Thursday, June 28, 2007

Help we should all be asking for

This prayer over at Esther's blog is so very relevent to all that is going on today. May we seek the assistance of Joseph as we strive to be holy.

Some of the family situation

OSS has wanted to live with us for a while now. Life in his mother's home is simply too chaotic for his liking. Even though MSS and YSS have both been taken away from their mother (MSS is in a juvenile detention program and YSS is currently in specialized foster care), life remains unstable over there. OSS wanted to finish high school where he has been, but said that stability was more important. Fortunately, we applied for school choice for him and it was granted. We filed the legal paperwork to have OSS move in and managed to warn him that his mother would be served in the next couple of days. He told his mother he was going to go camping with us and packed as much as he could carry without raising alarms and came over here yesterday. He stretched the truth a bit as we are not camping until next week, but he wanted to get out before she got served with the legal paperwork. Given that her reactions can be quite unpredictable, I am not surprised by his desire to get out of his mother's before she got the legal service.

YSS is another story. He was removed from his mother's home by social services and placed in a specialized foster care situation because he was skipping school an awful lot. The school filed a C.H.I.N.S. (child in need of services). His mother had already signed onto to some social services program that was voluntary because he was out of control. The agency that he was placed with has said that the plan is to transition him into our home. He has not seen his mother and does not want to see her. The agency is suddenly trying to force him to repair his relationship with his mother, however. He feels like he has been abused by her for years and is not ready or willing to participate in any type of counseling. The situation is frustrating. Undoubtedly, he has been more neglected than his brothers in many ways. As the youngest, he has also heard for most of his young life (13 on the 21st of July) how his father is no good, etc., etc... He is old enough now to understand that much of what his mother has said to him in her bitterness is not true, or is only partially true, and he is angry. He has a HUGE problem with females in any sort of authority role. He gives me a really hard time if I ask him to do anything. DH is beginning to see some of the disrespect that he was either unwilling or unable to see before.

We are trying to raise our children to honor and respect us and to be obedient to God. It is very difficult to enforce things with the younger ones when they see the disobedience and disrespect of the older siblings.

I admit that DH and I have battled about this. I try to submit to him, but I have very strong emotions about this situation. I do not want a repeat of what happened with MSS. I do not want ODD, YDD, and YDS to have to go through any of the same things that happened before. I went to confession about this, and I admit that since then, I feel much more peace. I am trying to put the whole situation in God's hands. I am one who often lays my burden down at the foot of the cross only to pick it back up again.

Dear Lord,

Thank you for the gift of Confession and absolution. Your forgiveness is so comforting to one who is so imperfect and unworthy. Please help me to be the mother I am called to be for all these children, both those whom I bore and those whose mother I am only because of my marriage to their father. Help me to love them all, Lord. Help me to leave my burdens at your feet. I must remember that Your yoke is easy and Your burden is light.

Amen.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Too muggy

It has been around 90 degrees and really muggy (humid) for the last two days. It is even too hot to surf the web. Did I mention I have no air conditioning?

Friday, June 22, 2007

This is difficult for me.

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”



The above quote is Mt 5:43-48. Every time I read this, I cringe a little because I know that this is my biggest area of struggle. There are definitely people in my life who could be considered enemies. They have done things that were very hurtful to me and to my family. I find it very difficult to pray for these people. The Lord knows that hardness of my heart, and I have constant reminders of these folks in my life.

More often than not, when I am thinking of these people, I am like a petulant child stomping my feet and shouting things like, "I don't understand!" or "Why can they get away with that?" I know that I am fortunate that God is a very patient Father, and that He will continue to provide opportunities for me to act charitably until I finally get it that He wants me to love and pray for those who persecute me and make life difficult. He wants me to forgive seventy times seven times. That does not make it any easier for me, but I will try and try again. Practice makes perfection and all that.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for being so kind and merciful to this sinner. I know that you want me to strive for perfection. I know that I am supposed to love my enemies and pray for those who persecute me. You are the Potter and I am the clay. Please continue to mold me as You see fit. Please help me to recall that Your words in Jeremiah 29:11 about having a future full of hope for me also applies to those who would persecute me. Please help me to be mindful of Your voice that I may live out Your will for me, and not my own.

Amen.
Please continue to pray for my blog friend Katy and her husband and baby Charlie. You can visit her here to read the latest update. Praise God, and keep up the prayers. They are working!

Lord,
Your loving kindness is overwhelming. Every child is a wondrous work for each of us to admire, and you show us again and again as we pray that You are listening. Thank you for caring for us and loving us despite our unworthiness.

Amen.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The library and other adventures

We went to the library on Monday. This is the sign we see from the street just before we turn into the library parking lot. This is the branch we usually go to every week. It is really not more than one big room with lots of books.
This is Mr. Sullivan with YDD and YDS. He is our favorite librarian. He always has a smile and a friendly word, and he is always willing to help us find what we need, even if it means searching the online database of other libraries to find it. He knows us all by name.
This is one of YDS' favorite reasons to hang out at our little local branch library. He also enjoys the wooden puzzle of the United States they have. We have even borrowed it, he likes it that much!
This is the sign that is WAY up high on the main library. We went to both our little branch and the main library this week. The main library is not really convenient, but we had to be near it one day this week on other errands so we stopped in.
After entering the children's room, the fish tank meets you as you approach the area with younger children's books. My children love the fish tank. YDS always wants to feed the fish, but that is not allowed, so we sometimes put change in the bank that is set up for upkeep of the tank. I didn't get a picture of it, or of the elephant shaped book drop that YDS always wants to "feed" as well.
There are several large plastic canvas crafts throughout the library which were donated by one family. This castle is one of them. There is also a dollhouse.
These bright, cushy fellows sit atop the bookcase that YDS still gets many of his books from, although, he is reading so well, that sometimes he finds these books "babyish" now.
This is the view looking across the children's room from the fish tank. I lied when I said I didn't have a photo of the bank for the fish tank upkeep...it is that squiggly, green thing on the table. It is funny, but I have never seen anyone actually SIT on this furniture.
Over here we have more furniture and a play area. There are a couple of activity tables. I know my son has used them. I have never seen all that many people in this children's room. My little branch always has several people in it, though.
This is the haul of books that YDS brought home. Of course, he is in summer vacation mode, so getting him to read is becoming a bit of a challenge. Maybe I need to institute a mandatory reading time each day......The books that YDD brought home are under the pile of YDS' books. I don't have to fight with her to get her to read. She has turned into a real bookworm this year.

And that concludes our tour. I hope you enjoyed it!

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Eucharist...

real presence of Christ.....of just a symbol?

There is an extremely lively discussion going on regarding this topic and the beliefs of Catholics over here at Ukok's place.

I am not very eloquent, but I did add my 2 cents worth.

Dear Lord,
I ask you to open the eyes of our hearts that we may truly see You, open our ears to truly hear You. Live within us, Lord, that we may truly be instruments for Your use as we travel through our lives here on earth and as we await Your glory.

Amen.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Guerrilla Apologetics for Catholics


Guerrilla Apologetics for Catholics by Paul E. Nowak

This book begins by addressing the doctrines of Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide. It relies heavily on scripture to refute these protestant beliefs. Mr. Nowak cites numerous readings throughout the New Testament when discussing these doctrines.

Mr. Nowak asks as his question 3 "Who founded your church?" This chapter includes an extremely helpful list of the founders of the major protestant sects and the dates of their founding.

The issues of Biblical interpretation and church authority in interpretation, church leadership, the Communion of Saints and theology of Mary, confession, purgatory, divorce, and the interpretation of the Last supper/bread of life discourse are all addressed.

The book is small enough o carry in a backpack or purse, and includes a list of Papal succession from Peter to the current Pope, Benedict XVI. Each chapter is titled with a question, and there are 10 questions. At the end of the book, there is a list of resources which includes the Catechism of the Catholic Church and books by such various authors as Karl Keating, Scott Hahn and G.K. Chesterton.

It is a must have for any Catholic library! It can be purchased by visiting the R.A.G.E. Media online store . (R.A.G.E. Media is now Eternal Revolution.)

Visit http://eternal-revolution.com/store/ for this and other apologetics resources.

Addendum: There is a blog on the Eternal Revolution site as well as the store. You can find it through their home page.

Making me think again

This post at Creative Minority Report had me thinking again about our liberites and the precarious state they are in our culture of death and moral relativism.

We must pray for our leaders and hope that they will be guided by the Holy Spirit to voice outrage over these continued persecutions. I hope, too, that they will come to see how precious our freedoms in the United States are.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Prayers please

My blog friend Katy is a new mom. Her son Charlie was born last week, and he is fighting for his life. Please go on over to The Barnyard, Katy's blog, and let her know you are praying for her and her husband and little one. Charlie seems to be a little fighter. Let's help him with the fight by lifting our voices to God.

Dear Lord,
I ask your healing to be bestowed on little Charlie. He is a loved little boy, and his parents are so excited that he is here with them. You know the plans you have for this family, Lord. Plans for a future and not for woe. We ask through our Lord Jesus Christ that you would bring comfort and healing to this family.

Amen.

What's Your Theological Worldview?

You scored as Roman Catholic,You are Roman Catholic. Church tradition and ecclesial authority are hugely important, and the most important part of worship for you is mass. As the Mother of God, Mary is important in your theology, and as the communion of saints includes the living and the dead, you can also ask the saints to intercede for you.

What's your theological worldview?
created with QuizFarm.com

Monday, June 11, 2007

The battle for my porch swing


I have a beautiful cedar wood porch swing. We have had it for around a year and a half. I like to sit on it in the morning and have my coffee and watch the birds at our feeders. Unfortunately, the birds like my swing, too. They have decided to build nests in my swing. I have cleared out the nests more than half a dozen times, and still, they persist. I think the culprit it this type of bird. They are cute, but they are making a mess.
We also have some of these. They could also be the culprits. There are also some of these beautiful little birds flying around.


There are photos of the swing, the nests and some of the visitors to my yard here.


Lord,
The little birds flying around my yard are a beautiful part of your creation. I do not want to hurt them, but I am afraid of what may happen if they lay eggs in the porch swing nests. I enjoy my swing, and I do not mind sharing it. Help me to be a good steward in this situation, Lord. It seems that the little birds who are nesting in the swing have great perseverance. May I learn from them what ever lesson it is You feel I need. Open the eyes of my heart to see Your message and give me ears to hear, Lord.

Amen.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Cleaning out Memere's

Yesterday my 2 youngest children and I met my father at Memere's apartment. We boxed dishes and food and cleaning products. We packed up clothing . Whatever the family does not want will go to Goodwill Industries.

While we were cleaning and packing and throwing away, my uncle arrived to eat his lunch. He kept Memere company every day at lunch and dinner time while she lived in this little apartment. I think he is having a difficult time with this transition. He has a history of mental illness, but has really gotten much better in the last ten years. He owns his own cleaning business now, and really seems to enjoy the work. He is quite intelligent, and in many ways, I think the the movie A Beautiful Mind describes a lot about his life journey. While my uncle never married, he did do battle with schizophrenia, and now functions without the aid of medication. He, like John Forbes Nash, also stopped taking his medication and suffered the hallucinations that come with schizophrenia. He couldn't stand to be doped up.

It was a kind of bittersweet thing to do. I figured the children would have a life lesson. Unfortunately no one in my family could have Memere come live with them. My parents have an extra room, but my mother still works full time. Dad is semi retired, but they both have health problems so taking care of Memere would be extremely taxing. One of my uncles is described above. He has a tiny little efficiency apartment and as the youngest, works over 50 hours a weeks. My father's older brother's wife has Parkinson's disease, and he cares for her in their little handicapped accessible apartment. He also helps to watch out for his mother-in-law who is quite elderly.

I have no extra room in my tiny house. So Memere is in a nursing home. I have pleased so far in my dealings with them. They are nice and seem quite loving. The facility is clean. There is no urine or disinfectant smell when you walk in.

Lord,
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to help out in this situation. Bless Memere as she closes out her time in this life. Help my uncle to deal with this transition. Help my dad and my other uncle to deal as well.

Amen.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Guerrilla Apologetics for Life Issues


"You can defend life or you can take the offensive"
These words are found on the back cover of Guerrilla Apologetics for Life Issues by Paul E. Nowak.
This helpful book is chock full of quotes and statistics set in a format designed to draw others into open dialogue on the issues of abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research and the death penalty.
The book is based in solid fact without the hindrance of the often emotional religious arguments that seem to arise when discussing these issues. This makes the book a wonderful tool for anyone who is pro-life. The quotes from Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Mary Wollstonecraft and other early pioneers of Women's rights are most insightful.
The book is sprinkled with pro-life cartoons throughout. While it was a quick and easy read, I for one, will be studying the information contained within these pages more thoroughly.
If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Guerrilla Apologetics for Life Issues, click on the picture or the title in this post. Visit http://eternal-revolution.com// for this and other apologetics resources.