Children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb, a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children born in one's youth. Blessed are they whose quivers are full. They will never be shamed contending with foes at the gate. ~Psalm 127:3-5

Sunday, January 18, 2015




This post will probably be erratic, messy, and maybe incoherent at times.  Because there is so much to disband from my brain and SO much I am just in awe of.

For starters, can I just say that I CANNOT believe that it is 2015!  I cannot believe it's 2015, that I have a 6 month old, or that I'm still here.  No, really.  I honestly cannot believe I'm still here.  There really were times, in my darkest moments within my depression, that I didn't think I'd make it.

Last year was a potpourri of emotions, happenings, and many life changes.  Some of the things we planned for didn't happen, and as usual, some of the things we didn't plan for happened.

For starters...
My recovery has been going pretty well.  I have moments where voices from negative people still float around in my head and shout louder than the truth.  I second-guess myself more than I used to still, but I am aware of it more than I used to be. It's no longer paralyzing, what happened with the narcissist in hubby's family. I also have been more gentle with myself.  I never, ever could see myself as a victim in any way.  I've always been really strong (sometimes to a fault), and so actually BEING a victim of any kind was really difficult for me.  Some people, who really have no clue about people with psychiatric disorders and how they affect family members, might find it odd that I even speak of this.  But let's be real here. Narcissism is a real personality disorder, and it really hurts people.  Suffice it to say, I'm SO glad I no longer have to deal with that person any longer, and that I can keep my children from being hurt by her again also... And my whole world is more peaceful because of my recovery.  I am no longer a victim! Bonus:  The Lord has used this happening in my life to teach me so much about myself, and about forgiveness.

Also, okay, so number six!  Number six just turned six months old last week.  I really can't believe it.  She is just about crawling and sometimes when I see her get up on "all fours," I secretly want to push her over. Not yet, baby, not yet!  But at the same time, I secretly want her to hurry up and get to be...oh, I don't know...five years old, maybe??  Because of my current issues with noise and touch, my sensitive nerves, I often have a difficult time with having a baby who is so so so needy and dependent upon me.  So, yes, sometimes, I do wish she'd grow up a little bit faster.. But not too fast.. And not really. I'm not that mom.  There are still people who haven't met her but it's appearing more and more that we probably will never see those people ever again anyway.  Jury is still out on that one.  Glad I don't get to or have to make that call, though! Sheesh!  Load off my already-full plate, let me tell ya!

Speaking of growing up too fast.. Oy!  My oldest turned ten in November and I just.can'!  TEN.  She seems so grown up.  In fact, she is the one in too much of a hurry to grow up.  It's so hard for me.  She is the inspiration for a new work, actually, one of the reasons my post will be long... and it will be my last.

Yes, I said it. This will be my last post here.  Don't worry, I've mentioned before that I am under no impression that my blog matters that much.  But just in case it matters to you, I'll apologize in advance..... but I DO have good news... Read on to hear it!

But for a moment...back to everything else...

Hubby, unbeknownst to me, decided in November of 2013 that he was going to give up drinking.  His drinking was never a huge issue for us.  He wasn't that guy.  However, he apparently got to a point where he realized that it was a problem for him.  He realized that alcoholism is something that runs in his family and it is something he shouldn't just sweep under the rug.  It was something he decided he had to be proactive about.  So he decided, sometime after his last drink on Thanksgiving Day in 2013, that he would drink no more.  I honestly am not sure *when* he decided this because, like I said, he didn't tell me.  I actually made a wife-of-an-"alcoholic" faux pa and bought some wine months and months later, which is when I found out he had quit.  Ooops!   In any case, it has been really good for him.  He just celebrated a year of sobriety this past November.  I am so proud of him, in reality, because it shows how aware he is of himself and his life, and how mature he is to make that decision, especially when others in his family cannot.  This isn't, I don't think, a definitely permanent decision. I think it will depend on his ability to work through issues and then decide for himself if he needs to continue with not ever touching another drink. Like I said, he wasn't an alcoholic but foresaw himself heading down that road if he didn't change his game so for now, it's no drinks at all.  Either way, I'm beyond proud of his maturity and self-awareness in this, and so grateful for his wisdom.

What else??   Ok, so, yeah, still poor!  Last season for our business was ridiculous.  Because of hubby's injuries, he could hardly work.  Being self-employed means no unemployment for back up.  Our savings dwindled and we found ourselves in some very tough spots.  Currently, we are in the toughest spot we have ever ever ever been in.  To be honest, it's downright terrifying at times.  BUT, and this is the point of my even mentioning it, I'm here to tell ya:  THE LORD IS GRACIOUS AND MERCIFUL!   And He even cares about the smallest things in our lives.  He shows us His love in such amazing ways.   For instance...  Yesterday, I accidentally broke the glass mixing bowl to my mixer.  I use my mixer often so I won't lie, it was devastating.  Not only because it broke but because I can't afford to replace it.  When it broke, I literally sat on my floor and cried.  Freaked my kids out a bit but I think by now, they're used to seeing me cry so it couldn't have been too traumatic for them...

Could it?

So, yeah.  This is how much MY GOD loves ME!   He placed it on my siblings' hearts to take pity on my plight and go in together to buy me a new one, stainless steel to avoid future accidents!  It's these little things...the things that come as a beacon of light in our seriously dark and murky waters as we wait for whatever the Lord has planned for us.   I think back to a week or so ago, to an incident at my sister's house.  My little rambunctious 2 1/2 year old decided he wanted to throw his cousin's "My First Piggy Bank" on the floor.   It broke, of course.  So as I'm picking up the pieces of ceramic from the pile of change scattered across the floor, I started crying.  I tried to hide it because at first I wasn't even sure why I was crying, and because well..what the heck?! I was crying because I realized I couldn't even offer to replace the little piggy bank.   I silently asked God why this happened when He knew I wouldn't be able to fix it.   I just about had had enough at that point!  It's humbling to me that my glass bowl broke, just a few days' shy of my daughter's 7th birthday no less. Cake and frosting will be made with the strength of my mommy muscles!

In any case, I'm so grateful to the Lord for His kindness, and to my sibs for allowing His presence in their lives to extend such generosity.  I'm serious, you all, it really made the fact that we can't pay many of our bills THAT much more easy of a pill to swallow.  When my sister sent me a message to tell me they were getting it for me, it's almost as if the words really read, "My dearest child, do not worry! You are so valuable to me.  I desire to show you how much so.  Your smallest concern is my biggest.  Love, God"   A little love note indeed.

And along those lines, I just want to say that I am also so so incredibly grateful to other people in our life who allowed the Lord to use them to comfort us. You know who you are!!  Prayer warriors, church family, wonderful friends..  We have been practically spoiled by prayers, food, money, love, words of encouragement and wisdom, just so much generosity from the hearts of so many people in our life.  Not only does it humble us, and remind us that God the Father of all the Universe cares for us, that these people, some even STRANGERS, care as well.  And it makes the sting of people who reject us and want no part of our lives that much less painful.  THIS is the body of Christ, moving and active and alive in our life right now.  I pray every single day that one day, even if things change only slightly, that we'll be able to give back, to be on the giving end of this Body once again.  I am certainly reminded of the Lord's promises in Mathew 6:25-34.

Also, my brother, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in the last quarter of last year, had brain surgery and has recovered well. This is the second sibling of my six siblings to have this rare, non-genetic tumor.  It sort of sobers one sometimes, especially when thinking of the neurological issues I've had and several other siblings also have, such as seizure activity. So far, I'm the only one (I think) who has gotten another MRI to check for a tumor (wouldn't that be crazy if THREE of us had it when it's so so rare for even two of us to??!!) and have come up with nothing.. That's right, they found nothing.  Not a thing.  Not even my brain.   (ba-dun-dun-chhhhh)  Yeah I looked that up.   Um...what? Oh, so my brother's tumor was not cancerous and he is expected to not have any reoccurring problems, as far as I know.  He went back to Texas before Thanksgiving, and we miss him and his family so terribly much!  But so happy and thankful to Almighty God that they were able to remove the entire tumor and that it was not cancer!!!

Ok, so...let's see... Homeschooling is trucking along.  Hubby and I just celebrated ten years of marriage a little over a month ago.  Possibly renewing our vows sometime this year, hopefully in the Spring if the Lord allows it.  Still haven't moved, but depending on job ops Hubby is looking at, and where our path leads, that might be in our near future as well.  Whether it's the land we've been dreaming of or not, that's obviously up to the good Lord as well.  We just keep praying that the desires of our hearts conform to His holy will, and that we can continue to be His servants in whatever form He so desires.  I will tell you that this time of "neediness" has proven to be a cleansing time, a period of much stripping away and making new.  I'm kinda excited to see what's next, no matter what it is!

Ok, so, now for the "good news."  While this is my last post on this blog, I am moving to a new one.  My darling Angelina (my oldest), has been a little inspiration to the bigger desire of my heart to write about parenting on a different level.  Her life story has sparked in me something which I hope the Lord will guide and use for His purposes, if I can be so blessed for Him to do so.  I am not sure when I'll get the new blog up and running but I did at least form it.  So you can find it in blogger under my name.  If for some reason you are unable to find it, email me and I will be happy to give you the link!

If you happened upon my blog by some random search, I'm glad you found me.  I can't say that this blog is much of anything exciting but perhaps the Lord guided you here for some reason, and hopefully something here will be encouraging or inspiring to you in your life.  Feel free to visit my new blog (listed in blogger under my name) if you wish.  If you are a friend or family, I appreciate your encouragement and support over the years and hope to see you as a follower of my new blog.  Please pray for me, friends!  I always need it!

and just for fun:

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Feminists Are Not All Zombies: Paging Matt Walsh

Dear Matt,

Let me introduce myself. I am a SAHM of 6 darling children, a wife to an amazing man, a homeschooler, a church-goer, a daughter, a sister to 6 siblings and their spouses, aunt to 18. Oh, and I am also a feminist. Wait! Before you click away from me, let me explain to you what I mean by feminist because you self-admittedly have never met my kind before, and I really would love to give you the chance to do so!

In the late 1800’s the terms ‘feminism’ and ‘feminist’ were coined in several countries, and by the very early 1900’s they had made their way to the US. Simply put, these terms were abdicated to the cause of women’s rights. I’m sure you agree that women do have rights, yes? In any case, unfortunately, over the decades, the idea of advocating for women’s rights sort of morphed into what you painted in your blogpost as “a zombie corpse, lurching across the hillside, groaning and growling as it slowly devours itself.”   I completely agree on that one! Yes, sir. I absolutely love the imagery, also. Especially because that type of feminism sadly misses the reality that it is indeed devouring itself. What those women think is their ticket to freedom on the train tracks of “equality” and “reproductive rights” is actually no more than a continuation of the oppression women have faced throughout all of history. Devouring itself, groaning, lurching along the bumpy ride to a nefarious end of the line. Completely agree 100%. But what I cannot agree on is your idea of that being all feminism is. You see, there are many, many of us who refuse to allow the label of feminism to stick to us with that nasty glue that makes your tongue swell up and go numb – zombie drool, if you will.

And that’s where New Feminism comes in.

This is 2014, yes? While I’d absolutely love to believe that feminism has evolved over the last 100+ years into something spectacular, it actually has not. And that is where I come in. Or…ahem…where we come in. We are growing in numbers and aren’t just your typical SAHM mommy bloggers just voicing our concerns from behind a computer screen whilst we simultaneously bounce babies on our hips, and that’s it. We are women of all different ages, races, situations and life paths. Some of us have a career out in the world to contribute to our family income. Some of us stay at home with our children. Some of us homeschool. Some of us send our kids to public school. Some of us are very much into politics, while many of us would rather do the bare minimum to make an honest and informed vote on poll day. What we do have in common, though, is that while we believe women do have rights, more-so we agree that our rights are not defined by what we think society has taken from us or refused to give us, but what has been given to us naturally by our Creator.

Still not convinced? I know you have heard the term New Feminism before. You have heard it but perhaps you don’t understand it. New Feminists are all about respecting our uniqueness, our feminine genius as it pertains to how we compliment men and add value to society and the human condition; not necessarily being equal to, or even better than men, but in our feminine role as it was created, being a harmonic position to that of our male counterparts. New Feminism is also about the importance of advocating for our God-given abilities such as breast-feeding whenever and wherever we choose, birthing however we choose, and being able to define our roles as mothers and life-givers, wives and teachers of our children without the oppression of a misogynistic society such as you might find in Islam, or even loud “advocacy” shouted from the throngs of angry women who call themselves feminists but are no more than those zombies devouring themselves whom you spoke of in your article.

The truth is, we do believe that feminism can and should be redefined and there is a whole new wave of us coming down the hatch to do just that. We appreciate the noble efforts of all of our front-line men such as yourself who advocate for us. You are indeed our allies. But Matt, if you will open your eyes a little bit you will see that there aren’t enough of you. There aren’t enough men like you willing to take on the type of society we live in where women feel forced to work out in the world away from our families because someone advocated for that over fifty years ago. Or the kind of world where we view our fertility as something that is broken and needs to be fixed instead of the amazing life-giving beautiful phenomenon that it is. There aren’t enough chivalrous knights willing to stand up for us women, not because we are weak and can’t stand up on our own, but because you are strong and could add so much to our voice. There aren’t enough.

Matt, I’d like to invite you to the conversation. I’d love for you to do some research and talk to even just a few of the thousands of us who are here, living, breathing, self-proclaimed feminists who want to change the way society views women, but not in the way you are used to thinking of. You won’t see us out there in our birthday suits, screaming and smearing blood on every male we pass. You won’t hear our anger rise up across the nation, insulting and demanding. You won’t see us disrespecting ourselves and every woman who ever was or will be, in order to prove a point. We don’t want reproductive rights that will give us access to abortion on demand, the morning after pill and free birth control paid by our employers. You won’t see us filming our little girls dropping the F-bomb and spouting out words they don’t even understand, for a cause they know nothing about.

But Matt, you will see us in groups, peaceful groups full of love and respect for our sisters. You will watch us build communities who wrap our women in support as we birth our babes, nurse our babes, teach our babes and send them off into the world to make a difference. You will hear us praying for one another, laughing and crying with one another, encouraging one another. You will meet us and get to know us and find out that we love men, we love being their wives and helpmeets; we love sharing ourselves and our lives with them. We love our feminine role which compliments their male role. And we do need them.

I am writing this because you awakened something in me with your post. Much of it was dead-on about some feminists. But not us, Matt. Not us. If it’s the term you have a problem with, I completely understand. We all do. But it’s that exact term which gave us a voice over a century ago, and while we are not happy with how loud and angry the voice has grown, we are working to resolve that. We are working to redefine the very nature of the words ‘feminist’ and ‘feminism.’ You said on your Facebook page that you don’t think there needs to be feminism at all, and in a perfect world, that would be true. But Matt, in this world that we live in, in today’s society, we do need feminism. We do need women to stand up for each other, in unity with the men who are willing to stand up for us, and advocate for our rights to exist in the roles which we were designed for.

Your blanket statement about feminists just is not true. And because you are as you say a “professional truth sayer,” I really encourage you to open your mind to the idea that New Feminism does exist, it is alive, and we do have something to say. And that something is, “please?” Please will you join us in our fight to be unique, to be feminine, to love our bodies and our fertility, to not feel as if we’re broken, to be able to nurture our babies, our families and our men without feeling like we’re betraying our gender? Please will you give us a bigger voice by advocating with us and for us, so that there can be more men like you standing up for life, for truth? Please will you stop making blanket statements about things like feminism which work to only bury us under the blood and lifelessness those zombies are creating in their wake? We are here and we are growing and we are strong and we believe that someday our voices will be louder and more gentle than theirs, we will reach our goal of redefining what it means to be a feminist, and women will once again be able to live comfortably and without regret in our natural womanly roles of wives, life-givers, and nurturers.

Call it whatever you want to call it, Matt. Call it a bake-sale for all I care. But the truth is, it is feminism – redefined. New Feminism, if you will. And it’s here to stay.

*Another version of this post can be found here.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Something Great

On my road to recovery, which I've written about here, here, and here, I have come across a realization: I lost something.  I lost something big.  I was once told by my mother that the Holy Spirit told her through various friends to not worry so much about her children's futures; that He was going to do great things through each of us. That story is a really neat one; maybe I'll share it another time. I was told this early in my life and as I grew older, I really believed it.  I knew God had something planned, but of course I didn't know what.  As life goes, my path meandered toward and then far away from Him and His plan, and back again.  A few times.  But I always had that spark in the back of my mind, the one that would eventually light the flame under my desire to actually do something great.

I can remember, and have actual evidence, in notes and other things people have written to and about me over the years, that I have always had a heart to serve other people. I've always had compassion and sympathy for their plight, and maybe for the human condition in general.  I've always wanted to help.  Not because it made me something, but because I could see it helped to make them something.  Whether it was more focused, more curious, more peaceful, more courageous, I could tell that often-times whatever I did or said or wrote helped soothe their souls.  And I knew it was not from my mind or abilities, but from the Holy Spirit.  This was His something great for me.  And I knew it.  My heart yearned to be directed by Him in helping people, even if in the smallest of ways, and leaving them with a better sense of who they were in Him.  What path they could take.  Which adventure to travel.  What piece of themselves they could challenge or nurture or renew.  And also, I longed to help them to know what love truly is.

When I got married, I was super excited to be part of a brand new family.  To bring into it all the love I experienced from my parents and siblings growing up, and to help draw new people into the boundless Love of Christ.  I didn't feel as though it was my job to "save" anyone, but I knew that as all Christians, I, too, was called to bring others to Him.  I didn't realize how much of a mountain I was climbing with that.  And I know I failed miserably in it.  I know it because part of the way up, I lost my path.  I lost who I was and my purpose.  I lost my sense of understanding what I was meant to do.  I became confused.  I became frightened.  And I started my descent back down.  I gave up.  And I knew I had failed.

Getting to a place of being able to look at the journey I walked away from was difficult. There are still days in which the sting from what I endured keeps me from being able to move forward in my recovery.  But other days, days when I am granted a certain peace or strength by my heavenly Father, I can look.  I can put it all under a microscope and dissect each piece.  I can sort out the good times (and yes, there were some good times), and I can cherish them and tuck them away for another time.  And I can pick through the many shards of hurt:  The miscommunication.  The tearing down of my identity.  And I see it- that something great.  I see it quickly fading as time and time again I am told I am not worth the effort or time, I am not worthy of love, I am not considered family, my kids don't matter, I am useless, I am not able to help anyone, I should stop wanting to "save" people.  I flip through the slides of these moments like a time-lapse photo album, and I see the frays around my mind appear, and snag, and then begin to furiously unravel.

I've notice lately that I am fearful when I talk to others.  They ask me questions.."what do you think about X, what would you do in Y do I do this like you?"   They ask these things of me, and the old me- the one who was confident in my something great- would easily have launched into an answer.  Mind you, it would not be earth-shattering, eloquent or even awe-inspiring, but it would be something.  To them, it might be one small piece of their puzzle, some small direction or aide.  Or, it might not even be exactly what they need at that moment.  And quite possibly it might not be anything they want to hear.  But it would be something.  And I would say it or write it, and I would feel confident that I did the best I could and I would pray that the Lord would take that opportunity to either shine through me or shine in spite of me.  But regardless, I was working on fulfilling that utterance of the something great He said He would do with me. 

But I am afraid.  I hesitate.  I don't articulate well.  I don't trust myself.  I worry that I'm saying too much.  Pushing too much.  Helping too much.  I am worried that they'll reject me, that they'll stop talking to me.

I am broken.  Much more broken than I ever was when I was battling myself on the path back to the Lord for good.  I am afraid to do something great.  I am afraid to try.

The truth is, we should ALL want to make some mark on the world.  We should ALL want to do something great.  That could simply look like volunteering at a soup kitchen.  Or it could be solving the clean-energy crisis.  It could take the form of counseling a wayward teen, or dropping $5 in the cup of a homeless beggar. Or finding a natural cure for cancer. It could very well just mean focusing on your family and ensuring that they know how much they are loved and cherished, spending time with your children and guiding them with your love.  As one whole body of Christ, everything we each do ripples out and affects everyone. We're not just mindless, selfish sheep wandering around through life with no direction and no purpose.  Our life's very breath is dependent on a Creator who loves us so much that He created us to share in this amazing and beautiful world, to take part in being a living vessel in which He can show others His love and invite them to His table, to His strong embrace.  We CAN make our mark, make a difference, do something great.  And we should never allow anyone to cause us to lose that knowledge and push us off our path.  I know this.  And yet, I allowed that very thing to happen.

I'm slowly working on figuring out how to smooth my way back onto that particular path; of wanting to help people without being afraid.  I want to once again feel confident in the knowledge that this is the Lord's something great, His something great for me.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

I'm Not Better Than You

My husband and I were having a conversation last night about people.  It began with a discussion about a neighbor making a comment on something on Facebook in which I tagged my husband, a comment that was totally inappropriate to make in the context of what I posted, especially because it didn't even have anything to do with what I was posting about, and one which made me feel like he secretly has some issue with me.  Which would be funny because he doesn't know me at at all... but I digress.

Our conversation then turned to my drawing inward and coming back out with "am I a really terrible person and I am just in complete denial about it?"  Because we know someone a little like this.  His reply, "no, people just think you're opinionated, like you're better than them and they take it the wrong way."  "What am I opinionated about?" I asked in complete innocence.  "Not really opinionated, but just that we homeschool and go to church and all that... and you're vocal about it...people think you think you're better than they are." 


Since when did MY decisions about MY family equate to "I'm better than you." ?

I am the type of person that wants to be told when there's an aspect of myself that can be improved.  Even if it hurts.  Even if at first, I don't like it!  I want to be a better person in general.  So I welcome the truth.  But I don't want YOUR truth. I don't want you to tell me something about myself based on your whacked out version of observance because you don't know anything about me at all and haven't taken the time to get to know me.  I'm a whole human being.  Your experience of but one or two or even three aspects of the millions of parts of my identity will not tell you enough about me to warrant such a harsh and generalized judgment. 

There is something about this song that seems familiar.  Oh yes, it's the soundtrack of the last ten years of my life as a Mack, which I spent warding off my husband's family who accused me of all these things, including that I thought I was better than them, that my family was better than theirs.  Accusations based on the fact that they don't even know me at all, that they make assumptions about me based on one or two aspects of my life that they have witnessed, or based on their witness of someone else's behavior which they project onto me.

I'm changing the station.  I'm done with all that.

The truth is, I don't think I'm better than ANYONE.  I'm no better than the beggar on the street at the stoplight on the way to the store, the person in the ghetto, my one neighbor who hates me because I have six children. I'm no better than my husband's "family," no better than the mailman.  No better than anyone.  I know this.  I believe it.  I am constantly aware of it.

I'm just different.

I follow a set of moral standards that most of the world does not.  I do this because I'm called to, as a Catholic Christian.  It's hard.  If I really wanted to do what my flesh wants, my life would look completely different.  But I was asked to do and be what I am striving toward, and though I fail CONSTANTLY at it, I'm TRYING.  This doesn't make me better than anyone. It just means my convictions are different than some people's.

I homeschool my children in a world where there is still a huge- unwarranted - stigma related to homeschooling, and where most people are still largely unaware of the consistent (but not exclusive) failure of the school system to actually produce healthy members of society.  I homeschool because the public school system presents a constant resistance to- and often override of- the morals I want to teach my children, and the atmosphere of a brick-and-mortar school setting is not conducive to allowing a child to really explore all that they are interested in or all of their capabilities.  These two ideas barely scratch the surface of all the reasons I homeschool, but neither these two nor the rest of my reasons are because I think I'm better than anyone.   You want to send your child to public school, that's great.  Good for you!  I have no opinion about your choice at all.  It's not my business.  Just like where my kids go to school isn't your business.

I have a large family.  Yes.  I do.  It's not because I really absolutely adore children.  It's not because I am getting some government benefit from having lots of children.  I'm not.  It's not because I think I'm better than anyone who has less.  I have a big family because God asked me to be open to life.  And while that doesn't always equate to having a big family (I know many many people who are open to life AND want a big family, but have been able to have only one or two kids), for me, it does.  And while this is a HUGE challenge for me on a consistent basis, I'm ok with it.  I'm ok with any number of little souls which God entrusts to me to create saints for heaven's glory.  I fail at my duty.  A lot.  I sometimes wonder why He trusts me so much.  I scream at my kids sometimes.  I get upset.  I cuss sometimes.  I don't say nice things to my kids every moment of the day.  I'm a sinner.  I'm not perfect.  I could name many many women I know who could be doing a much, MUCH better job than I am.  But for some reason, I was the one chosen for the monumental feat of baring and raising these children and I'm told by women much wiser than me that God did not make any mistakes; I am the one for the task.  This doesn't make me better than anyone.  Not one bit.

I really wanted to be snarky and cynical about this whole thing.  I guess I am a little sensitive.  But really, I'm just sad. I'm sad that people don't take the time to actually get to know a person before making assumptions about them.  I mean, my in-laws spent TEN years wasting their energy on tearing me down and rejecting me instead of spending that time getting to know me.  My neighbor has never spent more than three seconds in conversation with me and yet has some idea of me that isn't true.  People are quick to make a judgement on someone else's character or personality or whathaveyou, instead of actually taking the time to get to know them, to love them.

So you don't have time to get to know me?  Who's the one acting better than who now?

Friday, October 3, 2014


Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the many little bodies wandering around our home- the noise, the movement, the sometimes-bad behavior. I get overwhelmed by the idea that I am just one person with but two arms and there are so many kids. So many needs. So many voices. So many little souls in my care. And I worry. Am I doing enough? Am I good enough? When they act up and are so insane, I am convinced I am not enough. That I am failing. But then there are days.... Days like today. Mornings when the sun peeks out from behind gray clouds, through my window, illuminating small feet and chubby fingers, wispy hair and cherub faces, little bodies curled around us. And then....when there's movement and giggles and stretching and padding on tiny toes to the bathroom.. When there's fresh coffee suddenly appearing before us in bed and smiling toothy grins behind the cup. When they are working together to make pancakes and set the table for breakfast. With out help. With out complaint or even being asked. Without fighting. And the excitement over a task completed. The proud song of praise for each other's accomplishment as they flipped the pancakes just so, and worked together to take on a new feat without me. And I realize....maybe I am enough after all. Maybe God really is blessing my efforts and filling in where I lack. Because He doesn't call the qualified. He qualifies the called.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Rosary Beads

Can't find your rosary?

No problem!  Babies have teeny tiny toes which are perfect in lieu of those lost rosary beads. 

Hail Mary.....

Saturday, September 20, 2014


This will be a potpourri post of a few different things....

First of all, our daughter was born!!  Looking over my last post, I am laughing..  She was born the very next day after I wrote that post, on the obscure EDD that we hadn't even regarded as a real one.  I gave my big sister a really nice birthday present.. One she couldn't actually keep..but a nice one nonetheless!  Ha!   We are over the moon in love with baby GG, of course, and of course she looks exactly like her siblings.  I'm pretty sure she will have brown eyes. They seem to get darker every day.  Her big brother, Jeremiah, who calls her 'baby face' just loves her to pieces.  But because he is only two, we have to watch him around her.  One second he's kissing all over forehead and toes, the next, he's trying to bite her toes off or dragging his nails across her head.  She completes our family in so many ways.  Right now I'm listening to her cute little hiccups, which seem to be her trademark as she had them pretty much my entire pregnancy and almost every day since she was born.  The kids love her.  We love her.  My family loves her.  Our friends love her.  No one in Hubby's family has bothered to meet her.  Which leads me to the next thing and the inspiration for the title of my post.

A few months before I had the baby, the final semi-link to hubby's family was severely damaged and I wrote a blog post about temperance because I just couldn't deal with it at the time.  Since then, so much has changed within our little family unit that it seems so pointless, all of it, to even think about anymore.

And that's what this is - the battle - I think - is over.  There's been a huge disconnect from it for both of us but I think the shift has occurred mostly in my husband.  He just can't afford to care anymore.  He seems done battling his emotions and his what should-be's and his wants and his ideas of what family is or isn't.  He'll be 40 years old in about six months or so and I think he's reached a point in his life where he is okay with not having his family to count on.   He might not like it and he might sometimes wish things were different, but as there isn't anything that can be done at this point, I think he's just over it.  When he talks about it, he seems to be resigned to that, anyway.  He has a family to take care of and spend his energy, love and time on.  He has six children to raise and love and play with.  He has me, his wife, who would do anything for him, anything to see a smile upon his handsome face, anything to fill his heart with unconditional love.  He also has a whole slew of friends, people who have stepped in to fill positions his family has left empty, to  fill in and overflow the holes in his heart.  And of course, he has the family he married into.  Not perfect, often crazy.  But always always there no matter what.  He has more than enough.

As for me, reviewing the past ten years as his wife, I realized that even though I was his wife, I was never part of that family.  He was barely considered part of that family, so I can't really expect that I would be.  Sure, there were brief periods when it seemed like we were, but looking at the things that made it so we weren't, it's not difficult to realize that it was all a facade.  Because real family with true unconditional love doesn't just back away or dump you the second you say you're unhappy with something, or want more, or the minute things are difficult.  We were considered "family," when it was convenient and easy.  And I know that having severe mental illnesses such as they do plays a part in how people treat others.  But perhaps it's a good thing that things occurred the way they did.  We both finally got to see them for who they really were.  No masks.  And  So we don't blame them in the sense that we think they choose to be jerks.  We are both just to the point where it's time to stop thinking about it, cut our losses and move on a little more quickly than we have been. It's time for the rest of our healing process to take place, for our focus to shift, for our life to move along.

We sort of were paralyzed for quite some time as we waited and prayed and angsted about what to do.  We realized we can't really do anything.  When toxic unloving people are causing such a rift in our life, disturbing our peace and tempting us to lash out and be angry, it's time to step away.  As far as we can.  We can't change the fact that they don't want to be part of our life, or to know the kids or love the kids.  We can't do anything but worry about our own family from here on out.  We've stuck in there for so long, tried to talk, tried to explain how we feel.  But stubborn selfish people don't like to change their hearts and make room for others and while that is sad and hurtful, the acceptance HAS to come.   Our life is so much more peaceful now that we don't have to worry about any of that.  My husband is so much more peaceful and happy as he lets go more and more.  I've seen some of the light return to his beautiful brown eyes.  I've seen his heart open more to other people and more love from them.  He is finally allowing some of his wounds to heal completely.

God has called us to love from a distance. That love looks like prayerfully seeking healing and peace in our hearts, softening our hearts to them and the pain they have caused, and to pray for them to seek His love out, to seek His path for their lives, to come to an understanding of what love actually looks like.  I kind of wonder who else there is to pray for them.  Our battles have shifted focus.  We are now battling ourselves to follow what He asks of us... To put aside our tendencies of the flesh and take the path to holiness.  To battle the sinfulness in our hearts, temptations from satan, the world and its draws. To raise the white flag and surrender to the will of God.
It's so incredibly difficult at times, but so much has changed in such a short amount of time since we really started taking steps.  There's always a hope that in the future things will be different in the way of family..  But we won't hold our breath.  And that's okay.

There is so much exciting stuff in store for our little family and I can't wait for it all to come to fruition.  The journey for our family of now-8 has been really difficult, especially the past few months, but we are remaining faithful that the Lord is paving our path and putting things into place for us.  I've had it in my mind to plan a big huge bash for my hubby for his 40th birthday, to celebrate him and the amazing man he is and the leaps and bounds he has made in his life.  We also have been talking about utilizing that time to renew our wedding vows.  Our ten-year anniversary is this December, just a few short months but we thought we might combine the celebration of that with the celebration of hubby in the Spring when it's warm.  Still working out the details in my head. Nothing is concrete.

I'm pretty sure I spoke too soon about wanting to post more, and of the things I'd be writing and all of that... because I'm so incredibly busy.  So this time right now will be sporadic with updates and the 2.5 of you who actually read my blog on a regular basis know how to contact me anyway to find out what's going on in our world.  Email or call me any time!

Blessings abound, even when they don't appear to, despite any battles we may face.  God has been so good to us, even when we have messed up and we are so humbled by His love.  I hope anyone reading this who has been through similar life situations will take comfort in that thought and turn to Him. He fulfills ALL our needs.