Offering it Up

   Just since this past weekend, Sebastian’s toddler terror has improved.  Yesterday, we were with some friends and their children.  As I held him, he screamed, directing me to go somewhere.  I said, “I will not move until you say ‘Please’ in a nice voice.”  We stood their a long time.  But he finally said, “peees” in a nice voice.  YAY!  Then I moved.
    A few minutes later, a child asked him for the baby buggy Sebastian was pushing.  I said, “Sebastian, in one minute, it is Oliver’s turn.  Please give it to him then.”  Sebastian looked at Oliver, and gave him the buggy.  The moms all clapped.  It was great!
     Sebastian is one and a half.  For me as a Mom, one and a half till two and a half is the hardest stage.  The child has found their will, but does not have the language or the self-control to handle discipline and direction that older children respond to.  So, it is a limbo time, in which both the child and I as the mom are frustrated.
     As I stand on the precipice of a year of this trial, I have decided how I’m going to handle it: I’m going to offer it all up.
     Offering up suffering: This is a Biblical idea in which we offer our sufferings as prayers: “If we are being afflicted, it is for your salvation and consolation” (2 Cor. 1:6).  If we unify our sufferings with those of Christ, and if Christ’s sufferings are powerful in bringing godly change, then so can ours be powerful prayers for healing and grace in the world (also see Colossians 1:24; Rom. 12:1).
      I’m going to offer up Sebastian’s toddler trials for this prized intention, that “All my kids grow up to be hard core Catholics.”  That phrase just popped into my mind yesterday, and I really like it.  I am really moved by this idea, that they not just manage to remain Catholic, but that they give their lives for the faith in sincerely, complete ways.  Hard core!  Yes!
     I would go through not just one more year, but TEN more years of toddler frustration, if only my children would emerge so solid in their faiths!!
     Motherhood is so well suited to offering up sufferings and frustrations for holy intentions!!  Help me, Lord, to offer more up!!