Hotdish, Hand-Me-Downs and the Hail Mary

Hotdish, hand-me-downs and the Hail Mary. A frugal mom’s journey to sainthood.


Does that sound familiar to you? If it does, I would be shocked! That was the tagline of my very first blog site that I created almost 10 years ago. The Hail Mary Mom was a super fun project for me, as it allowed me to have a creative outlet to share about my life through my favorite medium- writing.


The Hail Mary Mom only lasted a year or two- getting choked out by uniquely challenging life events, but mostly because of my false humility.



I had people that I barely knew reaching out to me and sharing how my blog impacted their lives. This really spooked me. I was afraid that the positive feedback that I was receiving was going to make me really prideful. I justified it by telling myself that the Blessed Mother would never be a mommy blogger, so I shouldn’t be one either. So, I quit blogging, and it was close to a decade before I shared another public writing piece again.


But even though I no longer blogged, I never totally quit writing. I have turned to writing time and time again throughout my life. Whether it be to express my heartfelt gratitude to a dear friend, write an emotional apology, or create a letter of love.


I have the ugly habit of speaking before I think, so have used writing to clean up my verbal messes many times.


One of the local parishes hosted the Called and Gifted program and it was incredibly liberating to discover that writing is, in fact, one of my charisms!


A charism is given to an individual for the sake of others. I was able to discern through the Called and Gifted program that writing was in fact one of my charisms.


That means that I couldn’t be living out my role in the Mystical Body of Christ as fully if I were to suppress my writing.


Do I consider myself to be an awesome writer? NOPE!


Do I cringe every time I find a typo or weird grammar trainwreck in my writing? YEP!


Do I ever feel like throwing in the towel on this blog? Once in a while I do wonder if it’s worth the effort.


I am sharing my internal dialogue with you because I want to be transparent with you. I also want you to really think and pray hard about the charisms that God gave you. Some of them may be obvious to you, some may be revealed to you by the Holy Spirit through prayer, but I strongly urge you to take the Called and Gifted class and assessment to discover the ones that are hidden and waiting to be explored.


In the class they mentioned that the charisms make you unique in that there won’t be more than 20% of people with each one. That means that roughly 80% of you reading this won’t be able to relate to my love of writing. You wouldn’t understand that the reason I write to you each week is because I find so much joy and fulfillment in sitting down and sharing what the Holy Spirit has laid on my heart. Our blog isn’t monetized, so there is absolutely no incentive for us to write… we do it because we feel called to do it and because we absolutely love it!


Now understand that if one of your charisms is mercy, craftsmanship, leadership, prophecy, missionary, or one of the other 23 known charisms, I would not be able to relate. But you might be able to relate to the feeling of joy and excitement that I experience when I am on a roll, knowing that I am doing exactly what God made me to do! What may be perceived as work or an inconvenience to someone without that charism is an absolute delight to the one who has it.


Here’s an example. My husband has many beautiful charisms that I do not have. Administration being one of them. To me that just sounds painful and overwhelming. But he finds pleasure in making big things happen down to the last detail. But just ask him to write and he would just as soon have all his teeth pulled out!


How great is Our God to equip the Body of Christ so brilliantly!


Will I ever feel fully adequate when using my writing charism? Probably not. But understanding the responsibility that this charism is not for me alone- that it is meant to be given to others- empowers me to bravely step out in faith.


Let's pray together. Come Holy Spirit. Breathe Your life into my soul and reveal to me the unique gifts that You have given me to give to others. Make me bold enough to embrace these charisms so as to not be accused of hiding my light under a bushel basket. I thank you for creating me in a unique and beautiful way. In Jesus' name, Amen.



Until next time, your sister in Christ,


Leah

*Originally published @ catholiccountrychronicles.com on October 16, 2022

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