My dear friends,
Although I was not alive yet, the day that my husband was born was one of the best days of my life. Since the beginning of time God had Adam and I in mind. He knew that we would fall in love, get married, and begin a family. In creating Adam it was as if God had already begun creating me. God in His infinite love has given me Adam and I will never tire in thanking Him each day for my husband.
Once I met Adam I used to tell my friends that I felt like a woman whenever he was around me. That may sound strange, but his masculinity complemented my femininity so beautifully that I was able to see my feminine traits more deeply after meeting him. Adam’s love has made me a better woman. My desire more than anything is to love Adam to a greater extent than I did the day before. I desire to love him with God’s heart. I will strive each day to grow in my love for him.
Life can go by so quickly. When I met Adam I feel like I blinked and now we are married and have a daughter. I think that one of the most practical pieces of advice that I can give since meeting Adam is this: to be present in the moment and to really take time to just be with the blessings God has given to us.
When Adam and I first started dating I realized that I kept thinking, “I hope that we get engaged! I cannot wait to be engaged to him!” I would tend to think of the future while forgetting about the beauty of the present. I made the decision to no longer say or even think things like this. Instead I started thinking, “I am so grateful to be dating this man! Thank You, God for Adam!” This small practice made me realize my blessings and what God has given me in the present.
Another time this can happen is in regards to a person called to marriage who is waiting to meet their future spouse. Thoughts pervade your mind that your life really doesn’t begin until you are married. We do not always realize what God is doing in our lives right now. Thank God for the present moment because you will never get this time back to continue growing in your trust and relationship with God and to joyfully anticipate the one who God is preparing for you. This can also happen with regards to your children. You think, “I cannot wait until they can walk, talk, become potty trained, start school, etc.” You only have a short amount of time with the children you are given and don’t wish the present moment away. Every person that I have met has said, “This time with Gianna will go by so quickly, make sure to take it all in.” Or, “I miss that precious time of having a little one to hold. They grow up so quickly!” God gives us many blessings that we can miss if we don’t take the time to notice them. God really does love us so much!
My spiritual director and I recently met and we spoke for a long time about this. Society pushes on us that we have to be useful and that being useful is what gives us value. One example would be that society says that we must achieve the highest position at work. However, this same position could take us away from our families and create more stress within our lives. Instead, what if we had a decent position already that was providing enough for our families and instead of taking the higher position we declined it for the sake of our families? We can never re-do the time that we have lost. Do we want to spend endless time at work or would we rather have a healthy balance so we can be with our families?
My spiritual director told me the story of how he knew this amazing family growing up who loved one another so beautifully. He asked the parents of this family how they achieved this and they said, “We strived to be present in their lives.” The parents would go to every sports event, academic event, etc. and were always there for their kids. The father was offered multiple job promotions, but declined because he knew that it would also take time away from his family and would also cause them to relocate. The mother who was very talented and intelligent could have gotten a great full-time job, but she decided to take a part time job so that she could be there for her children when they got home from school. How beautiful! Their sacrifices for their family paid off!
I am constantly reminded in the moments where I am present and I get to just be how much God loves me to give me so many blessings. I would rather have an ordinary life with a deep love for God, my family, and those God placed in my life, than to have the most extraordinary life in society’s standards all the while risking my relationships with everyone in my family. “If we do not take time to just be we start to think that everything is work and then everything becomes irritating” my spiritual director. After which he said, “Can I get an amen?!” Yes, amen! This is so true! I know this may sound funny, but take some time to be useless. I promise that you will find more value in this than you ever imagined.
One analogy that my spiritual director gave is to taste your food. We take plenty of time to cook a delicious meal, why not take time to taste it instead of just eating it? What flavors do you notice? What ingredients went into the recipe? Take time to enjoy your family. It is not a bad or a tedious thing! What has your little one recently learned how to do? What stories are they telling you that you may have been half listening to? What has your husband been up to at work? Have you told him how much you love him recently? Have you thanked him for all the little things he has done to help you? Take each member of your family into your arms and love them. We are only given one life. Hopefully a life full of love for God and those He has given to us.
If we want world peace St. Mother Teresa explained how we can achieve this. “Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the action that we do. […] I want you to find the poor here, right in your own home first. And begin love there.” If we all began to love those God has put in our lives this world would completely change. Why is it that we want to love those that are distant from us, but not those who are in close proximity? Love deeply those who God has placed in your life. We cannot solve all the problems in the world, but we can consciously choose to love God, to love our spouse, to love our children, and to love those that God has placed in our lives. This is where love begins!
“Trust the past to God’s mercy, the present to God’s love, and the future to God’s providence” St. Augustine of Hippo.
Happy Birthday, Adam! As you are another year older I thank God for all the blessings we have today. For the gift to be married to you and for our daughter I will be forever grateful. I pray that I will always continue to notice the many other blessings that God has given to me through you and your love. I love you, Adam!