Friday, December 28, 2012

Sneak Peek Saturday

This weeks Gospel reading is Luke 2:41-52 for Sneak Peek Saturday.

Many things jumped out at me in this Gospel. I'm not exactly sure how to format this blog post, how to capture what I'm thinking. In time I'm sure I'll find a rhythm.
In the past reading this and reflecting on it in the rosary, I thought of the joy and relief Mary must have felt finding Jesus after three days. Three days. I can't even imagine.
One of the things that struck me today....
Jesus left his Father at the altar in obedience to them. In obedience to them he was also obedient to his Father through the fourth commandment.
He lived in Nazareth for eighteen more years in silence, doing nothing miraclous, he learned from his mother Mary & Joseph, he lived in a family.
May Nazareth serve as a model of what the family should be. May it show us the family's holy and enduring character and exemplifying its basic function in society: a community of love and sharing, beautiful for the problems it poses and the rewards it brings; in sum the perfect setting for rearing children - and for this there is no substitute. ~ Pope Paul VI, from Liturugy of the Hours
What struck me the most about this passage today was the last verse:
And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man. ~ Luke 2:52
He left his Father at the altar to find Him in the home. He increased is his favor with God and man in the every day duties in his home. He grew in wisdom through silent prayer, and through his parents in his home. This makes me think of the job we have as parents right here in our own homes. I often get caught up in what I can do outside of the home to impact those around me while my main concern needs to be with what happens in my home, with my own children. To model Mary would be to teach my children, just as she taught Jesus, in the home.

As I think of New Year's resolutions, I will be mindful of my ordinary duties as wife and mother and the graces that will come from these things. In addition:
The silence of Nazareth should teach us how to meditate in peace and quiet, to relfect on the deeply spiritual and to be open to the voice of God's inner wisdom and the counsel of his true teachers. Nazareth can teach us the value of study and preparation, of mediation, of a well-ordered personal spiritual life and of silent prayer that is known only to God. ~ Pope Paul VI - from Liturgy of the Hours


Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

May you enjoy time with loved ones and be grateful for all you have while celebrating the birth of Our Savior!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Picture Default

Matthew Kelly's Building Better Families

I have been afforded the luxury of extra time to read lately, because of this I just finished Matthew Kelly's book Building Better Families A Practical Guide to Raising Amazing Children. I've listened to a few of his talks on CD and DVD and loved them, I was sure the book wouldn't disappoint and I was right.
He delivers a practical common sense approach on parenting in the twenty-first century. He encourages the reader to have a vision for their families, to know what you are up against, to lead by being a great example, to persevere and inspire.
What are your children listening to? They hear stories through music, books, video games, magazines, the Internet, television -- and they are becoming the stories they listen to.
Is there any question of this truth? I started the book a few months ago and finished it days after the horrific events in Newtown, CT. I couldn't help but look at all the things I underlined in the book and see a connection to what we as Americans are teaching, or letting be taught, to our children and how that is impacting current events.
Matthew Kelly encourages parents to help children understand the value of making mistakes, to find the answer when they don't know it and for us to set forth good examples and mentors.
Celebrate who and what you want your children to grow to be and become. We become what we celebrate.
I couldn't agree more. Comments like these made me stop and think about what my husband and I celebrate and how that will affect our children and their behaviors.
Teach and encourage them to develop and nurture their spiritual side. Most people are very uncomfortable in the silence and solitude. For this reason, they have to be around people all the time and have noise on all the time. Until we are comfortable in our own company we are at the mercy of our peer group and wherever they may lead us.
In addition to my desire to teach this to my children, I liked this for myself. Until people are comfortable speaking the truth, we will be at the mercy of those who are against the truth. Yes or yes?
I picked up a number of tips that we will incorporate into our lives as goals for 2013. One goal suggest in the book that we will do is to add value to society in the form of some type of service or charity work. We will hold fast on keeping violent television and/or games away from our children. We will also add another form of prayer together as a family.
Additional suggestions of the book we will keep at the fore front are to ask the right questions, balance work and rest, spend more time with our kids and remind them constantly how much we love them.
I highly recommend this book regardless of the stage of raising children you are in. First time parents will glean tremendous pearls of wisdom and it's a great refresher for any parent.  Matthew Kellly is a devout Catholic however the book doesn't teach any Catholicism, just smart parenting!  Enjoy!

I wrote this review of Building Better Families for the free Catholic Book review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods. Aquinas and More is the largest on-line Catholic bookstore. I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sneak Peek Saturday

One of my goals for 2013 is to get in the habit of reading the Sunday Gospel earlier in the week and journal using Lectio Divina for said Gospel.  You can find out where we are in the Gospel readings at USCCB.
I will post my thoughts on Saturday and I would love it you would join me for a Sneak Peek of the Sunday Gospel Reading sometime over the weekend.  At some point I could see moving this to a Thursday posting.

I hope you'll join!

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday's Quick Takes

Meet one of my new friends, Shower Chair:
After a couple of days pre chair / post injury I quickly learned that just stepping into the shower was daunting, and even less desirable is standing on one leg for any length of time.  Truly, a life saver!

Meet another new friend, Shower Bag:
She arrived on the scene the day after the cast.  Her timing is impeccable as I was not all that interested in her cousin garbage bag with duct tape.

Here's another new gal pal, Foam Pillow:
I didn't think I needed any more friends as her cousin Regular Pillow was pretty nice.  But Regular Pillow had to move along after frequent repositioning and aching.  Foam Pillow (made for people in my situation) has proved much more friendly and kind of a life saver!

Please meet, ever so faithful, Crutches aka "Crunches":
They are twins and they go with me everywhere, to get me anywhere.  I have a love / hate relationship with them.  I love that they take me where I need to go but hate that they hurt.  I'm so upper body weak to pick up their slack.

These new friends came to my by way of my friend, Cheryl.  I can't thank her enough for bringing these items over.  She was in a cast or boot for almost a year, which included two surgeries.  I pray she had a good report on Monday and has moved onto wearing two shoes!  Thanks again for your kindness Cheryl!
I'm on the first day of the second week out of eight weeks.  Thankful for Christmas and New Year's and that they are during the week.  This means more time for my husband home.  Less couch parenting and less TV.  More family time and more love all the way around!
I'm also very thankful for meals that people have brought for us.  It's been so wonderful to just put items in the oven and have dinner done for when my husband gets home.  I am very very thankful and will make sure to pay this forward.  This has been the biggest life saver for our whole family!

I'm also very thankful that my parents came during those first days.  We weren't at all prepared in any way to handle this.  Laundry, rides to school for the kids, doctor appointments for our son, doctor appointment for me, preparing food and helping with the kids.  I spent this time getting transportation arranged for the kids to get to and from school and activities.  I also drive two other kids and they had to make arrangements as well.  It has all worked out and I'm so thankful for how understanding everybody has been.


Joining Jennifer at Conversion Diary.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

I'm Broken.....

....I'm sure in more ways than what I really mean here.

Ten days ago after leaving Mass, I fell.  [Actual, I fell on our driveway before Mass too.] 

One of our kids was sick and we had a terrible snow storm going on it was really coming down.  I do not drive in anything but cleared down to the pavement roads, unless I absolutely have to.  I'd have to be caught somewhere and have to get home.  But to go out in a snow storm?  No.  So the decision was made that I would go to Mass alone [this can be so nice, but I've come to feel so guilty not bringing my kids, we rarely ever do it].

I made it to two block away church [versus our 15 minute away school church], where I enjoyed hearing the visiting priest and visited with neighbors on the way out.  This is the point where it went very wrong.  I had my camera with me and decided to take pictures of the beautiful snow capped trees, streets, houses, etc.  I was going to walk home instead of calling my husband to come and get me as I was asked.

I almost fell ten steps from the door.  This is where I said be careful, be careful.  I got down the first steps and fell.  This time I fell forward on my knee and my hands as I turned to watch my right leg land sideways on the concrete, ankle side up.

I sat as is for a few minutes, cried, then had to figure out what I was going to do.  I knew it was sprained pretty bad.  I reached in my jacket to call MacGyver to come and get me.  I hobbled to the corner, which was really dumb, like falling again was beneath me at this point?  Then my neighbor drove past about 50 ft when her husband put it in reverse.  She's the grandmother to a boy a year older than my six year old.  Looking at my soaked knees she asked if I wanted a fell and did I want a ride home?  More tears again and I said my husband was coming to get me.

I spent the rest of the day on the couch, thinking it was a sprain.  I had a little voice telling me to go to the doctor just in case.  My sister and I were planning a marathon in May and I didn't want to take chance of walking on a broken bone.  Even though I thought it was pretty silly, it would just be sprained.

The next day I knew I couldn't drive so McGuyver brought the kids to school and then after pre-school pick up we all went to the doctor.  We were there way too long.  Finally the doctor came in to show me this:

The doctor said it was broke in two places.  I would need a cast in three days for four weeks.  Four more weeks in boot.  On the upside?  There is an upside, there always is.  The bone did not move into the spaces between the bones.  That would require surgery.  So I am thankful it isn't worse and hopefully won't be.

We decided to go to an orthopedic on Thursday.  I was x-rayed again and then casted.  All still looked good.  [I was pretty nervous and very careful not to put any weight on my leg, even with going to my kid's Christmas program.]  I do not want surgery.  This doctor said two weeks cast, then re-x-ray, re-cast, non weight bearing.  Repeat in another two weeks.  Then boot for two weeks, non weight bearing.  Then last two week in the boot walking.  Hopefully this all goes as smooth as this.
The break is actually called a candy cane [I had already picked out the cast] fracture of the right fibula.  Or a spiral fracture as it wraps around the bone unlike being broken in two places.

Right now, I'm just excited to get the new cast next Thursday [swelling has gone down and this has gotten clunky and hurts].

For now, we'll enjoy looking at this, for the season:

My friend Kris sent me this poem when she saw my cast:

Christmas Candy Cane Poem about Jesus

Look at the Candy Cane
What do you see?
Stripes that are red
Like the blood shed for me
White is for my Savior
Who’s sinless and pure!
“J” is for Jesus My Lord, that’s for sure!
Turn it around
... And a staff you will see
Jesus my shepherd
Was born for Me!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Looking For a Good Movie? How About a 500 Mile Walk?

My husband and I searched for the movie, The Way, while on a date when it was first out in the theaters October 2011. Sadly, too many Christian movies aren't in as many theaters as we'd like. That being said, I was happy to watch this on DVD on my comfy couch.

Here's a little re-cap: Daniel (Emilio Estevez) decides to quit grad school to see the world sans cell phone against his father's (Martin Sheen) wishes. Early into the movie, Tom receives a phone call that Daniel has died while on his first leg walking the Camino de Santiago.
Tom, portrayed as a lapsed Catholic, flies over to Spain to identify his son's body and has him cremated. He then decides to take Daniel's backpack along with the remains to finish the pilgrimage himself.
Along the way Tom meets three characters who all make the trek for different reasons. They become friends and share the journey, for the good, bad and funny! Throughout the Camino Tom has visions how the journey would have looked through his son's eyes. After these visions Tom sprinkles Daniel's ashes leaving a part of his son along the Camino. It was during these times that I got a little choked up, but a gentle reminder that this is not correct Catholic teaching on how to bury the dead.
The movie made me think about what I treasure in the here and now. I can only assume that is a part of the journey for every walker on the Camino.
Emilio Estevez, director, filmed the movie in sequence and got the whole crew to do a novena prayer to become the first film crew to film inside the Cathedral de Sanitiago. Of all the scenery in the movie, the filming in the Cathedral  was by far my favorite scene. I was so moved by what happens at the end, inside the Cathedral. I don't want to spoil it for you, you will just have to see for yourself!
I liked the movie, loved the fact that it was a movie about an ancient Catholic pilgrimage, and it sparked my own interest in walking The Camino de Santiago.
Have you walked it? I would love to hear your experience.
I highly recommend watching this movie if you have any interest in The Way of St James, or if you just like a good story with great scenery. The Way would make a great stocking stuffer and you can purchase the movie at Aquinas & More. I wrote this review as a part of the Tiber River Blogger Review Program. Gaudete in Domino!

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