Sunday, November 2, 2014


Joseph's 1st grade class made this Olaf for the Fall Festival. I love Holy Name of Jesus School!
We are blessed with everything that we need. We have a lovely home in a safe neighborhood. We have plenty of food to eat, and the children are receiving a wonderful Catholic school education. The older three children are involved in their choice of activities, and our playroom is filled to the brim with toys (in fact, we are due for a purge...just don't tell the kids!). I am profoundly grateful for all of our blessings!
That said, there isn't a lot of money for "extras." We won't be going to Disney World (at least in the foreseeable future), and we don't "splurge" on many things! And then, there are always the unexpected costs of home ownership (like our new garbage disposal). And, I could go on and on about the price of orthodontics (although we lucked out there because Gianna's teeth "showed vast improvement!"), car repairs, and anesthesia costs for Teresa when she gets ear tubes this week. Although, I won't go on because I know that you have your own list of costly concerns!

Birthday celebration huddle!

Because we are on a tight budget, I am careful when I am shopping (although I'm still always shocked at how quickly things add up!). I was recently at Target and I remembered that I needed socks (like good old-fashioned white ankle ones to wear under my sneakers!). Like most moms I know, I rarely buy things for myself. I honestly don't remember the last time that I bought socks...maybe 10 years ago? Anyway, I've been throwing out pairs left and right as they get holes. I picked out a 6-pack of socks and threw them into the cart.
As the cashier was ringing up my order, I was watching the price go up and up. Most of it was household necessities and stuff that the kids needed. I quickly decided not to get the socks. Note that if one of the kids needed socks, I wouldn't have thought twice!
I forgot about the socks. Later that week, I was sorting through some lovely hand-me-down clothes from a friend. People are extremely generous...they often ask if would like some gently used clothes. I always say yes!!! I saved all of Gianna's old clothes for Cecilia, and Cecilia (my 5-year-old fashionista) refuses to wear most of them. But, luckily, we have received lots of styles that Cecilia WILL wear. I can't afford to go out and buy all new clothes for Cecilia, so this is a great blessing (although it would not be the end of the world if Cecilia had to wear a pair of!).
Anyway, I got to the end of the bin of clothes, and there were six pairs of brand new socks. As I was checking to see if they would fit Gianna or Cecilia, I realized that the answer was, "Neither." They were adult socks. And, they were exactly like the ones that I had put back at Target. My heart was filled with such a feeling of God's presence...He is here, He hears me, He provides. Coincidence? Perhaps. But not to me!
Don't remember the occasion for this picture, but happy times in the kitchen :).

It happened again this week. Gianna needs brown leggings for Brownies before her field trip this weekend. I found a pair of leggings, but they were more than I wanted to spend. I put them back on the rack and made a mental note to check out a few other stores.

I got home and the mailman had delivered two boxes from my mom. She works at a high school in Massachusetts. One of the teachers has two daughters who are a few years older than my girls (and the oldest is named Gianna Marie, just like my daughter!). She gives the clothes to my mom who then sends them to me. Later that night, I opened the box. Anyone want to guess what was in there!?!

I'm not kidding....the perfect pair of brown leggings. Again, I sent up a silent prayer of thanks. Coincidence? Not to me.

The last example is not about clothes. I recently deactivated my Facebook account (and then reactivated after my family asked me to send Halloween pictures of the, I plan to deactivate it again). Since Lucy is not napping consistently, I am feeling out of balance.

I've not found any time for prayer and silence. So, when I've had five minutes, I would go on Facebook to browse. I convinced myself that there wasn't enough time to do anything "productive" before I was interrupted, so I might as well spend a few minutes of mindless "vegging" out.

One day last week when the kids were doing their homework and everyone was quiet for a minute, I snuck on Facebook again. Joseph asked, "Why do you like to look at pictures of other people so much?" Hmmm...that was kind of a good question. I suppose that I wanted to feel connected to other people as I felt rather stuck in my kitchen at that moment. However, I was left feeling disappointed and depressed because others seemed to be enjoying their lives so much more. I did not feel connected, I simply felt...worse...and cranky.
The next day at preschool, I saw a sign. It was about the benefits of solitude and silence, and the well-known psalm, "Be still, and know that I am God." I realized that God was calling me to recapture some "stillness" in my life. I knew that the allure of Facebook surfing would be too strong, so I deactivated my account. I instantly felt peace. However, there was one thing I was afraid of missing.
A friend, not a close friend who I speak to often, but someone who I see a few times a year and whose friendship I treasure, was past due with her third baby. She had recently switched to my OB/GYN (I highly recommended them to her) because they would support her in her attempt to have a VBAC after 2 C-sections. Her old OB/GYN practice had told her that it was too risky.
Anyway, I had been praying for this friend, and I was afraid that I would never know when her baby was born if I was not on Facebook. I considered reactivating my account. I resisted. A few hours later, I got a text. It was a picture of a gorgeous newborn with a note from my friend, "unmedicated VBA2C"...thanks for all your support and prayers! I do not ever remember giving my friend my cell phone number. Or, maybe I did...once...years ago.
Coincidence? Perhaps. I know all of these are easily explained otherwise. But, through the eyes of faith, they are gifts from my Lord reminding me that He's here, He's in charge, and I should continue to invite him into all of my decisions...because He knows and cares. This is of great comfort to me!
Have a peaceful week, friends. Don't be afraid of silence. :)


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