broken and blessed

then Jesus blessed the bread and then broke it . . . I go to Mass a few times a week and I alway cross myself at that moment–do this in remembrance of me . . . I cross myself again.  Some days I wish I could just stop Mass at that moment until I felt like I understood it–I want to understand the mystery!  or at least be able to reflect on that moment.  Jesus how do I eucharisto?

Today is 12/12/12.  The last time in my life that I will ever see a sequence of numbers like this.  I want to celebrate–so I have decided that I will begin living a life of counting my blessings.  I’ve sort of already started–my 11-year-old gave me a jump-start!

I was cooking in the kitchen–working hard to make a phenomenal Sunday dinner–it was a special birthday dinner . . . I was taking extra care in ever detail when I saw the blue soccer  ball fly through the air–I covered my head thinking it would knock over one of the 3  hot pots on the stove or knock over a gravy boat filled too high or smash the yeast rolls . . . then I heard the clang and the crash.

The blue soccer ball hit the ceiling, landed on the top of the fridge and rolled onto ALL of my Christmas cups–the ones I have been collecting for 20 years!  I knew from the sound that there was breakage.

one of my collection

one of my collection (this is the mug–but it really fell into the other mug and then onto the floor . . .)

My son acted as if were no big deal–just one cup broke–“and the cup isn’t even broken just the handle!”  I went from 0 to 60 a couple of times until I was well into warp speed!

It wasn’t about the cup–well, it sort of was–I was mad!

  • it wasn’t the best time to break a cup
  • the cup broke all over the other cups requiring lots of washing (because after such a big dinner the dishwasher would be full)
  • I remembered the day I bought that particular cup
  • his attitude was horrible
  • I have said a million times “no balls in the kitchen”–I do allow dribbling/foot skills in the house–but NOT in the kitchen and no kicking again walls
  • I was trying to get dinner on the table, in the dining room, on the second Sunday of Lent, for a birthday dinner AND I wanted everything to be PERFECT.
the blue soccer ball that normally lives in the dining room

the blue soccer ball that normally lives in the dining room

In the brokenness of the cup I am blessed.  I am blessed that I have a wonderful son.  Who has legs to play soccer.  I remind myself that I prayed for this son.  Who can teach me the meaning of abundance.  I am so incredibly blessed.

In that moment of cleaning the mess of the blue soccer ball and the holly Christmas mug–I found the meaning of my life.

  • I live abundantly–I have everything I need.  I have more cups than I could ever want! (the loaves and fishes story)
  • I give thanks, in everything.
  • I found that anger doesn’t get me where I want to be–I want to seek joy!
  • I serve God by serving my family JOYFULLY.  When I fail at that I fail at serving God–when my intention moves towards perfection it moves from God.  When I do things for God, then it becomes perfect.
  • May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.  Romans 15:13.
  • I still think balls should stay OUT of the kitchen!

So on this day of 12/12/12 I want to my life to move forward with intention, joyfulness, purpose, and most of all trust that when I give thanks, in everything–God will be at the end of my prayer.  God is my safety net!  I want to practice intentional gratitude–not just on sunny days when my life seems perfect–but on my hardest days.  I know God has been with me on my darkest days.

that dang blue soccer ball!

that dang blue soccer ball–this is where the ball hides so it won’t be kicked, break dishes and then banished to the garage!  (and no I didn’t clean before I took this pictures–this is a real blog, with real pictures of a real house)

I am broken and blessed.  I thank God each day for my blessings.  I have an awesome house vs. my Ford Escort that I lived in–with two dogs and a cat!  I have these incredible children and a wonderful husband who love me–for me.  I look at everything as a gift to be treasured, respected and honored.

My life is a joy!  hard at moments, I lose my temper, I feel emotions other than love, peace and joy, but more and more those negative emotions are fleeting and I find myself seeking joy, grace and giving thanks, in everything.  I chose to be joyful, loving, kind, respectful, and thankful in everything I do.

Be Blessed.  My prayer is that you will feel the love and faithfulness of a God who wants to show you his abundance just for you.  For your own purpose.

I’m linking up with Works for me Wednesday,  Work in Progress Wednesdays, Wisdom Wednesday, upside down homeschooling,

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Radical Faith

I went to Mass this morning.  Not the original plan for the day.

Today my daughter turns 7!  I’m giving her the day off from school (homeschool) but I still have some other obligations–an Adoration Committee meeting, lunch duty at Frassati Catholic Academy, and a preschool program at St. Mary of the Annunciation–then a basketball game tonight at St. Bede’s!  (really–but it was fun to get all those saint names into one sentence!)

So a busy day, but my intention was to drop the 2 boys off and then treat the girls to a Starbucks hot chocolate before the first meeting of the day.

My “today” 7-year-old ASKED if we could go to church instead of going to Starbucks–her thought was “we can go to Starbucks anytime.”

How can I argue with that logic!

The reading today was about the friends who lowered a paralyzed man in through the roof.  What kind of people have a best friend who is paralyzed? devise a plan to drop him through a roof?  be so radical in their faith that they would seek out Jesus in such a big way?  were they afraid to be so “out there” or were they SO faithful that it didn’t matter?

As Father Nate was talking I thought about my own life–what I think is a natural way to follow the Lord–I”m sure some people think it is radical.

  • we don’t watch much TV
  • we try to be wise is how we use the earths resources
  • we are conservative in what we expose our children to–regarding media–in our family we talk about topics in an age appropriate way at the age appropriate time
  • we are conservative in our dress (I don’t wear Prairie dresses nor do my girls–we are fashionable without being too short, too low-cut or being a temptation to anyone)
  • we homeschool
  • we do not hide our faith
  • we celebrate our God-given talents
  • we try to find Jesus in all that we meet
  • we “give thanks, in everything”
  • we serve God by serving others
  • especially hard this time of year–we make an effort not to over indulge (toys, food, drink, number of ornaments on the tree–excess is so easy)

I’m at a point now on my journey that I seek God things.  The music I listen too, spending time in prayer, finding joy and blessings in every moment of the day–I’m feeling very peaceful in just serving God by serving my family and gradually expanding that circle of service.

I pray always with joy in my every prayer for all of you . . . Philippians 1:4  My internal dialogue is becoming one long prayer through the day–of thanksgiving, praise, guidance and grace.

He must increase, but I must decrease.  John 3:30  Each time I give praise to God, I  become the blessing to someone.  If to give to God is to “decrease” than I’m really ok with that.  In our culture of more, more, more–the thought of giving away isn’t something that our minds grasp quickly.  It is in the giving that we receive our most precious gifts.

I’ll be honest–I might not be dropping my friends through the roof of a house . . . but I will continue to be faithful in my own radical way.

Be Blessed as you go through your day, seeking God in your own way.

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Everyday Occupational/Speech Therapy

Now that I’m looking at my Title–I’m overwhelmed by the topic!  But to be honest–I’m overwhelmed a lot!  I have a child with speech and language delays and motor coordination issues–both fine and gross motor!

I manage my child’s speech and occupational therapy.  I’m not a speech pathologist but I’m guessing that spending the last 3 years in therapy 3-4 times a week . . . 45 weeks times 3 = 135 sessions a year x 3 years=405 speech therapy sessions!  How many credit hours is that?  I have been involved in making sure that all of the speech therapist are on the same page and they are working on the same sounds.  I’m a barracuda when it comes to my kids and making sure they are getting the care/help they need.  I’m not in it to make friends–I’m in it for my kid!  Yes, I have stopped therapy.  Yes, I have told fancy doctors I thought they were wrong and walked out of the office.  No, I’m not really afraid of anyone or what they might think . . .

My son has had private therapist, hospital therapist, school therapist, early intervention therapist–8 different speech therapist in all–I have found almost all of them to be wonderful, assisting me with keeping everyone working together–for the benefit of my son.

My son has also had music therapy!  He loves Music Mike!  Since we moved he can no longer have weekly sessions BUT when travel back to Ann Arbor, MI–we try to stop in!  My other kids Skype their piano and guitar lessons with Mike–totally cool, but music therapy is more hands on so we are exploring some new ideas in this area.  We are always open to seeking new options and opportunities.

Occupational Therapy has been a challenge for me–I did not agree with his original diagnosis nor the treatment plan.  My son had been in the system for 2 years already and although was still basically non verbal, he made his point that OT was not something that he was going to cooperate with.  So the therapist to her credit–gave me the homework and I began working with him daily and she would check on our progress monthly.  Did I mention that I’m not an OT?  But still we worked and worked and worked.  Now he has OT once a week through the local school district and we love our therapist!  My son challenges her to make if fun and interesting.

During the last 3 years we have had speech, occupational, and music.  These services are provided privately, by insurance and the school district.  The first two years we had 5 scheduled therapies a week!  Just therapy time–not travel time  . . . or the waiting time if someone was running late or when the therapies did not dove tail with the other kids schedules and we wait 15, 20, 30 minutes here and there.  It made for some very long days.   We still have long days and will continue to have long days–I get tired, my son gets tired the other kids in our family need to be reminded that they have activities as well . . . therapy has defined how we live.

My other kids had soccer, music lessons, away school to shuttled to and from.  Life has been crazy busy.  I try to keep it a simple, yet enriching environment.

By being my child’s best advocate I also discovered that I had a knack for teaching him in a way that only his Mom could.  I began developing my own curriculum.   I based my lesson plans on:

  1. What my son’s current “thing” is.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Legos, eating muffins, “iPad time”–and work within those perimeters.  I will drive to Toys R Us and look at toys for a couple of hours–if I know I can get some great speech happening.
  2. How can I incorporate movement–we have an exercise ball and I often sit with him on my lap (or big brother) and we bounce to a sound or some cross lateral movements.  We do a rhyming game–I cross his arms when he makes a rhyme–it gets more and more exaggerated as he rhymes more and more times.
  3. I incorporate food–we cook, we decorate cookies, we watch the food network together and talk about what we see.  I can get a ton of fine motor skill work done while he picks up mini morsels!
  4. I work on a sound 100 times a day–I’ve been doing this since we met Carol–a phenomenal speech therapist–it was her suggestion and at first it was hard but now I break it down to a word or set of sounds–it is still hard and some days I admit I give up . . . thank God for tomorrows!
  5. We do lots of Art.  We paint, we have those dot paints, we water-color, I put putty on the wall and he needs to sand it off . . . then we paint the wall.  I go to great lengths to keep it interesting and fun.
  6. My son loves music–singing and dancing are everyday activities in our home.

I love my kid–that is what motivates me.  I love his laugh.  I love how he sees the world.  I want to share with you how I embrace his challenges.

I would love to hear how you embrace your children who are might see the world differently.   Wouldn’t it be great if we could support each other?  I so need that.

Be blessed.  My hope is that all mothers and fathers will see their children as a true gift from God–sent to us to make us whole, to make us who we need to be, to give our lives a purpose greater than what we could have ever imagined.

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