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alec vanderboom

Our lunch hour today was super rough. My bunny rabbit refused to sleep last night. I woke up so far behind the rushing train that is my family life that by 12:30 PM I still hadn't found the 50 seconds that I needed to put contacts in my eyes.

My husband came home for lunch. He parked a bicycle with a flat tire in the middle of our kitchen hallway.

If you've ever attempted to keep 3 curious children away from a wet, greasy piece of machinery then you can anticipate what type of chaos followed.

My kids managed to jam six pairs of hands into a dirty bicycle chain at once.

I lost my calm.

My husband lost his peace.

Three children started defending the concept of an "attractive nuisance" at the same time.

I hollered for six legs to get into six snow boots at once. My husband said "You guys don't really need to leave the house."

"Yes, we do!" I answered.

At that exact moment a wedding present, which we had nicknamed our "Carmel vase," shattered to pieces on our kitchen floor.

My husband came out and very firmly told me "We are not going to do this anymore! We are all going to stop fighting right now and start praying."

The wimpy Carmelite that I am, I sorted doubted that family prayer at that moment would work.

It did.

We prayed. We flung holy water around. My husband set the table while holding a sleeping baby and made sure that I ate actual food for the first time in 18 hours. Within 15 minutes, the storm clouds had cleared.

Now that everyone is asleep, I'm reflecting on how much of today's lunch hour demonstrates the amazing power of a 10 year marriage.

My husband and I are good teammates. The Lord has made us such. We still fuss and fret. We're normal people subject to the same stress as other people- we have lots of kids and little time and even less money. Yet we somehow had this amazing gift of faith just handed to us on our wedding day.

And because we are both Catholics, because we are two Carmelites, in the middle of a total family meltdown, my husband can just say "We're not doing this anymore! Lets all stop and pray!" and WE ALL LISTEN TO HIM!

This is so NOT how I imagined living out my life when I first got married at 26! But now that I'm an elderly 35, I find it pretty cool.

(Way to divorce-proof my marriage, Mommy Mary! I'm totally pathetic, so all the grace I've got in life is totally from you!)