There are times when we have words to share with others. There are times we have words only for ourselves. And there are some times – dark, and hopefully fleeting – when we flounder for words even for ourselves.

I thank God during those times for Words not our own to find ourselves in again.

Last week a friend and I made it to daily Mass. (Which, with two small children under 2, was no small feat for us to pull off.) Wednesdays are the weekly all-school Mass for our parish, which I love – kindergartners stumbling over petitions, first-graders fidgeting in their seats, second-graders belting out the Alleluia. The perfect kind of daily Mass for a squirmy toddler S.

But in the blur that has been my life (and my brain) as of late, the only part of the Mass that I heard was the Gospel. It wasn’t the reading for the day; it was a simple passage chosen by the kindergarten teacher who planned the liturgy. But in this sharp moment that pulled my attention away from S and the piles of books he was throwing on the floor, I felt like the words were directed Right At Me.

Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.

Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.

Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me.

John 12:24-26

I love my life as a mother. But to embrace it meant I had to give up a life that I loved. A life of more freedom and less responsibilities. A life when I was in charge of my own schedule and my own time. A life where I could focus more on me and less on others.

I think – I hope, trust, on the good days, believe – that I will love my life as a mother of two. But to begin to embrace it, I have had to give up a life that I loved. A life where I felt healthy and well and in control. A life that was known and finally beginning to settle into a norm. A life that I knew and was happy within.

The last few months, the beginning of this pregnancy, have been hard in ways I never imagined. I don’t yet have the words to share what it has meant. But suffice it to say, it has not been easy or seamless or bright. I am challenged every day in ways I never expected.

When I lack words, I know I am lost. Which is exactly where I find myself these days. So the surprise of a few Words that spoke to me, that gave me a glimmer of hope, that reminded me of the call and the center of my life – those Words were pure gift.

Dying, but rising. Loving, but losing. Following, and finding.

Perhaps those are words enough.

5 thoughts on “words

  1. Hi LKF–I appreciate your thoughts here. Having traveled a bit further down this parenting path I will say that each season has it’s benefits. Celebrate where you have been, appreciate where you are, and look forward to the adventure that awaits you. There are things you will miss and trades you will make. Parenting the littlest ones is a season of life that requires an incredible sacrifice but pouring your heart and prayers and energy into the next generation is a pretty amazing privilege. May He give you glimpses of He is growing in both you and your family during this season.

  2. I really relate to what you’re saying. I was single for a long time, and while I longed to be married with children (and feared that I never would be), I got used to my freedom. I finally married a wonderful man, but to this day, almost 7 years later, I still crave the “alone time” and other aspects of the single/childless lifestyle. And while I long to be able to give my son a sibling, I know that going from one child to two would also be a huge transition. I hope your pregnancy gets easier. I know you’ve had a rough first trimester.

  3. I can relate to this so well! We are in the beginning of adjusting to life with two now! I knew in my mind it would be difficult, but it is STILL kicking my butt! It is hard to believe that some day we will get back in our “groove” again, and then I am sure, we will feel ready for the next challenge. I agree that the hardest temptation is to long for some future moment. I longed to be married and have a family for many years, and now I find myself these days longing for a time when all my children are in school! 🙂 The grass is always greener, isn’t it?! 🙂 I love hearing from moms like the above Liz who have traveled this path before us! Each stage has its unique challenges and advantages, and it is a good reminder to embrace each season as fully as we can! Thanks for these words LKF!

  4. As someone who is not a parent, I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate these reflections on the journey of parenthood. Your honesty is a gift, as our your words, difficult as they may be to summon at this particular time. You really challenge me to think about what parenting means and its true cost. Thanks for sharing a bit of yourself, and you will certainly be in my prayers as you continue this journey. All the best, LL

  5. “When I lack words, I know I am lost. Which is exactly where I find myself these days.”

    This has been my story for the past several months. In some ways, this troubles me. My journal for the past year is barren. There has been so much that has happened and yet I lack the ability and desire to put words around it, as our friend G would say. Perhaps writing through these experiences would be too hard, too real.

    In other ways, I’m not at all troubled by this. The words do come back. Something in us stirs or something outside us stirs us. We reach for the pen. I am a procrastinator…not necessarily because I am not working on something. I spend a lot of time thinking about whatever project I seem to be avoiding. (This caused no end of problems between my mother and me when I was younger.) This tendency to procrastinate has taught me the value of letting things marinate. Our words need this too.

    Sending you good thoughts.

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