Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A Way of Listening

Friends. This has been a summer of summers. A summer full of light and truth and good and new.



My new baby girl has made this whole summer pretty special.

I am definitely feeling the slight panics every now and then of how this is all going to actually WORK



but then peace always seems to follow when...I look at her.



I have such confidence in the intentional giving of her life to this particular family, He deemed it so, and therefore I trust that although it may not look pretty, life is as it should be.



So, also, a labor of love, last week my parish hosted a Level One part one Catechesis of the Good Shepherd training. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

I know! I KNOWWWWWWW.

Ever since leaving Alaska, it was my desire to share this work with my new parish...my new friends. I felt like I have been mentioning CGS whenever I could for two years, I am so happy I have friends still...lol..in fact...many of my closest friends took the training...and now..Alleluia! The workings of a Level One atrium has started at St Bede Parish in Williamsburg, Virginia!


I have only wanted to be a messenger, and my friend Abby so wisely said as I worried how the training would go, "If it is truly beautiful, the work will speak for itself."

God cannot be outdone in the generosity of how he pulled together fifteen women to become immersed in the kerygma, the good news,  in a new way.

And I witnessed again what I should have known all along, where I see so clearly...the prepared environment is one thing...the prepared adult is completely essential. I MUST be that.
We can transform a room to be an atrium, but the transformation must happen in the adult first.



The Help came, as I had prayed He would. The Help moving very slowly at first, the work of CGS staying ever so so small in a parish community this big (10,000 strong)...and then as my dear friend Mary Clare said, the Spirit moves like the wind, fast changing, and just as we see leaves move in the breeze...the Spirit spoke to us in Signs and Moments...

LIFE CHANGING MOMENTS

The messenger was Katy Rice, my trainer and friend who had trained me in Juneau. She came to help us...Katy was our Aslan...on the move...coming...coming to turn things upside down, as she placed the child in front of us and opened up the Word.

LISTEN LIKE CHILDREN

BECOME SMALL

BE STILL

COUNT YOUR WORDS

I just wanted to share this crumb, I feel like this post is inadequate...words really are. But the mustard seed has been somewhat planted in this parish and I am eagerly anticipating bearing witness to the fruits of the GREAT INNER STRENGTH that lies in that mustard seed.

Baby is crying...blessings...


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

True Freedom

She made it here safely. Our beautiful baby girl was born on Father's Day. You can imagine our joy. Justin, the children and I are all so happy. She fits perfectly, as we knew she would.

There is something I am experiencing with her though that is so new to this sixth one...

It doesn't feel like work anymore.


Ok ok she IS a good baby and I have had FIVE other children so I guuuuueeeess I am an experienced mom, and it might have something to do with all of the other mama hens who are able to help...



but more I find that it isn't work because she is our Pearl of Great Price. 

As in, Justin and I have turned a corner in this FAMILY bit and it doesn't feel like we are "stepping into an arena" or that it is our "duty to have children" or that we are "making sacrifices," it just feels very freeing to be married and to follow God's design for our marriage.  

That is our baby girl. 



She is trust and faith and His agenda not ours. 





And out of His generosity, we have received the best of Gifts. 


There is freedom in just living your vocation of marriage. Every moment...



is His will for you.

I have been walking with a particular priest this pregnancy, who would have thought that an American Jesuit accused of being a Vatican spy during World War II, who spent twenty years in a Siberian work camp, could help ME...a twenty first century very pregnant mother in Virginia????

But he did...he is still helping...

"It is in choosing to serve God, to do his will, that man achieves his highest and fullest freedom."



 "It may seem paradoxical to say that our highest and fullest freedom comes when we follow to the least detail the will of another, but it is true nonetheless when that other is God."



"Accepting whatever comes or happens as the will of God, no matter what is costs spiritually, psychologically, physically, is the surest and quickest way to a freedom of soul and spirit that surpasses all understanding and explanation."




Happy Independence Day!


Friday, May 26, 2017

A Deaconite Ordination

Hello friends! I am reclining while the two year old naps and collecting my thoughts about things.

This is all possible as dance,




 sewing classes, choir, testing for school...it is all coming to an end. A perfect end for the summer...




I am not doing any school for the children this summer, just reading...as we have a hands on course of "how to care for a new sister" to look forward to.

Yes, so let me tell you of some of our happenings this past weekend.

The first year we moved to Williamsburg, we befriended a very outgoing, fun loving seminarian from the Diocese of Richmond who was serving his pastoral year at our parish. Seminarians during their formation to the priesthood are assigned within the diocese to different parishes...I didn't know these things before I met Deacon Nick! Look now you know too!

That's right! He is Deacon Nick now and our family was blessed to share in his Deaconite Ordination this past weekend.



Sooooooo...I am very pregnant, actually, my sister in law (who happens to be my nurse midwife) almost texted me a few days ago to wish me a "happy term day" as in...I am now 37 weeks and really baby can come when she wants. So knowing I would be very pregnant when Deacon Nick first reached out to us about this weekend, which took place an hour away in Richmond, I was unsure about if it would be "too much" physically with driving and some later nights, etc.

Oh goodness, I will tell you...go to as many ordinations as you can. Say yes. Be inspired. Make it happen. It was something so perfect for an expecting mother to do.

And here is why...

For me...

I am wanting my yes to be a total yes.




Just as I witnessed three seminarians put on a new life, I am literally dying to an old life and putting on a new one with this baby girl.



I know...I know...I mean, I am still a mother...but I am saying, everyday with this swollen belly of mine, I am getting closer to meeting her and holding her and saying yes to the vocation of being THIS BABY GIRLS MAMA. HER MOTHER.

Does this make sense? Let me explain by reflecting on a current relationship of mine, one I am now navigating with an almost twelve year old.  I see so much how she needs me to say "yes" to being her Ma today even more so then when I held her in my arms when I was just twenty three years old. I can't be her everything, Jesus Christ is her everything and I pray she knows this deeply, but I do want to nurture her as I am called to do as only "I" her mother can do. This challenges me.

From one of my baby showers!
This is where I want that grace that comes with the yes because I have these blue eyes reading my gestures, and she is listening to my tone, she is waiting to see if I will listen to her story about tadpoles, or if I will say yes to a certain need.

And still...while I try my best to say YES to her, I then feel a pat on my belly and see the twinkling brown eyes of this one...can I be the mom I need to be to this one too????


I have been meditating much on how God's ways are not our ways. The world has told me time and time again, in well meaning comments I'm sure, about "how are you going to do it all?" or "Better you than me!" or "Mine drive me nuts and I only have two."

 I think its that I don't have the answers of how I am going to manage six. But if God's ways are not our ways...I have to TRUST Him that He will make sure the children He brought to this family have their needs met. Their deep heart needs.



It is when you die to the former life and put on a new one that the paradox of GIFT unfolds. You step into more fullness. It is a big work in TRUST.



He makes all things new.

So when we went to the Ordination that truth was made known to us...



This baby girl is making me new! And pregnancy seems long...and labor is painful....and for me fast...but then I am made NEW!

Our Lord truly is Something in the way He goes about things.

I am laughing as I read over this...look Stephanie made the Ordination about her...ha!... but really, it was something powerful to behold and it made me quite confident to trust in God's generosity, to simply hand this over to Him.

I want to mention too there was a beautiful sharing of the Fraternal Kiss between all the deacons and the newly ordained, it was more of a welcoming hug from each of them. And as they hugged, I couldn't help but be very aware that this group of men, they were sharing a bond I don't have with them. A Band of Brothers type bond...that I am not privy to be part of, nor will ever be part of. And yet, I have my very own type of bond within the walls of this home, and we are about to welcome one more person into our people.





I get beautiful compliments that she is a lucky little girl to be part of our family, but truly it is WE who feel blessed, even as she waits in the womb, WE have been blessed by her.

I am absolutely positive this is how the religious view Deacon Nick's new life in the Church. They are blessed to have him! We all are!

Pray for Deacon Nick! Pray for me! God Bless