Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Advent reflection no.2

I came across another reflection on Advent, very similar to my last post. This one comes from Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life.

“She wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7).

The fact that there was no room for Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in the inn at Bethlehem on the first Christmas should make us wonder, because the birth of Christ was foreseen and planned by God from all eternity. Hundreds of years before it happened, the prophets announced he would be born of a virgin (Is. 7:14) and that Bethlehem would be his birthplace (Micah 5:2). Many other details of his life and death were also foretold. Did God, then, forget to make room for his only Son? How is it possible that there was no room, when the child born at Christmas owns the inn, and Bethlehem, and the world, and every inch of room in the whole universe?

Obviously, God did this on purpose. There was no room in the inn, because this demonstrates that world has rejected God. The world makes no room for the God who created it. There was no room in the inn because God wanted to show that His Son comes as a Savior, to reconcile a world that is at enmity with God. Being turned away from the inn foreshadows the fact that the Savior himself will be rejected, despised, and ultimately crucified, and that all this was part of God’s plan from all eternity. Ultimately, the lack of room in the inn symbolizes the lack of room we make for him in our hearts. When our hearts are filled with all kinds of other desires than God, we gradually crowd him out altogether.

No room at the inn also means that we fail to make room for our brothers and sisters. The first great commandment is to love God, and the second is like it: Love your neighbor. Christ willed to be left out, because he is always in solidarity with those who are left out, shut out, and crowded out. That is the position of the unborn children today. They are crowded out of the busy schedules of so many people doing so many good and important things, but who don’t have a finger to lift to protect the lives of these children from abortion. They are crowded out of legislative agendas, preaching schedules, career plans, and volunteer activities. There’s just too much going on already; there’s no room in the inn.

Christ comes at Christmas to change all that. Today, he does not seek an inn; he seeks room in our own hearts and lives. And he asks that as we welcome him, we welcome everyone whom he welcomes, including the children most defenseless and forgotten. We welcome the Divine Child, and in doing so, we welcome every child. As we celebrate Christmas, we sing in “O Holy Night” the words, “Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother, and in his name all oppression shall cease.” Amen! Let oppression cease and let Christmas come for the unborn!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Advent reflection

I came across this reflection today, and I wanted to share it with anyone (anyone??) that has stuck with my extremely long dry spell and is still checking in on my blog. (Thank you if you're there, and my apologies that life has been both so crazy and so dull that there hasn't been much in the way of blog fodder.)

O little inn of Bethlehem
How like we are to you.
Our lives are crowded to the brim
With this and that to do.
We're not unfriendly to the King,
We mean well without a doubt;
We have no hostile feelings,
We merely crowd Him out.

(Getting Ready for Christmas, ed. Emma Lapp)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Can someone tell me why?

I received an e-mail today from Human Life International that alerted me to the situation in Kenya. (I've had my head in the sand this summer, so I really don't have much clue as to what is going on in the world.)

The Kenyan people just voted to adopt a new Constitution. Their previous Constitution had strong Pro-Life language, as does this one, with a clear difference:

In fact, the wording of the new constitution retains part of this strong pro-life language: "Every person has the right to life. The life of a person begins at conception." Yet in another demonstration of the deception employed regularly by pro-abortion elites, an unelected international committee of "experts" added the following in Article 26: "Abortion is not permitted unless, in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is in danger, or if permitted by any other law."

So the doorway is clearly open for abortion. I'm so tired of these international committees swooping into countries and promoting their agenda. I'm not one of these fanatically anti-UN people, because I think cooperation among the world's government could be a good thing, but all of these side committees whose sole purpose appears to be promoting abortion and population control disgust me. (I'm not sure if the "international committee" in this case is part of the UN or not.)

But the real kicker to this story can be found in this paragraph:

How did this happen? A large part of the blame can be placed upon the Obama administration, which spent over $23 million of US tax payer money to promote passage of the new constitution. Pro-life Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) and others have forced an investigation by the office of the Inspector General, revealing the expenditures, which, despite the administration's denials can be traced easily to openly pro-abortion organizations who were charged with getting out the vote in support of the referendum.

Where does the US get off spending $23 million dollars in another country - not to mention on such a disgusting mission? Aren't we the ones that keep borrowing money from China? We shouldn't be sending money overseas for any reason (in my opinion) until we are solvent at home. I know that the US funds a lot of foreign aid programs for poorer countries. And that's a laudable effort. But does it make sense to borrow from someone else in order to fund these programs?

I'm not a politician, and I don't claim to know all of the ins and outs of the government and its twisted system. So maybe someone else can explain how the US being some sort of middle-man makes sense.

But even if it makes sense to borrow from one country to give aid to another, what's happened in Kenya cannot be considered "aid". In fact, it seems to actually be illegal.

But here's the catch: Spending government funds to lobby for or against abortion in foreign countries is illegal through a law known as the Siljander Amendment, and they've been caught red-handed. Not that they appear to have any respect for law, or any policy they haven't created themselves.

I hope that this investigation ends up getting some people in some major hot water. But I doubt that's going to happen. And in any case, the damage has been done in Kenya.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

in love






I've been slowly making my way through the horrible backlog of pictures on the computer - sorting, editing, deleting. I'm by no means anywhere near finished. I'd like to be finished before summer's end, but I doubt that's going to happen. I have a few more photo projects I've thought up, but they require time, effort, and money - just a few things I'm short of right now.

Anyway, here are a few things that I love about these pictures: 

I love Aiden's excitement and uncertainty.
I love Amelie's chubby, dirty hands, and that she's delighted by even the smallest things.
I love the way Amelie's vibrant personality shines through.
I love Aiden's quirkiness and his crazy hair.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

jealousy

Oh...I'm in such a bad place. I have to admit that I have a more than a tinge of jealousy when I read about pregnant women or women with new babies.

It was bad after I lost Avery. But I had the hope that I could get pregnant again and soon be holding another baby. But now, two more losses later, I just don't have much of that hope left.

I really, really want another baby. But nine months seems like an eternity. And that's not even counting the months of waiting until I'm able to get pregnant. And it's not counting any added months should I lose another one. Patience is not my strong suit and having to wait and not knowing the future just fuels the fire.

People love to tell me that I should be grateful for the two beautiful children I have - and I am. But that doesn't lessen my sorrow at the babies I've lost or diminish my longing for another baby I can hold and love every day.

Monday, July 19, 2010

5 things for the brand new week

1) I've decided to start reading to the kids more. This has always been a goal of mine, but it just never seems to happen. My plan is to read a Bible story sometime in the morning and a chapter from a chapter book at night before bed. I tried to read a chapter out of The Hobbit last Thursday night before the kids went to sleep, and it resulted in the kids playing (not listening), me storming out of the room (not pretty), me locking myself in my room and bawling like a baby, and the kids in their room with Amelie bawling like a baby and begging me to come back. It was bad, but I decided to give it another shot. This morning's Bible story went much better. It was just one page, though. We'll see how tonight goes. I may have to give up on The Hobbit for now and dig around and find a shorter book or at least a book with shorter chapters.

2) Today has been declared a cleaning day. There's already a load of clothes in the dryer and one in the washer. But there is SO SO SO much more to do. Guess I need to get off the computer soon.

3) It's time to dig in and get Amelie's school back on track. We've been averaging 1-2 days of school per week. My goal is 4 days per week which I think is doable, but we haven't found a good groove yet. We really need to find it, though, because there is much more work for first grade than there was for kindergarten.

4) I'm doing another novena right now. St. Anne is my patron saint and her feast day is coming up. I began my novena yesterday, but I'm not putting pictures up on the blog this time.

5) I'm trying to readjust what time I wake up in the morning. Sounds simple, I know, but for some reason I've been practically dead to the world until 10:30 am for the past 2 weeks. I'm trying to wake up and get up between 8:30 and 9:30 now (without forcing myself up with an alarm). I was able to get up at 9:50 this morning so I guess that's progress.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Our Mother of Perpetual Help novena - day nine

Painting is from the Pictures page on the website of St. Silas the Martyr in London.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Our Mother of Perpetual Help novena - day six

Stained glass image is from the Artwork page of the St. Catherine Labouré Roman Catholic Mission in Chino Valley, Arizona.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Our Mother of Perpetual Help novena - day five

Photo is from the Wheeling, WV library site and is of a mosaic on the outside of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Ukrainian Catholic Church.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Our Mother of Perpetual Help novena - day four

Image by artist Dan Paulos and is available for sale here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Our Mother of Perpetual Help novena - day three

Image from one of the pages of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Our Mother of Perpetual Help novena - day two



  
Image comes from the Our Lady of Perpetual Help novena website of the Catholic Church of the Most Holy Redeemer.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Our Mother of Perpetual Help novena - day one

I am beginning another novena, this time in honor of Our Mother of Perpetual Help. She is also known as Our Lady of Perpetual Help or Our Mother of Perpetual Succor.

I am taking my prayers from a copyrighted publication so I won't post sample prayers this time, but if you want to join in there are many examples on the internet. Or you could always just make up your own. Remember, praying to a saint is just like talking to one of your earthly friends and asking them to pray for you.

The only "rule" for a novena is to pray for a space of nine days. They don't even have to be consecutive, although that's how I'm setting up my novenas. (Please feel free to correct me in the comments below if you know better. I am still a new Catholic and could be wrong.)

I hope the pictures I post will help you in your prayers. By the way, I plan to go back and post credit for my St. Anthony pictures where possible. I didn't think of it at the time, but many of the pictures probably need to be credited.

There is no credit for this image. As far as I know this image is the basic icon for Our Mother of Perpetual Help.

Thank you, Tara Whitney...

...for this post.

And for this quote: Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are… Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect Tomorrow. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in my pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return. - Mary Jean Iron

I so needed it... And, yes, I am hopelessly behind on my blog reading.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

and again?

So I've probably miscarried yet again. I won't know for sure for at least a week (when a pregnancy test should be negative again). This is the third time now, and each time has been very different. I guess the old adage that every pregnancy is different holds true for those that end in miscarriages as well as ones that end in regular deliveries.

I don't think I'm going to attach any pictures this time. I've posted a positive pregnancy test before (and I used the exact same brand this time around so just go look at that picture or use your imagination), and I didn't take pictures of the rest of it. What I thought might have been the baby looked nothing like pictures of a baby at that gestational age. So either it wasn't actually the baby or the baby developed abnormally. And if you want to see pictures of blood clots and placentas, well, there are a few examples on google.

I'm holding out a little hope that 1)this wasn't a miscarriage at all but a subchorionic bleed or something similar or 2)that this was a twin pregnancy and just one of the babies passed. I'm around 90% positive that I passed a placenta, so if there is still a baby I'm pretty sure it will have been the latter scenario.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

St. Anthony novena - day nine

Image from the St. Anthony page of the St. Anthony Parish in Balfron, Scotland.

Good Saint Anthony, in God's providence you have secured for His people many marvelous favors. You have been especially celebrated, good Saint Anthony, for your goodness to the poor and the hungry, for finding employment for those seeking it, for your special care of those who travel, and for keeping safe from harm all who must be away from home. You are widely known also, good Saint Anthony, for securing peace in the family, for your delicate mercy in finding lost things, for safe delivery of messages, and for your concern for women in childbirth. In honoring you, Saint Anthony, for the many graces our Lord grants through your favor, we trustfully and confidently ask your aid in our present need. Pray for us, good Saint Anthony, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. May it be a source of joy, O God, to your Church that we honor the memory of your Confessor and Doctor, Saint Anthony. May his spiritual help always make us strong, and by his assistance may we enjoy an eternal reward. This we ask through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

St. Anthony novena - day eight

Image is from this St. Anthony page.

Glorious Saint Anthony, I salute you as a good servant of Christ, and a special friend of God. You once were favored to hold the Christ Child in your arms as you cherished His world in your heart. Today I place all my cares, temptations, and anxieties in your hands. I resolve ever to honor you by imitating your example. Powerful patron, model of purity and victor over fleshly impulses, please win for me, and for all devoted to you, perfect purity of body, mind, and heart. I promise by my example and counsel to help others to the knowledge, love, and service of God. Amen.

Friday, June 11, 2010

St. Anthony novena - day seven

Image from this St. Anthony of Padua page.

Dear St. Anthony, comforting the sorrowful is a Christian duty and a work of mercy. By word, attitude, and deed I should try to brighten their days and make their burden easier to bear. St. Anthony, Consoler of the Afflicted, may I remember when helping someone in sorrow that I am helping Christ Himself. Kindly mention my pressing needs to Him. (Name you special intentions).

Thursday, June 10, 2010

St. Anthony novena - day six

Image is from the History page of the St.Anthony Parish in Canton, OH.

Dear St. Anthony, you took the words of Jesus seriously, "Be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect." The Church honors you as a Christian hero, a man wholly dedicated to God's glory and the good of the redeemed. St. Anthony, Model of Perfection, ask Jesus to strengthen my good dispositions and to make me more like you, more like Him. Obtain for me the other favors I need. (Name them.)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

St. Anthony novena - day five

 Image from the yenra.com St. Anthony prayers page. Many of the prayers posted for this novena also came from here.

Dear St. Anthony, God wants us to see Christ, our brother, in everyone and love Him truly in word and in deed. God wills that we share with others the joy of His boundless love. St. Anthony, Generator of Charity, remember me in the Father's presence, that I may be generous in sharing the joy of His love. Remember also the special intentions I now entrust to you. (Name them.)

Greetings from...

Another new blog is up. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

St. Anthony novena - day four

Image found on the Franciscan Friars St. Anthony novena page.

Dear St. Anthony, your prayers obtained miracles during your lifetime. You still seem to move at ease in the realm of minor and major miracles. St. Anthony, Performer of Miracles, please obtain for me the blessings God holds in reserve who serve Him. Pray that I may be worthy of the promises my Lord Jesus attaches to confident prayer. (Mention your special intentions.)

Monday, June 7, 2010

St. Anthony novena - day three

Image is from the St. Anthony novena page at EWTN. 

O Holy St. Anthony, gentlest of Saints, your love for God and Charity for His creatures, made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Encouraged by this thought, I implore you to obtain for me (request). O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the sweet Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms; and the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours. Amen.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

St. Anthony novena - day two


St. Anthony, you are glorious for your miracles and for the condescension of Jesus, Who came as a little child to lie in your arms. Obtain for me from His bounty the grace which I ardently desire. You were so compassionate toward sinners, do not regard my unworthiness. Let the glory of God be magnified by you in connection with the particular request that I earnestly present to you.

[State your request here.]

As a pledge of my gratitude, I promise to live more faithfully in accordance with the teachings of the Church, and to be devoted to the service of the poor whom you loved and still love so greatly. Bless this resolution of mine that I may be faithful to it until death.

St. Anthony, consoler of all the afflicted, pray for me.
St. Anthony, helper of all who invoke you, pray for me.
St. Anthony, whom the Infant Jesus loved and honored so much, pray for me. Amen.

Smile!

The new blog is up!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

St. Anthony novena - day one

St. Anthony of Padua's feast day is June 13th. So I'm beginning a novena today. Feel free to join me.

Image taken from Derdo's Weblog.

Saint Anthony, great wonder-worker, intercede for us that God may grant us our request if it be for the good of our soul.

treasure hunting

My mom is spending the weekend with us, and today we spent about 6 hours in the car tracking down historical markers and letterboxes. We had a lot of fun and found some really cool spots off the beaten path.

 letterboxing at Jennings Mountain Cemetery

Read more about letter boxing here. And this site and this site are cool places to keep track of historical markers you've visited. If you're in Texas, you can look up historical markers here.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

news

Well, I'm pregnant again. I'm telling everyone early this time because it's just too weird when people don't even know you are pregnant and then you miscarry. So this time everyone's going to know practically from the beginning. Hopefully I won't have to find out if it's easier that way or not. Please, please pray for this baby.

In other news, I'm starting a few other blogs. The first post for one of them should be up sometime today or tomorrow. I'll come back and link it then.

How have you been lately?

Friday, April 23, 2010

interesting link

Over a year ago, I posted about vaccines that use fetal tissue as one of their ingredients. Now some new evidence seems to suggest that this fetal tissue may be linked to the rise of Autism spectrum disorders. One more reason to avoid these vaccines.

HT Pewsitter.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Adrian Casey

I finally received a definitive answer yesterday. Since this whole miscarriage misadventure began almost two weeks ago, I've had mixed emotions and weird experiences. I was hopeful that perhaps I hadn't miscarried because the bleeding was lighter than a normal period, but I was doubtful because of the cramping. Then I had two weird pregnancy test experiences where both tests gave me no results whatsoever - not even a control line. I bought a different brand and took two more pregnancy tests, and both of them showed a shadow line where the blue "pregnant" line should have been. So, even though I thought that the bleeding had probably been an actual miscarriage, there was still room for hope. And we all know that sometimes hope is a hard thing.

Yesterday I decided to pick up yet another brand of test. This time I got one of the types with pink dye (vs. the blue dye ones that were giving me the shadow lines) just like the type I got the initial "pregnant" result with. So I had come full circle. And here's my answer:


The baby is gone. What I knew to be true is true. I'm sad that I'll never see this baby. I don't know if it is a boy or girl. I don't have any pictures. There's no body to bury. It's like the baby was here and gone before I even got a real chance to process the whole thing. And that makes it very hard.

I've been calling this baby Adrian to myself since I first suspected I was going to lose it. Even when I was debating unisex A names, Adrian was always in the back of my mind. All I had to do was settle on a middle name. There aren't many unisex C names. And even fewer that I like. But I was drawn to Casey, and I ran it past Aaron. He was ok with it. So this baby has a name. Maybe you think it's silly to name a baby that I never even saw and barely even knew (and I'll admit it seems a little odd to me in some ways as well). But it is a baby - our baby. And I feel it deserves a name as much as Avery or any of us do.

I've really been struggling with God's purpose for giving me another baby and then taking it away so quickly. I've been a little bitter and angry even.  I told God how hard it was for me to understand His Will on this, and then as I was reading through my 30 Days for Life devotion I found this passage, "No human life is random or alone. No human life was created without purpose. Not one human life is without destiny." (The emphasis is mine.) Even if I don't understand His Will or purpose, there is one. That was reiterated to me tonight just when I needed it to be.

Avery and Adrian, pray for us!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

a little lesson

Aaron had two interviews today, so I was helping him get ready by ironing his shirt and pants.

Amelie: "Why are you doing all of the work?"

me: "I love Daddy so I'm helping him get ready so he can relax and not be stressed about his interviews. Plus I can iron faster than him."

Amelie: "Oh. Well, what can I do for Aiden?"

I guess she's learning some things after all.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Here we are again...


I need a miracle. God saw fit to answer my prayers and gave me another baby. But now it looks as if I am miscarrying already. Tomorrow I would be 5 weeks along. That probably comes as a surprise to many of you since I haven't had much time to tell people yet.

I'm crushed and trying to discern a purpose in this. All I can do is offer up my suffering. God has a plan, even if I don't understand it.

I'm not sure what the next step is. I know it's possible to have some early bleeding and not miscarry. So I'm not sure if I should go to a doctor and have my hormone levels checked or just what. I'm waiting to hear back from my midwife to see what she suggests.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Never touch a germy soap pump again.


Am I missing something here? So what if there are bacteria on the pump of your soap? You don't generally touch the pump after you wash your hands, do you? So shouldn't all those bacteria that your pump is just waiting to transfer to your hands get washed off during the hand washing process??

I think this is just yet another way to get our money by playing into our fears. Or maybe my nursing education thus far has been all for nought and I'm missing something incredibly obvious here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

an important story

Please head over to Creative Minority Report, one of my favorite blogs, and read the Baby Gianna Story.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
and the follow-up

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

RIP Rachelle


Please pray for Aaron's family. His sister passed away on Sunday. She was 21 years old.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

picture found


Photobucket


I found this picture on my photobucket. It was taken from my cell phone a day or two before Aiden was discharged from the NICU. I think he weighed around 5 lbs. at the time. I really love this picture - he's making such a goofy face. :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

this makes me crazy

So I was searching cafe press for NFP items, and I ran across this t-shirt:

This makes me crazy! Now, I will fully admit that there are valid medical reasons for having a c-section. I've had one myself (after much whining and debating, I should add). But the way c-sections are now touted as a normal alternative to vaginal childbirth seriously makes me want to vomit. I don't have a lot of time to post right now, but let's just say that there is ample evidence out there about the risks of c-sections that no woman should just reflexively book a c-section! Planned inductions without valid medical reasons are bad enough, but planned c-sections "just because" are even worse. And wearing this t-shirt out and about screams that you are either ignorant on the issue or just plain ignorant.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy 2010!

I hope this year is the best yet.


I just adore this picture of my grandparents with my uncle; it doesn't really have anything to do with the new year.