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Friday, July 31, 2009

God's laughing

Did you ever start a sentence with, "I am planning to . . . . " And as you go about your day, according to the PLAN, you are suddenly hit with something that wasn't part of your original plan. This happens often to me. There is a saying that goes something like, "tell God your plans, and he will laugh." I am sure God laughs loud, long and often at me.

When it comes to most things, I am a planner. I don't like the feeling of flying by the seat of my pants. I like to know what I will be doing, though when isn't as important. The details can be sketchy, but the overall plan is important.

As a homeschooler, I spend months perusing curriculum, deciding on books, thinking about how to best utilize them. I plan out the beginnings of our school year, with the hopes that if I plan well, it will go well. (Can you hear God's chuckle?) This year has been especially important to plan well - - with the addition of a baby, I am sure that these plans are going to get off course. So planning has been a big part of life right now.

Since I am certain God's laughs at me often, I try to hide my plans. It only works if you tell him, right? Recently, we had a visiting priest come. Part of his homily was on prayer. He said that in order to have a relationship with God, we need to pray, listen, plan and then act. "What was that?" I thought. "Plan?" Then he focused a little on the listening part. I think, then, I realized where I went wrong. Sure, I pray, I plan and I act - - but how often do I listen? Perhaps if I was a better listener, my plans would be made in accordance with God's will and not my own. Perhaps God would laugh less, and send more graces to see my plans work. What a revolutionary idea for me! Rather than say to myself, "Does God really care how we plan our school day out?" Perhaps the answer is "how does God wish for our school day to go?" I have become certain that God does care. He cares about the learning my children receive or don't receive. He cares whether dinner in on the table. Sure, He leaves some of the details up to me, but He wants to be part of the planning, so then He can also be part of the acting. While I sure this doesn't necessarily mean that all will go according to plan, it probably means that I will be better prepared to handle it when it doesn't. And, if it really is His plan, He will do what it takes to see that it does work out.

God Bless!

Counting down, counting up

This last month of pregnancy plans to last longer than the rest. At least that is the way it feels, and I am sure many expectant moms would likely agree with me. Perhaps it is the sleeplessness as you toss and turn to try to get comfortable? I'm not sure. But like many, I am counting down the days as I get nearer to delivery. I look forward to meeting this new blessing to our family.

Also during this time, I have been counting up the things that are needed. Do I have enough clothing and diapers? Is the crib up - - where did we put those parts? Is the car seat in good repair? Did I wash the cover? What about the stroller? After all, it has been over eight years since we had a little one in the house!

My kids are also counting - - how old will I be when the baby is my age? They love this game - - especially my youngest. The older ones have already figured out that by the time this baby gets old enough to play baseball or Legos, most likely they will have moved on in life to something different. It really hits home when they start with the game, "how old will you and Daddy be when the baby is ten?" Then all of my almost forty years comes sharply into focus and I begin to feel each one of them.

As I close this entry, please continue to pray for Don, my mother's husband. He is not doing too well right now and is very weak. It has been almost four months since his diagnosis with pancreatic cancer.

Thanks ahead of time, and God Bless!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Gift of Life

Each kick is a reminder of his presence in my womb, and I rejoice and thank God for the gift of life.

Each time I hear the voice of someone I love, who is suffering from illness, it is a reminder that they are still with us, and I rejoice and thank God for the gift of life.

Each time I pray and ask for the intercessions of those who have gone before us, it is a reminder that we are not forgotten, and I rejoice and thank God for the gift of Life.

Life is precious at every age and every stage, from the very beginnings forming in the womb to the very end. It seems we are reminded more often about the gift of life, though, at the beginning and at the end. In the middle, we don't often reflect much on the gift we have been given. Sometimes, we seem to wallow in our sufferings, without counting the blessings that they bring. Yes, I said blessing. Suffering reminds us of so much - - how blessed we are to be on this earth, how good God is to give us the opportunity to be drawn in closer to Him through our suffering, how blessed we are to share our suffering with the Lord, Jesus Christ, knowing that our suffering will never outweigh that which he went through for us. Some would choose not to suffer. I am there with them most of the time. But with each suffering we have opportunity -- we can either focus on ourselves and turn inward, or we can choose to focus on others, offering up our suffering for the good of others, using it as a chance to witness God's love and mercy.

This is what I try to remember when suffering becomes part of my life - - to be thankful for the gift of faith, that allows me not to always see through my own eyes, but to look at things from a more eternal perspective. It brings a whole new meaning to the Catholic phrase, "Offer it up!"

God Bless!