Well, it’s been quite the interesting week. Lucky for you, I had most of these ready to go ahead of time. I hope you like inspiring and soul-moving videos. I’m not in a place where I can see if they work. There are also two excellent text articles at the end. Have a great Saturday!
sparkles and rainbows - an honest look at real motherhood
Dear Son - I loved this from a friend of mine to her 11 month old baby boy.
NFP doesn’t work you have so many kids! I realllyyyy liked this one. Like I commented there and on FB – We have 4 kids. To some that sounds like a lot. (And I know to some that brings envious thoughts) It is crazy-wonderful. We love them all and wouldn’t have ‘planned’ it any better…even if we could have.
The Lie I Believed “I do think we’ll be blessed by doing the right thing, but the lie is that the blessing we receive will make us become shiny, happy people who end up on top. I just don’t think that’s true…Sometimes when you do the right thing, all hell breaks loose.”
Lest you think I’m a bigot who has no heart and hates gays, here’s one to remember that there is a difference between ‘practicing a homosexual lifestyle’ and struggling with ‘same-sex attraction’: Living with same-sex attraction; Five Catholics describe joys, struggles of embracing chastity.
And if you’re still feeling blah, try something Yummy: Artichoke Hummus
I believe God exists because I am here, thinking about this and writing this.
My brain is thinking these thoughts and my fingers are typing them and you are now reading the words that were in my brain on your computer screen. Or your phone or iPad or whatever other nerfty gadget you have. And those right there should be proof enough of our intelligent design.
In school we learn about animals and the various species. Reptiles, amphibians, arachnids (eek!), birds, insects, and mammals, etc. And of course we learn that we - homo sapiens – are part of the mammal species.
But we all know we are much more than ‘animal’. Sure we share many characteristics and traits with all the other creatures out there. (Another poof of intelligent design) We eat, drink, sleep, breathe, pee and poop, reproduce, gestate, give birth and nourish new life. We do what we can to at least stay alive. But it’s obvious there’s something different about us – something extraordinarily unique.
We care about things that animals clearly do not. You don’t see animals walking around in clothes and getting together for coffee to talk about the state of current affairs. Animals don’t spend time looking up into the night sky and wondering if there is a God or not. Animals don’t sit around wondering what they are supposed to do with their lives, they don’t think about who they want to be friends with or where or if they are going to go to college or who they are going to marry and how many kids they will have. (They are actually a step above us in that respect.)
But I do. I’m more than some ‘evolved mammal’ who lives only to survive and follow my animal instincts.
I think. I ponder. I wonder. I contemplate.
And not just pain – animals feel that too. And not just basic emotions – animals can be depressed or content. Ask anyone who has a pet.
I feel sadness, grief, anger, frustration…hate.
I feel peace. I feel joy. I feel LOVE.
And because of these thoughts and feelings, I do.
I move. I work. I act. I decide.
What I do isn’t just about survival. I don’t behave only according to whatever is best for my survival. I don’t only make behavioral choices because of ‘forced social norms’ or because of how it will benefit me. (Well not all the time.) I have the capacity to go beyond that.
I have the capacity to forget myself, to forget what’s best for me, and do what’s better for another.
That’s called LOVE. Not only can I feel love, I can choose to accept it and to give it. Because it has been given to me.
If you think about everything humans can do and have done. It’s incredible.
We talk, we sing, we dance.
We explore, discover, learn and teach. We dream and aspire. We yearn.
We create, build, and express -
Captivating art, music, prose and poetry that reach into the depths of our souls; the great and mysterious pyramids and other awesome architectural buildings; planes, trains, automobiles, space shuttles that stretch our minds (and the laws of physics!); machines, computers, robots, things like Google glass; and let’s not even get started with modern medicine and all the life-saving miracles it can bring!
And I’m sure we haven’t even gotten started yet.
Humans are amazing creatures. And we are not just some random and unorganized mass of protons and neutrons with the capacity for high intelligence and grand ideas.
What we are and who we are – and all that we can do and be – is because we are intelligently designed that way.
Hence, a Designer.
I spent a bit more time reading on-line this week so there’s a good list today. I broke it down into categories, make sure to check out the last ones for some good chuckles. Happy Reading.
#Boston Marathon bombings - The Good:
Messing With the Wrong City ”Boston took a punch on Monday — two of them, actually — that left it staggering for a bit. Flesh proved vulnerable, as flesh is wont to do, but the spirit merely trembled before recasting itself into something stronger than any bomb or rage.”
To all the Runners - Keep running. Run in prayer for the victims and their families/friends.
Do Bombs Kill People Too? - a reflection by a friend of mine.
Speaking of tragedies and innocent lives taken let’s not forget the Gosnell horror and the tragedy of abortion that is forgotten and purposefully ignored: It’s official – Huffington Post: “We Made a Decision Not to Cover the Gosnell Trial”
Some encouragement and re-focus:
A Renewed Culture of Life Family Appeal – Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio
Something Practical and Ordinary:
A Catholic Mom’s Laundry System - genius, pure genius. If only I could follow-through…
EVANGELIUM VITAE - Pope John Paul II To the Bishops Priests and Deacons Men and Women religious lay Faithful and all People of Good Will on the Value and Inviolability of Human Life
Lastly and very importantly, something funny:
Reasons my son is crying - if you have had the pleasure of living/spending any amount of time with a toddler – you’ll appreciate this.
BIC Cristal For Her Ball Pen - read the reviews.
This was very interesting! 7 clues tell us *precisely* when Jesus died (the year, month, day, and hour revealed)
In all my years as a Catholic (30) I’ve never seen this picture of Jesus coming to rescue Adam and Eve: The Rescue
Another beautiful Easter reflection: Naming by Steve Gershom. I loved this part about the Holy Spirit – such a great way to ‘describe’ Him:
It is said that the Holy Spirit is the look of love that passes between the Father and the Son. Think of the look of love: think of how unafraid it is, how it sees every bit of us, and delights in what it sees. Think of the certainty that it produces, the certainty that we are understood.
It is this look that kindles in us our selfhood, gives us confidence to live, gives us ground to stand on.
Lastly I have to end with this tragic, disgusting, terrible story just in case any readers have not already heard about the Dr. Gosnell and his abortion/murder trials: Why Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s Trial Should be a Front Page Story
My heart is heavy with prayers for the Gosnell victims. I’ve been thinking about it and trying to read about it and can hardly get through it. It makes me want to scream and throw-up. It’s too horrible and sickening. Yet, it must be known and never forgotten. As much as the world tries to hide it or make it sound ‘good’ or ‘righteous’ or somehow ‘compassionate’, this is the truth about abortion – it kills humans. The most innocent and helpless humans. It doesn’t ‘possibly’ kill innocent people. It doesn’t have an unintended side effect of causing death to an innocent person. That IS what it’s specific and intentional purpose IS.
My sorrowful heart goes out to those who’ve found themselves in such a desperately tragic situation. We must reach out and help these women mercifully. But, we must also share the truth:
Abortion is life-taking not “life-saving”, it’s anti-woman not “pro-woman”, it’s the thief of choice not “pro-choice”, it is ugly selfishness at it’s worst not selfless “love”. It is never the ‘right’ thing to do – no matter the circumstance – there IS a better way. We must work hard to help women in these crisis moments and those who’ve already been through this already. For babies, for women, for families.
“It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.” (Mother Teresa, the woman who worked with the poorest of the poor).
Wow, what am amazing force the weather and nature is. Constantly unpredictable.
To go from this one day…
To this in less than 24 hours…
My poor pear blossoms
Our poor trees I’ve seen a lot of trees down throughout the neighborhood. So far ours are staying up – barely.
They look more like willow pear trees now. I wish I could give them a blanket and hold their limbs up for them.
I like how it looks on this one…
These poor bushes were already half-dead.
Crunchy frosty grass…
Sigh. Oh well, we only have to wait a few days and it will be Spring! again.
To parents of small children: Let me be the one who says it out loud
“I have to confess that sometimes the sound of his screaming drives me to hide in the pantry. And I will neither confirm nor deny that while in there, I compulsively eat chips and/or dark chocolate. ”
After I read that one, I discovered these other golden nuggets:
Another friend shared this one: The day my 11-year-old son found violent porn on the web: I share this even though I do not agree completely with the author’s perspective. It still is a good reminder as my children creep up to that age, that I need to be vigilant with our use of technology in our house and with our children. I could go on and on with this subject but will save that for another post.
Feeling a little down with everything going on our country? You might like this: A Catholic’s Guide to Surviving the End of the World As We Know It
Commentary: Buying Off Discontent Out of the whole article, this is point here is why I chose to share it: “Perhaps most devastating, we’ve unwittingly created a system where people who could genuinely be helped by neighbors, churches, and charitable organizations are simply sent a check and told to go away.”
Report: Mass Murder of Christians in Syria - We must remember that even while we suffer a type of religious oppression here in the US, it’s nothing like what is going in in Syria. Pray for our brothers and sisters there - the Christians and the Muslims.
Christian Solidarity for Autistic People and their Families I was so glad to see the Church recognizing these struggles!
Audience: The fundamental role of women in the Church - The Church LOVES Women!
“In the professions of faith of the New Testament, only men are remembered as witnesses of the Resurrection, the Apostles, but not the women. This is because, according to the Jewish Law of the time, women and children were not considered reliable, credible witnesses. In the Gospels, however, women have a primary, fundamental role. Here we can see an argument in favor of the historicity of the Resurrection: if it were a invented, in the context of that time it would not have been linked to the testimony of women. Instead, the evangelists simply narrate what happened: the women were the first witnesses. This tells us that God does not choose according to human criteria: the first witnesses of the birth of Jesus are the shepherds, simple and humble people, the first witnesses of the Resurrection are women. This is beautiful, and this is the mission of women, of mothers and women, to give witness to their children and grandchildren that Christ is Risen! Mothers go forward with this witness!”
Outside My Window: 36 degrees, sleet/drizzle/snow. I had a dream it was in the 60′s and 70′s and bright and sunny just a few days ago…
Bringing me Joy: Easter!! Spending time with my family including ALL my brothers and sister and sister-in-law & little nephew; having fun and really enjoying how much all five of us get along and enjoy each other’s company even as we’ve grown older; enjoying time with my husband & children during this “Easter break”; time with friends & being blessed with our abundant blessings in our home.
I’m Pondering: Education and my role/influence of that in my kids’ lives, my vocation as a mother and wife, sleep…
I’m Praying: For my siblings as they travel and readjust to their lives back in their ‘homes’; for those who do not know God - that they will come to Know Him and receive His loving embrace; for all the babies and families out there who are struggling with extremely difficult situations; about the abortion clinic (and all those involved) that will reopen here again soon. My heart aches
I am Reading: Same as last week, I’ve been really slow with reading lately.
Watching: We watched Gifted Hands last night. It’s the incredible story of Dr. Ben Carson, a world-renowned neurosurgeon. It is a ‘faith-based’ movie but I wouldn’t have guessed it – definitely not another Fireproof or Courage. It’s more like a The Pursuit Of Happyness type of movie. I had only heard about him recently and am now very intrigued. I would highly recommend this movie and it could even be considered a family movie – I may re-watch it at some point with at least our 9 yr old. It’s an huge testament to the power of determination, good parenting, and proper education.
I am Thinking: Of getting a haircut – getting tired of this long hair but don’t want to go too short either. I’m still deliberating whether to get it colored/highlighted also. Hmmmm…
I’m working on: Being an active parent vs a passive one; improving my meal-planning/making; motivation.
Around the House: We had a successful weekend in this category while my husband had some time off! My husband helped clean our ceiling fan blades! Now when we turn them on dust won’t fly around everywhere.
We finally ordered our new light fixture for our tall entry-way ceiling and ordered installation with it at the same time. The price (for the install) was great so hopefully they’ll do a good job too.
We also finally ordered a new bed! We’ve had ours 10ish years now and it is a pillowtop - DO NOT BUY PILLOWTOP MATTRESSES! They do not last as long and long story-short it’s been causing both my husband and me tremendous back and body aches and headaches. Our chiropractor has been hinting it might be time to get a new bed for a while now. You know it’s time to get a new mattress when everyone (husband, me, & baby) end up on the same side of the bed by the morning (since it sags so much now). We had a hard time deciding on a new one; at first I didn’t want to spend too much but a good friend encouraged me to not go cheap and get something that would last (thanks Mary!). Oh, and also per her’s and others advice, we finally upgraded to a King! We’re moving on up in the world now, folks. We get it Saturday so we are counting down the days to a better night’s sleep and no more headaches! (Hopefully!)
I’m getting ready to redo our kids’ bathroom towel rack situation – 4 towels on one cheap towel bar does not work out so well over time.
Lastly, we are getting very close to our ‘savings goal’
we I set before we could get new kitchen counters! We’d had our hearts set on real granite but now we are looking into this new Formica 180fx. So far we like Golden Mascarello or the Antique Mascarello. I kind of like the Crema Mascarello but don’t know if it would end up looking too light with our dark cabinets. I’m thinking of a stone backsplash to go with. Something maybe like this or this:
So as long as nothing major happens, we’re hoping to work on that this year! (Of course, we all know how life can change our plans!)
From the Kitchen: I hosted an Easter Monday brunch with my family; made 2 egg casseroles and served mini muffins and mini cinnamon rolls (thanks Sams’!). I don’t know how the rest of the week will go but at least I did that.
The Kiddos: Growing! We have just about 2 months left of the school year and I noticed this morning that my kindergartener’s school pants are looking more like capris!
Then I looked at my daughter and noticed the same about her leggings! Good thing she won’t have to wear those much longer.
But of course, the next sizes up are still a bit too big.
The 3-yr-old loved having everyone home to play with. Unfortunately he does have a little cold that’s turning into a cough – oh joy. Hopefully it will be short-lived.
The Baby: He’s also had a runny nose but hasn’t been too bad with it. I mentioned last week that he’s crawling. I put up one of the videos of it yesterday on Facebook. I’ll try and get another uploaded to our Family blog so you non-Facebookers can see it (and so I have it recorded on the fam. blog). Last night, I put him to bed around 9 and he didn’t wake up until 11:30ish! My husband and I got watch to the whole movie uninterrupted!
Picture to Share:
We went to Botanica last week when it was so beautiful! Here’s a pic of one the first Spring flowers! I love these!