So after a long week I almost didn't go to a mom's meeting last night. I need the interaction and encouragement from my peers so much. I pushed myself. I even worried that it was "sign from God" when Fr. Tom called just as I was walking into the meeting that I needed to be elsewhere. I sat in the car and enjoyed my conversation with our dear family friend. I learned that a mother that I respected and learned so much from had passed away. This dear person was not someone in my circles just someone that had great advice to offer about big families. She was an inspiration to J and I.
We met Mrs. Gau years ago when her children helped Fr. Tom prepare for the John Paul II's visit to St. Louis. We also helped at the Mass and met number 9 and 10 of this big wonderful Catholic family. Fr. Tom loves them and spoke of them often. These (teens at the time) were so wonderful and so centered on Christ. The proof was in the pudding and Kathy Gau's pudding was full of love. We met her a few years later and she told us a story that we have modeled much of our parenting around. She said when you have teens and you need to keep track of them don't be the busy body parent but be the loving involved one. "Every time my teens went to a party I would pick up a case of soda and take them. I would drop of "supplies" for the party while checking out the situation. If there happened to not be parents there we would stay and become the parents." That attitude of staying involved and loving the teens where they were was the main theme of her life. She shared that with us in just a few brief conversations.
After my chat with Fr. Tom I went into the meeting. As I walked in my own teens called to tell me that their meeting for the night was already over. I turned back around to pick them up and drive them home. I so wanted to just stay at home once I got there but I knew I needed the mom's meeting. I showed up the second time at 8:25 p.m. and the meeting started at 7:00. Ugh! I hate being late.
Then God gave me the Rose. The true reason for being there. This meeting was filled with loving, kind, gracious, Catholic woman. Like me they are all meant to struggle to live out God's call and to be faithful in all that we do. They are called to school their children at home and yet often wonder why God wants that of me. We talked and shared, laughed and cried. It was all I needed to rejuvenate my soul. I thought I needed sleep but after returning home around 2:20 a.m. and waking up again just after 8:00 a.m. I realized that sleep was never what I needed. I really got so much out of these wonderful woman, full of ideas of how I can be a better parent and teacher.
One mom went home and jotted her thoughts on a new blog that she titled Finding the roses... Thanks Julie for putting it into such beautiful words. Another friend also wrote about it on her blog of Blair's Blessings. Blair talks about always being ready to see the deer. Last night was one of those times that HE was truly there with us. We could feel God's love in the group and I am so thankful of for these wonderful examples I see in these woman.
I just want to take the time to thank God for all the Roses in my life. All the woman of inspiration that remind me to stop and watch the deer. I am sure that Mrs. Gau entered into your heavenly home and can now see that she was one of those Roses in so many people's lives. Thank God for her life and for her example. Thank you for all the other examples that were with me last night.
All For You Oh Lord!