Friday, November 21, 2014

She is Here!

Our Little Flower decided to join our family out here on October 31...that's right...we got a treat! Are we happy to have our new little sister?

YES.


From that last week of being pregnant all the way to sitting here, I have been entering into one lesson after another in the wisdom of HIS timing. I have witnessed how He orchestrates all. I have to say, I have truly felt alive as I simply trust Him in these fragile new beginning days.

New beginnings of being a mother of five but also new beginnings in just being the mother of this one...



I can't help but want to start to share some things with all of you...going beyond birth stories and even an All Saint's Day miracle I'd love to write and reflect upon...I first want to lift my words in a prayer of Thanksgiving.

We have been so lovingly cared for by the Juneau Catholic Community here and by our Coast Guard family.

In Juneau many of us have our extended family in the Lower 48 so we know...being a city that can only be reached by sea or plane...that our closest kin aren't always a town over. You find yourself "making" family.

Maybe YOU don't actually make it, it is more...the weaving of the Holy Spirit...His incredible handiwork.

This is not to say that you forget your own blood relatives...it's just...

Janet held a wet wash cloth behind my neck while I was in labor.

Jana watched my children for an evening and two days while we were at the hospital only to have Angela also pick up a night after our sweet girl had a little breathing scare and an All Saints' Day miracle.

Cheryl snuck an 18 count egg carton into my fridge.

Ellen and Angela washed and folded loads of laundry.

Jennifer made sure to have a priest visit our home with the Holy Eucharist because we missed Mass on All Soul's Day.

Nicole made our daughter a quilt...


We had meals...for two weeks...delivered to our home. For two weeks we felt the pure joy of presenting our daughter to our friends and then feasting on homemade deliciousness. The littles were whisked off to playdates with friends...and ice skating dates with daddy...



There was more, I can't even begin to name it all...it was such abundance...I felt the abundance of this autumn season. I felt the fullness of a good harvest. And that is what Theresa means...

HARVEST

 

This was a very quick post and hello...there is much to reflect on and cherish. I am figuring out hour by hour our new normal and I'm not sure how this blog will fit into it.

Thank you for your prayers. Have a very blessed Thanksgiving xxoo



Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real and October Nesting

I posted yesterday on my thoughts about being asked twice in the past month if I wanted a tubal ligation after this pregnancy. I will be 38 weeks Saturday with baby #5, my fourth daughter.

I love this Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real link up because I think its a snapshot of the fullness and abundance of this vocation :) So...

I feel like Mrs. Autumn Woman and I am nesting like a champ here as I wait for this baby girl. Actually my nesting went to a new level as I managed to get rid of an ENTIRE 80's something wall unit. This gem was left with the house when we moved in (we asked for it to be and the people moving out didn't want it...gee I now know why). Its so huge and fits so nicely in the recessed space in the family room that it looks like when they were building our home, the wall unit was there on lot and the builders just...well..built around it.




See all the drawers and shelves. Well, I read a little post on a minimalist blog that said organizing is a sneaky word for hoarding. Ahhhhhh!

I mean...those drawers are FULL of homeschool stuff we MIGHT use someday. 

So...while my husband was underway...that's when I get these ideas...I just started emptying shelves and well...he got home and..."honey...so...I was thinking...."


And then my....

Pretty


It is so cozy and I feel like its much more conducive to good conversation and reading aloud. We put the monstrosity on Craigslist for free and somebody wanted it the next day! YES! I need some art to put on the blank wall but I am overall very pleased.


Happy

A few days ago I let the girls have the run of the family room to play restaurant...it was a play that lasted a day and a half. Not sure if you can see ALL the different table set ups but they were EXTREMELY busy, I mean customer after customer, and it sounded like a successful endeavor.



 
 
 
Funny

My eldest made personal laptops for everyone in the family the other day...look at what mine had on it...

Like Mother Like Daughter! Woo hoo!





Real

Never ever ever again...


Ever...


These pictures seem harmless but I'm so emotionally scarred from doing this craft someone "passed along to me"...being the sucker I am for free stuff...I'm not going to even go on.

Just don't let these into your home ever.

Thank you for stopping by!!! Now stop by PHFR!



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

All Is Well

Hmmm...

Nearly three years ago, I started getting very serious about the content and direction this blog was going after a postpartum appointment I had with a midwife. Although I saw these types of pressing questions coming like an impending storm, this particular midwife's questions regarding birth control after my fourth child were rather irritating. Though I didn't outright profess my faith to her I was so inwardly peeved by what felt like, at the time, an attack...I was prompted to write out my thoughts here...for the whole world.

I guess you can say it was my way of "getting in the last word."



I am right. She is wrong. And write, write, write about it.

My rebuttal took the form of sharing my almost four year journey of how Justin and I have been called to living the Church's teaching of marriage and being open to life. It is all here...and I hope that my own children will read about this journey if their vocations happen to be marriage. I have a selfish hope they may learn from my mistakes because there was suffering...we don't really want our children to suffer right?


I became more and more confident as I shared my writing with others and I have admitted before I feel most comfortable with people who can validate me and affirm my beliefs (who doesn't?)

Well...it is happening again...the whole birth control and medical professionals conundrum...

I have been asked twice in the past month, at two separate appointments, if I would like to have a tubal ligation done after I birth this baby girl.

My nurse said, "I know you don't believe in birth control, but have you thought of a tubal ligation?" She asked this while she was checking for my daughter's heartbeat...the sweet familiar sound that indicates all is well.

Getting linens and clothes washed and ready for her.
Perhaps it was my mood...or a ray of grace, but surprisingly I wasn't all fuming and irritated with my nurse. Honestly, this is a very serious question and is a reality for many women under so many different circumstances.

What were her concerns for me? What were her intentions? <---why should I care about the answers to these questions.



Part of me wished I could explain to her that its not that I don't believe in birth control...I use birth control...just a natural form of it. I wanted to explain the seasons of my marriage, the times when we are very conservative...the times when there is no good reason to really hinder God's plan. I wanted to give her my blog address! Ha!

I would want her to nod in agreement, and I would have had "the last word" and emerged triumphant.

To sum things up....there was a part of me that hoped this nurse, a mere acquaintance...would have a good opinion of me.

How beautiful though, to come out of reading St Therese' work and realize...that we don't have to lose our inner peace and we don't always have to go into battle.


We don't always have to have the last word.

So...I simply told her, with a smile, that we were not interested in that (a tubal ligation) either.

No blood pressure spike. No ranting.

Perhaps I am merely becoming tired of the questioning and more passive about it. Maybe it's the sheer number of times I have been asked in this pregnancy about if  we will have any more that has worn me out. I'm not sure. What I am sure about is...I love so much this very full vocation God has called me to. I am also sure, more convinced, that it is not my mission in life to convince everyone of what I believe is the truth. I find it is much more consuming to simply try to LIVE this truth.



Living this truth means serving my husband and children. They are my mission. Anticipating my family's needs and keeping a home for them is a full time 24/7 job and requires all my energy. I have so little to spare, especially right now with littles, that I have to be very careful of how much I let others consume. I am not saying "don't waste energy on others" no...as Christians we must be mindful of our neighbor...but if people can't seem to understand your beliefs or have the necessary tact in approaching your family...think of YOUR family and be determined to save your energy for them.



As a very good friend and lifelong mentor has so lovingly reminded me time and again...concentrate on growing your baby in your womb.

A smile doesn't take too much energy just don't start drinking their juice. Politely refuse to sip.

This baby, though not even born, has already helped in ways I would have never anticipated.

She has given me a glimpse of a freedom that is mine to take. A freedom from THEM and a new desire to be free in following Him. I only get tastes but I find that when these moments come, my state of mind is liberating. I have hope I could actually live an entire lifetime in this freedom but I am finding this would be a miracle as it means I would need to conquer my rather stubborn temperament.

People will criticize the lifestyle you have and say it is only their "concern" for you. People will make judgments on your decisions, especially when it is something they wouldn't do themselves. People have different experiences from their past and approach relationships differently based on the relationships they have been hurt or nurtured by (we can learn a lot about these differences by reading time tested classical literature).

Reading... NOT football highlights...ha! I love them :)
I hold on to things when I haven't had the FINAL word only I have been enlightened by a saint recently and she says that its not about ME having the final word, its only about Him.



I have had some beautiful faith filled divine days and a share of some very dark days these past nine months but as Anthony De Mello gently reminds us...the great mystics say...
All is well.

  
God has given me a particular grace to walk in this vocation with Him and He has surely been calling you to LOVE Him in ways that only YOU can. Although there was a time I thought it was something I had worked toward and come to on my own, I can now humbly say...this is all Him.

I'm sure the questions won't stop, people are very predictable in that way. I'll have a smile ready...this is all Him. All is well.

Please pray for me as I approach the date of this baby's arrival. xxoo