Spotlight on Associates

Taking Time Out
By Victoria Koivu-Rybicki, IHM Associate

KOIVU-RYBICKI-VICTORIA-281Anyone who knows me knows I am lost without my planner. It is filled with what I need to remember: my schedule, my notes, addresses, coupons – all kinds of stuff. Yet, how I do IHM ministry reaches far beyond what is contained in my planner pages. My ministry is defined by the retreat to center myself in prayer and reflection.

How awesome that we as church prepare for the New Birth at Christmas every year with a defined time of waiting – Advent – taking time out. Actually, my ministry is how I choose to act following my inner intentional commitment. And, it begins with how I take time out, how I pause and how I choose to fill my time of waiting.

My life in the past several years, since completing my career, has been spent with caregiving.  Caring for ill family members and caring for struggling young adults. Every day is different; it is always challenged by the unexpected. Last week, my invalid, 55-year-old son (adopted), who has been bed-ridden for two years as a paraplegic, told me how he dreads Christmas. My response was not well thought-out. I had all the answers for our son whose life experience has been abandonment.

So now, I take time out. We both wait. I center in prayer and we come together for healing. We celebrate a “new birth” in the liberating mission of Jesus.

“God asks of us, this and only this:
To act justly,
To love compassionately, and
To walk humbly with our loving God.”

- Micah 6:8