…chastity, humility, patience and love to Thy servant.
Humility is a hard one to learn, especially when it is combined with patience. I have never been a patient person but when I have to be patient and humble it is like a train crash for me. Yes I always seem to want things my own way and on my own time. Whenever life throws me a curveball and I seem to loose all my cool, afterward it is always great to see that the curveball was for my benefit. Having a baby in the house has definitely tested my patience and he always finds way to humble me in some way like deciding me let out a big dramatic poop in the middle of Matins right at the part while it is quiet. During our recent trip to the monastery in the middle of Vespers service my husband and I were eating up the compliments on how he was such a good and quiet baby and does not squirm or scream that much in service but our little bundle of joy had other plans and decided to again poop very loudly during the service while everyone looks over at us and thinks it is us. The joys of parenting are endless it seems like full of humility and patience. I often find myself very isolated as a new mother from the rest of the world and find it hard to communicate about anything other than babies right now. I lack humility to accept Gods will in how my child does not sleep and lack patience to deal with his sleep issues. All things should just magically fall into their place right? Why don’t children come with an instruction manual?
Before I was a mother I worked a regular 8-5 job with good benefits but hated every minute of it because I felt so useless in my environment. That environment however was really predictable with a set schedule and a set lunch time and a set time to take breaks. I always complained about that environment but now I find myself wishing there would be some sort of expected situations as a mom. But life has other plans and it is like we keep learning humility lessons over and over again until we start just letting go and depending on Christ. I find it hard to pray sometimes because I want something concrete. I want to see a solution, I want someone to just tell me how to do things so I can follow it and have a desirable outcome. That is where my struggle with prayer comes most of the time.
Prayer is an invisible thing mainly based on faith. My clouding doubtful mind always questions if prayers are heard or even answered. Sleep training for example is something that I should be praying to the Mother of God for since she raised Christ, but I don’t. I head over to Barnes and Noble and look at the parenting section to try to get tips on how to get a baby to sleep and stay asleep. Going into parenting I knew that there are plenty of things that I would have to teach my child as he grows up. Teaching him to go to sleep is not one of the things I though I would have to do. I am getting to a point where Christ is breaking me down enough for me to get so frustrated that no expert advice is working that eventually I would have no choice but to have faith and pray. “But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love to Thy servant.” Tough combination of spiritual lessons to learn, but it seems like we have to keep pushing on so we can rejoice and truly say, Christ is Risen when it is all over.