Mr. O and I have these 2-3 hour breaks on Thursdays, in between our standing baby appointment and our birthing class. We found this great cafe that serves bagel and lox and chai tea lattes and has free wifi. It's raining out and I have something that smells like pumpkin and am thoroughly enjoying it.
So I'm thinking about politics (really enjoyed this Ann Coulter archived column), babies (and what do they really need in terms of stuff and what's the best stuff for them to have?), manners (and why did that lady have to tell me I look miserable when I'm pretty happy?), and why families are so hard to form, love, and maintain. It's all rocking around in there, along with lil' Missy Miss.
I don't feel discontent with being pregnant, despite everything asking sympathetically, "how are you doing?" Everyone feels miserable at different times in pregnancy, but I don't feel poorly right now. I'm a bit overwhelmed with the practical items I still need to buy, y'know, things like wipes, baby nail clippers, a diaper pail, nursing pads (explaining those to Mr. O was fun), nursing tank tops...I'm worried I need more cloth diapers, that I need a moby and a baby bjorn right away, that I won't have what she needs. I don't even have a diaper bag (why are they all so ugly and small - I need big and pretty, just like me - haha).
We've been hit with a few expenses all at once (baby coming! new roof! new washer/dryer! holy cow this is a lot of money!), so it's on my mind a lot, how all these little things add up...and there's this little person coming up whose every need I want to be met.
And these cares of the world are on my mind, but not any of the cares of the Lord, which should be there in a much bigger way. I don't think I would feel so badly about myself sometimes if I knew I was doing one or the other: on top of my stuff in a worldly way (bills paid, house clean, looking societally acceptable) or on top of my stuff spiritually (great prayer life, daily Mass, daily Adoration, peaceful, serene, volunteering, offering everything up, serving my fellow man). I hate being mediocre at both - it means I'm an messy-looking jacka**, and what's the fun in THAT?
But I have a feeling they're related. Not in a prosperity-gospel way, but in a "if I had greater mental peace due to my constant communion with God, I would make better life decisions" way. Will I ever be a saint? (not until I'm dead, obviously) But I remember so clearly, in college, when I realized that was the goal of Catholic life and how much I wanted - yearned! - for that greatness, vowing to myself that I would make it - I would win the race, I would see the face of God, I would do his will, I would be holy. But now...now that I realize holiness does not consist in being martyred on a bloody field (yet), but in praying day in and day out even when it feels like work and isn't a lot of fun, I become despondent. The years stretch ahead of me and I wonder, "will I ever make peace within myself? will this ever not feel like work?"
I think nonbelievers both underestimate and overestimate the price of the Christian life. On one hand, there is no joy greater than living in communion with God, which naturally puts one in right relation with all other living things. And yet it also exacts an incredibly high price at times: it is a rigorous training in self-denial and self-control, demanding of you precisely what you do not wish to give, leading you beyond what you felt you could handle. It is the greatest adventure and because this is so, it costs the highest price. It is a lifelong fight for your soul.
I just wish it wasn't so easy to feel like I was losing.