Monday, December 22, 2014
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
As you might recall, early this year, Young Living Essential Oils helped me conceive little Charlotte Marie after only 2 weeks of use. Well, I'm not pregnant, but have an even bigger Essential Oil (EO) miracle to report.
Going into Thanksgiving without my baby or my mom was difficult. Immediately following Thanksgiving was killing me. Literally, killing me. Christmas decorations and commercials were constant reminders that Christmas would be here whether I could handle it or not. I couldn't get off the couch, it took every ounce of my being to not constantly be sobbing, and every time I was alone for more than a few minutes, I was sobbing. I even started having some suicidal thoughts. It was BAD. Then, Saturday afternoon, I asked some oily friends for help. They gave me a recipe that saved my sanity, and probably my life. There are other brands of EOs, and I don't know much about them or their effectiveness, but Young Living brand is what I use.
My antidepressant recipe:
In a 15 ml bottle, I mixed 30 drops of Valor, 30 drops of Frankincense, 30 drops of Peace & Calming, and filled with a carrier oil (I use extra virgin olive oil, because I always have it in the house). Twice a day, I put it on my heart and spine.
I also use 1 drop of Orange, and a couple drops of Stress Away on my wrists twice a day.
Cedarwood on the back of my neck for sleep.
Since I started using this mixture, I am smiling, joking, and laughing again. I'm ME again. It's nothing short of a miracle. I even put up all of our Christmas decorations with only a little sadness, instead of sobbing and wanting to gouge my eyes out. (Seriously, it was BAD)
I can't even begin to explain to you how bad I was doing, and how much better I am now.
I would like to ask prayers, however, for 3 (yes, THREE) of my friends who have suffered a miscarriage in the last couple of weeks. I unfortunately know all too well the heart wrenching pain they are experiencing right now, and I know that nothing physical can help them right now.
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Thursday, November 27, 2014
On this very difficult Thanksgiving, I thought I would make a list of things I AM thankful for. So, here they are in no particular order:
I am thankful that I was able to care for my mom, here at home, until her last breath.
I am thankful for my 2 beautiful girls, who are both with me today, and healthy.
I am thankful for my little saint in Heaven, who I am sure is praying for me today and always.
I am thankful for my wonderful husband, without whom I would likely be in an insane asylum or prison right now.
I am thankful to still have a house, food on the table, and heat.
I am thankful to have reconnected with my uncles and their families. It's nice to feel like I have an extended family again. ❤
I am thankful that this year is almost over.
I am thankful for wonderful friends and their prayers.
I am thankful for our awesome puppy, Skye, who always seems to know when I need an extra hug or kiss. :)
I hope all of you can find some joy and something to be thankful for today, even if you have to look harder than you ever have.
Try to have a Happy Thanksgiving!
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Sunday, November 23, 2014
Today should have been Charlotte's birthday (approximately). Needless to say, I've been having a hard day. Okay, a hard week and a crappy day, if I'm being totally honest.
Recap from the week:
Monday we had a smallish fire in the garage (smallish in that the house is still standing and everyone is okay, but we DID have the fire department out here), and the cat ran away. Thankfully, our AWESOME puppy (not quite 4 months old) took her leash in her mouth and took me to the cat, who was hiding in a bush behind a neighbor's house. Things were a little better until Friday. Friday, Emma and I were on our way to a field trip when I got pulled over because the plates on my mom's car were expired. Apparently the notification had gone to an old address, so I had no idea. Fun. Then, as soon as I got done talking to the cop, the low tire pressure light came on. *sigh* Turned out to just be from the cold, and a very nice tire man helped me air it up for free. Still... Then, that evening I found out that a friend of mine had just suffered a miscarriage. My own miscarriage came flooding back to me, and thinking about another woman going through that so close to my due date just broke me right in half.
Fast forward to today. My meltdown about the day really started yesterday, when I found myself sobbing in the shower. Thought I was doing fairly decently until it was time to go up for communion at Mass today, and I saw tiny newborns being carried by their mothers. I lost it. I managed to hold back the tears until I got back to my pew, but then they flowed freely. Even Emma, who struggles with empathy kept staring at me, and finally gave me a big hug. Finally made it home, and I'm doing better again now.
Anyway, I kept meaning to post, and have all sorts of ideas, but I have had close to zero motivation lately. It's just been a super crappy year, and I'm totally over it. Can we just fast forward to 2015 already? I'm done with this one.
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Friday, September 26, 2014
Okay, so it's been about a month since my last post. I'm sure you'll understand why in a minute or two...
In the last month, we've started full-blown homeschooling, joined a homeschool co-op that meets for field trips the 1st and 3rd Fridays, started doing Little Flowers on the 2nd Fridays, Wednesdays we usually hang out with our other homeschool group, Thursday is adoration, ballet on Mondays, and that's just our usual activities. In addition to that stuff, we've also gotten a new fireplace, put the brick on said fireplace, turned my mom's old bedroom into our classroom, and Emma has a birthday coming up soon. Oh, and we're getting a puppy tomorrow. Wow! I'm exhausted just TYPING all that! Lol
Anyway, I also had my first meeting today with a naturopath/friend to discuss natural options to help me conceive again, and hopefully carry to term this time. I'm going to start various different vitamins and supplements to try to boost my fertility. Here's hoping!
I've been extra sensitive and weepy the last few days. As you might recall, I suffered a miscarriage this last April, and if I was still pregnant, I would be quickly approaching my mid-November due date. It's been hitting me hard when I see newborn babies and pregnant women. Well, not all pregnant women. Mostly just ones that I know are due in mid-November, or just look like they are due around then. It just reminds me of how I would be looking now. It also hit me hard on Wednesday, when I found out one of my friends is 6 weeks pregnant (I was 6 weeks when I lost Charlotte). My husband is awesome, but I can't really share my pain with him, because we can never get time to talk without Emma interrupting. Of course, he goes to sleep long before she does most nights, so that's helpful (not!).
Anyway, I'll leave you with happy stuff. Pictures of our completed projects:
From left to right (or top to bottom):
1: the fireplace (obviously)
2: our little altar/prayer area
3: bookcase with Emma's tadpole and cursive alphabet along the top of the wall.
4: teacher desk, chalkboard and turtle
5: futon for snuggling during non-writing lessons &/ stories.
Hope you've been well!
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Saturday, August 16, 2014
Life is starting to calm down a little here. Mom's finances are now in my name, we've picked out and ordered our new fireplace and stone for the fireplace, Emma has started school (a couple weeks earlier than I planned, but whatever), and by next weekend we'll have painted mom's bedroom and begin turning it into our school room. We've signed Emma up for Little Flowers and ballet, and purchased all needed equipment and accessories for those activities. There's still stuff to do, but we're starting to see a normal life and schedule emerging.
So, yesterday afternoon out of nowhere, I got a STRONG urge from somewhere to start using my Progessence Plus oil again. As you may recall, that is the oil that helped me conceive my little Charlotte Marie back in March, who I then lost in miscarriage in April. Last time, I started the Progessence Oil, and about 2 weeks later, discovered I was pregnant. Just like last time, I'm about mid-cycle... I'm pretty anxious about it, and a little worried that I'll just end up miscarrying again. If you wouldn't mind praying for me during these next couple weeks, I'd really appreciate it. Please pray that no matter what happens, I maintain my peace and trust in God.
After I applied my Progessence Plus oil, I noticed the bottle was getting fairly empty. I started to just go online to buy another bottle, but I couldn't just buy another bottle without signing up for some kind of membership. So I just went for it, and signed up completely. I had planned on it at some point anyway, so I just decided to go for it. I can now buy whatever oils I need at a discount, which is great. So, if you live locally and need some oils, let me know! I might be able to send them places too. Not sure how that works yet.
Anyway, please pray for me.
Thanks and God Bless!
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Thursday, August 7, 2014
I can't remember if I've posted about my heritage before, so sorry if I repeat something.
My mother was raised Jewish, and my father was raised Southern Baptist. I was raised around both the Jewish tradition (at least partly) and the Christian faith. My being raised in that way, with Christmas and Hanukkah being celebrated side by side, is a big part of what led me to the Catholic Church (at least, initially). The first time I heard Mass on the radio (EWTN, found thanks to a bumper sticker on a stranger's car), and they read from the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Gospels, with a bit of very Jewish-sounding chant here and there, I knew that was where I was supposed to be. The more I learned about my newfound Faith, and the deeper I got, I discovered more and more of my Jewish heritage. I honestly never felt Jewish until I became Catholic.
When my grandmother died (my mom's mom) about 7 years ago, that was pretty much the last I saw of most of my mom's family. Then, about a month and a half before mom's passing from this world, we knew it was imminent, and she asked for all of her brothers. Surprisingly, all 3 of them came, made amends, and left on good terms. If you know anything of my family, you know what an honest MIRACLE that was. One of mom's brothers married a nice Christian girl, and they live in Georgia. Another one became an orthodox, Israeli-ordained rabbi and now lives in Missouri. The third one somehow became even more orthodox Jewish than the rabbi (or so it seems) and lives in New York.
Anyway, in the Jewish tradition, when someone dies, the ones left behind (at least, the family) "sit shiva". As my rabbi uncle explained it to me, "sitting shiva" means sitting in mourning for 7 days. During this time the mourning person is forbidden from going out or occupying themselves with anything other than remembering the one who passed away, learning lessons from their life and death, and reflecting on the family, its mission and meaning, how we might improve, etc.
Friends come and go throughout the day to "comfort the mourner" and in general to help them hash everything out and come to terms. In the morning and afternoon the synagogue's daily prayer services are held at their house!
Anyway, as part of this process, my rabbi uncle asked me to share stories with him about my mom, and qualities about her that I remember fondly. I don't know how typical this request was, as I was raised more Christian with a side of Jewish, but it struck me as very sweet. At first, I had trouble thinking of things to share with him, as I was still in "caretaker mode", and was experiencing more of a "guilty relief" (as Emma's godmother put it), than any kind of sadness at my mother's passing. As the week went on, and I thought of more things for him, and shared what others had said about her, I found I was getting back into "daughter mode" more. It really was a lovely, beautiful way of remembering my mother as more than my "patient" or "responsibility", but as the beautiful soul that God created her to be.
As I was sitting in Adoration this morning of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, I was brought to tears of joy and gratitude at the beauty of the last couple months, the many blessings that have already come from my mother's illness, how I was able to care for her until her last breath at home, surrounded by the love and prayers of so many people, and how our tiny, broken family has grown back together. I am so unworthy of all the beautiful gifts that Our Lord has seen fit to bestow on me and my family! I'm just awestruck at how generous He is!
Yes, at the young age of 33, I now have no more earthly parents. Yes, I miss the days I could call my mom, or go to lunch with her. Yes, I miss the free babysitting that was almost always available. But, I also now have 3 uncles again, I am left with a beautiful house in a wonderful neighborhood, virtually free of money worries, and the most beautiful gift of all: every time I start to even feel the slightest twinge of sadness at not having my mother, I feel this wave of warmth, peace, and love just wash over me, as if trying to reassure me that she is safe and at peace.
God is SO good! 💗💗💗
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Friday, August 1, 2014
Since right after my last post almost 2 months ago, mom had literally looked like she was on death's doorstep, with one foot inside. All 3 of her brothers came, made amends, told her they loved her, and left peacefully. She had more than one set of Last Rites, and maybe a day or so before she was mostly in a coma, she was able to make a confession, receive communion, and make peace with our priest (she wasn't a huge fan). Then, this last weekend, she really started showing more and more signs of impending death. She started doing the "death rattle" pretty hard core on Saturday. Saturday evening before I went to bed, I wasn't sure she would still be alive when I got up on Sunday, so I did everything for her that I would want done for me. I prayed a Divine Mercy Chaplet with her, made the sign of the cross on her forehead with some holy water from Lourdes, and put a few grains of blessed salt in her mouth. Basically, I just poured as many graces on her as I could think of at the time. She actually still hung on until just before noon on Monday, when she took her last breath.
Believe it or not, this picture was only taken 2 summers ago. Crazy how time can fly by, and seem to drag on at the same time. The last month and a half or so, mom was totally unable to leave the house, and really couldn't be left by herself for long, so I was unable to leave the house unless someone came over, who was comfortable with all her meds and needs, which was rare. Poor Emma was only slightly less trapped than I was, as she would get to go places with Daddy occasionally.
The viewing and funeral Mass were very nice. Many of mom's friends, and several of mine came to the viewing to pay their respects. She had an old patient of hers come (she was a nurse for over 20 yrs), a couple of old co-workers, of course friends, her internist and nurse, our alarm guy of over 20 yrs, and one of my cousins who came down from Chicago. My rabbi uncle tried his best to come with his wife and 3 of their 7 kids (the others were at camp) from St. Louis, but traffic delayed them so much that they missed it. They just came to our house to visit with us until 11 at night. There was even a Dr that came from the Chinese Clinic that my mom volunteered at that came. Turns out, he actually knew my dad too! His kids took piano lessons from my dad about 40 yrs ago! That was so neat! Not many people knew my dad too. It's been almost 20 yrs since my dad died. Anyway, our group of homeschool friends got this beautiful flower rosary for mom, that hung in her casket. Apparently, there's some way to turn it into an actual rosary, using those roses!
The funeral Mass was just beautiful! Of course, it was sung, in Latin, done by one of our favorite priests ever, Fr. John Hollowell. He, of course, was WONDERFUL! He talked during his homily about how my mom really inspired him by how she really didn't care what consequences came from her search for Truth, and her bravery at admitting after one set of RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) classes, which lasted nearly a year, that she just wasn't ready to become Catholic, but instead, just started the process all over again before coming into the Church just over a year ago. Chocolate Chip, who had been really surprising me with how well she was handling it all, completely fell apart almost as soon as the funeral began. I had a hard time seeing her hurting so much, and I started to tear up a few times myself, especially when they loaded the casket back into the hearse. Mostly, I'm okay, though.
After Mass, Emma's godmother and several of our homeschool friends pitched in and provided a very nice reception downstairs. These last couple days, while exhausting, and emotionally draining, were beautiful reminders that, while our family (in the state) may be very small, and shrinking, our network of friends and people that loves us, is quite large. 💗
After the funeral, Emma went home with her godmother, and Chocolate Chip, Mark, and I went to Buca di Beppo, where we had a nice meal, and Chocolate Chip and Mark shared a "Colossal Brownie Sundae", which was...well...COLOSSAL!!! Because after all, chocolate fixes many, many things.
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Monday, June 2, 2014
This year, I gave up Facebook for Lent. The first week was really hard, but by the end of Lent, I would have been fine giving it up permanently, had it not been for this one group I was in, that had been a huge source of comfort and support for me during the last year or so, and had acted as a kind of family for me, which I so desperately want and need right now.
Well, recently, a woman I felt almost sisterly towards in that group got pretty nasty towards me over something I posted (on my own wall) about the Girl Scouts, and how my girls will never be involved in that organization. Not the first time I've lost friends over the Girl Scouts, and it probably wouldn't have bothered me as much, except for what happened next. I privately messaged a dear friend about it, the one who has acted as a very sweet, supportive mother to me this last year. I knew she was also very motherly and close to this other person, so I thought she might have an idea of how to diffuse the situation, or at least be able to get her to back off a little. She couldn't find the post in question, so I tagged her. It spiralled out of control after that, and she ended up not only unfriending me, but blocking me! I messaged my motherly friend, and she said that several of our mutual friends had unfriended her solely because she's still friends with this other person. I was still reeling from all that, when the next morning, I saw a post from another mutual friend of ours, that was blatantly attacking me about the same issue! All of these people involved were a big part of that one group that I saw as a family. That was the final straw. I posted a note about how I was leaving Facebook, made sure the people I care about knew how to contact me, and turned it off. I don't have the time or energy for the drama and added stress. My mother is actively dying, I just found out we have no chance of getting Chocolate Chip back, and I still think of sweet Charlotte often.
For now, I just temporarily disconnected it, until I can get a chance to get all my pictures and videos (HOW do you get videos copied off of Facebook?!?!) downloaded to a computer. Once that's done, I'm pretty sure I'll click it over from temporary disconnect to permanent. Even without the drama, Facebook for me, was a major time-suck, at times depressing, and at times, just royally ticked me off. Who needs that? Not me. I'm done. The people who really know me, know how to contact me, and those who don't probably won't miss me anyway.
Without Facebook, I've found more peace, more time to read, and definitely less stress and anxiety. I think everyone should at least take a short break from Facebook now and then. It really put it in perspective for me.
Sunday, May 18, 2014
Thursday, May 15, 2014
This post is a couple of days late, but this is the first opportunity I've had to write, where I really felt up to writing. On May 13 last year, my mom attempted suicide, and that was also the start of her more severe symptoms. On May 13 this year, we found out we will not be getting custody of Chocolate Chip. The year in between was spent taking care of mom, packing up and moving two homes into one, and mourning a child. I honestly don't know how I would have survived the past two May 13's and everything in between without God's Grace and my wonderful husband with my sanity still intact.
Our big court date was supposed to be on June 6, and as far as I knew going into it, the mediation on May 13 was only a formality, and was going to just be a waste of time and money. I was not at all prepared for leaving that building with our decision. Anyway, I go in, and was relieved to find out that it wasn't going to be like anything I had seen on t.v., where everyone is in the same room, fighting over a table. We were in totally separate rooms, and the mediator went back and forth between our rooms.
While the mediator was off talking to him, my lawyer tells me that Chocolate Chip is doing well in school, isn't grotesquely overweight, and has friends. Her father doesn't drive drunk, or beat his wife, and while I should be proud of the changes I've made in my life, and how well I'm doing, I'd only have a 5% chance of getting full custody. So, rather than spend all those extra lawyer fees, only to end up where we started, I agreed to slightly more time with her during the year, a decent increase in time during the summer (starting next year), and I would pay more money. At the time, all I could see was that I had given her away, while I paid more money. I was heartbroken...again. I must say, though, I'm getting pretty good at juggling my crosses.
Today we went to Chocolate Chip's school for an event, and when it was time to go, I literally had to pry Emma off of her, and carry her out, crying. Then, we get home, and Emma helps me plant some flowers I had gotten for Mother's Day. She wanted to plant one on Charlotte's grave, so we did that. All while my dying mother laid down for a nap. See? Pretty good at juggling! *sigh*
So, my new project assigned to me by a wonderful, motherly friend that I met on Facebook, is to try to find some joy. Who knew joy could be so hard to find, and so elusive?
I've known mom was not going to get better for quite a while now, and I've had peace and been able to find joy.
Charlotte died, and after only a month, I've had peace and been able to find joy.
Now this. I'm more at peace today, but seeing Emma this afternoon broke me right in half. I'm working on joy. Any suggestions? I'm totally open to ideas!
Thanks for any prayers, and God Bless all my friends and readers.
Sunday, May 11, 2014
Every now and then, I would feel an extra nudge or a reminder about scapulars. A friend would mention that she had been thinking of getting one, I would see tell-tale brown strings around the necks of friends and fellow homeschoolers. Then, at the healing Mass that we went to, Fr. told me I needed to get myself and my husband Green Scapulars. That finally did it. The next chance I got, I went to our favorite Catholic bookstore, and bought 2 Green Scapulars, a Brown Scapular, and a new rosary of Our Lady of Sorrows (long story for another time). I then emailed my priest a couple days ago, and asked to have them blessed along with Emma's new crucifix she had gotten the same day (really cute, quick side note: she wanted a crucifix for her room, and when we were talking about where to hang it, she demanded it be right by her bed so she can pray with Jesus at bedtime. How sweet is that?!), and to be enrolled in the Brown Scapular.
So, today, on Mother's Day (what better day to give Our Mother the gift of myself?) after Mass, I was enrolled in the Brown Scapular, and am now wearing my crucifix and Miraculous Medal on my chain, and a brown scapular, and a green scapular. Fr. suggested possibly sewing the two scapulars together somehow, as they can get kind of unwieldy. Yeah, I'm getting that already...
Anyway, so the brown scapular was given to St. Simon Stock by Our Lady in 1251, and Mary basically promised him that whoever faithfully wears the Brown Scapular, lives chastely according to their vocation (married, single, etc), and prays the rosary daily, will not suffer eternal torment. Here's a good website if you want to learn more about it. This website offers free Brown Scapulars if you're interested. I've heard (not 100% sure if it's true, but sounds legit) that anyone, even non-Catholics can be invested in the Brown Scapular, but that only Catholic priests can (and are generally the only ones willing to) invest someone in it.
The Green Scapular has two general purposes: for conversion, and for healing. The priest at the healing Mass told me that my husband needs one for conversion, and that I could use one for emotional and physical healing. Well, since that healing Mass, I don't really feel like I need anymore emotional healing (seriously, it was like a miracle!!!), but I don't know how I am physically, so I'm mostly wearing it for that. Here's a great website about the Green Scapular if you want more information.
On a very disturbing side note, Harvard University is sponsoring (hosting? I can't remember their exact role at the moment, but it's a significant one) a Black Mass tomorrow night. If you're unfamiliar with what that exactly is, it's a satanic ritual where the Catholic Mass is mocked and twisted. They take out any reference to God, Mary, or the saints, and put in Satan and the names of demons in their places. They also use a naked woman as the altar, and when possible, use a consecrated host (Jesus) in their unholy ceremony. Please pray very hard that this event will be cancelled, and that those involved in this darkness will find the Light of Christ before it is too late.
Some ideas to pray and make reparation for this atrocity could be to fast, pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet (Have mercy on us, and on the whole world!), pray the rosary, pray the St. Michael the Archangel prayer (St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Power of God, cast into Hell Satan, and all the evil spirits who prowl about the earth, seeking the ruin of souls. Amen), pray the St. Michael the Archangel Chaplet, just PRAY!!!
May God richly Bless you, my friends!
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
My mom and I went to our local Catholic bookstore on Monday, and found out about a healing Mass that was going to take place this Friday at St. Luke's Catholic Church in Indianapolis at 7 pm. We were interested, but bummed that we wouldn't be able to go. Then, yesterday, Emma's godmother, and one of my best friends told us about the same healing Mass that would be held today at a different parish at 9:30 am. We were excited to go, even though none of us really knew what to expect.
My mom, Emma, and I went to this healing Mass that we thought would be about an hour long. We met a few people from our old parish there, along with Emma's godmother and her young daughter. The rather large church was about half-full. Mostly it was people who had brought sick loved ones for physical healing. Others looked fine, but who knows what emotional or spiritual state they were in.
Anyway, the priest was a little late, because he had been praying outside a local abortion clinic with some teenage volunteers who were also there praying for credit in their pro-life class at school. Once he got there, he filled the air with love and praise to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We sang songs, he told stories, we had Mass, he told more stories, he taught us how to pray the chaplet of St. Michael the Archangel. We went outside, he prayed over, and gave his blessing over a new statue of St. Michael. The whole time, he kept talking about how we're all in this great spiritual battle, and how if you could look at the sky with spiritual eyes, you wouldn't be able to see the sun through all the evil spirits covering this city. He encouraged us all to pray for our city, and to make it the holiest city in the country, and that we rename our city of Indianapolis to Holyopolis. :-) How awesome is THAT goal?!
Anyway, at some point during the whole thing (I think it was after communion), Emma asked me if she could go sit with her godmother. I said sure, and they eventually ended up going back to her house to wait for us, as both of our kids were getting restless.
So, after the prayers outside over the statue, we all went back in, and a nun there kept insisting that only the truly needy would be seen, and that the rest needed to try to go to the Friday time. Father was apparently getting tired, and wouldn't be able to see everyone. I knew mom would qualify, and while I had hoped for a blessing too, I thought I would just mention my needs to him in passing, and ask him to pray for us later.
Well, when it got to be my mom's turn, she asked to be able to do a quick confession first, and then be anointed. He graciously listened to her confession, and when he motioned for me to come back, he said that my mom has this saint all around her, and that it's a pretty new saint named Louisa Piccaretta. He said he wasn't sure why this particular saint was so attached to my mom, but that they physically resemble each other. I had never heard of this saint before, but I had someone write it down, so we could learn more about her later. Well, the nun, another person, and myself all laid hands on my mom and prayed for her with the priest while she held a small cross with some kind of relic or something on it. Towards the end of the prayers, the priest handed me the cross to hold, but then when we were finished, he walked away, and I still had the cross.
I went to give it back to him, and told him that I had just had a miscarriage about 3 weeks ago, and my husband isn't Catholic, and asked him to pray for us. I started to tear up while telling him, and nothing could have prepared me for what came next. It was the most beautiful thing I've ever experienced. He took me over to the tabernacle (where they keep the extra consecrated hosts - Jesus), and had me put my hand on the surface in front of the actual tabernacle while I told him everything he wanted to know. Were we married in the Church? No, I converted after we married. Am I allowed to recieve communion? As far as I know, yes. I always have. Had I named the baby? Yes, Charlotte Marie. What's my husband's name? Mark. He said he felt like my husband Mark had a connection to St. Mark the Evangelist. I said, yes, he had been named for the Gospel of Mark. This next part is where I completely lost it. I can't remember exactly when, but at some point before this next part, he had me touch, ever so gently, the edge of the tabernacle itself! I was barely able to speak through the tears when he told me that he thought our little Charlotte (who he said was smiling at me and waving to me from Heaven) was created for the sole purpose of being an intercessor for her daddy's conversion. Is that just so beautiful? He asked me to pray to St. Mark, Our Lady, St. Joseph, and I think he said St. Michael too for my husband's conversion. He also told me to get both myself (for physical and emotional healing) and my husband (for conversion) green scapulars. He also told me that a big part of what's holding my husband back from fully loving and embracing Our Lord is a deep, hidden fear about his self-image. He said if that fear were removed, he would convert. Then he prayed over me, while I held that cross, then had me hold it over my abdomen while he prayed some more, and finally, he anointed me with some kind of oil related to St. Philomena.
I can't explain how wonderful it all was, and how much it helped us. It was such a relief to know that little Charlotte lived and died for a reason, and how to best pray for my husband. It wasn't until I got to the car that I realized we had been there for 4 hours. Time flies when you're being blessed, I guess. It was just so wonderful! ♡♡♡
God Bless You!
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Saturday, April 26, 2014
I've posted before about how active kids can be in loving Jesus. Emma just gave me a refresher. She was playing with one of our new neighbors today (the 5 yr old boy from the Jehovah's Witness family), and I guess she asked him if he goes to church. He apparently said no, and so she asked if his parents go to church, and he didn't know. She was explaining all this to me just now, and it was so cute, just how incredulous she was at the fact that some people don't go to church. She couldn't believe there's people in her world that don't go to visit Jesus. I tried to explain to her that not everybody knows Jesus the way we do. She argued with me (as only Emma can), that EVERYBODY goes to church. If only, kid...if only.
Can we imagine for a moment if EVERYBODY DID go to church, and I don't mean just showing up, but really went and were truly present for it? How beautiful would that world be??? Everyone would (I imagine) be much kinder, more charitable, just more pleasant overall. Ahhh...just thinking about it brightens my day. ♡
Sunday, April 20, 2014
LOSS SO GREAT
THE PAIN THAT PIERCES
TO THE SOUL
O, LORD, I OFFER THEE
PLEASE TAKE MY HAND
AND LEAD ME FROM...
THIS PLACE OF AGONY
I DO NOT UNDERSTAND
WHY LOSS SO GREAT MUST BE
YET IN MY SOUL
I TRUST THAT YOU
WILL ONE DAY HELP ME SEE
THE SORROW LURKING
'NEATH MY BREAST
I CANNOT BEAR ALONE
SO, HOLD ME CLOSE
REMIND ME, LORD
OF THE LOVE THAT YOU HAVE SHOWN
THEN I WILL RISE
FROM THIS DARK PLACE
INTO THY LIGHT OF LOVE
FOR I KNOW MY CHILD
IS HOME WITH YOU
IN HEAVEN UP ABOVE
THANK YOU, LORD
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Friday, April 18, 2014
Here are a few pictures I did manage to get:
Then, as if remembering what Our Lord went through, and that very disappointing Way of the Cross weren't bad enough, on the way home, my low tire-pressure alert in the car came on. We made it home, in the garage, got out of the car, and you could actually hear it hissing. Not a good sign. Yeah, the tire was completely trashed, and will have to be replaced (with what money?).
And, to top it all off, I walked a few steps in the house, and the necklace I ALWAYS wear (with my Miraculous Medal and Crucifix) broke. Can't be fixed. I might be fortunate enough to find another chain laying around the house. Although, with my luck lately, probably not.
Anyway, I hope your Good Friday went better than mine. And, yes, Holy Thursday OBVIOUSLY won favorite day of the year, at least liturgically.
So, I started Holy Thursday evening with Mass in the Extraordinary Form, then we followed the Blessed Sacrament down to the Altar of Repose, spent a few minutes there, and then I met my friends in front of the church to start our pilgrimage. We waited a few minutes for some other friends of mine who were going to take my mom home for me, and get her settled. Then I, Emma, Emma's godmother, a friend of ours from our old parish, and a friend of mine from my new parish, her daughter, and her daughter's friend all went back down to start at our parish's Altar of Repose, and to visit the replica of the Shroud of Turin that my parish (Holy Rosary Catholic Church) is hosting this week, before continuing on our way to four other parishes in the local downtown area to visit their Altars of Repose.
A word on the Shroud of Turin first. If you live locally, you really should check it out. I've seen pictures of it before, and watched TV shows about it, but seeing it in person (even just the replica) is so powerful. It'll be on display until Easter. It's free to go look at (donations are accepted though), and there are several handouts about the Shroud that are also free. There are books and DVDs for sale, but there is absolutely no pressure to buy anything. They also have nails and scourging instruments on display that were used during that time period by the Romans. The times that the exhibit is open to the public is as follows:
Our first stop was St. Patrick's Catholic Church, where they had the most beautiful monstrance on display, and people singing praises to God in Spanish. I couldn't understand what they were singing (I do know some Spanish, but I was too enthralled with Jesus in that most beautiful monstrance and display to concentrate enough to translate much), but it was so beautiful. We stayed maybe 10 minutes there, praying, and then moved on to the next place.
Sacred Heart Catholic Church was next. It was the most beautiful church I've ever seen, outside of the cathedrals in Italy. The altar, the walls, the ceiling, everything was just breathtaking. I've decided that after Easter, I just want to go to one Mass there, just to be able to see it all again. We stayed about 10 minutes there too, praying at their Altar of Repose and then moved on again.
Next was St. Mary's Catholic Church (their website is down, but the address is 317 N New Jersey St, Indianapolis, IN 46204 if you'd like to go to the live Way of the Cross). Emma and I didn't pray very long there, as there was a wonderful marble pieta that we wanted to look at while the others were still praying. We went over to it, and Emma talked to Jesus for a little bit, gave His likeness a very sweet hug, and held its hand. Outside the parish, next door was a house (the rectory, maybe) that people were decorating with red banners. Two of my friends lagged behind on the way out to ask about it, and they said they were decorating it to look like Pontius Pilate's place, because tomorrow (today, now - Good Friday) at 5pm they were having a live Way of the Cross, starting there, going around the block, and ending inside the church with the crucifixion.
Finally, we ended at St. John's Catholic Church. By this time, Emma was starting to whine significantly about her feet hurting and being tired, but as it was nearly midnight, I wasn't too upset. We still stayed and prayed about 10 minutes there, before finally leaving and going our different ways.
It was such a beautiful night, even the weather was beautiful. I would highly recommend going on a pilgrimage like this to anyone.
Friday, April 11, 2014
Monday, April 7, 2014
Saturday, April 5, 2014
Like everyone, I have a wish list. On it are several things. Some big, some small. All are things that can't just be done. I wish summer was here, I wish my husband would lead our family in the Faith, I wish money wasn't so tight. Most of all, at the very top of my wishlist, I wish I had a time machine.
If I had a time machine, I would go back to the very moment I found out I was pregnant with little Charlotte Marie, and get on progesterone. If I still lost her, I would go back to yesterday, when I saw a small figure in the bottom of the toilet and fish it out. I wondered before I flushed if that could be the baby, and I don't know how or why, but somehow I flushed before I was sure it was or wasn't. It was only after I flushed that I realized there had been a tiny string of an umbilical cord attached to it. Now, I can't get the image out of my head. How I wish I could go back, fish the baby out, and give it a proper burial. Why did I look in the toilet anyway? Why did God let me look? Why, if I looked, did He not hide it, or why did He only let me realize too late what it was? I'm not angry, somehow...at least, not yet. I'm just confused and devastated. I don't understand how God could finally grant us a baby after all this time, only to let it end this way.
I think I'm doing alright, considering, but it's hardest when it's quiet. Morning and night seem to be the times (at least for now) that the tears come, and there's just no stopping them. The way our house is laid out, my walk-in closet is off of our bathroom, with no other rooms around it, except my bedroom. I've found the closet to be my cry room. I go in the bathroom, lock the door, and go in my closet. Nobody can hear my cries in there, and I can pull myself together before anybody sees me, and gives me the pity face. The only better place I've found to cry is in my husband's arms. Somehow, just his arms around me give me so much comfort.
Please, if you would, just pray for us. Just for peace and understanding, and for me to stop seeing that tiny body every time I close my eyes.
Thanks, and God Bless.
Friday, April 4, 2014
“Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I go back there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD!” ~ Job 1:21
I had more bloodwork done yesterday, and the dr called this morning to say the results indicated we had lost the baby. My hcg level had dropped when it was supposed to double. I'm supposed to go back on Thursday or Friday next week to make sure my levels go back to normal.
When we were discussing names for the baby, Chocolate Chip suggested Charlotte. I really loved that name, especially when paired with Marie as a middle name in honor of Our Lady. Mark hated the name, but now that the baby's gone it doesn't really matter anymore, so I'm naming the baby Charlotte Marie. She is in the arms of Our Lord and Our Lady now, being held and loved until we can get to Heaven one day. She will always be in our hearts.
Charlotte Marie, pray for us.
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
So, the dr called with my lab results, and my hcg (pregnancy hormone) level was acceptable, but my progesterone (the hormone that maintains the pregnancy) was low. How is that possible? My essential oil I use has progesterone in it! Anyway, my husband is going to get me a pill from the pharmacy, and in the meantime, I splashed on some extra Progessence Plus. Extra prayers are very much appreciated. Still spotting, but no cramping, and not heavy enough to get the dr worried, so that's good. I'm still worried, though.
Jesus I trust in You! St. Gianna, pray for us. St. Gabriel the archangel, pray for us. Blessed Virgin Mary, pray for us! God, please let this baby be okay! Amen!
If you're seeing this today or tomorrow, please say a little prayer for us. When I went to the bathroom this morning, I had a bit of brown spotting. I googled since the dr's office wasn't open yet, and it all looked very reassuring, but as this is baby #3, and I've never had that before, I'm going in this afternoon for bloodwork just to be sure. Then, repeat the hcg level on Thursday to make sure it's rising properly. The nurse on the phone repeated what I had read online, but it would sure ease my mind to have good labwork. We've just waited SO long for this baby!!! Anyway, maybe it's just God's not funny April Fool's joke? I hope so.
Friday, March 28, 2014
In an effort to minimize the impact on our finances, I've started shopping for maternity clothes now, so I won't have to go on a massive shopping spree all at once. Of, course, I'm only like 6 weeks, but I'm already developing a little baby bump (why???), and I DO have clothes from my other two pregnancies, but those were before I really had learned about the importance of modesty, especially while pregnant (when the Hand of God is actively working within to form the baby). Anyway, I've been converting some of my maternity pants into skirts (I've made 3 so far), but am seriously lacking in the tops category.
So, I've been looking online at different maternity websites. Most of what I've found is pants, really low-cut tops, and either sweaters or tank tops, or barely-there short sleeve tops. *sigh* Then, I found this website called Lilo Maternity that actually calls itself modest maternity! Yay! They have long skirts, 3/4 length sleeves, and even a 3/4 length shell to go under less modest t-shirts you might already have! Now, if only there were more options for solid color 3/4 length sleeve t-shirts. Why must they all have a pattern? In the meantime, I'll at least have something appropriate to wear to Mass and court in June. :-)
Please let me know if you find a website or know of a store where you can buy (for under $30? - why are maternity clothes SO expensive?!) 3/4 length sleeve solid color maternity shirts!
Monday, March 24, 2014
We haven't heard our beloved Fr. Magiera's voice since he left Indiana for Arkansas last July, and with all the excitement here recently, we decided to call him tonight. It was SO WONDERFUL to hear his voice! My mom, Emma and I all talked to him on speakerphone, and after my mom talked for awhile, it was Emma's turn. Then, I mentioned to him that Emma had given up sucking her thumb for Lent, and it wasn't going well at all. Without missing a beat, he told her that when she sucks her thumb, it makes Our Lady disappointed, because she loves us all so much, and when Emma wants to suck her thumb, she should pray a Hail Mary instead, and ask Mary to help her. So beautiful! When he finished, Emma was in tears, and I explained how devoted Emma is to Our Lady, and how she often goes to her statue and prays while I recieve communion. He couldn't have said anything more perfectly suited to her, and we haven't seen him or talked to him since July! Emma got Fr. Magiera'd over the phone from Arkansas! ROFL!
On an equally awesome side note, he's coming back to Indy in May for a wedding, and promised to call while he's in town so we can see him, and it's even on a weekend we'll have Chocolate Chip! She'll be ecstatic when she finds out! I've already put it in my calendar! Can't wait to hug him! :-D
God Bless Fr. Magiera and all our priests! Keep them safe, and help them to grow in holiness, so they can lead their flocks to Heaven! Amen.
Thursday, March 20, 2014
So, crazy story: I've posted before about how I'm a "crunchy" mommy, into homeschooling, essential oils, etc. Well, after 9-10 months of actively trying unsuccessfully to concieve, I asked one of my two oil suppliers if she had anything to help me concieve. She suggested I get Progessence Plus from Young Living (online for $50, but I get it from her at cost for $37.50). No joke. Just over 2 weeks of putting 2-4 drops on my arms and neck twice a day, and I'm PREGNANT!!!!!
I just stared at the positive pregnancy test in shock, disbelief, and excitement. My husband and mom have already plastered the news on Facebook (of course it HAD to be THIS Lent, that I give up Facebook! LOL), so I figured, I might as well share the news here too. Despite being more tired, peeing constantly, and the heavier, more tender boobs, it still feels surreal. It probably won't feel really real until the first ultrasound, which is on my dad's birthday (pretty neat - maybe a gift from him, in Heaven?). Anyway, we're all just so excited!
We got Emma a new book today at our new favorite Catholic bookstore called Angel in the Waters. It's about baby's development from conception to about 6 months after birth (going by the pictures) from baby's perspective. The pictures and the wording are just breathtaking! I may be hormonal, but I fight tears every time I read it to Emma. I would highly recommend it to anyone who has kids.
All Praise and Glory to Him!
Thursday, March 13, 2014
The rosary (follow that link for an informative article about the rosary), for my non-Catholic friends and followers, is all about meditating on the life of Jesus, every aspect, of which comes straight from Sacred Scripture. I usually have trouble concentrating as I try to picture the scene, and keeping my mind from wandering. In the Presence of Jesus, though, at adoration, I find it so much easier to visualize the angel asking Mary to be the Mother of God at the Annunciation, Mary visiting Elizabeth at the Visitation, the Birth of Jesus at the Nativity, Mary and Joseph taking the Infant Jesus to the Temple at the Presentation, and 12 yr old Jesus being found in the Temple.
Anyway, after adoration, we all went downstairs and just hung out. Father even joined us for quite awhile, and talked to us about how he went on a quest about 16 years ago to find the best chocolate in the Indianapolis area, and his findings. He's so funny! We also talked about Frozen, Tangled (can you tell we're moms? Chocolate and Disney movies! LOL), demonic possession, and realistic exorcism movies like the Exorcism of Emily Rose (great movie!), The Rite (haven't seen it), and the Exorcism (except for the spinning head and pea soup part, and the fact that it was a boy, not a girl).
All together, it was a wonderful, beautiful, uplifting, peaceful experience that I have every intention of repeating every week. If you're local, and want to share in this wonderful opportunity, we meet at Holy Rosary parish in Indianapolis from 9:30-whenever people leave (today it was about 1) on Thursday mornings.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
What a deal that was! For $8 per kid, she brought the canvasses, paint, brushes, easles, set up everything, taught the kids to paint turtles (except for Emma, my rebel - she refuses to do whatever everyone else is doing, so she painted her own thing), and cleaned everything up before she left!! I would TOTALLY do it again. Plus, I didn't have to buy stuff for those crappy little goody bags that no parents like because all the kids had their painting to take home! It was awesome!