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Solitude is My Inner Jewelry Box

alec vanderboom

My husband bought me diamond earrings for a Christmas present! (Oh for the joy of a local Kay's Jewelry Store that lets all the poor fathers of six live like kings on Christmas Day!) My ear piercing holes had grown back during my last pregnancy with Johnny. Three weeks ago, I got my ears pierced at Claire's along with my two oldest daughters. We've been counting down the weeks until we get to change out our earrings for the first time. Now, I've got an even bigger reward.

My husband knows me well. I tend to lose things easily. Spending my life with curious two year olds for the past nine years has whittled my jewelry collection--which was always meager at the start--to something truly pathetic. (Of course, I still manage to mix up my meager jewelry collection with the sin of anger. I got quoted in a Mother's Day homily from a priest friend here.)

In addition to buying me diamond earrings, my husband bought me a beautiful jewelry box that he mounted on our bedroom wall. "Now your necklaces won't get all tangled!" he told me.

I love my new jewelry box! It has a Chinese wood pattern over two mirror panels. I can open it and see clearly marked spaces for necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings. Of course, being a good Catholic, I immediately put inside my favorite rosaries and my tiny relics of my bff St. Teresa of Avila. The jewelry box is mounted high enough on my wall, that if not entirely toddler proof, is more safe than if left on a bedroom desk or vanity set.

When my husband got out his drill and started to mount my new jewelry box to the wall, I got a feeling of the extreme care he has for me. My husband doesn't just buy me pretty, romantic gifts. He puts the thought and muscle into making sure that they are easily accessible to my life. I'm currently a sleep deprived Mama of six. "Lets not count on Abigail remembering to carefully put back her new diamond earrings after Mass every Sunday. How can I make it as easy as possible for her to use her new gift?"

It's nice to be married because sometimes I get a little taste of what it means for God to love me as his bride.

I looked at that new jewelry box and thought that it was similar to the role solitude plays in my life. So often in prayer, I get shiny new insights into God. These are my spiritual gems. Its easy to lose spiritual insights in the rough and tumble world outside my heart. Holding onto insights of Faith is harder than keeping pairs of earrings safe from the curious hands of toddlers.

A steady pattern of seeking solitude everyday serves as my metaphysical jewelry box. Inside my solitude, I can keep my necklaces untangled and my pairs of earrings well ordered and protected. I can reflect on Scripture. I can remember the times God has been faithful and loving. I have a space in time that lets me feel individually treasured and beloved.

St. Teresa of Avila, pray for me! Help me remember to seek more solitude in 2015!