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Hitting the Restart Button

alec vanderboom

This day started out terrible!

I couldn't sleep last night. The baby is pushing out my side abdominal muscles and every sleeping position became uncomfortable after 5 minutes. I spent most of the night sleeping on the floor, going in and out of bad dreams. At 5 AM, I had another eye emergency. My husband came out of bed to help me. I repaid his kindness by getting into a snippy fight with him.

"I'm going to pray!" I shouted over my shoulder at 5:25 AM, and banged two pillows against our bedroom door.

Under the makeshift alter to our Blessed Mother, I arranged myself on the floor with the pillows under my sore stomach and tired head. I started out my Carmelite prayer of the quiet in an awful, awful mood. My husband came out to join me in a few moments. It took everything I had not to hiss at him as he lovingly rubbed my sore back.

I yelled at God a lot this morning. I knew I was slipping further and further into sin, but I didn't really care. Everything in my life seemed wrong, impossible and awful at the same time.

After five minutes of quiet prayer, I said sorry to my husband. After fifteen minutes, I truly felt sorry. And by the end of my half in hour, I wasn't sure where I was with God, or how I was going to get through the day, but I knew I loved my husband and that my marriage is a great blessing in my life.

It was 6:06 AM in the morning. We sat in the dark and talked about attending Daily Mass. Suddenly, even with a scratched eyeball, a sore stomach and dark circles under my eyes, I knew I was supposed to attend Mass today.

At 6:26, the whole family waited at the bus stop. We haven't attended Daily Mass together since I was eight weeks pregnant. It felt great! Hannah got to receive Jesus for the 4th time. Maria crawled under the pews and Alex couldn't only be gotten out of bed this morning with bribes of candy. Still Mass was beautiful.

As we rode the bus home, I felt like I'd hit the "restart" button on my day. The reading today was St. Paul, warning us that we must face many hardships to deserve heaven. It's okay that the daily life of a Catholic extracts every single ounce of physical, emotional and spiritual strength from me. The the King of the Universe is always ready to give me a "refill" at 7 AM each morning.