Monday, October 31, 2011

Special Prayer Request

Can I ask you to please pray for a special intention? My husband and I are hoping to add another little one to our family, if God is willing. I'd appreciate your prayers. =o)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Rice can taste.... GOOD????

Can I just say - the rice cooker is an amazing invention? My rice is no longer nasty. JOY!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Part Deux

Today, I am thankful:

1. that what was potentially a staph infection actually turned out to "only" be shingles...
2. for modern medicine (antivirals) that are hopefully going to knock the shingles right outta here.
3. that all the sickness in the house (other than my own) seems to be going away!
4. for my husband who insisted I make chili dogs for dinner rather than hot dogs. YUM.
5. my neighbor, who watched the kiddos for me at the last minute today. =o)
6. for my parents who are letting us move into their old house soon!
7. that my husband has agreed to be open to new life!!!! *EEEEEEEEEEEEEE*
8. that Lady asked to go potty. Even if it was only 2 times. Ha!
9. for another round of cool weather that blew in today!
10. for much needed RAIN, which we have gotten to see a bit of today!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Moving - in more ways than one

Today it hit me - I am moving in 3 months (or less). I have holidays to contend with, and packing to finish. I've got floors at the house desperately needing some love, and walls that are screaming "pleeeeease remove the ugly 80's wallpaper and save me!"
And I'm excited. And suddenly extremely overwhelmed! I have a huge list going of things we need (like new beds for the kids...ouch). One step at a time Kelli!

I've also been thinking about how "unfriendly" I am. I don't think its that I REALLY am unfriendly. But, I do have a temper (shock, ha), and unless you are my immediate family, I'm pretty introverted in real life. I might be very animated and friendly when I am in a situation with other people, but I don't necessarily want to be there. I like to be alone. In my house. With my family. A good book. And just being alone. I am definitely an introvert. Being out of the house stresses me out. I like to be surrounded by familiarity and comfort. I tend to get annoyed easily, which is a bad habit too. Crud. Look at me just listing all these things out. But, I think lately I am coming to see that while others have faults or things that do bother me, good grief who am I to judge them? Look at all my issues and baggage. Maybe I should be looking at myself and my obnoious tendencies. At the same time, I know God made me who I am. He knows me and loves ME and wants me to be the person he created, but I think he also expects me to be striving to convert my heart to His every moment of the day. Its difficult, but I am becoming more aware. What do you do throughout the day, or what do you keep around, to help remind you of where your heart and mind should be? To help you get  kick in the pants from our tendency to be in this world and act in less than Godly ways? It is a lifelong journey I'm sure, but I'm excited and kind of scared to be on it.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lonesome

Adam is on a camping trip with his buddies. They left Thursday morning. They won't be back until Sunday night. I'm having a rough time. I feel lonesome.

I'm also just a little bit terrified about going to mass alone with the kids. Why? Because I have a 2 year old son named William, that's why! Haha. He makes me smile almost constantly, so he is definitely worth it. =o)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Pt. 1

Leading up to Thanksgiving, and because we are cutting back on our spending and it hurts and is a big adjustment, I have decided to try to take time every Thursday and make a list of some things I am thankful for. SO. Here we go!

I am thankful for...
1. the BEAUTIFUL cool weather we have been having. It feels like Fall.
2. a home, electricity, running water, etc. because so many people in the world don't have these things that I take for granted.
3. healthy children, who love each other, and love God.
4. a computer and the internet which gives me the ability to learn all kinds of nifty things easily and quickly, and to keep in touch with people in my life more easily.
5. coffee - because a day without it would be a lot less pleasant for those around me.
6. the love and generosity of people in my life.
7. my husband and all the work he does to support our family.
8. the ability to stay home and be with my children.
9. pumpkins - because they make fall special and give me delicious pumpkin seeds to munch on.
10. God - because He is everything.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

As a matter of FACT....

Everyone heard of Fr. Mitch Pacwa? I have been watching/listening to quite a bit of his debates/shows/etc. lately. Anyone else every noticed that he says quite frequently, "As a matter of FACT...." haha. I love it. He always says it when he starts to get really into a point that someone is disagreeing with.

I actually got to ask him some questions today on Open Line. Maybe you heard me. If so, please don't tell me how I sounded. I am sick, was carrying a neighbor's baby on my hip, was out of breath from walking the baby around, had dogs barking in the background, and was keeping my fingers crossed that Will stayed asleep while I was on the phone. It all worked out. AND I got some answers to a few questions I had about indulgences and relics. =o)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Journey

I wrote this post last night immediately following my praying of the Rosary. I didn't post it, because I feel very hesitant about putting it out there. Its very personal, but I want a record of things I go through on this faith journey that I am on. So, I decided to put it out there so I don't lose it. As I mentioned, I wrote it immediately following meditation, so reading it now I feel almost silly! But, it was very powerful for me last night, and I feel very at peace and confident now.

I am amazed at the things that can be revealed to me while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary. Other things have just *clicked* in my head the past few weeks while praying, and tonight it happened again. I have been pestering Adam so much about WHY we can't just do RCIA this year. I keep saying its not a contract, why shouldn't we just go now, I don't understand! But he wants to wait, and do it together next year, so I agreed to wait. And yet, I still keep pestering him. I want him to change his mind to do what I want, when I want it, on my timetable. And I receive an answer I was not looking for while saying the Rosary tonight. My conversion, will be like the Joyful Mysteries. An angel came to Mary, and announced that she would be the mother of the Savior. Just as she is the mother of Christ, she is my Mother, and she is holding me now in her prayers and in her heart, and I am but a small dot in her hand that has a spark of life, and will begin to grow. She is nurturing me and loving me as I begin this faith. Mary visited Elizabeth, and Mary the Mother of God and Jesus Christ were recognized! Just as Christ was recognized, as I grow in this faith and in my understanding and in devotion and love to God, I will begin to grow and Christ will begin to be seen in me. Just as Mary had to travel far, with her poor unsuspecting (at first) husband, so do I. This year of learning and traveling towards this faith is going to be hard. There will be challenges, and I will lose things and it may not always go the way I want. But it will end in birth. Mary gave birth to the Savior of the world, and I will be born, a small infant, making my way into the Catholic church, next year when I enter RCIA. Mary presented Jesus at the temple, according to the Law, and whether I completely understand or even agree with the RCIA process, I will be obedient to the Lord and His Church, and will become a candidate and presented to the church while in the RCIA process. And finally, what a joyous occasion, and such a relief, when Jesus is found in the temple of His Father. Likewise, at the end of my journey, I will be able to be found there as well. Right where I am supposed to be. Learning, asking questions, growing in my faith, in the house of my Father in heaven. And, I am to be leading and teaching MY children then too, just as Mary my Mother, has and will lead me towards her Son.

Monday, October 17, 2011

"Let the little children come to me"

I found this article online while I was searching for "is it ok to give my kids religious books during mass", haha!

Abby, being 8, obviously does wonderfully. We have been to mass before when she was younger, and we also attended an Anglican church for quite a while, so this is all very familiar to her in many ways. She can follow along fairly well, and sits and listens well. We also have been going to the mass that has Children's Liturgy of the Word for 5-8 year olds, so she went to that and really enjoyed it - problem being that Will was QUITE upset that she left. He kept wanting to know where she was. With us homeschooling, he is obviously used to her being around the majority of the time. He did not like her disappearing like that. Now, Will does very well I think, for a 2 (almost 3) year old. Especially for his personality type, which is turned on high energy all the time. Sitting still is something this boy does not comprehend (unless Diego is on, in THAT case...). So really I am very proud of how he has been doing. If he begins to get too restless or loud, I take him out and give him a minute to compose himself and pull in the reigns, and then we come back in when he is ready. However, I wonder if other people are bothered by him. Sometimes I feel as if we are getting looks, and if I am doing the right thing in having him in there with us at mass. There is a nursery offered by the Sisters, but the more I thought about it, I really wanted him to be with us, as a family. Especially if I believe that the Eucharist is really Jesus (which, I think I have been persuaded of that, and not just in an intellectual way, since yesterday at mass I caught myself gazing longingly while I went up only to receive a blessing), then of course I should want my child to be there in the physical presence of Him as well. But, I worry about other peoples stares. If they are thinking I should just take him to the nursery that is offered. Would it be inappropriate for me to give him some religious books or items to sit with? I don't want to upset or offend others, but I feel like my son has every right to be at mass with Jesus as much as anyone else. Anyone else struggle with this? How do you deal with it?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Slowly

I am slowly easing into this journey that I am on. I have been prayin the rosary daily for well over 2 weeks now (yay!) and Abby has even been joining me every evening. I added in reading the daily mass readings last week, and have kept up with that well. This week I am adding in a Bible and Catechism reading plan - which should take me a year to complete (IF I stay on track, ha!). I will continue with the daily mass readings, but I am going to make that part of our school time so that the kids will also have a daily Bible reading that we will all do together. I have other things I want to add in - a nightly examination of conscience and act of contrition, a morning prayer and devotion, etc. But I know for now I need to ease in, especially after talking with and heeding the advice of several wonderful people that I know! For now, I feel very blessed by doing the daily rosary, and I think adding in these readings will be wonderful for all of us. I also am trying to make the day to day things into a form of prayer. I'm trying to stop several times throughout the day when the Lord crosses my mind, to offer up a personal prayer to Him in that moment. I think we will also begin reading a little bit about the saints as part of our school day - so the kids and I will be learning together, haha. I think this is something that the kids will really enjoy learning about.

Also, I know that All Saints/All Souls are coming up, quickly followed by the season of Advent. We have never celebrated these before really, but I would like to at least so a small something this year in recognition of them. Does anyone have some simple *beginner* ideas for my family? Thanks!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Known

I find comfort in this song, and yet it also reminds me how all-knowing God is. But he has known me as I am, as I was, and as I will be! I draw great comfort in knowing that someone does know and understand me that completely. I feel enveloped in his love. Last night I took the puppy out really late, and the sky was clear, and there were bright stars, a glowing moon shining down onto me, and a brisk wind swept across my face and gave me chills. I felt God with me. I felt him holding me and revealing himself to me through the beauty of His creation. I stood quietly and said a prayer.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Meal Planning and Budgetting

Alright people - do you plan out your weekly meals and have a food budget? We are moving soon so I have been given the job of tackling our food budget and keeping things in check. Here's the problem - I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm not even sure what are good, healthy, and reasonably priced options for meals. I'm not sure what I should be aiming for. SO, I need examples of what a week is like for your family, so I can have something to go on. Thanks!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Prayers Please!

If everyone could say a prayer for my sweet baby William. He is sick, and has gotten a really high fever (we're at 104 now, which is not even his highest). He tends to do this everytime he gets sick, so its not too scary, but of course I worry every time. He seems to be feeling very badly. =o(

Autumn!

Is everyone else just so happy its Autumn? I mean, even though HERE it doesn't feel like Autumn, we all pretend. We buy pumpkins. We put out fall decor. We insist on buying our kids fluffy Halloween costumes because *WHAT IT* it DID get cold (when is the last time that happened? Anyone remember? Every year I just see poor infants and toddlers sweating nearly to death). And, we do it to ourselves too, because most of the moms I meet are insisting on wearing their cute fall clothes. Even though its still near 90 degrees on most days. And we don't care. Cause its Fall DANGIT. And we want to wear our cute stuff. Summer in Texas is not pretty. Fashion goes out the window in favor of not suffering from heat stroke, so Fall is always much welcome. However briefly it visits us.

Halloween. Sigh. The kids are so excited. And I love Halloween too. But this year I'm really confused on what to do. I want them to know its more than just dress up and get candy. But honestly - I'm clueless! I want to jump right in and do all this cool liturgical stuff with them and I have no idea what I'm doing. I don't even know what half the words mean. What is a novena? What is a scapular? What is the different between Blessed and Saint? What is the difference between a Memorial, A Feast, A Remembrance. And what are you supposed to do? AH! Someone help me! But yes, we are dressing up for Halloween. Its our thing. Even us parents dress up (albeit not on Halloween, but for a Halloween party with friends). The kids are going to be a Vampire and a Zombie. Easy and cheap, so I'm on board. For the "adult" costumes, our group of friends decided this year that we would vote on each others costumes. So basically - I didn't pick my costume. All my friends and my husband got together and voted for my costume. I'm supposed to be a pregnant nun. A month ago I was rolling my eyes but whatever. Now I feel a little uncomfortable and disrespectful. Crud. It's better than Adam's costume - Green Running Man. Yikes. I'd have to exercise daily for 5 years before I'd put on all that green spandex!

With Fall also comes pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds!!! I love them. Toss them in some butter and then sprinkle on cajun seasoning, pop them in the oven, and they are sooooooooooo good. I bought a pumpkin yesterday specifically for the purpose of using the seeds for my upcoming snacks. Can't wait to do some roasting tonight!

Monday, October 10, 2011

To my Protestant Friends and Family

I am writing this to all my Protestant friends and family, who have expressed concern over my family's journey so far in learning about and considering the Catholic faith. I know some of you view the Catholic faith as a branch of Christianity, while others of you view it in a more negative light and do not even consider it Christian. I feel the need to write this, so that I'm not having to explain our reasons for exploring the Catholic faith repeatedly.

I know some of you are concerned, whereas others are just confused or think it odd that we are looking into Catholicism. I want you to know that none of us take this lightly. Although my reading is going quickly and my mind is racing with information, we are in no rush to convert immediately. We are seeking God's truth and are on a faith journey, as we all will be our whole lives as we strive to convert our hearts to be in tune with that of God. For those of you who can not understand why we are looking into this Catholic faith, it is that we have been repeatedly shown that Protestantism is so divided, and that the teaching of sola scriptura leaves much room for individual interpretation (hence the division in Protestantism of so many denominations) and leaning on our own understanding rather than that of what has been given to us by Christ. We are looking for answers, looking to find the fullness of the church that Jesus established. We are studying history and writings of the early church, and have been surprised. As I said, we are on a journey, we do not know where we will end up, but we would ask that you be supportive and in prayer that we would find the truth of God.

To those of our dearest friends, who believe the Catholic church to not even be of God, I understand how difficult this must be for you to understand. I believe you are well intentioned and full of love and concern for us. I understand your desire to pray for us - but I would ask that your prayers reflect that of us finding God's truth, and not what you hold to be truth. There are so many denominations in Protestantism that claim to be the ones who interpret the Bible correctly, and there is so much division over this. I do not want to add to that. How can any in the Protestant faith know if their understanding of scripture is more correct than that of the over 20,000 other churches and groups who believe they have the correct understanding? I would ask that you research the history of the church for yourselves. Read the writings of the early church fathers. Go to unbiased sources for your information as we have had to do. It has been more difficult to find, but it is comforting to know that we are reading unbiased information. The Catholic church is not an enemy. Rather it is a group of Christians seeking after God's own heart as much as the Protestant faith is.

I love you all, and I appreciate all the concern, all the prayers, and to others all of the support you have offered as we have begun this amazing journey. Please know we don't want any ill will or argument between us. We are all seeking after the Lord and wishing to serve him. We are all on our own journey which is being guided by our loving Heavenly Father.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Whirlwind

Everything feels like I am inside whirlwind. Things are happening so fast and just whooshing and sweeping in and picking me up and throwing me about. But I don't feel hurt or scared - I feel like I'm flying! Soaring! There are so many things I am learning and beginning to understand. I don't feel confused and stressed, I feel relief! I feel like I don't have to search and contort myself to try and understand - I don't have to reinvent the wheel anytime I want to understand God. Its been done. He has established it all. It is there for any and all to know and understand. And its incredible. I can't get into everything because I am certainly not an expert, but I cant tell you this journey that I am on - learning history, learning the Word of God, praying to Him in earnesty and knowing that there are so many praying for me and my family, and that one of them is the mother of my Lord, my Holy Mother, who cared enough about me to seek me out and draw me closer to her Son and My God, its an incredible feeling. I don't know where I will be in a year. I don't know everything and I don't claim to. But I do know that more has been revealed to me in the past week spiritually, than has happened in my entire life - and its because I am NOT leaning on my own understanding, but on the promises of God that His truth and His church will continue forever, and that even the gates of hell can not prevail against it. I am finally beginning to know what it feels like for my yoke to be easy and my burden light. It is an amazing feeling!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Gregorian Chant

God is really after me lately! Yesterday another amazing thing happened, and I seriously had chills and was about to cry.

I have no idea what the Gregorian Chant is, really, no idea. But now I am certainly going to be looking it up! We stopped at the little Catholic bookstore I had been to previously, because I wanted to look for this other book I had read about that sounded like I might be able to glean some info from. We got there (me and the kids), and I heard the chant being played. We looked around, I found a book, got the kids a couple little coloring books about the sacraments and the mass, and went to go check out. I was paying, when all of a sudden Will (who is 2.5) says "WAIT A MINUTE! I hear (insert a word I couldn't understand here." So I said "What Will? You hear the music?" And he looked at me like I was crazy and said "NO, I hear Jesus! But where he is? I don't see him"

I froze. The woman checking me out said she had chills. She asked me if he said what she thought he said, and I told her yes he sure did. Now, there were pictures of Jesus all over the place. Will can look at a picture of Jesus and tell you its Jesus, so I knew that it wasn't just he saw a picture and was being weird or something, because he so easily could have pointed at a picture and been like oh its Jesus! But he didn't do that. He heard something, because he was LOOKING for Jesus to actually physically be around. And he told me that it wasn't the music he was hearing. The woman at the store told me that the Gregorian chant is a really old form of prayer, and that what she just saw was so amazing, and that I should look into buying the chant on cd or something to have at home because maybe it had some strong meaning for my 2 year old. Abby was mad that she didn't hear Jesus. =o)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Scott Hahn and Memaw

Looks like Scott Hahn is going to be speaking in town in a couple month - I think I will have to go listen!
http://www.scotthahn.com/schedule/12-2011/events/st-theresa-catholic-church-3847.html

I just got off the phone with my Memaw (my stepdad's mom, but she is like my grandma really and truly), and she is looking around her crazy packed house (she saves everything) for some books for me to read. She thinks she has a catechism and Catholic Bible for me. =o) I love Memaw.

Vagabond

All this time like a vagabond
A homeless stranger
I've been wandering

All my life you've been calling me
To a home you know
I've been needing

I'm a broken stone
So lay me in the house you're building

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Coincidence

I name my dog "Lady"

I end up at an event listed in a Protestant church bulletin that is attended by almost completely Catholics.

I am asked to say a Rosary on the 2nd day of October.

I continue to pray it at home using the computer, because it meant something to me when I had prayed it before.

I wander into a Catholic bookstore and am GIVEN a rosary.

I stumble across something today, that October is the month of the Holy Rosary.

Coincidence? Its seeming rather doubtful.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Finding Me

Sunday I went to Life Chain, said a rosary with a sweet woman, was completely moved by the experience as I had never been since several years ago when I would try to attempt to say it, and I've been saying it daily now, for 3 days. Today I stopped in at this little Catholic bookstore nearby while Abby was at her running practice, because I had nothing else to do and thought I could look around and just get the time to pass by. I ended up talking to this woman working in the store, and told her about my experience with the rosary on Sunday. Turns out she makes the ones that are for sale in the store, and she wanted me to pick out any one that I loved and to take it for my very own as her gift to me! It is absolutely beautiful. I couldn't believe it. I seriously was in tears in the store, and on the way to get Abby was on the verge of weeping. I haven't felt that kind of raw and amazing emotion, ever maybe. At least, not over my faith. It was awesome and incredible and disconcerting at the same time. I wonder what God is up to. But I know he is up to something deep in my heart. Especially since I walked out of the store with some books also on the faith. Every time I go another way, somehow the Catholic faith finds a way - to find me.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

God is SO good!

Can I just say, today was amazing?! A weird turn of events (perhaps orchestrated from above? hehe) led me to find out that Life Chain was going on today! So, I decided after talking with Adam, to just head on over there and participate. I ended up there early (whoops) but ended up getting to help out a lot in addition to praying and holding signs. It was an incredible experience! To see people from all denominations coming together and praying as one united body for the end of abortion, was just an incredible thing to see. There were some people who were upset as they drove by, but there were even more who were honking and cheering in support. It was awesome to see all the young people who came out too - so wonderful to know that our youth are not all being deceived by the world's message that the murder of millions of innocent children is an acceptable "choice"!

Also, even though yesterday I just posted about some things God was doing to work in my life, here He goes again today and just arranges things in a way to point out some major stuff to me! Wow. How amazing to know that I truly am never alone, that God always knows what I face and is there to just hold me through it all.

We also went to see Courageous this weekend. It was great! I cried and cried and CRIED! But was so glad to see a movie that promoted family and Christian values, rather than the typical Hollywood blech that is out there. Friday I am taking Abby to go see dolphin tale with her new friend from the neighborhood. We're going to have her friend stay the night with us too - Abby is obviously SUPER excited. What are some fun things we could do? Gonna make it a girls night. Dinner, movie, yummy dessert, maybe a trip to Charming Charlie's, and then nail polish popcorn and a movie before crashing on the huge couch? Did I forget anything? Of course, I'm sure I will leave and go to bed before the girls do, so that they can have their sleepover required stay up way too late and giggle time.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

God's Chisel

I am seeing God move in awesome and amazing ways. He is answering questions I have had, and revealing answers to me in places I would have never expected. He is truly amazing and awesome! I wish that I didn't struggle so often with "lukewarm" faith. I really have to struggle to remain faithful sometimes, and to keep abiding in Him. I want to always feel his joy and just reflect it out to everyone. I want to see how amazing He is through my life and actions and love of others. I kind of suck at that. Just one more thing to work on as I keep seeking after my amazing savior!

I have also been seeing God move in awesome and amazing ways, that don't feel so awesome and amazing. Sometimes it hurts to be taken down a few pegs and shown your huge big ragingly wrong mistakes. Its unpleasant to have to look at those bad parts and cut off that flesh. But it must be done. And in the end I know that I will finally become the beautiful image that God created me to be, even though I know it will take my entire lifetime and the work will not be complete until I am in paradise with my God!

I wanted to share this video. Many of you have probably seen it before. But every time I watch it, I get a fresh perspective and reminder of the amazing love of Christ.