The Occasion for Victory

Oh, this pain again. This agitation. Why must it come back so easily? And where did it come from? My heart aches. I feel on edge. Anxiety is beginning again.

Was it my child's behavior? Or my wandering mind that seems to be trying to settle somewhere I'd prefer it not go? Is it my lack of prayer time lately? My feelings of inadequacy? Is it that thing I said a few nights ago to my friend? Something feels to be out of sorts. Oh, why must I be so sensitive?

I have said so many times, "I'm tired of trying so hard. I'm tired of fighting." Why must it be so hard?

In confession once, I confessed that I try too hard, that I don't just let things be. The priest who heard my confession, a wonderful priest, said to me, "Don't stop trying. The saints are the ones who kept on trying."

This is my cross, an invisible cross to most, but my path to sanctity, my path to Heaven.

We have been reading a book by Fr. Jean C. J. D'Elbee, I Believe in Love, in …

Faith, Good Works, or... Grace

My family and I went to Lifest yesterday. Lifest is a Christian music celebration - a "party with a purpose" as they say of themselves. Bob Lenz, the guy in charge, was up on stage speaking between shows, showing off a new t-shirt design that they are selling. BGTF, it says - by grace through faith.

I have thought a lot about this idea of being saved by faith vs being saved by good works. Now, let's get one thing straight right off the bat. Protestants tend to think that Catholics actually believe we are saved by good works, and we Catholics get a lot of flack for that. But a Catholic that actually understands his or her faith understands that, while God does indeed care about our decisions and does indeed care about how we treat others and about what we do "for the least of [His] brothers," we are not "saved" by our good works.

I am onboard with this idea - no, this truth - that we are saved by grace. Let's examine this.

First of all, faith: are …

The Gift of Fatigue

The fall and early winter were difficult for me. I felt like I was losing my mind - quite literally. At 39 years old, I should not be feeling like I am developing dementia.

A heaviness was constantly sitting on my brain that felt as if it was compressing it or pulling it down somehow, accompanied by brain fog that made it difficult to find or sort through anything up there. A combination of emptiness and confusion predominated any thoughts I tried to assemble, and my memory was sporadic at best. I found it easier to simply not think.

It is frustrating to not have control over your own mind, to know there is something up there but to not be able to access it. And it is difficult to function - to be a wife, to parent children, and to run a house in my case - without use of your mental facilities. Not to mention feeling trapped in your own body and feeling as if you have lost a part of who you are.

Yet, my prayer was, "Lord, take this from me. Help me to feel better and think more c…


I had been hoping things would look different right now. I was hoping I would be feeling great, home life would be going relatively smoothly, and I would be writing.

But God has said, "Not yet."

At first, His "not yet" was in the form of a gentle nudge. A whisper while praying in church: "Take some time to quiet your mind and tune in to Me."

Yes, I knew what that meant. It included many things, including waiting on starting any sort of writing. It also meant rest, and it meant moving through some things that have been challenging for me.

But within a week my own ambitions took over. I WANT TO WRITE! Never do I feel more alive or more energetic than when I am writing, and rarely do I feel so close to God. A friend also lent me a book - a book that absolutely spoke to me on many levels, but especially on writing with little ones in tow - One Beautiful Dream by Jennifer Fulwiler. She details her writing a book with four, then five, then six kids. Reading her…

I've Got This

There it is again. That voice that's telling me I am a failure as a parent.

Her temper tantrum - my fault. The way he is talking to his sister - my fault. Somehow, if I had done a better job these last thirteen years, my kids would not have the behaviors and difficulties they have.

I am not a natural parent. My mom was - or so it seemed to me as a child, and still seems to me now as watch her as a grandma. I am not my mom.

Getting down on the floor to play is not me. I don't like to dance to kids music. I am too serious. And I yell. I try not to, but it builds up, and eventually it comes out. I am not the perfect parent that I want to be, nor will I ever be no matter how hard I try.

But I have always done my best, even when my best was not pretty. I have carried some baggage into my motherhood journey. I have struggled through it, working on being a better mother all the while.

By God's grace, I am growing into motherhood. It is becoming more natural, though not enough to …

You Make up for Where I Lack, My God

3 years, 6 months, 26 days. That's how long it has been since I posted.

And I have to be honest, I wasn't sure if I would be back. I have been trying to write, though not here.

In this most recent season of life, two beautiful children - both girls - have been born into our family. I have, fatigued, sent the boys back to public school for a year and have then taken them back out to homeschool another year only to become fatigued again. It was a blessed and successful year, but I left that year wondering if I will ever homeschool again. That era of my life may be over, but, rather than being upset, I am grateful for the time having homeschooled and at peace with moving onto another chapter.

This time, rather than sending the kids back to public school, we are sending two of the middle children to a small Catholic school, and the oldest is home but taking online, live classes through another Catholic school. To delegate that portion of the responsibility of teaching my children …