OF COURSE you’ve found something where you least expect it: your phone, the remote, that missing sock. Today, Kathy Club asks us to consider if we might find more than what’s in our hands…

mom to mom series


Finding Yourself in an Unexpected Place

By Kathy Clubb

Have you ever found yourself wondering how you ended up in a certain situation, or how you became caught up in events beyond your control? I certainly have…and though it’s not always easy to deal with, I’ve been inspired by my beloved Padre Pio. He talked a lot about temptation and how the Enemy prowls around us like a storm.

I know you mothers are used to finding things in unexpected places: I’m sure you’ve all found a little unexpected treasure tucked into your shoe…or a shoe in your dirty laundry…or dirty laundry in a dresser with the clean clothes. We recently found the missing keys to our new house under our three-year-old’s pillow! And who could forget the lego found in the baby’s diaper? – Do we even want to think about how that got there?

One of the most common unexpected items I’ve come across is baby-wipes. I’m always finding them, on the floor, of course, in every room except where they belong.

finding unexpected

Recently, I came across a pack of baby-wipes at the top of the stairway. I was so frustrated with the house being disorderly, and with the dirty hand-marks on the walls… Actually, I was exasperated.  But then I stopped and looked at the baby-wipes in my hands. Then I looked at the grimy patches on the walls. Then, I CLEANED the marks away with the baby-wipes.

And I thought, “Lord, what does this mean? You can even make use of the things I find in unexpected places! You are making some good come from this mess?”

I’ve had cause to think about that incident quite a lot lately. It really is a metaphor for our lives as mothers and Christians. What other unexpected objects or events does the Lord expect us to put to good use?

Will you find yourself waiting for a tow truck some rainy day when you’re car breaks down? (This happened to me today…I thought about this post.) Perhaps you’ll find yourself in a room full of people who really don’t want you there. Perhaps you’ll be praying outside an abortion clinic and smelling the scent of death.

Maybe you’ve been working on some time-consuming project that won’t really be appreciated. Or you might be struggling with taking care of your little children while your Facebook friends are posting pictures of their wonderful vacation.

When a tempest is surrounding you, this is what you can prayerfully cling to:

1. You’re likely going to have to forgive someone: “Jesus, please help me to forgive; they don’t know what they’re doing to me.”

2. You can offer your suffering for a valuable intention – yours or for Jesus’: “Jesus, I’m suffering; please use this for good.”

3. God will work some good in you because of this: “Jesus, my faith is weak; please let me see that good.”

Even if we don’t see the good fruits of our suffering, we live with the hope that one day, we will find out the entire story of why we found ourselves in that unexpected place.

“At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face.

At present, I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.”

1 Corinthians 13:12

Jesus FULLY KNOWS US. He has known since time eternal that we would often find ourselves in a place of mystery and suffering. It is only we mortal creatures that found that place to be unexpected.

Kathy lives in Tasmania, Australia with ten of her 14 children. She blogs at A Beautiful Home about all the things that make up a Catholic mother’s life and contributes at Human Life Protection Society, a Tasmanian pro-life website.

Read more in the Mom to Mom series.