Saturday, October 25, 2014

Prayers for Brittany Maynard

We have all by now probably heard of Brittany Maynard, the 29 year old wife and mother who plans to end her life by physician-assisted suicide on November 1 -- which is most ironically the feast of All Saints.

The saints became saints by one common thread -- humility and submission to God's Will, whatever it was.  It was different for each of them, unique to their own particular states in life, unique to their own circumstances.  But the commonality was submission to God's Will.

And for some, it is God's Will that they suffer.

My mother-in-law suffered several years with leukemia.  Her last year in particular was filled with suffering, the unexpected death of her husband before her, painful and exhausting treatments.  She never saw our children.  Dad In The Shoe gave me my engagement ring in her hospital room, we were dressed in our Sunday best and arranged to have family members present.  But she passed away before our actual wedding, and never saw it. 

Here follows a beautiful explanation on the mystery of suffering according to God's Will by a seminarian in the diocese of Raleigh, North Carolina.  He has the same type of brain tumor as Brittany Maynard:

Raleigh Seminarian with Terminal Brain Cancer Responds to Brittany Maynard

Please pray for Brittany that she will change her mind and surrender to God's Will for her life.  And please also add seminarian Phillip Johnson to those prayers for his perseverance and health. 

With November 1 being the Feast of All Saints, it is also appropriate to think of those saints who suffered from cancer and other illnesses.  To that end, I would like to recommend a book by Catholic author Joan Carroll Cruz:  Saints for the Sick: Heavenly Help for Those Who Suffer.  My husband purchased this book while visiting his dying uncle three years ago and read parts of it aloud to him.  It has been a great addition to our family library, and I hope you'll find that it is for yours, also. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Chick-fil-A Daddy Daughter Date Night! :-)

Miss Eldest Daughter and Little Princess are all dressed up in their finest.

They are going with Dad In the Shoe on a Daddy-Daughter Date.

This link here talks about last year's Date Night in the Arlington, Virginia area -- I was looking for stories that highlighted this special day.   You can read about some of the stories of the fun girls and their fathers have had together here and here.

Little Princess in particular is VERY excited; she could hardly stand still to let her big sister button her buttons.  We let her wear a little lip gloss. :-)  My older kids are accusing me of getting soft in my old age.

I am so glad they have this opportunity.  One thing I will always regret is that I couldn't do those things with my Dad growing up.  There are many times that loss feels poignant, and this is one of those times.  But I am so happy my daughters are having special times with Daddy to remember the rest of their lives. 

Interesting Read: The State of Working Moms

While the writers of this article definitely had the outside-the-home-career mother in mind, their observations are still very applicable to mothers who carry the second career -- either in running a small business from home, homeschooling (a fulltime job once formerly held by professional teachers), or both (which many homeschooling Moms do):

State of Working Moms Today

The state of a working Mom outside the home is not too dissimilar from the work-at-home/homeschooling Mom.

Trying to earn supplementary income, dealing with five different grade levels for which you must provide a college-prep course, shuttling children to extracurricular activities, and keeping up with household chores can take you well into the night, unless you are super well organized.  Hiring extra help is very frequently not in the budget. 

Most often, however, extra help isn't always necessary.

A kind word, a kind look, a hug -- these can make the burden lighter instantaneously. 

But frequently, what the Mom most often receives is commentary on her failings and rebukes.

I felt particularly vulnerable reading about how the mother reached into the refrigerator for milk only to discover that there wasn't any in the refrigerator.  How frequently this translates into a scolding for lack of planning ahead.  Rarely is it chalked up to human frailty, human error, too much going on, and the person who dissolves into tears receiving the love and sympathy they need.

However, this is all an opportunity for growth. 

God is on Mom's side, and He isn't going to scold you for forgetting to buy milk earlier.  And you'll be all right.

Another thing that jumped out at me was the quote from the article, "Instead of comparing yourself to friends, health psychologist Dr. Alice Domar recommends commiserating. “People experience stress relief just talking about their problems,” Domar, the executive director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health in Waltham, Mass., and associate professor at Harvard Medical School, tells Yahoo Parenting. “There’s an Asian expression that ‘a burden shared is halved.’ If something is bothering you, tell a friend.”

The life of a homeschooling, traditional-roles, also trying to earn supplementary income, trucking her numerous homeschooled children to the activities all other children attend can be very lonely, in which she struggles to keep up with the roles she has had to take on due to the times, plus be the good, nice, submissive traditional wife.  The way most women seek stress relief is in talking to someone.  After getting through the day, who do they tend to turn to?  Their husbands.  And guess who does NOT seek stress relief through talking?  Men.

Women are frequently accused of nagging.  According to the Oxford American dictionary, it means "to annoy or irritate (a person) with persistent faultfinding or continuous urging; find fault or complain, or urge, esp. persistently; (of a pain) ache dully but persistently; worry or preoccupy (a person, the mind, etc.); worry or gnaw; persistently worrying or painful."

It goes on a two-way street.  The problems persist, and we can keep them to ourselves, in which the problem nags away at our minds.  We voice them, and suddenly we are naggers nagging at our spouses, because we are saying things they don't want to hear.  They continue to eat away at us.  Pretty soon silence sets in, as that is the only way we can keep others happy.

The burden is never halved.  Instead, it compounds.  And you find yourself on the floor in a heap, next to the pile of toys and junk, or the pile of bedsheets that need to be washed because a child wet the bed for the third time that week, and start weeping.

It is in times like these, when you are most alone, that you discover wells of interior strength you did not believe you had.  You may end up turning to your homeschooling Mom friend who you discover is dealing with the very same thing, and find you're not alone.  For some reason, though, we are the naggers.  We are the bad ones.  We are the wives driving our husbands away because we aren't sweet enough, or good enough, or organized enough.

Gulp.

Swallow.

Straighten your shoulders.

Go outside.

Rub your eyes.

See the sun rising at 5:00 AM while you are hanging up the laundry so as to get it done before you have to fix breakfast and pack a lunch for your husband.

Thank the Lord for the gift of the sun that will dry the laundry so you don't spend precious dollars using electricity to dry them in a dryer.

Tell Him, "Lord, I'm at the end of my rope.  I'm so lonely I could die, but You are there.  My seven year old can't read very well and I feel like a failure -- after all, his brother and sister read when they were five.  My toddler still isn't potty trained.  My kitchen is a mess.  We ate fast food every night this week because everyone has a different soccer schedule.  I am butting heads with my adolescent trying to teach him algebra -- and my skills are barely ahead of his.  My daughter is growing like a weed, she needs clothes, and I have to make them for her because there is nothing in the stores that is decent.  I can't afford to buy them ready made off that wonderful website -- I just stare at the website salivating over the beautiful clothes and hope to get some ideas so I can sweat over my sewing machine at 2:00 AM!  HELP ME!"

Trust me.  He can hear you. 

You're not alone.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Another Great Modest Clothing Resource

I have found another gem I'd like to share with you.  These are just beautiful.  Lovely dresses and skirts, plus jumpers and accessories galore!

JMJ Modest Dress

Please take note, homeschooling parents who use Seton Home Study School, that they offer a school uniform jumper that is in the same plaid as Seton recommends on their Flynn and O'Hara uniform account:

Classic Seton Wear

and you can compare to what is offered in the way of school uniform jumpers -- and these will be long enough, too :-).  The style is slightly different, an above waist instead of a drop waist:

School Uniform Plaid Box Pleat Jumper

Flynn and O'Hara, Dennis Uniform, Parker, etc. all have a tendency to make their things just a mite too short -- and then if you buy the right length, you have to deal with the reality of a uniform jumper that doesn't fit the rest of the way -- or a uniform skirt that is long enough, but too big around the waist.  *Sigh*  I did write JMJ to ask if they would start offering the plaid skirts.  She was very courteous and said she would definitely be willing to accommodate anyone's particular situation.  So write and ask!





Sunday, October 5, 2014

Poncho Prays -- A Bright Spot for Your Day

I taught for a year in a school which was also the residence of "Einstein", a parrot who could faithfully imitate every single staff member.  One time I was in the neighboring classroom (in which was Einstein's cage) and for about ten minutes had an engaging conversation with my fellow teacher before I realized something seemed just a little off.  I had been conversing with Einstein, my back towards him.

So, today one of our homeschool group members sent us this adorable video.  So many parrots are taught to swear or sing songs by the latest pop stars; well, here's one very pious parrot who instead sings to the Blessed Virgin Mary to get us started on the month of October, month of the Holy Rosary:



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Prayers for Reconciliation Progress

In 1983, I was confirmed by His Excellency Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, a grace for which I am extremely grateful.  For many years, his foundation, the Society of St. Pius X, kept the traditional Latin Mass alive for the generations to come.  He could rightly be considered the father of both the SSPX and the other fraternity, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), both of which I hope someday will be united as religious congregations under the Chair of Peter.  I know many others are also praying that one day they will be able to work together.

To that effect, I would like to share with you an encouraging bit of news.  As many of you know, the SSPX was in discussions with our former Holy Father, Benedict XVI, prior to his resignation regarding a reconciliation with the Holy See.  It appears these talks are now continuing in the present Pontificate.

Please pray for a successful conclusion to these discussions, that the Will of God is done in all things.

Holy See Press Office Communication: On the Meeting of Cardinal Muller and the Society of St. Pius X Superiors

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Please Pray This Weekend

The Black Mass scheduled to take place tomorrow, Sunday, September 21, 2014, is going to proceed as planned, despite all our protests and petitions to the contrary.

The Archbishop of Oklahoma City is holding Benediction and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, along with an outdoor Eucharistic procession. 

The Hour Has Come: Statement of His Excellency Archbishop Coakley

The Society of St. Pius X in the Oklahoma City area is also backing this effort -- Call for Reparation Against Satanic Act