and focus on raising our kids. Sometimes the most loving thing is to support my husband’s dreams, and sometimes it’s advocating for something important to me or the kids. Asking what the most loving thing is has even led us to homeschooling this year, and to transitioning my husband’s business to be home more often.

About a month ago, I had to ask the question again, and the most loving thing to do for my family was to go see a doctor. It was a realization I had while going to Confession. There was adoration at our church, the kids were in the nursery, and I was in line for Confession. The time was coming to a close and I didn’t want to miss this seemingly perfect opportunity to receive the Sacrament. And yet, the woman who jumped in line right before I did was taking forever in the confessional. I was seething, I was so irate that she was taking a long time and I might miss this chance. I literally felt hot inside with uncontrollable rage that the nice lady (who I know and respect) was blabbing away with the priest.

When I finally got my turn, I had to confess this burning fury of mine that had been spiraling out of control. Little things would make me fly off the handle so that my throat was hoarse from all the yelling. I felt powerless to stop, as a bubbling volcano threatened to erupt at any minute. As I’m confessing, I realize this isn’t normal “me” temper problems. Add to it the increased anxiety rendering me incapable of decision-making, and I recognized that the most loving thing I could do for my family was to get help. My husband needed me, my children needed me, and I couldn’t just do nothing. I believe it was the grace in the Sacrament showing me this wasn’t normal and I needed to do something.

I had been in a good regimen of taking my vitamins, exercising, and getting a small dose of daily prayer in before these changes happened. As my head grew foggy with anxiety, I was still taking supplements and exercising sometimes, but I couldn’t get my head around any mental exercises such as prayer. And without prayer, I knew I was withering. Eventually I couldn’t find motivation for exercise and was overindulging in junk food.

At this same time, my baby was 9 months old, the same age my son was when I went through a similar experience 3 years ago. This time was different, though, as I could feel the changes (most likely from hormones) so acutely.

I described my symptoms to my doctor and she put me on a sertraline, like Zoloft. Since I already had decent healthy habits and had already tried some hormone therapy, I knew medication was the one thing left to try. And now, a month later, I can say it was the right decision for this point in my life. My insides have calmed down and I don’t feel like erupting all the time. The fog has lifted over my brain and I can think, make decisions and pray again. I was present to my children today. I smiled and laughed. I started writing again. I’m not having emotional breakdowns several times a day. My husband can rely on me to share in the parenting.

I write this because people think of postpartum blues happening right after your baby is born and involves crying all the time. But for me, the effects happen months later when my fertility starts to return, and the baby starts to crawl and eat solids. I get angry and anxious and have trouble being social.

I am not a fan in over-medicating, and I believe healthy habits and counseling are also important to overall health. Still, sometimes you have to ask yourself, “What is the most loving thing for my family right now?” Then spend some time in silence, let God reveal to you the answer, and do something about it.

Prayer: An Appointment With God Part 2
Making An Appointment with God Part 1

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In our mission statement at CatholicMarriagePrep.com we say: “Agape Catholic Marriage Preparation invites couples to a deeper relationship with each other and with Christ, one couple at a time.  Online, on-demand instruction rooted in Saint John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, combined with personalized mentoring from a trained married couple, builds a foundation for a strong, healthy, Christ-centered marriage between a man and a woman.”  Who does that best serve?   From the very inception of CatholicMarriagePrep.com serving military couples has always been on our hearts, even offering a military discount.

Tara Brooke
28 June 2022

Wow!!!  Yes, that is the correct word to begin this blog post!  I think I am still in shock!  On the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus our country just experienced the overturning of an almost 50-year-old law regarding abortion.  Roe vs. Wade was overturned!  

One You May Have Missed

Family Life
Marriage
The other night I was reading this cute book to my daughter before bed called, “I Love You All Year Long.”  It goes through each season of the year, and how the mother loves her child in each season. It’s March here in Colorado, so the idea of swimming and beaches with sandcastles seemed very appealing. Yet, the raking of leaves and hot apple cider on a hayride did not have the same draw. After giving it more thought, I realized that a hayride and hot cider is so exciting and refreshing after a hot summer of drenching in sweat! Currently we are getting a spell of warm weather here and the kids have been playing outside every day, which makes me long for summer. But how exciting was it to get the kids bundled up to go play in the first snow! That’s what I love about the seasons here. They are always changing, which allows us to appreciate the unique opportunities each season presents us with. This is much like the seasons of life that we find ourselves in. Sometimes like spring, they are full of new wonders and are very colorful. But they can also be rainy, keeping us indoors. Sometimes like summer, our lives are very dry, needing constant watering, even though we are busy doing lots of things. In fall, we rake out the dead leaves and really celebrate the changing of seasons. The different colored leaves of autumn are one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen! Then come the holidays during the winter, filled with anticipation, parties, and family time. But the days are cold and dark. Every season of life has its ups and downs. Even our spiritual lives reflect these same truths – we have dark nights where we feel far from God, we have spring times of faith when we are filled with hope. Sometimes our prayer is dry and needs lots of water, and other times we rake out the dead of sin and can see the fruit of our efforts. But there is always something we can gain from each season. We need these ups and downs to not take a particular state for granted. If we can recognize these different seasons, we can appreciate what they bring, and look forward to the next change. The only constant, like in the book, is that God loves us in each season of our life. Our goal is to love him back the same in each. At my brother’s wedding several years ago, Fr. Brady opened the Mass with the words, “The only tragedy in life is to not become a Saint.” We will experience tragedy – cancer, death, betrayal, poverty, etc. But redemption and our reward in heaven overcome all of these. On the other hand, missing the opportunity for holiness in each of these trials is the real tragedy, as God offers us grace continuously, no matter the external circumstances. Missing out on an eternity in heaven? That’s the worst. Not feeling like you are a Saint? Neither did many of the saints. A saint is anyone in Heaven, whether the Church has publicly recognized him or her or not.  We are all called to be saints. What do all saints have in common? They never gave up in each season of life. They clung to grace to get back up again when they fell, and they embraced God’s constant love in each of these ups and downs.     

 

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