Sunday, October 28, 2007


Has anyone else seen the movie "Bella"?

I saw it on Friday evening, and I have to say it was a worthwhile use of my time. It is a good movie, and it gets better as I think about it after the fact. I will post a thorough review of it early this week, but I was just wondering what others thought of it.

Our big rally here was a success on Saturday, although the city is making it more difficult for us by restricting our access on public land. They must want a fight. Anyway, we must really be making an impact, because the local paper didn't even have a mention of this 1000 person protest. This is encouraging, even though frustrating.

More later, peace, out.

Friday, October 26, 2007

From the Archives

I was browsing through my own archives this morning (isn't that the most self-centered thing you have heard today?) and came across this one that really made me smile.

Although my children are all 3 years older than this now, they are as young as they will ever be, and the encouragement to soak them in gives me great joy.

We have a PACKED weekend coming up. Youth group/akathist tonight, followed by a date with my hubby to go see "Bella", tomorrow a HUGE pro-life rally (titled "We're Here for LIFE") and then a spaghetti supper at church. Sunday is always a full church day with Divine Liturgy followed by our weekly parish lunch.

I wish you all a peaceful weekend, full of life and love.

So now, here is the archived post I referred to earlier. Enjoy!

"Cooking and cleaning can wait till tomorrow, for
Babies grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So go away cobwebs! Dust, Go to sleep!
I'm nursing my baby, and babies don't keep."

Or something like that. My mom had a framed needlework picture of this quote when I was little. Now I understand it, and that is what I did today. I held her, kissed under her moist neck, blew raspberries on her tummy, kissed her toes, and looked at all the flecks of color in her oh-so-blue eyes. She'll be 8 months old in a week. How is that possible? She is about to crawl, so before she is quite a lot less interested in snuggling with me, I took at least an hour of pure baby joy. Then I had a tea party with my next 3 youngest, and read them a story, one of my personal favorites, Roxaboxen. I had gotten one of those, "What am I supposed to do with this?" type gifts, a tea pot, two cups, two spoons, a box of tea and shortbread. All really too small to be practical, but very cute. So, today, I said to the littlies, "How 'bout a tea party with my present?" My 4 yo dd got wide eyed, "Really, today, really??" Ususally during school, I try to keep them busy and quiet. Today I sat with them and read and sipped tea, and ate a shortbread biscut. For the first time in a long time, I haven't wondered where the day went. I know where it went, straight to my heart.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I read a beautiful post at Et Tu? today. And boy did I need it. Here is a part, the prayer of an exhausted mother, that made me realized I need to be more grateful.

Hi, God, it's me. I want to go back to sleep. I hate this. On a logical level, however, I am aware that I have a really good life and have much to be joyful about. I'm just NOT FEELING IT right now. But I apologize for being ungrateful. Please help me see how utterly ridiculous it is for someone with my life to be upset about something as trivial as missing sleep. Amen.

I am still unable, for what ever reason, to put into words the jumble that is my soul right now, but I am GRATEFUL to be reading the posts of other fellow travelers that are encouraging, soothing, clarifying and loving.

As always, I'll pray for you if you pray for me.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Very Relevant

I came across this at Micki's place, and had to share:

A successful marriage requires

falling in love many times,

always with the same person.

Mignon McLaughlin

Friday, October 12, 2007

A Rest

That last post took a lot out of me. I spent 4 or 5 days writing it, and still am not that happy with it. It is one of the most personal things I have ever written. Writing it scraped the bottom of my soul, and stirred things up, and now I've got all kinds of things floating around, and causing disruption and anxiety.

So, I am taking a blog break for a while.

I need to practice what I preach, and tend to my family more, I want to do more art, and am beginning another icon. I need more focus around here, and less out in the blog world.

I seem to lack the discipline right now to keep it all in balance, so I have to impose a fast on myself.

The fight with evil is still going on in my Town, and it is getting more and more emotionally draining since the killing has begun. I am going to really have to pace myself so as not to crash and burn.

So, don't be alarmed if you don't hear from me for a little while. I will be back when I am more settled.

Many blessings to all.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

On the 15th anniversay of my marriage (edited version)

I spoke in this post about awaking to the notion of seeing people as God sees them. And then in this post about the loneliness that can follow.

On the occasion of my anniversary, I want to explore how marriage can assist in the ability to love others, in the true meaning of Christian love.

This has been the loneliest year of my life, I think. (Edited to add:
this sentence and the title of this post are not necessarily related).

Strangely, this bout with loneliness has been fruitful, rather than fearful. Not
to say there haven't been some very dark moments or lots of sad tears shed.

But the loneliness-as-desert metaphor seemed more real to me, less like the empty platitude it had been in the past.

I feel it is the relinquishing of the loneliness to God that helps. Yes, I am lonely, afraid, sad. It hurts. I can not do anything about the deep ache in the chest that I have. I can not will it away. I can give it up, endure from one breath to the next, and make a resolution to love through the pain.

Have I done this perfectly? Absolutely not. I have caused hurts and misunderstandings in my novice efforts to love. Opening to love means opening to pain. Opening to love means taking the warm flush of returned love along with the cold heaviness of love ignored.

Loving means that if the other can't love back, you still love.

Loving means that when the other chooses to attend to others, you still love the other and the ones being attended to.

Loving means overlooking human frailty in others, and begging God to forgive your own.

Love means loving for the sake of the Other, not for your own. Love.

Can this be done through sheer force of will?


Only the grace, freely given from the One who gave all, can make love possible.

Only complete union with the Suffering Servant can make our own suffering bearable.

The temptations to strike out, draw in, and protect are strong. Sometimes given into, even. Does this ease the pain of loneliness? No.

There is nothing self-indulgent about True Love.

So then, what is the answer?

One breath to the next, offer the heaviness for all the lonely, abandoned, unloved. Solidarity. Companionship in loneliness. Unite the suffering with the Conqueror of all suffering. The One who conquered death is the only One that can make our own littleness bearable.

What does this have to do with my anniversary?


This year defies description.

disappointment ~ delight

panic ~ peace

grief ~ goodness

loneliness ~ love

fear ~ fortitude

terror ~ trust

These all apply.

The contradiction of life.

The Mystery of Love

The Eternity of LOVE!

I am learning, through my marriage and my dear husband, to embrace the mystery of Love, to soak it in, to let Love run through me. To relate to the world in love, with my marriage as a classroom and laboratory. To have a safe place to be while I am learning, and to have a companion in the effort. I am learning what needs to be done, and purifying my intention to carry it out. I am learning just how dependent on God's
grace and mercy I am if I am ever really to love well.

It is with utter gratitude and deep love I thank my husband for our marriage, for our life together, and for our shared love of Love Himself.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Makes you go "hmmm"

I am currently reading a book about Sojourner Truth, the freed slave and abolitionist.

Considering the fight we are in here in my town against another grievous human rights violation, I found the parallels quite compelling. For instance:

After the Revolutionary War, and after the constitutional government had been established, the pro- and anti-slavery factions clashed. The debate was whether to nationally fight for abolition of slavery, or let each state decide. When anti-slavery activists pushed for the end of slavery to be included with in the Bill of Rights, a pro-slavery activist argued to let each state determine its politics regarding slavery. He also wrote that blacks were, "inherently inferior beings who would be harmed by freedom." This sound exactly like the pro-abortion crowd that says pre-born humans are inferior beings who would be harmed by being born unwanted.

The Quakers were avid abolitionists, and lived out their beliefs by protesting and praying for the end to slavery, as well as helping escaped slaves. The very same pro-slavery activist who called the black inferior, also denounced the Quakers as "spies, traitors, pacifists and hypocritical money grubbers." That sounds eerily similar to the names the anti-abortion activists are called ~ fanatics, terrorists, hypocrites, and selfish.

I found it exceptionally telling that the tactics used by pro-slavery people are the exact same ones used by pro-abortion advocates. I also found it very encouraging seeing that in the end, the anti-slavery advocates eventually came out the victors, and are looked upon as brave and forward thinking people to this day. It goes without saying that I am also gratified that such a human rights violation was overthrown, and justice achieved. We shall overcome!

A Quote

I came across this quote today at Happy Catholic, and loved it:

Impartiality is a pompous name for indifference, which is an elegant name for ignorance.
G.K. Chesterton

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Thank God for a king size bed!

I can not believe how hot it is here. In the upper80's, and humid. It's barely cooling down to the 70's at night. This is not typical October weather. I usually have my yard all cleaned up by now, my garden beat back into submission, flower beds cleaned up, and pumpkins and mums galore, but I can not face working out there in this heat. It'll have to wait.

Sleeping when it is this warm has not been very comfortable, and last night was a little less comfortable because we ended up with our two youngest kids in our bed. The 5 year old boy cam in because he was having trouble getting comfortable.

"I am 3 kinds of uncomfortable", he said. He was hot, thirsty, and tired. So my husband got him a drink, and he climbed in between us and said that now he was much more comfortable, and he was asleep almost instantly.

Then, a short time later the three year old girl came in. I heard her running down the hall, and remember thinking that 3 year old's run everywhere, even in the middle of the night.

"I had a bad dream and I want to sleep with you!", she said.

I tried to convince her to go climb in with her older sister, the one she shares a room with. As she was climbing into my bed, she said,

"But my bad dream is still in my room!"

Well, that made perfect sense to me, so in she climbed. I slept the rest of the night knowing that my little ones weren't going to be little much longer, and grateful for the opportunity to offer comfort so simply. I had little arms and legs flung over me, had a close up view of their sleeping faces and little hands, with slightly curled fingers and a little bit of chub left in them.

But, I am typing this way earlier in the morning than I am usually even out of bed, because my bed completely ran out of room for me. And I really don't mind.

Friday, October 05, 2007

An interesting link

Here is a powerful account of one women's experience with RU-486. She was delivering a still born baby, and is pro-life, but this is information people need when discussing things like parental-consent laws and offering such services to minors.

This is a sad story, so if you want to avoid this one, I understand.

A comment and answer

I received a comment today that I am moving up because the An ongoing dialogue post is long and now very close to the bottom of the screen.

But she wasn't talking about adopting babies. She was talking about older children. She's right when she says there are a lot available for families. Are they unwanted? It is obvious that prospective parents want infants. By the way, I only ask this question because it haunts me. My husband and I have always wanted to adopt, but money and children (we have 8) keep putting it off. Maybe we should have made it more of a priority.


My response:

I am certain there are some heart breaking cases of older children awaiting adoption, but that doesn't justify abortion. If it is acceptable to kill pre-born children because they are "unwanted", then it would be acceptable to kill born children because they are "unwanted". That just isn't how we value human life.

My point being, many babies being considered for abortion could be adopted if given the chance to be born. What to do about the older children awaiting adoption is another issue, one really unrelated to abortion.

Actually, I take that back. Many older children are in foster care awaiting adoption because of abuse. Do you know how much child abuse has risen since abortion was legalized? According to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, in 1973, there were 167,000 cases of child abuse reported in the United States. In 2002, the Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,694,756 child abuse investigations in the United States. In 450,817 cases, the abuse was confirmed, and in another 58,964 it was determined that abuse was “indicated.”

Once children are seen as valuable only when they are wanted, it isn't a huge leap to see why child abuse is on the rise. Thus, more children in foster care. A vicious cycle, it seems.

Thank you Sharon, for allowing me to elaborate on that point.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Let's Lighten Things Up Around Here, Shall We

Maxine - Color is Good!
(from my inbox~thanks Aunt Jan!)

Yesterday I went to the doctor for my yearly physical.

My blood pressure was high, my cholesterol was high,

I'd gained some weight, and I didn't feel so hot.

My doctor said eating right doesn't have to
Be complicated and it would solve my physical
Problems. He said just think in colors...
Fill your plate with bright colors... Greens,
Yellows, reds, etc.

I went right home and ate an Entire bowl of:

And sure enough, I felt better immediately.

I never knew eating right Could be so easy.

An ongoing dialogue

Here is a dialogue taking place on the FFAP blog. This encapsulated what I believe about PP and it's exploitation of women.

First, let me tell you that the clinic did open today. In response, a pro-abort commented ~

"I'm so glad that our voices, women's voices, have been heard!! The right choice has been made here…to offer reproductive health services to everyone. To have a safe place set up for everyone to get affordable health care that otherwise they would've never had. This is a major step for women's rights!! Thank you EVERYONE who supported Planned Parenthood and who's voice helped to open this clinic!!"

my response ~

There are quite a few women's voices that are not being heard, and that is from women like ME who disagree that encouraging women to be used as sexual objects is a good thing.

The dignity and strength of women is undermined by using the gift of sex as recreation. Women suffer from this emotionally, spiritually, and are the ones to pay the largest price physically with STD's, infertility, increased risk of cancer and either unplanned pregnancy or abortion. This benefits men the most, by letting them continue to view women primarily as sexual objects, and then, should a child result, pressuring women to abort and save them from being real men.

As I have been praying at the clinic these last 50 odd days, it has always been men screaming at me from their quickly passing cars to "keep it legal".

Of course that is what men such as these would want, at a tremendous cost to the women they sleep with.

Planned Parenthood simply facilitates recreational sex, then provides women with "protection" that regularly fails, then treats the failures. They make lots of dollars for this "service", at the expense of women and their wholeness.

Planned Parenthood exploits women for money.

Please, just do not include me in "women's voice have been heard" when lauding PP's entrance into my city. It makes me steaming mad.

Another pro abort takes up the baton ~

No one finds the abortion decision or process an easy one. And from a moral standpoint, it is wrong to have such a procedure done. But the fact is that abortons will happen, Planned Parenthood or not, and it is therefore necessary to have such clinics available to the public.

On a personal note, I am outraged that anyone, be it male or female feel that thay have the right to tell me, or inhibit me from doing what I want, or do not want to do with my own body. I logically understand the arguments og pro-lifer's, but if they feel that abortion is wrong, then they have the choice not to utilize these facilities. I however, am glad that the option is there.

Several of the arguments in the above comments are contradictions. You complain of men yelling out of their cars to keep it legal, yet in the past weeks, there have been men lined up with signs and grotesque pictures protesting. Are pro life males acceptable, and pro choice men wrong? At the same time, you have been exploiting teens and children in your quest. On what level are they able to create an independant, objective opinion on the subject? And what alternatives do you and your organization provide had all these fetuses not been aborted? Who would supply them with healthcare? Who would put them through college? Who would support the parents? What about in the case of rape? (Talk about womens rights…)
I have visited several adoption sites, and there are thousands of children up for adoption, and not enough loving and caring families out there for them. If adoption is in the childs best intrest, why not protest against the fact that gays are unable to adopt?
You are entitled to your opinion, and I am mine. Just don't force feed yours down my throat everytime I drive home or pick up my mail: As one of the protestors signs read: "If it is okay to kill off unwanted children, why not kill off the unwanting mothers?" Disgusting.

I applaud your efforts and determination, but PP has been allowed to open. Let them do their work.

My response:

I was not complaining about the men yelling, just making an observation that is was only men yelling to keep it legal. That is self serving for them, not compassion for women. Men are the largest beneficiaries of abortion, as they can continue to use and discard women without any responsibility.

There are oodles of services offered for women who choose not to abort, as I am certain you already know. (Check out the bottom of this very page for a toll free number. Just one example.)

There is a huge desire for babies to adopt if you would just be honest.

And this is the best,

"And what alternatives do you and your organization provide had all these fetuses not been aborted? Who would supply them with healthcare?"

If PP was really a "Comprehensive Health Care Center", this would be offered to women seeking help at PP, not just abortion.

But despite PP's lack of true health care, there are options in our community for affordable health care here in Aurora already (VNA, Aunt Martha's and others).

Please, these tired old arguments are just not going to fly here. We have been fighting thes injustices for way too long to be persuaded by your empty, false compassion.

Bottom line, death is never a solution to social problems. I do not deny there are difficult questions to answer regarding abortion, but I do know death is not the answer.

And you'll just have to get used to our praying and protesting, because we are not going away.

Bear with me. Her response~

First of all, I have no problem with the clinic being where it is. I just have a problem with some of your scare-tacticts. I will not ask for the clinic to leave, nor will I ask you. Nor do I have a problem with the protestors - once again, you are entitled to your opinions. But I am mine as well, and I do not appreciate my choices be condemed due to subjective religious beliefs. Man is selfish, and henceforth religion is interpretive. How I view my choices and how you view yours are two differtent things. And I assume that many of the responses I have received are from Catholics, because none of you have attacked the question of gays being allowed to adopt…?
One of the many beauties of freedom of speech.

Secondly, if you are arguing womens rights, then there are several factors that should be included, and to lenghty to be included in this forum. In short, womens rights are all-encompassing. One can not select elements that suit oneself to argue. Simone De Beauvoir (one of the great feminists of the 20th century) argued that womens rights, amongst other things, should include everything, both positives and negatives, and one of her strongest statements is that a woman is in control of her own body and self. Wouldn't it then be a step back in feminist argument, to return to a "clothes hanger" method of abortion? (hate that expression by the way)

Thirdly, where is the responsibility of women? Women are too equally responsible for their pregnancy as men are. I am by no means arguing that there are not males that flee from their responsibilities, however women do have the power to say no. And although PP does provide abortions, they also provide proactive solutions to women in order for them to take care of themselves, their bodies and futures.

And finally, my reply~

" In short, womens rights are all-encompassing. One can not select elements that suit oneself to argue. Simone De Beauvoir (one of the great feminists of the 20th century) argued that womens rights, amongst other things, should include everything, both positives and negatives, and one of her strongest statements is that a woman is in control of her own body and self."

Am I, then, to assume S.d B. would be in favor of no legal restrictions on any woman's behaviour? She may prostitute herself, molest children, murder, steal and use drugs. It seems to me th at society has placed lots of restrictions on people's use of their own bodies.

My point being, especially in PP's case where they actively target young girls, with little life experience to make sound choices, sometimes societal limits of behaviour are for the good of the whole, other times for the good of the individual.

Engaging in recreational sexual activity leads to an objectification of women, a lack of respect for women, and even if they don't mind being objectified and used, the price they pay is a heavy one.

I object to the degrading of woman promoted as a good thing. I object to exploiting women and girls at their most vulnerable times (sexual intimacy and early pregnancy) for profit and gain.

I object to PP's casual dismissal of parental involvement in teens decision making, especially when speaking of the above vulnerable times in a yound girl's life.

I object to PP motives in disguising abortions as comprehensive health.

I object to the false compassion PP has for women. We have real health care here already. We don't need the exploitation of women and girls in our community.

I do think this was a civil, intelligent conversation. I haven't addressed my own feeling much about this, just given the updates. And this probably will be all I will say on the matter, as this isn't an anti-PP blog. But for what it is worth, this is how I think about it.