Dios Ti Agngina

Thank you in Ilocano

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Stress

It has been an extremely busy summer for me and my family.  We've been traveling a lot as well as working on our home.  Let me just say -- we are about to be homeless again.  I feel like we're a small group of nomads who move on average every one to two years due to my husband's job.  Since 2009, when we got married, we have moved four times.  This next one to the great state of New York will be our fifth move in seven years.  

If you know me very well, you know that I can push myself to my limit and add unnecessary stress in my life.  I can be inflexible at times and internalize negative feelings.  Sometimes, I dump my steam off on to my husband, uncharitably.  I am sorry when this happens.

A couple of weeks ago I was putting our son to bed at a very late hour.  Defiantly, he started screaming and squirming in my arms because he still wanted to keep playing.  At this point you can imagine that I had little to no patience in me.  As I was trying to calm Constantine down, in a flash he flung his Thomas the Tank Engine toy towards his bedroom door, and Thomas the Tank Engine went "clunk" as he hit the door hard.  As a parent I was not about to let him off the hook so easily.  I sternly stared at Constantine  and scolded him harshly for the next few minutes.  I wanted to be clear that throwing his toys recklessly was unacceptable and disrespectful.  I even began warning him that his daddy and I would be prepared to give his toys away if he continued to mistreat his belongings.  As I was mentioning all of this in his embrace, he looked up towards the crucifix situated above his closet door, stared at Jesus for a moment and calmly and quietly said, "Please pray for me."  All the anger and stress in my being started to fade away.  I was astonished at the wisdom of my three year old's words -- "Please pray for me."  He was asking Jesus to pray for him.  As I carried him to my parents' bedroom, I recalled the whole story to my dad.  Then Constantine gently nudged me, "Mama, please pray for me!"  So I said, "Yes, I will pray for you."  I tucked my little boy in bed and slowly shut his bedroom door in awe and admiration as I pondered what had just happened.

That night my little boy reminded me of a couple of things.  I remembered a similar situation a couple of months earlier in which he was throwing a temper tantrum and I was passing onto him an idea.  I told him, "Whenever you feel angry or upset, you can clasp your hands and say, 'Mama Mary, please pray for me.'"  I was trying to help him to better cope with his emotions since emotional intelligence is an important core area to work on with small children.  Constantine's simple prayer was another lesson for me in how to better deal with stress and the madness of daily life.  Whenever I feel upset or stressed out, calling on the intercession of Mama Mary is such a soothing, effective practice.  

Constantine helped me to remember that we are not alone.  For several months I had complained and stressed about our upcoming move, without any thought of others or prayer.  Instead of lifting this negativity up to the Lord, all I could think about was how unfair my situation was.  I think it's also important to bear in mind that no one is an island.  People need others to talk to and express themselves in a community or support system.  We should not be shy to ask others for prayers.  If you or a loved one need prayer, feel free to send me your prayer requests via private message or comment below.  I am more than happy to pray for your intentions.  Mama Mary, please pray for us and the whole world.

As I was mentioning all of this in his embrace, he looked up towards the crucifix situated above his closet door, stared at Jesus for a moment and calmly and quietly said, ‘Please pray for me.’