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Photo Friday!

Craft Day 009As I promised myself, I will be taking out my camera more!

My Photo Friday pictures are posted on my facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/catholicmomma.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them 🙂

Pray for me as I pray for you always.
In Christ,
CatholicMomma

Being Home

So, I have meant to write earlier, but I have been super busy.

Today marks 2 weeks officially unemployed by an outside source.

I can’t believe the difference.

Before, when I was home, I wasn’t very good at it.  I would never seem to “get” it.  My house was disorganized, everything was out of control, I never (and I mean never) got out of my pjs.

What a difference this time.  Each morning I have made a point of getting up and getting dressed.  That alone has changed how I feel about everything.

My mother in law (the awesome one I spoke of in an earlier post) came with her sister and helped me organize my kitchen.  Since then I have chosen one room per day to catch up on.  When that is done, I open my day to doing anything else.  It seems to work well for me.

My daughter came down into the kitchen the other day and told me how much she loves the house now.  She said she loves that I am around more, that everything seems to “belong” somewhere.  That it is just more relaxed.

I am more relaxed.

So, although I don’t know what the future holds, for today, I am quite happy that I am right where I am meant to be.

Pray for me, as I pray for you often.

In Christ,

Catholic Momma

I’m Coming Home

So, after two years of working full time with four children, I am officially becoming a stay at home mom.  I am so excited.  And terrified.

I like working.  I feel like I had a job that I was called to do.  It gave me reason to shower, and put on make up.  It pushed me out of my sloppy funk.  I am scared to go back to being home.

I am worried that I will not be good at it.  I see amazing moms all the time around me that I want to strive to be more like them.  I see so many things in our home that I need to do that I can’t while I am working.  My kids need me home.  They are going through some crazy changes.

So I thought, to make things interesting, I would write myself a few things to NOT give up when I stay home this time:

1. Shoes.  I love them.  I see no reason that I can not have cute shoes as a stay at home mom.

2. Fashion.  I want to still be able to be fashionable.  When I was home in the fog of post partum depression I was lucky to get out of pjs let alone dress up.  I was beyond frumpy.  I want more for myself than that.

3. Going out.  I am a home body when I am home.  I like being there.  Unfortunately, it turns me into a bit of a hermit.  I want to make a point of exiting my front door several times a week.

4. Makeup.  Even a little eyeliner helps me feel pulled together.

5. Days with none of these things.  I will be home.  It’s okay to occasionally have pajama days.  I need to allow myself to be able to relax.

6. Photography.  I want to be more intentional about my photography.  I will be adding my photos that I take professionally when I am home.  No more cell phone camera all the time.  I want to crack out my good camera for my family, not just for clients.

Now, I know that these things sound shallow, and in many ways they are.  But they are important to me.  When I lose sight of taking care of myself, everything around me feels worse.  I want to be proud to have people drop into my home.  I want to be able to not be humiliated when I run into other people I know.

I want to be able to serve my family in a way that I simply couldn’t when I worked.  I want to go to playgrounds and zoos.  I want to see them more often.  To volunteer at things.  To surprise them with hot lunches every so often.

We recently have been walking a road with our oldest who has been diagnosed with severe anxiety, ADHD (a subtype without h10569090_10152639588920767_380741062839863542_nyperactivity), and some elements of oppositional defiance.  We have been working with a therapist for the past 6 months or so, we have a psychiatrist, and a psychologist on her team also.  In two weeks we are meeting with her naturopath to have food sensitivity testing and will be framing our home around that as well.  This has been a bumpy walk.  She is so smart that it has been overlooked a lot by many teachers.  I plan to blog more about this later, but I wanted to share this with those of you who have asked.

I am so happy to be able to be home more to support her also through this.

Please just pray that I am not a miserable failure.  I want to be all that I am called to be. I want to build our domestic Church.  I want to live my vocation in the way I am being called at this time.

Pray for me as I pray for you always.

In Christ,

CatholicMomma

I keep seeing the “Things you should know about introverts”, so I thought I would reply 🙂

1) We like being around people to get energy.
Extroverts are worn out and feel down and out when no one is around.  We get energy and inspiration from other people.  We LIKE to be around strangers.  It’s awesome for us.

2) Crowd me in baby!
Large crowds of strangers are adventures waiting to happen.  We love them.  We love people.  We get so invigorated by others.  We like meeting new people and hearing new stories.  It is the best thing in life to socialize.

3) Bring on the noise.
Silence makes us tired and worn out.  We don’t talk because we want to fill space.  We talk because we like connecting.  We like hearing what you are thinking and responding to that.  We like conversations about pretty much anything.  Silence is not awkward, it is an opportunity for us to get to know you.  Because (as pointed out in point one) we are inspired by you.  We like hearing about you.

4) Just because we are extroverted doesn’t mean we are brave.
Some people think that just because I like being in a room that I love being the center of the action.  This isn’t the case.  Many extroverts are painfully shy.  They want to meet you.  They like being in a crowd.  But they are too shy to actually do something.  That is a awkward place to be.  Wanting to know everyone, but too shy to talk to them.  Opening up an extrovert is usually not too difficult, but we sometimes need you to make the first move.

5) It is not impossible for us to be quiet.
We aren’t obtuse.  We know that there is a time and place for silence.  We try to be sensitive to other people’s needs.  But unlike an introvert, we need personal connections to recharge.  So if an extrovert has been alone for a long time, it may be like opening one of those popping cans of snakes when they CAN talk.  It gives us energy to connect to people.  Being alone is exhausting for us.

6) We aren’t judging you.
I saw no purpose to change this one.  We aren’t judging you.  We get that you might not be the same as us, and we don’t expect you to be.  But remember tip #3.  We need you to talk to us so that we feel connections and energy.

7) Cancelling plans freaks us out.
Especially really planned out plans.  Extroverts go all out.  We like planning cakes and sandwiches for playdates.  We invite 10 people to our party, but we secretly hope they all bring friends.  Cancelling on us usually means we spent a day or more looking forward to connecting with you, and now we feel like you just don’t think we are important enough to make a priority.  Then we sit sobbing over our customized martinis invented specifically for you on this night out alone.  And see number 3 as to what that does….

8) Every thought may be verbalized by us.
Many extroverts think out loud.  A lot.  There are several trains of thoughts, and we want to share everything.  It’s that reciprocal energy thing.  We put it out there hoping for a response so that we can respond… and round and round it goes.  We love to hear your opinions.  We aren’t trying to be self-centered by sharing everything.  We just like the energy created by lots of people and lots of thoughts.  It’s kind of our thing.

9) We connect.  Like all the time.  
You know when you have had a really bad day and you just want to call up a friend and chat? Call us.  We love it.  We love to talk to you about it.  Even better, we would love to meet with you and talk about it.  And our other friends can come too.  The more people that we can rally to cheer you up the better.  In fact, our solution might be a huge rock concert to make you forget about it.  We tend to get carried away that way.

10) We shut down the place.
We bring donuts and cookies for after the meeting.  Often we are huggers.  We like to talk about the meeting and then talk about everything with you.  Since extroverts tend to be overscheduled, we want to talk to you and we might feel like this is our only chance.  We don’t want to miss the opportunity to let you know that we love you.  We want to hear about your kids, your spouse, your work.  We sometimes get dirty looks from janitors who want to shut the building down.  At which point we move the apres-meeting to a bar or coffee shop (wherever is more crowded).

11) We have strong opinions.
But don’t feel like we are imposing.  We sometimes get so caught up in the energy of teams that we can seem over-bearing.  We don’t mean to be.  The louder we get, the more checked in we are.  It means we are totally engaged.  Please don’t feel like we are trying to impose on you.  We don’t mean to.  We just love being with you.  And him. And her.  And them over there. So much.

Surprised by Joy

tree1So, my silent retreat this weekend was wonderful.  As I stated earlier, I was very much anxious about going.  The Friday afternoon, I was so sick to the stomach that I actually considered not attending.  I went home, took some Gravol and curled up on my bed feeling sorry for myself.  When the medication started to work, I felt much better, and I started on my trip.

God is so faithful.  I was thinking the whole time about how I was feeling in knots about the whole weekend, about the nervousness about being alone and in silence.  I was worried that I would be sent through an emotional rabbit hole that I was not ready for.  You can imagine my surprise when I arrived and found the theme of the weekend was to be “Celebrating the Good in Life”.  A peace settled my heart in that moment.  I knew that, being the gentleman that He is, God invited me to a weekend of rest and of joy.  He just wanted to remind me about all that good stuff that I brush aside sometimes.  He wasn’t going to be putting me through the emotional ringer, only providing for me a soft place to rest.

As you can expect, I rested.  Lots.

There was one lesson though that came to me as I prayed this weekend: Sometimes I treat God like a puppy.  Like I expect Him to come when I call, or to leave when I don’t want him around.  When I was thinking about this, I realized that He is more like a perfect husband, a perfect gentleman.  He provides help without me asking.  He leaves when I need space.  He holds me when I need to be held.  He never kicks down my door, he only gently waits for invitations to come into my life at any given moment.  All the while just patiently loving me as I mess up or turn away, or even as I have a temper tantrum like an infant and get mad at Him.  It is okay for me to be childlike at times, but it is also important to remember that God is not there to be my pet at beck and call.  He is there to pull me into being who I am called to be.  This means at times I need to look at Him with adult eyes and celebrate what I see…

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. ” Cor 13:11

I forget that sometimes I need to also grow intentionally.  I need to commit to being better and not to just letting God pull me.  God works through my hands, my feet, my ears, my eyes.  I need to be sure and intentional that what I do is that which will make the world better.  I mustn’t allow myself to stop at what I perceive to be “good enough”.  God is not calling me to be good enough.  In the words of Pope Benedict XVI: “The world promises you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.”  I need to remember that.  I did not stop learning math when I thought I knew enough.  How much greater is God?  How much more is there for me to learn?

I am so grateful that I have walked down the road of faith that I have walked.  I have seen great wonders, and experienced great joys.

On an additional note, this weekend I had many people in my prayers.  Those that asked, I took to the chapel and prayed to the Lord for by name.  I lifted those who may have had prayers unspoken to me.  Finally, I prayed for those whom had no words to pray.  When I left on the weekend, I took about 300 intentions with me.  I assure you, each one of you were prayed for.  Directly and intentionally.  I hope that God blesses you with great gifts and answers to your needs.

If you would like more information about the retreat I went on:  http://www.sanctumretreat.ca/

Please pray for me, as I pray for you often.

Catholic Momma

 

catholicmommaWell, after yesterday’s sad post, I thought I would leave for this weekend on a high note.

Sometimes I question whether God hears me, or whether I am talking to myself.  Not in an unfaithful way, but like anyone, I test my beliefs.

And then he sends me a little note letting me know he is listening and gave me a little miracle answer.

Nothing big.

Mostly a soft whisper on the wind.

Letting me know He is indeed listening.

I am so grateful for the little things.

Pray for me, as I pray for you always.

CatholicMomma

PS.  I couldn’t find a peaceful pic, so I thought I’d make you smile

Scared to go…

cmflowersSo this weekend is my annual retreat. The three days a year that I take to enter into silence and listen to God’s stirrings in my heart. Typically, I am excited knowing that there are so many graces waiting in that silence.

This year I am dreading going.

I feel scared that I am going to enter silence, and with the weight of sadness, loss, anxiety, and everything else of the past few months, I might literally fall apart.

I’m scared because every retreat I partake in the gift of the sacrament of reconciliation. And I feel so broken that I am not even sure where to begin.

I’m scared because my life is so uncertain right now. My job looks like it is coming to an end in the fall, I’m not sure what I will be called to do after that. I live with the daily axe over my head that comes closer as each day passes reminding me that God may be calling me to something else.

I’m scared because I just hate crying. And I know there are going to be tears. I ESPECIALLY hate crying in front of people. But I know that those tears will be there.

I’m scared that I will go, enter silence, and find I am alone. That maybe God is just not going to be there.

I’m scared that maybe He will be.

I’m just so tired.

So, please pray for me as I go on Friday. I will bring your intentions with me. In the years past I have heard of many miracles that happen through the prayers of this weekend. Please message me on FB on my CatholicMomma page any intentions you feel you want me to lift up for you.

I know that God is good. All the time. I just lately have had a hard time finding Him.

As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.
—Psalm 18:30

“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
—Isaiah 41:13

Pray for me as I pray for you always.
Catholic Momma

Math Help

mathI find the hardest part of my week very often is when I sit down to help my daughter with her math.  She is so very stubborn, and loses patience with herself very quickly.  It is so hard to talk to her, or maintain a sense of peace when each question ends with pencils being thrown or books being slammed shut.

I KNOW she understands this.  I see her do it.  But even when she does it correctly, she looks up at me and tells me she doesn’t get it.

How much like my faith life is this struggle.

I KNOW what I am called to do.  I do it as faithfully as I can.  But some days I just look up at God and cry “I don’t get it!”.

And God does the same thing I do with my little ten year old.  He assures me that I, in fact, DO get it.  That I am doing what is right and good.  That I just need to continue to work on it until it becomes so natural that I can do it without thinking.

My faith requires work.  It is not a “sit back and let God love me” kind of faith.  I feel like I am very truly called to work towards sharing love, growing in love, and accepting love.  All of these things come with effort from me.  With forming my mind and my actions around what I know to be good and true.  Even if I don’t understand, one day I will.  One day I will be grateful that God, with his everlasting patience and mercy, took the time to redirect me towards him and remind me that I do understand, and even if I don’t do it right, He will love me anyways and help me to “get it”.

Please pray for me as I pray for you often.

Catholic Momma

mournI have learned over the past few weeks, that God indeed does give us things that are too much for us to handle. I feel as though it is His way of encouraging us to turn to him, to rely on Him, and to be aware that it is HE who ultimately is in charge of “handling” no matter what we think.

Two weeks ago, my best friend died. My beautiful shining light of a friend just suddenly passed away. Completely unexpected. She was 36 years old. We have our birthdays only one day apart.

For the past decade, I can’t clearly recall a day that I have not seen her, or at the very least, spoken to her. It is gutting to not have her here.

My eight year old said me through tears how unfair it was that she was in heaven and happy, and how she can see us, while we must be here and be so broken without her. I had no words of counsel. I had only my arms to wrap around her in my own pounding grief.

I have had many people tell me “God won’t give you what you can’t handle”, but I think that is not the case. I am not handling it well. I am holding on to the thread of hope that God will help me through.

When I walked into the final hospital (she had been transferred from her home to one place, then to the other), I felt my legs collapse. I literally felt my heart break. The air was stolen from me as I stared at my beautiful friend hooked up to the machines that were keeping her alive.

As I wept by her side, I was so engulfed in grief that I could not imagine walking away from this without her.
And as I walked into her home and held her mother, I questioned how to survive.

At one point I made the foolish prayer to ask God to use my grief to give comfort to another. I asked Him to be with them. Being foolish in my thinking I was “strong” I asked God to leave me and go to another.

And He did.

For more than 10 days, I felt no God. The presence that had been a part of me, the Spirit that guided me, all of Him was just gone.

Then I desperately begged for Him to return, and slowly, I started to again feel comfort. At times, I even have felt joy. It is strange feeling joy in this abyss of sadness. It feels like I am somehow betraying my friend. Which is crazy, because I know in my heart that she is in eternal joy.

So I move forward each day. I strive to be a better mother. I strive to be a better person. I hold onto the things that are good and true.

I am so grateful for a quote shared with me in a facebook group that I admin.

“Never lose sight in the darkness that which you saw so clearly in the light.”

I have no idea the source. But I truly understand the sentiment.

God bless you all. Please pray for me as I pray for you always.

In Christ,
Catholic Momma

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