I won't even deny it, I'm a bit of a birthday diva. I love celebrating another year around the sun and using it as a post to write a self-indulgent blog post that brags about myself and my accomplishments in the last 26 years of my life. But I particularly want to celebrate this year because I have been thrown some curve balls in the last few years (pregnancy, quitting law school, going back to school) just to name a few.
Recently, my classmates from the law school were celebrating a huge achievement; their passing of the bar exam. I was so excited to see the posts roll in on Facebook celebrating such an important milestone. The bar is hard; they had every reason to rejoice in their hard work and accomplishments. But I was also filled with an overwhelming satisfaction knowing that I did not have to take the exam. As happy as I was for old friends, I was equally pleased for myself because I had also found an occupation that was fulfilling. Even a month in, I can say with confidence that I love teaching in a way I never loved my law internships or classes.
How did I know that everything was going to work out this way? I didn't.
But if I have accomplished anything in the last year or two, it has been learning how to take my fears and anxieties about life and turn them over to God. Simple practices like mindful breathing and minimalist actions and living have helped me maintain a calmer, more purposeful state of being. I'm more aware of when anxiety, frustration, or fear are starting to rise and can attend to whatever is causing it and simultaneously turn it over to God.
As a daughter of the King, I have become more confident and assured in my identity and purpose that was created for me. There is frequent temptation to root myself in worldly things, such as my occupation or passions. However, as I've grown in my faith and vocation, have come to realize how peaceful it is to just be in God's presence and love.
Which makes this post much less self-indulgent. My victory, my success, it is all because of God. I'm so grateful for this season of life I've entered; calm, purposeful, and loving. And it is all thanks to our loving God.
Easter started at 6:50 in the morning when my parents' dog nudged open the door and woke me up with the light that streamed in behind her. The plan was 8:00 am Mass anyways, so I carefully crept out of the room, leaving the baby to sleep as long as possible. I was lucky enough to have twenty minutes to get myself together without anyone needing my attention. I even got to drink an entire mug of coffee before it became cold.
Around 7:30, it was time to wake up the little one. I never wake him up in the mornings. I always let him sleep as long as possible. Waking him up was so funny. He just stared at me, utterly confused that I've carried him into this bright, loud room and dressing him for church. Trying to take pictures at 7:40 in the morning are hilarious. I can't get his hair to lay down flat, so we just left it as is.
He did receive a small basket of gifts, such as much-needed 12 month-sized pants, two new board books, and banana-flavored puffs from my parents as his "candy". I know that the Easter Bunny can be hit and miss for Catholics, but we do baskets and an egg hunt, as well as attending as much as the Triduum and Easter Mass. We keep a lot of religious traditions, but also make space for fun and little gifts.
Obviously, we did not make it to 8 am Mass. There were just too many bodies trying to use the same few bathrooms. We attempted 8:30 Mass one small town over, only to find that it was way too crowded. So instead, we go to breakfast, wait for the appropriate amount of time to meet the required fast, and attend Mass. We spend Mass looking at books, playing with zippers, nursing to sleep, and wake back up in time for the final blessing. The highlight from the Mass was Fr. Hank's point about the fast running Apostle, who also wrote the Gospel that called him the fastest running Apostle.
The rest of our day was spent cooking, playing games, and celebrating the Lord's Resurrection through love and time with family. It really was a lovely day spent celebrating with family. I missed having Josh around to celebrate, but I'm thankful for the time spent with my grandparents, parents, and siblings.