It seems God wants me full. And the only way to get more in right now is to stretch me out, shake me up, make some more room, then fill in the blanks with more grace.
That's what this week felt like.
Sunday, Monday and Tuesday I had some incredible stretching days. Wednesday was a bridge, but it had plenty of stretching too.
Then, on Wednesday, a friend came to visit for a few days. Nothing gives one a good look at life like having someone from outside one's personal context live in one's personal context for a few days. This friend is one who remained accepting of me after I left the fellowship (i.e. church) where we were both members, and journeyed on to become a Catholic. And in reality, she is the only one who has remained a friend; with the others I've fallen out of contact.
So, she is not Catholic, but accepts that I am. I have no problem accepting that she is not Catholic, because I know that she walks in the the light of the Lord. I'm thinking this is a rare thing in my life, having a relationship like this, I mean.
Anyway, if you are like me, you look at your life and look at it again when someone stays with you. But this friend has the peaceful presence about her that makes being judged or evaluated by her the farthest thing from my mind. Yet in that context, I see how our whole life as a family pulses to the rhythm of Christ's love -- or at least that potential is there. Yes, with company about we are all probably on a little bit better behaviour than we would otherwise be. But it makes me think; the saints watch us from heaven, and cheer us on. Who was it that wrote about wanting to impress heaven? Live in such a way for heaven to applaud, even if no one else will or no one else sees.
I've seen this week that gentleness and understanding with my children is not simply something to undertake when I feel like it or when I think it will get me desired results. It is what children deserve. Their hearts, their souls need to be treasured and nourished by me even more than their bodies and worrying about if they eat right for their blood type.
This week I've seen that I have many potentially great friendships around me -- or at least as many as I need.
I've seen that God calls to me and has more for me than I'm ready to take in. If I get more disciplined in taking things in, more expectant of catching His thoughts, more quick to respond to opportunities, I'll be able to take in even more and life will get all the fuller. Stretch and fill is an ongoing reality.
What else is worth pursuing if not God and His wants?