As the Family Goes

JP II Quote

"As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live." John Paul II

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Throwback Thursday - This is How God Works in my Life

Do we ever really have things figured out?  This post makes me laugh, because I feel like I could have written it yesterday.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Lighten Up on the Grey Hair

If there's one thing I can't hear people say, it's this: "When I look around at Mass, all I see is grey hair."  Because I will tell you something.  The little parish that I live in has the strongest and most faithful community I have ever experienced.  They are the kind of people who know the name of every person in that parish, who rejoice in new members and go out of their way to introduce themselves to new people.  Who stop by your house and bring pie when you've just moved in.  Who host after every single Mass a coffee and sweets social in the lobby by donation, and who consistently have regular, well-attended social events and fundraisers outside of Sunday Mass.  And guess what?  More than the majority have grey hair.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Can't See The Weeds For The Garden

This week's throwback post is something I still struggle with every day.  Though we're not as sick now as we were in those days (we were really sick a lot then!) there are different things that cause me to reach the end of my rope.  I'm coming to see those things as a true gift, because they don't allow me to coast along oblivious to my sin.  They force me to deal with that real deep-rooted selfishness, which is still so real for me.  This is why this life is so good, this is why these children are the greatest blessing to me.  I pray that one day I can be the mother they truly deserve, and I know it's only by their help and guided by the loving hand of God that I even have a prayer.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Heaven Has a New Saint

If you were to see us on the street, we would appear to be a family of eight.  In fact up until a few weeks ago, we were a family of ten, with two little saints waiting for us in Heaven.  John Paul Gerald, who was miscarried in March of 2005 at about 12 weeks, and Gabriel, our Advent baby, miscarried in December of 2011, also in the first trimester though we're not entirely sure on dates.  We recently discovered that I had been blessed with a ninth pregnancy (Nine! Wow!), a baby who was also destined to live their whole life in Heaven.  As a parent, there can be no greater joy than knowing a child has made it in Heaven. For the children living with us we do our best to point them in that direction, and pray that we would not do anything to hinder it (as I sure all too often we do).  But for these three little souls, the battle is already won.  Thanks be to God for His goodness!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Life Lessons from my Six-Year-Old

"Mommy," a voice calls up the stairs long after bedtime, "I'm a little bit sad."  It's Stephen, my six-year-old.  He shares a room with two older brothers, both of whom have long since gone to sleep, leaving him to ponder the mysteries of life.  And in that pondering he has come to a conclusion. "I felt like I don't care that much about Barnaby, and that makes me sad." Barnaby is a much beloved teddy bear.  I don't remember where he got him, but he loves that thing.  And yet, I suppose as every child does one time or another, he's probably feeling like maybe he's outgrowing him just a bit.

Throwback Thursday - Stop and Smell the Daisies

Wow, this week's throwback post is so poignant for me.  It was written at a time when I thought I could get this under contol, like maybe if I worked hard enough at it, I could turn things around so my kids would not know me as a raging, yelling Mom.  This was written when my oldest was four years old.  Now he's ten and I have twice as many children, and they all know better than anyone just how much I struggle with my temper.  It's a control issue I know, and one of the things that has stuck with me the strongest since the spiritual exercises I was blessed to attend a few weeks ago is that the problems of our life will reveal what is the essential for us.  I want Christ to be the essential, but in order for that to happen I need to use these problems as an opportunity to meet Him, to tell Him how much I need Him, and to let Him help.  If I keep pretending like they're just going to go away, like one day I'll have it so together that I'll never struggle like this, then I always will, because I will always be keeping the burden with me.  I need to learn to let it go, to let this daily provocation be an invitation to go deeper and meet Jesus.  Such a great reminder for me, and also encouragement to go back and reach into some of the coping techniques I had in the past.  Taking a time-out to engage myself and my with the world around me might be the best way to remember that God is greater than any of the problems I have, and that I need to trust in Him.  And if it helps to stop the screaming, on my part or the kids, that's always a good thing.

Monday, June 2, 2014

A Gentle Alternative to "Cry-it-Out"

My 19-month-old has recently decided she does not want to go down to bed, at naptime or at bedtime.  With the approaching summer meaning more hours of daylight, I can't expect any help in the form of darnkess at bedtime from Mother Nature.  My kids are all great sleepers.  I nursed them to sleep until they were all over a year (something the "experts" caution against strongly) and had no problem transitioning any of them to being put down awake.  No bottles, no rocking.  This is where the "cry-it-out" method came into play for me.