Saturday, June 28, 2014

What Does It Say?

Tonight at Mass, one of the readings was from Acts Chapter 12 verse 4. It talks about Peter being arrested by Herrod. This was a time when Herrod was persecuting the church, roughly 30 years after the crucifixion of Christ. The most intriguing part is right in verse 4. Herrod had "four groups of four soldiers" assigned to Peter. 

16 soldiers. Armed, trained, and ready to kill in a moments notice. 

SIXTEEN. Assigned to ONE man. 

Think about the ramifications for a moment. What does it say?

Herrod was PETRIFIED of Peter. Fearful, challenged, worried, even dismayed. 

Why? Peter had not been a murderer. Sure, he'd made his fair share of mistakes in life, but surely nothing to be feared. He was ONE man. A man who would share his food with you. Share peace, hope and love with you. Not because he had it, but because Jesus commanded it of him. 

That is what terrified Herrod. Passion, determination and hope. Not in man but in God. It was something Herrod couldn't identify with and therefore it scared the living bejeebees out of him.

Can you imagine how we would be, what our lives would be like if we had even an ounce of that passion, determination and hope that Peter did? To spread the message of Jesus, the hope and the love. To not use Jesus, Christianity, God or The Bible to tell others how they are wrong. Instead, to show compassion. Kindness. Generosity.

There's a reason Jesus identified Peter as the rock of his church. Herrod saw it and was terrified of it. My prayer is that even in our "small" deeds, we do as Peter did, as Jesus commands. 

To love and show love with such passion and determination that it gives others hope.


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Why I Have Hope

Easter rocks me to my core every.single.year.

It's the time of year I can truly feel God's presence. Not to say I can't throughout the rest of the year, but it's the strongest when it's the time of year in church for Holy Thursday through Resurrection Sunday.

I'm a Heinz 57 of faith. I was baptized Presbyterian, raised Methodist and married Catholic. For a while in high school and college I was atheist, refusing to acknowledge that there was a "greater being" and like most 18/19/20 year olds was completely convinced that ME, MYSELF, AND I were in control of every aspect of my life, that no one was there for me but me. I wish I could say there was a huge ah-ha moment. A lightbulb over the head, phone call, Jesus strolling up alongside of me and striking up a conversation. Something newsworthy. Or crystal clear.

Instead, quiet. Darkness. Aloneness. Worthlessness.

I can pinpoint the moment it all changed. My first earthly love broke up with me via email. One more confirmation I was ugly, plain, and NEVER going to find someone who would love me, ALL of me, for all eternity. It was almost as bad as when I realized I was asked to prom out of pity, and didn't get one dance. It was then in the darkness that I felt it. Felt Him. Like an old friend who knew I was in the wrong, and just waited for me to put the pieces together. No judgement, no "I told you so" or "if only you had". Instead, love. Warmth. Forgiveness. Elation that you're back, and excitement to continue the friendship. I remember clearly speaking with God as if he were sitting right next to me, thinking I'd finally lost my mind and gone off the deep end. I knew I must be crazy, because I could hear Him respond.

Over ten years later, and I can say without a doubt that time and time and time again there have been too many "coincidences" in my life, too many "nudges", too many "whispers" for me to not believe or follow God. There have still been dark times. Definitely dark times. Even then, I have hope. Sometimes it stumbles a bit, requires me to rely on the hope of others, but it's still there. I know without a doubt that I am SO loved, imperfections and all, for all of eternity. So much so that He died for me, and then rose from the grave to prove it.

I can't wait until the day comes when I can run into my Savior's arms. It's a day that at times I want in that instant of thinking about it, and others I think how one more day will give me one more chance
to love, to share, to hope.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Perspective

I say "no", my kids interpret it into meaning NOT EVER in a million, billion, zillion years. While sometimes that may be true, such as No, you may not EVER choke your brother. I don't care how mad you are at him right now for breaking oh wait that's going through my mind as I pick up pieces to something that was mine wholly, now in 50 pieces. Still, you can't choke your brother (or kid) no matter how mad you are. Besides, after you've cooled off, you'd regret it anyway, plus the yelling you did when the incident occurred.

You can't have a cookie NOW because dinner will be ready in 15 minutes. No, you won't starve to death in that time, despite what you think.

Parenting is tough. I've said it before and I'll say it again and again I'm sure. Parenting hurt kids is even tougher. Things are going along great, then BAM. Some trigger you're not even aware of occurs, and you're left in the wake trying to piece together what happened. Eventually you do, and learn that there will be times when these rages, these moments of impulsive explosion are something you can't prepare for, or react to. In that moment you hold the child or keep them safe until it blows over, then help them pick the pieces up. Right now is more important for them to realize you're safe, you love them and you're not leaving them. Even if it takes them 20+ years to realize the last part. Or the first, or middle.

Perspective.

Here's to a new year, new chances, and some perspective.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Its Time

Its time to say goodbye. Working full time as a SPED Teacher, part time running my learning clinic, being a Mom and writing for Simply Family Magazine... I just don't have time to blog like I used to. Its been fun and I'm glad you stopped by to join me. Feel free to swing by Simply Family Magazine each month or follow me on Facebook.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Camping


We recently returned from a camping trip with the kids, which for the most part was a success. 

We left with four five kids and came home with five. 

They were all alive

and 

aside from a few bug bites (those suckers were determined despite the copious amounts of bugspray liberally applied) 

were all in one, albeit very smelly, piece. 

I love camping. Always have. Every summer as a child was spent camping. I love being away from the hustle and bustle and facebook of life. Just you, your family/friends, and nature. Your kids peeing out of necessity but refusing to poop because that puts them in the biffy (outhouse) longer than the 15 seconds it takes them to pee. Cooking dinner on a fire, and your children learning why your nickname from long ago is "pyro". 

Time together as family. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I HATE Hormones

I HATE hormones. With a passion. Especially when they're all over the board out of control. I've seriously considered wearing a sign that says "Just hand me chocolate and coke and everything will be okay". I was doing so well at not drinking soda too.

The thing I hate the most though is I am really short tempered when my hormones are fluctuating. What woman isn't, right? It drives me nuts though because that translates to a snippier mom. I really REALLY hate that. The simplest things can set me over the edge and therefore start a mommy-time out before I say or do something I'll regret.

How did we get the short end of the stick?! Oh yeah... it all goes back to Eve and the stupid apple. Don't you wish you could go back in time and stop her from that moment of stupidity?

I do and then realize that if it hadn't been her, someone else somewhere else would have been the one to screw up. We're human and therefore not perfect.

Thank God for that!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Parenting a Teen

Our godson, whom we lovingly refer to as "Old Man" (he acts like one and thinks its hysterical when we refer to him as one) has cognitive delay and apraxia (where he knows the words he wants to say but can not form them no matter how he tries or the years of therapy that he's had). He was a student of mine years ago. Cory and I didn't have any children at that point and loved spending time with him. We were thrilled and honored when his grandparents (another story for another day) asked us to become his godparents.

Fast forward to 2009, when his grandma, whom he'd known as Mama his whole life passed away. At that point we were given power of attorney for the Old Man to help with medical appointments and school related meetings (such as IEP's) as Papa was overwhelmed and wanted help.

This past January, when I went in for his IEP meeting, I was met by a team of very concerned teachers and administrators who had documentation and reports from neighbors, doctors, and social workers and basically told it was time for Cory and I to step in as parents. I won't go into more details than that, but it was agreed by everyone, including Papa, that it was time for Papa to be Papa and Cory and I to step in as Mom and Dad.

I remember not too long ago begging God for ONE child, and now I have four. I am beyond blessed and thankful for the chance to be mom to these four precious and amazing kids. I was just asked the other day if I would ever bring in more kids. I laughed and said its not really up to me. I thought when we got the Bulldozer and the Entertainer we were set, our prayers had been answered. Here I sit four kids later and I'm smart enough to know saying "nope we're good" and "never" are things you don't tell God. He sends two more kids your way just to remind you who the boss is.

In all seriousness though, its been a learning curve for sure these past 7 months. We're now parenting a 17 year old, 7 year old, 6 year old, and 5 year old. Don't let the cognitive delay or apraxia fool you either. The Old Man can be just as snippy and bull headed as any teen I've ever worked with. He adores his younger siblings though and loves the animals though, and laughs a lot.

I know parenting our other three during their teen years will be different in many ways, but it will also be similar. Love, patience, understanding and a sense of humor will go a long way.