Friday, July 25, 2014

Family Camp





















I may have mentioned one or a thousand times that it is super expensive for all of us to travel from our 9 mile long island.  So this summer I planned a 2 day camp trip at the end of the road.  This would be our family vacation.  I have never really camped before...especially as the adult in charge of feeding and sleeping 6 of my own children.  Who, by the way, think camping is the best and most easy way to spend family time...because they basically arrive and enjoy all the fruits of our labor.

I would love camping if I could also just show up...grab a hot cooked meal, have some drinks by the fire and nestle in my camp bed after a fun night of camp stories and songs.  But, I'm the mom.  That is not the experience I am able to have at the moment.

So, I embraced our 2 day adventure, chopped it down to one day and went all out for 24 hours of fun, family and fires.  I think me stepping into the camp life for one day vs. two was a good decision.  I loved every minute of the camp.   I gave it my all and had a great time.  Waking up in the morning was my very favorite part.  Eating breakfast on my quilts by the fire was worth all the work we put into family camp.

Pete and I talk a lot about the charmed life these kids are living here in Alaska.  A dream life for a kid really.  We spend most days in nature.  Jack spends every waking moment fishing, thinking about fishing, and waiting for the tides to change.  Beauty is all around us.  Freedom is given at will.  And we have each other.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

"Wait on them Immediately"


















Luke 4:39

"He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her.  She got up immediately and waited on them."

This little verse appears in Luke referring to Jesus curing Simon's mother-in-law.  Last night when I read this, after a long summer day of rain and 5 little girls spending the night, I could not help but snicker...

Of course she got up IMMEDIATELY and served...that's what we do right.  We get up and wait on "them" immediately.  We are in the middle of using the bathroom and we get called to "wait on them immediately".
We get woken up because a toe hurts and we jump up to  "wait on them immediately".

But then I realized before she waited on them..she was given a grace.  The grace of healing, not to mention the grace of being in God's presence.  And we get that too.  We get the grace to serve well before we are called to serve. In the moment it may not feel grace filled...but He is there standing over us, rebuking the things that feel to heavy to bare on our own.

The picture I have in my mind is of Jesus standing over a mother, she feels sick, tired, and hopeless.  Jesus is there with Simon, who will one day be the start of our holy church, and the 2 of them help this mom regain herself.  Christ and our church heal her.  And the first thing she does is  "wait on them immediately".  She can't wait to get back to being the woman He created her to be..a woman who serves and loves by doing.

Monday, June 30, 2014

How We Begin A Story












It seems like a lot of stories I share start with just a handful of beginnings....Like, "When Pete and I lived here last time"....or "When I was growing up".........or... "When I used to homeschool"

We look back so much and are able to see how much we have learned or how things have changed.  But for some reason it is hard to see the learning and changing in the right now.  The right now sometimes is so charged with emotion and confusion it is hard to see the lessons going on.

I can see a pattern though.  When I do start off those stories of when I used to live here, or used to homeschool, or when I was growing up the same message is part of each of those stories.  I wasted a lot of time during those different times...time I can not get back.  I wasted my time worrying about where I was going, what I was doing, how would it feel once I got there.

 When I had 3 little kids really close together I wasted so much time trying to avoid another baby coming close to those 3....what a waste of time.  I wish I had that baby right now that I so foolishly wished away.  I wasted my time...I thought I would have plenty of it later on to have as many babies as I wanted.  But that is not how things go, right?

We don't how God is going to change or redirect your story.  I lived here in Alaska 7 years ago.  I left here never wanting to return.  The rain, the remoteness, all made me more than ready  to leave once our tour was up.  But the moment we arrived at our new duty station I knew I had wished away some place very special.  I never thought we would be back here.  I quickly forgot just how hard all the rain could be.

Here I am.  God gave me another chance.  I asked for this.  I wanted to be back here.  I did not want to waste this I felt like I did last time.  How am I doing?

Not perfectly!  I love some things and I find myself wishing for other things.  Another chance living here is wonderful...but wonderful can still involve some hard.

But my daily prayer right now is to not waste time anymore.....not waste time staying mad at people (myself included), not waste my time wishing for more blue skies....there is beauty in the gray, I just have to work harder finding it.  Not waste time wishing Drew would be more still at mass...he will be bigger and quiet any minute now and needing me just a little bit less...and that will be awful...Not waste time thinking about anything but be happy right here, right now.

Because in a few years I will start off stories by saying, "When we used to live in Alaska...." and my heart will ache to have these moments back.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A Short Book Review







Wow...summer has begun.  Kids are out of school and my house is FULL again.  I love the wonderful business that comes with all of us being together...the way I wish it could always be...the way it once was...

And there I go again..always wishing it could be like it once was...but when it was like it once was I wanted it to be like how about I just love where I am now...and I do, so all is good!

But what really has been on my mind is this book is so good.  After reading Something Other Than God, and being super sad it ended, I needed a peek into another catholic moms life.  Pope Awesome was my answer.  I love reading about everyday people.  I love hearing the simple ways God uses other people to open hearts to Him and to the Catholic church.

Last night I felt like I was reading my own story.  Cari found herself a new Catholic and new to home schooling.  Finding the amazing women in her local home school group really brought her heart and home into living her faith with her family.  Laughing around the spread out food, with kids running everywhere she learned to beauty of the churches teaching on being open to life.  Without heavy encyclicals and quoting church fathers she saw what the church taught.  And in her seeing she was convinced .

It is people who show what the church teaches.  I am so grateful for the people who showed me the faith without ever trying to teach me anything.  I think of them ALL the time.  I miss them all the time.  And I hope to be more like them all the time.

I loved living in my very Catholic bubble for as long as I did.  I know how blessed I was.  But now my bubble is no longer filled with fellow Catholics and I have begun to see that God is using me.  He is asking me to show my faith through my life. I am humbled.  I am weak.  I am inspired.

I love these conversion story books.. any other good ones out there?
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