I feel like I say this a lot lately, but this week has been another that has not stood out as being bright and sunny. Mike has had a lot of school related pressures, and we're both worried about some health concerns with his dad. And then there's the money worries. They're more worrisome than usual. So, it's just been one of those stretches in which I just pray for us to be able to stay strong and just get through this time.
This morning I woke up feeling, well, worried. And tired. Not unusual these days, but exacerbated by the fact that Hank was up coughing 2 times in the night and it woke me both times. All of our seasonal allergies have been *rampant* this year, really, really bad. I had to wrangle Hank into a dress shirt, since today is picture day, which he wasn't too thrilled with. Subsequently, I was running late. Mike had an 8:30 am dentist appointment 20 minutes away so he was rushing, and I had to get Hank's picture order all set and his lunch made. Mike had been planning to take Hank to school, but with the way we were running late, I knew he'd never make it in time. I told him to go, and that I would take Hank. After he left, I remembered that I also had to make a lunch for myself and get Hank's teeth brushed. When you have small children, each of these usually mundane tasks takes on a life of its own. Sort of like trying to brush the teeth of a bucking alligator.
Finally, Hank and I left our house 10 minutes later than usual, and I was panicking that he'd miss his bus. I rushed him, for which I'm feeling badly now, and we hurried to his before/school program. After I dropped him, I got in my car and do what I usually do on my short morning commute: put on one of my Catholic podcasts and pulled out my rosary. I have a short one-decade rosary that I use in the car now and I LOVE it. It easily wraps around my hand and allows me to pray and steer at the same time :)
As it usually does, it soothed me a great deal. As I drove, I reflected on the fact that it's been awhile since I was able to attend daily Mass, another great daily soothing device. I miss it very, very much. But our Newman Center moved off the main campus, and with the terrible parking situation we have here, I haven't felt comfortable enough yet to leave campus in the middle of the day to attend Mass. It's been a real bummer. But at least I still have my daily rosary.
When I got into my office, and logged into Google Reader, I remembered that it was the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. Today of all days, I really needed the rosary. I cycle through the mysteries each day via the usual order (Joyful on Mondays, Sorrowful on Tuesdays and Fridays, Glorious on Wednesdays, and Luminous on Thursdays) but my favorite to meditate on these days are the Joyful Mysteries.
The Annunciation. Even the mother of God can be confused by His will sometimes.
The Visitation. As a newly pregnant woman, this is my favorite. The friendship, camaraderie and spiritual sustenance of visiting with your good friend and cousin during this vulnerable time really resonates with me.
The Nativity. Labor and delivery are scary, but if Mary can do it, so can I :)
The Presentation. Not completely the same, but I always think about baptizing my babies when I meditate on this one. Obeying God's law in an initiation ritual for the baby.
The Finding in the Temple. Knowing that Mary experiences the same motherly worries and terrors as the rest of us is infinitely comforting, no?
So, I was really happy to discover that today was the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. I need her more than ever these days.