You could say that Pentecost has been a trying day today. I started out with a good attitude, a red dress to be in the liturgical spirit, all of the kids were dressed and fed on time. Hashtag winning.
And then we arrived at Mass. The little boys bickered over books, my eldest mostly scowled with crossed arms, and I’m hopeful that my others were paying attention. It’s Pentecost, and all I want is for the Holy Spirit to breathe on us and increase our faith, and work some wonders in our hearts so we can light the world ablaze with God’s love.
Too tall an order? Nah, it’s the Holy Spirit, after all. Nothing is impossible.
Nothing for God, that is. For me? Well, that’s another story entirely.
And seeing as my prayer to the Holy Spirit was answered, God apparently thinks increased patience is a possibility in my life. You know how they say “be careful what you wish for” and “don’t ask for patience or you’ll be given plenty of opportunities to be patient”. . .It’s all true. No one ever exaggerates when they say these things. It’s all true.
I didn’t ask for patience. Not a bit. I asked for the gifts of the Holy Spirit to come into our lives. Well, the Spirit answered and wants to give me more patience, I guess. Why, God, why???
Here’s how it went down.
Small Fry (20 months) got fidgety and fussy and wanted to nurse. Not happening in Mass these days, so I took him to the back of the church. Firecracker (nearly 4) followed, as he always does. They behaved decently through the Consecration, but Small Fry continued to whine and fuss leading up the time for us to receive the Eucharist, so I whispered to Chickadee (my oldest) my plan to meet her and everyone else outside the church after Mass.
She didn’t pass on the information and my mother-in-law went out of the building a different way. In the midst of trying to round up all the people, Firecracker starts goofing off, we find everyone, and run into some friends. I’m chatting, meanwhile out of the corner of my eye I see my 4th kid climbing on a handrail (which he’s been told *not* to do about 7 dozen times), and well, he fell off and started screaming in pain. Cue me giving a large sigh and not going to rescue him, which cued several adults around to wonder who this kid belonged to, was he ok, and also what sort of mother am I anyway. I’m the sort that doesn’t feel bad for a kid who gets hurt doing what he shouldn’t have been doing. He’s fine, just screaming too loudly.
Once that debacle settled down, Small Fry whined and fussed worse, so it was time to leave. But first I wanted to buy strawberries from the stand in our parish parking lot, so we had to cross the parking lot. Firecracker decided to charge into the lot, nearly running himself into a moving car. At this point I’m ready to throw my hands up in the air and ask the Holy Spirit for a refund or an exchange. I’m not so sure I like this gift of patience today, because I’m being tested too much.
The next several hours weren’t much better for me. Messes, fights, whining kids…I’m not a fan. I wasn’t at my best. I shook my fist a few times at the heavens. Told the Holy Spirit I think I’d like an increase of JOY rather than patience.
Doesn’t seem like I can return this gift, though. No refunds.
So who’s the patron saint of patience? ‘cuz Mama needs some help and coffee isn’t cutting it. I need some extra grace to go with this extra patience the Spirit thinks I’m ready to use. I can’t return this so I better learn from someone who figured out the patience thing already.
**Apparently Saint Monica is the patron saint of patience. She’s already on my favorite-saint list. She’ll be hearing a lot from me.**