"Faith is one foot on the ground, one foot in the air, and a queasy feeling in the stomach."~Mother Angelica (the nun who founded EWTN)
ATTENTION: Towards the beginning of this post, I may get a bit gross. I don't think its that bad, but I'm the second oldest of six kids. I'm used to puke and such. So happily read on :)
A queasy stomach is not fun. It is just a gross feeling in your mouth, its like the tast of barf, but not entirely. And your stomach is shifting back and forth; you have this inclination to throw up, but you can't--but you know that you will throw up sometime...you just don't know when! So what do you do? You put a barf bowl next to your bed, you relax under your covers, drink flat pop, and maybe even try to nibble on a cracker and keep it down. Queasy stomach in a nutshell.
Besides flat pop, crackers, and a barf bowl, a queasy stomach requires something else: patience. Let's be honest: many times (at least for me) I just want to throw up and be done with the queasiness and the sickness. But no, I have to be patient, and wait for my body to work in that way...patience does not come easy for me. I easily get frustrated with people who are going way to slow at a task, technology that won't cooperate, etc. I try to be patient....and that's when God has some fun :P See, what good is a virtue if you don't practice it? So God decides to give me opportunities to practice virtue. Thanks. A lot.
The past 24 hours have been filled with blessings upon blessings, joys and good times, and....opportunities to try and grow in patience. But God puts people into our lives for a reason, exactly when we need them! Tuesday night, I was talking to a couple friends about complaining. We've noticed that many times, to fill conversation, we may complain about stuff. "Oh, it is so hot." "I look terrible." "I'm so hungry!" "I hate how so-and-so did this"--that kind of thing. Well, as we were talking, a suggestion was brought forth: Whenever we are about to complain, DO NOT complain! Instead, point out a blessing in life, or thank God for something!
Fast forward to Wednesday.
Right before leaving for Mass, I received a Facebook message from a good friend, asking if another good friend and I would prepare a prayer to open and close an event on Sunday with. I was so blessed and honored to have been asked! And so I decided that I would let the Holy Spirit take control, and show my friend and I exactly what God wants. So after Mass, I spend an hour and a half in the church, praying. Well, it was a fabulously awesome prayer time! But coming away from it, I felt no closer to having a prayer prepared than I did when I was first asked....so I have to wait. Do my share of preparing, and wait for the Holy Spirit to rock His stuff. And on top of that, the guy I'm hopefully doing this with (I don't even know for sure if he's in, 'cause we haven't been able to contact him yet) is camping or something like that right now. So I have to try and get a hold of him on Friday, and we'll have to work on it when he gets back, as long as he will do it. So I get to wait on calling him, and meeting with him. I get to wait. And grow in patience.
Moving on with CYO that evening....
Well, my two friends whom I talked about the whole "thank God instead of complaining" with were BOTH at CYO, and they brought up that discussion again! God's timing is perfect-He knew that I would need that reminder! Because.....Coming home from CYO Wednesday night, I decided to simply turn on my new-ish laptop, take 5 minutes and Facebook prayers and a link to a couple friends who I promised to send that stuff to, and go to bed before 11 p.m. Amazing plan! I was going to get my stuff done and get some nice sleep. But no, of course not. Why on Earth should life be that simple?
As I'm copying a prayer off of a Catholic website, my laptop starts spazzing out. Apparently, I had been infected with a virus thing. Well, I am NOT technologically capable, so naturally I had to ask my dad for help. However, my dad was on the phone with the credit card company, and apparently they were being difficult, so he was pretty involved. So I'm sitting on the couch, my laptop going crazy, unable to do anything. And I had to be patient.
When my dad got off of the phone, he came over and helped me out. We tried and tried and tried to figure stuff out, and FINALLY we used his computer to look up a method that would work. So I went through, trying the method...and then my computer would randomly input stuff in on the screen, the anti-virus was not working...oh it was a mess! So I told my dad what was up, and he said that hopefully my computer would be fine if I just shut it off. So I shut it off, and went to his computer, which he had just finished working on. I did my 5 minutes of sending links and prayers, and went to bed an hour later than I had planned. And then I couldn't get to sleep. Really? Really. Okay, God. What's up with this?!?!?! I was thinking about stuff, about life...and I couldn't get to sleep. I tried to relax my mind, I tried to sleep-but nothing was working. So I start praying a Rosary, something which I should've done a lot earlier. I was out in probably 15 or so minutes. Thank you, Mama Mary!
Today, I woke up nice and early and biked to Mass to pray the greatest prayer with one of my dear friends. After Mass, I biked home, because my family was going to the East Side. My siblings had an event with their virtual school in the afternoon; my dad had work appointments in the morning--so to save on gas, we all went out together. While my dad worked, the rest of us played in a park nearby. I tried to sleep because I was extremely sleep-deprived (with computer problems keeping me up late and Mass early in the morning). It seemed right as I was comfortable and peaceful, my younger siblings said "Hey, when is Annie going to play with us?" So I sat up to play cards with them. Well, some of them were a tad irritable due to the hot weather and waiting for dad, so cards did not go all that well. And I looked at my watch, a hope in my heart that an hour and a half or so had passed. 45 minutes. Really? Okay....just gotta be patient....
My mom left for a short walk, and came back announcing that she had found a library within a very short walk away! Not only that, but when I get to the library, I find that there is a book on Latin on the shelf; a book that I have been wanting to peruse! God is good! Before I knew it, Dad arrived. We ate lunch, ran a couple errands, and finally it was time. 2 o'clock. My siblings' virtual school was hosting a "hangout and talk" type event at....Marble Slab! Ice cream on them :) Oh I was happy! As we were driving home after ice cream, one of my brothers remarked that our long wait was worth it. Totally worth it.
When I got home, I chilled for a little bit while my dad finished up work stuff. Then, he looked at my computer with me. We tried defeating the virus...but to no avail. Argh. I was especially unhappy with technology. And with my computer down, and my dad working on his, I had no access to e-mail, Facebook, or blogs. Not to mention the internet, which I particularly needed.
I had dinner, and while my parents went to a meeting, I watched "Mulan" with my siblings. Gosh, I love that movie! Classic Disney....great plot, great music, and the dialogue is just awesome....I can't remember specific quotes right now, but there are some great ones :)
Well, when my dad got home, we went back to the computer. He helped me find and set up a download, and then left on a walk. While he was gone, the download seemed to make great progress, though it was taking forever. After about an hour, up popped a little box: download failed. Wow. Okay, really? So I had to wait until Dad came home. Then, I showed him what happened. Well, after looking at the problem, and looking at a website, he suggested that I skip that step and go straight to another download. So I clicked "Start," and it began. This download did not say how long it would take; it simply counted how long it was taking. I can't quite remember how long it took; I think it was about an hour and a half or so? That seems right. Well, you get my point. It was a long time. And I had to wait. And wait. And wait. I stretched. I read more of "House of Gold" by Bud Macfarlane Jr (which is very interesting, in my opinion. I originally had reservations to start reading it, since the book is 500 pages, and I have no patience. But I am soo glad that I decided to read it!).
Well, FINALLY the download was finished! Then there was another download that I had to run; this one only took a few minutes. Then, I clicked "reboot" and voila! God is sooooo good! I gleefully ran down the stairs and told my parents the news: "I was just able to open Google! My computer is saved!"
Patience. God was teaching me patience. He knows just how much I need it. And what good is virtue if you don't practice it? This whole computer virus ordeal was insanely ridiculous. And I don't want to go through it again EVER; at least, not for a very long time. But God put me through all of the stuff that I just ranted about FOR A REASON! Because that conversation that I had on Tuesday and Wednesday about "thank God instead of complaining" really was such a blessing! I found that God was putting patience into my heart throughout this whole computer ordeal, throughout the whole Holy Spirit-taking-a-long-time-for-a-prayer ordeal, and even throughout my family's long wait on the East Side! Whenever I have started to complain about whatever ordeal I was going through, I would start to thank God for His blessings. And I have been so much more patient and joyful because of it! I know that God will take care of EVERYTHING; my patience is not in vain. And I am not opposed to being patient, as I used to be. Yes, it still is hard for me to be patient, but now I see the benefits. I see God's deep desire for patience. And I have a newfound resolve to be more and more patient. It's not going to be fun all of the time, but it will be worth it.
When you have a queasy stomach, its not fun to be patient and wait to throw up. But if Faith requires that queasy stomach, then I'll be patient with it.