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Slip Slidin’ Away

waterfall 1For the past many months, the refrain of singer Paul Simon’s song, “Slip Slidin’ Away” has kept rolling around in my head, repeating itself over and over again. For awhile there, it really did seem as though things were slip slidin’ away for Fenelon Clan. And, so, even though I didn’t initially like the song when it hit the Top 40, it has been my companion of late.

Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away

Over the past year,  we’ve had children who were given hefty crosses to carry. There were some serious health issues (now resolved, thanks be to God). Then, bureaucracy and an economy hostile to small businesses forced the sudden closing of my husband’s business. Consequently, our homeschool year went haywire, which twisted some other things around. It felt like our family just kept slip slidin’ away. While I knew there was a God-determined destination in store for us, it kept feeling like our feet were slipping right out from under us.

Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away

Well, finally, the slipperiness is wearing down and, by God’s grace and goodness, we’re regaining our footing. Not all of it, but enough to stay standing and not topple over on our keezters. The closing of the business went more smoothly than expected. To our tremendous joy, my husband got a job with our Archdiocese. My newest book, Imitating Mary: Ten Marian Virtues for the Modern Mom (released this past April by Ave Maria Press), sold more in the first three months than any of my other books have sold in their whole lives. The crosses, well, they’re still there but our backs are gaining strength in carrying them. Slowly we’re catching up on the homeschooling. One step at a time, the path is becoming less slippery.

Paul Simon echoes less often in my head now, as we move ahead and put this past year behind us. I’m still dealing with some of the fallout – for example, my blog has been quieter than I would have liked and I won’t be able to manage an August issue of Simply Holy – but, I imagine you can understand. I am a committed writer, but I am first and foremost a committed wife and mother. God’s needed my energies focused on a different slope.

I share all of this with you so as to offer encouragement and assurance. Everyone feels as though they’re slip slidin’ away from time to time. Some of us feel that way all the time. Others of us think we never slip, but that’s just because we’ve gotten used to slidin’ around in our tracks. Often after I’ve done a presentation, someone from the audience will approach me with a comment or question that’s clearly rooted in the assumption that I’ve got it all together and know all the answers. I smile, encourage, and assure them that I write and speak because, like everyone else, I have to work to get it all together and find out all the answers and want to share with others what I’ve learned in the process.

It’s okay to feel like you’re slip slidin’ away so long as you keep in mind that there’s a God-determined destination laying ahead of you. It may be tough getting there, it may not be the destination of you expected, but it will be the destination that’s best for you and at the best time for you to reach it.


Marge Fenelon is a Catholic wife, mother, author, columnist, and speaker. She’s a frequent contributor to a number of Catholic publications and websites and is a regular guest on Catholic radio. She’s written several books about Marian devotion and Catholic family life and has touched the hearts of audiences in a variety of venues. Her latest book is Imitating Mary: Ten Marian Virtues for the Modern Mom (Ave Maria Press, 2013).
  • noelfitz

    Marge,

    many thanks for this encouraging and positive article.

    I appreciate the help and support I get from your writings.

    Praise the Lord.

  • Marge

    Thanks, Noel. I’m do happy you find my work helpful!

  • Christine Hebert

    We have been slip-slidin’ for years now. God knows the plan and we are just along for the ride. 🙂

  • Marge

    That’s the spirit, Christine! Trusting in God really is the only way, isn’t it?