A close friend told me recently that a new friend of ours remarked to her after meeting me that “she loved being around my calm presence.” Hearing this about myself made me cringe with guilt at first, since my first thoughts about the comment involved an ugly mental slideshow of all the times I have not been calm with my family recently.
Does anyone else remember the “Keep Calm” memes on Facebook last year? For a few weeks, it seemed like everyone was posting some clever version of the famous World War Two British “Keep Calm” poster. (According to Wikipedia, the British government put out the poster in 1939 as a propaganda tool intended to strengthen the public’s morale if there was a wartime disaster.)
I need this poster framed in my house. In my kitchen somewhere. I can always use reminders to keep calm and carry on! Especially since much of stay-at-home motherhood is spent alone, at home, with children. Where there are no other Not-Your-Husband adults to impress with your saint-like patience.
In all honesty, it’s easier for me to stay calm when I am around other people. I know well that God is most pleased with me, though, when I keep my calm when no one but Him is watching. How wise is God to know that I needed this particular vocation to marriage to challenge me to holiness. He does that for all of us, though. He knows the vocation we each need to draw us toward Him in being the man or woman He created us to be.
My own versions of the Keep Calm poster:
“Keep calm and remember that he’s only two.”
“Keep calm and bring up this topic with my husband again later.”
“Keep calm and just clean up that huge mess during naptime.”
“Keep calm and trust that God will work this situation out in his timing.”
“Keep calm and don’t burst into tears in front of all these people.”
“Keep calm and order pizza.”
“Keep calm and blog about it later.”
“Keep calm and trust that God will provide.”
So many times I want to pull my hair out with frustration and discouragement. But it’s all small stuff. I am coming to understand more and more how much it hurts His sacred heart when we don’t let Him suffice for us in the small stuff. After all, what else does He have to do to show us He is worthy of all our trust, that He–and we–are bigger than all the small stuff?
St. Teresa of Avila wrote this beautiful note inside her breviary. I need a poster of this as well—in my kitchen of course!