Friday, October 28, 2016

My weekly retreat

If I have to grade papers, there is no better place. My sense of mercy is stronger here ;0 )

We are blessed.

I'm still here...

just really busy at the moment. Planning, partying, giving thanks. Good, good stuff.

I was whining about all the great things we're doing (and all the cleaning, planning and travel involved) over the next three weeks. Then I looked at what we were up to last year and I'm feeling better about it, even though we have a 12 day trip added to the mix this time around.

So, long way of saying, nothing exciting or insightful coming from me at the moment. What a great time to pray, reflect, and work on your own insight! ;0) Remember too, that Halloween is All Hallows Eve...the vigil of the greatest Saint celebration (I bet they have party planners in Heaven).  What a great day to remember that goal which we work for each day.

Wishing you all a very happy, safe few days. I'm sure I'll be back soon. We are blessed.

 All You Holy Men and Women, Pray for Us!

Friday, October 21, 2016


If I didn't know the story of the ark, I'd be a little worried right now. I do, though, so this torrential-day-long-downpour isn't worrying me that much. Water in the basement is very much a first-world-problem. While I'm counting my blessings...

1. This dude

I've already gone on-and-on about how much I love him and how connected we are, being fifth-of-five and all. I love all my babies (even the big ones) but I am blessed, with no babies vying for attention, to be able to sit and stare at him sometimes...the beauty of God's creation in this tiny boy.

2. The unexpected kind

The big, yearly, homeschool "geography" trip is coming up. We are heading to Texas (among other places) to visit DH's great friend from graduate school and his wife and daughters. I arrived home this evening to find this in the mail...

It seems they went to Galveston to check it out (we're also heading there) and put together a travel packet better than any tourism bureau could manage. At the end of the long week, knowing that someone would go out of their way to help with our trip (they've not met 6 of us, btw) God's love in action.

3. All Wrapped Up

I am trying to read Archbishop Chaput's recent presentation, “Reclaiming the Church for the Catholic Imagination” in its entirety look it up, it's really good. In it, he refers to this manuscript illustration from the 13th century
Yes, that's the Blessed Mother punching the devil in the face
My afternoon blessing was extended prayer time in my favorite Marian chapel, where I knelt and meditated at, managing every possible ounce of strength I could from the work of this beautiful foot. 

 The original meaning of the term, "crushed it".
This is not to say that we shouldn't be on guard, always, for evil and just let Our Lady do it all. It does mean that she is an irreplaceable ally in the fight, and it is surely a fight, against sin overtaking our life. 

That and unexpected confession opportunity preceding afternoon Mass? Yep, I'm really, really blessed.

 Let's pray extra hard for all of those who are suffering, or continuing to suffer, the effects of the heavy rains. When you're asked to help, do it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

It still amazes me

Lately, as my tiny chub has become a fully-grown little boy (his feet are the same size as his next-two older sibs), I realize that time is passing. I see the gray in my hair getting thicker and when I see a picture like this...
I realize the two big people now look more fit to the grandparent role. Such is life.

That's why I have to stop and give thanks to my Creator for bringing this amazing man into my life.

Today, riding out to the car dealer to replace our 8-year-old, 7-passenger-van with the same but newer model, he wondered out loud..."So, I know you're almost 48 but you have been having stomach trouble for a few days and I just wanted to make sure before we buy a 7-passenger because, sometimes, God likes to kick me in the behind like that."

It would be funny, wouldn't it? and so like us. It only took until my arrival home, though, to realize that we had, indeed bought the right sized vehicle. When I called to check on his arrival back at work, I told him he would be happy to know that there was no new baby in our future. "No, " he said, "I'm not happy, we would both welcome new life."

Yeah, just wow. Still, so many years from that first little pink girl, so many days into the joys (many) and trials (many) of parenting, he is still open. There is no other way to say it...I am so very blessed!

An aside...In case you missed it, 40 Days for Life is still going on. If you're frustrated with the election and just want to go out and speak for people who have no voice (like babies in the womb), please look up your local vigil and go pray. If you can't go, fast and pray at home. If you're not a baby person, just fast and pray for this election. God is needed, no matter what the outcome (thankfully He is also in control!)

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Voting as a Catholic

I do my best to not get into the political arena around here, mainly because it depresses me these days. Is this really the best we can do? However, since I've had a few "for whom do we vote?" recently, and just today was sent this amazing homily (ahem) I thought it was imperative to pass on.
If you've heard something similar at your church recently, consider yourself blessed. If you're looking for a debate, check the Catechism.

We are blessed.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Life is like that, full of change. I'm striving to follow St. John Bosco's advice
It's hard sometimes, as a sinner, to be that close to Him as to hear clear instruction. Sometimes it's there but lately, not so much. There is great turmoil swirling around here and it's been difficult to determine whether it's His will or something from the dark one, meant to trip me up. No change has happened, even though I know the time is now upon us.

So, we continue what we know...we learn new things, live life together, and go to places where we can be quiet and listen. This weekend that was the diocesan pilgrimage to Washington D.C. The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is my third home (you know the Divine Mercy is my favorite ;0) ) If we ever live in DC, I will be there weekly. The time spent as a family, surrounded by other pilgrims, in view of Our Lady under all of her titles, led by loved members of the clergy, it was a very special day.

A new Holy Door is never a bad thing!

Are you surprised? DH looked and shook his head in agreement. It fits...completely.

She said "yes" throughout and to the end...what a great person to emulate.

Namesake and photo bomber

She has always been with me, her counsel is perfect.

I also like this place specifically because of "angry Jesus". After looking at Him through the choral concert and Mass, I wouldn't say it is anger, exactly, more like expectation. No fluffy friend Jesus here. For a not-my-opinion, look at what Msgr. Charles Pope has to say. Mercy and Justice. I like it.
It was a wonderful, much needed family weekend. We came home tired but filled with good things. We slept in, had a nice morning together then joined other parishioners for our time slot at 40 days for life. We had a great number in attendance and that is always a good thing, filling the street with prayer for all of those who will pass by or enter later in the week. I fasted while on pilgrimage and Planned Parenthood was closed unexpectedly that day! Our God is so good and so loving. He takes the most pitiful effort and uses them all for good. All we have to do is turn to Him with our offerings, great or small, and remember that everything flows from His love. It's never, ever all about us. What a good lesson to learn.

We are blessed.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Jesus, I trust in You

Today is the feast day of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, the Polish nun who received revelations from the Lord...messages that speak of His Divine Mercy on all of us sinners who must cause Him more than a little bit of anguish in our daily lives. How grateful I am for that!
It's not a missed opportunity that today is her feast. The last few days have been filled with trial and annoyance. There are many, many things that I could spend today complaining about - life is unfair, you know? People fail to make any sort of sense sometimes (me included). It can be overwhelming.

Instead, I will quietly put myself at The Shrine and pray myself to mercy...which in this case means giving others the benefit of the doubt while trying to hear God's message in these circumstances. Does He really just wish to allow me all these trials to steel me against future, more difficult ones? Or, does He want to shake me out of my habit, to move to something more? As I said, a lot more prayer is required. That's never a bad thing.

If you would, please keep a dear friend of ours in prayer. It seems he is near his eternal reward and I wish him as little pain as possible as he passes through the veil. He has touched our lives deeply and he will be missed greatly.

Whew. As I said, it's been a bit of a week so far (and it's only Wednesday!). For something a little lighter, here are the pics from yesterday's "St. Francis pet store tour" with the kids. It's what we non-pet people do to rejoice in God's creation without having to actually care for another being. Yes, the goldfish died within 48 hours. Yes, it's a total miracle that I manage to keep these little people alive. Why is there no medal for that ;0)

yeah, no. we know how well we do with fish.

Awww, sweet Marbles. She looks just like my first cat!

G's favorite after

no birds...ever

blue lizards!


St. Faustina and St. Francis, Pray for Us! Jesus, I trust in You!

We are blessed.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Everybody wants to rule the world...

Lately, I find myself at my happiest when we're running away from home, to a place where no one knows my name or anything about my family except the judgments they make immediately upon seeing us (I understand...I do it often myself). Yesterday we drove to OH to attend the taping of Living Right with Dr. Ray

(more on that some other time) but, sigh, we're back to the regular routine today.

It's not without its glimpses of grace...the lovely woman thanking us for attending Mass, telling us how much it means for her and others to see us there. We had a nice Adoration at the Oratory as well, they have an hour of family-friendly time each Monday, but I had to laugh (quietly out's OK there!) when in the midst of pouring out my trials to Him, listening patiently in the Eucharist, a car waited for the light outside, windows down, radio blaring...

Welcome to your life
There's no turning back
Even while we sleep
We will find You acting on your best behavior
Turn your back on mother nature
Everybody wants to rule the world

It's my own desire
It's my own remorse
Help me to decide
Help me make the most Of freedom and of pleasure
Nothing ever lasts forever
Everybody wants to rule the world

There's a room where the light won't find you
Holding hands while the walls come tumbling down
When they do, I'll be right behind you
So glad we've almost made it
So sad they had to fade it
Everybody wants to rule the world

I can't stand this indecision
Married with a lack of vision
Everybody wants to rule the world

Say that you'll never, never, never, need it
One headline, why believe it?
Everybody wants to rule the world
Who knew the Holy Spirit liked my kind of music? LOL...seriously. "indecision married with a lack of vision"? Oh, my heavens, yes. Save me...I'm just trying to find a quiet place to pray and work in my small way to continue the Church. I have no interest in ruling the world. I have enough trouble with my tiny kingdom.

Is it November yet? (not because of the election either...)