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Archive for the ‘Life on the Homefront’ Category

My family could really use a “Lazarus, come out” type of moment. Right now, my father-in-law – a vibrant, active, healthy, 77 year old man – lay in critical care after suffering a brain injury yesterday…..while playing tennis. Yes, that’s right, he was playing tennis. I would never have believed it’s possible to fall so hard on a tennis court that you crack your skull but now I know it has happened at least once. I also never new (before this, that is) that increased intercranial pressure is sometimes treated by removing part of the patient’s skull for a time.

Friday night, I had the privilege of being present when our priest administered Last Rites (also know as Extreme Unction or Anointing of the Sick) to my father-in-law. Thank you, Lord, that a practice I, a few years ago, would have dismissed as empty religiosity was a beautiful witness of the love, faithfulness, and mercy of God to the nurse working in the room while we prayed.

“This illness is not unto death; it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by means of it.” Jn. 11:4

We have no idea what the outcome of the tragic situation will be but we are confidant that God is being and will continue to be gloried in it. Still, it’s hard enough to walk through something so tough, but I’ve also got to help our children walk through it. Would you please pray for us about that? And if your willing, leave a prayer in the comment box. That would really encourage my children. Thank you.

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“You are rich”, said the smiling, little Ukrainian lady to me as she admired my 4 runninggals and served out samples of seven layer dip today at Sam’s Club.

“No money, just children”, she continued.

As I walked away teary-eyes, I agreed with her. Yes, seven-layer-dip-lady, I AM rich. You have no idea how rich I am…and many days, I think I don’t either.

Hence the silence of this blog of late.

It seems that daily I become more and more aware of the abundant riches showered on me as a Catholic, Christian, wife and mother. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again. This Church that I’m a part of is so big. Nine months later I feel I’ve only skimmed the surface.

I’ve made a choice not to post anything here recently. Not because I’ve nothing to say but because I’m so enjoying just living this life. Our Lord is giving me powerful, beautiful opportunities to talk about my faith in real life and it feels so natural. Writing here does not feel natural. Yet, I feel a passion to explain the Catholic Faith, not to convince anyone but just to explain the truth and dispel the lies.

Advent marks the beginning of the Liturgical Year in the Church Calendar. All those resolves to declutter, lose weight, get organized that seem to materialize in our minds between Christmas and New Years can be applied to our hearts as the Church Year begins anew.

What kind of heart clutter have I accumulated? Lies whispered by the Enemy? Idols that distract me from Our Lord? What do I need to do to rid myself of that heart clutter?

Am I carrying extra heart “weight” that I’m not supposed to carry? Unconfessed sin? (Catholics get thee to confession! 😉 ) Guilt? Other peoples’ burdens?

How can I run harder after Jesus? What obstacles are in the way of that? Am I living in this moment, right now, fully embracing all that God has for me here and now? Or do I stay distracted by all the “what-ifs” of the past?

If you’re so inclined, pray for me as I seek discernment about the future of this blog.

A Blessed Advent to you all.

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All I’ll add is DITTO!  😉

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We’ve been caught up with living life lice around here. That’s not a typo. We really have been fighting a major lice infestation as much as I hate to admit it. I’d like to be able to tell you we got ourselves into this pesky predicament serving in a third world country or ministering in our local homeless shelter, but, alas, it was our vanity that precipitated this mess. We got it trying on hats at the Goodwill store. (Quick! Run! Right now before you read any further and tell your kids there is to be NO TRYING ON OF HATS AT THE GOODWILL STORE! Ever!!!)

Now I’m sure there are some reading this blog who are dealing with much more serious medical conditions and I don’t want to make light of that. But I don’t think there’s anyway you can appreciate how consuming lice fighting can be until you’ve experienced it. It is utterly exhausting and (although I’ll spare you the gory details) humbling. We have thought often of Corrie Ten Boom who chose to be thankful for the lice flea infestation in her barracks at the Ravensbruck Concentration Camp. God used the lice fleas to keep the guards away while Corrie and her sister shared the Word of God with other prisoners.  (A friend alerted me that it was actually fleas in the prison barracks and not lice as I originally wrote.) While I’m not sure I can go so far as to thank God for these annoying pests, there are definitely some good things to be learned from an experience such as this.

For starters, there’s great family conversation time to be had whilst sitting around in the evenings “nit picking”. Secondly, when most of the house is quarantined and therefore off limits, including the rooms where the favorites toys are stored, you really have to get creative about how you use your time. Since lice don’t like books, board games or playing cards, we’ve had some really rousing games of Old Maid. 😉

Another thing I’ve gained from this experience is an appreciation for structured prayers. I tend to pray spontaneous prayers rather than structured prayers. In my exhaustion of dealing with our current circumstances, I have found myself with a heart full of sentiments but no words to express them. One recent morning, I sat myself in my favorite chair (off limits to the lousy crowd of which I’m NOT one) with my bible, Magnificat, and Handbook of Prayers.

If you’re not familiar with the Handbook of Prayers, it’s quite a handy little resource. It’s full of not only pages and pages of various prayers, but also includes the Order of the Mass, many wonderful devotions, and an excellent Examination of Conscience. (The link is just an example and not nearly as thorough as the one in the book.) It has been a great “how to” guide for me.

Here is one of the beautiful prayers I found in my Handbook…..

“O my God,

I love you above all things,

with my whole heart and soul,

because you are all-good and worth of all love.

I love my neighbor as myself for the love of you.

I forgive all who have injured me

and ask pardon of all whom I have injured. “

and one more to close…..

“My Lord and my God:

into your hands I abandon the past and the present and the future,

what is small and what is great,

what amounts to a little and what amounts to a lot,

things temporal and things eternal.

Amen.”

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