Sunday, September 27, 2015

I Live in a Factory

Last week was a rough one. Our homeschool was just two weeks into the back to school torture, ahem, routine that occurs every September and already I found myself out of patience, out of energy, and out of gas...literally.  Turning the ignition key of my car early one morning as my kids loaded their backpacks for our once-a-week co-op, I glanced at the dashboard and saw the following sad sight:

EMPTY... Beyond empty....Well beyond empty....

Empty, as in no gas left.  Empty, as in you are goin' nowhere fast sister. Empty, as in yes, you need to sheepishly creep up the stairs and ask your freshly showered hubby to attempt to locate some gas in the garage and fill it up. 
A funny thing happened, though.  Instead of the reaction I was expecting from my husband (think something akin to complete exasperation plus a dash of "How many times have I told you..." thrown in for good measure), what I received was a cheerful "I'll be right there" followed by my knight in shining armor track shorts filling up my car without a word of complaint.  No snarky remarks, no "I warned you", no sarcasm, no nothing.  Just kindness and love. 

I have to be honest - I was a little bit shocked.  Not that my husband is some sort of an ogre.  He most certainly is not.  It is just that this was not my first go-around with the empty gas thing, and I fully expected to be reminded of that.  His "lack of exasperation" left me a little bewildered - until one of my fellow co-op Moms suggested that maybe he was aiming for a holy reaction - instead of a fleshy one. 

The gas thing wasn't the only drama that last week brought.  There was the sibling squabble that landed my kids separated and in their rooms for four hours.  And the Mommy meltdown when I discovered the disastrous state of the school room after I left it for five mere minutes. 

I supposed that these things shouldn't surprise me.  After all, I live in a factory. And life in a factories can be messy, imperfect and downright hard work. 

The factory I live in aims to construct one of the most challenging things ever attempted - a family.  More specifically, a holy family.

This factory, Pope Francis explained in his address to the Festival of Families, is a "factory of hope....a factory of resurrection."  The family is a factory where the Holy Father acknowledges "there are difficulties. But those difficulties are overcome with love." Pope Francis has clearly spent some time in this factory. He accurately describes some of the struggles families face, some of the struggles my own family faces, saying: "Families, we quarrel, and sometimes plates can fly. And children bring headaches. I won’t speak about mother-in-laws." 

My husband's reaction to the no-gas debacle was a demonstration of life in my factory of hope.  My children's sincere apologies to each other, and generous forgiveness of my own failings were evidence of the love that overcomes difficulties.  The smiles that greet me each morning, no matter how rough the previous day was, are a testimony that my family truly lives in a factory of resurrection. 

We have a lifetime of work ahead of us in our factory, but we undertake the effort relying on the love of the Lord for each of us and the love that we have for each other. 

Read Related Posts Here:
The Angelus: Domestic Church Style
Mortification, The Heroic Minute and Love



  1. What a beautiful reflection!! I'm just started the homeschooling part of the "factory" so I have a long way to go :)

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Britt! Good luck to your homeschool - it is a great adventure (even on the hard days)!

  2. Great reflection! How wise our Pope is!

    1. Thanks Leslie - he truly is and seems to have such practical insights into life! We are very blessed to have him as our Shepherd.