Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Spiritual Productivity

We had an incredibly busy weekend!  On Sunday night I was exhausted and yet I couldn't remember what we had done or whether anything had been accomplished.  I was so tired I couldn't think straight.  Yet, as I layed in bed trying to shut my brain off so I could finally sleep, I was able to start reflecting on what the weekend had consisted of.  It was fairly productive afterall, though maybe not in the way we normally think of productivity.

Or maybe just not in the way I think of being productive.

I like to physically see something accomplished.  An empty hamper because the laundry has been washed, dried, folded, and put away.  An email inbox with very few unread messages.  A full recylcing bin because we've read the paper, magazines, and other publications we get.  A clean kitchen counter because the dishes are all washed and put away.  I could go on ... but you get the picture.

I like to see something.  Check it off the to-do list and see the empty/clean/whatever space around me.

This weekend, although I did do a little laundry and a few other things, most of the weekend's productivity was not visible in any material sense.

Saturday we went to a public rosary event.  Our bishop was leading the praying of the rosary that afternoon on a busy street (one of the busiest in town) near the only abortion clinic here.  We stood on a strip of median between the busy street and the access road, about twenty people or so.  Not a large crowd, but we represented all ages: small children (including our two 4 month olds), some older people, and all ages in between. 

It was wonderful to stand with so many like-minded people to pray.  A couple of men were also holding a big sign that faced the road.  Later I saw a picture of Our Lady of Fatima on it, but I never did get a chance to read what it said.  There were also several passers-by who honked their horns in support (I presume it was in support, they didn;t sound like angry honks).  The babies were both really good as well.  Peter was alert and staring at me the whole time.  Ethan got fussy at one point and I had to pick him up, but he was great after that.

Following the rosary we ran a couple errands.  It's funny walking through stores pushing a double carriage with two infant carriers attached.  People are always stopping to look, pointing the babies out to their children, or doing a double-take when they realize there is not just one baby, but two in the stroller. Some people even stop us to talk and ask questions.  It's something I'm slowly getting used to, but I'm not sure I'll ever be 100% comfortable with it.

Saturday evening I pulled out four candles for the Wave of Light for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  All four candles came from my church, two from the All Souls Day Mass the years that we lost Zachary and Brigit.  I don't remember how I acquired the other two.  They make the perfect candles for this event.  I really should have taken a picture of them.  Maybe next year.

Sunday was Mass, of course.  But later in the day I took both boys with me and went to the cemetery.  It had been a long, long time since I had been there.  I made sure to bring the grass clippers with me and it was a good thing too.  I couldn't even see Zachary's stone and Brigit's was barely visible.  The boys watched me as I cut away the grass and cleared the dampened, flattened grass clippings from the stones.  It had been a LONG time since I had visited.  I need to go more often.  The cemetery had also added a sign to the baby section, so now it is clear that the section is called "Gabriel's Tears."  I also walked around to visit the other babies.  I cleared some leaves off one of the stones and stood the two little plastic statues back up that were left there.  It is always so sad to see new stones; there were two new stones since the last time I visited.  Before leaving I said some prayers over Zachary and Brigit's graves while Ethan looked on (Peter was asleep by then).

Even though I did get some "productive" things done over the weekend, most of my productivity had more to do with more spiritual things.  A rosary for an end to abortion and the conversion of hearts through Our Lady of Fatima, lighting candles in memory of my children and the children other friends and family have lost, time spent caring for the gravesites of two of my children, and the care and feeding of the two children I have the priviledge of caring for in this life. 

Spiritual productivity may not have the same kind of satisfaction you can get from seeing things checked off a to-do list or seeing a clean space that once was messy, but it is so much better. 

And apparently even more exhausting!

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