Archive for the tag “motherhood”

thinking

about this:

on st. therese, the little flower: “to all ecstasies she preferred the monotony of an obscure sacrifice.”

and this: on people, by c.s. lewis: “there are no ordinary people it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit.”

and these roses from mother’s day:aren’t they beautiful? they are from my beautiful sister-in-law’s beautiful garden!

i did just use the word beautiful three times!!! but i had to. there was just no other word that applied properly.

i am also thinking about the baby. he is sick. he came down with a fever late this afternoon.

i noticed, when he came in from playing in the treehouse, how pink his cheeks were.

i am thinking about how i was resentful when this sick child, after being all snug in his bed (our bed) and almost asleep, about to leave me in peace to finish some paperwork, could possibly want something to eat!

feed a fever starve a cold?

so i made him some strawberries and yogurt. the last bit of my favorite yogurt. and then he only took a few bites….leaving his germy leftovers for me to finish like a glutton.

i dropped his spoon on the floor. and gave it to him anyway.

shame on me. i know.

(3 second rule clause???)

what kind of mother am i anyway?

certainly not always a very good one.

this is ALWAYS my argument to people (of other faiths) WHY the Blessed Mother had to be different.

conceived without sin.

FULL OF GRACE.

she never gave Jesus a spoon from off the ground.

or silently complained to herself. gritting her teeth while performing those lovey mama tasks that are so necessary.

you’ve done little awful things like that too, haven’t you? come on. be honest now….

please make me feel better.

i did redeem myself by cuddling said baby. and singing him to sleep.

and even though  i did squirm my way out from under him to post these thoughts….i won’t abandon him on the couch to go get a few hours of good sleep. i swear i won’t.

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connections

are good.

especially when they are with people you love!!!!!

and that pretty much explains my absence in this space.

the mama-child connection is something my children don’t seem to get enough of. regardless of age. in fact i think they need me more now than ever: with jobs and bank accounts come so many decisions and things to do!

then there are senior happenings with the biggest girl. she chose me to take her senior pics….and well, that means we were off finding fields of flowers to pose in….and then me wanting some sister shots…of sister kisses.

and faith connections…

did i mention that the baby made his First Holy Communion? on mother’s day.

that smile says it all, doesn’t it?

he has been waiting for Our Lord a long, long while.

and when it was over i breathed a big sigh of relief…took a few days off.

and here it is. already the end of another week.

and i realized that i so missed my connections here.

which have been difficult to maintain due to a nasty virus on my home computer.

making everything online just that much harder to accomplish.

i think i may’ve gotten lazy during lent.

when i stayed away to purge the noise. and the whispers of incompetence at all the ways in which my life is boring. mundane and ordinary.

no projects to shine forth…no garden glory. no books or knitting.

just  “glittering desolation from the starry pinnacle of the commonplace” to use some of dear chesterton’s words.

yes, that’s where i’ve been. at that place where busy-ness meets boring.

and i realized just how so this afternoon. as i lay on my bed. taking one. long. momentous. pause.

with the toilet running and 4 flies buzzing around the kitchen(no doubt invited in by someone leaving the door wide open!) and i thought selfishly to my selfish self: is this it?

that coupled with the fact that i had been NOT cooking a roast for 2 hours because the crock pot wasn’t PLUGGED in!!!  just might’ve been enough to send me over the edge of said starry pinnacle.

no connection there!

between crock pot and plug.

and yes, this is my life.

one mad adventure.

i am thinking too much….it happens when i read chesterton.

does he have that affect on you too?

i allowed myself some fun reading for easter and plowed my way through the man who was thursday.

i was deeply confused and disappointed with the ending. i felt very similar to the night i watched the LOST finale.

“you think too much, mom.” my girl told me.

“sometimes you need to just read.”

ouch!

she’s only 11!!!

and already a sage!

happy reading friends!

if you made it to the end of this post then God love you!

i will be back. sooner than later.

that is if my pride will allow me to publish such utter nonsense twice in a row!

xo.

ps. i’ve got my paws on mere christianity now so watch out!

free samples.

it’s why my kids help me make things.

they like to have their fingers in everything.

sometimes clean. sometimes not.

the other day the baby made his sister a glass of strawberry lemonade and i happened to mention: did you remember to wash those strawberries first?

and all i heard was a quiet: oops.

horrified at this culinary faux pas, she didn’t finish said glass of strawberry lemonade.

she didn’t finish the sweetness.

because the bitterness of what might be in there was too much to swallow.

if i must glory i will glory in the things that concern my weakness…that the power of CHRIST may dwell in me.

those words leapt off the page and into my heart during mass.

they reminded me of his sweet little offering.

and our intentions.

and i can relate.

because lent is coming.

am i ready?

yes and no.

i feel a lot like the baby.

like i have something to offer.

but my hands are dirty.

and i am too weak to head into the desert of contemplation.

for forty whole days.

whole being the key word.

but that is really the reason for the journey, is it not?

that we will be made whole.

without diminution or exception; entire, full, or total.

the Church in her wisdom knows we’ve been feasting too much. and not exercising enough. and there is no glory in that.

that doesn’t make us full.

containing all the elements properly belonging; complete.
 
i have never properly belonged anywhere.
 
and quite often confuse who i am with what i do.
 
undivided; in one piece.
 
the idea of being in one piece greatly appeals to my innate sense of order. yet achieving order is another thing.
 
not broken, damaged, or impaired; intact.
 
yet…
yet HIS power is made perfect weakness.
yes, that means in my broken. impaired. damaged heart.
 
uninjured or unharmed; sound.
 
the idea that we can somehow get through this life uninjured and unharmed is something i cling to.
especially as my kids get bigger and venture out further and further away from the safety and ideals of here.
 
the simplicities of childhood become a mixed-up. dangerous tangle of boyfriends. girlfriends. friends with cars. driving. motorcycles. ipods and cell phones.
 
iworry.
that’s what i call it.
 
things they once played with so innocently become more real
bigger. and important.
 
bigger than me.
 
 

life and things are so easily muddied. and muddled.

a mess of dirty offerings.

they’re all i have.

flustered. i find myself reaching through walls as they leave.

some literal. others figurative.

to give a blessing.

in the Name of the Father. and of the Son. and of the Holy Ghost.

they can’t see me.

is it still effective?

this hidden, imperfect blessing of mine?

sometimes settling is all one can do.

when circumstances and obstacles seem overwhelming.

resting assured that those same circumstances and obstacles are not accidental.

i taste and see His goodness constantly.

He is THE sweetness that never ends.

a free sample if you will.

for our grubby fingers to partake.

HE is unimpaired. undiminished. perfect. complete.

and i can be those things too.

in spite of the millions of oops that are mine. (some quiet. others not so.)

daring to grasp and to finish that sweetness.

even if it means swallowing some of the bitterness too.

standing myself on the outside waiting for an unseen blessing.

because the power of Christ dwells in me.

and you too.

happy monday, friends!

lacking a conclusion

i gather the lace tablecloth into a ball.

little bits of crumbs fall back onto the table.

even lace has holes.

pieces of the weekend come spilling out of my heart.

a heart overflowing with happiness for healing and grace freely given.

it is late monday but i can feel the love that is still here.

i recall the taste of a glass of shared orange champagne.

smiling  i think of the way it tickled my tongue.

two spoons and one serving of tiramisu.

a movie with my mama.

venturing out again. together. alone.

she holds my arm. a sign of her fragility. and vulnerability.

shadows from her fall lurk around every corner. and with every step.

all of life is so fragile.

we are bones. flesh. blood.

i remember: even lace has holes.

holes are the weaknesses.

things fall through.

yet the delicate fabric of who we are is durable.

and we can soak up so much goodness.

the goodness that is:

::falling asleep to the sound of rain.

the downpour a soothing symphony to the places that ache.

::sunday holiness. awe. praise.

early morning mass.

adoration. contrition. thanksgiving. supplication.

Spirit Food.

no crumbs there.

only Wholeness. and Completeness.

and strength in HIS Flesh and Blood.

i pause and ponder:

how is it that we so quickly outgrew that stage of fitting in just one pew?

my loves are sprinkled throughout the small chapel.

how does such a small chapel contain so much love?

because love is not something that can be contained.

it manifests itself in so many different ways.

and when i am not looking it slips right through those holes and sinks down into my deepest. darkest places…and resides with me.

even in my crumb-iness…

there is an echo of voices and i snap out of it.

stories are being read by my girl and my mama.

they fumble. trying to figure out where they left off last.

so much of life is fumbling and trying to figure out where you left off last….

the read aloud: the swiss family robinson.

so many interesting things to make small talk about.

there is a catch in my throat.

i had hoped these days would come again.

days where we’d hear and feel all of these things again.

will it all fall through again?

maybe. probably.

yes, definitely.

i take those words and set them aside for now.

life has too many holes and crumbs to think about.

and after much fumbling myself:

i leave this post without a conclusion…

a sursum corda

teetering on the precipice of cold. shadowy. february. and too much work. and not enough work. and keeping up. and not enough willing hands.

preoccupations and adolescent murkiness: while not horrible they nevertheless trouble me.

and so i seek solace in HIS Words:

I {Christ} am the Lover of all purity, and the generous Giver of all holiness. I seek a pure heart, and there is My resting place. Make ready for Me a great chamber, strewn with rushes-that is, your heart, and with My disciples I shall keep My Easter with you. If you desire that I should come to you and dwell with you, free yourself of the old filth of sin and cleanse also the habitation of your heart. Exclude the world and all the clamorous noise of sin, and sit as a solitary sparrow on the eaves of a house, and think upon your own offenses with great bitterness of heart, for a true lover will prepare for his beloved the best and fairest place he can, for that is a sign of the love and affection of him who receivest his friends.

~ the Imitation bk. 4 no. 12, p. 226

my own heart is lifted.

i do desire HIS coming.

but before He can enter there needs to be a cleansing.

a warm shower. tears.

what is wrong? 

nothing.

everything.

an offering is made. a purification of sorts occurs.

i am so sorry.

this tired mama body. surrounded by people. little. big. young. old.

yet solitary as a sparrow.

all those responsibilities.

sweet. heavy. burdens.

i don’t mind being ordinary. and mundane.

 i’ve grown rather attached to the duties which i enjoy.

i don’t mind living in a world where darkness and light coexist.

the darkness rarely lasts too long.

and in the stillness HE continues to speak to me…uttering things hidden in God and unknown to the world.

and together we find PEACE.

peace and reconciliation with the burdens.

and the responsibilities.

making home and mothercraft offered to God is never a drudgery.

or so i am gently reminded.

it is holy. sacred. and precious. the parallels with the Mass are uncanny.

the ordinariness is gone.

HE transubstantiates my pitiful offering and changes it into something beautiful.

hearts are not only lifted. but transformed.

fruits spread abroad.

but always starting here first.

with me and HIM.

just me and HIM.

and i settle down into HIS embrace. cradled and comforted like a child by the gentle rhythm of HIS heart.

wanting so badly to make every beat of It my own…

and there is nothing mundane about that.

chasing november

and catching it now and again…

enjoying little bits of wonderfulness amid the busy. busy days.

the spectrum of needs is broad.

and oh.so. delicate.

my heart is being stretched in so many different ways right now.

the struggle to be so many things to so many people is an awfully overwhelming task.

one that is best pondered in the early morning stillness at mass.

alone.

as often as i can steal away. that is where i go.

for answers.

to little things.

like chasing november.

a month that has sped past my very eyes with lightning speed.

shorter days.

leaves swirling outside. 

falling gracefully.

like snowflakes.

scattered all over the yard.

little things like how i feel a lot like one of those leaves on the ground.

scattered. trampled. dirty. worn out.

saddened by a diagnosis of leukemia for my grandma.

that’s a big thing.

she is deteriorating so rapidly.

thankfully there is still some shade from the tall. strong. elm.

planted firmly.

towering.

and it offers solace.

solace that makes me content to be grounded.

grounded in a faith built on a rock.

content in knowing that all i have to do is look up.

for all the answers.

here

i am.

staring alternately between the computer screen and a most glorious sunset.

the sky is pink. and purple. with bits of grey. and wispy clouds.

it was a gloomy stormy day. i woke up to the pitter patter of rain. made my way to mass. came home and stared at a dark. still sleeping house. dirty pots and pans littered the kitchen counter. plates were left on the table from dinner last nite. never cleared. because i was just too tired.

and i then i was mad. mad because things are always falling apart around here in one way or the other. it seems like i can’t turn my attention elsewhere for one second or chaos takes over.

you would never know that i had received Holy Communion just minutes earlier. it doesn’t take me that long to get home. what is wrong with me you might say. or maybe you feel this way too.

spiritual dryness perhaps?

or i am in need of a good cry?

i am.

the immense responsibility of homeschooling is a heavy, heavy burden.

but burdensome and beautiful. sweet and sour. agony and ecstasy.

so many contradictions, huh?

it is something i often have a hard time putting into words without someone misunderstanding me.

after all i chose this cross didn’t i?

well, sort of.

because there really was no other alternative.

the schools here are bad. in a very bad way.

and so this is the right thing to do.

read:

“when your soul is crushed with sorrow, know that it is crowded with God. a man or woman without suffering of some kind would be like a world without Divine Revelation. they would know only the twilight of God, but see dimly His vestiges and know Him almost not at all.”

not my words. but oh so consoling.

i am crushed. sorrowful.

and yet i am constantly, albeit very gently reminded that it is ok.

there are still rainbows and sunsets. promises and hope.

i have not thrown the towel in yet.

i am still trying to get used to being in the passenger’s seat. in more ways than one.

as of today we officially have our first young driver here too. one more reason for me to forever remain sorrowful. and crushed.

but it’s all just part of this season.

this season of raising children. big and little.

an exhausting season wherein quite often i, weakly raise my hand…

still crushed and sorrowful.

and say “here i am….”

and i wait for HIM to pick me up.

again.

and again.

 

just peachy

no pun intended.

those peaches are peachy. and juicy too!

but i am just peachy.

not juicy.

the farmer’s market is in full swing here. we withdrew our membership to the local CSA and are going instead. weekly. to the market. to pick out what we want. as opposed to getting a box per their selection. is it more costly. yes. because by the time we get there. naturally everyone is hungry. and then there are the vendors. and then everyone is thirsty. and then there are more vendors. so. i become mean. “we are only here for fruit and veggies.” i say. “so starve.”

not really.

we drink fresh-squeezed o.j. and taste all sorts of delicious samples. one week we try mexican food. another greek. sometimes i throw in a beaded ring (why those are swarovski crystal beads, mama! (as if that should matter) ). or an exotic looking bracelet. and if i am feeling really generous, honey sticks. and of course if i say no, nana says yes. she is nicer.

on a different note: i am knee-deep in piles of sympathy clutter. you know that stuff which every person who knows you “homeschool” likes to send your way. 2 million sheets of orange paper from the neighbors. 10 lbs. of foamy/shape/ stickers from the mechanic’s wife. the 37 spiral bound notebooks from great-grandma.

oh, yes, folks. it’s ALL going in the trash or to the thrift store.

even some much-loved artwork belonging to the children i love so dearly.

there will be some tears. hence my strategy of using black trash bags. it is harder to see just what mama is throwing away.

and frankly, being clutter free makes me just peachy too!

now if only i felt that way about really. officially. starting school………………

giving them what they need

time to create. imagine. play. breathe fresh air and take long walks in search of baby pine trees and new flowers we’ve never seen before. making friends with wee small creatures. firsthand sightings of jack rabbits and chipmunks. blue jays. woodpeckers. and mountain chickadees. some old friends. others new.

during this little “break” i finished a few projects that have been in the WIP basket for a while.

yes, in a step towards organization i actually made a basket for all of the WIP’s and have committed to working on them one by one. vowing not to start anything new. but adding it to my “list” in my home-keeping notebook if it is a project i can’t get out of my head. (like some black sock knit fingerless gloves for myself)

i am so glad to have finished that rag doll. she was so important to my girl and once i got started i didn’t want to stop. the days for snuggling with rag dolls are not long enough and before i know it she’ll be on to other things.

however, chances are, if you give a girl a rag doll, she is going to want clothes to go with it… so i have been busily working on hand-sewn outfits. blouses and petticoats. (nana made the skirt). not easy. so tedious. and such little stitches. but i have to admit: i love hand sewing. i think this is really my forte. it is very soothing to me. and not much is involved. just fabric. needles and thread. ( i did create a little pattern for the blouse i made though. so as to avoid it not fitting properly. that can be so frustrating!)

so there was a little tooth tucked away in a pocket of my purse. it has been there for weeks. i am ashamed to admit this publicly, but it is sometimes like this for fourth children. they wait patiently for mama to do the things she once leapt up enthusiastically to do for the first and second child. and mama, in order not to fail completely, comes up with this clever pillow. hoping that forgiveness will come…and it does. luckily the fourth child is pretty forgiving.

i am thinking about school. still not sure what i’m gonna do. the clock is ticking though. i hear it. yet i put a pillow over it to cover up the incessant ticking. why? when this is my 11th year? and i should be a pro by now. why am i so insecure? and unsure?

because i don’t let God. that’s why.

and because giving them what they need is so much harder than giving them what they want.

not these two. but the bigger ones.

it’s exhausting really.

and one should not have to think such exhausting thoughts in august.

laugh often

at yourself.

and then use a good. free. photo editor.

joining nadja, i did this self-portrait thing.

you should try it too.

focus on your assets (because we all have them).

mine: lip gloss and new haircut.

the sun and its damaging effects is a lot like a good piece of cheesecake. all is fine and well in the moment. but later it’ll bite you in the butt. or in my case: the forehead.

don’t i look younger? though. with this short little cut.  it’s amazing what a new hairdo will “do”.

i had something else in mind. but my sister-in-law/hairdresser nora, sat me down. let me tell her what i wanted and then proceeded to tell me “that’s fine. but i am still going to do whatever i want.”

ok then.

so it was shorter than i intended. but so perfect for summer.

and eating good cheesecake.

and it is a breeze to wash.

and these days i am all about easier ya know.

today in the shower i didn’t even shave my legs all.the.way. i cheated and measured right about where my capris would “show”.

i wanted to hurry up and get out.

i had a lot on my mind.

like how i desperately needed to get to the library. and to the store to buy more borax.

i love borax so. much. it makes things so white. and clean.

i really am this boring interesting in real life.

oh. and speaking of love: there was this desert flower. it was blooming in my grandma’s front yard. all yellow and bright like the morning sun.

and these grilled pita. veggie pizzas. so easy. and so good.

and of course if one is truly living well there has to be sewing.

red work to be exact.

i have great plans for more roses like this one. but i can’t say them out loud. or they’ll never happen. so that’s all for now.

and. finally. for that sweet minnesota mama. and because i pretty much had all of the “blonde” cut off of my own head:

so there was a blonde. and she went to see a ventriliquist perform. he didn’t “notice” her in the audience and began telling dumb blonde jokes (as part of his act). everyone laughed but she became offended. stood up. and told him how she felt. upset that everyone stereotypes blondes as dumb. and stupid. he apologizes profusely. and she says to him: “shut up. i am not talking to you. i am talking to that jerk who is sitting on your lap.”

i am still laughing at this one.

my cheeks hurt. and i am outta here.

i hope your days too are filled with lots of meaningful conversations. good food. creative endeavors. and any(or even all) of  the millions of beautiful things and moments there are to be had.

xo.

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