I recently went to the doctors because I was having severe headaches. While chatting with a few of the professionals in the office, I mentioned that I have seven children. “SEVEN!” One woman exclaimed. “No wonder you have headaches!” I tried to maintain my composure. Then I smiled the biggest smile I could and answered, “Oh, no. THEY are my remedy.”

I am a big believer that how we frame things impacts how we view them. I cannot tell a lie, sometimes my big family does give me headaches. It happens. It is loud at my house and busy all the time, but when I remember that I am blessed to have this noise and confusion, I change my focus from stress to gratitude. Believe it or not, there was a time when the doctors didn’t think I could have any children. Surprise! I gained one when I married my husband and gave birth to six in ten years.

How else can we apply this thinking? We cannot control many things that happen to us, but we have a lot of control over how we respond to them.

We are asked to teach (again), and we know that we are needed. Perhaps we are feeling burnt out or put upon. Perhaps we feel angry that more parishioners don’t step up. Well, we have a few choices. 1) We can choose to say no. It is perfectly acceptable and even healthy to recognize when we can’t take on anything else. 2) We can choose to accept what we have been asked to do, and realize that it is a blessing to have the opportunity to touch the lives of others. We can change our view, or reframe our thinking to realize we have a great chance to increase our own knowledge of the Catholic Faith as we study to teach our students.

How else can we apply the reframing thinking as Catechists? Sometimes there are frustrations within our parishes. Disagreements on how things should be done. If we can find the blessing (perhaps the diversity of ideas of many people who have a real interest in the parish) we may be able to find gratitude even in a difficult situation.

So, today, I will push through the messy house and the dirty towels scattered everywhere and I will take a moment to thank God. I will thank Him for giving me a house that is a home. I will thank Him for my darling children and the fact that they have many friends running through our house. I will thank Him for washing machines and clean towels. I will thank Him for this crazy, dirty, noisy, wonderful life. God bless.