Posts Tagged ‘faith’

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

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I haven’t written in a while, but the recent flurry of outrage about Miley Cyrus and the VMAs has gotten me worked up.

I watched the whole thing.  Like a bad car accident, but I couldn’t look away.  But I was confused.  Why was everyone so mad?  Didn’t they see Miley’s video?  It was pretty much identical to her stage performance.  What I don’t understand is why no one said a word about Robin Thicke (aside from his beetle juice inspired costume).

What. is. wrong. with. us????

Robin Thicke has an entire song being the hit of the summer which was basically about rape.  About how no really means yes.  With lines like “I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two”.

And yet I saw a mom the other day dancing away with her young daughter to it.

Marriage?  Who needs that?  Not Robin Thicke: “You don’t need no papers Hey, hey, hey\= That man is not your maker”.  He just needs to have sex with you.  That’s all ladies.  And it is okay to be used that way, because he is humming a great tune.

I mean at one point Robin had someone else he was having sex with (“Yeah, I had a bitch, but she ain’t bad as you”), but it is a higher calling to be the “dirtier” girl.  And after you “didn’t pick” Robin, he can take you anyways: “Do it like it hurt, like it hurt What you don’t like work? Baby can you breathe?”

Until of course you will give in because no really means yes, right?

And then the world is up in arms because Miley Cyrus personifies Robin Thicke’s line:  “But you’re an animal, baby it’s in your nature”.   We don’t want our girls to SEE someone acting like that, only to HEAR that doing this, acting like this, and letting men treat you like this is not only okay, but wonderful.

We pay money to have a man tell you it is good to have to give up any sort of purity when a he comes along.  Even if he pressures you and has to drag it out of you.

My fight to raise my girls as good, well rounded people is more difficult every single day that someone feels it is okay to market this type of music.

But they don’t care.  After all, it’s a catchy tune, right?

For a great conversation about Miley’s performance, I appreciated this post as well from another blogger: http://themattwalshblog.com/2013/08/26/offensive-absurd-and-pornographic-on-mtv-you-say-i-cant-believe-it/

Please pray for me and my family as I will pray for you always.

Catholic Momma

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motherSo, a while back I was feeling really disconnected from my faith.  I felt like I just didn’t feel the same intensity that I used to.  I went into a sincere state of searching.  It was about this time that the new book “Come be my Light” came out.  I thought maybe I had some sort of connection, that there was some way perhaps she experienced something similar.

I was completely humbled when I read it.

My struggle with faith was not like hers, but hers became a great inspiration to me.  While I struggled with getting my butt to Church, Mother Teresa experienced the complete and utter void of God in her life.  What I did, and what she did were vastly different.

I chose to stay home sometimes.  I chose to be lazy.  I chose to challenge God to come to me.  I had decided it was His job to make me holy.  I had completely missed the whole understanding of who he wanted me to be.

Mother Teresa chose faithfulness.  When she had lost what felt like God’s presence, she continued to be committed to the vows she made.  She spent more time in prayer.  She sought out more ways to be holy.  She didn’t turn away, rather, she ran to Him.  She gave all that she had to show her love.  She was faithful in all the small things.

I learned so much from her.  I learned how to reform my heart.  I learned to choose actions based on what is right, not on what ‘feels’ right.  I was humbled by my arrogance.  It was like someone had shone a bright light into my soul and I was able to grasp what I was being called to do, and what I was choosing to do.  I learned that my faith was far more than a feeling.  I had always known that on some level, but I truly understood it after reading about her struggles.  I learned that I was the one responsible for my relationship with Christ.  That I needed to step forward, to turn my life to Him.  He has always been there, he will always be there.  When He feels distant, it is more likely that I am distancing myself from Him, and not the other way around.

I am so grateful I bought that book.

I am so grateful I have learned to love better and more fully.

I am so grateful for my faith and my relationship with Christ.

Please pray for me as I pray for you always.

Catholic Momma

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Pope Benedict XVILike many Catholics, I heard the news of the abdication of Pope Benedict today and was shocked.  It seemed so far from what we have come to expect from our strong shepherd.  A man who has faced mountains of prosecution over almost every area of his life.  A man, who in the face of a dictatorship of relativism constantly and consistently presented Truth without apology.  A man who loved music and beauty.  A man who fully grasped the amazing grace that comes with family life.  A man who taught so many things to so many people.

I remember when he was chosen as our new shepherd, there was so much speculation, so much reserved hope.

I remember picking up Deus Caritas Est and having it change ever single relationship in my life, especially my marriage.  I learned about love from him.  I learned about hope from him.  I learned so much.  It was like, just when I thought I knew enough, he opened the door to more.  He was brilliant.  He was loving.  He was a good pope.  We were blessed to have him, and I am grateful that he had enough humility and grace to let us know when the Spirit moved him to leave the seat of Peter.

I am praying with my family each day that our new shepherd again brings hope and Truth to this world so lacking in both.  I pray that the Holy Spirit works as always in the mystical way that happens with prayer.  I am excited, hopeful, and trusting that God knows where he is leading his Bride in these very difficult times.

Thank you Pope Benedict for sharing yourself with us.

“To have Christian hope means to know about evil and yet to go to meet the future with confidence. The core of faith rests upon accepting being loved by God, and therefore to believe is to say Yes, not only to him, but to creation, to creatures, above all, to men, to try to see the image of God in each person and thereby to become a lover. That’s not easy, but the basic Yes, the conviction that God has created men, that he stands behind them, that they aren’t simply negative, gives love a reference point that enables it to ground hope on the basis of faith.”
― Pope Benedict XVI

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Well.  The time has come.  I have decided to start blogging.

I figured my first post should probably be a bit about me.  I am a Catholic mom of 4 girls (8,6,2,1), have two female chihuahuas, and one male husband.  I am a photographer.  I volunteer as often and as much as I can.   I love sarcasm.  I hate Caillou (and yet my two year old loves it, go figure).  I enjoy a drink or two, and have struggled with smoking (or more precisely, not smoking) for years.   I am working hard, doing the best I can, trying to be holy, to raise kids that love God (and know how to put that into action), and to love my husband of ten years (no matter how many hours he spends on the computer).  I have traveled to Italy, kissed boo boos, and graduated from university with a degree in psychology (not in that order).

I think I am going to try to pick a topic a day to share thoughts on.   Today’s topic: Kids.

Recently I was out with a group of ladies that I am casual acquaintances with.  They were all discussing their ways that they are avoiding kids.  Most think I am crazy for using NFP.  They point to the fact that I have four kids as an example of my “failure” (not even considering that I could have *gasp* planned to have this many, and maybe more).  It’s crazy to me because when I really, really am honest with myself, a lot of my belief in NFP started from the fact that I wanted to be obedient to the Church.  I have this crazy notion that the institution that has been around for thousands of years with the greatest theologians to possibly have walked the earth may possibly understand the “big picture” more than me.  This is a hard teaching for me.  I feel like I am inundated every single day with reasons why I should get “fixed”, or have hubby “fixed”  (although he is not broken).  Why I should be on the pill, or using SOMETHING to prevent another baby.  It is hard because I am so secular, and so weak sometimes.  Sometimes I wish I did plan out everything “my” way and have the cars and vacations.

I like the idea of a planned out life.  Kids bring chaos.  I struggle with that.  Lots of prayer happens in my life around this topic alone.  I can’t tell you how many times I have found kids painting walls with their poop, or my poor dogs being ridden like horses.  Two years ago, we decided to announce to the kids that we were going to be spending the Next New Year’s eve in Mexico (I was somehow going to make money work), two months later, we let them know they get a new sibling instead.  My second youngest has a flair for getting in the most trouble as possible in the least time as possible.  We built our home 5 years ago, and now have fingerprints, Sharpie, dents, and crayon art almost everywhere.  I can’t stay organized to save my life.  This is the sort of thing I find in my fridge constantly (in case you can’t figure it out, one of my kids decided that they would bite out the side of a cucumber, then changes their mind):

And yes, that is also 3 bottles of Parmesan cheese.  I happen to have light, regular, and an extra one that I bought because I thought we were out.  On a separate note, in the back there is the first jar of cheese whiz that I have ever purchased. Bought it two days ago b/c it was on sale cheap. I am not even sure what to use it for, but it was a great sale..

I spend a lot of time in prayer asking for strength and humility and perseverance.  I am so happy that we have a God that is who He is.  I wish I could say that I am a strong, awesome Catholic,  but I am really just a normal mom, trying to live my faith the best that I can in a world that thinks I am crazy for it.  I love my kids more than sunshine, I love my husband, and I am so grateful that so often my prayers are answered when it comes to these things.

(oh, by the way, the kids turned out to be more happy with their sister than any trip to Mexico after all.)   🙂

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