Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday in Guangzhou

So strange to awake on a Sunday morning, without having Mass to attend  - I don't like it , but we did something very special to celebrate the Lord's day... but I'm getting ahead of myself!   I woke up this morning struggling with a panic attack, it seemed ill placed, since there was nothing going on today to provocate it, sometimes just lack of sleep and an overactive mind is all I need!   Faith woke today without her usual meltdown, which was wonderful ... she cuddled up to daddy, and woke up slowly but happily, such a treat because it just breaks our heart to see her like that, and wonder just how scary it must be still to her. 

At breakfast we learned one of the dad's traveling with us had a possible hernia, and was going to visit a local hospital to assure it was safe for him to travel.  He came to our table before he left, to ask us to help out his wife with their new baby, and to pray for him.  I instantly removed the crucifix and miraculous medal from my neck, that I had been able to place on the relic of Padre Pio's to bring him peace in the whatever God had planned ahead.  He actually put it around his neck, honestly thought he'd stick it in his pocket, which really touched my heart.  Things like cross necklaces and blessed artifacts don't bring you luck, or miracles, they are merely sacramentals, the things that help remind our human brains with what can be seen, that the unseen is hard at work around us - filled with mercy, love and compassion for whatever situation we are presently facing.  (As an aside - he did have the hernia, but PRAISE God is able to finish out the trip, stay with his wife, and postpone surgery until arriving back home on Saturday!!  Our doctor traveling with us, who is fantastic, will help him arrange everything when he gets back!!)

That was the downer at breakfast, the upper was Faith and I had this fantastic game of throw the napkin going on for about 1/2 hour, we played tug of war, we threw it back and forth, she played peek a boo underneath it.  She giggled and laughed, and we really enjoyed each other's company!!  I know it was productive in bonding, because leaving the restaurant, I asked Kevin to ask her to hold my hand again (she is much more compliant when Daddy requests something of her).  She fussed, but eventually relented, which was HUGE, because just 3 days earlier in Wuhan, she collapsed into a ball of jello when the same request was made, and NOTHING could sway her differently!! That was the day I ended up carrying her on my shoulder.  The moment, like so many of these small breakthroughs brought me to tears.

When then, as Kevin blogged joined a few of the other families in the Swan Room (kids playroom set up on the hotel - which is fantastic!) for a good hour of interactive play -- Kevin helped Faith learned 'sharing' lol, and we were able to interact with other people and children, which was a much needed reprieve of trying to play in a 2 x 4 hotel room!!    Faith is really starting to come out of her shell, and its amazing to watch our caterpillar emerge from her chrysalis -- before long, we truly believe she will be transformed into a beautiful butterfly!! (Thank you Suzanne for that analogy - it hit the situation RIGHT on the nose!!!)

By far my favorite moment of the day, aside from more shopping!!  Was the little private service, we and the family (with the sick dad) that we've really grown close celebrated in honor of the Lord's day.  Devout church goers themselves, we struggled with missing Mass, while here in China. We were told there was a Catholic church a few blocks away , but given the strict laws against teaching Christianity to minors, we felt it would be safer to remain at the hotel and share today's Mass readings together.  I always have the Magnifcat on me (monthly magazine of the Church's daily mass reading, plus awesome morning and night prayers).  We went to their room, because they have the 10 month old, it is easier for us to travel  -- we each took turns reciting today's reading.  When we had finished, we had a moment to collect our thoughts, reflect on the readings, and then share a moment where you've experienced God the most during the trip thus far. 

I started and shared with them what I had blogged about how patient God was waiting on my returning his love, and that I was grateful for this child, and was prepared to do the same on waiting for Faith to be ready to choose herself to receive my love.  JUST as I finished my sharing, AS IF ON CUE, Faith REACHED out to me from her carriage!!  I had been trying to take her out since we had arrived, and she had fussed at me and refused to allow me to take her out.  She is so hardstrong - a great quality unless you are trying to get her to do something.  First she hugged me, then she lifted her hands to get out.  It was such a gift from God, a kiss from the King (as one of my bible studies once called it).  OF course there wasn't a dry eye in the room!!

I told Kevin as we were leaving for dinner shortly after this amazing moment, that perhaps God was allowing this to be so hard, because HE knew that NOW I'd relish every moment and not take a one for granted.   With my boys, I feel like life was so hectic, trying to finish school, work, care for the house, etc, that maybe I missed some precious moments other kisses the King had sent but was too busy to notice.  In this situation, of working so hard for every smile, kiss, connection, I am much more appreciative and aware.  I am grateful that God has given me so many beams of light in this darkness ... and the whereforeall not to miss a second of it!!

1 comment:

  1. My sweet friend, it is so hard for me to hear (read) of your struggles and not be there to hug you! I know that Kevin is! But God is showering you with kissess all the time! There will be many more to come! It's baby steps...His calendar is so much broader than ours! Every child is different, and I've said it before before you know it you and darling Faith will be inseparable! I Love you... and more importantly God loves his sweet daughter Allison and will not allow her to be hurt.
    See you soon
    love Kelly