I started working on a post about The Holy Family on their Feast Day (12/30/12). I worked on it some and then saved it as a draft and kind of forgot about it. As I started looking through my drafts today it caught my eye. How appropriate that I re-read and revise this post today, 1/9/13, as this is also our first CCD class of the new year and we will be talking about The Holy Family, among other topics today. Not only will be talking about The Holy Family, but we’ll be doing a little dissecting as well. We’ll discuss St. Joseph, Mary, and Jesus and their individual roles within the Holy Family as well as what it means to be a family and what The Holy Family is like, as a unit. I’m excited to be back in class with my second graders and pray that God will give me the words and open their minds and hearts as we study and work on their preparation to receive Jesus, later this spring, in our Most Blessed Sacrament, The Eucharist. When I started writing this blog post 2 weeks ago, I had a love story on my mind. Well, more than one as The Holy Family is a picture of such amazing and pure love itself, but specifically I had the love story that God has written for my family on my mind and heart. He is so amazing & the gifts He wants to give us are divine. Simply, amazingly divine. So, below, you’ll find the post that I began working on last year. 🙂 To be totally honest, it’s really more about my family than The Holy Family but The Holy Family did provide inspiration!
Today is the Feast of the Holy Family. I am sitting here, next to my husband, thinking about what all this means. I can’t help but hope that our baby will be born today. (Update…as of 1/9/13, I am still very pregnant. 😉 I must remind myself that everything is in God’s time & His time is perfect.) I realize there is a very slim chance that that will happen, seeing as it’s already past 3 in the afternoon and I haven’t had any kind of regular labor pains, contractions, etc & no water breakage, either. Why do I think today, of all days would be so cool for Baby Nixon to join us? Because it just fits us and our story so well. (This is actually all of the original blog post from 12/30/12 that made the final cut. LOL. Oh, who doesn’t love some editing and revision.)
Everyone has a love story. Really, we all have a few of them. The love story of us and our families. The love story of us and God. The love story of us and our spouse (no matter if our spouse is God, The Church, or a person). Every love story is supremely unique and so very special but, of course, everyone thinks that their personal love story is just a little extra unique & special. I tend to fall into that camp and happen to be of the (biased) opinion that the love story I share with Harold and our family is something a little extra special.
I could go all fairy tale on you (to be honest, I do LOVE a good fairy tale) but I won’t. 🙂 Everything about our relationship was a (to quote a Julia Roberts’ movie) “wrong fit right from the start”. Harold did not like me, at all. He didn’t find me to be attractive and thought I was a little too…well, too much, I guess is as good a way to describe it as anything. He liked girls with dark hair and dark eyes. He’s always found girls with an ethnic background, specifically Latina girls, to be particularly beautiful. What am I? Light hair, light eyes, and fair skinned. Northern European (whole lotta German & English in my background) through and through. Thankfully, he’s always been a bit of a chubby chaser, so one plus for me. So, almost no physical attraction on his side. What about me? Well, I didn’t find Harold to be all that attractive, either. He had a very young face and NO chin at all. Nothing, nada…he went from face to neck (not totally true…he just had a very “soft” chin). I also thought he was a little strange, a little quiet, a little too sensitive, and a little too meek. Also, he liked to talk philosophy. PHILOSOPHY?!? Ugh. Our personalities didn’t mesh (he told me I was simply too brash & I thought he was a mama’s boy), we weren’t physically attracted to each other, and every time we talked or hung out he always swore to himself that that would be the absolute last time. He really wanted nothing to do with me. And what now? We’re married. We’re madly in love (mad is a sometimes a big part of that) and we have one child in heaven and one in oven, due any day now. I can say there is no way we would’ve moved beyond personalities not meshing and the total lack of any physical attraction if it weren’t for God. He had to be at play in our love story. There had to be some divine intervention. (Just FYI…I find my husband to be ridiculously attractive and sexy now. He tells me how beautiful I am and that he can’t believe he didn’t see it the first time he saw me.)
I struggle with my prayer life. I always have. It ebbs and flows, like I’m sure many of yours does. I’ve always known how important it is to pray for your spouse, even when you are single and have no clue who your spouse may be. To know something and to do it are two different things entirely. I did not pray for my future husband. I’m sorry for that. Harold did. When I say Harold did, I mean that Harold prayed for MY future husband! He also prayed for me. He would kneel at the back of our church, under a picture of The Holy Family, light candles, and pray for me and my future husband. He was positive that I was a good girl, who needed a good man, and that man was NOT him. He figured that man would need the prayers. He figured I did, too. He was right about almost all of that. 😉 We’d been dating for nearly 6 months when Harold confessed this prayer habit to me. He still wasn’t sure about anything. I fell hard the instant he told me he’d been praying for me all that time. That’s our love story, well at least the beginning of it. My husband faithfully prayed for me (and him, he just didn’t know he was praying for himself), even when he didn’t like me. That is love. I am thankful. There are plenty of cute stories I could share with you. Plenty of ups and downs, plenty of inside jokes. Harold loves to make me laugh & he’s pretty funny. Those are stories for another post (maybe).
Harold and I had been dating for about 2 and 1/2 years when he decided to propose. He always said he would never ask twice BUT he actually did. 🙂 Most of the time I share the story about the first proposal but this time, I’m sharing the second. Harold took me to our church, to the back corner and we sat down. There were some older ladies in the church praying the Rosary and Harold didn’t want to draw attention or make a scene, so he told me I wasn’t allowed to cry. He asked me if I knew where we were and why were were there. I did not (I mean, I knew we were in church but you know what I mean). He pointed to the back wall, where the picture of The Holy Family was hanging and told me that we were sitting in the very spot where he used to kneel to pray for me. He knelt under The Holy Family and prayed for their intercession for me and my future family. Since it seemed to be God’s will that Harold was part of that future family, he thought it appropriate that this was the place he proposed. He dropped to one knee and pulled out my engagement ring. A pearl, surrounded by three interlocking circles of diamonds. The ring is full of a lot of symbolism, too. I did cry (very quietly…nobody noticed) and I said yes.
Sometime in the next three weeks or so, our baby will be baptized in the same corner of our church, under the same picture that Harold used to kneel under to pray for us and then that he knelt under to propose. I can not think of a more perfect place for our baby to welcomed into our Church family than that spot, under The Holy Family, where Harold and I agreed to start down the road to building our family. Icing on the cake…our baby’s baptismal garment is being made out of material from my wedding gown. Our baby will be baptized in a gown made from the gown I was wearing when our family was created before God, our extended family, and friends.
Our baby was baptized on February 3, 2013. This is a picture of our family standing in front of that picture of The Holy Family.