Friday, July 26, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Broken

It's that time again.
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

Five Minute Friday

Today's word: Broken

I have been thinking about broken a lot lately. You see, having 6 children has left a lot of "things" that I use to cherish (and some that I still do) break over the years. The glass globe my son made while in Germany, the glass on the curio cabinet that was my grandmothers...  some things replaceable and some not.

When I was a younger parent (less experienced) I would get angry and shout and scream. But as I have grown older (and I hope wiser) I have learned that those things that have been broken are just that, things. The words I have used in the past when things get broken do much more damage to the children God has put in my hands to care for and to protect.

I am not perfect and there are times when I still raise my voice, those days when I let the stress get to me... but I am more conscience of it now, the hurt that I inflict on little hearts. And when I look into the face of a child I've scorned, it does make me sad and it breaks something much more precious then my favorite coffee cup... it breaks the spirit of my little one, and in turn, my heart.

Fortunately I have also learned that with God's help and His word, I can find words to repair my little ones spirit. When that is sufficient, God then mends my broken heart.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Joy Dare: 3 Gifts Understated

I found a beautiful page and blog that has inspired me. And even though I am a procrastinator and didn't find it until a while ago AND still have not done much with it besides look it over, today's joy dare was just too perfect to ignore. SO... I am going to take some time and be thankful for all God has given me.
First things first, here is a link to the page:
A Holy Experience
Her name is Ann Voskamp and she has done a tremendous job of setting up a way for you to easily count 1000 blessings in a year. Even as much as a procrastinator as I am there is no way for me to skip it...

Monday's gifts 3 Gifts understated (or 3 gifts often taken for granted.)

The gift of breath and breathing. It's an automatic response of the body to breathe, we don't have to think about it for the most part. But there are days when it becomes your best friend BECAUSE there is a reason to take notice of the act of breathing...
         That moment when you look at the spouse you've been with for 27 years and for no real reason in particular he takes your breath away.
          The sigh of a child when they sleep and a smile curls their lips.
          The gasp between the moment you see your little one stumble and the moment they pick themselves back up without so much as a whimper.
          When an unexpected blast of cold touches your face on a cold winter day and you breath in the sting of it into your lungs, and you feel refreshed.


The gift of quiet. In today's world it's rare. Loved by some, Hated by others. I crave quiet, with 7 people in the house almost all the time I don't get much of it, but in the early morning or late at night I sit in the quiet of the day and listen only to the sound of the first gift listed, my breathing.

The gift of noise. The noise that drives me nuts is also the  noise that quantifies my blessings, the noise of children working, playing, squabbling, laughing, talking, singing, banging, and all sorts of other noises possible by little ones. The gift of the noise that tells me my life is full, complete, and will be for a very long time to come.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Emma and the Rolly Pollies

This is my baby girl, cute as a bug isn't she? "Take my picture momma." then pose after pose... what a ham.

Yesterday I went to the lake to take some things forgotten by my boys. When I got home baby girl had a surprise for me, in a cup she had captured her favorite creature in the world... 6 rolly pollies.


She wanted to show me each one so she dumped them out on her hand, but they quickly decided to go opposite directions and ended up on the sidewalk.


She then decided to herd them. It was much like hearding cats... "come here buddy, over this way little fella".

When I thought I had convinced her to put them in the grass I went inside, she soon followed with all of her new friends in tow. Except one, then when she turned around I realized that maybe the attraction isn't just a one way street with Emma and the rolly pollies, the missing one was crawling up her back.

My girls are a neat mix of tomboy and girly girl. I love that they can all get dirty in the mud, play with the bugs and still love to dress up and get all "pretty". They have their very own sense of fashion at times as you can see, but they do love dresses and dressing up.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Belong

It's that time again.
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

Five Minute Friday

Today's word: Belong

Where do I belong? Who do we belong with? Who belongs with us? Which group do we belong in?
We all ask these questions, either in our words or our actions. We find places we belong, then discover we really don't. Groups of people that we hang with, then find we have outgrown them, or they us.
In grade school they call it "best friends", in highschool they call it "clicks", as we grow up they are organizations and clubs...

Here is the kicker, in the end we have a few places where we really do belong. The first is family, yes we might have differences, we might have disagreements but family is always family. Some families are given to us at birth, and others we are chosen to be part of. We have the family we are born into (or adopted into) and then we have the family we choose to start, with our spouse and even children. We always belong with/to family,  even when we choose not to participate in that family.

And then there is God. And like family we have a place in Him, with Him. And we can choose to ignore it, or not believe, but our attitude towards the idea of God, the faith, or the religion does not change the fact that we belong. God created us, He loves more perfectly and more unconditionally then we can imagine. We can choose not to participate or even acknowledge, but still we have a place with Him a place where we belong. No matter what we do, all we need is to seek Him and ask forgiveness and grace. God's Love is never ending, it does not wane, it does not grow cold or weak.

In my own life I have discovered that when I seek my place with God, this is when I am the happiest, the most content, and the strongest. And that seeps into the rest of my family and friends as well. My own well being effects all those around me, just as those around me effect me. And the positive is much stronger than the negative, so if we charge our lives with the positive, with the belonging, that we can find in God, it really can make everyone's better.

Deuteronomy 4:29
But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Job 8:5-6
But if you will look to God and plead with the Almighty, if you are pure and upright, even now he will rouse himself on your behalf and restore you to your rightful place.
Psalm 9:10
Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.

Mark 9:41
For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.

Romans 14:8
If we live, we live to the Lord: if we die, we die to the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Colossians 3:15
and let the peace which Christ gives settle all questionings in your hearts, to which peace indeed you were called as belonging to His one Body; and be thankful

Friday, July 12, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Present

It's that time again.
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

Five Minute Friday

Today's word: Present

I have written this 4 times today. Yes I know that is cheating. Sorry, maybe however you will forgive me once I've cheated again and taken extra time to explain.

1st draft was to explain that I am proud of my self for finally seeking to be more present with my children, yet embarrassed that it has taken me so long and that I am not doing as well as I should with all I know.

2nd draft was to explain that I had an epiphany while writing the first that in doing so very late at night with a big day already I was sabotaging my own efforts.

3rd draft was to go further and explain that I know that to a good job I need to expand my own thoughts to not only include my children (which has already given me much joy) but to wife and homeschooing  teacher, and house keeper as well. That is a big plate to fill, and almost an oxymoron to the idea of  'be present'.

But you see, we are called to a vocation, those of us who have faith and those of us who do not it's all the same we are called to a vocation something we are to do to make a better mark on the world then when we came. Yes, that is mostly a religious term, sorry. I am trying to fulfill my 5 min. obligation here... but even those who are not religious often feel pulled to do better, make better, and leave the world with something positive added to it.

To that end I also believe we have ruined a lot of good things. Bear with me...

We have gone from gathering the food we could find, to planting it in one place so we could set roots, to now going to a grocery store to conveniently picking it up... that is my example but it goes so much deeper into our apparent inability to be present with our families and children...

You see parents use to make toys with and for their children to teach them skills and keep them busy working at something with a purpose. Parents use to make sure that their children were busy in mind and body so as to keep them out of the more serious trouble that was possible.

Then we became "better" and started to buy dolls that had beautiful hair and clothes already with them, they looked perfectly like babies. But what did we loose? We lost the art of sewing and making something out of rags and scraps. Fathers use to make toys with their young sons out of wood, and then they started to buy them. And the boys lost the art of making something with their own hands. But more important our children are loosing the ability to use their imagination. It took imagination for little girls to see a rag doll and play with it as if it were a baby, it took imagination for a young boy to imagine the block of wood and see a horse and make it run and jump.

Now we have baby dolls that do everything from cry to poop to breastfeed... not kidding that is the newest gimmick coming out. We have horses so lifelike and mechanical that our children can sit on them and even take a ride around the room. And what has happened with their imaginations? They use the imagination they have left to find ways to get out of their homework, and chores and work. So they can sit around and play with idiot boxes and watch stupid cartoons that teach them more ways to get out of doing homework and chores and work.

If I had the means, especially in this political mess we are in, I would go to the mountains and go back to a simpler life. It would force more presence that is for sure. But I don't have the means, so now thanks to so much more contemplation and the lessons I have learned in the bit of changing I have already done, I have made the decision to be even more present in all I am called to do.  And in doing that things must become more simple. We are too busy... too plugged in... too stimulated.  Am I too late? No, it's never too late. Especially because another revaluation came to me as I worried about this post.

Even with all that I have failed at, I have also succeeded. My children are good kids, my oldest a fantastic young man. I have a good and loving marriage, and even though there will always be ways in which I can improve and therefore be much more present, I am satisfied that I have been more present then I have given myself credit for.

Ok 13 minutes... sorry. But I just could not cut out being present in this post at this moment in time.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Morning People

Thankful for this beautiful reminder of Gods love for me.

I use to be a morning person. Now, after years of being a morning person and 6 children,I am no longer a morning person. It probably does not help that I gave up coffee either.  There are times when I MUST get up early, like Sunday, when I got up at 4:30 am to take my husband to the airport for a short business trip. I was up off and on all night, I was tired, I did not want to wake up, but I did and on my way home God reminded me once again that He loves me.  Just look at this beautiful sunrise, and this picture that I snapped exactly at the right moment so as to get a heart amidst the trees.

Morning is my favorite time of day, still, even when I don't want to be up. It's quiet, the work has yet to begin and it is a good time to pray. It is a good time to plan. It is a good time to reflect. It is a good time to just remind myself of what it is I am put here for, and what my "job" is.

The problem comes when the day gets busy. And I get lazy, not just in body but in spirit, and I forget how precious my job is. You see, God has placed 6 children in my care. I am commanded to teach them in the ways they must go. I am to care for all their needs, yet also discipline them to be part of the Christian (and specifically) the Catholic family to which I have promised them upon their baptism. It's my job to filter out the junk of the world.

I don't always fulfill my duties to perfection, but I am so incredibly proud of my children. Not in a boasting way of being proud, but in all of their accomplishments of who they are becoming as people. From the oldest to the youngest, God gave these children to me in exactly the right order, they have exactly the temperament I needed or had the ability to deal with at the time.

At the same time God also has giving me a husband that has put up with more than others would. In that fact we have grown together, and become stronger. I learn from him, we learn from each other. And we work things out. Yes, we argue. But we have something that overcomes all of the hard times and the petty bickering. You might be expecting me to say "love", and we have plenty of that too, but the one thing that glues us together is commitment. To each other and to our family. And it only works because BOTH of us have this commitment. 

I may not be a perfect mother, nor a perfect wife and we may not always be a perfect family but as the saying goes... we are perfect for each other and I thank God for early mornings and the quiet time to reflect and the openness of heart to see in those moments, the messages he has just for me.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Beautiful

It's that time again, if you'd like to join in on 5 minute Friday's just follow the link and jump on in. It's fun, easy and interesting to see what everyone else does.
Five Minute Friday

Today's word is: Beautiful

Butterflies dancing just outside the reach of a little child.
Evening sunset with shades of purples, blues, oranges and reds.
Afghans crocheted with love wrapped around you on a cold winter night.
Unconditional love.
Tiny feet taking their first wobbly steps with arms outstretched.
Icicles sparkling in the morning sun.
Fall in the mountains with the Aspens in full color.
Unwaivering faith. 
Lightening streaking across a black sky lighting up a freshly washed landscape. 

So many days we focus on the ugly or frustrating. Take time out of every day to find the beauty all around you. It can be found in the smallest of things, and it really does take less time. Find three things you are grateful for today and make your life more positive and beautiful.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Five Minute Friday: In between

It's that time again, if you'd like to join in on 5 minute Friday's just follow the link and jump on in. It's fun, easy and interesting to see what everyone else does.
Five Minute Friday

Friday's word was: In between
Occasionally I find myself in between late and very late and why the heck did you even show up late... still this was a good day to go through this exercise.

In between light and dark.
In between anger and joy.
In between one child and another.
In between feeling too young and being too old.
In between organized and chaotic.
In between living my faith and drowning in temptation and weakness.
In between my desires and the expectations of  others.
In between a rock and a hard place.
In between birth and death.
In between knowing what is right and doing what is right.
In between absolute fear and absolute faith.
In between unconditional love and  undeniable frustration.
In between one activity and another.
In between one good nights sleep and sleepless nights.
In between loving myself and hating things I've done.
In between knowing who I am, and wondering who I am supposed to be.
In between my selfishness and selflessness.
In between knowing I am doing a good job and knowing I am not.
In between being humble and having more ego then 10 people combined.
In between grateful and spoiled.
In between educated and uneducated.
In between rested and exhausted.
In between trusting and gullible.
In between kind and cruel.
In between forgiving and holding a grudge.
In between steadfast prayer and unending worry.
In between ...
In between ...

Most of my days are spent in between. At the end of my days, I truly hope that I am remembered for having lived closer to the good then to the bad and that my children might learn to live better than I have. And that when  that time comes I find myself between God my Father and His Son.