I have no doubt that my best friend Beth is headed for sainthood. I can only hope and pray that I am able to be with her. Beth is the mother of 4 vivacious little girls, a wife to a husband whose loyalty and light hearted nature serve as the fife and drum of her life; and she is, and knows she is, the Daughter of a most beloved King. This knowledge of being God’s daughter was forged in her through the Father’s love; as the scriptures say, “I have refined you..tested you in the furnace of affliction.” Her early years weren’t easy. Beth is the second oldest of 7 children. Her father battled addiction her entire life and one day that affliction took him. After his death she was left with a void that needed filling. First she looked in all the wrong places before finding the peaceful and loving gaze of the King, her Heavenly Father. Her dad’s death, while heartbreaking and difficult, served as a turning point in her life.
She and I first met while working on a project helping young women discover their identity and live authentic lives. We spent months steeped in the Eden story. Being anchored in the knowledge that you are God’s Beloved Daughter is life changing. It certainly changed our lives.
Beth would cringe at the title of this reflection. The idea of being a “supermom” would crawl all over her. That’s because the day to day doesn’t look so SUPER. It's hard. THere is no glory. There is mess and chaos all around. And there is little thanks and recognitions. When we read the lives of the saints sometimes I think we are tempted to glamorize their stories. Mother Angelica once said, “Saints are ordinary people, who love Jesus, and try to be like Him.”
Beth loves Jesus and most of what she does flows from that. Practically that looks like surrendering to the moment. The spilled juice, the screaming child, the laundry, etc. It looks like dropping what you are doing to cook dinner for a friend who's really struggling. It looks like choosing to pray over her children when she is tempted to yell; and when she ends up losing it to be able, in all humility, to ask for forgiveness out loud! It looks like trying to learn new things from the people around her and asking the Lord for new perspectives. She has taught me to recognize that God is making us new each and every day. Every sin, fault, failing, and frustration when given to Him can be opportunities of mercy, renewal, growth and grace.
Beth has also taught me the number one trick of the enemy. Satan desires to rob us of our joy. If he can do that most of his work is done. Surrendering to the moment also looks like thanking God in every moment. I’m not saying to shoot a fake smile at the Almighty and pretend not to be the hot mess that we are. I am saying to really ask the Lord to reveal to you the joy in the chaos.
I went to see Beth today while she was in the middle of the daily grind. There was no end in sight to the work that needed to be done. There were 4 children in her home all asking her things at the same moment and there was me, her BF just wanting to hang. How easy it is to be overwhelmed by all the commotion, and very often she is, but perspective is everything! Beth’s openness shouts, “Thank you Jesus for the interruptions, I trust you to work out the details. I trust that you will help me to find joy even when I am overwhelmed.”
Beth isn’t supermom because of her strength. She is supermom because of His strength.
Today learn from this saint in the making. Simply stop and enter into the chaos. Trust that Christ is in the eye of your storm and ask Him to help you find the joy in your day to day.