Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I admit it. I am one of those people that when the going gets tough, I sit down and bawl my eyes out. Then I panic. Then I sit down and bawl my eyes out. I am so lacking in strength and perseverance.

I have been thinking about this as I sit and wait each early evening for my son Jacob to get out of soccer practice. Cause Jake has perseverance. See Jake is not the best kid on the team, heck, Jake is happy when the coach puts him in at all, but Jake, since school began this year, is gone from early in the morning to early evening between school and practice. He knows he is not the best kid on the team, but he works like he is the star athlete, like the team won't make it without him. He has made friends, and he works so hard. I watch him running, and I know he struggles because he doesn't always have the natural stamina it takes, but, and this is the most important thing, HE NEVER GIVES UP. And it doesn't matter to him what other people think, he is out there making friends and having fun. And working hard. And learning something valuable in life that his mother has not learned yet.

That is doesn't matter what anyone thinks. That if you want to do something, just do it, not for anyone else, but for you. And ignore everything else. I mean this in a good way. I am not talking about getting into things that are sinful or bad for you.

Let me explain. I am struggling right now. I am struggling as a missionary and I am allowing others to influence me, my moods and my decisions. I am not the best missionary. I don't always have the stamina it takes. I am not always good at my tasks at the mission, and many of my jobs that I have there do not come naturally to me. My head knows that I must persevere for Christ. But too often the judgements, or comments, or ugly treatment from others, allows the devil in my heart, and then I think I am not good enough. So I struggle alot.

It makes me want to run far away. That's where I am tonight. Feeling sorry for myself, ready to give up. Upset that I don't have the perseverance to do what needs to be done.

I wish I could be more like my son. My eyes fill up with tears when I think about him running around that field, doing his best and ignoring everything else.

And maybe tonight, maybe God sees me that way too. Maybe He sees me trying and trying. Seeming like I am not getting anywhere. But He is proud of me too, and His eyes are full of tears, watching a daughter fight for souls, as best as she can.

Maybe I will stay. And learn about perseverance.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things......

I was thinking today about how much I love autumn. I always have. And I started to think about the reasons why I love it so much. Which then led me to think about things that make me happy when I am sad, things that are comforting to me, and the next thing you know I have Julie Andrews singing in my head, and a great idea for today's blog! So here is my list of my favorite things, well some of them anyway:

Sweater weather. Cool but not freezing. The sun warm on your face but not boiling. The smell of leaves and cool air. The smell of cinnamon. The smell of cinnamon can instantly change my frame of mind. I need one of those cinnamon brooms in my bedroom. But I digress. A clean bedroom. Especially my own. Being able to escape there from the noise and have a full thought is wonderful. Now I just need a cinnamon broom in here and I may never leave. Again, I digress.

A cup of tea. And a warm, fuzzy blanket on my lap. With a good book. The smell of a new book. The smell of an old book from the library. The smell of polish sausage cooking. (OK, so I am into smells, what can I say?)

Baking Christmas cookies. I can do it for hours and lose myself in it. Especially while listening to Christmas songs. Which I start listening to the week of Thanksgiving. Yeah I know I am Catholic and listening to Christmas songs before Christmas is as shunned as saying Alleluia during Lent, but I can't help myself. And I know Jesus forgives me because He sees the little girl in me that just loves those songs. They bring back memories.

Candles. I love candles. Especially ones that smell like cinnamon. Sorry. I just had to put that in there. I am a junkie for cinnamon.

A glass of really good wine, and a dinner out with my husband. No one enjoys food more than we do. We can sit for hours with a bottle of good wine and a fantastic meal. From appetizers to dessert. We can't do it often, cause, hey, we have nine kids, three in Catholic high school, and one paycheck, so you do the math. Plus we gave up alcohol as missionaries so we have to ask permission when we want to have some with dinner. And our superior does give us permission to do that. But I tell you, that is one of my most favorite things to do with my husband. We will sit and talk, and enjoy. So relaxing. We used to plan for a movie afterwards, but by the time we are done, we are too stuffed and sleepy from the wine. Don't worry. We live three houses from a lively restaurant area. We can walk and not harm a soul!

A cup of coffee in the morning. Especially on the weekends. When you don't have to go anywhere on a Saturday morning and you can just enjoy your coffee and the quiet. We try to get up before the kids do and we have a rule. No TV. Just silence and coffee.

Silence. I have come to enjoy silence. And it is free. Just not too easy to come by in my life lately. Which is why it has become one of my favorite things! Grocery shopping. It means we have money. I love to go and buy all the things that my family loves to eat. I love my husband's cooking. He is an awesome cook. One of my very favorite things is when my spiritual mother comes over and he makes us a gourmet meal. The kids get chicken nuggets and chips and disappear, and she and I sit at the table while he prepares course after course of an awesome meal. He sits and eats with us between courses. It is so much fun.

Spending time with my spiritual mother\spiritual director. Same person, two different titles. She makes me laugh and think and she is a joyful person. I cherish my time with her.

Christmas crafters night with my in laws. A tradition we started when our oldest four were very young and we still do it to this day. I make potato pancakes, from scratch, my mil brings the polish sausage, and my sil brings the dessert- Death by Chocolate. After dinner we clear off the table and do Christmas crafts with the kids. At the end of the night, my fil takes a picture of all of us holding what we made. So much love and laughter in that night. I will never give it up.

Thanksgiving dinner with my mom and her boyfriend. We share the cooking responsibilities, and we stuff ourselves like pigs! And mom always brings really good wine! Very relaxing, with a fire in our fireplace and just a lot of coziness. Lots of things to be thankful for.

Chocolate. Need I say more?

Ok. These are just a few of my favorite things, maybe we will have a part two someday. But for now I am tired and I want to do one of my most favorite things, snuggle under clean sheets and thank God for all He has given me.

Oh, one more favorite thing: on His feast day, one of my favorite saints who also happens to be my patron, St. Michael. Thanks St. Mike for always protecting me.
Ps. I haven't even gotten into music yet, that would be another whole blog in itself! Ahh, for another time.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I need to blog!

So a couple of weeks ago I went to the movies with my two oldest daughters and my husband. We saw the movie Julie and Julia and it was pretty good. Unfortunately my hubby did some research and we found out that the real Julie is a liberal jerk with a filthy mouth and it totally ruined it for me, but I did get something good out of it.

I have decided to do something for myself. And that something is to blog everyday. Even if it is only three measly lines. Or maybe even three measly words. Still, no matter how tired, starting today, I am going to try and write something every single day for a whole year. For myself.

Because I love to write. Really, really love to write. When I was a little girl, the nuns would punish are whole class and make us write 100 word essays. Everyone hated me. Because I loved to write. My stories, essays, call them what you will always were more than 100 words long. I mean, come on, there was so much to say, and anyone who knows me knows that I can't have a conversation only a hundred words long, much less write something that short.

And it didn't matter what the lame topic was, I could always make it interesting. Because I had and still do have, a huge imagination. I grew up in a family where children should be seen and not heard, and then they would drag us to the most boring places. So I had to amuse myself in my mind, and I became quite good at it. To this day, on car trips, if we are passing through small towns, I look at all the houses and imagine people's lives. I especially love it at night when you can see a cozy light on, or the flashes of a tv through the front window.

My husband told me I needed to find something for just me. An outlet. I have alot of stress right now. I have so many responsibilities, as mom, wife, missionary. Things are getting crazy and I will write more about that.

But for now, today is day one of my new adventure. Come along for the ride. If you dare.

Monday, September 7, 2009


Ok. So I am driving home from Mass, listening to a radio station that I probably shouldn't be listening to, and Ryan Seacrest of all people, is giving advice out. The problem today is that a young woman called in about one of her bridesmaids actually having the audacity to get engaged at her wedding rehearsal dinner. Another young woman calls in and says, "I know how you feel, at MY wedding one of my bridesmaids and her groomsman, well here I am dancing with my new husband, and the photographer was taking all kinds of pictures of us, and then all of a sudden I notice that he was no longer taking pictures of us, but of my groomsman on one knee proposing to my bridesmaid."

This goes to show you what kind of a "It's all about ME, kind of circus", bridezillas are now making this to be. I mean, what a joy that upon seeing your marital happiness, people in your wedding party have been inspired to jump in the wedded bliss wagon too. BUT NOOOOO, it's taking the attention off of ME, it's all about ME. Oh, and the guy I am marrying too.

When we started taking weddings out of church and onto a beach, or a forest, or on top of the balcony of the theatre we used to make out in, then we opened up a pandora's box. It's all about the show. And in a couple of years after baby spits up on your wedding book, or your six year old makes a collage out of your wedding pictures cause she just learned how to use scissors the right way and is practicing, what will it all mean? Nothing. Yeesh. And then we wonder why marriages don't last anymore.

What happened to the sacrament? What happened to the holiness? Why is it all about the gown, the place where we will booze it up afterwards, and whether or not the bride truly is the QUEEN FOR THE DAY. This drives me crazy!!!!!

Who cares what color lilac your napkins will be? Who cares if your cousin Shelly has the audacity to bring her baby because she has the nerve to be breastfeeding during YOUR wedding day!!!!

Ugh. Sorry. I know. I have to chill out. Can we please bring God back into this world? Then I will be sane again.

Until then I will be on my knees praying for the future of this country.

And praying that at least one of my five daughters becomes a nun.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Thought for this Morning

Today I am thinking about gratitude to God. I always think that if we all just kept our eyes on our own paper, and were grateful for what we have, we wouldn't waste our time being jealous about what other people have.

God is good to each one of us. Yes, we all have difficulties, we all have sufferings in life. I have talked about that before. But we have so many things to be thankful for. If we look at all God has blessed us with, we won't be worried about the next guy.

I know it's hard. Hey, I struggle almost everyday with making sure my eyes are down and focused on my own life. And one of my most struggled with gospel readings is the one where everyone gets paid the same amount, whether they worked all day long, or just one hour. Yeesh, I still have trouble with that one. Also the reading where Jesus tells poor Martha, after she's been running around preparing everything that her sister Mary has chosen the better part by just sitting at His feet. I always root for Martha, even though I know the ending. I feel that way because I have been working in the kingdom for a long time, and I have to face my own jealousies and accept that even though I work my tail off for Him, someone on their death bed will reap the same reward as me. Heaven. That's where not counting the cost comes in I guess!

And I mean really, in the end, will it matter? Do you think any single one of us is gonna care when we are in heaven whether or not someone worked hard enough to get there? I don't know about you but I am going to be so happy to be there myself, I won't care about anything else! We are going to be with God! Our Creator. Isn't that awesome?!

I hope we all get there. I pray for it. I wouldn't wish hell on my worst enemy. We have to pray, and be grateful and offer up and sacrifice as much as we can.

And then get up in the morning and do it all over again. Cause somewhere in this world is a man or woman on their death bed who need our prayers:

"For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world."

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Feelin Blah.....

I just read something over the weekend on one of my favorite blogs, Conversion Diary. The writer was talking about going into a time of Adoration while on retreat, and everyone was taking Kleenex, preparing themselves for an emotional time. She took some too, expecting she would have a "moment". And then nothing happened. She felt nothing.

I loved that she shared that. That happens to me too. It's not that I feel bad, or angry, just nothing at all. Like, "here I am. Go ahead God. Do Your thing". And nothing happens. Sometimes I just feel content, life is good and I just sit quietly before Him, just happy to be His kid, but not emotional about it.

Sometimes I sit there and I am thinking about what to make for dinner, or "is that really You, Jesus?" Or, "why am I here, I have a million things to do!" But I figure, just being in His presence gives me the graces I need. Sometimes I am anxious about things, can't keep my mind on anything, but gradually, I find my shoulders relaxing, my teeth stop grinding, my jaw becomes loose, and I feel peaceful inside. I still don't have the answers to my problems but I feel calm. And when I leave I have a more peaceful, calm attitude.

The thing we have to remember is that sometimes we feast, and sometimes we have famine. If we can be happy, calm and grateful no matter what, God will reward us. Sometimes we will have consolations, sometimes we will suffer, and sometimes, we will just feel ......nothing. And that is okay. Blessed Mother Teresa, St. John of the Cross, and St. Theresa of Avila, just to name a few went through various forms of this. It's always holding deep inside the belief in God, trusting in Him through everything, no matter what comes down the pike, separates the men from the boys, the goats from the sheep, the cowards from the cowardly.

I am going through a mini time like this. Where I just feel kinda blah. Not bad, not good. Just blah. Trusting in Him to get me to the other side. I know it could be because I am tired, and the devil loves to work on me when I am fatigued. I think he looks at me and says, "ooh good! She got up early, Teresa is not sleeping, she is ready for some of my action." Except that I am praying the St. Michael prayer, and I already am on to his ways, I know he tries to get me when I am tired. Today I feel blah, tomorrow I could be crying, the next day, all will be well. Or this could go on for weeks. But I doubt it. God is good, I trust in Him.

So I will go to Adoration later today, and maybe I will be planning my dinner, or crying about being tired, or praising Jesus because He touched my heart. Any which way it goes, I will be in front of HIM, and that is all that matters.

"He wraps Himself in light, and darkness tries to hide, and trembles at His voice, and trembles at His voice. How great is our God......"

When I am with Him, I am safe. He is God. Today, tomorrow, forever. Amen.