Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours. ∼ Mark 11:24
Many of you know that we found out our oldest daughter has a hole in her heart. We began the process of getting her to Mayo for a procedure to repair it as that procedure cannot be done in the state we reside in. We have been worrying, praying, and waiting since August when we found out about her diagnosis: Atrial Septal Defect.
Today, I received the best news in all the world. She finally got approved for the procedure and it is scheduled for the end of January. I just want to send out our appreciation for all the prayers on her behalf. It means a great deal to us and I cannot express how grateful we are. Much love to everyone for any and all prayers, past, present, and/or future.
Everyone knows that my first child is graduating in the 2016-2017 school year. As any parent knows, milestones in our children’s lives can lead to a mix of emotions for the parent.
And I’m no different. I am feeling excitement and sadness and everything in between for the end of the school year when my son walks across the stage to receive is diploma.
My next-in-line 15 y/o son has reached another milestone in his life causing close to those same emotions flowing through me.
He attended his very first formal school dance, Snowball, as it is called where we live. This is a BIG deal to me, even though he says it’s not a big deal at all.
As much as it saddens me to see him growing up, it makes me just as happy. I am so proud of the wonderful young man he is turning into. He doesn’t give a lick about school, but he is so smart. He’s kind. He’s loving. He’s responsible – he’s held his first job for almost a year now! He’s got the biggest heart of almost anyone I know. He gives the best hugs! He’s got the most beautiful blue eyes and a wonderful smile. He doesn’t talk much, but he can always make me laugh. He doesn’t eat fruits or veggies — meat and potatoes kind of guy. He’s already making his mark on the world and I am blessed to call him my son.
His date for the Snowball dance is a beautiful little lady whom I adore. She’s a sweet girl who really cares for him. And that makes me happy. She and I have discussed the issue of fruits and veggies and between the two of us maybe, just maybe, we can get him to eat some 😉
Generous: freely giving or sharing money and other valuable things; providing more than the amount that is needed or normal : abundant or ample; showing kindness and concern for others (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).
So often in this life, generosity seems to get lost in the jumble. Families. Jobs. Responsibilities. Unforeseen expenses. Loss of loved ones. Changes in living. And the list goes on.
Life. It just happens.
Before we know it, our worlds can be turned upside down and inside out without ever asking us what we think.
How do remain humble? How do we remain positive? Loving? Supportive? How do we continue to spread the goodness of the Lord?
Through generosity. Through simple acts of kindness.
As has been posted a few different times, my oldest daughter was recently diagnosed with a medical condition that can be repaired through surgery. I ask that you take a moment to read through her story in the following posts and then consider making a donation to the GoFundMe account that is set up for her to aid in costs of medical care and travel expense. The following links provide the details of her ‘condition’ plus her story. My husband and I are grateful for all the prayers that have been offered and will appreciate any donation that is made. You will remain in our prayers for a lifetime. You can find her story here, here, here and here.
If you are willing to make a donation, you can do that with the following link:
My husband and I normally don’t do this sort of thing. We are the kind of people who find our way and don’t ask for much from others. My husband is a hardworking, reliable, giving person. He keeps his word. He fulfills his promises. He is always willing to help others no matter what. I am a stay home mother who focuses on family and God. We love the Lord and we want to see our children grow into good, God-focused, giving adults. In our efforts to help our daughter, we are reaching out to friends, family, and strangers who are willing to help.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and to my followers I thank you for your continued support and encouragement in building my blog.
If you haven’t read it, please take a moment to do so. It’s traveling all over FB, but I want to share it anyway because, like the manager, I cannot understand what it’s like to raise a child with autism, but my husband and I have received the very same blessing as he gave, a couple of different times. We have also been given the same looks and heard the same whispers, but we have never been hastled by a manager over it. Fortunately. Both of these experiences are eye-openers. Our family of 10, yes 10 (2 adults, 8 children), for one random supper out on the town (family oriented of course), was blessed by a well-meaning and kind soul. He/she/they (we don’t know who), paid our bill and told the server who delivered that act of kindness from the stranger/s not to divulge his/her/their names/identity. They wanted to remain anonymous. And if you don’t know already, feeding a family of 10 in a restuarant is not cheap. The message delivered with that act of kindness was, “What a beautiful family you have. Your children behaved so well.” These moments, sometimes far and few between, remind me of the goodness that is God, the goodness that surrounds us, many times unrecognized. These acts of kindness are only a token of what God has promised us. It’s these random acts of kindness that come to mind when we encounter the rude comments, the soft whispers (as if we don’t know what they are saying?!?), and the glares from other patrons in different establishments, whether it be a restuarant, a grocery store, or walking through the mall. Remembering the kind acts from others in our wake make the rude/snide comments and otherwise unkind behaviors seem less powerful.
Another reason I wanted to make a post on the above article is because beings that our family is bigger than average, we often encounter praises and judgments from others. The praises are recognized and much appreciated and very well rememebered. For a short while, I began to let the judgements, looks, whispers, and snide/rude comments determine outings with my kids. I felt almost ashamed of the size of my family while in public (at home there was never any shame), but then slowly, my appreciation and the love I feel for my kids re-emerged, surpassing the shame. (**when i say my love for them, I don’t mean I stopped loving them because that’s absolutely NOT possible, I simply meant I let it be bigger, outshine anything anyone else had to say, think, assume, or judge).
And now, I look at my family in the light that God shines upon them with peace. I am in awe because they are the truest blessing from God and He entrusted them to me/ to us. Not those judgemental strangers. Not the kind folks that sing their praises to us about our children. Not our parents or friends or siblings, but US – My Husband and I.
And as the Bible says,
Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates. – Psalm 127: 3-5
And that is reason enough for me. Who else is there to impress, to prove anything, to strive for other than God?
Isn’t His judgement of us what matters most?
Yes! Yes it is.
For all the mothers and fathers out there with one kid, 3 kids, 10 kids, autistic or in any other way impaired, not impaired…no matter, if you have kids just remember this:
Each and every child, born and unborn, is a blessing from God. Each and every child is given for reasons that only God will ever know. Thank God for them every day and pray for anyone who has a judgement to throw at you.
More boys coming up in the house, but tonight I was at the first home game of my Picadilly’s last year of high school football – senior year.
First, before the mushy tribute to my 2016-2017 graduating young man, I’d like to say how exciting this game was. His team lost, but there were some very thrilling highlights. And, of course, it was awesome just being there to watch my son play!
Now for the mushy……
All the many years ago, when this little guy was still just a wee-wittle guy (crying all the time which could have been colick or the nerves/patience of your parents), my mind never looked to his future. Not because I didn’t envision a future for him, but because I was so busy — busy trying to get us both through those first couple of years (looking back, maybe I was more anxious than I realized), busy loving him, caring for him, raising him. When his dad and I broke up, I just got busier being his mom because time with him became limited as he lived/s with his dad. Over the years, I’ve watched him grow and change, throw fits and get mad, laugh and cry. I’ve watched him succeed and fail. I have watched him take what his dad and I have taught him to heart and to fine tune those teachings into what makes him who he is — his values, his convictions, his strengths and weaknesses, his quirks, his views. I watched as maturity began to set in. No, I am under no illusions that he’s as mature as he will ever be….only time and life experience can do that, but he’s as mature as any other kid his age.
I’ve witnessed his hurts. I’ve held him through his tears. I’ve nursed his broken heart episodes. I’ve bandaged his boo-boos. I’ve spent 17 years building a relationship with this softer-than-he-will-ever-admit soul who changed my world. I wholeheartedly and happily admit he’s the momma’s boy in our home who isn’t so momma’s-boyish that it hinders his growth (as I’ve personally witnessed with some of the male species I’ve met). I have been cause, a time or two…., for some of his sadnesses, angry outbursts, tears, smiles, and laughter. I’ve prayed endlessly for him. I continue to pray for him, his life now, his future – whatever it may be. I’ve been there for him and I’ve been selfish. I wasn’t there with him on his first day of grade school, but I volunteered in his classroom numerous times through his grade school years. I haven’t made every game of every sport that he’s ever played, but I’ve tried to make it to most of them. I’ve been his biggest fan his whole life, but I haven’t been the most visible one at times. I’ve sat quietly, for the most part, in the background – greedily taking all the time I could have with him. Throughout the years, that time has been consistent although at different points more frequent. Whatever it was, it was every bit appreciated and cherished. As with any parent, I have years of memories that we’re created sitting tucked away and safe in the Picadilly vault that comes built within every parent for his/her child.
And now we are here – his senior year.
I am not sure about most parents and their feelings about the first senior, but me….
Me – I am excited and sad. I am anxiously awaiting the impending date of his graduation. Anxiously, I say, because my heart is heavy with the thought of him beginning his life as an adult, stepping into this big world without a thought of what is to come. Anxiously because my heart is full of joy at the young man he is now, the young man he is becoming, and the future for him. I have all the doubts of any mother. I have all the hopes of any parent. I have all the dreams (my own and ones he’s talked about) for him. I am trying to convince myself that he’s ready to be in this world. However, the confidence that his dad and I properly prepared him is somewhat lacking.
Then, I have to remember, my dreams for him are not as important as his dreams for himself. My fears are big, but his are just as big, possibly bigger (although he will never admit it). As I sat to watch his first home game of his last year of high school football – his senior year, it took me back. Back to my senior year. Back to his father. Back to that moment in time, senior/junior year, when his father and I found out we were going to become parents.
Never, ever, ever have I regretted the decision to bring that precious little boy into the world. In fact, nothing else but delivering a healthy baby ever occurred to me when I found out about this wonderful bundle of joy. I have never regretted the relationship that allowed him to be created. I have loved every moment (even the hard ones and being a young mom there were plenty) of being his mom. As I sat and watched the game, I watched my ‘little’ big young man out on that field, willing him to enjoy every moment of this year. I said a prayer to the Lord, as I sat cheering in the stands, that he would make this year one of his most memorable ones yet, but one in which he remains safe and continues to make the right choices. As I sat and watched my not-so-perfect, but oh-so-perfect son scuff his cleat through the grass with some disappointment after a dropped ball , I witnessed – one more time – his strong personality, strong as it can be for his age. I looked at him to see what I’ve seen a million times over – my little boy who is now living in an almost full-grown body (a little more growing yet, I think).
My little boy.
My little boy with a heart of gold.
My little boy who cried at the boo-boos who now brushes off the boo-boos.
My little boy who gets anxious when something changes in his routine — I wouldn’t ever believe the anxiety if I didn’t witness it myself. (I am not an anxious person ??? – at least I don’t think so – and I am not sure about his dad as the years since our break-up are many).
My little boy who wanted to be just like his daddy when he was still a little boy, but grew up so different from his dad in so many ways, yet, not so different really at all.
My little boy who seems so gruff and cocky at first meeting, but who’s heart melts as he scoops up his little baby sister in his arms, to give her loves after not seeing her throughout the week. The very same little girl who’s nails he painted when she asked.
My little boy who has made mistakes because we all do, but never been in any real trouble. He’s shown much maturity and responsibility in his teen years. One thankful momma right here!
My little boy who shows much bravado, but a little boy who I know the ‘real’ him, that part of him he only shows to the people that mean the most to him.
My little boy who is so fiercely protective of those that he loves.
My little boy who’s never been in a fight with anyone other than his brother/s (that ever popular sibling fighting/wrestling), who (I’m hoping) tries to avoid fighting, but who would (I know) stand his ground when needed, who would defend someone who needed defending, who doesn’t anticipate a fight (encourage a fight) but would defend himself in a fight without succumbing to fear.
My little boy who deflects uncomfortable situations with trying to make others laugh.
My little boy who likes to be ‘in’ the attention at times, but who also likes to give the attention at times.
My little boy who shows strength, character, selfishness, love, laughter, forgiveness, rudeness and/or opinionated-ness, and kindness.
And I love each and every part of who is. I love the kindness in his heart. I love the love he spreads around him. I love – don’t always like, but always love – the stinky attitude he gets. Chalk it up to some rudeness just because, teenage angst, and being a boy (yes, because he’s a boy! wired completely different than me – a female counterpart 😉 ).
My Picadilly, this is written especially for you, for the first person I fell in love with without expecting anything back – the epitome of love. I was but a child when I had you who grew into a young woman, a mother, overnight. Being pregnant was the first step in my motherhood journey, but you made me into a mom. You have taught me a lot about myself, about life as a parent over the course of your life. I love you, buddy. I love you more than you will ever know. And I am so very proud of what you’ve accomplished thus far and of all the future accomplishments you are going to achieve. I am so very happy that I was blessed to be your mom, to bring you into this world, to watch you grow, and get to continue to be your biggest fan, now and in the future.
I am praying that you will make this a great year. In fact, I am demanding that you make this an awesome year. As they say, you only get this year once. When it’s over, it’s over. You can’t go back. You can’t undo. You can’t relive. So live it. Stay out of trouble but don’t be afraid to make mistakes — small ones ;). Enjoy this year because being a senior is a BIG stepping stone into the adult world. After this, you are pretty much accountable for every action you take, every reaction you make –even more so than in these previous years because when you graduate, the law (maybe not the world and never me, but the law) will see you as an adult.
Love mom ❤
One mushy writing down, a few dozen more to go.
Happy Senior Year, My Picadilly. I love you to the moon and back ♥♥♥
One popular comment I hear when I tell people about the number of children we have is:
“Oh, you must be so busy.”
For a very long time my conclusion was this:
“If you have more than one child, the number doesn’t really matter. A mother with only two kids can be just as or even more busy than me with 8 children.”
Pretty much all my time is spent with my children, taking care of my home, or doing something family oriented. Times away from them include date nights with my hunny, trips mu husband and I have taken, or visits with friends or family when my hubby is home. Then there’s the times that my hubby takes the children with him which is something that happened most recently. He took five of the eight kiddos with him for the day to the county fair. I knew it was going to be a long day with no rest time or reprieve for the young ones so I decided to stay home with them.
Turns out that two kids for the day was very simple. I reached a new conclusion:
Yes, I am busier with 8 children than I would be with 2, 3, etc. etc.
And that got me to thinkin’…..
I have grown so used to having all the kids with me pretty much all the time because that’s what my husband and I have decided is best for our children. And I love it! I am so very thankful that I am able to stay home with them. The day he had most of the kids with him, I felt……I didn’t quite know what to do. The girls and I enjoyed that time together. Reading, coloring, playing, going for a couple of walks, visiting my sisters….it was a great day. It wasn’t different than our run-of-the-mill days except there were only two kids and I realized how much quieter it was in the house. Less arguing, less door slams from running in and out, less food to prepare……just less work in general and this brought to mind my early motherhood years when I had my first child.
I enjoyed that day when it was just the two girls and I, but I appreciate having all my kids. I wouldn’t change it for all the gold in the world. For anything. I would have each and every one of them all over again if I was given a re-do.
Twelve years ago I met the man I am blessed to call my husband. He wasn’t a prince by any means. He came from a working class family who attended Mass multiple times a week. They have a deeply rooted faith in God that extends to every facet of their life. He was taught to work hard and earn an honest living which is evident in everything he does. He worked hard, but he also played hard. His interests were wide and his responsibilities low. He had no wife — obviously. He had no children. He had no debt. He worked for his money and he saved it. At that point in his life, he was able to pay cash for most purchases. His work required him to travel so he didn’t put down roots of his own. When he was home (the town where he was born and raised) from a job, he stayed with his folks. When he wasn’t home, he was working. As I said, no prince by Webster’s Dictionary definition, but he WAS, IS and always WILL BE my prince. We fell crazy mad in love and have been together every since. We had to work at it. A LOT! But here we are, 12 years later and still going strong, through outside issues, children, etc….you know, just life.
But, the focus here is not he and I per se, but what we created. I brought three children into the relationship with me and we proceeded to have five more, as most of my readers know. So, there it be….what we created: our first creation turned out to be twins. Boys! When we found out I was pregnant that first time, he told me a story. Without including all the detail, the story basically consists of his prayer to God that he not have kids until he was 25.
So, here we are, 12 years later and quickly approaching the birthday of our first creation: our twins. What a blessing that pregnancy turned out to be. Don’t get me wrong, all my pregnancies have been a blessing. How could they not? Almost every one ended with a beautiful, tiny little human being placed in my arms. We did have a miscarriage at one point, but that little blessing who didn’t make it into my arms was surely welcomed into his/her forever home: heaven. Anyway, the pregnancy with the twins turned out to be a blessing for multiple reasons:
They were twins! It was scary, but exhilarating. We were super excited!
They were their dad’s birthday present as the three of them share a birthday, and….drum roll please….
They were born on his 25th birthday!
Now, someone please tell me that God doesn’t answer our prayers!
We have created many stories in our years together, but that story has to be my all-time favorite!
I love my wonderful husband to the moon and back.
And I love the family that we have created as he has loved the three whom I brought into the relationship with me without skipping a beat. We are truly gracious for the wonderful man that my husband is. Servant to God. Wonderful man. Amazing husband. Fantastic father.
Happy birthday to the man I love, the man who taught me the true meaning of lifetime love. I wouldn’t want to share this life with anyone else. Every day I wake up to a prayer that gets answered over and over with each rising sun. For that, my heart leaps with joy.
Happy birthday to our twin boys who added more of everything into our lives. Twin A and Twin B, yes you are twins –identical even — but don’t think for one second that one is less valued because both of you are unique, created exactly as God planned. We are grateful for each of you.
So, this week’s kindness challenge had me observing kindnesses around me. Please forgive my repetitiveness with words. I am rather weak in the word department. I used to play Scrabble religiously, but I don’t think it helped much because , yeah, my vocabulary is pretty small. Anywhoo, maybe I should do more reading 🙂
Buuut, back to kindness, we could all use a little more kindness. Honestly, I was very unobservant this week. I don’t fail to recognize the kindness in my midst or to practice kindness, but locking it into my memory (or lack thereof) is my downfall. So, would it still be considered true kindness?
Do I fail to remember it because I am too busy to really think about it or because I am so used to it that it has become second nature (like breathing–it happens all on its’ own without any help from me)?
Anyway, as I said, I was either unobservant or I just can’t remember every act of kindness I observed. Either way, I think I have a problem. Weeell, not a problem, more like a hiccup.
Let me think for a moment…….
and a moment more…..
and still…a moment more……
That’s not actually true and I will start with being at work…..I did notice one co-worker being a ton more helpful than normal. One kindness that sticks out so well in my mind is my bosses’ reaction to my resignation. She took it so well that I felt incredibly guilty about leaving, not her intentions of course. She was just so understanding and forgiving. I felt like a heel. I spent days and days going back and forth about the resignation, trying to find a way to stay working without it affecting my home life. No such luck. Schedule-wise, I just couldn’t get it to work out.
Outside of work, my neighbor brought me over some freshly caught and fried fish that tasted deli-licious!
Man, I just don’t know. Again, the observant quandary! I either didn’t notice or I didn’t leave my house and trust me, it could be both 🙂 Could be that being observant is not my greatest strength!
I’d like to believe, though, that I am so attuned to kindness that it’s presence is so normal in my life that I don’t ever see anything less. Taking part in this kindness challenge was one more step for me toward improving who I am as a child of God, a wife, and a mother as well as any other role I fill, working toward being the kind of person that God has asked me to be. I have always had a more positive outlook on life (I think) so maybe kindness is already all around me because that’s how I choose to see it.
Heck if I know!
But, it’s been a good week for me and I’ve tried to make it that way for others around me and that’s all that matters.
Oh yes, acts of kindness are a wonderful thing in this life. It adds to the beauty of living.
As always, feel free to comment because each one is welcome. All I ask if that you do choose to respond, please respond with kindness even in disagreement or challenge.
I am so excited! I have been nominated to do the 3 day quote challenge and I think it’s going to be tons of fun. I love quotes because they so eloquently put into words exactly what I am thinking or feeling at any given moment, much like a song.
Since family is so incredibly important to me, today’s quotes will focus around family. Words are used as encouragement, to express most any emotion, and to just hold conversation. They can build a person up, tear a person down, and can have connotations beyond the understanding of some while others catch the meaning rather quickly.
Before I start with today’s quotes, I’d like to thank Good, Beautiful and True for the nomination. When I got it in my inbox this afternoon, I was super excited! Good, Beautiful, and True is a very inspiring blog that focuses on incorporating fitness into her life along with her family and her faith. Again, thank you for the nomination.
Without further ado, here are my 3 quotes of the day:
As I said, since our lives are led by God and we live in a Christ centered home, my first quote goes to God. Without him, nothing in our life is possible.
God is in the sadness and the laughter, in the bitter and the sweet. There is a divine purpose behind everything — and therefore a divine presence in everything. – Neale Donald Walsch
Beyond God, family is the most important thing in my life and since I happen to be a wife, my husband is the focus here. He’s my friend, my lover, my childrens’ father, and the leader of our home.
A home with a loving and loyal husband and wife is the supreme setting in which children can be reared in love and righteousness and in which the spiritual and physical needs of children can be met. – David A. Bednar
My vocation as a mother is what takes up most my time and as to be expected, the kids get all of my attention during the day. So, this quote if for them.
We aren’t perfect people, but with the grace God supplies, we’re doing our best to raise our children in an atmosphere that is heavily seasoned with grace, mercy, compassion, structure, wisdom and love that we believe find their source in Christ. – John Stange
Such words of wisdom and truth that encourage me to be the best I can be in each of these areas: Child of God, Wife, and Mother.
There’s a new way to parent for parents that are not together. It’s called co-parenting and as with anything, there are some disadvantages and advantages that come with it. I am not here to give an opinion either way or to sway anyone else’s opinion. This is simply my own experience.
There’s a couple of songs that portray shared parenting. And of course, they are country songs. If you know me, then you know that I am a country fan. The rock and pop stuff just doesn’t bode well with me. Okay, maybe some 😉
If you don’t know these two songs, they talk about getting every other weekend visits with dad. Now, if you are parent that goes through this then you know how hard it is for all parties involved.
So, from my own experience, I have two children that come to me only on weekends and summer visitations and one child that goes to his dad every other weekend plus summer visitation. For this first two children, these two songs apply weekly, but for the one child, it applies to me for 6 weeks in the summer and it’s hard. Every two weeks he comes home for the weekend and when he goes back to his dad’s, I cry every time (not within his presence of course because I know it’s hard for him to and he doesn’t need to carry the burden of my feelings). At the same time, I carry the burden of his feelings because well…..that’s what mothers do. I look at him on these weekends that he’s home when it rolls around to Sunday and I can see the tears threatening to fall from his pretty blue eyes and it breaks my heart. It breaks my heart because I can’t stop it. I breaks my heart because I don’t have a choice. It just breaks my heart because I want to shield him, shield all of my children, from the heartbreak in the world.
But I can’t and…..it breaks my heart.
When these Sunday’s roll around, I can sense the change in his mood. I can see the anxiety written all across his face. He tries to be strong. He tries to hide those feelings. But, I’m his mom and any mom understands that we are one with our children, even when they grow old. Every Sunday (on his weekends home), it’s the same. He gets quiet. He gets sad. He gets short with his brothers and he a bit clingier than normal.
However, I put on my big-girl panties, I hug him close and tell him it’s gonna be alright. We’re gonna miss him a ton and can’t wait to see him again, but we hope he has lots of fun with his dad because we know he loves his dad and his dad loves him. And I reassure him that through those two weeks that he’s gone, we can talk every night and say a prayer with him, because at home, that’s what we do.
To all the parents that know this struggle:
I can do all things through him who strengthens me. -Philippians 4:13