Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Millionaire Monks - share the wealth!

Despite vows of poverty, they’re millionaire monks

Bernard McCoy is the worst-paid CEO in the country. His business makes millions in profits per year selling ink and toner online, but his annual pay is ... zero.

(click here to read more)

Click here to shop at the monk's store: LaserMonks

God Bless!

H/T: What does the prayer really say? - voted best Catholic Blog of 2008!

40 Days for Life!

I am joining in on the prayer partnership of 40 Days for Life. A worldwide mission of prayer and action to fight for the lives of the unborn. It is also a calling to pray for prosperity of all life from conception to natural death.

40 Days for Life Blog: Add it to your google reader! Follow along with their efforts and view the daily devotionals.

40 Days for Life website: everything you want to know about this mission.

God Bless!

My First Hero!

A girl's first hero is usually her daddy. Well, I'll try not to exaggerate, but I think my dad is my hero not just because he is the best dad ever... :) but for all who he is and wants to be. My parents are already saints in my mind. So my way of sharing the wisdom of such a Godly Man was to create a blog page dedicated to his homilies, humor and daily thoughts. Because he's been endowed with such beautiful words of wisdom, and he always knows the right thing to say to make me think a little harder or smile a little bigger - it's a shame not to share.

Here is a peice of his homily from last Sunday that actually recieved applause. That doesn't happen at his church much. Read and find out why...

Homily by: Deacon Bruce Maltzen
September 21, 2008
25th Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A

I used to work at a job where I managed about 15 software and electrical engineers. It was my job not only to oversee their work, but also to determine their pay raises each year. I worked hard at being equitable, making sure that each person was paid according to their competence, quality, amount of work and number of years of experience. I tried to be equitable. I graphed out each person on a pay scale and then tried to determine from their effort and quality where they belonged on the scale in comparison with each other. If they were worked harder, smarter and more diligently than someone else more highly paid, I attempted (within the limits placed on me by the company) to make it more equitable, giving more to the harder worker and a little less raise to the one who wasn’t working up to the level I felt they could. I was trying to be just in the area of pay.

Needless to say when I read [today's] Gospel, I feel a little worried for the ones who started work in the morning and got paid the same as the one who only worked one hour. It didn’t seem to make sense in my terms of equitable pay for equal work. Actually I thought that if this guy kept this up, he’d go broke as most people would wait for work at the last hour, now expecting to get paid the same amount as those who worked all day.

But then I started to ask, just what is God trying to teach us here. He can’t possible mean that we should pay everybody the same no matter how much they work? Could he? There has to be something much more to this than that.

(Click here to read more)

It's not about religion, it's a matter of life!

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states (No 2271):

“Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.
Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law”.

My dad talks more about the Pro-Life cause within this homily. Please take a moment to read it, and any of his other homilies I've gathered on a blog for just for him. Add him to your google reader, and gain a "Wealth of Wisdom!"

The website for your reference is: Http://DeaconBruce.blogspot.com

Friday, September 26, 2008

Another Ah-ha moment between me and God.

I've just joined a handful of Catholic Mothers who are studying God's word using incredible study guides. The current guide is "Courageous Love" written by Stacy Mitch. It is certainly an eye opener, especially with this first week's "Holiness 101" lesson. I have always been on the path to holiness, straying just a few times when I was entering adulthood. Growing up I had always been the girl who tagged along with my parents to their Bible Study meetings, Deaconate Classes, and other adult activities, since I was a mellow and only child at the time.

This new study group is the first one I've ever attended without my parents. I am very excited entering these new activities in my life as a grown woman and mother. Now that I am nearing 29 years of age, I am finally "making headway" as my mother always says! It used to drive me nuts when she'd say it, but now it's been the catch phrase of my adult life.

>>So onto the book...

Holiness 101: I feel as if I really want to serve God wholly because that is what our full purpse is in life. I do not however feel called to a life of complete "poverty," such as are the lives of missionaries, priests/sisters, and the Apostles of Christ. We reviewed many readings about conversion and giving up your worldly possessions. Well, I thought my vocation as a wife and mother was highly regarded by God. So what can I do in this vocation to be in a state of "reasonable" poverty and humility?

My resolution at this point was to be holy in the best way I know how.
Concerns: How much do I give up? Was this written in the Bible for all or can it be adjusted for the laity? How can I accomplish my personal goals and the ones set for me by God?
Fears: That in my fragile mental state it may seem like too much.
Dreams: Of a life of elated beauty seen best by God, and to all be an example of simple motherhood dedicated to God in every practical way.

God, I love you. Be with me and let your light in me shine brightly. Show me the way. Amen.

>>So take this wonderful thought process and combine it with a half hour of Adoration while int he State of Grace, and imagine the possiblities! These are my notes from that time...

"Serenity now, Lord!" (Serenity is my favorite thing to pray for. It encaptures all that I hope to have.)

God, Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
Courage to change the things I can.
And the Wisdom to know the difference!

Lord, I offer you my entire being. I can't seem to get anything accomplished without you. It's your approval that I seek. Let me set aside my prodefulness and be pleasing to you. What is it you want from me? I need that wisdom to know the difference between what I need to do, and what I want to do, and other distractions.

Words brough to my head from a quote often read on a plaque at my mom's (something like this):
"The subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul..."
"Stop waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
Plant your own garden and [tend it]."

I took a deep breath here. I had just been talking to Jamie about wanting romance in my marriage, hoping for flowers and the Mr. Darcy kind of guy.

Ah-ha: This is what you have for me...
It's not the romance I desire, in the recieving of a flower.
I've been plainting my own garden, trying to grow my own flowers to satisfy.
But I haven't been tending (weeding) it like I should.
I cannot see the romance in my life, because it is smoothered with weeds (sin, greed, etc)

So, okay God. I need to tend the garden of my soul. I need to continue to plant NEW seeds (study my faith) and weed out the bad things that keep me from seeing the way God is trying to romance me. He alone can fill my needs and desires. Hidden in that garden is the means by which I can see my own beauty; hidden there is the wisdom I lack.

>>Tangent: I always feel my home needs to be organized. Maybe it's because inside I am so confused and disorganized!?
What do I do Lord?

He said to me:
Homeschool, housekeep, love your spouse, worship God, be prayerful, be vigilant in your works. Focus on those things along. Tend that garden. Stop trying to dig another one, when this one needs tending!

>>This seems to be the cycle in my life. I tend to start a new thing without finishing the other [million] things I have already begun.

Why do I do this? I ask.

Searching for fullfillment. Hoping to find it in the next thing.
>>Oh crap, he got me there.
So where is it, this garden? Where is this self-satisfying place?
IT's withing this garden, the one I've already started in this vocation as mother and wife. It's here I will be satisfied and romanced. "Here" is MY FAMILY!
It's somewhere amidst the simplicity or [AH-HA] the "poverty" of living simply. The poverty I was so afraid of earlier, was not so complicated after all. And why should it be? He says to me,

"Do the tast at hand, and you will be fulfilled and satisfied."

Oh, thank you Lord for this answer! I must go now and tend my garden - tend to the needs of my family.

>>My hand started to flow so quickly, I wished I knew shorthand...

"The time will come again when I will need you for bigger and more complicated things. So you must 'Stay alert and sober' [as we read in the bible today] and be ready for when I come again for you. It will come as a whisper in the night. Not hauntingly, but more lingering in your ear so you cannot brush it away."

God WILL call. But for now, I must tend those precious flowers growing at home, they who depend on me to nourish them, care for them, and guide them to our Lord.

Thank you for taking the time to read God's words of Wisdom to me. I just love his beautiful way of speaking to me in prayer. I started out by telling him in adoration that I only had 30 minutes. I didn't watch the clock, but my writing ceased at exactly 30 minutes later.

Yes, God speaks to me. And he can speak to you to,
if you're still enough and listen with an open and willing heart.
He has so much to say to you.

God Bless!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Get outta bed!

Powerful Women's Motto:

"Live your life in such a way that
when your feet hit the floor in the morning,
satan shudders & says...
'Oh sh*t..........she's awake!!!"

So the next time you get up out of bed,
do it with purpose and live your life like you mean it!

HT: Catholic Fire

Learning to Sacrifice Week 6: I have God's Word

This week is the first meeting of our Catholic Women's Book Club. We are going to be studying the bible using the Courageous Love book. It looks wonderful, but I let them know ahead of time - I am not a reader. I have never really enjoyed reading, and rarely finish a book no matter how interesting it is. So this ought to be quite the feat if I get through it all.

What I am proposing to myself is to give up any nighttime TV I may be tempted to watch, and read this book and the Bible instead. I am not guaranteeing anything, but I am putting my remote down, and picking up something that is much more enriching. Who knows what graces God will pour down on me this time?

I may not have God's Word, as in a promise that He'll keep me focused and allow me the time to read. But I will have God's Word, in the palm of my hand for whenever I am ready to read it.

God Bless!

"I hope you are not giving of your surplus....you must give what costs you, make a sacrifice, go without something you like, that your gift may have value before God; then you will be truly brothers to the poor who are deprived of even the things they need..."

-Blessed Mother Teresa speaking to a group of rich businessmen

H/T Mrs L

Friday, September 19, 2008

An American Carol

Got his one from Catholic Fire. I hope this one comes to our area - looks like a good laugh in an election year! It's a spoof on The Christmas Carol.

God Bless!

McCain-Palin in Minnesota Today

This link has some great video footage of McCain and Palin talking to us Minnesotans today in Blaine, MN. My parents and brother went to see them in person since it's near them, and she said the enthusiasm was so high and LOUD! No signing or time to meet them, but a great rally for the republicans.

The one thing that struck me in Palin's speech was when she said that Obama is the instigator in all this Deomcratic yelling and "getting in our face" stuff. I was appauled at all the crap I got on my comment on You Tube just because I was republican. I had to block all the emails because they got so thick and disturbing.

God Bless!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tragedy Strikes!

For those of you who watch/read the news today - my husband is okay. He works at the Monticello Nuclear Power Plant where there was a tragic accident today. Please keep this man's family in your prayers, as they seek consolation. May they have a deep rooted faith to still the shaking of their souls.

WCCO Ch4 Article
Star Tribune Article
KSTP Ch5 News
Kare11 News

Reading more online, I find another person just died on Hwy 15 near our home being hit by a windmill a truck was hualing. Could have been someone coming home from work, perhaps someone I know. Two more in a car accident in Detroit Lakes. And a bicyclist was injured in a hit and run - all today! On top of that, thousands died from wars and abortions as you may have seen on Totus Tuus's blog yesterday.

This is why I hate watching the news! So much death and sorrow. It's simply "shocking," excuse the pun. Sometimes this is why "ignorance is bliss."

Grateful to have my family!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Learning to Sacrifice Week 5: Offer It Up

Anytime this week I feel crabby, irritable or whatever bad mood I am in - I am going to offer it up in prayer for the many people who are burdened with depression. That they may find relief in their day. This is how I plan to make a bad thing good.
Another week survived by the many Graces of God!
God Bless!

I know I should be in bed but...

I know I should be in bed, but I just got a chance to create my school week plan, and thought I'd send a happy hello to all of you!

I had a really bad day today, as many of you may have read. Thanks Paula for offering an open ear. I was able to pull through it thanks to the help of a dear friend, Jamie. She came right over to my house just after reading my blog, whisked me out the door with all the kids and we went for a walk. On this feast of Our Lady of Sorrows - a woman with more sorrows than I can ever imagine - Jamie started us on a one decade of the Sorrowful Mystery of the Agony in the Garden. She said it seemed appropriate since I felt like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. Then she invited my entire family over for a delicious breakfast supper, loaded up with french toast, fresh fruit, hashbrowns, ham, and eggs made to order. I couldn't believe it! It was simply wonderful. Thank you Jamie! You made my day!

I've had a lot of time to calm down and rethink my day. The reason I didn't call Jamie in the first place is because I've been through some very bad friendships - and it's hard for me to just ask for help because I don't want to burden anyone, and I didn't want her to burn out on me like others had. But with a TRUE friendship, like the one Jamie and I have, I need to remind myself that this kind of friend is the one that is there for times like these. I told her, you can't bail me out every month when I have this happen. She quickly replied, oh yes I can. What a woman!

So of course, I owe her big time. I learned a valuable lesson today. If you know a "bad day" is on its way, have a plan in place - and never be afraid to reach out for help. And the lesson I learned this past week is that no one and no family is perfect, so stop trying to be perfect and freaking out about it. Just be yourself and do the best you can. Even if that means taking a "sick day" once a month.

Tomorrow WILL be better, I pray. And that I must remember to do always - PRAY!

Click here to learn more about The Value of Suffering. A good reminder that I need to offer today up.

God Bless!

Good Grief!

"Good Grief!" - Charlie Brown

Well, I am not sure if I should even be posting this. Today is just a really bad day, and I am not sure if it is hormonal or not. Probably, which means it will pass in 24-48 hours. If not, this sucks big time.

1. Denial: Everything is just fine. I am just having a hormonal day.
2. Anger: I hate this life, and I blame everyone else! Why me?
3. Bargaining: Maybe it would be better if someone came to help me watch the kids, so I could get some of these things done. I swear things will get better if someone else takes care of it for me. I promise tomorrow will be better if someone can help me today.
4. Depression: Why even bother, it's hopeless because no one cares enough about me to really help anyways. Everyone else has their own busy days and lives to lead. My husband won't even come home to help, so who else would?
5. Acceptance: I never seem to reach this point completely. I basically pretend the day never happened, dreading the day when it will all come back to me.

If anyone really cares to know why:
I awoke this morning to my husband leaving as usual, but I was so tired yet restless because of the intense pain in my shoulders, back and feet. Therefore I dream, usually bad dreams. And that can set me off for a crabby morning. I didn't get out of bed until 10am, which left the kids on their own for at least an hour. I wish I had stayed in bed.

I got myself out of bed, unwillingly, took my thyroid medication, proceeded upstairs to get Sabrina ready for her day. Mikayla and Stanley had already been busy starting their own in their PJs and dress up clothes. At this point I was only crabby enough to tell the kids to stay upstairs and just get themselves dressed. I then realized I hadn't planned out this week's school days and that the messes were still around as I had left them the morning before (we visited with my parents yesterday instead of going to Tom's grandfather's 80th bday party - another story). So the messes and unfinished projects began to get to me in a very seriously irritating way. THere is so much to get done around here, it's just crazy. Lots of procrastination, and lots of days that we just decided to have family time instead of working on projects.

I went to the office upstairs with the intentions of planning the school week, binding the last yearbook, and clearing off the desks. Instead I found that Stanley had raided the office with his own curiosity - punching bad holes in the expensive copy of the yearbook that I had to give to another family and had took me a long time just to get copied. He deicded to make copies on the printer, a full sheet of black ink - probably a dollar's worth of ink wasted. Downstairs he had distributed my baby's crackers on all the placemats, and who knows what other things I have not yet discovered are waiting for me. Sure, maybe I deserve it for sleeping in. Maybe I should have been up on my wits and had locked the office door. Maybe I shouldn't have taken it so hard on him this morning with my yelling and spanking.

But I tell you, today I am just irate to the point my chest hurts, I've cried to my husband over the phone, and I would rather just lock myself in this office for the rest of the day. I'm at a complete loss of control. The kids have overtaken the house, and I could care less. School has not begun, and I could just as well send them all off to public school for those people to take care of them.


This just isn't the me I know I can be. But i HATE sucking it up day after day and pretending it doesn't bother me. Most parents would read this and think, that's not so bad, or count your blessings - it could be worse... So, even though my therapy session went incredibly well last week - she told me I had a complete turn around and she was so proud of me - but maybe after today I have to rethink going back on my Zoloft. I can't stand the thought of being on a drug, but at least my kidsa wouldn't have to suffer my "bad days" so often. What to do?

My therapist says that she can't believe what I've been through in the past 2 years, and how far I've come to manage myself. She does agree sometimes I try too hard to be normal on my own. But today, I feel like it's all gone to waste. I feel like I haven't accomplished anything worthwhile. I feel hopeless and useless. I feel fat, ugly and a complete waste of God's creation. This is truly a bad day for me, and I really don't know where to turn without burdening anyone. How does anyone make it through days like this without medication? How?

Would my children be better off with someone else? Is homeschooling worse for my kids because of days like these and how it could affect them? Or is homeschooling a good choice, since we can skip a day and get caught up later when I am better. Kind of like a sick day.

What do I do? I know not many people read this, but those who do - I certainly value their opinion. Those sain people who seem to have it all together with their crafty days, respectable kids, likeableness and richness in faith. I want that. I want the normalicy, yet it seems so far from reach. There is just too much around me that distracts me from my goals, and I have NO ONE to help me. And I wouldn't burden anyone to ask for help. I'd hate to see that look on their face when they either have to say no, or really would rather say no but say yes anyways.

And because I am one of those people who just need to DO IT MYSELF because know one else gets what I am trying to accomplish, and for some reason I can't explain it well enough - I just end up having to to it myself anyways.


Thanks for reading, if you actually did. Pray for me and my family. I just don't know what else to do. I am still sort of in that angry mode, I don't even want to pray for help myself.

PS - This is normal for me, and I've made it through so many days like this over the past 17 years or so. By the GRACE OF GOD is all I can come up with.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I Travel by Marian Express!

Most do not know the extent of my travels as a little girl.
Oh, the places I've been and the things I've seen.

My parents were very determined in the 1980s and 1990s
to visit, and take me (and sometimes my siblings) to many of the
Marian Apparition sites and places of Catholic importance around the globe,
As well as many other trips throughout the USA.
Here are just a few that I currently have pictures of - [MOM I need those pictures soon!]

Mexico - Guadelupe 1986

(What a blondie I used to be!)

Medjugorje, Yugoslavia 1987

I remember that walking stick, for some reason I was selfish about it and wouldn't share it with my great aunt who had troubles walking up that long path to the top. Hmm? But I do remember that that is where my dad, now a deacon, had his most revelant conversion into the mysteries of the Catholic faith [once a Lutheran]. And I do remember the spectacular view from above the city. Wow, I can still see it now - land that goes for miles without end and a church that stood out like a sign from God.

Schoenstatt - Sleepy Eye, MN 1987
This one is funny to me, because my daughter is now a Mary's Little Crown in the Schoenstatt Girls Club in our area. (I look like such a dork!)

We also traveled to a place in Georgia and Virginia, which I cannot remember where. We saw many miraculous things a long the way, on the sites and in our hearts. And whereever I haven't been, my parents and grandparents have been - and had given me souveniers of their travels and passed on memories so that I can still feel that this is such a "small world after all."
Where have you been?
God Bless!

What a real black man has to say...

Found this at Catholic Fire, a really great poster on what matters to Catholic mom's and parents everywhere. I like this guy below too...

God Bless!

H/T: Catholic Fire

We could all use a dose of humility.

By far one of the hardest prayers I've ever had to pray. I think everything else in my life is easier to change than this. That's why I pray it as often as I can lately.


O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved,
From the desire of being extolled,
From the desire of being honored,
From the desire of being praised,
From the desire of being preferred to others,
From the desire of being consulted,
From the desire of being approved,
From the fear of being humiliated, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised,
From the fear of suffering rebukes,
From the fear of being calumniated,
From the fear of being forgotten,
From the fear of being ridiculed,
From the fear of being wronged,
From the fear of being suspected,

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I,
That in the opinion of the world, others may increase, and I may decrease,
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
That others may be praised and I unnoticed,
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
That others may become holier than I,
provided that I may become as holy as I should.

- Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val

God Bless!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A day I'll never forget.

I will never forget they day I heard on the radio at work that one of our nation's landmarks had been destroyed along with thousands of lives. I will never forget the fear in my heart when I couldn't reach my fiance who worked at a nuclear power plant, later to find he had been told to stay put for tightening of security for a possible terroristic attack on them. I will never forget shaking in my seat, wondering if this was the start of the 3rd World War. I will never forget the endless tears my family shed that day, wondering what and who was next. Tears shed for all those who will never see their loved ones again. Distant neighbors and heroes running to their rescue. Tears shed today in remembrance of all those things and more. I will never forget the weeks and years after, still wondering what really happened and why.

Still not sure what I'm writing about? "Have you forgotten?"

I will never forget my patrotism for our country, THE USA, and those who serve it well.
I thank God so many lived to see another day.
God Bless America.
God Bless all those united with us in prayer.
God Bless all countries terrorized by others.

God Bless!

Now go to this link and try to tell me that these soldiers don't want to be where they are... I don't think so. If they enlisted, they know what they're getting themselves into, most enlisted for that very reason. Ho-rah for the US Military and all those who fight for freedom.
- Melissa, Daughter of a Vietnam Navy Veteran.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Learning to Sacrifice Week 4: Procrastinator

My sacrificing just hasn't worked out. I write one thing and do another. I believe I've spent about 80% of my day on this dang computer. I love it and hate it at the same time.

This week, I am learning to sacrifice my procrastination. I have kicked a lot of bad habits, but this one just won't budge. I swear my boots are getting bruises trying.

Why do I do this to myself, day after day, and stress myself out even more? Who knows. But one thing I know - I hate it, internally and self-consciously, I hate it. There are somethings I know will never get done, but there are tasks that must be completed asap, and right now I could care less and would rather type. I'd rather escape to this digital world I've created for myself. My family barely notices anymore. What have I done?

I guess I just got my answer.

Good night.

God Bless!

Quirks MEME

Here are the rules:
1. Link the person(s) who tagged you
2. Mention the rules on your blog
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours
4. Tag 6 fellow bloggers by linking them
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

God Bless!

My QUIRKS, thanks to A Book A Day:

#1 I can't stand people that JUST DONT GET IT. Their ignorance eats away at me for hours or longer.

2. I used to have a thing about the way pillows were arranged (thanks to mom), but now that I have kids who really could care less - my new one is the arrangement of things higher up like pictures, clocks, books, etc. If I sit down and just look around and see something off, I redecorate! Hence, a long weekend project a few days ago. I guess I sat down too long!?

3. I am a pimple poker. It was always about my own face, but since my hubby lets me for some odd reason, I do it to him too. My kids cover their face and hide when they see my hands come near their faces. (smart kids). It drives me nuts to see blemishes on others faces, but don't worry - I'll stay back. For some odd reason, it's cool when it's mine, but not other peoples. Ew! Sorry to those sqweamish folks.

4. I get stuck on an idea and it bothers me A LOT until it gets done. I have a to do list a mile long. Which is the real quirk - I write TO DO lists every day. If they get a little messy or more than two things crossed off, I rewrite it. This consumes a small portion of my day, but it helps me relax a little to know I have a backup of my thoughts.

5. It's not the being there that's hard, it's the getting there. That is the best description I have for my social anxieties. You'll never know it if you've met me, talked to me, whathaveyou. But it's definately there, just ask my hubby, who has to convince me to go to a lot of gatherings either by gladly going or going guiltily. Also working on this with my therapist.

6. Perfectionist? Not so sure that is the right word, but it is close. I like things done in a certain way, and I like things neat and tidy. If the kitchen is a mess, the whole house just looks dirty. If the whole house looks dirty, I'd rather be shopping. SO I do my best to keep things neat and clean, but let it still look a little "lived in." (right, Jamie?)

7. Okay, that lead me to a necessary 7th quirk: When I go shopping, I have the tendency to get excited about everyother thing I see. Thanks to my husband's "look" we have not purchased it all. But my other list of "Things to get" is just as long as my "Things to do" list.

Unsuspecting BLOGGERS who should try this out:
Lord, Make Me A Saint - Jamie
A Catholic Harvest - Paula
To Infinity and Beyond- Erika
Shower of Roses - Jessica
Pinewood Castle - Tracy
Living a simple life and pure faith - Christine
Aspiring Homemaker - Susan

OKay, skip this... basically everyone on the list on the right side of my blog should try this one. It really feels good - like a venting moment.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Adoration Thursday Night

As you can see from my posts, I'm struggling with my life and homeschooling. But I'm trying to buck up and take it like a mother. So tonight while in prayer at Adoration, feeling like my soul was so black maybe God couldn't reach me with his words...

He called me to pray the rosary. Mary inspired me to pray without hesitation the Joyful Mysteries. I willingly agreed and began. My daughter, only 6, requested to come with me, so I got her started and then began my own. (She did rather well, but this will not be a regular thing.)

The Joyful Mysteries for Homeschoolers (what I heard)

1. The Annunciation: Mary said yes to be the mother of God, whom she homeschooled and raised the best she could with God's Grace. I too said "yes" to being a mother and homeschooling little soldiers for Christ. So if I said "yes" to His calling for me, how can I have any doubt of my choice? So again, I say "YES." I will teach your little children to know, love and serve you - as you have asked of me.

2. The Visitation: Even Mary needed womanly companionship in her life. Someone to lift her up, and with Elizabeth pregnant also, they could share in those trials together. Homeschool and Stay at home mothers need companionship. It is in God's great design that we share our lives with each other. I am honored to have found a beautiful friend (Jamie) who shares many of my same joys and trials. Someone who lifts me up in my sad times, because she understands and prays for me - as I do for her. The visitation is about companionship, an essential part of happiness with homeschooling.

3. The Birth of Jesus: God's gifts to us are plentiful. When the school day begins, I am called to bring my gifts to my children, just as the 3 kings did. The gifts are my talents, my love and affection, my knowledge, my faith and so much more. I need to bring all that to the table each morning. Give of myself freely to my children to further enrich their lives as well as mine. What we do for them, we do for Jesus.

4. The Presentation: As parents, we need to offer our children up to the Lord. We need to be sure that their lives are lived for Christ, not to fulfill our own wants and shortcomings. We need to present ourselves to our children and be an open book to them. A living example of what they will someday become. Are we being that for them? Am I being a good example for my children? What materials are we presenting to our children - are they fully enriched in the teachings of the church? When they are presented at the gates of heaven, will God be pleased with the way we raised them and how they were taught and disciplined?

5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple: Our children will stray, it is just in their nature to do so. I need to accept that, and move on. I need to stay calm when they tune me out or have a day where they just would rather play. Isn't that what homeschooling is all about? Flexibility? Why am I having such a hard time being flexible, when that is a big part of the whole plan!? I need to be confident that the Lord has a big hand in all of this, and if I slip, if they slip, whether we mean to or not, God will bring us back on track when the time is right. And I need to remember that they are just children - and I need to refocus my attention on what is truly a necessity and what can wait for another day.

These are just some of the thoughts, probably ramblings to some of you. But I really felt through the thickness of my soul, a soul that is in desperate need of confession, God's voice wtill spoke to me. I had to be still, quiet, and just a few feet away from the Real Presence to hear Him - but I did. He called, and I answered him. Now it is up to me to take heed and start anew.

Tomorrow I feel will be a better day.

Thank the Lord!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Learning to Sacrifice Week 3: Sleep Deprevation

Very late on this one again due to the school week. Sacrificing my sleep and fun in my day seems to be the theme for me.
This week has been a lot of work for me, you know the one who has never followed a schedule in the past 7 years! The one with the kids that have never been prompted nor encouraged to wake up before 9:30am.
So this next week, I am sacrificing my late night hours and sleeping in for the greater good of my soul. I am waking up and getting to my morning prayers asap. I haven't done this in oh, about 10 years. And I am going to push for a "by 10pm" bedtime.
So lots of changes, lots of things to do, lots of moments where I feel just overwhelmed and starting to freak out a little. I don't know whether this is more work that I expected, or if this is as much work as I knew it would be. I think I'm in denial.
Occasional phases of my days:
1. Denial - "It can't be 7am already!?"
2. Anger - "Stupid alarm song. Might as well be Dawn of the Dead."
3. Bargaining - "I'll just hit snooze one more time."
4. Depression - "I just want to stay in bed forever."
5. Acceptance - "Well, I better get up because there is no use trying to sleep with a crying baby, wreckless toddler, and anxious 1st grader all awake."
1. Denial - "Since when did I become a homeschooler?"
2. Anger - "Breakfast? Just grab a cereal bar!"
3. Bargaining - "If you finish this handwriting page, you can watch Word World."
4. Depression - "Only 5 more minutes until the show is over. Agh!"
5. Acceptance - "I asked for it. I am a mother just like I always wanted to be, so this is the life I chose. Deal with it and consider yourself blessed for having the children and the choice!"
1. Denial - "It's not that late, is it?"
2. Anger - "If only I hadn't spent so much time on the phone and running errands today!"
3. Barganing -"Just read one more blog, than off to bed."
4. Depression - "But I want to read every blog and post on every one. I don't want to be left behind and never catch up. Even if that means less sleep for me."
5. Acceptance - "That's it. I am done. It's 3am and that is just rediculous. My life won't end and be meaningless if I don't read all this tonight."
Good night - or morning rather.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Vote for someone who's more than words

A few weeks ago, my daughter (now 6) and I were talking about children, and we started talking about her being the first baby of our family, me of mine, and I told her about the first children on earth. "What were their names, mommy?" "Cane and Abel," I said. She lifted her head from her lunch and confidently asked, "John McCain?"

Now I've heard a lot of old jokes about McCain, but that one tops the funny list, don't you think!? The people on the campaign trail have really thought of everything. Tonight while watching the news after Sarah Palin's wonderful and thought provoking speech, channel 5 news introduced a new tool in the GOP campaign...

The McCane:

I was so thrilled to hear the speeches tonight from Rudy Guilianni and Sarah Palin. They were direct, truthful, and given by people of distinct character. I could not help but laugh, cheer, cry and sit on the edge of my seat to hear their words. Why was it so important? Because I wanted to hear the hope of a greater country from their lips. I wanted confirmation that they have a real plan beyond the campaign - and they do!

Many of you reading are already in agreement with me. But this is certainly a way to chat amongst ourselves, and welcome others to question our reasoning - because I think we are armed and ready to answer.

As I have mentioned before, I am not a one-platform voter. I am not just a pro-life voter, even though that is my first and most promenent agenda. Life at any stage should have rights as any other human in this world. If our government cannot defend the lives of those without voices, what other rash decisions might they make?

But I am also the wife of a union worker, who's main job comes from the same nuclear power plants that Palin and McCain are fighting for. Palin and her husband are in a union family like ours, and to be union and republican is often unheard of until this campaign sprung. In fact, I was just given word by my husband that a union carpenter's committee agreed to send funds for the Norm Coleman (R) campaign, and voted to not financially support that of Al Franken! Whoa! I had to ask him twice just to be sure!

One of my favorite quotes from tonight is that while the republicans are fighting for and near victory over terrorists and the safety of our nation, the Democratic campaign is "more worried about the fact that those terrorists aren't being read their rights" when they come into our country." I just had to laugh, because even though it was said in a blunt and short way, it is really still summed up well. What are we telling our troops if an Obama presidency comes to pass, and he pulls the troops out of Iraq because "It's a lost war" when we are so close to victory? I firmly believe that would not only weaken our country military wise, but weaken the spirits of those who want to fight for our freedom. If your president and government is not behind you, than how can you truly fight with passion and purpose? Who would want to enlist under Obama's rule? I vote McCain-Palin because they understand first hand what it means to fight for a cause. They understand that we are more than just one nation fighting for the rights of our nation and our safety. The McCain-Palin campaign is one of compassion and freedom for all human life across the globe.

I am thrilled at their push for continued increase in national stability when it comes to our own fuel resources, energy resources, and seeing Green (not money, but nature). My husband has worked in close range of those nuclear power rods, and my children are only "glowing" with pride for their daddy. It is safe, it is clean, it is our best future!

I am behind them 100% when it comes to the lessening of government and bringing power to the people. Governments role was to protect life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Not to gather funding for rediculous projects and to be purely selfish in itself and it's elite members. With McCain-Palin in office, we will see a new era of our government. One that is self-less, justified, decent, and sees all life as precious - regardless of its race, country, income, or stage.

I being the daughter of a Middle Class, (black &) white collared, Roman Catholic family. I the wife of a blue collared husband, a farmer and carpenter. I the stay at home, homeschooling, prolife, small business owning, going green mother of 3 (and 2 in heaven). I am the same woman who rooted and voted every time for the BUSH administration, Sr. & Jr. - and am proud of it.

Lets all put our best foot forward, right into that voting booth - and vote McCain-Palin!

May God watch over the USA and its people.

Our Lady of America, pray for us.

A prayer for the start of our days.

This is a really good prayer for the start of our days.


Dear Lord,
I thank You for this day.
I thank You for my being able to see and to hear this morning.
I'm blessed because You are a forgiving God and an understanding God.

You have done so much for me and You keep on blessing me.
Forgive me this day for everything I have done, said or thought
that was not pleasing to you.

I ask now for Your forgiveness.
Please keep me safe from all danger and harm.

Help me to start this day with a new attitude and plenty of gratitude.
Let me make the best of each and every day to clear my mind so that I can hear You.

Please broaden my mind that I can accept all things.
Let me not whine and whimper over things I have no control over.
And give me the best response when I'm pushed beyond my limits.

I know that when I can't pray, You listen to my heart.
Continue to use me to do Your will.
Continue to bless me that I may be a blessing to others.

Keep me strong that I may help the weak...
Keep me uplifted that I may have words of encouragement for others.
I pray for those that are lost and can't find their way.

I pray for those that are misjudged and misunderstood.
I pray for those who don't know You intimately.
I pray for those that don't believe.

But I thank You that I believe that God changes people and God changes things.
I pray for my sons and daughters.
For each and every family member in their households.
I pray for peace, love and joy in their homes;
that they are out of debt and all their needs are met.

I pray that every eye that reads this
knows there is no problem, circumstance,
or situation greater than God.
Every battle is in Your hands for You to fight.

I pray that these words be received
into the hearts of every eye that sees it
in Jesus' name.
Just repeat this phrase and see how God moves!!
God I love you and I need you, come into my heart, please.
God will bless you with whatever you ask, if it is for the greater good of your sanctification. If you feel He has not answered your prayers, perhaps it wasn’t the way you expected it, perhaps it wasn’t meant to be, or perhaps it is just not time.
“Be still and know that I am God.”
In the quiet, you will hear God’s voice.