Monday, May 27, 2013

Peace Within

I'm writing to check in, lest it seems that I have disappeared! Not exactly, but I did recently begin an online course, which is my first attempt at anything academic in quite awhile. It feels like a whole new territory: juggling class, reading, and homework with the daily ins and outs of having a rambunctious toddler in the house (two on my nanny days). Needless to say, what "free time" I have has mostly involved this new venture. But, like anything, even an exciting new pursuit needs sanity breaks, and so I am thrilled to be writing again.

What's new of late? Well, my little boy turned one in April, and with that milestone I officially have a little walker in the house! Toddling, crashing into everything, but so determined to get everywhere on foot. Thank goodness for summer and a big huge park across the street! I have also come to a point - finally - where I can sense some peace in my heart at the thought of adding to our family in the near future. Besides my utter fear after a traumatic birth the first time around, we had decided it would be prudent to try and wait until my husband got on the career path he was aiming for. Now that we have that piece in place, it seems a little easier to envision another child in the picture. I have come to the realization that no matter how scared I feel at the prospect of being pregnant again, it will probably require having another human being inside me for real love to enter the picture and cast out the fear. Plus, I know that I am very, very lucky to be able to conceive and bear children, and that's nothing to take lightly. I would love to give my son the gift of siblings. So, another baby may or may not be imminent, but it's a relief to finally feel some peace about the whole thing.

I'll write more soon. A blessed Memorial Day to all!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

What I Wore Sunday

Happy Feast of the Holy Trinity!! Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple.

We attended the vigil Mass again, so this is technically what I wore Saturday. I'm one of the cantors at our parish, and I love love love serving in that way. I've been a singer my whole life (studied voice performance in college, currently sing with the Chicago Symphony Chorus), and I have never enjoyed using my gifts so much as I do as a volunteer in our parish, helping to create a meaningful, reverent liturgy. It's so fulfilling! It also gives me a chance to really focus; usually I'm sitting with my squirmy daughter, and I'm still having trouble paying attention to anything else but her. My husband likes having that quality time with her, too. Win-win-win.

Today I'm beginning a do-it-yourself retreat in preparation for Marian consecration to Jesus. The book is called 33 Days to Morning Glory, and I'm ending the retreat on June 27, the feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help (or should I say "haaaaalp"?). I thought that would be a good one for moms; perpetual job, perpetual help? And also it's the next Marian feast and I wanted to get started! I'm going to post reflections here, so stay tuned! And let me know if you're reading along!

And now, the purpose of the post:

Details, top to bottom:
Necklace: cross from my hubby, St. Gerard medal from my pastor (just before Anne was born)
Cardigan: Merona via Target, several years ago
T-shirt: Cynthia Rowley via Marshall's
Belt: Target (it has a cool tribal-looking pattern... on the back.)
Skirt: Studio West via Zulily
Shoes: C. Label via Zulily

Happy Memorial Day!

Monday, May 20, 2013

What I Wore Sunday

Linking up for the first time with Fine Linen and Purple!

This weekend we were all at Notre Dame celebrating my sister-in-law's graduation from college. CONGRATULATIONS, CAITI!!! We are so excited for her, and even more excited that she's going to graduate school in the Chicago suburbs! Mass was on Saturday afternoon, and I couldn't help but think how perfect it is to be celebrating graduation on Pentecost. I could practically see the tongues of flame coming to rest over the mortarboards on all the graduates' heads. We also had the privilege of hearing Timothy Cardinal Dolan of New York speak at commencement; his speech was very moving, and he spoke so tenderly of Our Lady.

Our duds were decidedly more fancy than usual given the special occasion, and here's the best pic I could find:

Navy dress: Ralph Lauren via Marshall's (faux wrap = perfect for nursing)
Baby dress: Target!

...and nothing else is pictured. I'll do better next time, I promise.

Monday, May 13, 2013

He who made the promise is trustworthy.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since through the blood of Jesus
we have confidence of entrance into the sanctuary
by the new and living way he opened for us through the veil, that is, his flesh,
and since we have a great high priest over the house of God.
let us approach with a sincere heart and in absolute trust,
with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience
and our bodies washed in pure water.
Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope,
for he who made the promise is trustworthy.
-Hebrews 10:19-23

The above portion of the second reading from the Feast of the Ascension yesterday reminded me of a recurring thought I've been having over the past couple of weeks. In difficult moments with my daughter, I find myself wishing I was armed with the promises of Christ; bits of memorized Scripture that I could quote aloud to myself when I feel my own strength is not cutting it. I have a few great ones at my disposal: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! All things work together for good for those that love Him! The Lord is my strength and my song! But I wish I had more. I wish the promises of God were written on my heart, so that when I felt overwhelmed, I could just speak the Psalms aloud, or hear St. Paul's words of encouragement.

Instead of just wishing, I'd like to do something about it! I'd like to dig in deeper, to read Scripture daily, and to work on memorizing some passages that will come to my mind when all that seems to come now is, "Help!" Not that God can't answer that prayer, too. But He gave us His word for a reason, right? What a wonderful gift, and how sad to leave it on a shelf gathering dust!

What Scripture passages are most encouraging to you in difficult moments? I'd like to start a "to-memorize" list. What do you think I should include?