22 Feb

I’m fasting today.  According to the Church, that means one meal and possibly two little ones more, but the sum of the two little ones shouldn’t be equal to the main meal.  (Wow.  So specific.  Sometimes the Church’s rules remind me of the rules I make for my boys.  Specific, simple, doable.  Right?)

I’ve never fasted before.


May I say I suck at it?  I don’t really like to eat much, especially lately, but when I can’t eat, all I want to do is stuff my face.  I realize that isn’t a new thought, but it’s a true one!

I hadn’t realized how much candy I eat throughout the day.  Just here and there, a mint, a jelly bean, a snickers bar.  Not today.  Imagine this as a weight loss program.  No snacks and portion control.  Oh wait!  That is a diet plan.

I’m in solidarity with those who are hungry through no choice of their own.  While I’ll have to worry about forgetting and grabbing a snack accidentally, their cupboards will be bare.  While my kids are antsy and filled with a great variety of foods, their children are hungry and lethargic.  Their children probably don’t even whine anymore–there is no food to be had.

Oh thank you, Jesus that my house is filled with food.  That my children are happy, well fed and even occasionally obnoxious.  That I can sit and eat an entire candy bar after my children are asleep (not that I should but that I could).

P.S. Though you can have as much to drink as you’d like, I’ve decided that coke is directly opposed to the spirit of fasting.  Darn.


Grace, from a 5 year old

19 Feb

Today was a rough day. 

Maybe even a horrible day. 

The boys saw K yesterday, and while the visit went well, there was still emotional fallout today. 

Church was horrible.  None of the boys could manage to behave.  The mother couldn’t manage to behave. 

I made A cry.  Twice. 

And yet, this evening, after bedtime, A came to find me and said, “Mommy, you had some calm times today.  You  had some harsh times, but you had some calm times too.”  Sweet thing, he was trying to encourage me. 

My heart melted with love.  He is so incredibly precious.  And so we were able to discuss an examination of conscience and act of contrition and what that looks like.  We then went through it together: what did I do well today?  What did I do that I should have done better?  What did I do that was truly awful?  Then, God I’m so sorry for what I did that hurt you today.  Please forgive me and help me to be better tomorrow.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.  (The interjections from D were truly hilarious, naturally.) 


O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee,

and I detest all my sins,

because I dread the loss of heaven, and the pains of hell;

but most of all because they offend Thee, my God,

Who are all good and deserving of all my love. 

I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace,

to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life.  Amen.  

Thankful Thursday

12 Jan

Lest this become a wallowing around in the murk of the bitter valley, rather than a going through the bitter valley, I’m going to try to do this exercise.  I need to remember all the things I have to be thankful for.  So I join Rebecca at The Road Home in

This week, I am thankful for:

  • my dad, who continues to encourage me and makes me get out of the house with the boys, even when I don’t want to.
  • my mom, who loves me and helps me with the boys, even though she’s as exhausted as I am (and maybe even more so, eh?)
  • A’s reading ability that has taken off!  Forget Dick and Jane–he’s ready for Dr. Seuss!
  • D finally letting me wash his hair without screaming.  I honestly never thought it would happen.  (I had visions of him screaming in the shower at college when he was 18.)
  • L’s giggles.  He has the most precious baby laugh ever and he’s the easiest of my babies to get to laugh.  It’s one of my favorite things to do.
  • time out in the sunshine this morning!  Hooray for Vitamin D!
  • all three of the boys are currently taking a nap (unheard of for my A!), which gives me a little time to recharge for the afternoon and the weekend.

Sleep Aid

16 Dec

Better than B.ena.d.ryl is a lit candle.

I sleep best with a really tall, thin votive candle

lit on the mantlepiece across the room.

If I wake in the night, the flicker of the candle soothes me back to sleep.

Like the weight of a mother’s hand on the chest of her restless baby,

Like her quiet breath in his ear,

Like a soft, warm blanket tossed over a chilled child in the wee hours,

Like the blue of Mary’s cloak,

The reassuring thump of a heartbeat.


I once read,

we pray as we light candles

that the candles will pray for us, once lit.

Pray for me now, little candle.

My Hope

14 Dec
They are happy, whose strength is in you,
in whose hearts are the roads to Zion.
As they go through the Bitter Valley
they make it a place of springs,
the autumn rain covers it with blessings.
They walk with ever growing strength,
they will see the God of gods in Zion.
For the Lord God is a rampart, a shield;
he will give us his favor and glory.
The Lord will not refuse any good
to those who walk without blame.
Lord, God of hosts,
happy the man who trusts in you!
~from Psalm 84

Encouragement I

14 Dec
Along the ways they shall find pasture,
on every bare height shall their pastures be.
They shall not hunger or thirst,
nor shall the scorching wind or the sun strike them;
For he who pities them leads them
and guides them beside springs of water.
I will cut a road through all my mountains,
and make my highways level.
See, some come from afar,
others from the north and the west,
and some from the land of Syene.
Sing out, O heavens, and rejoice, O earth,
break forth into song, you mountains.
For the Lord comforts his people
and shows mercy to his afflicted.
~Isaiah 49:9b-13
Be pleased, O Lord, with our humble prayers and offerings,
and, since we have no merits to plead our cause,
come, we pray, to our rescue
with the protection of your mercy.
Through Christ our Lord, Amen.
The Lord will give us his favor and glory:
Come, let us give thanks and praise!
I will go before you and level the mountains.
~Isaiah 45:2
God comes not as accuser and judge but as comforter to a people bruised and broken by our sin.  The Good Shepherd shows us the face of God’s compassion.
The Lord is waiting to show you favor, and he rises to pity you:
For the Lord is a God of justice: blessed are all who wait for him!
~Isaiah 30:18