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If I were a writer, I know that writer's block would be something I would struggle with.  I think I have adult A.D.D.  I thoroughly enjoy blogging, but I am glad that I don't do it as a job! A friend recently got an iPhone and demonstrated a pretty cool app that allows you to dictate anything and have it processed to a document.  WAY COOL, and of course my first thought was that having an iPhone with that app would sure make blogging easier and quicker because I could blurt out my thoughts immediately and have them recorded instead of forgetting them before I get to my keyboard.  I didn't go buy one--but I WANT one!  :)

 I have a hard enough time collecting my thoughts and finding time to record them sometimes, like now!  It is tax season, which means our schedule endures yet another period of transition.  I used to joke about being a tax widow.  There have been years when that description is not too far off, but over the last several years, the adjustment to this time of year has gotten easier.  I'm not sure if it is just one thing or a combination of:  Tim having an office at home that he can actually work in, the kids getting bigger and having some that can help more and need a little less and also offers me a little more liberty to sneak out for a run or a quick trip to the grocery store without everyone in tow, the years have just lent an expectation, and time just seems to fly no matter what these days.  As we reach the end of February, we are two months through a three and a half month season...more than half way!  I still feel the extra busyness though.  I feel it when I look at the disarray in my house and growing list of things to get done and the subtle-turned-prominent changes in behavior in some of our children as they unknowingly recognize their need for their daddy. 

Last night I got to steal a few hours away from the house to meet a few friends.  (We went to a place that had half-price bottles of wine and then proceeded to drink water--Ha!)  It doesn't matter where we are--a restaraunt, someone's home, a running trail--there is always good conversation that gives me so much "food-for-thought".   Where to start??  We discussed discerning vocations.  Who would have ever guessed ALL that went with being a mother??  We agreed that we had no idea that along with the pure joy of bearing a child and the delight that comes with reaching monumental milestones would come worry, and painful, deep love that makes it hard to let go, and anxiety about the real responsibility given to us by God to train these little souls and lead them to Him, and are we doing it right???   How easy it is sometimes to get caught up in the worry and anxiety and even the distractions that take us away from the intended responsibility.  All that said, I'm not trying to make a case for discouraging someone to want to ever be a mother.  It is one of the most fulfilling things about my life.  I never knew the capacity with which I could love!  One might wonder how you could possibly love seven adequately?  Well, I wondered that.  When I was pregnant with Joshua, I wondered how I could possibly love another child as much as I loved Jakob.  How is that possible??  It didn't take long to learn.  My heart has room.  Indeed it does!  Each time, times seven now!  My mom once told me that the worry doesn't stop when your children are grown and gone, it just changes. 

And then, the realization:  I don't have to carry these worries by myself.  Of course, Tim and I parent together, and I am always so happy to have him as I'm sure it would be even harder alone, but God doesn't intend me--or us--to do it without him, although somehow we seem to try sometimes.  Why?  That of course came up in conversation too.  WHY?  Why isn't our first response to cry out to our Heavenly Father and Mother? reiteration of our conversation is backward, as we didn't start with the above and conclude the following.  It all kind of went full circle.  We recognized that when a woman discerns a vocation to the religious life, she too probably discovers feelings that she didn't know where possible.  The happiness, the sisterhood and all that it offers as those close relationships with fellow religious Sisters unfolds, and of course the capacity with which they love Jesus.  I'm sure there are struggles too.  Different and maybe the same as those of mothers, but we recognized that for the most part their lives have order, and mine (here I speak for myself, although we each expressed the same thing) is "out-of-order".   Tim was awake when I got home and we sat and talked more and even recognized that we often overlook the single life as a vocation and the self discovery and struggles that probably happens there too.

So, regarding order or lack there-of:  for some time now, I have been contemplating Lent.  I'll write more about that time is needed elsewhere right now!  :)  Let's just say that I love having friends that challenge me spiritually!  Thanks Kristi, Lindsay and Mary!!!