A week ago I was all set to post a finished blog.  I try(being the operative word) to get a new post out every couple of weeks, and amazingly enough I was running on time.  And then I got a phone call.  In light of that conversation with someone I love very much, I am going to post that blog much later on.  It touched, unknowingly, on things that would hit too close to home for someone else.  But as always, God provides, and here I am.

Last Sunday a rarity occurred.  I actually attended Church by myself, sat by myself, and thought to myself.  I am usually holding a sleeping Micah, keeping Daniel from picking his nose, or swaying back and forth whether there is someone in my arms or not.  Since Jonah is in Sunday school this year, he isn’t in Mass with us every week.  When he is there, he reads the readings, closes his eyes tightly during prayers, and only occasionally pretends he is light-saber battling an imaginary nemesis.  Daniel is in Sunday School as well, but decides to drop out bi-weekly, and likes to read the books upside down, pretend to sleep, and always has to go to the bathroom.  And Micah overall, goes with the flow. 

Some weeks are easy.  Other weeks I exchange dark looks with Chris and I pray that I will not have to take away another privilege or shush a whine.   Unless our kids are sick, we are there as a family, keeping with a decision we made long ago to attend church together.  I consider it a gift if we can go together, especially because of Chris’s job.  In light of that there are times I am there by myself with all the kids. I’m pretty sure I’m known as the crazy one with the gaggle of boys.  But in my heart I feel that someday my gaggle of boys will have their own gaggle of little ones accompanying them to church, rain or shine, and that makes it worth every squeal and squirm.  But I digress.   I was at church by myself, in the back row my family usually occupies, and it was heavenly. 

For the gospel they did the beatitudes.  As much as I love Matthew 5: 1-11, I don’t think I’ve every really reflected on them.   Reading over them again on Sunday though,  I thought of the people that embody this in my life.  Do you see them in yours?

 When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him.  Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.   Blessed are the people that pray…even when life happens. When they don’t understand God, yet trust that someday they’ll be okay.  Someday it’ll be okay.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.   Blessed are those who have loved enough to know what they’ve lost.  Who stare at an empty wedding band in a jewelry box, who sob into a quilted blanket.  Blessed are little boys who let a balloon go, watching it fly high in the sky, giving it to their sister in heaven.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.  Blessed are little feet, that pad down the hall in the night and say, “Mommy I had a bad dream, will you pray with me?  Oh, and I also had an accident…” 

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.  Blessed are the ones who go to work daily, in a city that is so unappreciative, and come home to be embraced by a family who doesn’t see another negative editorial, but a real-life super hero. 

Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.  Blessed are the people that forgive, even in circumstances that seem unforgivable.  Blessed is realizing that saying I forgive you is one of the most powerful things that can ever be said.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.  Blessed are the ones that love us as we wear the same old sweatshirt year after year, which doubles as a large tissue for a small child.  Blessed is the one that kisses chapped lips at 7:00 in the morning, before coffee, before sleep has left mascara rimmed eyes and says,”I love you so much.”

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.  Blessed is the person, who can listen to both sides, and still choose not to gossip.  Blessed are those who choose to say sorry first.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the ones that advocate for others, especially children, regardless of the cost.

Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  Blessed is knowing you have to speak the truth, even when that means you might be offensive…Blessed is believing that God will provide.

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  Blessed is knowing this is only temporary.

When I came home on Sunday I had my usual welcoming committee; Micah suctioned himself to my leg and I got a large boyish whoop of “Mommy,” which is comparable to shout-outs for Norm on Cheers.  I pulled Micah up into my arms and curled myself onto the couch with Chris, who looked at me sleepily after getting less than four hours of sleep. 

“We are so blessed…”I said to him watching our boys play together.  Even with two of them sporting fevers and runny noses they were covered in smiles, precious as ever.   “I know,” He agreed.  We sat there, leaning into each other,  his eyes closed tightly as the choir of little voices rose all around us.  It was heavenly.