As everyone knows, life these days can get pretty hectic. For us, balancing raising three young children, a marriage, careers, our interests, and a million different commitments can seem overwhelming at times. It’s easy to get caught up in the everyday details: the schedules, the calendars, the chores, the to do lists. Sometimes we feel like we’re just pin balling from one thing to another, heads swirling, just focused on checking off yet another box. Hopefully by the end of the day, we’ve checked off enough boxes to have a clean conscience when our exhausted heads hit the pillow.
But when we get like this, something is missing from life. A connection. An appreciation. A full heart. That’s when we reflect back on a different time and a different place. A field of golden maize bending to a gentle breeze, a group of schoolgirls in uniform dresses playing soccer on a hillside, a Sister bending down to hold a young child by the hand. And lastly, the sound of the Daughters singing daily prayer together in beautiful unison.
Somehow, everything else just melts away. The only things remaining are simple and pure, and easy to love if we open our hearts. And then, we are ready to start the day again.
The Vincentian charism is the core of our lives since our VLM experience. Living simply, caring for our planet and conserving resources, volunteering with our parish SVDP, and editing the famvin.org English site are just a few of the ways we continue to live out the charism. We have made these things a priority, along with nurturing our relationships with our Vincentian family. We take any opportunity we have to host local Vincentians for dinner, open “Sr. Jerri’s room” (our spare room) to a traveling Vincentian, or visit Sr. Jerri and other beloved DCs at St. Louise house in Albany.
Yes, life does get overwhelming at times. But a simple reflection on our experience six years ago brings us back to our core – our love of the Vincentian family, simplicity, and an appreciation on how it has changed us and continues to change us for the better.
The Astridges: Matt started this reflection, Liz finished it. Luke, Millie and Owen were present through the entire process! (Aidan edited and posted)