Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Story In Just One Day








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I recently read that most everybody thinks they have a book in them.  Every morning when I'm running I write a new chapter in my brain.  Yet I never seem to actually write anything.  What would my running brain chapters actually have to offer anyone?

And why when I sit down to write in a journal or here on this blog the words won't come.  The thoughts seem confused and nothing makes sense.

I do want to write my story.  My own story of how I got to this place today.  Not because it is a super compelling story, but just because it is mine and I will forget important parts of my girls will wonder about.

And then I look at just one day that I get to live and I feel like it is a story worth writing.  Each day God gives us is a compelling part of our story...pain, rain, joy, is our story and it is worth remembering.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Comparison Is The Thief of Joy










Comparison Is The Thief of Joy -

Theodore Roosevelt

Ever notice that???  You can have a great day with your family. Come home to a simple dinner and afterwards have a moment of just feeling great...what a day!!

 Finally you get the kids to bed and open up some sort of social media app and see that your friend actually spent the day in Hawaii with her gorgeous kids, who look really clean, prayed together at adoration before going on their twilight hike to have their organic picnic!!

All of a sudden your sweet little day and dinner feels...lacking!

I'm going to be super honest here...where do I struggle with comparison??  My family size and school choice!!!....and pretty much everything else...the food we eat, the place we live, the rain that falls....

Mostly I want to be a really good catholic mom and for whatever reason in my mind that means I need to have 10 kids and home school...anything less than that feels...less.

But here I am..not having 10 kids ....and not home schooling anymore.  So compared to my own definition, I am not a really good catholic mom.  Never mind the fact that in my description of 10 kids and home schooling I never look beyond those 2 check marks.  I have never given depth to that description because what did it matter, I was neither of them.  I could not feel joy as the mom I am with my kids in public school because it did not fit with my comparison of my own picture of a good catholic mom.

Now...I have known many amazing catholic moms that do not fit the description I created for myself.  Actually only 2 of the catholic moms I know fit my above mold...most other amazing moms I adore are also unable to check both boxes.  But that was ok...for them.  I was not looking to make a ranking system of good catholic moms. Just a ranking system for me compared to others.  My point is I realize I struggle with feeling joy because I compare myself to others.

When I read that quote above I was truly moved.  That's it!!  That is what I do to myself.  I allow the accomplishments of others to take away my own joy.  I do that.  Others don't do that to me.  I'm the one who takes my joy and contentment away from me.  But it's silly.  I can feel happy and accomplished as a good catholic mom because I strive to be that my own my own world.


Pictures Above:

You are viewing an insight into the most charmed young boy's life.  Living here is a dream for my Jack.  Everyday he wakes up he wants to fish..and pretty much everyday that is exactly what he does. EVERY. DAY.

We live down the street from a beach called Eagle Beach.  He walks there every morning and catches himself whatever he's rigged up to catch.  Right now the pink's are running and he can't get enough.  He mostly catches and releases because he literally catches that many....way more than we could ever store or eat.  Plus Alaskans are pretty snobby about which kind of Salmon they are willing to eat....when in Rome!

But this fish we did eat!!  Jack was the proudest little guy around.  He has become an independent salmon fisherman this summer and life is good in his world.  


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Thought Of A Stranger






I woke up 2 days ago to a tragic blog post of a friend.  Ginny posted about Sarah Harkins.  This sweet mother of 4, pregnant with another baby in need of desperate prayers.  My heart sank, like many other's.

 Sometimes we know people through people and it feels as though we really and truly know them.  In Sarah's case I was lucky enough to meet her one hot summer night, in her home, with her people.

I had just moved to Virginia.  I was pregnant and pretty friendless, maybe even feeling a bit sorry for myself.  I had made friends with Ginny and met up with her family. She was so thoughtful, trying to get together whenever she could.  Then one night she invited me over to her neck of the woods for a dinner out with her friends and then over to another moms house who was having a bunch of their home school friends over. She said her friend Sarah had read my blog knew that I was new to the area and asked Ginny to invite me over.   I was in...I needed a night out and felt pretty special that this stranger cared enough about me being new to VA to invite me over to her house.

What a fun night.  I met Ginny's friends, ate out in her downtown area at a super cute yummy restaurant.  Then we all headed to Sarah's house.  What an amazingly inviting host.  She was a natural at making people feel like they absolutely belonged there.  She had us all make bracelets from her amazing beads and we ate the most delicious food.  And I do believe she was the cutest mom I had ever seen.

I was blessed briefly to have met her and I can only imagine the countless stories being shared about her and the way she touched peoples lives.  A woman like her makes a difference to everyone around her and it is very painful to know she is gone.

I can't get her or her family out of my mind.  I believe I will pray for them forever.  This is the closest to tragedy that I have ever been.  And it is sad.

They are raising money for her children and their future...which I can't imagine the heartache they all must feel.  Please visit the site and give what you can.

I'm so sorry to anyone that knew her and will miss her in their everyday life.  I'm so very sorry.

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.

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