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alec vanderboom

The blessings from the recently departed house guests still continue. I arrived at my mother-in-laws house determined to be a good guest. This means picking up all the spare articles of clothing deposited by my large family, and instantly brushing the baby spit-up from her new carpets with a damp rag.

Today during my quest, I also figured out how to better practice a basic doctrine of faith. During the trip to his parents, I'm aiming to be an especially conscious "good servant" to my husband during this trip. While he is talking to his parents, I made up his plate of dinner and got him something to drink. I do all the diaper changes for the baby. I unpacked the suitcases and made sure all the kids have all the right Fall weather gear. I don't ask for any of my husband's help with these details because "I'm the servant" this week.

Servants are also agreeably obedient. When my mother-in-law asked me if the baby has a hat to cover her ears, I brought down four hats to try on her. I didn't argue that it was 78 degree outside or that her sweatshirt came with a hood. Then I brought down socks for the baby also, unasked.

As a result of this focus, the visit is going more smoothly than in the past. My husband is having alot of uninterrupted time to chat with his aging parents. I'm also having alot less angst about the clash between family cultures- because it's less debate over "what is the right way to do things" and more "when in Rome do as the Romans." I've been having nice thoughts about the characters in Jane Austen's novels as I go about similar situations.

I've focused a lot on doing "service" for my family. Never before, have I been so focused on purely being a servant. That is what we are aiming for in our entire lives as Catholics. Being servants of God. I'm grateful motherhood is giving me such good practice for heaven.