Tue, December 13th, 2011

Ready

 As I sat in Mass, exhausted, just happy that I got there on time I realized that three candles were lit.  Yes, the pink one, too.  This rosy candle is supposed to tell us “Rejoice!  Gaudete!  Our Savior is almost here!”  Instead, what I heard was, “Oh no!  It’s almost Christmas and I still have so much to do!”

I battled my distraction with concerns over the traditions and social obligations as I tried to focus on the Advent readings.  “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, make straight the way of the Lord.” 

Geesh!  I am nowhere near the desert.  I am so worried about how behind I am.  My head is at the grocery store, the toy store, work.  No wonder my soul fails to hear this call.  No wonder my soul fails to hear the rose-colored candle beckoning me to rejoice. 

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Mon, August 8th, 2011

I’ll spell it Cool-ade

As we planned my 8-year-old’s birthday party (4 months late, but that’s another blog), he made a specific request for Kool-Aid.  I cringed.  Kool-Aid.  I don’t like the way it tastes.  I don’t want my kids to like the way it tastes.  More importantly, it really isn’t good for you!  I left it at a maybe.
Why Kool-Aid?  I’ve never served Kool-Aid.  The kids have occasionally tasted it at friends’ houses.   The real motive was revealed the next day. 

“That’s what I want!” he exclaimed as I saw happy kids run up to a beautiful mom on the TV screen. 

She held a tray of large, clean, red-filled glasses (Yes, made of glass).  I thought it unlikely that this slim mom would actually serve flavored sugar-water to her kids, but the commercial worked and my son wanted Kool-Aid.

 

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Tue, July 26th, 2011

The Unexpected Blessings of Trials

In these hard financial times, one of the greatest sacrifices we made turned out to be the greatest blessing.  I was very upset to find myself pregnant and unable to see my usual, pro-life obstetrician because of our insurance changes.  The new, low-budget insurance continually pointed me to a pro-choice clinic that put me in line to talk to a nurse so I could talk to a doctor weeks later.  Already almost 3 months pregnant, my regular doctor began running tests and found that I had some serious complications and needed to get prenatal care ASAP.  The clinic’s biggest concern was that I was missing my window for “genetic counseling”, which translates to being able to get an abortion.  The distress of feeling like I could not take care of my unborn child, could not get the medical care I needed, could not find a pro-life option, was overwhelming. 

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Fri, May 20th, 2011

Thirty-nine

When I was little, my mother always told me how old she was.  She never said, “It’s not polite to ask.”  or “29 forever” or any other evasive answer.  As I got older and heard other women refuse to reveal their age, I asked my mom why she was so practical about this hot-button topic.

“Why should I care about that?” she’d reply, “What’s wrong with growing older?”  I thank God for this example.  My mother tries to look nice.  She dyes her hair and cares for her skin.  But trying to look a little younger and healthy is not the same as refusing to acknowledge your advancing years to others.  There is an honesty and self-acceptance that makes this a beautiful thing.  The world may be obsessed with youth, but we don’t have to follow.  We must take joy in the journey, all of it.  Not fight it. 

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Wed, May 11th, 2011

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Phil 4:13

My life is not simple right now.  Pregnant at almost 39 means complications that I’ve never experienced before.  Our homeschoolers are going to have to work through the summer to complete this year’s work.  Making Music Praying Twice is growing, which is wonderful, but means regular travel and speaking in addition to my usual jobs of teaching, writing and keeping on top of the websites.  Of course, life continues to include dance classes, Little League, Tae Kwon Do, choir practice, forensics, physical therapy, etc., etc..

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Wed, May 4th, 2011

Family

I just had a wonderful gift of delivering an information session with no voice.  My strep throat/sinus infection is no longer contagious thanks to antibiotics, but my voice couldn’t handle the strain that the music teacher/mother-of-4 lifestyle have put on it.  It is on strike.

And so, I had to stay quiet.  Not so easy for me.  I whispered a few stories and explanations as we discussed our Making Music Praying Twice parish program with music ministers and religious education directors.  Mostly, though, I listened.  I had to listen more than I spoke and this was a wonderful thing.

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Thu, April 28th, 2011

Framing the Domestic Church – The Catholic Family in Crisis

Many of you probably know that the Church places great importance on the family and has coined the phrase, “The Domestic Church” to refer to the vocation and importance of family life.  Each family is called to be a Domestic Church.  “Domestic” reminds us of reality of family life, but “Church” implies a divine mission and eternal partnership with our Creator and Savior. 

One common discussion among the clergy and faithful is a concern that the Domestic Church is under serious attack and is in crisis in our nation and through much of the world.  With rising divorce rates and media and political agendas that undermine family values, the sanctity of marriage, the sacredness of sex, and the human dignity of the unborn, sick and elderly, many are discouraged and Church leadership has spoken up.

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Wed, April 20th, 2011

Passover

Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Go and procure lambs for your families, and slaughter them as Passover victims.  Then take a bunch of hyssop, and dipping it in the blood that is in the basin, sprinkle the lintel and the two doorposts with this blood. But none of you shall go outdoors until morning.  For the LORD will go by, striking down the Egyptians. Seeing the blood on the lintel and the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over that door and not let the destroyer come into your houses to strike you down. (Exodus 12: 21-23, NAB)

This makes me think of all that I have been spared because I have been marked by the blood of the Lamb.  The emptiness and loneliness and searching in this world and regret and potential suffering in the next is lessened each time I partake in the Passover sacrifice at every Mass.  What a gift to be Catholic!  May we never take it for granted.

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Wed, April 13th, 2011

Rockabye my Baby part 1

Review:  Lullabelly® prenatal music belt

You may know that I’m expecting our fifth baby this summer.  I’ve written in the past about the benefits of music in the womb, but I’ve never really made a deliberate effort to play music FOR the baby.  I’ve seen the benefits for the children who were in the womb when my life included more music and singing, but I’ve never strapped the headphones to my growing belly.

It looks like this active little guy will be the guinea pig.  I received a Lullabelly® prenatal music belt for review and as I am approaching the third trimester, I am beginning a daily diet of prenatal music for him.  I plan to start with Mozart’s Piano Concertos, partly because I particularly love them, and partly because music of the Classical Period, and Mozart, in particular, has been found to provide the greatest benefit to a child’s brain growth.

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Wed, April 6th, 2011

Appreciation

Many years back, I was watching a television program which portrayed a dopey husband who couldn’t remember the details from his first encounter with his wife.  Of course, I felt it was a good time to ask my husband if he remembered our first meeting.  I was both smug and dismayed when he answered, “Yes, in the cafeteria of the school.”  He was the Business Manager of the Navajo Mission where I was the school music teacher, and our work paths rarely crossed.  I corrected him and reminded him about the party early in the school year at which we talked for a few minutes. 

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