Sunday, June 29, 2014

9 weeks!

I can't believe I didn't blog after my appointment- but in all fairness- I had just said goodbye to my husband's sister and her family AND had literally an afternoon and morning to pack up 8 people, a tent and all the essential supplies to make it for a two night camping trip.   I was a bit of a crazed lunatic for 24 hours.  But we DID see the baby and I actually had my first (yes, 11 pregnancies-) ultrasound on my belly at 8 weeks and saw the heartbeat and a little one inch long Catholicmomma Baby looking perfectly snug in my belly.  (which goes to show some people that think a trans vaginal ultrasound is not necessarily the only way to show a mom her unborn baby-and really how invasive is THAT????)

Anyway- my new doctor (who works with my "old" doctor) is really awesome and she was so excited for us.  I think I gave the entire office a fabulous laugh when I told the nurse that I was probably going through menopause.  Clearly, I should have clarified this thought was just between her and I- not her, I and the ENTIRE STAFF of SISTERS HOSPITAL....

But it was ok because I think they generally like my husband and I and to be frank- it's absolutely so darn refreshing to be around people that 1) don't view you as a freak show 2) don't condemn your geriatric tail for being such an "old pregnant" lady 3) LOVE natural family planning.

So today, I'm nine weeks.  Actually, the baby was measuring as big as a nine week in utero baby last Thursday, so who know how big that little peanut is, BUT, I am sooooo sick.  I mean- seriously, I could barely stand today I felt so darn nauseous.  I know it's a "good" thing, but I'm seriously thinking about doing some of the natural things my doctor recommended.  There's this "sea band" your supposed to wear on your wrist to help with nausea- and she recommended taking B6 three times a day.  One of those has got to help because lying down horizontally all day long is simply NOT going to work this summer of band, swim lessons, volleyball, basketball, and lacrosse.  Not at all....

Here's my cute little peanut- which is a living thing- whether some believe it's human yet or perhaps alien.  It's living.  Saw his/her amazing little heartbeat- just still wows me after all these years...still.
Baby at 9 weeks....

Have a blessed restful Sunday- what's left of it!!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Van Fam....

We've been a two van fam for about six years now.  2008, after the birth of our 5th child, we decided to trade in the Honda Passport for another Honda Odyssey mini-van.  I actually love both of my Honda Odyssey vans.  They get great gas mileage and are still somewhat socially acceptable in the world of vehicles.

Oh yes, I'm vain about my cars.  I admit it.  How pathetic am I?  Well, I'm guessing I'm not the only one who has a large family and can't WAIT for the day to get back into a four door car- when I'm too old to actually get behind the wheel and basically will be getting in to go to the nursing home....

The Newest Catholicmomma "van"
So yes, there it is.  The newest vehicle now owned by our family.  I don't know how I feel about it because while I understand that our now 8 passenger Honda mini van will no longer accommodate all of us beginning next February-there is a part of me that feels this is a rather ridiculous change and it's only going to bring MORE attention to us and I am already struggling with that element of my life.  (remember, I'm a work in progress)

I do understand that it was probably inevitable and it won't last forever but something about it makes me cringe.  I remember kids who rode in vans like this when I was a kid.  They were the "dorks" the "nerds" the large families us "normal" families made fun of.  I remember one family in particular who drove a big ole van like this and we made fun of them horribly.  I think even my parents felt sorry for them and we were always saying how "poor" they were.  Yes, says the girl who wore her neighbor's hand-me downs who was a head shorter than me.... Ironic...

Here I am.  Now driving one of those vans.  Actually, I haven't driven it and I probably won't.  For a while.  It's humongous.  It seats 15, but we'll probably take out the back row to allow for things like groceries, strollers, etc, etc.  My kids are ecstatic.  They are crazy.  But I'm glad they haven't thought about their momma strolling up to the school in the gigantuan swag van.  This gives a whole new meaning to the swag van song....

So even though this change may have been inevitable, (both my older two are rather cramped in the back), it's still a change that I was not anticipating quite so soon.  Once again, make God laugh by telling Him what You expect to happen and then wait...  I am learning to see that God is not someone I can place in a box anymore than I can nail jello to a wall.  

I do not know what God wants from me, or what His plan is for me.  All I can do is be open to whatever He allows to happen in my life and receive it with thanksgiving, because no matter what, whether it's happy, sad, hard, easy, painful, or silly, it's a gift to be cherished and thankful because if it's any of those- it means I am alive.  I am alive in Christ.  I will, once again, be a fool for Him.  A fool, only in that, our society, our culture, our media, tell us that people who have more than 1.2 kids, who don't live in the biggest houses, or drive the fanciest cars, or own every electronic known to man, are fools.  

Clearly, 7 children will far surpass my fool status.  From people in my own family to complete strangers at Wegmans, no doubt.  I remember the comments about my "carbon print."  (yea, I didn't want to go there, pretty sure my carbon print is non-existent comparatively, but some people were born to argue and I'm pretty sure, I'm related to all.of.them.)

I was upset that I was so upset about justifying my sixth child.  I mean, who's business is it anyways?  Should I call them up and share all my knowledge about my fertility?  (down to the location of my cervix?  That'll make some of them quiet up quickly... :) ) It was almost ridiculous how many people would exclaim, "SIX KIDS?"  And then suddenly, when faced with my endearing smile (cause looking like a crazed-escaped from the mental hospital-woman might have sent the wrong message) they admitted to being the youngest of six or seven themselves.  

Perhaps I can paint a different portrait for people about large families.  Perhaps, I can prove to them it wasn't only about farming, or helping to run the family business.  

Perhaps I can show them that it was more than that.  It was a deep understanding of the truly sacramental bond of the covenant of marriage between two mere humans and one God of the Universe.  An "earthly trinity" if you will.  God in the center of these two mere mortals who wish to please their God in all they do.

No, I was not planning on another child.  My husband claims to have known this would happen- maybe so- but the central Person in our relationship was in total control.  And He makes no mistakes. 

None.  Nada.  

Not even in this family.  

So as I prepare to receive my big ole partridge family bus and accept the fact that I will one day have to DRIVE that huge thing I will remind myself of this. 

God makes no mistakes. 

That is one thing I can be certain of in this very uncertain world.  That and His infinite love for me and my family. He loves each and every one of us.  Because we not only allow Him in our lives, but we invite Him in to the most private, quiet, special places of our hearts.  Our souls.  He is so in love with us and wants only for us to sit and bask in His glory.  Let Him do the rest.  

Well, today, I shall sit and bask in His glory as I revel in my own love of my van fam....

Sunday, June 15, 2014

7 weeks and counting....

So today we told the kids what is going on.  The 5 year old (ironically #5 in the food chain) said she was mad.  Not surprised.  This child exhibits "baby of the family" characteristics so strongly, that I was initially worried when baby #6 was born- but she tolerated her well.  Irritated at times, but they are 4 years apart, so the space is perfect for them- 

No- today when we "surprised" them with the news- #5 said- "We have too many babies.  Now we'll have 9 people in our family, soon it will 10, then 11, than 12, than 13, than 14."

Ummmm, not sure who she communicates with, but if it's God- I'd like to ask that we stop at maybe, 10?  I'm good with 9, but about a month after this baby is born, I'll be 42.  Now I do know people who are 45 and having babies- but I would prefer- not to- that's just my preference.  Now- a little more NFP knowledge.  According to studies done on women with large families- sometimes, even though family history might indicate early menopause, studies have shown that some women, who have larger family sizes and babies later in life- tend to have menopause pushed back slightly- instead of 50- it might be 55, etc.  Not always the case, but it seems to be something worth noting.  I of course, have no idea when I'll go through menopause- it's not something I ever discussed with my diseased grandmother on my mother's side, and my dad's mother passed away before I was born.  My mom had a hysterectomy when she was very young (mid 30's?) so the actual menopause time is not definitive.  So.......

I could technically have many more years of fertility.  "gulp..." 

My #4 was probably the most excited.  She screamed.  She actually has been lately saying her prayers and praying for another baby.  Which is kind of funny because I think they all are really more aware of how much harder it is to have a large family- even her- but it hasn't stopped her prayers for another one.  She was dancing around and singing and shouting.  Someone is excited.

My oldest two were indifferent- my only son #2, probably realizes at this point, it's going to be tough to achieve a boy- and even if it IS a boy- well, the 13 1/2 year difference will make it tough for lego play....but he's once again saying, "I hope it's a boy, THIS TIME..."

I'm pretty sure my #3-the one I homeschool, was already figuring in her head where on EARTH this one is going to sleep.  Pretty sure, she's planned her departure from this family not a minute before she graduates from high school.... she's my middle child and according to that book, "Birth Order," she is middle child to a tee.  

That leaves #6.  She's completely oblivious to #7's potential arrival.  She barely speaks and is getting used to running the show around here- but if there is one positive I have found in even thinking about how nutty we are is that- #6 really is far away from the older 5.  The youngest was 4 when she was born, so she really would grow up without much of a playmate and my kids have always had playmates (my older two are 18 months apart-and they played so well together when smaller!)  Now #6 will have a playmate and that makes me very happy. 

Seven isn't so bad at all. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

God is still the same....

Yep.  That's exactly what you think it is.  As if this stick with it's little "plus" sign is the end all means of determining whether or not someone is actually pregnant (and not, say, going through menopause....)

Alrite, so I've given up on the whole menopause thing.  The nurse at my doctor's office told me last week to take a test.  Why?  I had 18+ days of elevated temperatures, I technically do not have to take a pregnancy test.

Isn't this a Catholic hospital I go to?

Regardless.  There are still people, even in Catholic medical circles, that rely on ways of determining pregnancy, like the irritating, pee on a stick for 5 seconds, no more, no less or you'll screw it up, test.  I suppose I could have requested a blood test, that is, after all, the most accurate, but at that point, I was still in denial.  My heart knew what was happening, my mind knew what was happening, my body certainly knows what was happening, (can anyone say nausea like mad?) but I hadn't let the three connect.  Mostly due to the fact that the final connector, my soul, was still in a serious state of shock.

Shock.  Why shock, Catholicmomma?  Aren't you and your husband open to life?  Didn't you just preach to your moms group how incredible NFP works and causes communication?

Yes, yes I did. But that was then.  Right?  The rules can change for me when it isn't what I had planned right?

No.  Never.

Just because things don't go exactly the way WE have planned them, doesn't mean we suddenly get to change the game.

The game is still the same.  The planet still rotates around the sun, the sun still rises in the East and sets in the West, the calendar year still shows 365 days most years (366 for leap years- covering those who always like to point out my mistakes....)

God is still the same.  Yesterday, Today, and forever.

Even when things we didn't plan happen.

Like a pregnancy.

Don't get me wrong- when you have sex, unprotected most especially, you are opening yourself up to getting pregnant.  I am very well aware of this fact and do not need a lesson in biology.  I LOVE how God made a woman's body.  I am very saddened by so many women who ignore how He made our fabulously scientific bodies and how they operate each month, almost like clockwork, temperatures, with estrogen, staying low until ovulation.  Once ovulation occurs, (with all the signs and wonders externally AND internally)the progesterone levels slowly rise until our temperatures stay elevated and once again after a time the luteal phase (that's the phase after ovulation) slowly drops the temperature and voila- a woman has her period.
The food we eat, the drinks we drink, the medicine we take, the sleep we get, the emotional state we allow ourselves to be in all affect this amazingly great scientific wonder God created.  Us!  Females!

The way a man and a woman fit perfectly (mostly- even if he's super tall and you're super short- it still works) together like a puzzle piece is no mistake.  That intimate puzzle piece connected together, holding each other as God intended is the most beautiful image I can think of next to Jesus Christ on the cross- I find that image the most beautiful because He did that for ME.  Before I ever existed.  So only next to that, the image of a man and woman, loving purely, uninhibited, un"protected" for a lack of a better term, is the most beautiful image I can think of when I think of love.

So yes, back to the same game plan.

I know of so, many people who find out once the game changed, they don't want to play anymore.  They want the rules changed.  They don't want to try anymore because

Well, shame on them.  And shame on me.  Because I felt that way initially.  Remember, my thoughts?  My fears?  My shame?  My humiliation?   (I'll give you a great example of this in a minute - I went to the eye doctor today- yea- humility right up there....)

Shame on us for deciding once things didn't go the way WE had planned, dreamed, schemed, we decide no one on earth understands what we're going through and we're done.  The rules are going to change and that's that.

Screw God.

Yep.  Basically that's what we're saying.

God- I can't handle what You've allowed to happen (as though God forced my husband and I to be together) and I'm getting out.  (going on the pill, considering termination, etc etc)  This is all your fault because had I not been so in love with my faith I wouldn't

Get what I'm saying?

Did my adorable handsome husband and I plan this baby?  No.

Was it very clear in our hearts that pregnancy is something that can come from marital relationship with a spouse?  of course we knew that

Did we understand the Church's teaching on birth control?  Absolutely and agreed 100%

Did human error cause this tiny miracle?  Yes.  I counted my chart wrong.  Period.  I counted the days wrong.  God didn't "cause" this anymore than me believing that I can do everything without His grace....

Do people still continue to blame God and tell Him that they didn't "plan" the misery, sadness, heartache in their lives so they want out?  Yes.

Do they continue to try to change the game plan without understanding "our" plans aren't always "His" plans and perhaps we should open our eyes to another way?  Of course.

Life is always going to bring good things, and always going to bring bad things.  We are sinners.  We are bound to fall, each and every one of us, and when we do, how are we going to let it determine our game plan?

Are we going to throw in the towel and say, "I quit?"

Are we going to tell God, "Well, God, that plan was nice, but it got all messed up, so I'm changing things up a bit."

I see this happen in my Church a lot.

Over birth control, marriage, sacraments, you name it.

A husband and wife get pregnant.  Totally unplanned by them of course, but in order to insure it never happens again, the husband has a vasectomy.  He says, "we tried that NFP thing and it didn't work."
Well, guess what?  They didn't take NFP, they didn't understand the fertility cycle and they weren't even charting.  Can they honestly say they "tried NFP?"   Most couples who actually practice NFP and chart and take their temperature, do so with an open heart that God knows exactly what they can and can not handle.  I had no pressing medical issues that required us to be extremely vigilant with my chart, so of course, it goes with out saying....

A couple just decided they couldn't work out their marital differences, so they divorced.  They both want to meet and marry other people, but can't understand why the church won't grant their annulment.  They quit.  They gave up on each other.  The plan didn't go the way "they" envisioned, so they divorced.  They hate the church for being so "rigid" about divorce.
Why can't they just divorce?  Why does the church take such a hard line in determining who's marriage was valid and who's wasn't at the time they made their marriage vows?

I don't know about you, but when I married my husband almost 18 years ago, I'm almost positive, when I said, "in good times and in bad" I wasn't thinking I'd have to live in New York....

But there it is.  It good times and in bad.  In sickness and in health.  Til death do us part.

Well, for most of us, we don't envision sickness on our wedding day.  We don't envision moving away from everyone we know and never EVER, EVER moving back as long as we live.  We don't envision waking up one morning and finding out the person we married isn't the person we married.  We don't envision losing a spouse to an affair, or worse, drugs, or alcohol abuse.  We don't envision on that amazing wedding day that one day, 18 years later, they'd be staring at a pregnancy test and wondering how on God's green earth were they going to afford to feed and cloth and provide for SEVEN CHILDREN......

But once the shock is over, once we've been able to sit down and examine everything that has happened- we realize something....

God is still the same.

Yesterday, Today, and Forever.

Are we willing to accept the changes, lean harder on Him, and Trust in Him, and Understand that He can make all things good?

All things.
Messy things.
Unplanned pregnancies.
Cheating spouses.
Divorced couples.
Wayward children.
Lost souls.

All things.  We have to trust.  Trust. Trust.  And then?  Trust some more.

Will God reveal to my awesome, adorable husbster and I the great plan He has for us as an "old" pregnant couple with their 11th pregnancy and God willing, seventh living child?

No.  And quite frankly, I don't want Him to reveal that.  It might be more than I can handle seeing what all will happen in the next 18-20 years....

Will the game stay the same?  Who knows.  Will other "problems" arise?  Who knows.
There is only one thing we do know.  One thing we know for absolute certainty.  One thing we can be assured of for all time... And we will cling to that.

God is still the same.....  Always....

Thursday, June 5, 2014

I did it!

I did it!  It's Thursday.  Can't believe 40 days have come and gone.  Can't believe my temp is still up.  98.9 today.  Can't believe I nearly threw up when I swallowed my coffee wrong this morning.  That was a nightmare.  I do NOT do vomit-so it was a touch and go moment for me- my kids kept looking at me like I was turning 10 colors green and couldn't figure out why choking on coffee would produce such shocking gagging noises.  I couldn't either.  I'm not even 6 weeks yet (Sunday) and even I was surprised at how sick I was, AND felt sick for the next THREE HOURS.  Does anyone have any idea what it's like to 1) hide a pregnancy 2) hide nausea 3) hide the reason behind nausea by acting like you're just "not getting enough sleep?"

I can only tell my kids for so much longer that mom needs naps because she's getting to bed late and getting up way to early and feels sick because she's tired before SOMEONE is going to catch on.  Fortunately, my oldest is a tad dense, she's super smart, but her elevator sometimes gets stuck between floors.  My son is about as clueless as a 4 year old playing in mud, my 8 year old is somewhat wise and will one day sooner or later figure it out, my 5 year old will just laugh and say she'll nap with me, the 15 month old will just cry and whine more which is not really anything new...but my 11 year old?  The one I'm home with ALL DAY LONG?

She'll figure it out pretty quick if this keeps up or gets worse.  She's the quickest one in the bunch and quite frankly, has the most common sense of all of them put together.

So hiding this for a few more weeks will be challenging. I suppose I will hide it until we have an ultrasound.  I can't be sharing with too many people that I'm potentially pregnant and then head to the OBGYN and see that "oh, Catholicmomma, you're not pregnant, you're just in menopause now." Cause that would suck to have to call everyone and tell them that....

I have told a few close friends.  6 to be exact.  Two are in Arkansas and are praying diligent for me.  Three are up here in NY and are also praying for me.   One is in GA and she too is praying for me.

The hardest thing about this is how I feel sometimes.  I know last night I wrote about the million thoughts going through my head, but sometimes I just feel as though God has given me too much.  I sometimes sit and when the nausea becomes so incredibly overwhelming, and i have to teach my 11 year old and the 15 month old is whining because, well, she can't talk so this is her communication, I just look up and ask, "God?  you don't think it's too much yet?"  I know He doesn't and I know I can handle this, He never equips us for what we DON'T have, goodness, if that be the case, wouldn't everyone be jumping on the half dozen or more kid bus?

"Hey- I just realized I have the patience for 10 more kids!!  Hot almighty damnation.  I'm hopping on board this large family bus right now!  I can't believe I didn't realize sooner I could handle at least 10 more!!!"

Ok, no.  He doesn't work that way.  He only gives us what we need for what we have.  That's what really bugs me the most about people and their off hand comments to me.

"Oh wow.  I can't handle the two I've got."

Really?  Or perhaps are you stretching yourself out so then, and letting your children get involved in every single activity and working 50 hours a week that you really are stretched to the max?  Sometimes we bring the "can't handle what we've got" all on ourselves.  We busy ourselves and fill every single moment in every single day with so much activity that before we know, we're running on fumes.

So back to the main idea before another squirrel jumps on this kid bus.

God has filled my plate.  I have six kids, I feel very overwhelmed, but some of my stress is self induced.  I get upset because my kids won't help around the house, because my expectations are set WAY too high, or because I plan things in my head, and they don't quite go the way I envisioned and suddenly, I feel overwhelmed.  It's not because God has given me too much, it's because I have added to what He gave me instead of just enjoying where He has me.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


So tomorrow is it.  I suppose there should be a better title then D-Day because that indicates delivery day or due date.... It's actually the date that I can safely assume that I am 1) entering a new phase of menopause with no hot flashes but tons of nausea and these insane veins busting out everywhere and the unsightly conversation about hemorrhoids is about to get pretty ugly OR 2) I am with child.

So I am so terribly ill today I can hardly stand myself let alone all the creatures in this house.  I barely made it through teaching today and finally had to have my EM bring her books up to my bed because I needed to be horizontal with the earth for a half hour or 12 or more.  I can say this is an excellent sign, but I won't because I've been nauseous before and wound up seeing a very disappointing ultrasound at 8 weeks.  

I made a call to my OBGYN today and just left a message on the nurse's voice mail.  Of course, I said, "No big deal, just get back to me when you have time....tomorrow, next month, or January 2015."  

I hope she gets my humor.  

Perhaps we should call tomorrow TA-Day.  Temperature Affirmation Day. Because my High Temperature level has now been elevated for almost 20 days.  The nausea has increased each day to the point of today feeling as though I could seriously barely stick my finger down my throat and really throw up-  not that I would EVER do that, because I am the girl when a stomach virus is going around my house, I stop eating food altogether and I pray to God to please not let me get sick- because I can.not.handle.vomit.  Not mine, not my kids, not my husband's.  Not even my dogs when we had dogs.  

I was half tempted to buy a pregnancy test last night when I was out.  But thought twice about it.  I must remain strong.  I did NOT buy one for Kiki and look how that turned out.... ;)

And what have I not done almost this entire journey so far?  Not.prayed. 

Not much at all.  Yes, I've done my Novena, and yes, I've shouted out (in my head of course) my customary, "please God, let this baby live," or, "please God, don't let my husband be mad because I can CLEARLY not add."  But no real serious come to Jesus prayer.  As I sit here and type, I have about 2 billion thoughts going through my head.  
Wanna know some of them?  (remember, these are thoughts, and thoughts are only sins when they are acted out....)  
1. What is my extended family going to say?  (there are usually one or two, or a dozen, who make some comment.  Yes, my family.  Meaning both sides, husband and wife.  I don't know why.  Perhaps, for no better reason, then it's fun to make fun of people?)
2. What are my neighbors going to say?  (ok, I love most of my neighbors, seriously, they are some of the nicest people I've ever met- but I worry- what will they say?  Some were very surprised when we told them we were pregnant with #6- what will they say to #7?)
3.  What will our church friends say?  (well, this one is super duper easy, cause I know most, if not all of them, will be very excited for us.  Yes, there are a few people who now will say, "Six?  Wow.  That's crazy."  And five minutes into the conversation they admit they're number six, or crazier, number 7 in THEIR family....)
4.  Will people preach to me about robbing the earth of it's resources and tell me I'm leaving my carbon print all over the world with  (I swear to you, I have less garbage and more recycling than half the families of 4 in this neighborhood.  I reuse, recycle, and fix and refix most things.  My children wear hand-me-downs of hand-me-downs.  I rarely turn the air conditioning on in my house unless I'm pregnant or breast feeding and cooking a really hot meal and have lost my mind sweating -ok, that has only happened a handful of times.  We keep the heat set low so that it doesn't use much gas and really-all these bodies really keep our house nice and warm.... We fill the car up and don't waste any gas where ever we go.  I feel we're pretty responsible- except I DON'T use cloth diapers and I suppose that will be why the earth blows up...)
5.  What are the trolls on Facebook going to say?  (ok, I really don't have any troll friends, BUT I have noticed that I've lost quite a few friends from HS, which is really fine, because I didn't seek them out and quite frankly, I'm not the same person I was in HS- I hope I've matured, grown, and decided that I am not the ugliest girl on the entire planet....)
6.  What if I lose a child?  (ok, I don't really worry about this because my kids are really good about keeping up with one another, but on occasion, we have had the ole' panic attack run around the house looking to see if anyone drowned in the toilet race.....That is a crazy moment-let me tell you...)
7. What if people make fun of me?  (like they don't already)
8.  What if people ask "haven't you figured out how that happens yet?"  (like I've never heard that one)
9.  What if they say "You can fix that problem you know...." (as though my fertility is a disease and my desire to be with my most awesome, gorgeous, super sexy, and might I add, quite the fit fella for almost 45 husband is wrong- sorry people, but I'm keeping it real- I am married to an UH-MAZING ALL WAYS...God made him just for me.... )
10. What if people don't want to have us over for dinner?  (oh wait- we don't go to people's houses now! Hahaha- that's an easy one...)

My list goes on, but I'm going to forget my point and go off on a squirrel tangent if I don't stop.  The point is, WHO CARES?  Who cares what my family thinks, who cares what my friends, neighbors, strangers, especially strangers at Walmart, think.  Who cares what people will say, you know they say it anyway, and they've been saying it since we had THREE KIDS!!!  
The most important person, Being, we are to please, is God.  And what does He, the God of the Universe, have to say about children?  
Lots.  Lots and lots....

Psalm 127:3-5
"Children too are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward, Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, are the children born in one's youth.  Blessed are they whose quivers are full.  They will never be shamed contending with foes at the gate."
I looked up quiver because I vaguely remember a bible study that talked about what number that represented- well, either I'm super tired and sick feeling and missed the google time frame to find a logical answer, or google was being sassy- I found several sites that said "more than 5" and one that said, "up to 30."  So I suppose we could generalize and say it means, "A LOT."  So clearly, lots of children are seen as a blessing in God's eyes.  But wait, there's more....

Luke 18:16
But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.

Psalm 128:1-6
A Song of Ascents. Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways! You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord. The Lord bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life!

Deuteronomy 6:7
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Matthew 18:1-3
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 18:10
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.

There are also lots of verses that assure me that God will take care of us.  I know it will be tough, and as it is now, we don't always get the things we want, but some of these verses give me great comfort in knowing what is most important...

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Mark 9:37
“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”

Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

Psalm 100:1-5
A Psalm for giving thanks. Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

Romans 8:28
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

This is probably one of my favorite verses and quite frankly, stumbled upon it tonight and reminded myself I need to truly do this. Often.  It's on the dependence on God.  We all need to depend on God.  

Matthew 6:25-34
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?26Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?o27Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?*28Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin.29But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them.30* If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?31So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’32All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.33But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness,* and all these things will be given you besides.34Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.

So, as I begin to accept this gift from God, with all the good and bad (anxiety) that comes with it, I will remind myself to not worry.  God will provide.  He has brought us this far, and I have no doubt He will continue on this journey with us.  
Sometimes, surprises can open doors to things we never imagined possible.  Perhaps, this is that door God is opening for us.... 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Hope in the best places.....

Do you know how I can tell God's hand is in everything?  It's really amazing when you look for it.  I spent a great deal of time as a kid/young adult, even as an adult, missing His hand.  

God is in everything.  His hand touches everything.  If you open yourself to Him, you will see Him in all you do.  I promise.  

Today for example.  Day 37.  Temp is 98.8.  The last two days my temps "dropped" a little.  Nothing below my HTL (high temperature level-when you chart this is your gauge for how you see when you're "safe" to be with your husband after ovulation if you are choosing to not get pregnant that month), but it dropped two days in a row and of course, my panic anxiety paranoia kicked in full gear.  

When Catholicmomma's panic anxiety paranoia kicks in, two things happen.  

1) I make life at home miserable for all involved.

2) I tend to become a recluse and therefore, make life at home even more miserable  at home for all involved.

My hubs tells me I am the barometer of the family.  

When I'm happy, we are all happy.

When I'm stressed, angry, messed up, paranoid, anxious, whatever other adjective to describe neurosis you can think of- we're all messed up....

So the last two days, my barometer has been rather off and the family has been rather off as well.
Remember, I'm a work in progress.  I fail.  And fail, and fail, and fail and fail and fail.

God knows I'm going to fail.  We set ourselves up in the Garden of Eden for failure when we first chose to disobey God.  He loves us.  He loves me.  He always, always, always, is with me.  Always.  

But I failed miserably this weekend.  I could blame it on the fact that hubs had to work ALL DAY Saturday and we had only about 2 million outdoor activities to get to before Monday, or that he had to ride for 200 miles Sunday which once again took him away from outdoor activities.  But I can't because you see, God's hand was in the entire weekend.  I worked outside Friday, all day Saturday, and all afternoon Sunday in my yard.  I managed to buy the veggies we needed for our garden, we managed to till the garden up and get all the veggies planted, and I finished my flower bed weeding last night in the nick of time.  (long story, but when I'm pregnant and the first year of my babies- I tend to do very little gardening....and my flower garden off my back porch was getting way out of control....)

So you see, even though my barometer was way low, I could see after I reflected on the weekend, that He was right there.  Guiding us, helping us, and above all, just being with us.  I just have to work on actually seeing it, when it happens.  Not after.  Again, work in progress.

So this morning. I jump out of bed at 5:41.  For some reason, I'm in panic mode.  It's as though my hubs had told me it was time to wake up and I fell back asleep for 20 minutes.  Actually, it's so darn bright in our room, that when I do wake up, I feel like it should be 7:30 and my kids have missed this bus!  So I jump up.  Take my temp, see that it's climbed back up, feel somewhat reassured that while we didn't exactly "plan" this potential pregnancy (yes, I'm still looking for menopause), if it is a baby actually causing the high temps, my body is still working properly at this stage in the game.  

I head downstairs and chat with my two older ones and eat breakfast with them.  I then get on my computer to read my novena.  I am actually doing more novenas now that i signed up for this email novena thing than I've  It's the novena to the Holy Spirit.  (if you want to know what a Novena is, click here

Day 4 is today.  I'm just going to cut and paste it below because remember, I'm techno-unsavvy, ok?

Let us bow down in humility at the power and grandeur of the Holy Spirit. Let us worship the Holy Trinity and give glory today to the Paraclete, our Advocate.
Oh Holy Spirit, by Your power, Christ was raised from the dead to save us all. By Your grace, miracles are performed in Jesus’ name. By Your love, we are protected from evil. And so, we ask with humility and a beggar’s heart for Your gift of Patience within us.
Oh Holy Spirit, you give lavishly to those who ask. Please give us the patience of the Saints who are now with you in heaven. Help us to endure everything with an eternal patience that is only possible with your help.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, through Christ Our Lord,
I read this (how did my font change to this? See what I'm sayin' about technology?) and was literally, quite taken aback.  I pray for patience all the time and this time of my life especially, I've been praying for God to please let me relax and enjoy this period of our lives.  It'!
So I read this, and realized I still have hope!  God showed me in this Novena that He still wants me to pray for patience.  He knows I struggle with this area of my life.  He's showing me that I can't stop praying for it.  Ever!  He has shown Himself to me again!  If I would just slow down, relax, and look, I will see God in all places.  He reveals Himself to me when I read scripture, when I attend Mass and receive His body and blood, when I am with my children and my husband, when I pray, when I am just sitting here.  He gives me hope in all the best places.  Even in the not so best places, I still see Him.  He is there.  I just have to open my eyes.  In all the best places, He brings me hope.  
I hope today, you see it for yourself as well.  :)