Monthly Archives: October 2014

running back to Jerusalem

This evening I had a previously scheduled meeting with my spiritual director.  I almost cancelled it due to the piles of papers burying me as I prep for the meeting with the auditor on Monday.  But, I knew that I seriously needed a break as I was having trouble focusing on the simplest of tasks.  So, I went.  I vented.  I whined.  I vented some more about how unfair this was.  I whined again.

Then, my SD (saint that he was to have listened so far and just smiled at me with a patience that I never would have been able to have) started to ask questions.  Questions that made me think.  Questions that made me realize just how far I had let myself get off track.  Questions that I knew the answers to, but was refusing to even consider.  Instead, I turned my back on even asking them so that I didn’t want the truth of my selfishness staring me in the face.

See, the more I focus on myself, the more I can justify how lousy the hand I’ve been dealt is.  The more I focus only on my problems and issues, the larger those problems and issues can be.  The more I focus inwardly on silly ol’ me, the less I have to look outward.  Instead of focusing on the graces God has bestowed on me, the more I let myself whine about what I don’t have.

When I had the nightmare last week, I experienced fear like I haven’t known before.  In the light of day (and especially in the light of God’s abundant Grace), I can see that instead of looking to Him, I looked inward and was afraid.  I am not capable of much, if anything, on my own.  But, with God, I can handle anything.

As we finished our discussion tonight, my SD asked me one final question.  “What is the difference between the apostles walking on the road to Emmaus before they met Jesus and after?”   I thought about it and wondered if it was because at first they were afraid but then after they saw Jesus so clearly in the breaking of the bread, they didn’t need to fear because they had seen the reality for themselves.  But, it goes deeper than that.  If you really think about it, on the first part of the journey, they were walking away from Jerusalem.  When their eyes were opened to the risen Christ, they RAN back.  So, initially, they were moving away from God and then when they experienced the risen Christ, they RAN back.

So, when we are afraid and are so caught up in our fear that we can’t ‘feel’ God with us (as I was after the nightmare), we are like the disciples on the road to Emmaus.  But, like the disciples, our ultimate destination isn’t to remain in that fear, but to turn around and RUN home to our God who is waiting for us with open arms.

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hope vs. darkness

The nightmare continues as I prep for this audit.  The information request document is 18 pages long.  One item listed ALL bank statements, cancelled checks and deposit slips for all passbook, checking, savings and investment accounts for you, your spouse and all of your dependents.  That is just one item out of 112 items we have to prepare/gather.  An understatement would be that I am overwhelmed.

I have had to take time away from my office to work on this.  Time away for anyone who has a job where they are the only one doing said job is just going to mean being even more overwhelmed when I do get back to my desk.  All of this just feels like such a weight on my shoulders!  I am finding myself vacillating between hope and sheer blackness.  It is easiest to just ignore it and go on with life as if it isn’t there.  But, I have never been described as an ostrich before and really don’t know how to act like one.  Instead, I tend to stick my foot in the middle of the melee and then wonder why I can’t walk when my foot gets crushed.

Today, my accountant crashed my dreams of ignorance by telling me that this won’t be done at 5 pm on Nov 12th after the IRS gets to tour our business.  Instead, he told me that this will take months.  So, after I blacked out and regained consciousness, I find myself battling the darkness/nightmare again as I try to comprehend how anyone can survive the weight of this process for that long of a period, let alone through the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.  And then of course, for one of the events mothers wait for and when the last thing I want to be doing is worrying — my oldest daughter’s wedding.  The first in our family to be married.  My first daughter starting her own family and life the way God has intended for her.  I want this to be a time of joy and celebration for the wonderful gift she is to us as well as to celebrate the wonder and hope that God has in store for her within her new family and the next generation of ours.   Instead, I will still be battling this monster?

I may need to take lessons on being an ostrich.  If only I could find one that can give me lessons before I hyperventilate. Sooner rather than later preferably!

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I had a nightmare the other night that I haven’t been able to get out of my mind since. When I woke up in the middle of the dream, I had that ‘otherworldly’ feeling and had to convince myself that it was just a dream and not real. I didn’t sleep the rest of the night as my mind kept wanting to go back and have it end happily instead of with a feeling of impending doom. When I let myself drift off again, I went back into the dream, but instead of it ending happily (no matter how I tried to convince myself to think that way), it stayed in that level of fear that comes with all music changes in horror movies.

In my dream, I dreamed that there was a figure, probably a man, that would come in and out of people’s lives and kill. I had worked with this man before.  I knew him.  I knew how easily he could hurt people and not have any remorse.  He had tried to hurt me earlier and had caused me a lot of anguish and financial strain from which I was just beginning to recover.  When I heard he was back, I knew that he was after me to finish the job he had started years earlier.  In the dream, I remember hearing a gunshot and screams. There was a feeling of chaos and utter fear as we didn’t know where the killer was. We all tried to hide and went into a closet to hunker down to wait until the good guys came and stopped him. The good guys came and searched. They looked everywhere but the man was like a ghost and disappeared easily without getting caught. Then, after everyone else stepped out of the closet and I went to stand up, I felt a wisp of a breath on my neck and quickly realized that the man was right there behind me. I couldn’t avoid him anymore and I was next.  I wasn’t going to get away this time.

That was when I woke up.

As I woke up and realized I was in my own bed, in my own bedroom and it was all a dream, I tried to put the dream into perspective.  So, I tried to think of what was happening in my life that would take my mind along this path.  I immediately knew who the man was in the dream. The ‘man’ in my dream was/is the IRS. Since receiving the letter in the mail about being audited again, I have been feeling a heavy weight of fear and impending doom. I am battling feelings of stress and fear like I’ve never known before. I just want to cry out and let everyone know that I am sorry — that any mistakes I made were because I’m a fraud! I don’t know what I am doing most of the time. I always feel totally incompetent whether it is in the financial matters, as a manager of the business, as a wife, as a mother, when I was a homeschooling mother. All of it seems to overwhelm me, and so I’ve learned to wear a mask and smile so that no one knows that what they see is just a fake shell and that the real me is an ugly, stupid, whimpering, whining mess of a person who is clueless.

This audit is the killer. It is the piece that will totally and utterly show everyone the real me. It will show that I really don’t know what I’m doing and that instead of speaking up sooner and finding someone competent, I have pulled my whole family down into financial ruin.

As I feel the wisp of the breath of the auditor right behind me, I feel complete fear. I am struggling to break away from the lure of the fear to turn to God. I have tried praying the St. Michael’s prayer to rid me of this feeling of evil trying to take over my life. I have prayed the Memorare but have found myself fumbling with the words as my focus is so hypnotically drawn back to the fear.  I have never felt so alone and scared.  Others are reaching out, but I know that ultimately, it comes down to me.  I am the one who has kept track of the books and the finances.  I am the one who is clueless but is just trying to do what is in front of me as it comes.  I am the one who just does what she is told when she is told…. if I remember.  I am the one who is ultimately responsible for the bill that will come from the IRS.  And I have no doubt that there will be a bill.  Our first experience with an audit 6 years ago showed me that.  They will find something and that something will then be multipled exponentially due to time and finance charges/interest and it will lead to the demise of life as we know it.  When we were audited before, it was with our first business and involved just the two of us.  Now, it involves everyone who works for us.  Their lives, our lives, our clients lives, the life of the business  —-  all of them are dependent on me not screwing up.  That is where they will learn that I am really just a fraud and have no idea what I am doing.

The fear continues.  The fear grows.  The fear is with me every second breathing down my neck.  Right now, as the darkness threatens to overtake me during this time of preparation, I am clinging to the thought that there may be a light somewhere at the end.  I can’t see it now and the fear makes me think it isn’t really going to be there, but I need to cling to that hope.

The only glimpse of solace I have found recently that holds the fear at bay for a few minutes is the Prayer for Courage from St. Joan of Arc:

Dear God, give me courage for perhaps, I lack it more than anything else!

I need courage before men against their threats and their seductions.

I need courage to bear unkindness, mockery and contradictions.

I need courage to fight against the devil, against terrors, troubles, temptations, attractions, darkness and false lights,

against tears, depression and above all, fear.

I need Thy help, dear God! Strengthen me with Thy Love and Thy Grace!

Console me with Thy blessed Presence and grant me the courage to persevere until I am with Thee, forever, in Heaven!


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the swiftly changing tides

Oh how time flies!  The thoughts of doing regular reflections/blog posts again has been on my mind for a bit.  So, tonight, when I couldn’t sleep, I decided to pull it up and begin anew.  As I did, I couldn’t help but look back and realize how much and how little has changed since my last blog post.  I’m still a wife and a mother.  But, I am no longer a homeschooling mom.  I am now a mother with 3 children in private Catholic schools and working a full-time job as the Practice Manager at my husband’s practice.  Life has changed dramatically in the last 2 months.  I’m not sure I have caught up with all of the changes yet.  We are all still working out how this all comes together.  This is almost as big of a paradigm shift as it was when we left the school system and started homeschooling.

Along with work/home life changing, life is taking another change in that we will be moving into the next season of parenting soon — that of parents of a married child and soon to be mother/father-in-laws.  I’m not sure yet which part is scarier.  That I have a daughter old enough to be getting married, or that my soon to be son-in-law might consider me to be a pain as so many sons-in-law feel about their MIL.  I guess time will tell whether I will be a witch or a friend like my MIL is for me.  I pray that it is more of a friend.

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