Monday, January 30, 2012

One Thousand Gifts

I have not blogged these in two weeks, but my list in my journal has grown. So, here is the accumulation of almost two week's worth of gifts!

459. snow covered trees
460. big fluffy flakes
461.seeing the big, full moon rise
462. an unexpected show
463. finding a treadmill on craigslist
464. a surprisingly orderly home even though 2 boys have the stomach bug
465. a week in which we are forced to slow down due to illness
466. so many awesome runs on my new treadmill
467. fresh veggies, bowls full
468. having a heart ache for prphans and a strong desire to adopt
469. our warm comfy, blue, blanket
470. my comfy 147 Million Orphans shirt
471. warm fleece pj's
472. the Canticle of Simeon
473. boy rebuilding their fort
474. the laughter of my boys
475. a marathon training schedule, back on track
476. the belief that I can cover the distance again
477. yummy, crispy, gluten-free waffles
478. my little 3 yr old playing with a dinosaur
479. that same boy sitting  in Daddy's arms
480. that same little boy and how is hair sticks up!
481. A hugging K so sweetly during dinner
482. new running shoes
483. J so excited for fife and drum
484. the smile he gets when he is praised by his fife teacher
485. St Cecilia altar
486. seeing NE DC through the eyes of my MIL- driving her down streets she grew up on
487. trip to the Franciscan Monastery
488. the walk through the catacombs
489. snake fossils in the altar
490. boys' wonderment
491. confession
492. when homeschooling goes well and when it doesn't
493. a St. Catherine medal in the clearance bin
494. Belgian waffles
495. holy oil
496. blessing sleeping boys
497. seeing the word REJOICE in my home when I need to see it most
498. the crunch of icy snow under little feet
499. a cold night
500. christian music on the radio
501. boys playing outside, in the snow, in the dark
502. the fun of a lantern
503. hubby doing the dishes
504. a glass of wine
505. a humming Cardinal during mass
506. a little girl's smile and affection
507. the Blue and Gold dinner
508. flannel sheets
509. nicely sharpened pencils
510. light and shadows on a cup of milk and one, little boy's fascination with it
511. a nice, sunny day
512. the talkative nature of my three year old
513. the longing to adopt
514. the fog rising off the Severn River . . . . picture perfect
515. storm clouds in the distance
516. a great group of women, in my living room discussing a great book
517. my cozy, warm, fleece-lined running pants that I wear for everything!
518.J wanting to buy me a fireplace
519. J reading Farmer Boy to me
520. Filet Mignon for dinner

Friday, January 27, 2012

7 Quick Takes

1. Our dog has gotten into the bad habit of circling the table once the boys are done with their meals.  And, she has been caught, putting her front feet on the table and grabbing food off! Today, my oldest left the lunch table before he was done and came back and his plate was empty . . . Rosie struck again.

2. Last night was the first meeting of a Women's Book Club at my house.  We are reading One Thousand Gifts.  I had read it before, but it is one of those books I could read again and again.  We had a great time and I loved hearing  other's insights on the book . . so much fun.

3. I am running a 1/2 marathon this Sunday.  Although I know I can transverse the distance, I am mentally NOT into this race at all and am really wondering why I signed up for it in the first place.

4. The Shamrock Marathon is in 49 days and I feel so unprepared.  I had hoped to go into my second marathon with more miles and more speed under my belt, but I do not think it is going to happen.  I have read Born to Run, but I doubt this girl was born to run marathons.  I feel like there is a fine line, for me, between running healthy, and getting injured.  And I have to keep everything in balance to run injury free. I have said this before, and I really mean it, my  26.2 shoes are done after March 18th.  Of course, that may change once I cross the finish line . . .

5. Homeschooling- We are in  a good groove with it right now.  It consumes most of my time, but that is OK.  The boys are happy and doing well, so I, too, am happy.

6. My 8 yr old has the sweetest heart! 
I think everyone in my house knows that I would love a fireplace.  I like the warmth, look and feel of a fireplace.  Well, on one of our errands to Lowe's, I stopped to look at the gas and electric fireplaces that they had.  J began to ask me lots of questions about them.  He pressed me to pick my favorite.  While walking through the rest of the store, he asked if Lowes had a web site.  Later, at home he asked, "Is Lowe's website www dot Lowes dot com?"

Now, I did not think any of these questions were strange.  He even asked me where I would put the fireplace if we got one.  I told him that that was the problem, we have NO room for something like that.  Well, later, after dinner, J looked at me and said "Mom, if we had enough room, I was going to buy you a fireplace with my money in the bank."

I teared up.  The boy is so sweet.  Later, my hubby even said that J asked him to wake him up once I went to bed, so that he could show my hubby, on the computer, what he wanted to buy me.  I love that boy!

7.  I have absolutely nothing else!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Created for Care Fundraiser

I just wanted to share that Created for Care, a group that runs retreats for adoptive moms and is passionate about helping children throughout the world, is selling many items to defray costs for their retreats.  Here is a link to their store and here are some of teh items they are selling:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

On Waiting

This past weekend we went to a book party for a priest friend who had his second book Living the Beatitudes:A Journey to Life in Christ   published last fall.  The party was hosted by another Catholic author.  And, after the cake was cut and people were sitting quietly, the host of the party began to speak.  He began to talk about how great this book is and how insightful so much of it is.  Then he began to share quotes from it.  And I felt as if he chose two of them for me:

"Waiting is the training ground of trust."

"Beauty is the crescendo of waiting"

Now, although we have this book and my husband has read it, I have not (sorry, Fr. B).  But that night, I sat with the book while my hubby and I sat down to attempt to watch a movie and I scoured the book for the above quotes.  Too shy to ask the host for the pages for these quotes, I skimmed page by page until I found them.  And after I found the first quote, I was confronted with line after line about waiting.  I read on.

You see, I am not very good at waiting.  I could blame our culture and its "gotta have it now" mentality, but I know I know better than that.  This is just a personal flaw of mine.  When I know God has me or my family on a path, I want to be at the end right away.  I do not want to wait for whatever it is to happen.  I want it to happen as quickly as possible.  The perfect example: the adoption process.  Once we realized that it was time to start the process, I was ready and too eager to get the process started, get the home study done, and bring home our next child.  Tomorrow would be nice.  But, the adoption process does not work that way.  God does not work that way.

For some reason I felt it coming during Advent.  I felt like it was a slowing down of all the processes that were going on, the things I wanted to have happen NOW.  But after hearing the words of Fr. J. Brian Bransfield, it hit me . . . It is a waiting.

"The one who truly hopes is not concerned about time." 

"Waiting is growth's second name"

"Beauty is the crescendo of waiting. Because it looks forward, waiting already begins to illumine trust.  Love matures in waiting's pause as a substantial bond is forged that opens ways into God of which we never dreamed.  As we wait for God, something is revealed about him that can never be revealed in any of our achievements."


As I prayed more about waiting, I began to reflect on Simeon.  A great example of waiting with hope.  He, a holy man, filled with the Holy Spirit, was told, by that Spirit, that he would not see death until he saw the salvation of Israel.

He would see the long awaited Messiah.

I reread the scriptures.

I wonder, how long did he know that he would look upon Jesus before he actually did see Jesus?  A few months?  A couple years? 20 years?  Years of waiting.  Years of expectation to see God.  Waiting in hope.  Waiting on the promise.

But, what strikes me the most about Simeon is when he actually got to see Jesus.  Luke says he held Jesus.
Lord, now let your servant go in peace; your word has been fulfilled;
my own eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared in the sight of every people;
a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Isreal. Luke 2:28-32

Beautiful. Amazing.  I wonder how I would feel just to be in the presence of the baby Jesus.

But then the human side steps in . . .  Wait a minute. Simeon was waiting for the Salvation of the people of IsraelIn simple terms, that is BIG. But, he did not see Jesus perform miracles.  He did not hear Jesus preach.  He did not witness Jesus die on the cross and conquer death on the third day.

He saw Jesus.  A small baby.  Dependent upon Mary and Joseph. Yet, filled with the Holy Spirit Simeon SAW the Messiah in the tiny baby he held in his arms.

And, I wonder if I would have seen HIM in that tiny baby if I were there that day.

And I wonder about the others in the temple at that moment.  I picture it as being busy.  I am sure others heard Simeon's words.  What did they think? They, too, were hoping the Messiah would come.  But, I bet like me, so many missed the Babe because they were looking for something greater.  Looking, watching for God to MOVE.  Looking for God in the earthquake and the storm.  Instead, God came in the whisper.  He came as a little baby.

How often do I miss God in the small things because I am looking for Him in the big?

Simeon saw simply because he was called to wait.  His waiting opened his eyes to see God all around him.  So that when God-became man, he was attuned to the Spirt and saw.

" . . .  waiting can become a prayer, a secret door that was always there right in front of us, in an obvious place but overlooked for so long, that leads to God."

This is why God is calling me to wait right now.  Wait on Him to move, yes.  But more importantly, so I can wait on Him and allow my eyes to be opened to Him more fully, everyday, in the obvious. Encounter Him in the overlooked beauty of my daily life.

Thank you Fr. Brian, for your beautiful words and for allowing God to speak through you, to me and to so many others.

All unmarked quotations are from Living the Beatitudes:A Journey to Life In Christ by J. Brian Bransfield.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

One Thousand Gifts

440. playing times attack with my boy
441. the knocking sound of a large woodpecker
442. creating more practical space books ever present
444.fife and drum lessons
445. finding the perfect fife instructor for J
446. kind emails
447. light streaming on the kitchen table and fun with shadows
448. slowing down
449. sun shining
450. beautiful weather
451. the "chiks" of Team Tough Chik
452. little boy play
453. a January day that is too nice to be inside

454. guns and sneakers on a dirty floor
455. little hands holding crosses

456. muddy hands
457. the hospitality of a stranger
458. the beauty of unpacking Scripture

Friday, January 6, 2012

7 Quick Takes

1.  This week has been a rough school week.  Both the boys and I have had a hard time getting back on track after having a week off.  I am so glad to be back to our normal routine and will be happy when we have settled back in.

2. Gluten Free Experiment - I am almost done with my first week of going gluten free.  I thought I would crave bread this week, but I have not and it has been much easier than I thought.  I have also had virtually no sugar this week either.  Instead I have had yummy foods full of nutrients, color and flavor . . . all the natural kind.  I think avocados are becoming my guilty pleasure . . .

3. I have wanted to change how we eat, as a family for a while.  For the most part, we eat healthy foods, but we need to really make some more changes.  We are on our last two boxes of cereal and then no more cereal for the boys.  This week, I made other things for breakfast and then they were allowed to have cereal as a snack.  I started prepping them that that will not be have cereal anymore.  So far they seem OK with the idea.

4.  I seem to get random injuries.  I do not like to post about them all the time because I am afraid people will get tired of hearing about it.  Or, I will be told I should just give up running.  Well, about 3 weeks ago I partially tore an abdominal muscle. I did not do this running!!  (Stay away from core machines at the gym!!).  Anyways, I was told no running, no exercise for two weeks. It was horrible.  I started back to exercising a little last week and then actually ran this week.  I feel sluggish, but am doing any extra cardio I can to build up my endurance again.

5.  Twitter. Do any of you tweet? I have a twitter account and follow lots of people. Lots of people even follow me.  But I never tweet!  So, if you do tweet, please tell me, do you like it?

6. Adoption. No new news yet.  Have 4 families to speak to over the next couple of weeks before making a decision one way or the other.  We are still leaning toward the waiting child list in China with a specific agency, but another possibility has presented itself that we are looking into.

7. Having fun with Blogger.  I have actually learned how to add tabs and pages to my blog!!  I feel like I am getting just a bit tech savvy.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I'm a Tough Chik!

I have gotten emails about it . . . seen other bloggers mentioned that they are a part of the team . . . checked it out myself and finally, last week, I decided to join this amazing team:

I am now a member of Team Tough Chik!

And I am excited!  I get to meet, encourage and hang out with some amazing runners and I get to help promote a great company with a great purpose in supporting women.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Keep on Counting . . .


Getting back to One Thousand Gifts . . .

This list is short and sweet as it is starting over, but counting on . . .

430.  "one man's trash . . . ": getting a needed item for our kitchen face lift to work
431. my gym membership
432. getting to run again
434. brothers who love each other so much
435. a fun New Year's Eve celebration
436. a great start to 2012
437. prayer with relatives
438. prayer with my hubby
439. following God's leading and learning to wait