Sunday, March 29, 2009

Trying to Survive in the River of Death

Another week has gone by....
I haven't updated because, frankly, Thursday and Friday I was so depressed that anything I would have written would have been whiny. The depression was prompted mostly by my deplorable hormones but aggravated by the circumstances of my life and the craziness of this world we're all living in.
On Monday, I attended the funeral of someone from Presentation Ministries, the lay ministry we're involved in...always a reminder that we must always be ready.
Wednesday, Mark told me about one of his coworker's 4 year old son dying suddenly in emergency surgery. He hadn't been feeling well for a few days and when they took him to the doctor, they ran some tests and found a rare kidney disorder. They tried dialysis which didn't help like they hoped. He had some type of surgery and died during it. The father was so distraught when he called to tell his boss about it, that the boss couldn't understand everything he said. Heartbreaking....
We also found out this week that a friend lost his job. He and his wife have five young children that they are trying to homeschool. Their 6 year old son fell and broke his femur, which resulted in surgery and a long recovery ahead. We're not sure what their insurance status is but we do know that the husband and wife are having marital difficulties. Things are not fun at their house these days.

The hormones resulted in me crying at the drop of a hat....Friday night I was literally crying when we went to bed. I was crying to poor Mark that I was scared.
All week long, I've had this picture in my mind....
I'm standing in a river and the water is rushing past me....I'm trying to hold on to my children.....trying to keep them from being swept away. I am overwhelmed with praying and hoping that they will stand in the water on their own....I'm afraid I will lose.
The dear Lord has entrusted me to try to raise these three dear souls for His kingdom. He has also given me a spiritual son to pray for and try to mother. Sometimes I feel as if everything is working against me. They don't always seem to understand the dangers I'm trying to teach them about; I'm so afraid I will fail in my task....

Today I woke up feeling a bit better...the hormones must be beginning to calm down. We went to 11 AM Mass. Beth and Steve were with us and I was glad because Father had an excellent homily....he was on fire.
He started out by talking about today's Gospel..."I am troubled now. Yet, what should I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour." He said to us that Jesus had free will and that He could have chosen to escape this hour. But He suffered through it for us, He suffered the now, to bring us eternal life. Then Father went on to say that we need to be willing to suffer now in order to gain eternal life. We have to think of that, not what we want to enjoy at this moment. He said we have to be willing to be martyred.
He talked about the Notre Dame scandal and how the president of Notre Dame is choosing for the prestige of this moment and is causing scandal to the country and is risking his eternity. He spoke about Cardinal Egan and his recent comments about the need "to rethink priestly celibacy" and how he is risking his eternity for the "now". He spoke about the Catholic politicians, the bishops, and the clergy who are causing scandal with their beliefs and actions, leading people astray, and risking their eternity. He went on to talk about how we need to be willing to bypass the pleasure of the "now" and suffer for the sake of our eternities. He spoke about living together in sin and artificial conception and how people are risking their souls for the pleasure of "now". He spoke about how people say that the Church "needs to get with the times" when the reality is that the times need to get with the Church.
He was awesome...
An image that he used was related to the one I've had in my mind all week. He said that our culture and society are a river of death and that we need to swim against this current; this river of death. Gave me chills to hear him say it when that was the same basic thought I had had in my mind all week.
After Mass, I spoke to a friend and told her how I had had that image in my mind all week of trying to hold onto my children in the river's current and she added that another problem is that as we're standing there trying to hold onto them, that the reality is that sometimes our feet give way and we move in the current with true! I have caught myself in the last few years letting myself give in on something that I shouldn't have and I've been so unhappy with myself....things that I have tried to convince myself were not that bad, but in reality are part of that slippery slope. It is so, so difficult in this culture. Especially when people who we respect are giving in on some things with their children and our children are using them as an example. None of us are perfect and sometimes we can all misjudge.
So Father fired me up to keep fighting the fight. I know I have to keep in mind that I am not in this fight alone. Our dear Lord is right here with me, even if I don't always feel His presence. He loves me and He loves my children even more than I do. I am not alone.
I must keep a prayer, His name, always on my lips, always on my mind.

A blessed Sunday to all.....

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Beautiful spring...

It was a beautiful weekend here...very springlike. In fact my 88 year old father was out plowing the garden today. Every fall he says that he's not going to garden next year and every spring the planting bug bites him and he is out in the garden. I will be so sad the year it doesn't happen....

Mark painted our bathroom ceiling and prepared the walls for painting. Then he began work on stripping the wallpaper in our kitchen. He knew that he had to begin it....I just couldn't bear to start tearing off the paper. It's been on the walls for 19 years, but I still like it...I'm not tired of it. But I know it has to come is getting dirty and torn and it looks old. It's definitely going to be a long, slow job, but I know that it will look nice when we're finished with it all. I'm still trying to decide what color to paint it.

Less time on the internet has definitely resulted in more schoolwork and housework finished and I like it. I'm definitely going to have to stick to this routine when Lent is over. I keep telling myself that when it's summertime and I'm only doing minimum school, I will be able to get lots of little projects finished. I'm just hoping that my summer blues don't strike this year....they have the last several summers and it's been difficult to get what I want accomplished. I'm going to make more effort to work through it if it happens again.

I've been thinking a lot about time....the Lord is putting it on my heart in a big way lately. It's so easy to fall into the thought that our time is our own. I have to keep reminding myself that every moment of my life is a gift to me from God and I want to use it the way He wills me to use it...that is what will give me the most peace. I have definitely felt a difference about it on the days that I have strived to use it to the best. What quiet joy and blessed satisfaction it brings!

I hope you all have had a peaceful, holy Sunday....filled with His wondrous grace....

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

I'm back again....

Wow... I haven't updated in ten days....I have never gone that long. I have been spending less time on the internet and it is helping me to accomplish more, but I do miss updating. By the time I'm finished with everything and have time to get on here, I end up reading things and not posting. I'm forcing myself tonight.

The singing at Mass last week went very well. We were a hit! They want us to do it more often...the music director already is plotting to have us sing together at the Christmas Mass. I must admit that it felt so different to not be in a pew for Mass...I almost felt as if I had missed it. My sister says that that feeling will wear off the more often I do it.

We have begun to have some spring weather. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and 70 degrees...makes it difficult to do school, but we manage because I'm determined to get it finished!
I've had a whole new appreciation lately for the setting of our home. When I had the shower for Will's sister several weeks ago, I overheard several of the women who had never been to my home before, comment on the great views out our windows. I guess it's one of those things that I've grown up with and am used to, and it gave me a whole new appreciation for the blessing it is to be able to live on the family farm. I'll have to take some pictures soon and show you all...

I'm also getting ready to start doing some painting and redecorating in our kitchen and master bath. We did our bedroom two years ago, but have never finished our bathroom, so it is next on the list. Mark and I went out and bought paint tonight and I also picked up some paint chip samples to pick a color to paint our kitchen. We haven't done anything to our kitchen since we first decorated it 19 years ago when we built our house. The wallpaper is beginning to be in bad shape and our vinyl floor is in terrible shape. I never dreamed when we built the house that I would be homeschooling and that we would literally spend most of our day in the kitchen. The floor under the kitchen table is especially bad, so after we take down the wallpaper and paint, we will be replacing that too. I bought new curtains for my windows and would also like to get a new counter top. I'm hoping to get it finished before we have Beth's graduation party at the end of May.

I will try to update more frequently this week....I hope and pray that all of you are having a blessed Lenten season...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Call to Prayer

Have you ever had an overwhelming urge to pray for someone?
It's happened to me twice this past week and both times when I didn't expect it.
Last Saturday, Will was in Washington DC with friends. Mark and I were at a meeting Saturday evening for our ministry leaders when I suddenly knew I needed to pray for Will. I started saying little prayers to myself and still listen to the meeting. After the meeting, we went to Paul and Denise's house and several times there, I knew I should pray again. When we arrived home shortly after midnight, I knew I needed to pray some more so Mark and I said a rosary together for him. I knew it was for some type of protection for him. Sounds crazy, I know.
Last night Beth went out with some friends rather late. In the last year or so I've grown used to this and can even go to bed while she's still out. Sometimes, I even sleep through the noise she makes coming home.
But last night was different. I was uncomfortable about her going from the moment she left. I started praying and asked Mark to pray for her too though the poor man was already in bed.
I couldn't go to sleep. I stayed up until after 1 AM, surfing the net and saying prayers. I finally was so tired that I went to bed about 1:30 and asked the dear Lord to wake me up when she came home so that I would know she was safe (or if she needed more prayers).
I woke up at 2:28 with a bad dream, and not even two minutes later, I heard her coming in the front door. What a relief! She told me that everything was fine. I can't help but think that maybe my prayers had something to do with everything being fine!
Sometimes, adult children can keep you up at nights even more than babies....

Hope you're all having a blessed Lenten Friday....

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Singing practice

We had our practice for Sunday's Mass this evening and it went pretty well. We just have to keep my brother Bill from making us laugh all through Mass on Sunday. He had us in stitches whenever we took a breather tonight.
He'll behave on Sunday, though. We actually sounded pretty good considering we haven't really sung together in over 30 years. We grew up mother was always singing and all five of us could sing too. We would sing while we were doing the dishes and other chores. There was always music in our house growing up...
Greg, our music director, is having us do a little harmonizing on two of the songs that we'll be singing during Communion and our spouses told us that we did a good job so we'll see what Sunday brings.
Afterwards, we went out to dinner together which is something we haven't done in a long made for a very pleasant evening.
Off now to say my evening prayers and rosary.....may our dear Lord bless your evening with His peace....

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lent so far....

My Lenten discipline has been going well. I have managed to follow my rules on being on the internet less time and I can really see the difference in what I've been getting accomplished. I've been able to get school finished everyday plus some extra housework. My Saturday didn't go like I planned but I went to the funeral of the mother of one of my fellow homeschooling moms, so I don't consider it a wasted day.
This week is one of those when I have something going on every evening. Tomorrow I have music practice at church with my siblings. All five of us are going to be singing together at 8:30 Mass on Sunday morning...the first time we've ever done anything like this. My sister has been cantoring at Mass for years and has told our music director that all five of us can sing, so he has been itching to have all of us sing together and they finally talked all of us into it. So tomorrow night we practice and Sunday is our big debut. We haven't sung together in years so I don't know how it will go, but I don't think we're going to do much harmonizing to begin with. If this goes well, maybe we can work on doing more at another Mass down the road. I am a bit nervous about it. My parents are excited about it...even my dad is going to come to Mass on Sunday (and he's not even Catholic).
Thursday night is the Lenten Soup Night at our parish so I have to make soup for that, do school, go to confession (it's our day before First Friday) and go to the soup night. It's also my usual night for Adoration. Friday night we have a family pancake breakfast at Mark's sister's house. Sunday afternoon I have a baby shower to attend.

I don't know how much I'll be writing on here in the weeks to come; I've really been struggling with writers' block. I just started my fifth year of blogging and I sometimes think I've run out of things to say. Maybe I just need to give it some time.

My heart is longing for spring..

I hope all of you are having a good blessed Lenten season....