I know I have not posted in forever, but it gets real and busy most of the time and I'm so grateful for it all.
I've had this post on draft for a couple of months and as providence would have it, I get to post about it today - on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
Here are some of the highlights Mother Angelica goes into:
For us to TRY to grasp the wonder of Mary
The Pieta and the degree of love in that piece
The awesomeness of our creation and how we're not awe struck at the wonder of God!
The hunger for God
The hunger to adore our Lady
The hunger for Holy Days of Obligation
Better to die with your boots on, than to have to face the Lord and say "I was too tired"
Get your soul in order - confession!
She takes a call about infertility
As I was reading this list, the hunger for Holy Days of Obligation jumped up out at me - the thought that we need to feel obligated to do something at times. How we sense a feeling of love when others expect something from us.
I see it in my daughter, when she asks me if it's seven yet. We have a rule that says "no Ipad after seven." She doesn't watch the Ipad often, but when she does she is somehow comforted in knowing that I have set some rules for her - for her own good.
So if you can, try your hardest to make it to Mass today!
So I believe it was last week that I wanted to start posting the song that spoke to me most during Mass. As it happens with me often, I never got around to actually writing that post but I kept thinking about it throughout the week.
This week, it just happened that the song the 10 am choir chose to sing was "Amazing Grace." Good one God!
I know there are many renditions that will just bring you to your knees. This rendition, however was made more special by the elderly man who I had the pleasure to sit next to. His voice was so soft and worn and he sang each word with such meaning, with such love. I just couldn't help it, I cried - it doesn't take much these days.
It turns out it was his birthday, too. I wanted to tell him that I hope my children grow up to sing like that one day. I wanted to tell him that he did his Mama proud that day and to keep singing like that every day of his life. Sometimes, when I want to say things like this to someone I know no longer has a Mama this side of heaven, it almost makes me feel like I'm talking to my BBC. Don't ask me why, it just does. A lump in my throat and a few tears, and I didn't tell him - so I'm telling you instead.
The cool thing, though is that in my "research" for this post, and by "research" I mean the "Amazing Grace" Wiki page, I learned all about John Newton's amazing conversion and how he came to believe God had begun to work through him. I learned that his conversion, like mine and many others is a day to day thing. God is constantly calling us back to Him.
I also learned that Mr. Newton had been reading The Christian's Pattern, a summary of the 15th-century The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis. That is just amazing! The same book that sits on my table and never finished. I must change this.
The video below says it is the best version by far which I think is a crazy claim seeing as how it's estimated that it's performed over 10 million times annually. As for me, I'll never forget the rendition by the man sitting next to me!
What's your favorite rendition?
In keeping with the Sunday plan posts, I'm going to be posting my workout plan for the week. It'll be a good way to keep me accountable and to hopefully remind you to get that body moving!!!
Oh my goodness, what a title for this post. Resolutions. We are almost at the three-quarters mark and I've probably gotten around to getting less than 10% of my resolutions going.
Today I had one of those events where you come up a little shaken. It was nothing big, but just big enough that you know you need to work on trusting our Lord just a little, more like a lot more. Ever have one of those?
The episode below originally aired on 1/5/1999. I was going into my junior year in college, but I honestly can't remember how I spent New Year's that year. Friends, family - that particular year is drawing a blank - aahhh! Oh well. I know I was young and probably looking for love or something like that.
Some of the topics Mother Angelica covers are:
How we don't know what God is preparing for us, but He does prepare, for here and the after life
Why does God allow these things, like abortion and storms
Luke 16 - the demands on the man that showed no sign of repentance
How we cannot serve two masters
Warning to those who hit their wives and how that's not love at all
How do we know suffering has value? She knows because of Jesus. A lot of us think suffering is an evil, but it is not.
Dryness when you don't feel like praying/bored/running away from suffering, we must try to love with a pure love and sometimes no consolations can be a good sign!
How we must persevere in loneliness, desolation, in your problems even when you think God's not hearing you. He may just be saying no.
How every storm passes and they all pass
For those that need assurance that God loves you - well you wouldn't be here if He didn't!
It's a really good episode, and so funny too. I hope you watch it - I'm so glad I did!
We are planning a trip to Durango, CO and cannot wait. Any recommendations?
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These dogs, oh my gosh - these dogs! The one with the lid on his head, priceless!
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BB: "You'll pick me up ..., but that takes so long! Believe it or not, it's been a difficult summer with BB and drop offs at the learning center. A couple of times I've regretted my hair being down as it gives her the chance to grab on and hold on tight.
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BBC: Some kiddos joined us in praying the Divine Chaplet of Mercy at 3 (I'll tell you more about that later) and I kept thinking about him. How these little girls have already been introduced to such a beautiful prayer and it all started with my friends praying with me and for my family. It was such a blessing.
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NCC: Almost walking, almost - eight teeny tiny steps of joy into my heart.
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The Doggies: they both just love to dig through some trash, I need to record their guilty faces!
This week I've been reading, My Life with the Saints by James Martin. It is awesome and truly just walked into my life at the library. Somebody left it lying on a shelf near where the kiddos were playing so I just had to get it. Now I'm trying to read it as fast as I can so I can get it back to that library on that same shelf!
Well folks, I'm about half way through and realize I know so little about the Catholic Church and it's history. There is a chapter on the Jesuits and St. Ignatius of Loyola - I knew absolutely nothing about them! I must change this.
One of the nifty things that has stuck with me was to try and do an examination of conscience at the end of the day and really try to see God's hand in everything - where we felt Him most, where we said no to Him. So I've been trying to do that, but I have to cut myself short because this little mind tends to dwell on those times where I can feel Him most and gloss over the times when I say no to Him. I hope this gets better with time!
As far as the blog goes, it had prompted me to maybe add a weekly post about those times when I feel Him in my life. So I said, yes, I need to do that and then went on my merry way.
Then, I started reading through Dwija's link up, and said "Hmmm, I wonder if I have any recipes I could add?" I searched my recipedias tag and read through some of the ones I posted, then I found the Little Things: Chilaquiles recipedia. Guess what, I had already done that whole Little Things deal before and forgot all about it.
Thank-you God for reminding me about all those little things! Thank-you!
Now back to the link-up, here are some of my fave fast recipedias:
Butternut squash mac-n-cheese. This one is made faster if you pre-roast the squash, I think I need to go back to my Sunday veggie-roasting fests!
Chilaquiles. Or poor-man enchiladas that you can also add cooked-over medium eggs on top - just delicious!
So, awkward right? How do you explain these unexplained blog absences? You don't, you can't. I can't believe it's been 3 months, but it has. There have all kinds of things going on over at mi casa, not to mention the world!
I've been trying and failing miserably to carve out some quiet time with Our Lord in the mornings. I am not and have ever been a morning person. My parents have this famous line, "she's not in the mood." I can get down right mean sometimes. I believe BB has inherited this little trait, so I steer clear.
Well, tonight I finally got to read John 21, after having this post in draft mode for about 3 months, or a blink of an eye. What stuck out for me was the call to "Follow me". I pray for that grace always. It's so easy, yet I somehow manage to get in my own way. "Follow me."
In the episode below, Mother Angelica talks about how people willingly choose to die for a living God. We live in a world where out of sight is out of mind, but these people do not die for a memory, but to imitate Jesus, son of the Most High God.
There are so many things in that little chapter that I would have just glanced over. Mother Angelica casts a new light on them, she talks about how the disciples were obedient by dropping the net, even when reason says not too.
She points out that John recognized Our Lord first, although everyone loved him, and asks us if we are able to recognize Him. She asks us if we recognize the miracles in our life, the miracle of life and old age.
She asks us if we realize what a gift it is to enjoy nature.What a gift to even get out of bed in the morning. The gifts of having a job or a family. The gift of time to keep us in existence to do the things we need to do. Do we recognize those gifts?
She also asks us to be humble, obedient and honest with ourselves when we commit a sin. She challenges us to choose forgiveness over harboring any anger in our hearts. It's a beautiful message, and she delivers it in a most entertaining way. I hope you enjoy it!
The best part of my day, is definitely not the waking up part. I guess it would have to be when all the family is home and we are just sitting on the carpet, talking. I love that time of day. Although, there is something just so beautiful about the quiet prayer time, that time of surrender and solitude to Our Lord - not to shabby!
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I finished, I finished and yes I finished the Mighty Mujer Triathlon - thanks be to God! Plus, I wasn't last so that was a plus. It was so much fun and all the women and volunteers were just wonderful to be around. They write your age on one leg and I was amazed at some 50+ and even a 60+ woman. Get up and move those bodies, I tell ya!.
So grateful for my babies!
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BB: Why did you make me go through the back door? (at school)
Me: Because I didn't know you weren't supposed to go through that door to get to school.
BB: But why?
Me: I'm sorry munchkin, tell your teacher it will not happen again!
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BBC: BB: Mommy, I saw BBC's hummingbird!
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NCC: Attack of the allergies has started! Plus, he is such a fan of my hair in ponytails, he laughs each time I flick him with it - it's too much!
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The best part of this dog's day is just plain awesome!
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I tried to understand this controversial theory, The Holographic Universe, it was a little (okay a lot) over my head but it is such an interesting take. What are your thoughts on that Infinite I?
Today is her birthday, so let's wish her many blessings on her birthday!
As you know, I am so grateful for the fact that she has let herself be used as God's instrument. Then I published this post and not until today did I realized that I had already shared that video before, so sorry. My mind is very very forgetful.
Please enjoy this one, though - that deals with Hope.
Oh my, I know - I've been gone from the blog yet once again. It's partly due to the fact that I don't have endless amount of energy and we don't live in a 32-hour a day type of world. Could you imagine, I may even have time to think - or dare I say, even write.
So Happy Easter!
One word, so much meaning! So much love, my heart is filled with joy. Hallelujah!
I hope you all had a wonderful Easter as well and boy do I have a video for you. I really hope you watch this one. I wish I could just hug Mother Angelica, I'm so grateful to God for her.
In this show she talks about the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and how to read Scripture. She delves into one of her favorite passages and reminds us that these men, these Apostles, were exceedingly imperfect men. That gives me hope!
She also doesn't sugar coat life. Life is hard. It really stinks sometimes, many times and the crosses we carry can blind us to the point that we don't see God standing right next to us. We don't see the love that He has surrounded us with.
The love is there, though and she reminds us of that. She reminds us of how truly miraculous the Eucharist is, the gift that it truly is.
She takes a call about heartbroken people missing their loved ones and how Jesus is waiting for you,
Jesus is courting you.
I’ve been having one of those odd weeks, where my days are dry and I have to force myself to pray. I’m not sure why, it just seems like I’d rather be watching TV or vegging out doing much of nothing. Last night I finished the Luminous mysteries in the quiet of the night and was so grateful for that moment of silence. I’ll try to remember that feeling tonight!
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I got my e-book, did you?
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BB: She had a mini-spring break this week and was set to go to an acting class this Wednesday, her first words of the day, “I’m so excited!” Then the next morning, “I don’t want to go.”
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BBC: I miss him so much it hurts.
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NCC: His Abuelita is calling him, “eres un virampito.” Munchkinpie is sprouting four teeth up top, but only the outside ones are visible yet. Plus, two more below. No wonder he’s restless at night!
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The Doggies: had their checkups and my Dulci is getting old. She’s almost 13 and has a little heart murmur, every time she coughs it reminds me to give her more hugs. She is such sweetheart.
One of my co-workers and I, for some odd reason, started speaking about Faith – which is something he and I don’t do much of. It just so happened that one of my friends had given me a big stack of cards with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, so I shared it with him and told him how much that prayer has been a blessing in my life. I am so grateful to God for the mercy and love He has shared with me through praying that chaplet. (Sidenote: I really do need to start praying it more often because I’ve been kind of lax about it lately). Well, he showed me this prayer that he keeps under his monitor and low and behold, the priest who wrote it is none other than Father Ben Mones, the priest who married RC and I! It really is a small world after all.
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Speaking of work, I’ve been using my standing desk more often and it has led to some good things. Among those is a chance to practice standing with a good posture which I think has helped my lower hip pain ease up. It’s amazing how the simple act of standing can just light a bit of a fire. There are days when I feel so lazy I have to make myself stand up and I’m so glad I do. I’ve also been known to put on some Juanes music and dance, dance, dance – or just move side to side to avoid any stares from my cube mates. In case you’re wondering, I do need a bigger coffee mug – I know.
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BB: Today, after I was heartily refusing to let her have a second juice box she says, “You are listening to your bad angel.”
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BBC: The kiddos and I spent Sunday after Mass at Barnes and Noble. BBC loved his Sophie the Giraffe so I have a little thing for giraffes now. Well, this book, “I’d know you anywhere, my love” just spoke to me, because yes, I’d know BBC anywhere!
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NCC: The view from his room at night time.
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The Doggies: missing their Dada.
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I got this in my Babycenter email for the week, I somehow believe it might be true sometimes and I probably deserve it!
So this particular episode, it is by far one of my favorites. I played it at work, last week - always in the background. I'm so not a good listener, ask anyone who knows me. If anyone tries to describe something to me at work, like a problem or a situation, then I usually have to ask if they can write it down for me or really slow it down. I just can't focus.
Anyways, I've listened to this show a lot. Each time, it's like I pick up something new. It touches on so many different topics like, what does being holy mean? Does God love people more if they pray? I struggled with these questions and listening to her explanations spoke to my heart.
When bad things happen to you, it's so easy to believe that maybe it was because you didn't pray enough. I still struggle with this sometime, it's so easy to carry this guilt, let me tell you. It's not easy keeping your eyes on God, either, but it helps to know even the Apostles had trouble doing the same thing.
Mother Angelica has this way of just laying it out for you, in plain words. Telling me to keep praying, because it will keep you close to Jesus, to go to Our Lady, because she knows what real sorrow is and she kept her eyes on Jesus.
It's a really good one, I hope you watch it or have already seen it!
After an awesome and blessed day I’ve been walking around, my spirit feeling cluttered. Maybe it’s a reflection of the cluttered kitchen and living room, the cluttered desk at the office, the cluttered schedule and the cluttered mind. All day, it seems, my life feels cluttered and it’s so difficult to find the time to just be, just sit there and be. This clutter got to me today, my spirit felt so heavy and I just couldn’t snap out of hit. Finally, by the grace of God I began to thank Him, for everything. For the husband that works so hard for us, the daughter that wanted me to sleep with her, the son who we miss dearly, the son who needed me to hold him, the doggies that needed to follow me until they gave me their treats, the kitchen that exploded from dishes used to prepare home-made baby food, cruciferous veggies for me and my Mama’s own light-Capirotada as one of our Lenten traditions. I thanked Him for everything that crossed my mind as I was making my way trying to clean and unclutter the kitchen. By the end, more than the kitchen counters were clean – my spirit was a little lighter! It’s so odd, how counter-intuitive it seems to thank God for the work and the chores – but God sure did know what He was doing when He gave us work!
BBC – Keeping my eye on God has not been easy this week and I’ve failed quite a bit. I read this quote from Ven. Fulton Sheen and, boy – did those words just breathe new life into me:
"When you fail to measure up to your Christian privilege, be not discouraged for discouragement is a form of pride. The reason you are sad is because you lookedto yourself and not to God; to your failings not to His love. You will shake off your faults more readily when you love God than when you criticize yourself. You have always the right to love Him in your heart even though you do not love Him in your acts. God is biased in your favor. God is more lenient than you because he is perfectly good and therefore loves you more. Be bold enough then to believe that God is on your side, even when you forget to be on His. Archbishop Fulton Sheen (Preface to Religion)
NCC has started waking up around 5:40ish with the biggest smile and a spirit to warm your heart. As he tries to bat me awake while I’m trying to rock him back to sleep, my heart just melts when I see his little smile.
The Doggies – We were out and about all evening last night and boy, Dulci was not a fan. She proceeded to try and dig her way into my mattress while I was trying to go to sleep and then, once she’d had enough, just stormed out and decided sleeping in the same room as me was so not worth it!
I accidentally scheduled my 6 month dentist checkup on Ash Wednesday, it was somewhat of an eye opener. My dentist is a sweet lady who gets to judge my teeth, how I’ve been taking care of them (I haven’t). I was mortified when she told me about the tartar/plaque build up and asked if I have been rushing? Yes, I have been rushing – through most of my to-do list. There were many parallels, of course – thoughts about final judgment came to mind and how I know there are so many things I need to work on. The only saving grace, of course, is that Our Lord is mercy and love so that gives me hope. So, my lent offering will be a mix of less sugar/more quiet prayer time/flossing/less rushing.
My mother-in-law gave me the best cauliflower recipe, and I’m not a cauliflower fan. You simply sautee the florets for 10 minutes or so, add some garlic and green onions, sautee some more. Add a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce and sautee until you think it’s done. It is so good!
BBC – It’s been an odd week, feeling like I’m on the verge of crying and then hardly any tears. Feeling the weight of loss on my heart, always present. Praying for lots of trust and trying to fix my thoughts on Him whose work gives me hope.
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
The Doggies – Abacus and Dulci have a love/hate relationship. Dulci will not eat her food unless Abacus is in the vicinity and actively watching her. Abacus, on the other hand, will take any chance he can get to clean out her bowl.
Madre Oyeme. I had the privilege of going to daily Mass at this little parish a couple of years ago. The Church was made up of elderly Hispanic people and there was no music. The man next to me started singing this song with such love, it was beautiful. I was so moved and to this day I pray that my children will have this kind of love for Our Lord and our Blessed Mother.
Madre óyeme, mi plegaria es un grito en la noche
Madre guíame en la noche de mi juventud
Madre sálvame, mil peligros acechan mi vida
Madre lléname, de esperanza, de amor y de fe.
Madre guíame, en las sombras no encuentro el camino
Madre llévame, que a tu lado feliz estaré
Madre una flor, una flor con espinas que es bella
Madre una amor, un amor que ha empezado a nacer
Madre sonreír, sonreír aunque llore en el alma
Madre construir, caminar aunque vuelva a caer.
Madre solo soy el anhelo y la carne que lucha
Madre tuyo soy, en tus manos me vengo a poner
Madre óyeme, mi plegaria es un grito en la noche
Madre guíame en la noche de mi juventud.
The Responsorial Psalm for this last week, “Praise the LORD, who heals the brokenhearted, “ well it just spoke directly to my heart. As someone who’s heart has been broken, I never thought I would be able to find any joy again. Well my friends, I can tell you that all things ARE possible through God who strengthens us. And just like Simon’s mother-in-law got up and waited on them after Jesus healed her, this sense to get up and serve as best I can was kind of born inside of me. It’s the oddest of things, the peace He can only bring you and grateful doesn’t even begin to cover how I feel about it.
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Yes, everyone is talking about the “other” movie so I won’t go there. Where I will go is this little clip of Old Fashioned. I really really want to see this movie! I am someone who HATED dating, it was the worst! I am so grateful God brought RC into my life – I am a blessed girl! Still, this movie trailer just screams for me to go and watch the movie – ASAP!
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BB: "But I wanna LISTEN!" Those are the words that my BB screams at us whenever she’s fighting doing something we have asked her too. “BB, you’re not listening,” I say! Sometimes, when she screams really hard, it makes me wonder if that’s how Our Lord looks at me sometimes? Do I whine, stomp my feet and yell when all He wants is the best for me?
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BBC: The weirdest things will trigger the most random memories of BBC. This time it was the hash browns we had for breakfast on Saturday. I went through this phase of eating hash browns (all the time) during my maternity leave because I had read and was convinced the Starch Solution was the way to go in terms of a long-term healthy diet. I miss the days of watching BBC swing away while I savored those yummy hash browns. I just miss him, all the time.
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NCC: We’re at the beginning of sleep training, and it’s looking pretty dim, my friends. Pretty dim. I know we just started, but trying to help him learn to fall asleep on his own while he cries is the worst. I know he needs his rest, we both do, but if we don’t do something about it now, he’ll continue the five times a night wake-up pattern. Let’s hope he’s a fast learner and please drop me a line if you have any kind advice.
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The Doggies: Abacus’ birthday is tomorrow. It’s hard to believe this little puppy is now 8 years old! He may give Marley a run for his money, but that’s what makes them Labs! Dulci, on the other hand, she’s 12 now and cranky as can be, but I love my munchkinpie and all her little feistiness!
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Bill Murray, just being his honest Catholic self – I love it. I also cannot wait until SNL 40!
God Love You <- That Fulton Sheen, now he knew how to address people! I might just borrow that greeting from now on.
Well, BB – my munchkinpie, we get her ready to go to school in our living room, usually with the local news on in the background. She’s a chip off the old Abuelita block because let me tell you how much those two love the weather forecasts. BB gets the biggest smile when she sees those “sunnies” on the screen so I thought that might be a neat title for posts that I’d like to write about our little Sun City – El Paso, TX.
I was thinking about it on our way home, as my SUV was struggling to the wind. My thoughts were that the Windy City has nothing on us!
Well, back to the post, Michelangelo in El Paso? Why yes, we are truly blessed to have this gem of a replica:
I heard about this last week, on Bishop Seitz blog. That’s right, our Bishop has a blog! He wrote about how this gift to our Diocese came about, how thankful he was for Richard and Esther Stewart (and her parents), because whatever was born in them, the work that Our Lord accomplished in their hearts has led to this gift that will inspire people in our community for generations to come.
I, for one, cannot wait to go see this in person. The feeling that Michelangelo captured and carved in stone, I am sure it is magnificent. I can’t wait!
You can read more about it here and the El Paso times article here.
It makes me wonder, have you ever been inspired by a statute or a painting?
Yes, that’s me NOT asking the obligatory “How are you?” today. Not much of a fan of that little question, so instead I try to cut people off and wish them a blessed day instead!
Well, as part of my return to the blog I’m introducing “Mother Angelica Monday’s!” I love her so much, so grateful I get to share the earth with that little fire cracker! I love the way she cares about all of us, and wants us all to go to heaven. I love how God, in his infinite wisdom, molds us into His instruments and weaves us into this fabric of service, joy, charity. I love it!
My friend at work showed me this particular show and told me to listen to it and to make sure I was paying attention at 48 minutes. So, if you are suffering from any guilt, of any form – please listen and forward to minute 48 if you are running short on time
Are there any other Mother Angelica fans out there?
Yes, I know – I can’t believe I’m writing again. I can’t believe I’m writing here, in my old, silly and boring blog. How can I possibly cram everything we’ve gone through in one tidy post. I can’t. I really can’t so I’m not even going to try. My life, well my life was handed a tragedy and part of me died on that day and I can only hope that this one day holds true for me:
“I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20)
I’ve been thinking about returning to this blog for a while but am always putting it off, I have lots of excuses and some pretty good ones. Then I read this post today, http://blessedisshe.net/for-greater-glory-god/ and I realized I’m never ever going to get to that perfect time, to find the perfect words to share just how much our Lord is at work in my life. Yes, His grace is sufficient for me and His power is made perfect in my weakness. I will try my best to share some of that crazy type of hope and love with you, a little balloon to bring a smile to your face.
BB is aware of everything. EVERYTHING. We were driving to school one morning, I had the Catholic Channel on and was on and off paying attention when all of a sudden, “Mommy, why is that lady talking about her daughter going to Catholic school.” I was shocked a bit, it made me realize just how much they really do pay attention and so glad I was listening to something wholesome – there ain’t nothing wrong with wholesome! Plus, her quote of the week, “Tia Sarah says shi#”.
BBC - I got a little kiss from him today – oh so grateful for that! A friend showed me the little card she carries of him in her purse, it makes me realize just how much God is an expert weaver. We are all somehow and in someway connected. That’s pretty awesome and I will forever be humbled and grateful for all those that keep us in their prayers!
NCC – He’s got his first ear infection and cough going on – praying he gets well soon. He was learning to fall asleep on his own but it seems it wasn’t the time, all bets are off when my baby is sick and I will not let him cry at night!
The Doggies – I’m still not used to Dulci’s nails walking across our wood floor, she follows me everywhere! Click-Clock, click-clock, click-clock – all the time! Abacus on the other hand, continues his counter-surfing adventures. He struck gold with half a bag of whole-wheat bread today!