Wrestling with joy isn't that what having a faith is? Isn't that what we're called to be? To Live with hope despite all the proof over prof of our great and seemingly constant fallen nature? I thought, "Have I become a Parody?" The charge that women's literature in the Catholic realm had to be 90% sweet/affirming I admit, scratched my own soul. There is always a danger when writing narrative memoirs or blog pieces or articles infused with Faith of sounding either Sound of Music sweet without the trials, or like a white hot mess who needs serious intervention.
I pushed myself to ponder, was I being too sweet? Was I somehow giving off the whiff of not being not real by seeming to be too kind or too prayerful or too whatever. I understood the concern. A witness who seems too much like only dessert is not a healthy model for the spiritual life. We need the balance of meat and vegetables, water and want, to appreciate when we receive the grace of feasting. Did I do enough, was I examining enough? Had I failed?
I'll say to anyone who asks, I don't remember my favorite things. I feel bad. I struggle. I crumble. I fail. I shout. I complain. I grouse. I resent. I overspend and overeat and under exercise. I use the TV as a babysitter when I don't want to deal. I order fast food. I leave dishes in the sink. I pretend I'm too busy. These were just the physical trials of the day. We haven't touched homework or melt downs or remembering to fill out the seventeen bajillion forms each child needs done two weeks ago but I didn't get to it. We aren't mentioning the basketball or the CCD or the meeting on Thursday I'm going to skip because I won't be in town. We hadn't discussed the nine light bulbs which need replacing in the back basement which serves as my oldest son's room or the reality, we need to repaint the upstairs and re-carpet because my daughter decided to paint in her room on the carpet. Christmas is coming and we've already spent too much and have very little. There is too much in the house and none of it fits. I need to give away and give away and give away and still, we need to do wash and fold and put away and sort.
There are a thousand reasons in each room of my home and my interior life to either rage and/or despair. I can find them all if I want. I can refuse to see them all if I want. Neither answer is correct. Count the blessings why? Because I sin and I sin and I sin, and if I don't count them, I won't see them, I won't see beyond my own failings. I'll only find the clutter. Everyone writes their own version of Confessions, of messiness, of dealing with the knives and the scrapes and the swearing and fighting of the will to respond to grace internally and externally.