Surprise, Surprise, Surprise

A while back Sarah asked me to join her in the meme of 10 Things That Surprised Me about Me.

Seeing Gardenia's today reminded me to play along....

Just about everything about me today would surprise the girl I used to be!

1. I am surprised that I am a practicing Catholic. I didn't grow up going every Sunday.

It was a little confusing, in fact. Around the time of my First Holy Communion we were a part of a "hippie," Jesuit church that met in a hall and tore apart loaves of french bread. Sometimes families would plan the Mass and I remember one where we reenacted Free to Be You and Me. (Free to Be…You and Me’ was a project of the Ms. Foundation for Women, giving it an openly feminist base, and the expressed goal was to erase stereotypes based on class, race, and sex in society from the bottom up, starting with children.)

In nice weather we'd go to a field and sit on blankets singing, Bob Dylan's "Blowing in the Wind" with nuns playing guitars.

When that group was "shut down" we started going to a "regular" church in our parish...with stained glass windows and other images that drew my thoughts upward. I remember liking it better and telling my parents so. To this day I remember the silence during the purification of the vessel and kneeling to receive at the altar rail ....and this was in the late 70's! It was a novus ordo Mass and I don't think I knew anything...really...but I could sense "something" there. Sadly the CCD classes left me with no knowledge of my faith. I had no idea the Eucharist IS Christ. I had never made a confession and I was told by a layman teaching one night's class that Jesus died with all the sins of the world and if He went to heaven with so many sins then everyone must go to heaven. ???

Fast forward from many lost years and I found my faith after the birth of our second child. In seeking to turn away from it, knowing that it was an hypocrisy to call myself a Catholic when I did not believe much of what the Church taught my wise husband said, "You've been researching all these other faiths for a better "fit," in fairness have you put any of the same time into researching the Catholic faith?"

He was right. He's always right.

And I did, I read and read. There ARE answers and beautiful reasons to all *my* "objections" and The Holy Spirit softened my hardened heart to accept something outside of what was easy and comfortable. It's a journey of the soul that continues.....

Following from #1, I am now surprised to be SO devoted to the Latin Mass, the Mass of the Saints, the Catholic Mass up until the last 40 years. The reverence and silent prayerfulness of this Mass speaks to my soul in a transformative way.

3. I am a homeschooler. I never knew any homeschoolers growing up. I went to an exclusive private prep school from k-12 and then to a Seven Sister college. While I am incredibly grateful for that education, I never made the step to valuing education so much that I wanted to teach. Teaching didn't seem very prestigious or I can't imagine doing anything else!

4. I had a dynamic career as a modeling/talent agent, then a head hunter, to human resources and marketing...I luved it all. But as soon as my first child was born...surprise...I couldn't imagine giving him to someone else, someone who would never love him as I did. I was his mother and nothing was more important than mothering him and sharing his world and discoveries. I'm surprised to be a SAHM, a stay-at-home homeschooling mom!

5. On one income, with a simple life, nothing fancy I am so very happy. Sometimes I feel too blessed! Fancy I had, my childhood was privileged. Maybe I'm lazy but the complications that come with wealth don't appeal to me now. My wealth is my family and I count it in the time we get to spend with each other.

6. This state is where my husband's excellent job is, and it's a great state in which to homeschool. As accustomed as I am to living in the state I live in now, the state all of my children were born in, I don't feel like a native and still think of myself as from my home state.

7. My husband. I knew the minute I met him that the meeting was special. It was the summer going into my junior year of college and I was interning at a radio station where he was a producer. We shook hands and it was like someone was tapping me on the shoulder....

He was always the best boyfriend I ever had: attentive, giving. But I am even more proud of the man he is today....the spiritual leader of our family. His faith is so rich and inspiring...and he's still the fun boy I fell in love with.

I'm so different. There are still so many things about me that need changing. But I am less vulgar, wordly, shocking for the sake of shocking, mean, and other characteristics that marked my wild youth. Now, those who know me now might say "...but I do see those peaking thru still ..." to which I'd reply, "...then be glad you didn't know me then!"

9. I am surprised and thrilled to have found others who have had similar journeys. I am surprised that I know so many wonderful, Catholic, homeschooling families many of whom I see weekly at my Traditional Latin Mass. I am surprised that the internet and blogging have brought me so many more...from far off places that couldn't be closer in my heart!!

And now for a weird one, just to throw in as a surprise. In very recent years, I find I have anxiety driving over tall bridges. There's this one I can see through the sides of to the water below and it goes so high! I can hardly press the gas to get over it, like I lose feeling in my legs. I have to really think about breathing, too and controlling my squeeling screeches because they really freak out the kids. about you?

Surprise me.


Jen said...

This is a great list! My dh hates bridges too. He is fine if he is by himself, but if the kids and I are with him - I end up having to drive over. Then I am nervous because he is nervous! Needless to say we are thankful big bridges are not part of our everyday route :) Have a great weekend.

Sarah Oldham said...

Same w/ the bridges . . . yet I have no qualms about flying to Baltimore soon . . . over a VAST bit of ocean! In a window seat, no less!!!
You are a beautiful woman . . . I cherish our cyber friendship. You inspire me to be a better mum, wife, friend, and Catholic. Those are good things, no?

Aubrey said...

This topic sounds fun to tackle. I'll have to do a post on it. I'm always looking for things to blog about. I have five kids, so there's always something, but you know....

It's been awhile since I've been here, so I'm glad to be back!

Cheers from Nebraska! :)

Gardenia said...

well, yes, some of your list was a surprise to me! and we do have similar past journeys. Isn't it interesting how God calls us to the holy interior life, or I should say, how and when we answer to God's call, because I'm sure He was calling me even when I didnt listen. bridges over water freak me out too.

Christine said...

This was great. I knew you but it is always nice to get to know you better.

I will take a bridge over spiders anyday!

Dessi said...

That was fun to read!!!

Joseph Fromm said...

I just wanted to drop a note and thank you for the nice post. I try to find Ignatian experiences and share them with other people. Liturgy is import and it is import that people understand that bad liturgy has implications. I am married to a wonderful wife who has dedicated her life to homeschooling our children. I can appreciate your hard work. I would love to read more of your experiences of your "Jesuit Parish". If you would not mind leave them in my combox that links to your post.



Joseph Fromm said...

Thank you for providing your real world "Ignatian Experience". It is important that people read your experience, because bad liturgy is just as consequential as good liturgy. If you would care to expand on your time at the Jesuit Parish, my readers and I would be interested in them.


Laura The Crazy Mama said...

This post put this song in my head..."...where you and me are free to be, you and me are free to be, you and me are free to be, you and meeeeeee" What the heck is that from, anyway? I remember it from some movie or something they showed us in grade school (parish school). Huh, weird! Anyway, I am surprised by MY bridgophobia too...since I'm the only one in the family who's NOT afraid of heights!

+JMJ+ said...

I've got to admit, I'm relieved that so many others struggle with bridges and I am surprised too.

Hawaiian Sarah, I think the same about you!!!! xo

Hello Nebraskan Aubrey! I am coming over to see if you posted. :)

Joe, your blog is wonderful. Hope my post didn't offend. I am sure everyone in our "community" meant well, they were just misguided and astray from the rubrics of our Mass and faith. Sign of the times....I don't remember too much about that time other than what I mentioned. We were disbanded and I started going to a more traditional church afterwards.

But yes, Laura, that was the song and it was a Marlo Thomas show that you can probably get on Netflix, but it may just freak you out. You've got me singing it now too.

OK, so is anyone biting? What are your surprises?

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