Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in spirit, for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.

Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:3-12

Oh Lord,

Teach me to seek You and reveal yourself to me when I seek You.

For I cannot seek You unless You first teach me, nor find You unless You first reveal yourself to me.

Let me seek You in longing, and long for You in seeking.

Let me find You in love, and love You in finding.

~Saint Ambrose of Milan

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Name: Erin Yonke

Location: Aurora, IL

Info: I'm happily married to my husband and champion pro-life activist, Matt. I stay home with my three small boys; Ambrose (11/06), Peter (3/08), and Joseph (9/10).

Monday, September 10, 2007

On becoming "Real".

One afternoon a few weeks back, I sat down with Ambrose to read a story before he went down for a nap. Bored of the usual books we read, I'd pulled "The Velveteen Rabbit" off the shelf--a book I haven't read since, well, childhood. I didn't get further than a few pages before I found myself so touched by how relevant the book's message was to me now. And for that reason, I'd like to share a couple excerpts from the book here.

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came in to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?" "Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. when a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become real." "Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit. "Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt." "Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?" "It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. that's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, of have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of you hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

The Rabbit sighed. He thought it would be a long time before this magic called Real happened to him. He longed to become Real, to know what it felt like; and yet the idea of growing shabby and losing his eyes and whiskers was rather sad. He wished that he could become it without these uncomfortable things happening to him.

And as I sat on the floor that afternoon, wearing a pair of tattered sweatpants and a stained t-shirt, reading this as my son pulled fistfuls of hair from my already half-hearted ponytail with one hand and tried to poke my eyeballs out with the other, all while I tried my darnedest to keep down my lunch of wheat-thins and sprite...I realized something.

I realized that when St. Timothy told us that women shall be saved through childbearing, he wasn't kidding. Not even a little. And I realized that these days--and the many days to come--that I spend changing diapers and fishing newspaper out of tiny mouths and wiping snotty noses, the days that I spend miserably nauseous because of the brand-new life residing in my womb, and the nights that I spend sleepless are not for nothing. They're God's gracious gift to me--they're opportunities to become "Real"...the means through which God is saving me, and is making me Holy. They're my opportunity to work out my salvation--bit by bit, with fear, with trembling, with pain and with joy, and with the sacrifice of so many personal luxuries.

And you know, I am so, so thankful for that.

Comments on "On becoming "Real"."


Anonymous paula gibbs said ... (September 12, 2007 9:48 AM) : 

We had the exact same version of the Velveteen Rabbit when I was a child, and I remember that passage quite well.

This is a good post.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (September 14, 2007 10:30 AM) : 

That was lovely. Thanks for the sweet glimpse of your life.

I'll read your blog again.


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