Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Another question, and this one's a doozy ~

Here's my question, to invoke much needed advice...here is my dilemma at the moment:
how do you stop the negative feeling toward others, who you don't agree with? whether it is faith reasons, or frivolous things.

This is a difficult question for me because I struggle with this all. the. time.

When I was young, I tended to have more negative feelings about faith matters upon which I disagreed with others. I was very intolerant of other people's "faith journeys" and had an overwhelming desire to be "right". I defined myself very deeply by being "right". Life has taught me that people's life paths take them to places specifically designed for their sanctification. I am an instrument and need to cooperate and assist their journey in love, not judgment. Bottom line, I try to express Truth to people (as far as I understand it) in love, for the glory of God and for the benefit of their souls. It is SO not about me.

Doesn't that sound lovely? Of course that is the ideal. Among all the lessons of being good, not right, acting in love, not judgment, comes those pesky "FEELINGS". Feelings mean next to nothing. They come, they go, they take you for a ride and dump you off when they are done with you. Acting in love often times FEELS horrible. It requires humility most of all, because when your advice is argued with or ignored, it makes you FEEL frustrated. Examine your purpose in feeling frustrated. Is it about YOU or is it about LOVE. If you can say truly it is about LOVE, then I assure you the feeling will be short lived. Love is like that, a healing balm that soothes the spirit.

If you are dealing with some one who is just contentious, shake the dust off your sandals and move on. Don't waste your energy on people purposely trying to upset you. Refuse to fight. Talk about the weather.

Now, frivolous matters. Whew, it seems as I have gotten older, these are getting more difficult for me. I struggle with, "What did she MEAN by that?" and see slings and arrows in many interactions. It feels lousy. It hurts, and leads to confusion, hurt feeling and exchanging hurt for hurt. My best advice is to pray, pray, pray, fast and pray, that your feelings will not rule you, that you can over time truly "pray for those that persecute you (Mt5:44). And in most cases, the people who cause you the greatest frustration probably don't even know they are persecuting you. They have their own pain and insecurities. We are all such flawed and weak creatures that hurt each other constantly with out meaning to. We should always be begging forgiveness from God and each other. We are all in the same boat.

This leads me to share with you my prayers about this issue. They are daily petitions of mine, at least I try to make them daily. I fail frequently, but I'll share them anyway.

Go and read Psalm 50. Actually I'll post it after this. It is perfect, especially "a crushed and humbled heart God will not spurn".

And then, in my sidebar, is the prayer of St. John of Kronstadt. Read it. Read it again.

And lastly, go to confession. Even though feelings are not sinful, they can wound you. If you keep them inside, and don't allow the healing balm of the grace of God in, healing will not take place. This is the purpose of confession, healing.

So, to sum up, LOVE, PRAY, and stay close to the Holy Sacraments (I guess I am assuming you are Catholic, if you are not, do try to make specific prayers of confession, listing specific feelings and actions that cause you pain and wound others).

I hope this help. I know I can articulate the answer, but living it is a much larger challenge. I'll pray for you if you pray for me, okay?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Remains of the Day

our canoes


If you look closely, you'll see a little canoe out in the lake. (I think if you click the picture you'll get a bigger look). That was my mom out for an early morning canoe ride.

Life is a beach!

This is where it all happened, the playing, the reading, the napping, the laughing. Sigh. I miss it there. This picture will sustain me through many a tense moment, though. I took this photo early on the morning we left.

more more more pics

And my baby. Who is two and not really a baby, but she is still "The Baby"

My 10 year old with her cousin

more more pics

My eight year old

more pics

My six year old

When I say I'll light a candle...

Photo taken at church this morning.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Here is the whole gang

Here is a family photo of our trip last week. The ten people on the left are my brother, sister-in-law, and their eight children. The six people in the middle are my brother, my sister-in-law, and their four children. Moving right, the next nine people are myself, my hubby and seven kiddos. The two to the far right are my parents. Missing is my other brother. Missed you, bro!

So there you have it. From now on when I say we are having a family gathering, I want you all to picture this crowd. Blessed, aren't I????

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Home again, home again, jiggidy jig.

Well, we are home again. I am unpacked but still buried in laundry. I have to finish getting ready for the school year (YIKES) and get ready for more company, SO, I am not sure how much I'll be around. I have some interesting reflections to post, but as far as original content, I just can't predict.

The vacation was quite nice, lots of time to sit under an umbrella on the beach and read under a warm sun with cooling breezes. I am reading a book about Kansas Pioneer Women. I grew up in Kansas, and it is fascinating to see what was faced and conquered by these strong and brave people.

We encountered some wild life, most interestingly a bat that lived in the lodge. Every evening around 10:00pm, he'd come out and circle around the room a few times, then go back to his hiding place. Once he got knocked out because he flew into a moving ceiling fan. We got to see him close up then, and carefully took him outside, where he regained consciousness and flew away. Not an experience you have everyday, to be sure.

We did find out there is a nice, 24 hour emergency room in rural Indiana, as well as the fact that red streaks really do show up when there is an infection in a wound. One X-ray, 2 shots and a prescription for antibiotics later, my son's foot is almost good as new.

So, I'll be posting some photos this week, with a little commentary, and will try to visit you all, a few at a time. Hoping you are all well and happy!

**UPDATE** I left a comment for my commenters in the comment box =)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Duty Calls

(Random garden photo : a daylily)

I will be off line for a while. We are leaving on a camping trip Wednesday, and I haven't packed yet ;0). We are also having an overnight guest tomorrow, and as soon as we get back a family of 11 is visiting for a few days. Then school starts, and I have yet to order all of my books. Or finish clearing out the classroom and getting in reorganized for the new year. SO...

My real life calls. I have lots to do here, and am not certain if I'll be back again before I leave. I will try to post something on the Feast of the Dormition, which is tomorrow, but then after that, I'll be gone for a while.

Until then....

Vaya con Dios.

Friday, August 11, 2006


- after a long round of knock-knock jokes between the 4 year old and the 6 year old.

4 year old - "That doesn't make sense, and any way, get off my nerves!"

6 year old - "You don't even know what nerves are!"

(random garden photo a cleome growing just at the edge of the garden.)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A Question

I received this comment recently:

" city girl said...

I propose this: M.P.Not: it would be so great, due to your beautiful expression of words, for you to hold a question/answer. There of those of us who read your blog, love it, and want some things to reflect upon, some advice for our personal issues we are dealing with. so: what do you say?"

I say, if I can be of any assistance, I would love to do a question and answer forum. I am not exactly sure how to do it, but for starters, anyone with a question can leave it in this comment box. Or, my e-mail address is in the sidebar (Just use the @ and . instead of the words). I will assume I can blog a question received by e-mail, but of course will not if requested to keep it private.

Anyway, if there is interest I'll make it a regular thing. If it just comes up now and then, I'll always try me best to be of help, for any difficulty or question. I guess now that I am 40, I have lots of life experience I can share. Age has its benefits.

And thanks, city girl, for you vote of confidence. You are sweet. Really, anytime you need something, just let me know.

(included is a random garden photo ~ this is a Black-eyed Susan.)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Another cutie

Last night the family went to Dairy Joy again. This is a seasonal diner, so we take advantage of it when we can. My oldest son brought along some of his own money so he could play the one and only video game they have at Dairy Joy. It is a racing game, with a seat and steering wheel, and wrap around screen. Perty cool.

So, oldest son takes a dollar bill to the lady at the register and gets change. Plays the game. Repeat.

Youngest son (four years old) wants to play so badly, he can taste it. The other kids fool him for a while with the previews the computer does. Smart boy that he is, he quickly catches on that he isn't really playing.

The older kids tell him the sad fact. He has no money. His older brother has no more money to share.

Resourceful and crafty, my sweet littly boy goes to the counter, just like his big brother, musters up his courage, and with every bit of politeness, and says to the lady behind the register, "Could I have some money, please?"

I don't know how she resisted giving him the money, he was so darn cute. Yes, we did make sure he got to play one game. Then we bolted out of there, before he decided one game would certainly not be enough. And all was well.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

A Leap

Just a shot from the garden. I love the colors of zinnias. You just can't beat the ease, simplicity, showiness, longevity and beauty of a zinnia. This is why gardening can be such a reprieve from the cares of the world. You are surrounded by simple beauty.

Even when a hungry beetle devistates your beans, it's okay, because that beetle will die come frost, and you can plant more beans next year. You are guaranteed a fresh start.

A fresh start. Isn't that what everyone wants, really, when things get tough, out of control, or frightening? Just a fresh start?

And isn't that what was given us, when Christ conquered death, a fresh start?

That, my friends, is why I like gardening. Start with a simple zinnia, and before long, my thoughts end up with Christ conquering death.

Friday, August 04, 2006


I don't have much time just now, but want to let everyone know how much I appreciate your good wishes, and Mimi, THANKYOU for the Iconogram. You all helped make this such a fine, fine birthday. I couldn't ask for anything else. I spent extra time with Our Lord, saw or talked to, or got a card from everyone in my family, was surrounded by my husband, children, nieces and nephews, neighbors, friends, and my husband got me an iPod!!!! Some very good friends took my husband and me out to dinner last night, and I found some delicious foods that were fast friendly. Now I am trying to make good on the 40's, and use my time wisely, which means for today, I am signing off.


(I'll try to make the next post NOT about me, m'kay??)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Housekeeping!! (and update on the celebration)

I added a new blog A Catholic Mother's Thoughts. Rosemary is an experienced mom with her youngest children the same age as my older kiddos. I have enjoyed reading her posts thus far, and welcome her to my blogroll.

I moved around the blog roll a bit, deleting links that no longer exist (bye Eight is Enough *sniff, sniff*) and moving inactive blogs to the bottom of the list.

Well, this is it, the last day of the thirties. We ended up having an impromtu party for my son who just had a birthday. The opportunity arose to gather all the cousins and friends, so we seized the moment.

Last evening my husband and two of his friends came over and brought their guitar and harmonica. I enjoyed myself so much, listening to a real live blues jam session, extemporaneous lyrics and all.

I decided to move my haircut and manicure to next week, so tomorrow will be a day of relaxation, family time, visiting my sister's in law again, and maybe even a long bubble bath while reading my new book. Anyone read "In a Dark Wood Wandering" by Hella S. Haasse? It is a novel about the Middle Ages. I am only 17 pages in, but it is pretty good so far.

I know I have made a big deal out of the big 4-0, but mostly I just want to reflect on the many blessings showered upon me thus far in my life, and make a commitment to consciously live each day from now on. I also am reading a book called, "I Will Not Die an Unlived Life". It reminds me of "A Gift from the Sea" by Anne Morrow Lindburgh, which is one of my all time favorite books.

Oh, I also bought the book Rosemary suggested "Strong Women Stay Young", and am really excited by it.

So between my increased attendance at Diving Liturgy (at least 2 times a week, usually 3), my iconography, my new found ability to carve out fun time for my family and for myself, and my new book on strengthening, I am mightily encouraged about what the 40's will bring my way.

Thank you all for your kind suggestions and good wishes. I feel so blessed by each of you, as well, and I am grateful for the time you spend here.