Fides, veritas et virtus


It is only Friday.

It is not yet Sunday.

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YouTube Tuesdays (Vol. 2)

See if this doesn’t put a smile on your face!


Close encounters of the “furred” kind

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This fella (or someone quite like him) very nearly wound up in the passenger seat of my car last night.

I drove off to the pharmacy to pick up some meds for our sick pup when I saw what looked like a person galumphing forward in a Michelin-man suit, barreling towards the street. I slowed way down, thinking it was a kid playing around in the dark. I had nearly stopped, when the Michelin-man suited person, also slammed on his brakes and stopped, just inches away from my passenger window.

We made eye contact for a few seconds. He looked panicked and seemed to ask to run on his merry way in front of my car. I murmured “Go ahead, I won’t hurt you,” and onward he galumphed in front of my car. The whole exchange took about ten seconds.

When he ran before my headlights I realized he was on all fours.
After driving on a few feet I realized my Michelin-man person was furry and black with copper about his face and kind of looked like a dog.
I then thought about how much I would have liked to pet him.

It probably took me about a minute after the fact to realize that “he” was a bear – not person, not a dog.

Oh life in Vermont!


7 Quick Takes (Vol. 4)

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1. Gidget is back! –

Gidget's the one on the left.

Gidget's the one on the left.

Six blood transfusions and 10 days later, she is stable enough to be home with her family. It will be a while before she is back to 100% but we are all relieved to have our little clown home. Thank you for your thoughts and well-wishes!

2. Deadlines, deadline – It looks like I’ll have to pass up Easter in Florida this year because of a looming work deadline (everyone thought we had until the end of April…turns out we have less than 2 weeks). I’ll miss seeing our Miami family, but to be honest, the idea of a peaceful time at home sounds lovely.

3. My mood is considerably less morose than it was earlier this week. But I still worry that my “meditation” post was a bit of an overshare. Dommage. I was only being authentic…if I scared off any readers with the dark subject matter, my apologies. I’m a just a work in progress.

4. Danielle – my bestest friend and bestest cousin – is considering starting a blog about her family adventures with her two children and the upcoming adoption of her younger brother. I think she’d have a lot to write about…will keep ya’ll posted.

5. Looky looky – a free NFP resource!  (Natural Family Planning: The Complete Resource – John and Sheila Kippley, 156 pages) It looks like you can download the whole thing for free. Free is good.

6. Are any of you familiar with Mother Maria Skobtsova? She’s been showing up in reading and conversation a lot lately. I wonder if its a saintly contact thing or purely coincidental. Regardless she seems like an inspirational figure worthy of more study. At least I really like this quote –

I am your message, Lord. Throw me like a blazing torch into the night, that all may see and understand what it means to be a disciple.

7. So, a few months back I recieved a patron saint for 2009 through this ministry ( http://yourpatronsaint.blogspot.com/ ). My saint – St. Crescentia – is virtually unknown, some sources have even removed her from the calender of saints, but kept her husband and foster son. This crazy idea popped into my head – to write an account of her story, her martyrdom, clearly fictionalized, as a way of “getting to know her.” I brushed that idea aside for a weeks but finally started developing an actual story this week. Do I sound like a crazy person?

Maybe I’ll post a little something here if it turn into anything good.

For more Quick Takes, see Jennifer at Conversion Diary.com


YouTube Tuesdays (Vol. 1)

YouTube Tuesdays = something I just made up.

I absolutely love this video.


A Meditation on Grief, Loss, and Regret

This time of year is hard.
Today is the one-year anniversary of my uncle’s suicide.
Friday is the one-year anniversary of my grandfather’s death.
And somewhere mixed in with the deaths of two of the most important men in my life would have been the birth of my baby – had I not be a coward and “chosen” an abortion eight months earlier.

We are headed into springtime, that time of new beginnings and expectant joy, yet all I can think about is missed chances, bad choices, regret, and death.

This time last year I remember feeling sucker punched, in fact I still do. My uncle who passed is my father’s brother. My grandfather is my mother’s stepfather. My parents are divorced and have been for twenty years, so I was the only person to feel both losses at the same time. It was isolating. I felt personally attacked, as if some unseen enemy was going to take everyone I loved. I felt unsafe, that my family was in eminent danger. It has taken a whole year to slowly start to unravel the knots of anger and pain and injustice.

Grief is a funny thing. It sneaks up on you in crafty secretive ways. I had expected to feel sadness, to cry a lot, to feel spiritually empty. I did feel all of those things. But what I didn’t expect was how easy it would be to continue my day to day life. How I was still sleeping through the night (albeit frequently crying myself to sleep). How I could still churn out my final papers and get good grades, and how even at a young man’s wake I could find things to laugh at, I could still make small talk. I was so angry at myself for being able to do those things. What I wanted to do was to keen and tear out my hair and rip my clothing and be incapacitated with sadness, but keeping myself pulled together was what I did instead, letting my sadness come out in bit by bit like a slow leaking faucet, one teardrop at a time.

Strange moments of sadness – passing a gas station where I once stopped with Scotty caused me to cry so hard alone in my car that I had to pull to the side of the road; waiting to go on stage before my senior recital in December, I choked back tears when I realized that this was the first performance in my life that Curt had ever missed.

There are also strange and spontaneous moments of Grace. Oddly, the moment I realized that had I carried my daughter to term (I’m strangely certain I was carrying a girl – watch me get to the Hereafter and be horribly mistaken) she would have been born either just before the funerals or just after. A new life in the midst of all that sadness. It broke my heart to think of my baby, but it made me so happy for God’s Providence, even though I had rejected it. The Lord knew what was coming down the pike and gave me a baby. It made me so certain of this greater, bigger plan, that in the middle of horrible trials, trust is the most important thing because God will bring it all together for good in His own time.

I rejected Life. I murdered my own child. There is no way that I can ever forgive myself for that act. I did not trust that God had a plan. Now I see, and I am filled with regret – but also tinged with joy that such a plan existed, and still exists. Having that realization has pulled me through my grief. It lead me to the Church, it converted me from being pro-choice to pro-life, it helped me to let go of my own agenda and be open to His.

Today I regret so much. I regret never telling my grandfather how important to me he was, how he was the only man I could look to in my life and know with the slightest doubt that I was loved. I regret never reaching out to Scotty and helping him to bear his burdens. I regret not showering both of these men with love and appreciation. For taking for them granted and somehow fooling myself into believing that they would always be there. I regret believing and perpetuating all the lies that we tell women about their bodies, the value of motherhood, the life of child. I regret being bullied into a decision that I was not okay with. I regret robbing my child of her life because I felt so certain that I would give her a life of pain and suffering. I regret living so much of my life from a place of pride and fear of rejection, instead of a place of humility and love.

Humility is necessary whenever we act in love.
Now, looking back I wish that I could lived and acted from a place of love in all things. With all people.

The only thing for me now is the hope that one day I will see my Lord, I will see my child, I will see my uncle, I will see my grandfather and all the others whom I love. Then I can beg their forgiveness. And maybe then I can be healed.


7 Quick Takes (Vol. 3)

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1.

Gidget's the one on the left.

Gidget's the one on the left.

Prayer request – It seems silly with all these babies in hospitals and family members who are ill. But our four year old Springer Spaniel has been in the ICU at Tufts for five days and isn’t getting any better. Apparently she has hemolytic anemia – her body is destroying its own red blood cells. Three blood transfusions later things are starting to look rather bleak. If you don’t think I’m too silly, could you remember Gidget in your prayers?

2. Has anyone read Thomas Cahill‘s The Gift of the Jews, or Desire of the Everlasting Hills? I’ve been enjoying them both. While he’s more of a historian than a theologian, both books have helped bring the ancient past more alive for me and deepened my understanding of Scripture. Expect a review soon 🙂

3.  bulkcandy

OMG I love maple sugar candy! It’s sugaring season here in Vermont so there’s candy on every corner. I hadn’t eaten any since I was itty bitty but the other day I thought “oh well, why not.” Maple leaf shaped crack, my friends. I felt like I was on speed for the rest of the day, but yet couldn’t stop eating the little candies. Luckily there were only six in the box. Now the trick is not to pick them up everytime I go down to the store.

4. This blog is slow and pointless. I need to spend more time on it, perhaps with a schedule and set times devoted to writing. But I haven’t written regularly just for fun in about ten years. So this is a challenge. Bear with me, it will get there.

5. There may be a move in the near future. With jobs opening up near my abuela’s (that’s grandmother) house in Maryland, I may be moving there soon just to make some cash and keep my little abuelita company. It’s not how I envisioned kicking off my first year out of college, but economic realities being what they are, living with a family member and working in a bustling resort town will probably be the quickest way to get me on my feet. Here’s hoping.

6. Did you hear about this? –  *click* Apparently a 105 year old great-great-great-grandmama is going to throw the first pitch at a spring training game for the Marlins. Oh that we can all be so spry at 105!

7. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height no depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39


A Sunday morning ramble

Yesterday was so quiet and peaceful.
Consumer Boy (the 16 year old brother) was up on the ski mountain with friends.
Monkey Boy (the 12 year old) went to another friends house and wound up spending the night.

It felt so good to not have the TV blaring, video games playing, people running up and down the stairs, etc. Usually it doesn’t bother me at all, but this weekend I had a newsletter to punch out for the BOMA fund, so it was critical that no one was around for a few hours. (It’s a new program for me. The first draft I completely forgot to save and had to re-do the whole thing. Not exactly fun, but in the grand scheme of life not that huge.) But everything got done, so no complaints.

And no chick flicks! Just a really good hippie midwifery book called Spiritual Midwifery (review coming) and hours and hours long conversation with friend Katrina. We haven’t seen or spoken to each other in almost a year. A lot of catching up there!

Overall, it was an exceedingly mellow, but very refreshing, Saturday night.


7 Quick Takes (Vol. 2)

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This week is very stream of consciousness. Apologies 🙂

For more 7 Quick Takes, visit Jennifer at ConversionDiary.com

1. Blessings, blessings, blessings galore! I know I should be thankful everyday but this week God has been especially good.
– I got the placement with Midwives for Midwives! I’ll be living with a traditional midwife and her ten children in a small rural village called Patzun for three months (with the option to extend) Jan-March 2010.
– A paying job miraculously dropped itself into my lap. A local woman cold-called me to see if I could help her for about 20 hours a week. She is founder/director/development officer/jack-of-all trades of an up and coming non-profit The Boma Fund. They work in Northern Kenya just giving away money to rural entrepreneurs (not micro-lending, granting!). It’s a pretty sweet job: I can work from home most days and I help her raise money for people who really need it. And with all the press the org is getting it will look very shiny on my resume. Very satisfying, indeed!

2. To commemorate how very different my life is from just a few years ago, I made a new iTunes mix called “I’m not who I was.” Initially it was just going to have my “inspirational” music, but slowly it morphed into any music that makes me profoundly and wonderfully joyful. The result was a playlist of 924 songs! But it was worth it! So may I humbly recommend that we all make something of that sort to lift our spirits (especially during these fairly depressing times).

3. My parents are away for the weekend and my brothers are probably going to sleepover with friends, so I’ll have the (huge and creepy) house to myself. I think I’ll watch Little Women or some other chick flick.

4. On the topic of creepy, does anyone have any good ghost stories? This old house used to be pretty weird but it seems to have chilled out considerably lately. Maybe I’ll post some stories here sometime. Although probably this is better suited to Halloween not Spring, eh?

5. HAPPY SPRING!!!

6. My little Lenten sacrifice is going quite well and very helpful. Giving up planning is challenging but I feel lighter and less stressed. I suppose this what the trusting in the Lord feels like.

7. If any of you are teachers/homeschoolers here is a shameless plug for a curriculum created by The Boma Fund/Cows for Kids . It’s FREE and focused on creating global citizenship/social entrepreneurship designed for middle school students. The book is great, the charity is great and it’s being picked up by a lot of independent schools. Enjoy!


Confessions of a control freak

I am a chronic unrepentant planner. When I start to feel like I’m stuck, when I start to feel like things are out of control, when I’m simply bored – I plan. I plan to procrastinate…it makes me feel like I’m doing something. Once I even planned the syllabus with assignments, textbooks, dates, everything for a philosophy course that perhaps I might teach someday which I won’t because I’m not a teacher or anywhere near the education field. Most recently I’ve begun planning things like my homelife and my career – even though I’m not married, don’t have children, don’t have even a house or apartment at the moment, haven’t started let alone finished grad school, etc. I’ve figured out what homeschooling curriculum I want to use, searched for house plans, guesstimated solar power costs, all sorts of things. Part of this is just boredom, and part of it is hopeful expectation, and part of it gives me a sense of control.

But what is interesting is that although these plans give me a sense of security, as if I have considered every option, they rarely if ever turn out as the way that I imagined. This used to really bother me. When I was in my last few years of high school and first few years of college I plunged into a terrible depression and actually had to leave school because I wasn’t able to wrap my head around the fact that I was not really in control of anything. Because I had no belief in a higher power, it was terrifying to me to see that I was making all these plans, that I had all these ideas yet my life was going in an entirely different direction. If I wasn’t in control who was?

Fast forward four years and I know who is in control. And I made a commitment to He who is in control to follow His will not mine. I know that God probably isn’t leading me into a life that I would hate because He came that we would live more abudantly. And each step that I have been lead along has been more wonderful than the one before (minus the times when I decided it was time to take a detour – those weren’t so much fun) and yet I still have a hard time letting go of planning.

I always want to turn the page, to read ahead, to read the last page even – just to make sure everything turns out alright. And to be honest sometimes I sulk and glare at God because He won’t let me see ahead. Not that anyone gets to anyway. But for some reason I think I have the right to know how the story ends. Or, alternatively, that I have the right to plan and have those plans honored.

I’m pretty sure God laughs.

And suddenly it hits me as I am writing all this down: my belated Lenten sacrifice – planning. Here I commit myself to give up planning for the remaining days of Lent. Beyond the necessary plans that must be made for my upcoming Spirit-led move to Guatemala, I’m taking it one day at a time from here on. Better late than never right?

trust

I guess the “unrepentant planner” is little repentent after all, hmm.