My race is one month from today.  I took the above photo before the start of the same race last year.  It was a beauty.  But a hard, hard, race.  I am now training hard (5 miles last night, over 70 miles in August).  Last night I woke in the middle of the night with a charley horse in my left calf.  The whole thing was knotted up, hard as a rock, and painful as can be.  I hopped out of bed and tried to stretch it out.  Once the spasm lessened, I got back into bed and massaged it.  When I woke this morning, I was surprised to find that it still hurts!  And yet, I fully intend to go out with my group for a trail run tonight.  (It seems these cramps may be due to a shortage of potassium.  I have just taken 2 Endurolyte capsules with 25 mgs. of potassium each.)

Here’s where I need some discernment.  I signed up for an information meeting about Stephen Ministry tonight. I’ve read more about it since I first heard about the meeting.  I have prayed.  I have thought long and hard about it.   I am inclined to forget about it for several reasons:

  • My schedule is already over booked to the point where I don’t have enough time for my family and feel that these early years of my grandchildren are passing by without me (that’s a gross over-statement, but it is how I feel).
  • My parish is mostly old people.  I feel that I would be out of my “wheelhouse” to try to counsel someone who has lost their husband of 50 or 60 years.  Someone young who is going through a divorce? yes.  Someone who is losing custody of their children? yes.  Someone who has a drinking problem?  for sure.  I don’t think that is the demographic of my parish.
  • I need to go through a background check.  Here I am:  a 60 year old I-hope-devout Catholic – but oops!  divorced a few times, lost custody of children, etc.
  • The classes go for 3 months, two nights a week, from 7 to 9:30 p.m.  SO past my bedtime.

I still have a desire to do this, but have to tell you something I have learned.  From being old.

When my children were young, I was so busy “staying sober” and going to meetings morning, noon, and night, that I feel I missed their childhood.  I listened to the people and “put my sobriety first.”  What kind of crap is that?  I put drunks before my family.  I know I had to go to meetings and work with others, but I took it to an extreme that was harmful to me and my family.

I want to be present in my grandchildren’s lives.  I don’t want to say “I can’t, I’m too busy,” when I have an opportunity to be with them.

I am conflicted about this.  I will continue to pray.  But I have made other plans for tonight (the trail run), so I am pretty sure I am not doing the ministry – and I need to make a phone call to them.

If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his own family, he has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.  — 1 Timothy 5:8

(and there is a classic case of someone finding a verse to suit their desire.  sorry)

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13 Responses to Discernment

  1. atomicmomma says:

    I think you already know the answer but you are looking for reassurance. I’d take a step back, do Stephen Ministry another time. We are always looking outward to see how we can minister to the world.

    But we forget the important work that can be done at home. I think this time now is for your grandchildren. They need your presence, especially in an age where things are so fleeting. They need your beauty, love, wisdom, grace and all the lessons you have learned in your life through your hard won sobriety.

  2. Annette says:

    First off you are young and have many years to be a Stephen Minister if you ever decide that it’s something that fits into your life.
    Second, are you seriously concerned about your background check because you lost your way a lifetime ago? Background checks don’t show those kinds of things. They are looking for convicted felons my dear.
    Keeping our lives in balance with the people we love so much, work, friends and taking care of ourselves is a balancing act!

  3. Dave U says:

    I have no suggestions other than to eat more bananas.

  4. Kelly says:

    This really resonates with me. My life has had so many chapters I harbor regret about, and the main reason is that I was not the mother my kids needed at those times. Whatever good I can do now HAS to come second to my being available to my family. Not just to assuage any guilt I may have about the past, but because I learned my lesson. Whatever calling I may have in life is secondary to the calling of motherhood. The rest falls in line and often is so much better as a result, It’s like I get out of God’s way and stop trying to engineer things.

  5. Syd says:

    Following my gut which seems to have a connection with my HP has not led me in the wrong direction. It may not seem the most comfortable at the moment, but it is the right direction.

    I hate those leg cramps. Occasionally, I will have several in a night.

  6. luluberoo says:

    I tried several different ways of service until I found the right fit. When I found it, I knew that it was where I was best suited.

    My kids (for various reasons) didn’t have grandparents in their lives. I want my granddaughter to know me, and vice versa, so I make a commitment to travel to her every 4 weeks. I believe we are supposed to support each other as family, although that seems to have gone out of fashion in our “modern age”.

    • I grew up with very elderly and distant grandmothers who died when I was 5 and 11, both my grandfathers were dead by the time I arrived. I never felt close to my grandmothers.

      My kids grew up with one grandmother (my mother died when I was 19), who lived in Chicago. They saw her once a year.

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