Monday, January 28, 2008
She is 3 weeks from being 8 years old. Let us be honest, confession and reconciliation are just not things the average 8 year old can really grasp. It is something that truly grows with you. I did emphasize to her that she isn't to think that just because her dad and I are grown that we have an easier time being good. I told her that it is when you are grown up that sinning becomes the most easy to do and the most difficult to stop. She was surprised by this. I think kids sometimes tend to think that because they are little and don't know the rights and wrongs of everything or the nuances of various situations that they are worse than grown ups. I told her, she is much closer to Christ and His love as the little girl she is, and the more she can hold on to her simple child-like faith the better.
I reality, her sins are so simple. Of course, like anyone's, they are born of selfishness. But a kids' selfishness is tame compared to ours as adults. I wish my sins were ONLY that I stuck my tongue out at my brother because he wouldn't let me on the computer, even when it was my turn. Instead, mine involve making decisions on how to raise my children, how to treat them, my husband, my friends, those who have hurt me.
I told Autumn that the simplest way to understand sin is that it is an action against real, true love. That is the love that God gives and want us to express as well. How I fall short of showing real, true love. Autumn is much more above board and loving than I am. That is why Jesus said to have the faith of a child. The faith of a child is like a beautiful green lawn and a child's sins are like brand new young weeds fresh from the ground. Their roots are not buried under layers of dark dirt. They are barely under the surface. They are easily picked and discarded barely hurting the lawn. Most adults, however, have weeds in their lawn that are like that of Nutsedge (sp) deep, tangled and hard to get rid of. And when you have managed to uproot them, how painful it is to the lawn, not to mention the deep holes that are left until new grass grows over them. How I love that Confession helps me to continue to pull out those horrible weeds of sin, in my ever growing lawn of faith. And it is not as easy to grapple with those sins, even with God's help, as much as it is for a little kid. It is also a lot more painful to let go of sinful habits, more than for a little kid. They have had much less time to develop them.
The wonderful thing, and this is coming from a convert who used to mock confession and never really understand it, is that since being able to avail myself of the wonderful Grace-giving Sacrament of Confession (or Reconciliation), I have finally been able to rid myself of sins that bugged the heck out of me as a Protestant, but could never seem to kick. And I didn't rid myself of those sins, God's grace and my cooperation with it, are what did. There is real accountability in this Sacrament...there is no hiding yourself when you bare your soul to the one standing In Persona Christi. You hear the things you do and say come out of your mouth and KNOW there is not one righteous, no not one...only Christ is. Hearing your sins aloud makes you even more aware that YOU DO NEED THE FORGIVENESS OF CHRIST because you hear how unloving you truly are. And the best part comes, the part I could only imagine, but never heard, while I was still an Evangelical, and that is this, "In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, I absolve you of your sins. Go and sin no more." HOW AWESOME IS THAT!?! No more wondering if you meant it, if He really did forgive you. You walk out of that confessional on air feeling the Grace and Peace of Christ coursing through your veins. You KNOW that with God's continued help and grace He will help you overcome sins and continue to make you Holy on your life's walk with Christ.
Well, I have to go get Autumn. It is time to go. I am so excited for her. After tonite, the next stop is the pinnacle of Sacraments: the Eucharist...Christ Himself condescending into bread and wine to make it His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. Remember from John 6: "I am the bread of Life, whoevers eats this bread will never die." How loved we are. Just mindblowing!
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Saturday, January 26, 2008
I promise I will be back to writing about the exciting adventures of my crazy family soon. Hmmm...where did I put my MP3 player? Time to escape!
Next Chapter: School vouchers and how I get Ben into a really neat private school without it ruining us financially.
Back to the music...
Friday, January 25, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
|You Are a Night Person|
For you, there's nothing worse than having to get up and moving early.
In fact, you probably don't hit your peak until well after the sun has set.
So if your struggling to make it on a normal schedule, realize it's not your fault.
You just weren't meant to do anything during the day!
|You Are an Indie Rocker!|
You are in it for the love of the music...
And you couldn't care less about being signed by a big label.
You're all about loving and supporting music - not commercial success.
You may not have the fame and glory, but you have complete control of your career.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
The hottest band and the hottest Doctor...Dr. Who (David Tennant, of course!)...make the perfect duo! Someone made a video of Dr. Who clips from season 3 and put it to Muse's song Nature 1. It is awsome, but the embedding was disabled. If you love either the Doctor or Muse go see it here.
This was the March for Life last year. The man speaking is a Baptist minister. He was great. His preaching reminded me of my Baptist days. I am quite happy as a Catholic now. I was there with Andrew and his friend Claire. She couldn't come with us this year as she was visiting a college. We missed you Claire!
Monday, January 21, 2008
I don't know how many of you Catholics out there have ever participated in the Parish Renewal program called Christ Renews His Parish or CRHP (pronounced Chirp for short), but it is an amazing and singular retreat experience. It is quite unlike anything out there. If your parish has it...RUN...don't walk...and sign up for the next one.
So, today has been a good day for Ben. He woke up happy, didn't need Robert or me for anything, played happily with his sister so that Robert and I could sleep in. Then we woke up at 10 (it was awesome) we had snuggle time with Ben in our bed. He loves being cuddled and after the last few days of screaming, yelling and unhappiness it was nice (really nice) to reconnect with the boy that I love (but don't often get to 'feel' like I love). Then I went to Kath's house, got to hang out with her a bit, which I always love, and after I took Ryan and Daniel to my house where everyone is playing quite happily (dare I even say it?).
Who knows what will happen later...or tommorrow when it is back to school time for Ben? I sure don't. But for this moment. I am going to savor the peace, quiet and happiness that is pervading my house.
THANK YOU GOD! For helping me to relish and enjoy the little things. Amen
Saturday, January 19, 2008
This is my blog and I can write what I want to write and it is that I am overloaded from dealing with my Bipolar son. Here it is...a snow day. It has been snowing since morning. One would think, that since a day like this is the stuff of dreams for Ben, he would actually be happy. Oh, but God Forbid! I can not adequately, nor will I ever, be able to put into words what it is like having a child with this particular mental illness, nor what it is like mothering him. Moms want their kids to be happy, and do alot to make them happy (within reason so they don't turn out to be evil little brats). But there is really nothing I can ever do, that will maybe last more than 15 minutes, that will ever make Ben happy. His mind will not let him be happy. Yet, he spends most of his waking time either angry, and angry at me (or another family member) because by not doing "x, y, z" with him we are not making him happy. Then, when we do do things that would make any other kids delirious with joy, Ben will look at me as if to say, "You think that's what I f*cking wanted? You couldn't be more wrong." Oh, he doesn't say it, but trust me, that is EXACTLY what the look conveys.
Parents without kids like this, no matter how well meaning, often just don't get what it is like to be continually hounded by a person who can only think of making whatever happens to be their agenda, that day, happen. Even I forget what it's like when I am around other kids, like in various homeschool coops, with my neurotypical daughter, and I see the relative ease with which adults and kids interact. All kids can be obnoxious, unruly, selfish, stubborn, unhappy, demanding, etc at times. However, Ben, really can only think of whatever it is his mind is telling him it needs in order for him to stay even, calm, happy, balanced. But most often, those things can not be allowed to happen all the time. I will not (and can not) buy him everything he decides he wants to have (and oh does he WANT STUFF). He is unrelenting in his pursuit of acquisitions. No matter how much I pray, beg, cajole, yell, threaten, he doesn't get that he has to stop his relentlessly perseverative demand for his WANTS or Mommy is going to fall apart and he will have a hell of a time making and keeping friends, because everything is always about Ben.
I feel guilty, empty, hollow, lonely, hurt, despairing, physically exhausted, emotionally beaten down, inept, perpetually unprepared, very sad, afraid, angry, heartbroken, did I mention guilty (because I even feel this way about my own child) alone, misunderstood, judged, out-of-control, at-the-end-of-my-rope, sick-to-my-stomach, anxious, depressed, like-I-want-to-run-away, in-over-my-head, spiritually abandoned, like-a-total-whiner, and it's not going to change much. For Ben, there are good moments, but there are rarely good days. I have no idea what puberty is going to be like, for Ben, but I am not looking forward to it. I know God has a plan, but I don't know what the Hell it is, and you know what? YES! I would like to be clued in!!!!
And you know, Ben hates having Bipolar too. He hates that he can fly into a rage that can last for hours and that he can scream such hateful, hurtful things at people he loves, with no feeling of being able to stop himself.
I will struggle Ben's whole life with feeling like I am either a horrible mother or that I did do the right thing by him. I just want to cry but am afraid the tears would never stop...so I don't. I am on 2 medicines myself just to help me deal with raising Ben. My sanity is definitely hanging by a thread. I KNOW God is out there, I just FEEL abandoned. It's a feeling not reality. It just feels real.
God, please hear my prayers for peace in my son's mind, and answer them. Amen.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
I, too, like Danielle Bean. I peruse her blog often, and I imagine I will continue to do so. I don't have any books by Gregory Popcak, but I have friends who do. So, I know of him. I really liked the points he makes in the above post (click on the title to get to it). I do, however, own most of William Sears' books, have met him, and several years ago had a fabulous talk with his wife, Martha, on the phone. She actually directed me to a great article at the Christian Research Institute, an evangelical website, on just how unbiblical and dangerous the Ezzos parenting methods were.
What I really loved about the above exchange, however, was how polite they are to each other. I also benefitted greatly from the discussion of integral procreation and how God gives us the gifts of children, not just timing. This is important to me because I have wanted another child, DESPERATELY, for 5 years. I have stopped charting for over a year...and still no baby. God really is in control. My dh and I have a son with Bipolar Disorder. God knows how much time and energy he takes from us and out other 2 children. If we are blessed by God to have another child someday, I will know it is because God KNEW that Ben needed all that extra time from us...and that another little soul might have suffered needlessly if brought to our family any earlier.
Being Catholic and a parent who practices AP are all about TRUST in God and the way He created us to be. What else is there that would encourage Saintliness other than that?
I cannot get enough of this band. They are just BRILLIANT!!! Of course, the drummer is a TAMA man! Go to Youtube and watch all 5 of their 4Music videos. They are soooo good live. (Can you hear all the cool 80's New Wave undertones in this is awesome tune?)
Monday, January 7, 2008
This morning was back to school for 2 of our kids. Andrew was back to being a Senior at our local High School and Ben was supposed to go back to the special needs elementary school he is attending this year (next year the plan is for him to come back home).