Wednesday, June 25, 2008

St. John the Baptist

Yesterday, as I said my morning prayer, I was thinking about the fact that it was the solemnity of the Birth of St. John the Baptist and also it was 6 months until Christmas Eve. It was hard to think about Christmas when it was a beautiful summer's day with bright blue skies and everything green and lush. I was remembering that I read somewhere that St. Augustine had written about the significance of St. John's birth being in summer and our dear Lord's being in winter. I knew long ago about the appropriateness of our Lord's birth being celebrated in December. It's just days after the winter solstice. The darkest day is now past and the light is increasing each day; just as Christ's birth brought light into the world.
But what I just read recently is that St. John the Baptist's birth is significant for its date too. It occurs just after the summer solstice and already the days are beginning to shorten in length. St. John is remembered as saying "I must decrease, and He must increase".
Each of us must learn St. John's let our dear Lord increase in us, and let ourselves decrease. It doesn't mean that we lose our own personality; it means that we become the best person we were meant to be. We all have a role to play.
I always love thinking about that light when I witness a baptism. When the person is baptized their baptismal candle is lit from the Easter candle. With each baptism, the light of Christ in the world increases. We must strive to keep our little part of that light shining brightly...

A blessed Wednesday to all....

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Feeling Better

I'm feeling better the last few days.....the weather has been beautiful; my darlin' husband took the boys on a three day campout so I had a break; and things have seemed better.
A little gift from our dear Lord....

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Battling Depression

Lots of little things have gone wrong for me this week.
Part of the problem is that I'm battling another bout of depression. I've been noticing a pattern of getting depressed in May, June, and July the last few years. Absolutely baffling to me. I should be happy...summertime and no school (well, this year I'm still doing school unfortunately which definitely is making things worse.) It can't be the seasonal light thing because the amount of light is highest this time of year. I don't get it. But it seems to keep happening. I told myself that it wasn't going to happen this year. I started my exercising and it does help once I do it. But it's happened anyway.
The worst time is the morning. I don't want to get up and I don't want to do anything. But I've been forcing myself to do it. I've been forcing myself to exercise and then going to Mass everyday is motivation. If I didn't have daily Mass in my routine and if I didn't think that going was important, it would be very easy for me to fall even farther into the depression. My faith has been vital in keeping me going.
Thursday morning I got up in a really down mood. I just wanted a day to myself. I could understand in those moments why some women are tempted to leave home. (Don't worry, I won't!) But I just didn't want any of the responsibilities any more. Of course, at the moment when I was feeling really angry about everything going on around here, the phone rings and it's my elderly aunt. She wanted to know if I would take her to the eye doctor sometime soon. Of course, I had to be pleasant and tell her I would. One of those little moments when I wonder if the dear Lord is looking at me and laughing a little. Just when I'm feeling like I don't want anyone bothering me, He dumps something else on me.
After noon Mass, one of my friends calls me and is very upset because she discovered bedbugs in her sons' bedroom. I can't blame her for being upset but I ended up not getting much done all afternoon because she called me several times asking me questions and for my advice and I ended up spending a lot of time online looking up information on bedbugs. Nasty little things....
Thursday night we went to the Reds' game with our churchhome group and we did have a pleasant time. They played well and won and the thunderstorms which had been predicted held off, but this little edge of sadness still was with me.
Yesterday, I got up again in my depressed mood and forced myself to do my morning routine. After noon Mass, someone told me something that at the time I didn't realize they wanted to keep confidential and in my excitement, I told someone else. It dawned on me later, that knowing this person's personality, they probably wanted to keep it a secret a bit longer and I felt really bad. (It was good news I shared, not bad news or gossip). I called the person to apologize and they were gracious about it, but I still felt bad. The rest of my day was spent doing schoolwork with the boys and household chores. Last night, Mark and I went to Adoration which is always helpful.
This morning I woke up early because I wanted to go to 8:30 Mass. Usually I get up and go to this Mass alone and I love it. I was looking forward to it because I wanted to go alone and stay for a while afterwards and pray in the church all alone. (Do you notice how that "alone" word keeps popping up here?) Of course, this is the morning that Mark decides to get up and go with me. Normally, I wouldn't mind at all, but today I really wanted to go alone. I would have laughed if I hadn't felt so annoyed. I had to remind myself of all the women who would love to have their husband get up and go to Mass with them. It helped some...
Now Michael is gone for the day working for my two nephews. Mark took Beth to a soccer game in Louisville. I'm home alone with John. Not too bad....I figure we will go out together to eat lunch and then I'll take him with me to Adoration at a local parish for a little while since I couldn't stay and pray this morning after Mass. It won't be quite the same, but it doesn't sound too bad.
I have reflected in the last few days about how my faith keeps me going when I'm suffering through the little bouts of depression. I don't know how people who don't have faith find the strength to keep going.
I'm still feeling down, but I know I will get better and getting out does help. So I'm hopeful, and grateful for my faith.
A blessed weekend to all....

Thursday, June 12, 2008


When I was the mother of young children, I always thought that it would get easier to be a mother as they grew older. I thought about the fact that I wouldn't have the intense physical care that you have with young children and that is definitely true, though I do still have to do their laundry, and make the meals, and take the boys to their activities. In my case, I also have to deal with all the schooling. Sometimes just trying to keep them motivated to do the things they need to do is overwhelming. However, now Beth requires much less from me in that way and that part is easier....
But emotionally, these last few years have been the most draining of my life. Having to deal with adolescents and young adults that you love intensely can be very tiring. You want the best for can see pitfalls that they're heading want so much to save them from their own mistakes, but you know you can only do so much. I have made mistakes with Beth because of my intense love and my desire to see her be faith-filled, and now I have learned that I need to step back. I have to let her make her own decisions no matter how they may grieve me and all I can do is pray, pray, pray, and be available to listen to her and give advice when she asks for it. There are still basic house rules she has to follow, but these are actually few. Things such as having to go to Mass on Sunday (we have no problems with her in that way), a few weekly chores (in her case, cleaning two of the bathrooms which takes her about 30 minutes) and common courtesies such as letting me know if she's going to be home for dinner and a basic idea of where she's going to be. Though truthfully, there are many times I have no clue where she is. But I see attitudes and activities that she chooses to pursue and other things that make me wonder sometimes if I went wrong somewhere. But I feel in my heart that I have done the best I've known how and that I have to put her and the boys into God's hands. He loves them even more than I do...
I think it is even more difficult for us homeschool moms to let go in these situations. I know that I have had more control over my children's day-to-day lives than the parents I know who send their children to school. Admittedly, it is difficult to let go of that control, but I have learned how with Beth and I am hopeful that things will go much smoother with the boys in that way.
Beth has never struggled academically, but both of the boys do, especially John, and I find myself wondering what they are going to do after high school and the time is coming closer and closer. I keep telling myself that our dear Lord has a marvelous plan for their lives, but I find myself wondering if He could just let me in on it so that I could have a little peace of mind. But no, of course, that is not possible and I know that I have to trust. Sometimes, easier said than done.
I have to say that nothing in my earlier life prepared me for the intensity of my maternal love for my children. Even the love I have for Mark, strong as it is, is different from this intense, protective maternal love. In these last twenty years, I have a greater appreciation for the love my mother bears for me and my siblings, and I understand better the hurts some of us have caused her. It's one reason why I spend so much time with her and my dad....I can understand how much she loves our company and our concern and care for her.
Perhaps not all mothers are like me.....but I can't help but think that many are.
I realize that this will never will follow me until I reach the next life. I pray that my dear children will not cause me too much grief; I've seen many friends and relatives who have had to endure much sorrow and grief because of their children's choices. But I pray even more for their eternal salvation and that I may offer up any grief they cause me for their benefit.
When I was suffering through infertility and longing for a baby, I used to think of motherhood in terms of having sweet little babies and young children who bring such joy, and of being the center of their little worlds, but I realize those years go way too quickly and the reality of motherhood is a bit different....they still can bring that joy but other possibilities are there too.

All can be little lessons on the road to holiness.

A blessed night to all....

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Yes, I Am Alive

I know I've been a terrible blogger recently but life has been so crazy that I haven't been online much. From Friday night to Monday morning, we were home only long enough to sleep, eat breakfast, and take our morning showers, literally! We were more tired after the weekend then before it started.....
It is times like this that make me realize how how much energy it takes to blog and to pray....I've been so tired at the end of the day that both have been a struggle and the praying has won out over the blogging and unfortunately, just doing nothing or going to sleep has won out over the praying sometimes.
I think I still have two or three people who check in on me regularly....thank you!

I hope everyone is having a blessed evening...