He brought his drums upstairs to play music with friends for his 18th birthday. A modest request, in keeping with his personality. They had a nice day and evening. I am blessed with all my kids and love to see them happy.
I am at a place in my life where I think I am finally comfortable being myself. I have not been able to say this for one reason or another since I was a kid. Oh, I don't blame anybody. In fact, I realize more and more just how blessed I am to have been able to emerge from many kinds of sin and adversity, able to live and love and bless God. To be able to get up each morning, strap on my brown scapular, look in the mirror and say, "This is who I am," without scores of qualifiers and apologies.
I truly identify with the woman at the well. Though I still sin, I am not a slave to sin, and I have an ally in the sacrament of Reconciliation, by His grace in which I am always a work in progress. I am not free of every fault, burden, or bad thought pattern, but I am free from the shackles of guilt, self loathing and shame. I can stand before my Father with trust that He has me in this place in my life and will uphold me as I cling to Him.
It is big for me to even utter those words: that I am free. Even if I sometimes have anxiety while driving, even when I agonize over the sad and scary choices of loved ones, even in all my many missteps and sins, I know this to be true. I don't have to be afraid -- of anything. As long as I am able to give God my 'yes,' (sometimes this is very easy, and other times, I have to renew my resolve hour by hour), I know I am in the palm of His hand.
I am currently going through my twice yearly or so Marian Consecration. So much freedom comes, paradoxically, when I aspire to learn to give myself as Mary did, totally. As St. Augustine said: "It often happens, that the office of giving gives us the merit to receive." And what I so often receive is the gift of peace. You know when God is giving you a gift of peace when it is there in the midst of every kind of peace-killer, like: anything in the news, a child going through serious issues, another recovering from surgery, a friend who is battling cancer, an ill brother too far away, and various and sundry financial challenges. Lest you think by 'peace,' I mean that I float through every moment of every day on a cloud while strumming a stringed instrument and singing hymns of praise, I am not. By 'peace, I do mean a deep knowledge of God's presence and the help of the saints and angels, and trust in His love for me in each moment.
And the occasional feelings of consolation.