Is there such a thing as coincidence? No. Not in the least.
Yesterday I was telling my children about the phrase every family should have cross-stitched in their living room and framed: “If Mamma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” They nearly had a heart attack that I should use such foul grammar and vocabulary. I’m pretty sure this is how they view me.
Anyway, an hour later, I was listening to a podcast with Sarah Mackenzie and Brandy Vencel from the audio companion to Teaching from Rest (buy it!). What do I hear? Hmm, yes. “If Mamma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Maybe they didn’t say ‘ain’t.’ Close enough. One of them went on to say that as mothers/wives, we set the atmosphere of our homes by our attitude. This can be overwhelming until we realize that grace does the work, not us. If we rely on our own strength, we will fall apart. We have to go to God every day (many times, at least for me) and beg for His grace to flow through us and into our homes. At this point, I pause the podcast, go in my room, shut the door, lie on the floor, and start sobbing. Why? Because this Mamma was supremely un-happy, with a surly, selfish attitude that was certainly not doing anything positive for the atmosphere of my house. I cried and cried and told Him, “I can’t do it! I can’t, I can’t!” I think I caught a glimpse of what St. Faustina means when she speaks of herself as a miserable creature. I saw my misery, my failure, my inability to do it on my own, my stark need for grace and mercy. I poured out my heart to Him (Ps. 62.8).
And He answered me.
As I was sitting down to do my lectio, I read in Deuteronomy 30.14: “But the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so that you can do it” (emphasis mine). The word for me is ‘grace.’ With grace, I can do it. Or rather, His grace flowing in me and through me can do it. Still, I must not have fully grasped this because later in the evening, with my head in my husband’s lap, sobbing again, he said to me, “You can do it.” Alright, God. Alright. I can. Only give me Your grace, and I can.
God has spoken once, twice have I heard Him.