It used to annoy me to no end as a child when something would go awry and my mother would say three words 1. offer 2. it 3. up.
Your favorite cousin's, you haven't seen in two years, plans have been cancelled. I'd hardly been given the chance for the disappointment to register in my little brain when my mother called "Offer it up!"
Everyone is playing in the bright sunshine, the gang is all there, and I have to practice the piano? "Offer it up!"
My brother, not being supervised by anyone, finishes my chocolate Easter bunny? Nope, no recriminations to the people who failed to watch him. No, when you are really looking forward to something, when you'll be the most disappointed, is the perfect time for my mother to call out "Offer it up!"
Not really. If the people who had slacked on the job had offered some restitution, I might have cheerfully been able to offer it up. If I had gotten some sympathy instead of grownups laughing at my brother's naughtiness and my anger, I would have been able to offer it up instead of remembering it almost 40 years later in such vivid detail.
Which is why I never call to any of my children to "Offer it up!" and instead sympathise with them and ask them as gently as I can if they will offer it up? Offer it up for the soul of their uncle who died too young. Or for a great Aunt who had no children, and so no one to directly pray for them. There is never a shortage of things to offer up our trials for.
Although I hated hearing my mother and her "Offer it up!", the lesson stayed with me. It seems I'm always offering something up, especially in the last year or so. I won't even go into all the times in the hospital I had something to offer up. But in my nice little family home?
The Kitchen! Honestly, you should hear strains from a pipe organ when I say the dreaded words "The Kitchen." Somewhere a dog just howled. My house was built in the mid-1960's, which I always envisioned as the age of Betty Crocker. You know, lots of baking, family suppers every night etc. Not this kitchen. It is the shape of a square with a sink, stove, and refrigerator jammed in. There wasn't even room for a dishwasher until we crammed a free standing one into the only open space. Notice what wasn't mentioned? Counter space! I don't know how the family of four that lived here before us did it. I can only imagine that from the 1960's until the last of the kids moved out of the house, they ate supper at grandma's. So every time I try to prepare dinner, juggling pots, food, and ingredients over the stove burners I have to use a mini landing pads, I - you guessed it, offer it up.
Then there is my van. A thing of beauty it is, and such a smooth ride. Until I have somewhere I need to go, like mass. Yes, after the fun of making sure that every one's face is washed and teeth are brushed, after finding the missing shoe and straightening collars, the family gets into my van, I turn the key and I hear rat. tat, rat, tat. The engine doesn't start. This is why I go to mass on Saturday, so I have the chance of a second try on Sunday. Offer it up.
Let me add that the van very rarely pulls this stunt on my husband. Usually he sticks in the key, turns it and vrooooom! It purrs like a kitten, the rotten sexist, bully of a vehicle!! Offer it up.
Today the scenario is a little different. Yes, the van pulled it's little trick and rat, tatted us today, but my son was visiting from New York with his car that seats five. Which is why they are at mass and I am writing this blog. Offer it up.