Tuesday, August 2, 2016

H+C=true inspiring love

These are my parents, Herman and Clara. I am reading a book called The Unveiled Wife with a group of people on Facebook. We are only on chapter 2 but it has gotten me thinking about this wonderful couple. 
One of the questions to reflect on for that chapter is "In what ways has your parents' relationship shaped your character?"  The other one that got me thinking about them was, "What behaviors-both good and bad- do you have that you recognize as by-products of your childhood?"
First of all, my parents had the best marriage I could ever have the honor of looking up to.  As I reflect on this they had the best examples as well, no wonder they had it so together.  
Mom and Dad were married July 30, 1966 and their marriage was inspirational from day one.  They were ALWAYS together.  They went to so many church dinners etc up until Dad couldn't transfer Mom as easy anymore.  I don't ever remember them going to functions separately.  I even remember Dad telling Mom, "I really want to go to (some function) but you aren't going with me so I don't really want to go."  Dad often didn't go somewhere because he wanted mom to go along and she couldn't or wasn't invited.  I'm that way now too.  I don't like to go somewhere without Tom.  Although I do enjoy being alone from time to time.  LOL
They worked side-by-side on the farm.  If we were working on the farm together all day (often baling hay) dad would take us out to eat that night.  "Mom worked hard for/with me all day she deserves the time off."  He didn't always give a gift for special occasions, but he gave her little gifts and showed his appreciation often.
I always enjoyed watching them dance together.  They moved as one unit.  Dad was much taller than Mom and I don't ever remember them stepping on each other's toes.  What I wouldn't do to watch them glide across the floor just one more time.
I remember in November of 2014 Dad had to go to the hospital for his heart.  (His pacemaker had shocked him in July and he didn't do anything about it.  Didn't tell anyone but my one brother, who thought it was no big deal.)  We stopped at the nursing home to tell mom what was going on.  She was in tears.  I left the room to give them some time.  When dad got out of the hospital he didn't go directly to her at the home, but she knew he was home and ok.  I took him to the home a few days later.  When we walked in she was napping.  When she opened her eyes it was like young lovers looking at each other.  I felt like a third wheel.  LOL
That look happened a lot between them.  
When we were all called to the Nursing Home because the end was near for mom he didn't want to leave the room.  We had a hard time convincing him that she would be ok.  I sat with the two of them one day during that time.  Dad sat by her bed, head in his hands, and prayed.  He kept touching her and whispering to her.  I took a photo of this but it doesn't even begin to show the emotion that I could feel in that room.  (I have only shared that photo with one person because I feel it is so personal.)  Mom left us on Febr. 6, 2015.  Dad would never be quite the same.
I almost forgot to include Dad's last act of love for Mom.  As we were planning the funeral with the director Dad looked at him with tears in his eyes and asked if he could push mom in and out of church one last time.  He had been pushing her in the wheelchair for a few years and felt the need to push her one more time.  He also asked if he could put something in the casket with her.  The mortician agreed to both requests.  Right before they closed the casket dad put a small Snicker bar in mom's hands.  With all the strength he could bring to the surface during the time of his greatest sorrow he pushed the casket up the aisle of the church (which mind you is no small church) before the Mass and back out of church for his one last act of love.  The sight alone brought many people to tears.
Shortly after Mom died Dad was in the hospital.  He kept telling us something wasn't right.  The doctors couldn't find anything wrong with him.  They even told my brother, "there is such a thing as a broken heart." He insisted he was good enough to be at home, but we were worried.  We tried to convince him to go to Assisted Living, but he just couldn't do it.  In July of 2015 he fell and fractured his pelvis.  Then he had no choice.  In September we celebrated his 79th birthday.  It was a beautiful day with his brother and sisters there.  On December 4 he joined mom in heaven.  I truly believe that he couldn't/wouldn't celebrate Christmas without mom.  
As for the by products of their love, I hope I'm living with even half the dedication and love of my husband that they had for each other.  Dad did have a bad habit of clamming up or suddenly being quiet when he felt he wasn't being heard or getting his way.  I've now been told I do the same thing.  So I guess that's something I need to work on.
All I know is that I hope when I'm gone people will be saying the beautiful things about my marriage that people have been saying about my parents.  When a person who only knew them for a couple months says, "I can only dream and hope that my marriage is as strong as theirs after 49 years."  
They weren't here on earth to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary about a week ago, but we gathered anyway and celebrated for them.  Yes...their love continues.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Be Careful What You Say

Before I officially start this blog let me just say a couple things:  
1.  IF you are not religious or like reading religious things STOP now!  
2. I know the person did not mean to hurt my feelings, rather she meant to help.  I am NOT mad at her and know she meant well.  
3.  This may be long.  
4.  This is actually the second time I am writing this.  I started on my phone and accidentally erased the whole thing.  I know, I know save.  I will do that right now.
I am usually not one to get offended easily and actually it took me a couple days to process what happened and come to terms with what happened.
I am always looking to expand my religion and what I believe and why.  I enjoy talking with people about my faith (can you tell).  I live like my Grandmother did..."never go to bed without learning something new".
I was talking with a lady the other day about Breanna and how she has strengthened my faith.  I mean some times that's all I have to help me get through the day/hour/minute/second.  Some days I am praying every hour/minute/second.  I have to believe God has a plan and I have to trust in that plan.
I was telling her that I have often thought of taking Breanna to a healing Mass.  She asked me where I was thinking of taking her.  I told her a town nearby., but I was worried about taking her to a different church. After all she has issues in our church going there every weekend.  This lady recommended a priest who is actually located in a parish near my hometown.  This was very interesting to me.  I may look into that more.
Now here is where I was challenged.  Let me just say once again she didn't mean anything by her comments, but they really threw me for a loop.
She told me that I should have Breanna prayed over.  She also told me we should have a generational healing done.  God does not make people handicapped, we do it by our sins or the sins of our ancestors.  I didn't know what to say.
It has taken me years to make myself believe Breanna is not the way she is because of something I did.  Now here is this person telling me it might be my fault.  Talk about one step forward and two steps back.
Now I believe God has been preparing me for Breanna for a long time.  Here are my reasons.  
1.  I was going to go to college and be a music teacher.  My band teacher talked me out of it.  
2.  I was in college for Elementary Education only.  A Special Education instructor came and in told us about being a Special Education teacher and I added that major.  
3.  I did A LOT of respite care for many children with many different handicaps.  
4.  Most of my teaching career has been Special Education. 
All those experiences gave me many different ideas and methods that I can use with Breanna now.
I have thought about this conversation for a while now.  I know she didn't mean to upset me.  She is a person I admire and look up to.  Her ideas and belief are what I would love to have and I love to learn from.
To me Breanna is not a curse or someone God is punishing me with. Ok on bad days I may feel a bit different but I am only human. She blesses me in so many ways that it's hard to explain. I look to Breanna for an example of unconditional love. She doesn't care that you just yelled at her for breaking your favorite item she will give you and smile and the best hug in the world. She has the most awesome smile that just melts the hardest heart. Her hugs are the deepest most heartfelt hugs you can ever experience.  Because of her I am more patient, and understanding of others. You can't see everyone's burdens or trials be nice anyway. Because of her I feel I am a better person.  
I also see how she affects others. Especially her dad and brother. I don't know if I would have seen the patience and understanding those two can show without her. They both love her and I know she loves them. She gets soooo excited when they come home.  
She is a blessing, not a curse.  While I do believe having her prayed over and for is helpful I do not believe that her condition is due to so sin of someone else. God doesn't punish, I know some of you would say there are examples in the bible of him punishing someone. Yes but look how bad those offenses were and he gave them signs to change their ways.   God will help me, like He always has. Carrying me if He needs to. 
Here is what I want you to take from this.  Please be very careful what you say to different people. Especially to someone who is struggling with their life or situation already.  Make sure what you say is supportive and its not going to  hurt them in some way.  Again I am not hurt and I am probably stronger because of this encounter. It made me look at my faith and what I believe closer. It made me write this to share with all of you. As the saying goes....God is good, all the time.  All the time, God is good. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Memories of Mom Clara (Reisdorff) Dvorak

This blog has been rolling around in my brain for two + months now and I think that today, Mom's 81st birthday of human life and 1st birthday in heaven, it is time to make myself sit down and do this reflecting that needs to be done.

This beautiful baby never lost that beautiful smile.  The last time I saw her alive she gifted me with one.  I will NEVER forget that.  I only really remember her crying one time.  She always looked for the bright side of anything.  She is the reason that all of us find humor in anything.  In fact she would be the first to tell you when she married she went from a car to a card.  (Clara Caroline Agnes Reisdorff CCAR to Clara Caroline Agnes Reisdorff Dvorak CCARD)  Don't get me wrong she was serious when the situation called for seriousness.  But when things got too serious when it didn't need to be she was the first to find something to make us smile.  We did not go through many band aides growing up because if we came with a little cut she would say something to the effect of, "maybe we should cut the whole limb off."  She was the rock in the family and the one we all went to for advice first.  I'm sure it drove dad nuts, but she was always there when we came home and needed to vent.  She was a stay-at-home mom until my brothers were in Junior High or High School.  I always came home to mom.
She was our protector and now I find myself doing a lot of the same things to/for my children she did for me.  We had a longer driveway (with a curve in it) and she would walk us or drive us down the lane to the bus every day.  She didn't like the idea of us standing on the end of the driveway where she couldn't see us.  I don't know if she continued it for my brothers through high school or not, but  it was something she did for me.  

She shared her love for animals with us.  There wasn't a pet we didn't have, raccoon, pigs, lambs, sheep, chickens, ducks, cats, dogs, rabbits and even a pet pigeon that we rescued from the cats (more than once).  She showed us how to love unconditionally through her caring for the animals especially when they were sick or injured.  We often had a lamb or calf in the house to warm up and nurse back to health.  She taught us so much, but I still wish I would have paid attention more, about life and death.  We buried favorite pets, had mini funerals etc.  Of course the older we got the less that was necessary and she seemed to know just when the time was to quite things and move on to the next stage in life.  
She was an EXCELLENT cook.  She always had a warm meal ready for us at noon and 6pm, or when we came in from working outside.  I still don't know how she managed to get a balanced meal ready so quickly all the time.  She never did share that secret.  She made the best kolaches and rolls.  In the last couple years we have ordered them but the extra love she put in them is missing.  When I went off to college and beyond she would make my favorite meal or food item.  (Usually macaroni with tomatoes.  I've tried to make it SEVERAL times but it never tasted like hers.)  She took amazing care of us.  That extra love and compassion made us the people we are today.
She loved music.  Of course we didn't know what she played  until we were choosing what we wanted to play in school.  She never forced us to do anything (OK we felt like she was when we had to practice, practice, practice).  I remember not wanting to practice piano and she would say you can practice or.... and the or was usually horrible in our eyes.  She always encouraged us to do our best.  If we didn't do well at something she would ask, "Do you think you did your best?  That's all that matters."  I still am amazed at the HOURS she spent taking us to piano lessons, practices of all sorts, games without a complaint.  She was all about equality too.  In fact when Paul and Roger were in Junior High and High School and they had a basketball game on the same day at the same time she didn't go to either one.  She didn't want to show any kind of favouritism between us.  She even kept track of what she spent on each of our weddings.  She then gave us the difference at Christmas following the last wedding to make it "even".  We all knew we were loved and no one child more than another.  She was AMAZING.

But above all the things she gave us, that is the most important and impacting is her gift of faith.  No matter what Dad and her knelt down (while they could) and prayed together.  There were many nights that I waited outside their bedroom to talk to them because they were in the middle of prayer.  They prayed for everyone and everything.  We prayed the rosary as a family every night during Lent.  You knew she was worried about something when she had the rosary in her hands.  One night it was snowing and dad called he was coming home from town.  She told him to stay in town for the night and he insisted on trying to get home.  (This was before cell phones)  She picked up the rosary and paced the house praying until he called that he was stuck and staying the night at someone's house.  They did their night prayers over the phone that night.  The day my brother got his fingers pinched of in the baler we prayed all the way to the hospital and during the surgery.  If there was a bad storm outside she lit a blessed candle and we all prayed.  She ALWAYS turned to prayer when she didn't know what else to do.  
Her favorite saint was St. Gerard.  She turned to him when she was having problems having another child.  During the 5 years between my brother and I she prayed to him A LOT!  That is why my brother's middle name is Gerard.  She gave me a medal and prayer card for him when I was having problems too.  She always ended every conversation with God bless you!  
She was a silent sufferer.  I don't ever remember her complaining about anything hurting, or not feeling well.  Toward the end of her life on earth I'm sure she was in some pain, but you never knew.  I'm sure she wanted to go home to heaven, but she never said it to me.  Maybe she didn't want me to worry since I live 2 hours away, but I never heard her complain.  She didn't burden others with her problems.  But she was always there to try and help you with yours and be your Simon the Cyrene and help you carry your cross.  She was on the prayer chain for the church.  When a call came for someone in need of prayer she would stop what she was doing, go in her prayer book and find the appropriate prayer and pray it right there.  She was the perfect example of a faithful warrior.  In my opinion, if she didn't go right through the gates of heaven (keep in mind she received Last Rights four times in the last week of her life which is another story all it's own) then I don't think I stand a chance.
I miss her like crazy.  I called dad the other day and he didn't answer the phone and the answering machine was her voice yet, I couldn't leave a message.  (I want to go there and copy it so I can hear her voice anytime I want.)  I know she is in a better place and I know that she is looking on me right now with tears flowing down my face and thinking how crazy I am, but I'm pretty selfish and I know it.  I am the luckiest girl in the world because I had the best mom anyone could hope for.  I lived with a person who was the best example of unconditional love and showed me how to love others as God loves us.  I hope and pray that I am half the person she was.  I know I struggle daily and I don't ask myself what would Jesus do, I ask what would Mom do?  She was my living saint.  I pray that she is in heaven and I bet she is begging God to give only the best to her children and grandchildren.  She wouldn't know what else to do, she never did sit still.
Happy 1st Birthday in heaven, don't get too messy with your cake.  Until I see you in heaven (at least I hope I make it there) I love you bushels and bushels, and barrels and barrels, and heaps and heaps, and lots and lots, and miles and miles.  God bless you!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Never a Dull Trip

Today B and I embarked on an adventure.  Ok so it started out as just a trip to Lincoln, NE for her six month brace check.  Sounds simple right?  How quick you forget NOTHING is simple when Missy B is involved.
We started out bright and early this morning.  I wanted to be on the road by 5:30 (we had an 8:30 appointment) but when you have to pack, check the vehicle, wake a girl, dress a girl, shower and get yourself ready, and not necessarily in that order, things don't always go the way you hoped.  So our adventure started at 6:15 instead.  Yes this meant I was going to be late already.  Not a huge deal, but a deal none the less.  After we counted kittens to make sure we didn't have any hitch hikers we were on our way.
Drove until we reached Columbus and then decided a stretch break/bathroom break was necessary.  I bought myself some Clarkson Bakery Kolaches and something for both of us to drink.  There was a sippy cup with a straw in the van so I put some pop in it for B.  (Let me note:  I DO know that this can be a disaster but so can a whole bottle of pop being turned upside down while a girl giggles.  Yep been there done both.)  Off we were again. 
After about 15 minutes or so of driving I hear giggles from the back seat.  I look in the rear view mirror and I see Mt. Diet Coke raising up from between the seats. "I ain't got time for this!"  I thank God that it is DIET coke and won't leave a huge sticky mess everywhere and just keep driving, just keep driving.

Diet Coke Splatter on the area where the DVD player is.

Another photo of the Diet Coke lava.
We continue on to Lincoln pretty much incident free.  (I'm sure something probably happened but my brain blocked it out to protect itself.)
We could not find parking on the first level of the parking garage and I had to go up to 2nd floor.  Now I really don't like parking garages (too much freedom and fresh air growing up I guess) and really hate when I have to go up levels.  The drive down isn't much more enjoyable either.  But this was different than what we usually do.
We go to get on the elevator and a little lady is now questioning where we are and what we may be doing here.  It really hit her when we got off at the main level and began walking into the hospital.  She has NEVER refused to walk into this building before and I had to put on the Autism Mom detective hat and think why now?  I finally concluded that every hospital has the same smell (basically) and she must be scared there is going to be a repeat of the "break fluid" incident which meant she was poked every 4 hours.  She is now throwing herself on the floor, screaming and crawling slowly toward me.  I knew if I tried to pull her it would make it worse so I was slowly walking down the hall and she was coming closer as she doesn't want to loose mom here.  
God sent us an angle at this point in the form of Wendy one of the Ortho people we work with on B's brace.  She went over to B, who looked up and smiled at her, and talked to B.  She was able to get B up off the floor and walk down the hall holding both of our hands.  This was such a lifesaver.  We both assured her there would be no pokes on this visit.  Wendy needed to go help another patient and left us promising B a huge hug if she was good the rest of the visit.  (She did follow through!)
We then went and checked in for our visit.  B was cooperative by this point because she new this place and this routine.  Then it was time for x-ray and we fell to pieces again.
First they had to take us to a different area in the hospital for x-ray than B was use to.  (Let's face it we do this every 6 months so she knows how this works.  In fact it seems like we get a new Shriner to escort us every  time, and when I say new I don't just mean to us I mean they have never done this before so we lead him.)
Now we are waiting in a tiny waiting room with 3 other patients, their Shriner and their parent or parents.  B was very uncomfortable.  We get called back for the x-rays and I'm thinking this is getting better now.
Oops spoke too soon.  She did not want to cooperate.  She stepped up on the stand like this was going to be ok and then turned into a HUGE rag doll.  After struggling to get her to stand again they decide I need a lead vest.  I'm thinking, "I don't care let's just get this done!!!"  They gown me up and another helper, go to take the x-ray and THE MACHINE DOESN'T WORK!!!!!  Ok reset the machine, let's try it again.  NOPE!!!!  After 4 reposing/resetting/mom ready to scream-at-the-top-of-her-lungs attempts for an x-ray they ask us to step outside and wait in the hall while they try to figure it out.

Thank goodness for ipads and Jessie to get through all this.
So we are now sitting in the hall way for about 5 to 10 minutes.  No one is going in or out of the room, I can hear them talking in there, and other patients are in and out of the other x-ray rooms nearby.  B is now starting to scream, which really echoes in hospital hallways BTW, and I'm about reduced to a puddle of tears.  Finally someone comes and says they have the machines ready and running in the area we usually go to they are going to take us over there.  REALLY!!!!!  Gather all our stuff (almost forgot B's shoes) and off to where we usually go.
There we are pretty much taken right back and the x-ray is done in one shot!  (She knows what to do here.)
Now we wait in the lobby with all the others to see the Doctor.  This was only about 10 minutes or so.  I really don't know as she decided it was time for a pants change and that seems to take forever anyway.  LOL
Clown in training.

I wish she would have turned around, she was really cute, but B wanted nothing to do with her.
We now are taken to a room to wait for the doctor.  They tell me it's Dr. Guidera and I'm thinking yeah right.  Dr. Guidera is the very first Doctor we dealt with in Minneapolis.  He is the doctor that looked us in the eyes, oh so long ago, and told us we would be running after her in the halls someday.  He holds a very special place in our hearts.  But we were told he moved to Florida.  Ends up he was there, I asked another person about it and they told me he likes to meet them, when he can, at out reach clinics.  It was WONDERFUL to see him again.

This was the stool in the room we waited to see the doctor in.  All I could think of was Twilight.

Once again the iPad was a lifesaver!!!

I tried to find the last x-ray so you could see the difference, but no luck.
The doctor did give us some good news (the one bright spot in the day).  Making sure her brace is tight made all the difference.  Last time the doctor (a different one) was starting to talk surgery as the curves were measuring over 30 degrees each in the brace.  This time we were at 17 degrees and 20 degrees much better and no more talk of surgery!!!!  THANK YOU GOD!!!!!
We also saw Wendy and Tim who thought the brace looked good, gave us a few more pointers on wearing it and taking care of it.  Also took her insert from one shoe so they could build it up as it was wearing out already.
We LOVE our Shriners.

She wore herself out!  (BTW this is very unusual.  She hardly ever sleeps in a vehicle or during the day even.)
On the way home I decided to take a break in David City and visit the cemetery where my grandparents and uncle are buried.  I did not realize that Grandpa passed away so close to my Birthday.  I really need to make note of these dates better.  

I also stopped at my cousin's house (Deb Dinkelman).  My other cousin Dan's daughter was home visiting after being in Germany in the service for a number of years.  I was able to meet her husband Kenny and see their daughter Bailey again.  Her life is so blessed and I was honored to spend some time with all of them.  
Breanna did not want to get out of the van at her house (a different place than she was use to again).  It wasn't too cold or hot and I kept looking out the window checking on her.  When I got in the van I could smell something (perfume) and could not place the smell.  I knew it was something I had smelled before, but could not place it.  But we were on our way and I just wanted to get home at this point.
Just after we went through Columbus B hands me a diaper.  She wanted to be changed.  I told her we would stop in the next town.  So in Humphrey I stopped to change her pants.  There I discovered the source of the odor.  She had found (who knows where) a very small, thank goodness, bottle of Polo.  Let me tell you it smells WAY better on the men in my house than on my van.  Also, due to a "recall" on the switch to the vent windows of the van they are disabled and I couldn't open a window to air it out a bit.  I'm just glad it wasn't a bigger bottle or a bottle of something that I couldn't stand.  
As I said this may not be all that happened, but my brain may have blocked out some things to protect my sanity.  It just seems that when it rains it pours or in my case floods.
When we leave the Shriners they always have us do an exit survey.  I told them I would pass this time.  They were a bit concerned, but I assured them that all the things I had issues with were things they didn't have any control over.  (Mostly the x-ray equipment) I didn't want my issues to be reflected as anything they did or didn't do. All I can do is pray next time will be better.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

I Am So Proud!!!


I'm so sorry if you don't want to read something sappy and a mother bragging, please go to a different blog.  I just hope that some day my not-so-little-anymore man and not-so-baby-anymore baby-girl will read this and realize how proud they have made me to this point and I'm sure beyond.

When I first held each of them my brain could not handle nor could my dreams ever be big enough to even touch what has happened and continues to happen on a daily basis with these two.

Let me start with my not-so-little-anymore man.  Last night he became, what I would consider, an adult in the Catholic Church.  Last night, looking through tears, I watched my little boy be confirmed.  

It was beautiful.  I really LOVE how the bishop smiled at him.  (He did it with every child, but it meant a lot to this mom.)  I am so proud of the fine young man that God has blessed me with.  Now I'm not saying my son is a saint, and he tests my ability to ever become one sometimes too, but when I have others tell me what a fine, kind, caring young man he is I want to melt into a puddle.  I have prayed every day, since I found out God was gifting us with a child, that my child would be kind, and caring.  God has defiantly heard that prayer.  I know we have a long way to go, but I know we are on the right track.

I am also blessed that I don't really need to worry about his grades.  God gave him a very gifted brain, when it wants to be.  LOL  I wish I would have been able to get the grades this young man does.  He needs to work a bit, but for the most part things come very easy to him.  I know I let my guard down too often on this front with him, but I rest assured he will correct what needs to be quickly. 

Lastly I am so blessed that he loves his little sister as much as he does.  It doesn't always show, especially when she breaks his favorite thing or runs off with his DS, but it shows when needed the most.  Every time I have been concerned about Breanna's health or we have had to run her to the Doctor in an emergency he has shown such love and compassion for her I could burst with pride.  I know if something happens to me he will be right there to take my place and watch out for her.

Reid, thank you for being the best son I could have ever asked for!  You don't know how many times my heart expands with pride for you!  You are everything I have ever asked for or dreamed of in a son!  Please know that I love you and am VERY proud to call you my son!!!

The other person in my house that I am sooooo proud of is Missy B!!!  Even though she has not met as many milestones as her brother she has overcome soooo many obstacles I don't know where to start.

Let me just encompass all of them by saying....I am so proud she has figured out her own way to let me know some of the things she needs/wants.  She will bring me what she wants to eat or drink.  It breaks my heart to tell her no, but I don't want her to learn she will get everything she wants.

She amazes me with her ability to know who will accept her and who will turn her away.  She is also quite funny when she sees someone outside of the normal environment she sees them in it will throw her off a bit, but she soon is smothering them with hugs and kisses.  I soooo enjoy watching her grow and learn.  

I really love seeing her learn new things.  She is amazing with how she overcomes the things that get in her way.

I am so proud she so somewhat independent.  I am proud that she is mobile and can be (kind-of) trusted with some freedoms.  I love that is so soooo free with hugs and kisses!  I can't wait to see what God has in store for her!!

I am so proud to call these two my children.  God has given me a blessing that I will always be thankful for and never take for granted.  I am praying that they continue to grow in faith and knowledge every day.  

I am a very emotional person and when you ask me about my children I may have tears in my eyes, but they are tears of pride!  I will admit I cried last night and will definitely cry at whatever the next big milestone is for either of my children.  Just have a box of Kleenex handy for me the day that Missy B makes her first communion.  Heck have a whole CASE for me that day.  That is my next big step with her and I will fight with all my might to make that happen!  (Darn it I'm starting already!! LOL)

I can't end this without at least mentioning that I have one other child I am proud of.  That is my miscarried child Danny Chris.  I am so proud that God gave me the blessing of bringing a soul to life even if I never got to hold, or kiss Danny.  I know that Danny is helping his/her brother and sister more in heaven than they ever could have here on earth.  I know that Danny is who is praying the hardest for his/her mommy and daddy to have enough strength, patients and faith to take care of his/her siblings.  Thank you Danny and I am proud of you as well.  You get to see God, Jesus and Mary every day.  Be ready to introduce me to them when I get there too.

God please bless all my children with strength for their days, peace for their nights and faith in You to get them through everything!!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Growing in the Lord

I've been meaning to work on this blog for sometime now.   OK since Spring if you must know.   That's pretty obvious if you look at the photos I have included.  
Every spring I am amazed at how God takes our dark, dry (usually) earth and turns it, in what seems like overnight, a lush carpet of green and other colors.   Every year it fascinates me more and more.   This year it had a little help in that I tried to control some of the green by planting a garden.   I had some help, I don't know that it would have all gotten done if I didn't. But it was tilled and seeded and I waited for the green while my mouth watered thinking of the wonderful flavorful produce it would provide.
I tried to control the weeds, and did a fairly good job at first, and was in awe of the changes I kept seeing every time I went out there.   The most impressive part was just how hard some of the seeds had to work to become the fruitful plants I ended up with.  Some of those poor little plants had to move mountains to get to the point of producing fruit.  
They worked so hard but you know what? The plants that had the hardest time breaking through the ground were the strongest most productive plants out there.  
The ones that just popped up and grew with no mountains in their way were not as strong or productive.  
This reminded me a lot of my life.   I struggled through many phases growing up.   I wasn't the most popular person in the world.   At the time it in really struggled with who I was and who I was meant to be.   Often times I let that get in the way of really enjoying life.   Oh not many people knew of this struggle, I did a good job of keeping the weight of it to myself.  
But now I see that struggle helped shape me into the person I am today.   I'm stronger, wiser and I hope more fruitful because of it.  
Just like the plants struggling to break through the ground I had to have a mountain in my way so that I could come out better on the other side.
Did I do this struggle alone? Sometimes it felt like it.   I know now, more than I did then, that my parents always had my back.   They gave me the proverbial food, water and just enough space for me to learn what I needed each step of the way.   I may have pushed them aside and said I didn't need them. But just like a master gardener they knew when to "leave it alone"  so it could make me stronger.
The other thing I had on my side was a strong faith, a seed planted by those master gardeners too, that everything would be OK and God was there all the time.   I knew that when the burden was getting too heavy I could turn to God and ask for help.   Now my plants in the garden can't ask me for help but I can see and remove things that are in their way.  (weeds,  rocks, and other obstacles.) God will do the same thing, if he sees fit.   I read something just before I wrote this that made that even clearer.  
"the judge ignored her for awhile, but eventually she got in his nerves. "I fear neither God nor man," he said to himself, "but this woman bothers me.   I'm going to see she gets justice, for she is wearing me out with her constant coming!"   Luke 18:4-5  Christ told this story so you would understand the need to pray and never give up.   However, remember a "No" is also an answer to prayer." from God Knows Best About Stress by Fun Nun Sister Mary Christelle Macaluso,  RSM, OFN, PhD
So even when the Master Gardener doesn't remove the big old clump of dirt out of my way He is still answering my prayer.  He has a better plan than I do and I need to trust in it. This is so hard at times, but necessary to become stronger and wiser and more fruitful for His world.
A beautifully weeded garden.  Hard to believe it is mine.
Working hard at growing.

A potato plant moving a mountain.

The potato plant after moving the mountain.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Prayer or Blessing Against Storms

With the news warning our area of some major storms coming our way I thought I would share a prayer for protection against storms that a good friend (MP) shared with me a few years ago.  It has given me comfort during some pretty bad storms since she shared it, and if you know me you know I need it when the weather gets bad.  (This one comes from The Pieta Prayer Book

Now before I go on to the prayer, if you have any outstanding prayers please feel free to share.  I especially love praying prayers that others have had positive experiences with.

Please use the prayers anyway you wish.  Take it or leave it.  Or if you have one you like better share it and I will add it to this blog so others can chose.  

I prayer for your safety and peace.  God bless.

The Prayer or Blessing Against Storms
Jesus Christ, a King of Glory, has come in peace.  God became man, and the Word was made flesh.  Christ was born of a virgin.  Christ suffered.  Christ was crucified.  Christ died.  Christ rose fromt he dead.  Christ ascended into heaven.  Christ conquers.  Christ reigns.  Christ orders.  May Christ protect us from all storms and lightning.  Christ went through their midst in peacde and the word was made flesh.  Christ is with us with Mary.  Flee, you enemy spirits, because the Lion of the Generation of Juda, the Root of David, has won.  Holy God!  Holy Powerful God!  Holy Immortal God!  Have mercy on us.  Amen!  
(This prayer originated in a convent and church in Lisbon, Portugal.  Pope Innocent III, 1198-1216, ordered it published.)