Thursday, September 30, 2010

Real Thoughts

Usually when I write I have sort of themed posts; something I have been thinking of for a while, and decide to write about. Today I just want to share some random real thoughts I have been having lately.

1. Two has got to be the most interesting age to watch unfold. I'm not talking about the kid, I'm talking about kids parents. I've watched at least a dozen times since my child turned two, parents give in to their children after fit throwing a whining. Not to say I've never done this, but I like to think that I'm the boss of my kid, not the other way around.

2. I watched today as my son imitated me in his speech and demeanor after I got annoyed with my husband and bickered at him. It hit me then that it's not in really big things that you mess up as a parent, but in the little, everyday things. I think kids can especially get screwed up when we don't treat our spouse with charity. This is where I fail as an example to my children and a wife to my husband. I'm quick to snap. Must pray harder.

3. I met a really great group of Catholic women this week (the Lord gaveth!). They go out once a month for a "Mommy's night out". Of course it has to be on a Tuesday, the day my husband has night school. Did I mention how much I hate my husband going to night school. I hate my husband going to night school.

4. We are trying to change the way we eat around here. It's overwhelming thinking of all the changes that need to be made. I bought a Vitamix thinking it would help us eat more whole foods. I had to have it in red, so I have to wait ten days for it to get here. It's been a loooong ten days.

5. Every night I go to bed feeling a little guilty about what I fed my son for the day. So many people say, "only feed him healthy foods and don't worry about his weight" and others say, "just feed him whatever will put the weight on him (i.e. sugary foods). I have been dealing with this issue for a year and a half now and I am worn out. Can you hook a two year old up to a feeding tube?

6. Miss Belle is already crawling (well, army crawling) and can get into everything. Where did my few months of peace and immobility go? 5 month olds are not supposed to crawl.

7. I'm thinking we, as a family, may need to start going to The Latin Mass. In these times of trial and change, I don't know how much more liturgical abuse and lack of community I can take. I find it funny that all these Novus Ordo churches (for those who aren't Catholic, those are churches who use the new mass, not the Latin) are so focused on community, but when I want real community and real friendships I need to go to a Latin Mass where the entire focus is solely on Christ. Valerie, if you are reading this, you were right.

8. We have been waiting for Peanut to start talking for quite some time. Now that he has, I'm not sure I like it. I told him we would go to the park today when his daddy got home. As soon as my husband walked in the door I had to listen to "Park, Park Park, Park, Park" for 30 minutes straight. I guess God wants me to have more patience. I think they should use two year olds for torture interrogation methods.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Turning Two

My son turned two yesterday. Two years old. How could it have gone by so fast? My husband and I stayed up late talking in bed the night before his birthday, "Do you remember how scared I was to have a c-section? Remember how cute he was when we saw him for the first time?

"Remember how tiny he was? How you could place your hand on his back and it would cover his whole body? How when you burped him, it felt like he might break?"

"Do you remember how we used to have to feed him with a syringe because he didn't have enough fat in his cheeks to latch on?"

"Do you remember how well he used to fit in your arms?"

"Do you remember when he first started sitting, and first started walking?"

"He is such a good little boy", my husband commented. I then started talking about how we should probably move him out of his crib and into a big bed. And then I started sobbing and saying, "no, no he has to stay in his crib! If he moves to a big bed, that means he isn't a baby anymore! That means he is all grown up and it's all over, and I'm not ready for him not to be a baby anymore."

And then I cried. And cried. And cried.

Tonight I mourn the loss of a baby and look forward to getting to know a little boy. Son, you have brought more joy to my life than you will ever know. You are my heart.

I love you,

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Lord Giveth and The Lord Taketh Away

I never really understood that verse fully until I became part of the military family. Lately, it seems the Lord has done a lot more taking than giving. I feel as though He is stripping me from all comforts, all companions at this time in life.

I haven't made many friends in my short time in Oklahoma. I am somewhere in between an extrovert and introvert. I'm not the type that just goes up to someone and tells them my life story, but will definitely talk if someone initiates. In the past years, I have grown tired of "becoming friends" with people who I can't talk to about real issues (i.e. my faith) and have to keep my  mouth shut around. This has been a big part of my lack of friends in this area. I have, however, made two very good friends while I have been here. The kind who go through life with you. The kind  you can call just because your day has been really crappy. The kind that you can share a little piece of your soul with.

The Lord, in his wisdom, has decided to take both these people away from me at around the same time. As my husband talks of future deployment and both my true friends start preparing for their new life, I am left here. Alone. I don't fear many things, but to be completely and totally honest, I fear loneliness. One of these friends once prayed so beautifully, "Don't give me family, O God, but make me an orphan. So that in my lonliness,  I may learn to turn to You for comfort."  I wish I could pray these words with sincerity. What I really want to say is, "Why Lord? Why do you take them from me? Humans need companionship like they need air. Are you sure you know what you are doing?"

The military is a funny thing in that, whatever friends you make, you know with certainty you will have to say goodbye to them. It's like this constant, dreary, anxious cloud that hangs over your head, knowing these people, this life you have made in this city,  will be incredibly short lived. Right when you feel rooted somewhere, those roots are pulled from under you. I do trust the Lord, though. I do. I may not understand His reasons, but I trust them. He will take care of me. In my loneliness and search for new friends, He will be my companion and guide. If I can not be rooted in a permanent home, I will have to root myself deep in Him.     

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Freedom in Humility

"Conquer yourself and the world lies at your feet" -St. Thomas Aquinas

My sister made me a CD to listen to in the car. The very last song is the Litany of Humility in Song. If you are not familiar with the Litany of Humility take a minute to read it. Heck, take a minute to pray it. 

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
 the desire of being esteemed,

Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being loved...
From the desire of being extolled ...
From the desire of being honored ...
From the desire of being praised ...
From the desire of being preferred to others...
From the desire of being consulted ...
From the desire of being approved ...
From the fear of being humiliated ...
 the fear of being despised...
From the fear of suffering rebukes ...
From the fear of being calumniated ...
From the fear of being forgotten ...
From the fear of being ridiculed ...
From the fear of being wronged ...
From the fear of being suspected ...
That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I ...
That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease ...
That others may be chosen and I set aside ...
That others may be praised and I unnoticed ...
That others may be preferred to me in everything...
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become holy as I should...

Kind of hard to pray isn't it? I have come to love this Litany. There is so much freedom in it. Think about if you could truly perfect this litany. If you were delivered from fears and desires that really only matter to man. If you desired nothing more than to be humble in the eyes of Christ. What's standing in the way that is keeping me from totally living for Christ? Me. I'm standing in my own way with my pride. My fears and  my desires for worldly praise keep me from being who God calls me to be. I feel hopeless in this battle against myself. I lose it daily. But watch out self. Move aside because someone else is coming in. My Father is GOD, and He hears my prayer.  

Friday, September 10, 2010

Being Where You Are

My husband I are both up for new cell phones. We have been for sometime, but neither of us can decided what to get. Let me rephrase that, my husband knows exactly what he wants, and I don't want him to get it. I want the simplest phone possible. Just a phone that can call, text and take a picture. Plain and simple. My husband, on the other hand, wants one of those fancy things that starts with a D and ends with a ROID. You know, the phone with the app that can tell you when you are going to die, how many kids you will have and whether or not you will have steak for dinner tonight? Yeah, that one.

I generally don't put restrictions on things my husband wants (except a motorcycle and things we can't afford), but here's the thing with the phone: I don't want my husband to take me to dinner and bring a third party (who happens to know EVERYTHING) along. I don't want to sit at the dinner table, having a discussion about something, and him magically find it on his phone. I like the discussing part, thank you very much. I'm not sure I like the idea of always being connected and having an app that can do everything but eat, sleep and...well you get the picture.

We went to a wedding a few weeks ago and got sat at a table with a bunch of people my husband went to college with. About forty five minutes in to the reception I observed something. Every single person at the table, including myself, started checking and playing with our cell phones. What did we think we were missing? A really cool status update? A call from the president? It was like an alcoholic who needed a shot. People today are literally addicted to technology and need a "fix" every hour or so. I'm not putting the blame on everyone else, although I don't do this so much with my phone, I'm terrible with a computer on hand.

When did we lose the ability to just sit and be with one another? When did it suddenly become o.k. to pick up your phone and check Facebook in the middle of a conversation. Do you honestly feel comfortable telling a friend something of importance when they are sitting and texting the whole time? Which leads me to my next question, who are we missing out on getting to know and what's not being said because of cell phones?

So, next time you are with a friend, or better yet your spouse, turn off the phone, be where you are and listen. Heck, they may even have something more important than a status update to say.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Top Ten Surprising Things

I got tagged in a meme by the mom (who is awesome by the way) to list the top ten things I have done that surprise me. So, here it goes:

1. I got engaged at 18 and married at 20.
2. I chose having babies over finishing college. I was supposed to be a doctor ya know.
3. I've talked to hundreds of random college students about abortion with a graphic, twenty foot, 3-sided exhibit behind me.
4. I've worked with post abortive women through Rachel's Vineyard.
5. I have a daughter. I always thought I would have all boys.
6. I'm a military wife. I always wanted to stay close to home.
7. I live in Oklahoma. Refer to number 6.
8. I'm able to clean up vomit on a regular basis without vomiting myself.
9. I actually wanted to give birth naturally and then did it (and liked it!).
10. If I really need to, I can nurse a baby while they are still in their car seat.

Since I don't have as many followers as most of the people doing this, I'm only going to tag 4 people (you are supposed to tag 5 to keep it going). I tag:

Megan at Heart of St. Monica
Katie at Sometimes Lonely
Andrea (with the cool name) at The Mantilla Diaries
Laura at Little Bee

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Picking Dad

As promised, here is the "more on that later" that I promised in my last post. After my mom and I drew names for the fast for everyone, my mom made a comment that it would be neat if we picked names of people that were particularly hard for us to fast for. I told her my dad would be hard for me to fast for. It's not that I like my dad any less than anyone else I could have picked, it's just that, in my eyes, my dad is still my hero. I'm still 9 years old and think he can do no wrong. I can't see what he needs. 

I'll admit it, I'm selfish. A big part of me wanted to see to benefit of my fasting. My sisters and I share a lot with each other. They know my struggles and I know theirs. Same with my mom, and of course I'm married to my husband so he would have been a good pick too. With everyone I could have picked, except my dad, I could literally name a struggle they had, and offer my fast for that struggle. I could be specific. Men in general don't like to admit their shortcomings, especially to their own daughters. I think picking my dad was God's way of forcing me to give it all to Him, and not make it about me.

It's day two of the fast. I'm having sugar withdraws. Literally. It's much worse than I thought. Headaches, cravings, the whole shabang. I never realized how much I give in to every little craving until now. So dad, here's to you; for whatever special graces you may be needing in your life right now. Even though I can't see it, I know these sacrifices are not for nothing.