As I worked on processing bulletins this past week, I noticed how many churches had chosen one of our covers illustrating a trifecta of celebrations. World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Good Shepherd Sunday and Mother’s day all fell on the same day this year (not to mention the 4th Sunday of Easter). Since the Good Shepherd is one of my favorite images of our Lord, vocations were once a big part of my life and I am now a mother to four little ones, I began to ponder…
In less than 25 years, I have been able to live three different vocations. Leaving home at the tender age of 15, I entered a boarding school out East to discern my vocation. Professing promises of a consecrated lay person at age 17, I was sent to Mexico soon after and lived the life of a student and missionary for three and a half years. Once I realized that God was not calling me to this life on a permanent basis I returned home. For 11 years, I lived as a single woman, working, traveling, attending retreats, Bible studies and social events, and spending lots of time with my nieces and nephews. At age 31 I finally met the love of my life after many failed attempts and foolish choices. We were married at age 32 and now have 4 small boys.
So before hitting 40, I have been able to live three different vocations. I don’t think many people can say that. It forces me to ask myself: “What does God want me to do with these experiences? How can I better give of myself to others because of the life I have lived?” During my time as a missionary, I learned how to speak fluent Spanish, developed a consistent prayer life and ministered to youth. During my single years, I learned to accept, understand and befriend people from many different countries and backgrounds. As a wife and mother I have learned to love, be patient, aid in healing and educate.
So what am I to do with all of these life lessons other than living out my daily life? Perhaps living out my daily life is precisely the answer, but doing it with more perfection. I have no illusions of being able to cure a crippled man, nor do I wish to be revered as a god as Paul was in today’ reading, but I can observe the commandments and love like Jesus as He asks us to in today’s Gospel. This love can then flow into everything I do and say and think. I can continue to pray and minister, accept and befriend, love and help heal.
Lord, help us all to be beacons of your love today and allow us to recognize You in others as well. Amen.
Tami grew up in Western Michigan, a middle child in a large Catholic family. Attending Catholic schools her whole life, she was an avid sportswoman, a (mostly) straight A student and a totally type A sister. She loves tackling home projects, keeping tabs on the family finances and finding unique ways to love. She spent early young adulthood as a missionary in Mexico, studying theology and philosophy, then worked and traveled extensively before finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in Western Kentucky. Her favorite things to do are finding fun ways to keep her four boys occupied, quiet conversation with the hubby, and grocery shopping with a latte in her hand. She works at Diocesan, is a guest blogger on CatholicMom.com and BlessedIsShe.net, runs her own blog at https://togetherandalways.wordpress.com and has been doing Spanish translations on the side for the past 18 years.