Wednesday, February 25, 2009

All the Tiny Opportunities For Love That Each Day Brings.

"Although we long to perform grand and magnificent acts of love,
may we still take all the tiny opportunities for love that each day brings."
-from the Prayers and Intercessions of Lauds for Ash Wednesday

I think this defines the challenge of not only my Lent, but also of my life right now. I am someone who has always been drawn to bigness, to grandiosity. It's rather easy for me to love in big ways, to make great sacrifices, to be the underdog up against seemingly unstoppable obstacles. I've always been a scrapper with a propensity for sheer determination.

But the flip side is that small things often get overlooked and neglected. I can be very demanding of the people around me, believing that they, too, ought to be willing to go to the mat for everything; they ought to live big, too. Quite honestly, I also tend to not do a very good job in the moments in between the bigger things. I am prone to laziness and procrastination. I am really rather selfish on a more micro level; though I would do nearly anything for someone I knew who was in need, I often don't feel like stopping my knitting, or reading, or computing to meet a non-urgent request of my children.

With news of another pregnancy, the sudden death of a father and husband of a family with small children, the reconnection with an old friend who has inspired me with her dedication to her children and honesty about her struggles; the past two weeks has actually found me trying to identify and do better with my tiny opportunities presented in which to love more deeply. However, before this morning I didn't really have words to define my focus; it was just sort of a vague jumble of ideas and actions.

I have been trying, I am trying, I shall be trying to live fully in the tininess, making the most of the pauses in between the tempests and mountains. The amazing and transformative aspect for me has been that surrendering some of my selfish focus has not yielded to resentment, but rather to greater satisfaction with my life as a wife and mother. Trying to love the hell out of those tiny moments, has brought greater peace and joy to all of us. And so in true Shannon fashion I will hang on with tenacity to keep trying, to not give up, to live greatly and magnificently in the tiniest of moments.

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