Friday, December 31, 2010

The Provision of God

As this year is at an end I'm sitting here thinking, it's been a really good year. Just one health challenge; my Beloved has palpitations that sometimes leave him dizzy (making me our only driver). Our van is having issues, but there's our station wagon to drive. Other than those things, there's the usual challenge of more month at the end of the money. God our Father has met our every need, just as He promises. Not a minute before-hand (oh me of little faith)! But He meets them.

We've been to a food bank, once last year, once this year. This year was a total bust, because we got there late (think 45 minutes after they opened their doors). We wanted to miss the crowds - we also missed the majority of the food. The year before was pretty much a bust, too. The food and sundries were already boxed up, but they made no concessions for the fact we are a family of 7. We got one box of cereal (how far does that go among 5 children?) and one roll of toilet paper (?). Food banks have their place, but God does not usually meet our needs that way.

God meets our needs through family and friends. He's my Mother-in-law, who never fails to get a shopping list from us before visiting. He's the generous "Secret Sister" in my Mom's Group, who gave us a freezer bag full of beef (I'm not even in the Secret Sister program). And He's "Santa", who this year sent two huge turkeys and two bags of gifts through our priest to our house. Santa knows my family pretty well, because he/she got each of the kids a book or books right in their interest and reading levels. And gave my Beloved and I some wonderful gifts as well.

I know that whatever 2011 holds for us, God will be right there, providing, guiding, helping us meet whatever challenges come our way. To Him be the glory forever and ever, amen.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Manly Car

I drove my Beloved Bill to the emergency room recently; he had a rough-looking eye infection. The hospital seemed busier than usual, judging by the parking lot. I had to park our van quite a ways from the door, on the far side of a small sports car. This car was parked in the middle of two spaces so as not to be dinged, I suppose.

I made some disparaging remarks about the owner and his mid-life-crisis car. My wise husband replied, "What people like that don't understand is that a mini-van full of kids is the most manly vehicle you can drive."

Monday, August 23, 2010

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done

I recently received information that a man I once knew well may be a sexual predator ... of his daughters. The information came from a source I trust, for the most part, and put with my own observations, the charge was, unfortunately, believable. He may not have actually molested his girls; I have no interest in tearing up a family on hearsay (which is the quandary my source is in as well). At the very least, he is guilty of being ... inappropriate with his daughters.

I was horrified; my stomach was in knots. You must understand, this person was once very close to me, and I still have an interest in his well-being. So I poured out the story to my beloved husband, asking, "What do I do?!" His response? "Pray." But I had tried that and got nowhere, because my worries shadowed my words and I didn't know what to pray for. Should I pray he stop drinking - these "incidents" only occur when he's drunk. Should I pray he gets caught? I just didn't know. So I wailed to my Bill, "What do I pray?!"

"Thy kingdom come, thy will be done."

I was quiet in an instant. The wonderful Catholic practice of rote prayers would bail me out, providing me solace as they did. At the same time I was reminded of the promise that the Holy Spirit would pray with me when I didn't know how to pray. I was all set. Every time I began to worry about this man's plight, I would say an "Our Father"; many have been said. I am a worrier.

I asked my husband to pray with me. We prayed an "Our Father", a prayer of complete Fatherhood, for the fractured fatherhood of this man. Because his wife is turning a blind eye to the troubles in her house, thus marring her motherhood, we prayed a "Hail Mary", a prayer of ideal Motherhood. We finished with a "Glory Be", praising the true family of the Blessed Trinity for this poor broken family.

I even had an experience that said to me I was handling the situation correctly. Before Mass on Sunday I read the readings then, if I've time, I read through the hymns posted for the morning. Our opening hymn was "The Lord's Prayer". Once again I prayed for this man, and felt calm. When it came time for the opening hymn, it was actually something different, I had misread the number. However, I was still calm; Our Father had seen to it that I could concentrate on the Mass and not on the mess.

I am so grateful for the wisdom of my husband. And I would be ever so grateful, if this situation should rise in your mind, if you would say an "Our Father" for this family.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Love Languages

I have just finished reading The Five Love Languages Dr. Gary Chapman. I requested that Bill read a couple of chapters and take the assessment. Boy, am I glad I did! I knew immediately what my primary love language is, but wrongly assumed Bill's because of his loving actions toward me.

The 5 languages of love are Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch. I knew my primary language is physical touch, but did not know how close a second quality time was until I used the assessment tool in the book. I was also surprised to find not one answer in the receiving gifts category.

Bill tells me many times a day he loves me; I assumed his love language is words of affirmation. However, that is number three from his assessment. His primary language is quality time, followed closely by physical touch. Amazingly, he had only 1 answer in the receiving gifts category.

So based on this assessment and what we've read, we've made some decisions. We're planning day trips (with the children) where we can spend some quality time together; picnics, letterboxing, parades. We've determined to touch each other when we say "I love you". Our checkbook will be happy that for the most part (with the exception of books and chocolate) giving gifts has gone by the wayside.

Now I have to get the book The Five Love Languages of Children and figure out Primo - Quinta. I want them to feel loved by us in every way possible, but most especially in the way that most says "love" to them.

This was a great book, with tremendous insight. I look forward to loving Bill even better now and being loved even better in return.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Babies don't Keep

We just returned from a trip to Indiana with a two-fold purpose: take Secunda to a couple of appointments with her Riley endocrinologists and visit my folks. Secunda has recovered well from her surgery; is now walking on her own - even running some with her brothers and sisters. My guilt was assuaged somewhat when I took Quarta to the Doctor with knee pain and he related an anecdote of a 13-year old girl he diagnosed with a slipped growth plate who had already seen three doctors and spent five weeks "rehabilitating" at a Sports Medicine Clinic for thigh pain. The Dr. told me not to feel badly - even doctors miss this.

While in Indiana I sat in my father's over-size rocker/recliner to watch a television program. Quinta, my 5 year old daughter, our youngest child, crawled into my lap. So I got to rock my baby! And gently cry. I have a cross-stitch sampler I had always intended to stitch and frame above my rocking chair, but life intervened with my plans and it never got done.

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait 'til tomorrow,
For babies grow up we've learned to our sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs! Dust, go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

I once again got to rock my baby, and I'm a calmer woman for it. Even Secunda's good appointments didn't do as much for my heart as that five minutes in the rocking chair. It goes by so fast. Soon she'll be eleven and we'll be discussing menarche in the van on the way to Girl Scouts (the conversation between Secunda and me this week). Babies don't keep. Rock yours if you can.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Less Than Adequate

My daughter Secunda has been complaining of leg pain off and on for well over a month now. I dismissed it as "growing pains" because she takes growth hormone shots (every night, without complaint - this child is strong as well as sweet). Finally, her regular walk became a sailor's roll, she was limping so badly. Her pediatrician ordered x-rays, which showed the growth plate in her left hip had slipped. This is akin to an elderly person falling and breaking a hip. We were referred that week to a pediatric orthopedist at Riley Hospital for Children (since that's where her endocrinologists are). He examined her on Thursday, said she'd need surgery on Friday. She now has a pin in each hip (because kids with endocrine issues are at a 70-80% greater chance of this happening with the other hip) and is hopping around with a walker. Secunda is recovering well: mommy less so. The guilt at making my daughter live and walk with such pain is eating away at me.

But wait! There's more to feel guilty of! Because Secunda and I were in Indiana at the hospital, I was unable to do any shopping for my son Tertio's 8th birthday Sunday. We pretty much live paycheck to paycheck. We had budgeted for birthday, in a manner of speaking, but had not budgeted for hospital stay. On a birthday, the child gets to choose our meals for the day and with dinner we have cake and ice cream and gifts. Tertio wanted Chester's fried chicken for supper - we could no longer afford that. We had a meal which he wouldn't eat, a home-made cake which wasn't his favorite, no candles, no ice cream, no gifts. He was very disappointed. And I felt very guilty.

Tertio was made happy again, and my guilt assuaged, with the promise of a "do-over". With our next paycheck, we celebrate his birthday again. He chooses the meals again and this time we have all the things he missed on his birthday. If only there was a "do-over" available for Secunda. She has forgiven me for waiting so long to get help for her, because she is a strong, sweet child. However, I still feel the guilt. God help me.