>> Friday, May 22, 2009
Married women of this modern culture are encouraged to do everything we can to avoid the role of wife and mother. We add tremendous amounts of other "fulfilling activities" to our schedules in order to meet the expectation that "you can have it all!" Serving our families is considered demeaning work and we are encouraged to use all of our gifts and talents outside the home.
Modern women may be more educated, more liberated, and more independent than our counter-parts of 100 years ago, but in essence we are the same. Our predecessors had the same talents and creativity, the same drive and ambition. They had the same desires and the same fears. They may not have had as many options as women of today, but they faithfully raised the next generation. In fact, married women of 100 years ago put all of their gifts and energy into that one over reaching task and no one said, "You're too smart for that."
When my husband (a widower) asked me to marry him I freely chose to become his wife and a step-mother to his 5 and 8 year old sons. I was 30 years old and almost finished with my master's degree but chose to put it aside for a higher call. I said "yes" to marriage and to what I believed was God's will for my life.
For 14 years, I've tried to live out this gift of marriage and motherhood faithfully. I didn't let it bother me when other women (working full time), with whom I worked part time, seemed to be on the fast track to career success. I knew what I would have to give up in order to have a "full time career" and that was not my calling. However until these last few weeks, I wasn't truly aware of how special this gift of marriage and motherhood is. I've always respected other mothers and felt satisfied that I was sacrificing career for family but did not value the sacramental nature of marriage. Instead I would hear about a woman like Sarah Palin or a CEO of a major corporation who had a family and a career and think "Wow, now there is a woman who is truly successful!"
Since attending a recent vocations retreat, everything has changed in my understanding of marriage as a vocation. In addition, I continue to meditate on the whole concept of what makes an ordinary person into a saint. Through studying the life of St Therese, I've realized that the way to sainthood is not by being or doing what I see other women do. It's surrendering to the little way that God has put before me. It's the little "yes" I say all day long following the big "YES" I said on the day I got married. It's doing the dishes and folding the laundry. It's giving extra kisses and encouraging words to my husband and children. It's surrender and sacrifice as Mother Theresa said "doing little things with great love."
Today I've been thinking about what Mary did to earn the title "Queen of Heaven." Surely she was the greatest woman who ever lived and to think that I have been given the awesome privilege of having the same earthly role as the Mother of God! Mary's little way to sainthood was to completely embrace her role as a wife and mother. Why would I ever think that role is not quite as special as some other title like "Dean of Students" or "Governor of Alaska?"
All of that said, it's still a battle and I do need help because everything in our culture fights against this belief that Mary's Little Way is the path to sainthood and the glamor and excitement of other pursuits is forever tugging at my soul. So I will continue to pray and hide myself in Christ and trust that through the intercession of Mary and all the Saints, I too will journey faithfully to the end, joyfully surrendering my will to His.
Today's Guest Article is by Deborah from Journey of a Soul