Saturday, May 28, 2011

Time to Lay the Axe to the Root

"Tina! Bring me the axe! "
"When in the morning we feel no courage or strength for the practice of virtue, it is really a grace: it is the time to lay the axe to the root of the tree, relying on Jesus alone...He helps us without seeming to do so." - St. Therese

I really need to keep reminding myself of The Little Flower's words today.

I am in the throes of another headache.  I notice now they're coming every time I have to make my Communion calls to the sick and shut-ins of our parish.  This one is more tolerable than others have been, but it's still hard to think of all I have to do.  We're having a reception after Mass tomorrow and I have to make sandwiches.  I'll make them in the morning, but I need to get to the store today to get the cold cuts, etc.  Since my husband's birthday pretty much went unnoticed on Monday due to the funeral, I promised to make it up to him tonight with his favorite dinner of soft-shelled crabs and tomato salad followed by  yellow cake with chocolate icing.  If I don't get going soon, I never will.

Work is increasingly difficult.  I realized the other day that I spend more time doing things I really can't stand doing than I spend doing things that I enjoy.  Every time there is a problem, people call me instead of learning from me how to resolve matters on their own.  It gets wearisome.  Somehow, things get done, problems get resolved, and I realize I had little or nothing to do with it.  Every morning, I beg Jesus to help me, and He does.  Because He needs no accolades, He goes about His work so quietly that I often forget He's there.

"How sharper than a serpent's tooth is an ungrateful child"

It's a humbling thing to realize that though I think I have set out to bring Him joy, I have caused Him more pain instead by my ingratitude and forgetfulness.  When someone continually takes me for granted, I think to myself: I'll show them how it feels.  I won't return their call or help them the next time they're in need so they'll get the idea.  Lucky for me, God doesn't think that way.  Mother Angelica said it's a kind of sin to underestimate God's mercy.  I say it's a  sin for me to assume God is as small-minded as I am.

There is something else hanging over my head right now.  My husband went for some routine lab work and the doctor called to say she'd like to discuss the results in person and that further testing is needed.  I kind of have an idea what she's thinking based on the tests she ordered.  This has been a bit of weight as well.  I often joke that my marriage is my martyrdom and I'm only half-joking.  My husband has his faults like anyone else and I often find myself lacking in the patience to deal with him.  I will wait and see what this is all about before I get myself worked up about it.  I keep hearing that line from Joni Mitchell's "Yellow Taxi"

"Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got til it's gone".

I hope he will be around awhile longer to drive me even more insane than he does now, not for my sake but the sake of my kids, especially the two younger ones who already have so much to deal with from their health issues.  I stated thinking the other day that if this all turns out to be nothing, it could be wake-up call from God that he wants me to embrace my vocation as a wife more than I do and to live in the here and now.

We'll soon see.


  1. Oh! Definitely praying it WILL turn out to be nothing! Scary~you both have been undergoing so much. :(

  2. you are both in my prayers!

  3. I'm praying for your headaches and the report on your husband. I always hate to say, 'yes, me too.. I'm going through that too..' but some of us seem to have parallel learning experiences. In January my husband had tests because of some physical struggles. The doctor was sure of what would come back. It was one of those prayer weekends I spent a lot of time on my knees..I also made a promise to Him if he would spare" my cross" as well. He did.. much to the doctor's surprise.
    It's exhausting putting the axe to the root..
    Prayers and Blessings

  4. Thank you all for the prayers. From the bottom of my heart, I am grateful.

    Caroline, I never mind knowing that I am in company with others who have had similar situations. It's comforting when I write something to know others have experienced something similar and it's also helpful to hear how you handled it.


  5. Oh Joyce, my deepest prayers for your husband. May it turn out fine. You must be really stressed out. My prayers for you too.

    I also owe you an apology. I came across harsh to you in my reply on my blog. I'm sure your Thursday blog was partly directly at me. It was not my intent to anger you. I have to make a better effort to disagree in a more genteel way. Forgive me.

    (This is Manny and I have not been able to log into blogger. It's been a week long problem. Appears quite of few people have not been able to log in. I see you guys all have.)

  6. Actually, Manny, I never saw your reply to me, and the post wasn't directed at you. If you wrote something similar, I wasn't aware of it - so much the better in that case!

    Anger is one reason why I avoid most discussions about politics. You will be entertained to hear that a couple who we were once close to but has since moved away are self-proclaimed Zionists and we have learned how to respect each other's opposing opinions - by not discussing the subject at all. When they last visited, dropping in unexpectedly, they asked me to give them a ride to Chinatown so they could let their son take the car to visit someone else. Steve told me he couldn't believe he was going to ride in a car (mine) with a bumper sticker that read: MY BOSS IS A JEWISH CARPENTER

    There are awkward moments to be sure but friendship is always larger than any political squabble. Thank you for the prayers for my husband. I'm hoping it turns out to be nothing but whatever it will be, I leave it in God's hands.

  7. I thank you for your kindness Joyce. :)


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