Monday, May 25, 2015

Conference take ways

This past Saturday I attended the Catholic Women's Blogging Network conference for Ohio. It was amazing and uplifting. There were a little less than 20 women there and that number made it very personal and almost made you feel like you came home with that many new best friends. 

The common denominator of or blogging was that we were Catholic women, but there was so many different ways that we all went about our blogging and it reminded me of one of the beauties of being Catholic, the fact that there isn't just one way of living out our faith. I mean we all blog, but we do it in our own way and somehow it all comes back to Jesus and his wanting us to love others. 

The women that gave talks at the conference were amazing. One touched on making sure we are authentic to who we are and making sure in all things we understand we are given the responsibility of being teachers with our blogs. To know that God calls us to greatness in our blogging  and in all aspects of our lives really, in whatever way that may manifest itself. In the posts that are hard to write and in the projects that arise from blogging that our yes will be rewarded. To think about who we are serving in our blogging. To know that it's okay to make it more than a hobby if God calls us to do so. To know that the fruition of balance is never going to happen. To know you have limitations but to know that you can trust in God through those limitations, through the hard stuff. To simply find peace in your decision of blogging in whatever facet it may take.

This all challenged me and refreshed me and I am thankful for that. In thankful for amazing women to share my heart with and listen to them talk about their own.

In it all I realized I may be a tiny almost obscure blogger, and that's okay. I can still be great because I will try my best to be authentically me and being that I am made in His image, point readers to Christ.

Some of the great bloggers that were there.
Brooke of The Sacred Sink

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Different

I have been known to make different choices from the norm.  I actually label myself as an emphathetic non-conformist.  I feel like that describes me perfectly.  However, this doesn't leave me unscathed from wanting to belong or wanting my children to belong.

I realized at a neighborhood gathering that I probably had some things in common with the folks there, and I love them because they are amazing people in themselves, but that I probably was also very different.  I also had the hardest time watching my oldest son interact with the other kids, because since I make different choices, my children also have different ways of doing things than probably the run of the mill kid.  I don't condemn the run of the mill kid, its just not my child.  My child is also just himself or herself, and I love that about them.  But in certain social situations I kind of cringe, because my children, they always stand out in a crowd. My children are sometimes awkward but full of energy and strong opinions and one of them makes the worst roaring sound that reminds me of a dying animal. They all love people, but they aren't afraid to be them,  so they can be slightly awkward in social situations. But they can also be awesome in them too.

I was watching a video of a talk given by an autistic boy, Jacob Barnett, and it was great.  He challenged the audience and I guess me viewing the video to stop learning what you think you are supposed to be learning and think about things in your own way.  He said in order to be successful you have to be able to understand things in the way that is really you and you can do great things through this.  I feel like this really ties in to so many things.  Leave it to the ENFJ/INFJ to say that, but really it does.

There are so many pressures to conform to what you need to be or do.  Whether it be in education, or dress, or mannerism, or values or mannerisms.  And while some of it is necessary for a working society where other people aren't violated, I think we limit ourselves so much. Sometimes, especially for me it leaves me crippled when I do think differently and I just don't know how to express myself, so I just stay silent.  However, I know that God intends us to be authentically ourselves, and so maybe the way we always have done something isn't always the right way.  Maybe we are supposed to be better than average at something or even more so brilliant at it, even if its not what the world thinks is important. Maybe its okay to wear our shoes on the wrong feet and our pants on backwards and our shirt inside out.

Different can mean we are really being authentic to who God made us to be instead of weird and wrong.  And if we are being different in love, in truth and not out of fear or vanity or pride, we really will be able to move mountains.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

And the garden starts....

We signed up for community garden plot again this year.  We went Saturday to check it out.  It wasn't quite ready for us, but neither were we really ready for it so it was okay.  The boys and baby girl enjoyed digging and getting dirty nonetheless.









Sunday, May 17, 2015

Life with Ben

Sometimes I forget to capture all the good bits of our life of three under six, especially that of the older two. The kids are full smiles and silly things and super endearing things too.  Here are a few of Ben tidbits from the last few weeks.

1.)  A friend introduced Ben to George Washington and since then Ben has told us, "I'm really sad that George Washington died already and didn't live now."

2.)"Mama, I think you, Daddy, policemen and soldiers are safe people." After a discussion about babies wanting their mamas always.

3.)"Mom, look I made a shark swimsuit." 

4.) After catapulting himself into the couch several times, "Mom, I'm tired from all the gymnastics I've done."

5.) We had a community event for our part of Cleveland called Pedal for Prizes yesterday afternoon.  Ben decided to make up a song and then took that song and went outside and serenaded all the bikers passing by with a few fist bumps and claps from those passing by. 

video



Friday, May 15, 2015

"So stare and see that this is me..."

I have been trying to figure out things that are authentically me, these are a few that I came up with so far.

1. I love soccer, especially playing in the midfield.
2. I think I do a pretty awesome job at voices in story books.
3. I would prefer to live somewhere without a car and try to do as much as I can without one now.
4. I love baby wearing but see the beauty of a stroller as well.
5. If I am struggling with something, you best believe that there is a song in my head trying to help me work it all out.
6. I am terrified of snakes, but living here, with a ravine a few yards over, I see them all the time and its making me less afraid of them...at least a little.
7. I like wearing dresses instead of shorts in the summer, it just makes me happier for some reason.
8. My favorite novena is the Mary, Undoer of Knots prayer.
9. I enjoy building train tracks with the kids, but the track needs can't have a pattern where a train gets stuck in one loop, that drives me crazy.
10. I would rather go on a hike up a mountain than go to the beach anyday.
11. I enjoy gardening, but not weeding, go figure. :)
12. The only sporting events that I watch are World Cup and the Olympics.  I couldn't care less about the Superbowl.
13. I am a sucker for environmental things like recycling and composting and such.
14. I am not a 100% organic person, I'm an organic on sale person.
15. I've been known to eat a whole can of pineapple in a day, or one meal.
16. I like Disney Channel sitcoms.
17. I am a border line INFJ?ENFJ
18. I like helping people.
19. I refer to bodies as systems.
20. I can't stand wearing rings on my fingers except for my wedding rings.
21. I think I actually can cook pretty well, though I've never had professional training, maybe its more that I can follow a recipe because its just like a chemistry experiment. :)
22. I am not good at thinking on my feet.
23. I usually am compassionate towards others.
24. I admire honesty.
25. I am terrible at most video games, sans Angry Birds and Dragon Box algebra.

I'll stop there.  Hope you enjoyed getting to know a little more about me.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Inherited

The concept of an inheritance is an interesting one.  As a human child of two parents, I've never really thought much about inheriting money or gifts when my parents pass on from this life.  I have met others, who for some reason or another do expect an inheritance. I've come to expect nothing and to expect an inheritance, at least in my circumstance, it baffles me.  But the same time, I'm beginning to wonder about the concept of inheritance, but in a different way.

You see, I've been reading, yes, I know, I'm always reading.  But I was reading about an approach to God in the context of inheritance.  To inherit something is to receive as an heir.  An heir, and to me this comes full circle to being a child of God.  A child of God is his child no matter what, he formed us as children, he blueprinted each and everyone of us with gifts, but also so that each and every one of us can have relationship with him.  He's our Father and the best father around, one that will listen, that will be with us, that will keep us safe.  And its important to know that we don't earn those things, they are there, God is always there.

I think sometimes, its so hard to see God as this all loving Father, because we have so many examples of failed love all around us on this Earth. We fear being let down or punished or ridiculed by our earthly examples of love that its so hard to fathom and then trust in an all loving God.  A God that isn't going to fail to show up, or let us down.  Maybe its our own human fallenness that gets in the way of us seeing this, this true trust that can be with God.  I don't know, but I do think knowing that we are heirs, we do inherit from the Father, because we are his children.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sticking points

Two things have stuck out at me this week and I thought I would share them.

1. I've been reading the book Every Bitter Thing is Sweet and in chapter 6, the question along the lines of, "If you never get the life you wanted, will you still love God?" And the thing is this can be broken down in so many ways, sometimes I realize I deal with a lot of dreams being crushed or derailed, or also things just not going my way and get all complaining about it. This stuck with me, because it really hits home. I struggle with expectations for things in my life, but maybe God is pruning me in this. And I'm going to have to be okay with that, at least at some point.

2. I watched the film Little Boy today. It was wonderful, I recommend going to see it. One particular line stuck out at me. "Your faith isn't going to work if you have any hatred in your heart." I think honestly, I do have a lot of anger that I need to let go of on some things, and I know it's going to take some time. And probably points one and two are related. But if i am learning something it is that God is there with me always and with him all is possible. 

And that is where I am today. Are there any lessons that the holy spirit is prompting you on this week?