There have been times in my life when I didn't pray very much. Usually this corresponded with extended periods of depression. If my mother read this, she might say that the reason why I got so depressed was because I wasn't praying and that if I'd prayed more, I wouldn't have suffered from it so often. I don't know whether or not that's true. Maybe there is something to it, maybe not. I do know that a lot of times I felt as if the Creator didn't want to hear what I had to say. I knew that I was doing things that I'd been taught were sinful in God's eyes. It wasn't my mother's fault. She'd always taught me that there was nothing that could make God not want to hear my prayers. To this day, one of my favorite scriptures in the New Testament comes from Romans 8:35, 37-39
35Who will separate us from the love of the Christ? Will tribulation or distress or persecution or hunger or nakedness or danger or sword?...37To the contrary, in all these things we are coming off completely victorious through him that loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life nor angels nor governments nor things now here nor things to come nor powers 39nor height nor depth nor any other creation will be able to separate us from God's love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.This passage has brought me a lot of comfort over the years during times when I felt let down or misunderstood by people in my life.
Right now, VanGoghGirl is going through a rough period. In a couple of days it will be exactly one year since the suicide of my uncle. It's also been a year since her infant cousin died of S.I.D.S. On top of all that, it's the end of the school year and there's a big push to finish all of the remaining coursework. She got her LEAP scores in last week. She did really great. Unfortunately, she's spent the past few weeks all stressed out because, just like every year, she gets this idea in her head that she's probably going to fail. Though her scores were even better than the ones from last year, they weren't high enough to please her inner perfectionist.
My poor genius baby just can't seem to relax. She's having some problems with picking at her hangnails and twisting her hair around and around with her fingers. She has some stress balls that give her something to do with her hands when she's nervous but bringing them to school didn't work out so well because other kids see it as a toy and want to play with it and it winds up being a distraction in class.
I've been thinking about what I can do to help with this problem and I was sort of out of ideas until two days ago. The German and I were in the store making groceries with VanGoghGirl. She is going to a birthday party this weekend and we were trying to find a present for her to buy for her friend. Since the girl is a fellow artist, we decided on a thick sketchbook and a set of pastels.
While we were in the art supply section, VanGoghGirl browsed through the necklace charms rather haphazardly until she saw a package containing two pewter crosses. She decided to get them and make some necklaces with them for two of her friends who come from strict Catholic families. One of them has been teaching her prayers in Latin. Then told me that when she grows up she's going to be a Catholic too. She asked me if that would be alright with me. I don't know what she was thinking my reaction would be but I told her that if it makes her happy, then it's fine with me.
I don't know how long this phase will last. Who knows? She might decide to really stick with the idea of being a Catholic. In that case, there's no reason why she needs to wait until she grows up to pursue her religious path. I've decided that I'm going to buy her a rosary as a gift. I think it will help her in several ways. When she's stressed, she can use her rosary to help her pray and keep her hands busy at the same time. Plus, it won't end up getting bounced around the class like her stress balls did.
If there are any Catholics who read this, I'd appreciate any guidance you can give on how to choose one.