Posts tagged ‘About Me’

April 28, 2010

Like a Prayer

A couple of years ago someone mentioned a quote to me that put precisely and simply something that I’d known for a long time: “Prayer doesn’t change the situation, it changes you” . . . Or something like that.  I was told it came from Grams on an episode of Dawson’s Creek, although no amount of Googling has confirmed that detail quite yet.

Wherever they came from, in my experience these words have proven entirely true.   Whether my petitions are answered with a “yes” or a “no,” more often than not I realize that things I pray about are not as difficult or troubling as I’d expected them to be.  Maybe I can let go of an argument a little bit more easily.  Maybe I can talk about something I’ve been thinking about without feeling as nervous.  Even when my prayers have been distracted and fleeting, taking the time to at least try to let go, to trust, to have some kind of hope, has produced a change in my attitude that I can’t explain any other way.

I’m already starting to see this in my fledgling parenthood.  Before I was pregnant, there were times I was thrilled with the idea of starting a family, and others when I was doubtful about my readiness.  I spent months praying about my state of mind, the state of my heart.  Nothing felt like it was going to give, and I was terrified of being ungrateful and disappointed when I learned I was pregnant.  I know these are common feelings and don’t dictate the manner of parenthood, but I hoped and prayed for what I realize now was the grace to respond joyfully.

And despite all my fears, despite the prayers that didn’t seem genuine enough to be acknowledged, you know what?  The instant I realized I was pregnant, the most profound and beautiful peace filled me up completely.  I knew I was ready; I knew this baby needed to be here right now; and I knew he was a boy (that part is yet to be confirmed.  Check in again in five months).

In the time since that moment, I have still had times when I’ve been excited about this next stage and felt that it was absolutely the right thing for us.  And I’ve still had other times filled with doubt and fear.  But I was able to tell myself in that moment back in January that I would hold it for the times when I needed to remember what this was all about, that it was bigger than me, that I am needed in a special way for this child, and that’s a responsibility to be grateful for.  It’s that kind of perspective, that broader vision that is the element of prayer I value most.

I don’t mean to say that prayer is easy or that I’m very good at it.  But if there’s one thing I believe in, as much on good days as on bad ones, it’s prayer.

April 16, 2010

Why I Blog

When I conceived of this blog (ha ha), I knew I would post early on about why I’m blogging, more for myself than for anyone else.  I wanted to record my motives at the start, as best I could describe them, with the idea that I’d compare this post to another of a similar nature later on.  Sort of like a time capsule, or writing yourself a letter during freshman year of high school that will be mailed to you upon graduation.

There are a couple of reasons I choose to blog at this point in my professional, personal, and writing life.  The foremost is that I think it will be useful in all three sectors to have a self-imposed, yet semi-public system to hold me accountable to writing a prescribed amount (about 500 words) on a regular schedule (three times a week).  This is helpful just for the sake of discipline, what with deadlines and a recordable measure of productivity, plus the practice of gathering my thoughts concisely and interestingly should improve my writing and other modes of communication overall.

The second reason is that I finally feel like I have something to write about.  I am a young, married, Catholic woman, living and working in New York City, and expecting my first child.  Of course, I understand that I am not the only person who fits this description, but I do hope that my perspectives on family, faith, work (whatever that may mean), and happiness in general will provide fodder for conversation both within and outside of this blog.  I hope to appeal to folks who aren’t in my situation, and to offer some insight into a less common life.  Lofty goals, I know.  But I also know that I do not want simply to write, I want to write something meaningful.

The third and final reason is one I didn’t quite realize until the other night.  I’d just finished writing when John came home.  Usually there’s something I can’t wait to tell him at the end of the day, but this time, the “thing” I couldn’t wait to share—that I’d published my first blog post—was accompanied by a smile like the Cheshire cat’s that I felt bursting out of my face.  I was so happy to have created something new, to have shaped my thoughts into a something that felt relevant and true, to watch something that I didn’t entirely expect appear under the quick strokes of my fingertips.

So the moral of the story is that I’m here to write.  My writing hopefully means someone reading, and hopefully someone getting something fruitful out of it, but I’m trying not to get too caught up in all that quite yet.  Right now, the goal is to write, edit, rewrite, rewrite, and hit “publish.”

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