Thursday, May 26, 2011

Abundant Grace

I just realized something about how God deals with me when I sin. And I mean the big sins. For instance~

1. I had an abortion, and well before, mind you, I came to an understanding of just how sinful this was, He continued to bless me with healthy beautiful pregnancies and children. Eight more times! (I had one miscarriage).

2. I went through some really gnarly times during the first twenty-ish years of raising them. Not all of it was due to my personal sin, but some definitely was, especially towards the end of that period.  In making my way out of those rough years, I responded with some old patterns,  from kind of a broken soul.  He has given me lots and lots of grace, and many opportunities to be there to support the kids through their own healing, which in turn, you guessed it, furthers my own. Having been there, I get it when people take time to work their way out of deep holes. God has afforded me with enough time and resources ( not tons, I said enough) to be generous and give to the kids and sometimes their boyfriends, from what we have. A lot of the time, what we have is simply just to care, to feed them some dinner, or open our home as a place to hang out. I noted the other day, when I was feeling kind of overdone, that giving myself away always furthers my healing and the healing of my family. It is never wasted. Even if what I offer is flawed, God puts in in the bank. And as a result,things are better. Not all better, but better. I trust that He is not finished with us yet. When we still have troubles, I now know that He is at work. I feel the pain, but I have hope. I see that the Lord has offered us His hand to cling to, and His grace to sustain us.

He always knows what we need. He rarely gives us what we deserve.  Sometimes, He blesses us and trusts us with the very things in which we have failed.

Isaiah 61:3

  and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty  instead of ashes,
the oil of joy  instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
   instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
   a planting of the LORD
   for the display of his splendor.

Monday, May 23, 2011

another big honor-- go and see!

I have been invited to contribute to a new blog! It is The Association of Catholic Women Bloggers! I just put up my first post there, you can read it  here. It is a bit of an introductory piece. Plus, if you go and read it over there, I only have to write once today! So help a busy mom out!

my award!

Thanks to Mommy Magpie at Magpie Collective, for recognizing my blog as one of fifteen blogs she really likes. She refers to it as "simple, profound posts from a mother of seven." Not too shabby! 

Next in the rules are to list seven things about myself. Sort of the personal revelatory seven quick takes. mmmm... I think my mind is just somewhere else~ so begging pardon of the rule-maker! I think I will go ahead with my own inclinations today. BUT! Next and last on the rule list was to post fifteen links to my favorite new blogs. Well, I don't exactly have fifteen as I've been on a bit of a break, but I will post as many as I can.

Here is my reading list when I go blog reading:

1.The Little Way -written by someone I think of as a dear friend and faithful to serve up, well, the Faith!

2.The Log in My Own Eye -written by someone whose life journey I really relate to, who shares from the heart.

3.J's Cafe Nette
-a collaborative effort, with posts from several bloggers with topics ranging from personal things, to the spiritual, political and humorous. Of particular delight to some of us mom-types are Manny's posts about his adopted son.

4.I have to sit down -this blog is doing fine without my endorsement, but I have to include it because I love to read everything Simcha Fisher writes. Writing-wise, she is my hero. Get ready to laugh, and don't drink anything while reading, especially near your electronics.

5.These Stone Walls -written by a falsely accused Catholic priest, who has served 19 years in prison. Wonderfully written, sad, profound insights from a perspective not many of us will ever know.

6.Walk to the Horizon-My daughter's blog. Well written, poignant and funny. Needs to share her talents by updating a little more! Her topic is often near and dear to my heart, her son.

7.The Rosary Trail-This little blog is full of thoughtful, charitable but straightforward posts about the Faith.

And so, folks that all for now. The lovely lady that started this has a great list too, many of which I also recommend. Go and check out her list! Heck, spike all the stats of these dear bloggers. Lord, knows we all try hard!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

What I did on my summer (okay, Spring) vacation

Hello! Yes I am still alive. I haven't had two minutes in a row for quite a while, and don't have too many at my disposal right now, but really wanted to share a bit about my trip. This picture was taken from the bus that took me from the Detroit airport to Jackson, MI., on my way to see Meghann and Co. It was a lovely sunset~ and after approximately 97 tries, this was the best I could do. But you get the idea!


Poor Jackson! Kind of a dying town; the only thing left there is the prison. Which kind of explains the general atmosphere, and perhaps even the Welcome Cabbage under the bench at the hotel where the bus let off.

  But then the real fun began - I spent ten days with my daughter, her husband and my grandson. I had him to myself the first day- we played inside-he felt that it was a day to lounge in pj's and what could I do but agree, cause, when isn't it?

But then even that tired us out--

 Then later was swim class.

He had this smile pasted on his face the entire time he was in the water-


this kid is too much. Maybe its the Nonnie in me, but really, look at that face.

 playing outside

                  eating his fave-pancakes

Right after we ate at this little place (where in fact Meghann used to work), we went to a playground in downtown Kalamazoo. It included a verrry high castle-like playscape thingy, with one of those corkscrew  enclosed slides. Again. Very high. There was just one panel  on the side from which an unsuspecting child could fall. Naturally, this precipitated either Meghann or I having to go up with him and then down the slide. (Meghann did this with keys, phone, and coffee in hand). But the worst was the first turn of the corkscrew. It practically took your leg off! Meghann has a few shots of me at the bottom. Maybe I will be able to get some from her...ahem. :D Not flattering but pretty amusing.

Here are some shots of our gardening. We started this bed last year, and this year, turned the whole thing over and added that black stripping in the back, and broken stone in the front. That alone represents so much more work than meets the eye! The light pink plants are flowering tobacco. She also puts morning glories along the fence to climb up. Hopefully, I will get some pictures of how things progress!

   A few we didn't get planted before I left.

 magnolia--planted last year. still a baby, but pretty.
I put in the circular bed last year. This is freshly planted, with snapdragons in the middle. It should turn out beautifully! IF the birds don't eat all the wildflower seeds, that is..
  There was plenty more, of which I somehow lost my photos...

Teaching Kaden to roll down hills.

At the Kalamazoo Nature Center

the craft he made

 I got to watch a friend's baby too one day. Kaden is ready to be a big brother. (face with eyebrows raised_here_)

                             gripping Kadens golf ball.

  another crash nap in the car

right before I left he treated me to a show

  and this was sent to my phone as I was travelling--a consolation Scooby Doo ice cream. Notice Sophie watching from the doorway.

Of course I really miss them. He is growing up before my eyes and Meghann and Jeff are so great to be around. Here are a few nice moments of special days we had together-

It is hard being far apart. We do talk frequently, and share pictures. I think that they have a very good life there, though. We all hope to meet at my brothers in North Carolina this summer (Gary-if you are reading this, is that okay? lol) which would be a really grand time. God willing!

I have lots to share with you. This is just a little album of ten days in May that were precious to me.

God Bless you!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Gone Fishing

                                                                 But I'll be back soon!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The perspective from a different angle

I am posting from my daughters house in Michigan. I do enjoy being here. A very nice break from city life, and of course, wonderful to be with her, her husband and my grandson. I will not be able to post pictures yet, as I am taking them all with my phone and have not gotten a complete handle on all the workings on it.

She and I bought flowers and started planting her yard today. fun! I was also introduced to a beer called Leinenkugel. It has four flavors, one for each season. The summer one is called Summer Shandy, and has a lemony flavor. Kind of Corona-y. The fall one is Sunset Wheat. Jeff says it has a Skittle-y taste. Don't knock Skittles and beer until you try it.
So yes, days here are a bit different than my usual.

I am still linked in to daily life back home. Bob and the kids are pitching in, and stepping up to do everything that needs to be done. So that Mom can hang out in Michigan and bond with the biggest kids-and the smallest one.
Thanks guys.