Late For Church

Tuesday Night Mass

Photo Credit: Marquette University

The room was only half-filled with parishioners.  We tried to sneak in quietly but the heavy doors creaked as we made our way inside. A few elderly women turned in our direction.  But rather than the traditional sour stares one might expect, they smiled and nodded, winking knowingly.

“It’s okay,” they seemed to say.  “You have a baby.  We’ve been there.  We understand.”

This isn’t our regular service.  We normally attend the 11am service, but due to a poor night’s sleep for all three of us, we chose to slumber through the morning gatherings.  Now, after spending all day lounging in pajamas and getting ready for the week ahead, we had rushed to attend the 6pm service.

A lone pew in the back of the church stood empty, and we quickly took up residence.  The first reading had already been recited and the congregation was singing the first hymn.  We settled ourselves as the second reading began.

Our daughter coos and giggles, making adorable faces at us.  She is quiet and sweet, playing with Michael’s St. Benedict cross or my nursing necklace.  Or she stands facing backwards, mesmerized by the beautiful stained glass windows that line the back of the church.  The evening sunlight pours through them, twinkling brightly, and we are bathed in beautiful jewel tones.

We sing, we pray, we celebrate our Saviour.  When she begins to fidget and fuss, her father takes her for a walk along the back of the church.  Again, people turn and smile.  She returns their smile with one of her own.  It’s our favorite look: her eyes squint and she wrinkles her nose and grins widely, showing her cheerfully toothless smile.  There are several soft giggles as people receive this wonderful gift from our beautiful girl.

When the call for communion comes, we quietly get in line and make our way forward.  We participate in the most amazing part of our weekend — the reception of Christ’s sacrifice, the participation in the Last Supper.  We receive the bread and wine with humility and awe, both honored and ashamed, meditating on the sacrifice our Savior made for us.

Once back in our seats, we sing joyously, and then begin our journey outside.  The cold air is already making its way in as other parishioners make their way home.  The priest greets us warmly, shaking my husband’s hand and making a funny face at our daughter, who smiles and giggles at him.

And we leave, blessed that our Lord is pleased to see us spending time with Him and His people, even when we are late.

This post is a part ofShoutLaughLove Tuesdays at So Much Shouting, So Much Laughter and Gratituesday by Heavenly Homemakers.

Wise Council

On Friday, our doctor continued her stance that Naomi, at 18lbs, 13oz, is still very skinny for nearly 10 months.  She gave me some advice and recommendations regarding her diet and advised me to return in two weeks.

One of her recommendations did not sit well with me and as such, I called friend who went through the same experience with the first of her three children.  My friend also subscribes to the attachment parenting philosophy and had experienced similar difficulties as I in many different situations.

When you receive information from a professional, especially when it contradicts what you have been taught, researched or seen work, it makes you doubt and question your choices and methods. My friend reiterated to me the same thoughts that I had, and gave me the same advice that I would have given her had she called me asking for the same information.

In the end, our physicians give us wise council, but ultimately the choice is ours whether to heed that council or not. I will input the majority of what my doctor advised, but the one suggestion I was not comfortable with is something that we will skip.  It is nothing dire or dramatic, it simply goes against our beliefs and choices as parents.

I am thankful I have wise council from both my friend and my physician.  Their beliefs and support have helped me raise a bright, beautiful, healthy child who is the sunlight on my soul. I will continue to go to them both with my concerns and questions.  Their suggestions and thoughts give me answers and peace of mind.

This post is part of Finer Things Friday at Amy’s Finer Things and Five Minute Fridays at The Gypsy Mama.

What Are Your Priorities?

As 2011 approaches, mere days away, I am called to look upon it and decide what I am to strive for in my future. To do this, I have to determine what is important to me and what is not.

So let’s talk priorities. What matters to you the most? What takes president over all other aspects of your life?

  • Jesus
    Well, the first one, for us at least as a Christian family, is fairly easy. Our savior asks to be our first priority in all things and we choose to obey him. For us, this means: 

    • Attending worship services
    • Praying together as a family and as individuals
    • Helping others less fortunate through our time, gifts and charity
    • Reading our Bibles
    • tithing

  • Family
    it is, of course, no surprise that the members of our family come in second (and a very close second, I might add!). However, in caring for our family, many other aspects and priorities melt together. So our ways of making our family a priority includes: 

    • Enjoying meals together at the table.
    • Talking our issues out
    • Spending quality time together
    • Being kind to each other in thought, word and deed
    • Being responsible for and to each other
  • Health and Well Being
    This one actually requires an effort. And a lot of effort at that. Our health is a major factor that often gets put on the back burner. In order to keep our health a top priority, we plan to: 

    • Be active physically
    • Eat more fruits and vegetables
    • Stick mainly with God-made, not man-made, foods
    • Eat local, organic and raw as much as possible
    • Eliminate as many chemicals, salts, sugars and junk as possible
    • Become aware of what we put in and on our bodies
    • Attend regular doctor and dentist appointments
    • Cut out our bad habits (salt, pop, laziness)
    • Drink more water.
  • Financial Freedom
    We are under our creditors thumbs right now, but have dreams of escape. We strive to become free of the oppression our cruel taskmasters have chained us to. Our intention is to: 

    • Develop and maintain a budget
    • Eliminate most unnecessary spending
    • Consider our options and choose the best one for our family
    • Pay off our debts as quickly as possible
    • Create an emergency fund of $1000
  • Our Environments
    While I recognize the plight of our planet and our need to take actions, it is important to recognize our other environments as well.  Specifically our home and work environments. Focusing on these, we intend to: 

    • Find Michael a new job
    • Eliminate clutter
    • Simplify our home as much as possible
    • Reduce, reuse, recycle, and my favorite, upcycle
    • Look at home based employment for me

While it seems like a lot, the truth is that once we begin, we will see a lot of these things meld together. Eating local saves money. Attending Church improves our environment. Selling and eliminating clutter helps us financially.

You can monitor our goals and progress here at I am excited — always ready for a challenge!