Thursday night I got to put my daughter Cecilia to bed; this is a rare opportunity for me as she is totally a momma’s girl and always wants mom to put her to sleep. I had to be sneaky in going about getting this opportunity. After we bathed her, I quickly got her dressed and began looking for her favorite blanket – she won’t sleep without it. We found her blanket and I told her to give mommy night time kisses, to which she cried “mommy night-night!” I distracted her by reminding her about her baby doll. This is just what I needed to sneak her away from mom and be able to rock her and sing her to sleep. I found myself singing the same songs over and over – thankful for this moment with my little princess.
The past few months have been busy, to say the least. Two months ago we hosted RISE – a weeklong work retreat. This year it was attended 110 high school teens from around our diocese. We kicked off another year of youth ministry a month ago. Welcoming 40 new freshmen, welcoming back our sophomores and gearing up for another year of Confirmation prep with our junior class. We also began a parent ministry, which is still slowly taking shape. The year has been off to a great start but has very demanding. In the onset of a new ministry year, I find myself trying to juggle all that entails. I try to not get absorbed in all things “ministry” so that I can still be attentive to the needs of my family.
Over these busy months, I’ve found myself getting pulled on by my kids “daddy look,” and “daddy come see!” I forget how much they just need to be with me and have my attention. This makes them confident in my love and protection as their father.
In spiritual direction on Friday, God revealed that I am restless. I have gotten caught up in the details and demands. I have chose to more or less lead myself – instead of allowing Him to lead. When life gets busy we (and by “we” I mean me) allow ourselves to go through the motions, instead of letting our Father lead us. We become restless and tired because we aren’t tugging at “daddy’s” leg allowing Him to give us the attention we are desperately in need of.
In stopping and stepping back from the chaos that I sometimes call life, God revealed that He just wanted to “sneak” some time with me. My spiritual director did exactly for me what I did on Thursday night with Cecilia. He distracted me long enough so that I could realize the longing in my heart to simply rest in my Father’s arms. This is what I experienced when rocking my little girl, not just going through the motions, but just to rest and enjoy a moment with my Father.
“I am restless; looking for you I am restless” (Switchfoot – Restless). Father, today help me to be; resting in your arms and confident in your love.