Monday, March 21, 2011

The Blessing of Limits

I am finding March to be quite difficult to get through. The daffies are out, the crocuses are still holding on we've had a couple days of crazy good weather - so what is wrong with me? We have been sick in one way or another since the beginning of February. It started with the Flu. And since then we've had non-stop colds that have not let go. Turning into ear infections, sinus infections, conjunctivitis. WE ARE SO BEHIND. I had hoped to be almost done with school by this time to give the kids a great Spring, full of roaming freetime to make mud soup and climb trees and catalogue each new bloom in the gardens. When I am behind in my duties I struggle against feelings of worthlessness. I recognize that this is built into my temperament and it will not change. I should not find my worth in what I do but in who I am - who He has made me to be. But this is a struggle for me. In some ways my emotional life is very simple. Lots of visible accomplishment = good girl. Few-no visible accomplishment = bad girl. (BTW, this is not some sort of reflection on how I was raised, at all. OK, mom? It's not you, it's me.)
Here we are, on the 2nd day of Spring and I'm feeling like we are never going to make it to the end. CERTAIN people, who shall remain nameless, might be a bear to teach when certain people are not feeling well. So, it feels like it's just time to pack our bags and go home. Oh wait, we're already home. And here-in lies the problem. I am addicted to homeschooling. It gives my days structure and purpose and when it is all kaflooey like it is right now I get all kaflooey internally too.
But in all this there is good. I am trying to keep this passage from Fr. Tissot's "How to Profit from One's Faults" in mind.
"The limitations we experience in carrying on our external work and internal affairs are very much a part of humility. And humility in it's turn begets and sustains generosity."
So February, and now March this year is not so much Spring as it is the season of embracing my limitations. Well, trying to. It appears that I am limited in this too.


  1. ooooh good quote. I may be stealing it to ponder for myself as I keep running headlong into my own limitations. Happy Spring!

  2. Well said! It's good for all of us to reflect on that truth this Lent. I am expecting internal turmoil as life changes with this new baby and progress (whatever that may be) halts for a month or two, and my worth becomes more and more tied to feeding and cleaning and all the rest of the things that have to happen but just never stay done. Thanks for the meaningful perspective... I see more and more how children (and their needs) are a multi-faceted tool of God's purification in our lives :)

  3. Alexis, this is such a timely post. Last week I too was struggling and feeling disorganized and moody and lazy and worthless, which was made all the worse by the clear blue beauty of the spring sky. It just feels wrong to be unhappy in the spring. I think the achievement/happiness connection is such an American Woman issue, stemming from a super protestant work ethic. Boy is it hard to just let go and enjoy the beauty of the world when sickness and slackness have limited tangible achievements.