I think I was about 5 years old when I got the chicken pox. I was covered from head to toe in pox and had a high fever. I was miserable and let everyone know it. I don’t remember much else about that time except for my Mom taking care of me. She’d bath me to bring down my fever, read to me, covered me in some pink cream that helped the itching, and tried to distract me from my pain. I was not an easy patient. Now that I am a mother I know how heart wrenching it is to see your child sick or in pain and you can’t do anything to make it go away. It had to be stressful, especially since I was not an only child.
One day when Mom felt overwhelmed she told my father she just had to get out of the house because she couldn’t take my whining about the chicken pox anymore. Where did my Mom go? Starbucks? Shopping? Friend’s house? No, she went to Church to pray. She prayed for me and for herself. When my Mom left the house I was a mess. When she got home I was on my rocking horse singing songs.
It has always stuck with me how my Mom went to Church to pray when she was stressed out. My first instinct when I feel overwhelmed is to find the nearest piece of chocolate and inhale it. I love chocolate. I’m probably the only person who has cried tears of joy when they visited Hershey, PA for the first time, and cried tears of sadness when they left Hershey, Pa. My husband considers it a high compliment when I tell him I love him more than chocolate.
I am really grateful for my parents example of prayer. They taught me to bring my petitions to the Lord, and praise him in all things. My Mom would even have us singing “thank you Lord for the parking space, right where we are!” whenever we were in a busy parking lot.
I’m trying to remember to go to God to prayer instead of going to chocolate with my needs. St. Timothy’s has a beautiful Eucharistic Adoration Chapel. There is nothing like sitting in His presence. I know I can pray anywhere and God is there. My Mom could have retired to her room to pray, but sometimes we need to see Him, and be in God’s presence to truly feel his peace. Sometimes phone calls or e-mails from friends don’t lift you up as much as meeting them face to face, and giving or getting a hug from them. It is His grace, and not the lift I get from eating chocolate that is going to sustain me. Where do you go for peace, to chocolate or the chapel?