Friday, April 20, 2018

Distracted


Notes from Adoration April 19, 2018 6:30-9pm

I opened in prayers of thanksgiving and praise. Personal and friends intentions followed. One hour was dedicated to my parents celebrating 40 years of marriage, for their marriage, their needs, and intentions they hold in their hearts.
The first thought that entered my mind was the song, You Raise Me Up as sung by Josh Groban. I always knew the chorus, but never paid attention to the first verse until now. Jesus speaks to me, and in a clear, strong voice he let me know I needed to attend perpetual adoration and that there I would find healing for my sorrows.

Song: YOU RAISE ME UP by Josh Groban (https://youtu.be/cXtcc5mgKTA)
When I am down, and, oh, my soul, so weary
When troubles come, and my heart burdened be
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence
Until you come and sit awhile with me
You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
I am strong when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be
Then my heart seemed to slow and I internally sang
Down in Adoration bowing.... though my feeble senses fail.
ME: Help me to see you in my everyday. Help me to see the world through your eye, Jesus. Holy Spirit give me the words to speak so that they hear you. There are so many distractions. Help me filter them out to the things that are necessary - good - holy.
You told me six months ago (when our 5yo son died) to come talk to you specifically in "Perpetual Adoration," quite adamantly. I have come before. I am here, excitedly awaiting to hear you again. In the still of the night.
(Gazing upon the monstrance) Even the truest believers have doubted your presence. Jesus, I trust in you.
A blank slate, a fresh start. I'd like that. A new beginning, that "new normal" they talk about. Each day i can have that. But it's me, not you, that won't let go of the failures of my past. You've forgiven me of my shortcomings and errors and sin. You are almighty and all merciful. Why do I struggle so much to offer that to myself?
Again I'm reminded of what Eddie said to me in an Awakening after his passing:
Everyone needs to forgive themselves.

JESUS: (He speaks to me in a continuous thought, where my mind is blank except for the words I write down. Invoking the Holy Spirit, I know these words to be solely His and not my thoughts.)

I roar like a Lion, but am not heard.
I stand before you, but you do not kneel.
My face looks lovingly upon you, but you do not feel my love.
You are deaf, you are blind, you are prideful, you are lost.
How can you see what I see, unless you are:
Still and listen;
Kneel before your Maker;
Search for me in your life;
Open your eyes to my grace;
Know that I love you.
You are mine, my child. How could I not love you? 
You understand the heart of a parent. As you grow older in wisdom, you begin to understand what your parents did, taught, said. So too you will come to understand me and my ways, as you grow in wisdom. Your experiences are all for good if you seek me in them.

  BE MY WITNESS in the darkness that overshadows. DO WHATEVER IS NECESSARY. Do not linger in this world, for it has NOTHING to offer you. Time is not to be wasted on the oppressive mechanisms the world offers you in abundance. [In order to judge if it's worthy of your time]:
1. Is it worthy of MY time?
2. Where am I, your God, in it?
3. Can anything be reconciled [in my name] there?
4. Is it for the Greater Good?
5. Are they listening, or passing by?

  Great is my love for you! Don't hesitate to share it. But be weary of the snares and devices that draw you into darkness and cloud your mind. It inhibits you from meeting your potential. You can offer so much more... in my name... in this time.


ME: How can I show them?
JESUS: Be. Live. Love. Adore. Witness in all aspects of your life. Be who THEY NEED, not what you want to give. Witness Christianity in its fullness.


ME: What about Catholicism?
JESUS: It's a tool, a means, a way. A way to seek out grace. It fulfills what I had spoken and shared with my friends. It is meant for ALL.  But only a few will come. Even fewer will understand. Because what they seek is not what it offers.
ME: What do you offer in your Church?
JESUS: 
Grace - to heal, to love, to live. 
Being - a place to be greater than yourself. 
Plot - I have a story to tell. 
Mystery - you won't understand it all. 
Fervent - prayer unending 
Witness - to my love for you in the passion. 
Trinity - SomeONE who cares greatly about His child.
ME: Thank you so much for this wisdom. I hope that I can honor you and be worthy of such a gift. I am trying, I know I fail daily to meet my potential. I ask for the grace to be the woman you need me to be. I feel your love around me. It is as if what matters in life has changed. I want to bring others with me, hand in hand. But they are not all on this same path. Do I bring them here, go there, or reach and stretch?
JESUS: YOU BUILD BRIDGES. With understanding where they are. They will come when they are ready.
I DO NOT ASK THAT YOU PULL. I ASK THAT YOU SHOW THE WAY.
ME: Yes Lord, I hear you! You amaze me still, and I want to come to your more often. You impart so much wisdom. You roar, you speak, you love. Help me to spread your words and love. I am a simple servant. Make my life worthy of your grace.
(A moment of silence, followed by angelic tongue I have spoken in the spirit before, but am never able to understand or interpret. I simply wrote down to the best of my ability the words I heard.)

Dona nobis pacem En ora pro nobis mater inglesia por tu en la dadicio frerat. Las Laertes nuero quartes empartica soon fuerve. Con cartes las fuentes offer mercio.


ME: Is it you, Lord God, with who I am speaking? (I went on to doodle in silence an image of the monstrance. I felt confused that I would be given words that I could not understand. I figured I'd give it an online search later, and hope it was more than gibberish.)


JESUS: I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, BUT YOU ARE NOT ALWAYS WITH ME.

(I am very humbled by this.)


ME: I want to soak in words written by others, but your words in the Bible must come first. Guide me, Father, to the message you have just for me. Impart on me your wisdom.

(At first, my bookmark drew my page to open at Psalm 33. At the top of the page I have written "God Sees Me.")

PSALM 33
4-5 For the Lord's word is upright. All his works are trustworthy. He loves justice and right. The earth is full of the mercy of the Lord. (TRUST GOD)
10-11 The Lord foils the plan of nations, frustrates the designs of peoples. But the plan of the Lord stands forever, the designs of his heart through all generations. (HE HAS A PLAN)
14-15 From his dwelling place he surveys all who dwell on earth. The one who fashioned together their hearts is the one who knows all their works. ( HE SEES US. WHAT WE DO MATTERS.)
20-22 ...He is our help and sheild. May your Mercy, Lord, be upon us as we put our hope in you. (TRUST THAT HE WILL HELP YOU)

(I was then drawn to the book of Jonah.)


JONAH 2: 8-10
When I became faint, I remembered the Lord. My prayer came to you in your holy temple. Those who worship worthless idols abandon their hope for mercy. But I, with thankful voice, will sacrifice to you. What i have vowed I will pay. Deliverance is from the Lord.

(There was a reference in this scripture to look to Psalm 50.)


PSALM 50:14-15
Offer praise as your sacrifice to God; fulfill your vows to the Most High. Then call on me on the day of distress; I will rescue you, and you shall honor me.

ME: It is truly amazing what you have to offer us: Your word; your mercy; your love; your self. Thank you, God.


SONG: LET ME BE YOUR SERVANT by David Haas  (https://youtu.be/MYpH3y4608E)

Will you let me be your servant
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I might have the grace
To let you be my servant too
We are pilgrims on the journey
We are travelers on the road
We are here to help each other
Walk the mile and bear the load


I will hold the Christ light for you
In the night time of your fear
I will hold my hand out to you
Speak the the peace you long to hear.


 I will weep when you are weeping
When you laugh, I'll laugh with you
I will share your joy and sorrow
Till we've seen this journey through

Will you let me be your servant
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I might have the grace
To let you be my servant too

SONG: YAHWEH I KNOW YOU ARE NEAR by Dan Schutte (https://youtu.be/_Uge74xLmg0)

(I have the image on this music video on my wall, that I put up after our son died. It has brought me great comfort.)

Yahweh, I know you are near,
standing always at my side.
You guard me from the foe,
and you lead me in ways everlasting.

Lord, you have searched my heart,
and you know when I sit and when I stand.
Your hand is upon me protecting me from death,
keeping me from harm.

Where can I run from Your love?
If I climb to the heavens You are there;
If I fly to the sunrise or sail beyond the sea,
still I'd find You there.

You know my heart and its ways,
you who formed me before I was born
in the secret of darkness before I saw the sun
in my mother's womb.

Marvelous to me are Your works;
how profound are Your thoughts, my Lord.
Even if I could count them, they number as the stars,
You would still be there.


**Then I read awhile from a book about meeting our loved ones in Heaven. Shortly after I went home. After working putting my uncertain words into google translate and searching the meaning of words I thought were just gibberish, I came to the conclusion that this is the translation of what was spoken to me in angelic language (speaking in tongues.)

Grant us peace.

We will pray for your mother church, for your deliverance as promised ironclad. The Gatherer of The People's new quarters empathize, soon favor. With plan. The Source (or The Fountain) offers thanks.

Overall I find it rather profound that the messages, passages and foreign words given to me in this couple hours of Adoration have revealed to me a theme unknown to me until after I had reviewed it later. I believe it is this:


When we are weary in sorrow, we cannot heal on our own. We NEED Adoration (time spent in the presence of God), where He will reveal to us how to heal. We are a distracted people, especially by man-made devices. He loves us profoundly, but we do not hear nor see him, because of these distractions we allow. All experiences that are hard in our lives, we tend to use these devices as an escape from reality. But He is saying that it is those experiences that will reveal to us our purpose. We need to make a choice to turn away from the distractions that hold us back from our potential. Do whatever is necessary. Then, we need to find the tools that strengthen us and make us a better disciple of Christ. We need to be a witness to this change so others can reach their potential. We need to be what the world so desperately needs, and not just what we want to offer it. The Catholic Church is a tool that offers grace to meet our potential, but so often people are searching for other pleasures or distractions, they cannot see the good he offers in His Church. How do we draw people to His Church? By building bridges, not by force nor by instilling fear or guilt. Show them the way, lead by example, and invite them gently. God is always with us, guiding us through His Holy Spirit. All goodness within us, believers or not, comes from God. We need to learn to Trust Him and His plan. The actions we take matter to Him, and He will help us meet our potential. Hope and Mercy lie in the sacrifices we make, including getting rid of the idols/distractions/devices in our lives that are not worthy. Your sacrifices praise and honor God. Be His servant, and he will take the journey with you. He is always near you. Are you always with God? All of Heaven prays for us that we will be delivered from this world as promised. He feels our suffering, and He has a plan. The Source of all that is good offers His thanks for spending this time with Him.


***

You can read more of my experiences on my personal journey with God on this Growing in Grace blog. I offer many Catholic family resources on my blog Homegrown Catholics. I also witness about our homeschooling journey at my St Brigid's Academy blog. If you find inspiration through Facebook like I do, you can follow me at www.facebook.com/HomegrownCatholics/

Monday, May 16, 2016

Is it Vanity or Grace

 
While looking for a Bible verse for a completely different thought, I came upon this reading that touches on the pursuit of happiness in this life. It helped me answer: What is a gift from God and What is vanity? It all comes down the decision to live a life consumed in discipleship, or a life lived for ourselves. Which will you choose?

In pleasing God, we find grace, but if we displease Him we find ourselves laboring for others. Yes, there is work to be done to live, but how we do it and our reasons why determine its fruits.

 Ecclesiastes 2:22-26
   "For what profit comes to mortals from all the toil and anxiety of heart with which ...they toil under the sun? Every day sorrow and grief are their occupation; even at night their hearts are not at rest. This also is vanity.
   There is nothing better for mortals than to eat and drink and provide themselves with good things from their toil. Even this, I saw, is from the hand of God. For who can eat or drink apart from God? For to the one who pleases God, he gives wisdom and knowledge and joy; but to the one who displeases, God gives the task of gathering possessions for the one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a chase after wind."


I have been pondering this awhile, while I groom my home with draperies and gardens. Where is the point where you deny yourself comforts? Where do simple pleasures become vanities? How can we determine if our happiness is fruits of grace from our hard work and good deeds? The answers have been given so beautifully in the Bible - Seek and you shall find!

Matthew 16:24-27
"Then Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.'"

 
“The soul is torn apart in a painful condition as long as it prefers the eternal because of its Truth but does not discard the temporal because of familiarity.”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions    


Mark 12:41-44 The Widow's Offering
He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums.  A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny.  Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury.  For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”



Have you been chosen to work for the Lord in any aspect of your life? What are we owed for our works and laboring? Nothing. God owes humanity nothing - yet he freely gives us the gifts of grace, mercy and love. Grace saves us and blesses us, but is given to those who have faith AND live a life exemplifying that faith with good works.

Genesis 3:16-19 Punishment of Adam and Eve
  To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”
  And to the man he said,“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree bout which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
 
Ephesians 2:1-10 By Grace you are Saved!
  You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient.  All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else.  But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us  even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved — and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,  so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God—  not the result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.
 
James 2:14-26 Faith AND Deeds
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says,“Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.



What can be our reward, if not in this life?

Matthew 5:1-12 The Beatitudes
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him.  Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Not everyone catches on and becomes a Christian or Disciple right away. What of them? Is there hope for the stragglers?

Matthew 20:1-16 The Laborers in the Vineyard
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.   After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace;  and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went.  When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same.  And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’  They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ 
  When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’  When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you.  Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
 

What if I'm not ready to give up my treasures, my pleasures, my vanity?
 
 What is Vanity?
"Or vainglory, an inordinate desire to manifest one's own excellence. It differs from pride, which is the uncontrolled esrie for self-esteem, in that vanity primarily seeks to show others what a person has or has achieved. A vain person looks for praise from others and may go to great lengths to obtain it. More commonly, vanity is associated with an exaggerated importance attached to multiple details, especially external appearances, which in no way contain the value attributed to them. It is ostentation in fashion, wealth, or power regarded as an occasion of empty pride. thus where pride, though sinful, may have some foundation in fact for whatever one prides oneself on being or having done, vanity is the idle effort to obtain recognition or respect for what a person does not have a rightful claim to. Vanity is attributed to shams, which lack substance and are deceitful (like human praise); or to things without solidity and permanence (such as physical beauty); or to means that fail in their purpose (such as vaunting one's own reputation). It is an inflated pride and, as such, is venially sinful. " - by Catholic Culture
It is desirable to attribute all success to the Glory of God!

Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.


Is there anything in your life that holds you down?
Does it put your family into deep debt?
Does it place a fa├žade over who you really are?
Can you live without it?
Does it prevent you from being charitable or available to others?
Will it help you become the person God wants you to be?

Ephesisans 5:15-17
Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise,  making the most of the time, because the days are evil.  So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

In conclusion, vanity is when we need our possessions and pride in order to live. Vanity seeks to make tangible things gods - which is against God's commandments. It consumes our days, taking us away from Godly tasks and holy relationships. We'd  be willing to sin or make life difficult to have these things.  Vanity can destroy our path to holiness! However, grace is finding the beauty in our humility, our blessings, our sacrifices, and ourselves. Grace is a gift given to us that opens our eyes to see as God sees. With grace, the things we possess enhance our livelihood and God's creation. Grace is forgiving, fruitful, and selfless. Who wouldn't want grace!?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

My Grace is Sufficient


I was printing some favorite artwork to hang in my hallway to brighten it up. Artwork by others I loved but knew I didn't have time to recreate myself. I pieced together a favorite image I found online with one of my favorite Bible verses that inspires this Blog - Growing in Grace. Thought you might like to see the final piece.

 
It's nice to have inspirational quotes around the house. I can just pause in the hallway, stare from my toilet, ponder from my sewing chair. What do you have around your house that you reflect on or are inspired by whenever you see it? I also love our family's saint and holy people statues scattered around the house to remind us that others have suffered through this Christian life and persevered knowing what was ahead - Heaven!

Katie Daisy is the artist responsible for this background. I just loved the bright colors to make this a bold piece in what became my hallway art. Examples of her gorgeous artwork found HERE. I hope someday to recreate this with my own artistry. She's certainly an inspiration!

May the grace of God surround you and overwhelm you today!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Conviction and Grace

No one is perfect. I do not strive for perfection, rather I am daily compelled to achieve sainthood. To me, this means that I do my best to know, love and serve God each day. I offer my days, my trials and my achievements - my life - to Him. In my youth, I was more of a spontaneous person, which got me ahead in ways and in trouble at other times. As I approach this middle part of my life, I'm getting better at having actions that are well thought out. Spontaneity is reserved for playing with my children and the adventures we have together. I am consumed with wanting to be a more mature, responsible adult that is respected in my community. I do surround myself with like-minded people, and we encourage each other as we go. It's when I put myself in the public eye that I am faced with ridicule and questioning. So why do I put myself out there? Because it is on my heart that God has called me to evangelize. Maybe not to become a missionary or activist, but a gentle example in word, deed and action. Starting with my family. He has called me to be ready to Lead when the Spirit moves me, and to teach my children to do the same. I think we are all meant for greatness, but with a humble heart that lets others see it is God working through me - and not of myself. That is what I think this sainthood is about.

CS Lewis - Let God Shine through you

"Don't shine so that others can see you.

Shine so that through you, others can see [God.]"  - C.S. Lewis

 

This little baby inside me is such another mystery. This is my 7th pregnancy to make it this far, now at 23 weeks. Our 6 children are very excited to welcome a baby boy next spring. We too are so delighted to think about what joy this child will bring to our family! Each child has astounded us with their beautiful personalities and talents that continue to blossom. My husband and I are curious to God's plan in all this that seems so crazy at first, but we trust Him - that He's made this possible and will give us the Grace we need to support our family. Support financially, spiritually, and physically. We have come to realize that our lives are not about us and our achievements. Our grand purpose in life is to help our children become amazing saints for God.

 

Many friends and family have helped us out this past month with prayer, encouragement and some donations. We're doing everything we can to be humble and worthy of their charity and kindness. We are making sure that from this moment forward we are examples of Christ's love in this world, true Catholics living by the teachings we know and studying to get better at it, as well as being responsible with ALL our actions. What miracles and graces that have come into our lives. We've also seen the spirit of true friendship in it all. Often times being physically poor can make you feel so rich in countless ways! Then when we are better off physically, we can be the miracle in someone else's life! What a gift!!!

God can use your life, broken or whole!

Miracles 1Peter 5:10

Currently we have been focusing on spending time with our children, family and friends. It's the holidays. But we are also focusing on self discipline, money management and physical health. The children are looking to us as an example. We've been a little relaxed in a way that has made parenting more challenging than it needs to be. So after years of trial and error, I think we finally found a method of reward and discipline that works for us. We've realized how we need to react to and teach each child to help them form their souls and personhood. We're more attentive, "slow to anger - rich in kindness." We're being more open with them about our finances, talking to them about responsible spending and what charity means in our life right now. We're looking for opportunities to share our talents and time in volunteering and donations.

Then, in respect for our bodies being a Temple of the Holy Spirit, we are focusing on eating healthier. This will improve our energy, moods and in part financial responsibility. We're starting off the New Year with doing a Whole 30 before resuming our Paleo nutrition plan. Then it's almost time to get the seedlings ready for our garden. We're trying for smarter not harder version of gardening!  We're already off to a good start after consulting our doctor on ways to cut back the pounds. Pinteresting many ideas. Reading up on NFP methods and ways to improve my imbalances. I can truly envision a healthier family in 2015!

Overall I feel confident that we are making the right choices. If we mess up, somehow God will redirect us back on our paths. Many times we've learned that what seems like a mistake or challenge can be turned into something beautiful and meaningful.

 

***

Ephesians 3:14-21 (NASB)

"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,  from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen."

***

 

While we are very well supported in our life by family and friends, there will always be that anonymous commenter or acquaintance who thinks they know better for us. To them I say - hush yourselves! If you do not talk to us on at least a monthly basis… real, face-to-face (or phone), open conversations without censoring… you don't know enough to comment so negatively or judge so harshly. I appreciate you taking the time to comment, but many times your words are just fluttering opinions of the secular world that mean nothing to us. Those who really know us or live a similar way, understand our convictions and that our actions and thoughts are in most cases properly supported by spiritual advisors and church teaching, and well thought out from experience, prayer and study.

I do my best every day to learn more about God's will for me and all Catholics. I do my best every day to make sure that everything I do is an offering to God, because this life is His, not mine. This blog is my place to share that journey with others. To share my knowledge, my frustrations, my convictions with those who are in a similar place.

If you are frustrated by my life, because it's not where you're at - you are not obligated to comment or read my blogs. It's okay to just move on. If you actually know us, you are welcome to open the discussion in person and not hide behind your computer anonymity. But if for some reason you are compelled by my statements to learn more about the "whys" of my comments/decisions… ask away! I'd be happy to share resources and thoughts.

 

 

PriorityFaith

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Having More Babies

Just a quick note for my little crowd of readers, I'm Pregnant!

Yup, this will be pregnancy #9 (lost 2), my 7th cesearean, and the 7th one to tear apart our house someday. Lets just say that despite our best efforts to avoid pregnancy, I didn't account for my breast milk supplements running out for the reason I had dry signs. I thought I was clearly in phase 3. NOPE, it was peak day.

Oh well, we've had plenty of time to process our worries, fears, concerns, excitement, and the fact I was only 5 1/2 months post partum when it happened. Our youngest will be 14 months old when the baby is born. But it turns out the kids had been praying for another. So sweet.

This is our recent ultrasound and all is well with baby and mama.


What do I make of this? God has a plan.

Do I like his plan? Not all the time, but I trust it.

Do I like being pregnant? Usually.

Do I like trying to avoid using NFP? Nope. Most don't.

What do I think about having 7 kids? We live in a zoo, what's one more monkey?

Will I consider other means of contraception after this baby is born? No way, Jose.

Why not? Because God has taught us through the Church, that it is sinful, selfish, against our marriage vows... and because it is poisonous for your body and your marriage.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

NOTICE

Children are a gift from God. Motherhood is a vocation.

God never gives you more than you can handle. His grace is enough.

God knows better. He knows what he's doing. He doesn't make mistakes.

 

If this is so, than what God has gifted me with is just as He intended and He will give me the grace to fulfill His will.

 

Breastfeeding Molly

 

Can I have such confidence in this, when every day I wake up tired and dreading the work to be done? Or is it me, that in dreading it, that has not accepted the gifts He's given? Can I work myself into a state of dragging myself to bed late each night after a day of cleaning and caring for my family, and still be grateful? Yes.

 

I've grown bitter towards the life I asked for. How dare I scoff at God for what He must consider to be the greatest of blessings…

 

I see a messy house… He sees a lovely home.

I see piles upon piles of laundry… He sees that my children are clothed and playful.

I see lawn mowing, weeding, staining, repairs… He sees land to roam on, flowers blooming, and handiwork.

I hear children whining… He hears children begging for time with their parents.

I hear about our debts… He hears that we are providing the best we can.

I hear silence between me and my spouse… He hears our prayers of thanks for each other.

I feel tired and worn… He feels that I've been busy living and need to let go of unnecessary worry.

I feel lonely… He feels sad that I've forgotten He's always there and gave me a family and friends to lean on.

I feel unappreciated… He feels the same.

 

So when I look back on my day of sorrows and woe, stresses and chaos, debts and chores… I must consider what the Lord sees, hears and feels about my day and PRAISE HIM for it. Why? Because He gave me another day.

 

Another day to see, hear, feel and act differently.

Another day to be grateful that we are fed, clothed and sheltered.

Another day to be grateful for a yard to relax and play in.

Another day to be grateful for a home that memories are made in.

Another day to be grateful for my children and spouse who keep me company, love me and need my talents and love to make this day special for them too.

Another day to offer up my hardships and sufferings to save lost souls.

Another day to know, love and serve God better in all that I have, all that I am and all that I do.

 

I am so blessed, if I'd only notice.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Family Centered SIXTH Cesarean

It was out of our humanity that we conceived a child,

but it was from our faith in God and cherishing all life

that she was born.

Growing In Grace: 23w2d

 

An eighth pregnancy was definitely a surprise. But as before, we knew it would be a good one.

 

I knew I'd get bigger, when I was already big.

Growing In Grace: in my tummy wk38

 

I knew my youngest wouldn't be my baby anymore.

Growing in Grace: Little HandsGrowing in Grace: Last night as my baby

 

I knew we'd be maxing out our suburban.

Growing in Grace: Fully Loaded Suburban

 

And I knew it would mean more diapers, more food, and more self help books.

Modest Mommies: Cloth Diapering SetupMichalek Kitchen: Making freezer meals

Growing in Grace: Nighstand reading

 

But when I packed up our children for Grandma

Growing in Grace: Going to Grandmas

Packed my bags

Growing in Grace: Hospital Bags

And hitched a ride to the Hospital

Growing in Grace: Hospital Prep

We knew that everything was going to go wonderfully.

Growing in Grace: 6 Cesarean Delivery

As she was placed upon my chest and began to nurse.

Growing in Grace: Family Centered Cesarean

And my baby and my husband got to be there - the whole time.

Growing in Grace: Happiest Moment

 

She's beautifully perfect.

Growing in Grace: M 2 days old hatGrowing in Grace: M 2 days old

Just like the others.

Growing in Grace: Family Visits

Things went so well, we couldn't wait to bring her home, so we left earlier than ever before.

Modest Mommies: Infant Carseat going home

 

It's been challenging at home, but everyone has had their chance to hold and love her.

Homegrown Catholics: Saint Patricks Day

Growing in Grace: Big Sister

Growing in Grace: New big brother

Growing in Grace: The Girls 2014

Growing in Grace: Biggest BrotherGrowing in Grace: Big Brothers

 

It is NOT easy to be a mother of many children. But I love them, and I am glad that God called me to be a mother to such delightful young souls. It's not about me and what I want for my life. Most likely, it's about them and who they will become and the lives they'll touch. God has a plan for each and every one, even if I didn't plan any of them. Who am I to mess with God's plan!?

Growing in Grace: Mommy Selfie

God is good!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Family Centered Cesarean Planning

Edward is Born
We are so excited!
  A Family Centered Cesarean is the result of my search for the best, most natural c-section delivery I can possibly have. Thus far my doctor is on board and we're very excited for these little but marvelous changes. The main difference with this repeat cesarean is that I will be allowed to see the birth, hold my baby to my chest immediately and keep her with me during recovery. Minimal separation.

Here is the ICAN post about it:

And this is the inspiring video featuring the God-send of a midwife who made it possible.

This is a sample of the birth plan I handed over to my doctor. Most things already happen, but it's all laid out and my bolded sentences are my top priorities. Feel free to copy it!
BIRTH PLAN
During Surgery
  • No antacid prior to surgery. I will take 2 Prilosec the night before.
  • Put IV in my non-dominant arm, Not hand.
  • Get my husband in the surgery room asap.
  • I’d like a non-drowsy, anti-nausea med if possible (Zofran)
  • No sedatives after birth. I want to remember my baby’s first day of life.
  • Monitors on me to be placed on my back instead of chest to make room for baby.
  • I'm keeping my placenta (for encapsulation)
Baby
  • Please lower the screen just before delivery so I may see the birth of our baby.
  • Slow delivery allowing physiological autoresuscitation, similar to vaginal birth for clearing lungs.
  • If possible, allow the cord to continue pulsing after the birth so Baby may start breathing on her own while still attached to the placenta. About a 2 min delay.
  • Please allow for skin-to-skin contact immediately after delivery and evaluate Baby on my chest.
  • Keep cord long for daddy to cut while baby is in my arms.
  • No Eye Gel, No Hep. B vaccine. No circumcision. I will sign the waiver ahead of time.
Recovery
  • Once back in our room to recover and been checked as stable, we would like to be alone with Baby to nurse.
  • We would like to keep Baby with us at all times. If Baby must go to the NICU due to medical reasons, my husband will follow. My husband or I will accompany the baby for any out of room checkups.
  • I am willing to be up and walking as soon as possible
  • I would like my Catheter out early the morning after surgery
  • I would like to eat and have the IV removed as soon as possible after surgery
  • I will be nursing on demand and whenever Baby is fussy to help stimulate my milk to come in and to soothe Baby. No pacifiers or supplementing without my permission.


A PACKING LIST for a Cesarean Delivery
Sabrinas Here
Mom:
Robe, Nursing PJs, Slippers, Nursing Bra
Nursing Cover, Nursing Bracelet
Pillow with fun, identifiable pillowcase
Personal Hygiene and Makeup (teeth, hair, face, body)
Opt nursing pillow
Going home clothes (think comfy, stretchy)
Eye glasses & case/wipes

Great Dad - Tom
Dad:
PJs & pillow
Snacks/Drinks, cash for food
Camera, Phone, Contact List

Edward is Born
Baby:
(In same suitcase or diaper bag)
First photo and/or going home outfit
Pacifiers
Blanket, hat, etc
Car Seat (cover)

Edward is Born
Misc:
Ipod, CDs, DVDs, Books/Reader, Camera
Gum/Mints
Tape to hang cards/drawings
Opt Hobby - crochet/knit
Visitor Gifts, sibling gifts
Edward is Born