MamaCreates

Behind the Scenes of One Mama's Life

Untitled – On Purpose

Today was a rough day. I didn’t blog about it, but I had a second foot surgery in six months a couple of weeks ago. I had gone back to the doctor wondering why I was still experiencing pain after February’s surgery. At first, the doc thought that the muscles and tendons were just taking a little longer than usual to heal. But then he felt it – another, relatively large, cyst. In fact, he ended up finding two more. He looked at me and said since it’s giving you so much pain, you know what we have to do… So I scheduled the surgery.

It was different this time. This time I had no illusions of any spousal support. He was gone and I was alone. With two children too young to care for themselves. Fortunately, my mother was able to come and help. I was even able to employ some of Lorrie’s Freezer meal techniques to ensure that there was some food in the freezer for those days she wasn’t able to be there. So, while not ideal, it was ok. God provided for my children and myself.

I was officially cleared to walk, with caution, on Monday. He told me I still had to take it easy so I didn’t overdue it; and so that the inside could continue to heal. I was also told that I could drive IF I could get a regular shoe on my foot. Well, I can’t do it yet without pain.

And that’s where today’s difficulties come in. Today is the Feast of the Assumption of Mary in the Catholic Church. I know that there are some non-Catholic Christians who believe that we, as Catholics, worship Mary; especially with feasts like today. However, it really is as simple as this… Jesus grew up here on earth with the same commandments we were given; and following those commandments He honored His mother. And so, we follow His example and honor her too. It’s honor, not worship. But I don’t want to argue that point with anyone. The point is that I wanted to attend Mass with my children on this day that is special to us.

We had the option of attending Mass on Tuesday evening at our usual church a half hour away from the house; or tonight at our church or the church down the street. Going back to my doc’s rule, I tried to get a shoe on my foot. It wouldn’t go on. I was frustrated. Then my ex called and wanted to see the kids on Wednesday evening. I told him about church and the shoe not fitting; and he surprisingly said he was willing to to take us all to Mass and spend a little time with the kids afterwards. I was surprised, but hesitant.

So, if I wanted to attend Mass, I had to be humble and accept his help. I told him I’d accept, but I didn’t say ‘thank you’ fast enough and he yelled at me for my lack of gratitude. I immediately regretted accepting; but I had already told Diva, and she LOVES going to church. I was not going to disappoint her.

We went tonight; and it was difficult. The priest mentioned turning to your spouse for support during his homily. And here I was sitting near a man who is legally my husband, but who I know is going ‘home’ to another woman. I couldn’t stop the tears. I tried to wipe them before LegoFan saw them, but I was too late. It’s amazing to me that he seems completely out of touch with his and other people’s feelings; yet he is completely in touch with mine. He always knows. Always.

Breaks. My. Heart.

After Mass, he told the children that he was going to get them dessert and we went to Rita’s. They began to enjoy their dessert, but he rushed them and told them they could finish at home. As were getting out of the car, he took the kids up to the door and unlocked it. As I was getting my purse, his phone beeped. I looked at the screen. It. Was. Her.

So… He takes us to church and out for dessert. A strange, unsettling feeling.

Jesus, thank you for your love, and the strength to walk through this difficult time. I know you are by my side.

Courtship

I was participating in a blog hop last week over at A Woman’s Place and ended up at a blog called Liturgical Time. While I was there, I started to look around and found a series of posts Michelle did on the topic of Courtship.

The idea of courtship has intrigued me for a few years. But I really had no idea what it looked like. I didn’t date much in high school at all; not just because my parents were strict, but also because I just wasn’t very popular – I was pretty geeky. It wasn’t until college that I began to stretch my wings so-to-speak. I let loose – did a little drinking and a lot of dating. I made a ton of mistakes. I got my heart broken several times. I was even date-raped.

Why would I want this for my daughter? Heck, why would I want that for myself again either? Now that I’m going to be single again very soon; I have begun to think about how on earth I am even going to be able to meet someone, much less date and ultimately remarry.

As a 40-something, stay-at-home mom; I don’t get out much. We go to Mass and we do our shopping. We go to LegoFan’s doctor’s appointments; and during the school year, we went to Diva’s jump roping team practices. While Mass would be the ideal place to meet someone, none of these other places provide many opportunities. To top it all off, our church has over 4,000 families and it’s difficult to meet people period. Not to mention that there’s not a single single male pictured in our directory. Yes, I checked 🙂

Yet interestingly enough, a young lady whose page I follow on facebook, Stay-At-Home Daughter, became engaged recently. She wrote this post on her courtship with her now fiance, Chris. And she links to his blog, Striving For Wisdom, where he discusses why he chose Ashley over all other women. I read both blogs with tears in my eyes. What wisdom they have! This 40-something year old Mama can learn a lot from these two young people. If only I had half the qualities Chris sees in Ashley!

But that doesn’t mean I can’t learn them – yes, this ‘old dog can learn new tricks’ – I mean most of them are straight out of the Bible! And while courtship is not mandated in the Bible, I can see how it allows people to preserve themselves physically and emotionally; which is in the Bible.

In thinking about dating vs. courtship, I am becoming more and more inclined toward the latter. It’s a practice that I can see implementing in my daughter’s life; as well as my son’s. And it can start now. Even though they are young, I can instill in them the idea of courtship. And now that I am about to be single, I can show them. But I have one question…

What does courtship look like when you’re in your 40’s, have children of your own, and no parents close enough to guide you through the process?

Thoughts from a Movie

Yesterday, I took LegoFan and Diva to the movies. We were taking advantage of Regal Cinema’s Summer Express where select movies are $1 per ticket – gotta love that price! Click on the link to find a location near you and the movie schedule.

We got to see Hugo. While no movie is perfect, I really enjoyed this one. There was one line that I didn’t like at all. The two main children, Hugo and Isabella, were sneaking into a movie theatre and she mentions that they could get in trouble. Hugo responds by saying that that’s how you know you’re having an adventure. This is where I love being there to watch movies with them! We can have a discussion about comments like these. Yet I know the days are coming when they will be watching movies or tv, listening to music, or reading books without me being there. Which is why I do it now. I figure that if we have these discussions often enough when they’re young, they are more likely to have these conversations with themselves and/or their friends when they’re older.

On the other hand, there was another exchange that sparked a different kind of conversation. The same two children are looking out over the Paris landscape and discussing people’s purpose. Hugo, whose interest lies in machines, says that machines don’t come with extra parts. They come with just what they need, and every piece is necessary. He goes on to explain that he sees the world in the same way – every person is necessary. Everyone has a purpose. If you’re in the world; you’re important. He doesn’t take it to it to what I would consider the logical conclusion that God creates us all for a reason; but I loved hearing this thought process come from a young man. It’s a thought beyond his years, but it’s believable when you see the movie in its entirety.

So, we got to see a movie and talk about some of life’s lessons. We talked about how adventure does not involve getting into trouble; it doesn’t even involve doing anything wrong. Adventure is an amazing thing; and I encourage my children to be adventurous. We also got to discuss how important each and every person is. God created all of us; none of us are mistakes.

I love finding pro-life messages where, perhaps, they weren’t exactly intended. While this conversation did not center around the life of a pre-born child; it did solidify the importance of all humans. To me, that includes the pre-born.

If you’re in the world, you’re important.

Not Just A New Chapter

Last summer I made a decision to blog regularly. I had even decided to work with someone to redesign the blog and move it to a new domain.

However, none of it ever happened. My laptop stopped working and a nine-day fix turned into a two and a half month ordeal; resulting in a new laptop, but a corrupted hard drive. I lost everything!

But that loss pales in comparison to several life events that began to unfold during the summer as well. I have been debating whether or not to post about this; and every time I decide to post it, the debate becomes how much to share. I love reading blogs; and getting a glimpse of other people’s lives. I have loved getting to know several people I have ‘met’ in this blogosphere. But my pet peeve is reading blogs where the author seems perfect; where it seems that nothing negative ever happens in his or her life. While I don’t believe that bloggers should reveal all the intimate details of their lives, I do believe that if you are blogging about your life you should be real. So that is how I finally made my decision to write this post. I want to be real. Please remember that I come from a Catholic background. Everything I have done has involved prayer and consultation with Godly people, as well as my priest.

So, here goes… last summer I discovered that my husband was having an affair. I certainly did not condone this behavior; and have not, as of yet, forgiven him for it (I’m working on it). I did feel that it was only right to try to fix what was wrong. I prayed, bought books, and sought out couple’s counseling. We even attended a Love and Respect video conference (I highly recommend this conference!). I tried changing to be the wife he said he wanted.

Out of respect for my children & a little privacy, I won’t go into all the details; but let’s just say that nothing made a difference. In fact, a tragedy revealed that he had never really ended the affair. The husband of the woman in question chose to commit suicide. It was this action, in combination with his deception, that began a severe downward spiral. We each spoke separately to a priest at our church, and I had hoped we could somehow reconcile this and move forward. It wasn’t to be. In fact, things began to get worse.

Something seemed to snap in my husband. He began to verbally and emotionally abuse me; in private and in front of my children. He began to get more secretive – removing my name from accounts, changing passwords, and refused any attempts to reconcile. He still went through the motions – we tried to appear ‘normal’ during the holidays and for my birthday in January, but it didn’t work. I would find out later that he was still involved with her, even after her husband’s suicide. The abuse continued to escalate and he claimed his health was beginning to suffer as a result. He blamed me.

At the end of February, I had foot surgery. I was told that I couldn’t walk or drive for three weeks. One week after surgery, he moved out; leaving me with two children unable to take care of themselves. He has been gone ever since. I don’t really know where he lives. To his credit, he continues to pay the bills; though he has mentioned that he does this so the courts won’t consider it abandonment. However, he threatens to shut something off on a regular basis; he’s even threatened to withhold our food money unless I did something he wanted. He does come and visit the kids about once a week for a couple of hours. Ironically, he spends more time with them now; and pays more attention to them, then he ever did before.

But my children are suffering. They don’t understand. I am doing all that I can for them, but it never seems to be enough. I pray for them and with them. I spend ‘alone’ time with each of them separately. I have counseling available to both of them. I’ve kept things as routine as possible. It’s all so difficult – I can’t explain to them why this happened; I can’t change it; I can’t bring their father back; I can’t give them the daddy they so desperately desire. They deserve better. So I pray for them. I remind them that God wants to be their Father. At their ages, it’s just not enough for them.

I have met with my priest and discussed all the details with him; including many not mentioned here (hard to believe, huh?). He said that the separation was probably a very good thing. It would hopefully prevent things from escalating further. He also told me that since we were married in a civil ceremony (at my husband’s insistence), the Church didn’t consider us married. I know that some of you will disagree with that; but it does help in the event I am blessed with another opportunity for marriage. Which means this one will have to be dissolved legally…

I know God hates divorce; but I also know He loves me and my children. He doesn’t want us to remain in a situation where there’s potential danger. I know some people would say to remain married and just live apart. However, that, in my opinion, just condones his adulterous behavior. It’s just not something with which he is concerned. He has already moved on. Also, remaining legally married prevents the children and me from having the opportunity to find a Godly relationship. I believe that God will provide a Godly man for us who will teach my children what a Godly marriage looks like; what God intended husbands and fathers to be.

While I know not everyone will agree with my decision to divorce my husband, I have prayed about this and talked about it with Godly people. It’s not a decision I made lightly. I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling mother with no income. With God’s help, I intend to maintain that. As you may know from other posts, my son is on the Autism Spectrum and he needs to have his mother home with him, as it has been for the entirety of his life. Neither of them need any more changes right now. I have decided that I am no longer going to subject them to the abuse. It certainly doesn’t teach my son how to be a Godly man; nor does it teach my daughter how a man is supposed to treat a woman. What I am trying to teach them is strength, integrity, and reliance on God. I am at peace with this decision, even if it’s not what I wanted. I am at peace with it, even if it’s difficult. I ask that instead of judgement you say a prayer for my children and me.

Thank you for reading, and not judging. Thank you for praying for us. Thank you for allowing me to be a bit transparent and real. My life is far from perfect, but it contains the most perfect thing there is: the Love of the Blessed Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to do any of this.

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

Electability – Fact or Fiction?

We hear a lot about electability during primary season. Throughout this entire process we’ve been told that Mitt Romney’s the only ‘electable’ candidate in the field. Heck, even Donald Trump endorsed Romney because he “doesn’t get Rick Santorum.” Apparently, according to Trump’s standards, someone who’s lost an election should not run for another office. So, I guess what Donald Trump is saying is that once you fail (whether it’s your fault or not) you shouldn’t try again. I guess Mr. Trump’s never failed at anything.

Yes, Rick Santorum lost his last election in 2006. Yes, he lost by a lot. But that’s not all that is important about that election. Remember that the election took place in 2006. If you recall that year Rick Santorum wasn’t the only one. That’s an important point; things were different six years ago. We are now living in a country with more debts and less safety. We are now living with fewer freedoms – our rights are slowly being stripped away from us. We are now “helping” those who refuse to help themselves.

But that’s not the only thing… it seems that the man who was endorsed by Donald Trump has lost an election as well. Let’s take a look at a side-by-side comparison of the election records of both Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum and see what we find…

Source (click here for original article)

If we look at Mitt Romney first, we see that losing an election does not preclude one from winning the next. As you can see, Romney was defeated by Ted Kennedy in 1994. Then he won his bid to become governor of Massachusetts in 2003.

Now let’s take a gander at Rick Satorum’s election record. We see first of all that he has a proven track record of winning elections. Not only that, we can see that he didn’t just win them. He defeated the incumbents. And not just once – he’s done it twice! Isn’t that what we need in November? We need to oust the incumbent. Rick Santorum has the experience to do this. He has proven that this is not an impossible task.

There’s one more thing I’d like to point out that is not shown on this graphic. Mitt Romney has one other defeat on his record. He lost to John McCain in 2008. Why would we nominate the man who lost to the guy who was defeated by Obama? What makes us think he can get the job done this time? He can’t. But Rick Santorum can. He has the proven record. He has the experience of running against and defeating incumbents.

For more information about where Rick stands on the issues, please click here.

For more information about Rick Santorum, please click here.

To donate to Rick Santorum’s campaign, please click here.

Note: These are my conclusions and opinions. This is my “mom blog,” if you will. I will not tolerate (read: I will delete) any comments that are mean-spirited, profane, or contain personal attacks toward me or either candidate. All comments are moderated.

Contentment

As this holiday season comes to a close with Epiphany, I find myself reflecting on how this last month or two went. As I think, I realize that this has been one of the best Christmases ever.

  • It wasn’t because I got the best gifts.
  • It wasn’t because we hosted the best parties.
  • It wasn’t even because we attended the best parties.
  • It wasn’t because we had the best clothes.
  • It wasn’t because all the food turned out great.

I am realizing that for the first time, I really put Christ in CHRISTmas.Here’s how:

  • We participated in Holy Heroes Advent Adventure;
  • We took my daughter’s doll cradle and some shredded paper (added for acts of kindness and sacrifice) and made a bed for Baby Jesus;
  • We wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a Manger;
  • We followed the genealogy of Jesus with a homemade Jesse Tree:
  • We celebrated the lives and Feast Days of some Saints who loved Jesus long before we were alive – we discovered we can learn a lot from their faith and example!
  • We made many of our gifts, removing ourselves from the malls (we did go to a couple of stores, but were determined not to participate in the madness);
  • We made Christmas Eve Mass a priority – it was something special – we arrived early and didn’t rush out. We lingered. We studied the beautiful Creche. Then we went home and read The Night Before Christmas, but the last thing we did as a family was to read the Nativity story from the Gospel of Luke.

It was such a beautiful time this year. There was no stress. There were no worries about the ‘perfect’ gift. There was just family and love. From the First and Holy family, to our immediate and extended family.

I am convinced now that this is a lot closer to the way things are supposed to be. It’s amazing that the more I let go of the way the world thinks I should do something, the more I feel at peace. How about you? How did you make your Christmas season centered more around Christ? Happy Feast of Epiphany!

Feast Days

Growing up we didn’t celebrate a lot of feast days, so I never really thought about it. It wasn’t until a few years ago, when we really started homeschooling, that I thought about celebrating feast days with the children. However, they always seemed to creep up on me and I was never prepared. I would find a great idea here or there, but it would be too late to do, or I wouldn’t have the right supplies/ingredients to make it happen.

But I decided to change that this year. Since Advent is the beginning of the Church year, I thought it was a good time to start and we actually began celebrating some feast days. Keep in mind that we are new at this, so our celebrations are not huge or elaborate in any way. However, I’ve also realized that they don’t have to be – the children enjoy the celebrations and they learn something about someone who loved Jesus. Just stopping the ordinary, changing the routine, is a way to signify that this is something to remember.

So far, we’ve celebrated St. Nicholas (December 6th), The Immaculate Conception (December 8th), St. Juan Diego (December 9th), Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 12th), and St. Lucy (December 13th). We’ve also made our very first Jesse Tree.

For St. Nicholas (sorry I didn’t take pictures, but it’s pretty explanatory) tradition has it that he helped a poor man with dowries for his three daughters and that perhaps one of those ended up in a hanging stocking. For this reason, the children put their shoes out overnight and received a small amount of chocolate (wrapped, of course). Throughout this feast day, we read several books about the life of this generous, Christ-loving man.

For the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, we attended Mass at a local church. Our church is a little farther away, so when we have a Holy Day during the week, we usually attend a more local Mass. We remember at this Mass that Mary had to be without sin in order to carry Jesus as fully God and fully human within her womb.

The feasts of St. Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe are intertwined and tell a beautiful story that resulted in the conversion of Mexico. Mary appears to a humble widower and asks for a chapel to be built. The local bishop asks Juan Diego to ask for a sign. Mary shows Juan Diego where God has allowed roses to bloom in the winter, and he gathers them in his tilma. When Juan Diego shows the roses to the bishop, that’s not the only amazing thing: a beautiful image of Blessed Mary is imprinted on the tilma. That image still exists and scientists have not been able to figure out how it got there. We enjoyed some Mexican tostadas and recalled the story as told on Glory Stories at Holy Heroes. Diva even colored some coloring pages.

For St. Lucy, it is a tradition (Scandinavian, I think) that the youngest daughter wakes the household dressed in white with a wreath of candles on her head (if you have Kirsten’s Surprise by American Girl, this is the image on the cover). She brings with her sweet buns and coffee/cocoa. While this is a great thought, Diva is not quite old enough to accomplish this on her own. Nor do I want lit candles on my daughter’s head! So, we compromised. She woke us up in an almost white dress with a paper wreath on her head. {This is where I know I’m not a professional blogger yet – I didn’t have my camera on my bedside table to get a photo!} Then we made some biscuits, cocoa and coffee and we all had a nice breakfast together.

Lastly, we have begun making our very first Jesse Tree. This tradition follows the lineage of Jesus from Creation through His birth. Each day there are Bible stories and a new ornament to make. We kept it simple this year and are making everything out of paper. I went to get a piece of poster board and the only green they had was neon, so our tree is neon. As we discuss each day’s readings, either LegoFan or Diva draws the day’s symbol and attaches it to the tree. I love how they can look at the ornaments they have made and can tell the Bible stories in order. This auditory, visual, and tactile project has enabled them to internalize Biblical history even more! We are getting our ideas and explanations from the Advent Adventure Series by Holy Heroes. Now, please don’t laugh at my crude tree drawing or the neon color…

I really think these traditions have helped my children to learn more about people who have loved Jesus before them, as well as more about Jesus Himself. They are doing much more this advent then just making lists and succumbing to the commercialism and greed we see so much of nowadays. I pray that with Advent seasons like this, my children will grow up with the true “Reason for the Season” in their hearts.

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First Day of Homeschool

Let’s try this again. I’m a little less stressed than I was last night (or early this morning) when I apparently deleted my entire post about our day. I still have no idea how I did it, but life goes on.

Our first day this year went very well. They enjoyed their new school supplies – personal dry erase board, notebooks, long floppy erasers, and a little gift. LegoFan got a box of erasers shaped like puzzle pieces (He loves the Autism Speaks logo!); and Diva got a mini notebook and pen, decorated with butterflies.

Then we had one of their favorite dishes for breakfast: French Toast! While I”m sure it has a bit too much sugar on it, I didn’t hear any complaints!

Then, before the academics began, we started both our year and the day with a little scripture. We decided that we would read one Psalm a day, in order, and the Proverb chapter that coordinated with the date. (We actually skipped #5 as I did not feel it was appropriate for young kids getting ready to start school!)

On to academics! For history we do <a href="Click here to visit RC History.” target=”_blank”>RC History and love it! I cannot say enough good things about this program. We have completed Volumes One and Two; and are currently working on Volume Three.  It’s great to know that all the living books suggested in the program have been pre-screened; so I’m not afraid to give either child any book on the list. We are working at the Grammar Stage now, but it’s set up so that we can spiral back through and delve deeper into history as the children get older.

This week, so far, they have done two map exercises. I don’t expect them to know how to fill everything in at this point so we talk about it and they fill in the important boundaries, names, rivers, etc. Then they get to color! We use Knowledge Quest’s Blackline Maps for the ancient world and the Americas.

We also learned a little bit about a couple of saints from the same time period. One was St. Anthony who is said to have been blessed by a visit from the Infant Jesus.

The second one was St. Hyacinth who was saving the Holy Eucharist from and invasion when he heard the Blessed Mother call out for him to save her statue as well. Apparently, this statue was much too heavy for him to carry, but it became miraculously weightless as he carried it out of the church. All were safe from the attack.

Science is Exploring Creation Through Zoology 3: Land Animals of the Sixth Day. We’ve been through their Astronomy, Botany, Zoology 1, and Zoology 2 courses as well. The kids enjoy the short lessons and activities; and I enjoy the fact that God and His creation are at the center of the program.

For Language Arts, Diva is finishing up with First Language Lessons of the Well-Trained Mind, Level 4; but since there is no Level 5, we had to find something else for LegoFan. What we found was Lingua Mater. We haven’t started it yet, so I’ll have to report on that a bit later.

Our spelling program is also amazing: All About Spelling. This program works great for LegoFan who had Asperger’s and ADHD; as it is a multi-sensory program. He gets to learn to spell words through magnetic tiles, color-coded cards, speaking, and writing. Diva likes all the different activities too. In fact, this program has eliminated many of the, “Mama, how do you spell…?” questions.

Math is Singapore Math. The spiral format, again, is great for LegoFan as he gets just the right amount of one topic and then moves on to another one. With each book, they delve deeper into the various skills.

We are also doing Art (Artistic Pursuits), Music (Classics For Kids – Free online course), Religion (Faith and Life), French (a free program from the BBC), Geography (using Holling C Holling’s books), and an introduction to Shakespeare. It’s a full year, but the kids and I are looking forward to it!

We found, and are following, a curriculum put together by Michele Quigley and Kathryn Faulkner called Mater Amabilis. I wish I would have found this curriculum earlier.

But back to our day… after the academics were complete, we had a dinner of the children’s choosing – pizza!

All in all, it was a very good beginning to our school year. After their prayers, they each told me that that they enjoyed their day; and that they were looking forward to more. That sounds like a first day of school success!

This post is being linked to Building Our Homes Together and Women Living Well – hop on over to see what these other ladies are doing this week! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links; and they are all for books we have actually used and enjoyed.

Calm After the Storm

I’m sure everyone’s done talking about Hurricane Irene; some feel it was hype, while others are still cleaning up. My thoughts and prayers are with those who got hit hard and are still struggling.

We were kind of in the middle – a huge amount of rain, many trees and branches down, and power outages galore. But for the most part, we were safe; and I am grateful.

But I want to talk about a different effect Irene had on me and my family. We got hit with a majority of our rain on Saturday night, into Sunday morning. Once the rains stopped, the wind didn’t. We made it through Saturday with only a few flickers; so we thought all was good. We were going to try to go to Mass at noon. However, that was not to be the case. The winds were just too strong for my car; and we decided we’d better not risk it.

We are fortunate to get the Catholic television station, EWTN, so we planned to participate in Mass via the TV. It’s not exactly the same, but we can hear the readings, participate in the prayers, and learn from the homily. Mass was due to be televised at noon, so we made plans to gather around the TV at that time. But that was not to be the case either.

The power went out at 10:49 am. It remained off until 1:30 pm on Monday. Then we had a fire in a transformer across the street and lost power again at 9:00 pm on Monday. It remained off again until sometime Wednesday afternoon. It was an interesting couple of days, but I want to get back to Sunday…

I had awoken early Sunday morning (probably due to loud wind gusts), and began the day reading my Bible. {I am participating in reading the Bible in 90 days} Then, when we couldn’t go to Mass, or even participate via TV, I gathered the kids around me and we did the Sunday readings ourselves – Diva wanted to do two of the readings herself {love that!} – and we prayed the Lord’s Prayer together. The rest of the day, even without power (and maybe because we didn’t have power), was one of the most peaceful days I have ever experienced.

Don’t get me wrong: I love my church and my faith; wouldn’t trade them for anything! But I spent so much of the day, in little chunks here and there, in God’s word, in prayer, and reading another book based in His word (I will be reviewing that book very soon, so come back and check it out – you’re gonna wanna read this one!!!).

There was no work; only rest. There was no noise; only peace and quiet (ok, the kids weren’t exactly quiet all day, but you know what I mean). We read, we prayed, we laughed together. It was a wonderful day – it was a Sabbath.

Now that I’ve re-stocked the fridge and freezer, and cleaned up parts of the yard; it’s time to get ready for TS Lee and TS Katia – they should converge on our area very close to one another, between Thursday and Saturday.

We’ll head to Mass in the morning as usual this week, but as these two storms approach, I can’t help but wonder what next weekend has in store for us…

This post is being linked to Building Our Homes Together.

Word on Fire – The Catholicism Project

The other night I had the opportunity to preview Episode One of Catholicism. Catholicism is a ten part documentary created and hosted by Father Robert Barron of Word On Fire.  The website’s description:

Soon you can discover the rich heritage of the Catholic Church in an epic media experience. Word on Fire Catholic Ministries offers a vision of the Catholic Faith, which has never before been seen. This vision seeks to explore, through a global journey, the living culture of the Catholic Church. From the lands of the Bible, to the great shrines of Europe, to the shores and heartland of America, to the mysteries of Asia, to the rich landscapes of Latin America, to the beating heart of Africa – and beyond, witness the passion and glory of the faith that claims over a billion of the earth’s people as its own.

If the first episode is any indication, this is going to be one great series! Fr. Barron narrates on location from Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and more. Through this series, we visit places central to our faith; places most of us would like to see, but may never get the chance. Fr. Barron takes us to the birthplace of Jesus, the site of the Crucifixion, and the site of the Resurrection.

Fr. Barron takes the Gospels and makes them come alive; while walking in the path of Jesus. He uses his extensive knowledge of Scripture and helps us understand what it was like over 2000 years ago. He brings Jesus to life and makes it very personal.

One of the things that stood out to me was his description of both Jesus and His angels being warriors. Jesus came to fight; but perhaps not in the way the Israelites, or us, think about fighting.

I mentioned before that this series was filmed on location. Over the course of all ten episodes, Fr. Barron will take us to the following places:

  • Chicago
  • Kentucky
  • New York City
  • Philadelphia
  • Mexico
  • Ireland
  • Florence
  • Spain
  • Lourdes
  • Rome
  • Kampala, Uganda
  • France
  • Poland
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Turkey
  • Israel
  • Egypt
  • Kolkata, India
  • Philippines

The Catholicism Project will dispel myths and take you on a journey of our Christian faith that you will never forget. The Catholicism Project, while Catholic, is for everyone. It is for Catholics who want to learn more about their faith, Catholics who have left the church, all Christians, and even those of other faiths. Fr. Barron has comments on his site, testimonials of his work,  from people of other faiths who are learning what the Catholic church is really all about. There is one from a Mormon who is considering what he has to say; and one from a former atheist (who ironically found Fr. Barron while searching for Bob Dylan!). I encourage everyone to give the Catholicism Project a chance. It will be available on TV and on DVD.

Here’s a list of the titles of the ten episodes:

  1. Amazed and Afraid: The Revelation of God Become Man
  2. Happy Are We: The Teachings of Jesus
  3. The Ineffable Mystery of God: That Which Nothing Greater Can Be Thought
  4. Our Tainted Nature’s Solitary Boast: Mary, the Mother of God
  5. To the Ends of the Earth: Peter, Paul, and the Missionary Adventure
  6. A Body Both suffering and Glorious: The Mystical Union of Christ and the Church
  7. Word Made Flesh, True Bread of Heaven: The Mystery of the Liturgy and the Eucharist
  8. A Vast Company of Witnesses: The Communion of Saints
  9. The Fire of His Love: Prayer and the Life of the Spirit
  10. World Without End: The Last Things

So, check out Fr. Barron’s Catholicism Project at Word on Fire. It will be well worth your while. It isn’t just about one religion – it’s about Jesus, His reason for His humanity on earth, His teachings, His reasons for dying, His reasons for the Resurrection, and what He wants us to do with it.

 

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