My Miracle Baby is 12!

Please indulge me a bit as I get a little emotional: Tomorrow is Andrew’s 12th birthday! My heart is full as I think about life with him all these years. I keep telling him to stop growing up but he just won’t listen. :/

Andrew Certificate

This is Andrew when he was 5 years old.

Did I ever tell you the story about his birth? I was looking through some old posts but didn’t see anything, which is strange because I could have sworn I’ve written about it here.

You see, the doctors said Andrew wasn’t going to make it so “technically” Andrew shouldn’t be alive. Sometime (probably within 24 hours) before his birth, Andrew swallowed meconium (“baby waste”). Then, after laboring for 24 hours, I gave in and decided to get an epidural (I wanted to go natural). When I got it, Andrew’s heart plummeted and I had to have an emergency c-section.

As soon as he was out, he was whisked away to be worked on. I didn’t have my glasses on so I couldn’t see him; all I saw as a big blob. He was on 100% oxygen and the doctors said it didn’t look good. BUT, God had a plan. Michael got everyone he could think to pray. His best friend from college, who was also the best man at our wedding, had the prayer request added to the prayers of the faithful during Mass at Franciscan University.

So, obviously, he made it! In fact, he was able to come home from the hospital with me! Also, there were no residual effects from his trauma at all. He is smart, sometimes a smart alec!, funny, caring, and growing into a lovely young pre-teen. 🙂 I look at him now and I am amazed at God’s goodness.

Andrew when he started 6th grade this year.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t in God’s plan that we have another child and that sometimes makes me sad. I wish Andrew had a brother or sister to play with and grow up with; however, I am so grateful for Andrew. I can not image him not in my life – even on those days when I want to pull my hair out because he is having one of his tantrums! He is such a blessing and I can’t wait continue on his journey with him as he grows up to be a man. 🙂

31 Days of Prayer – Glory Be

For many Catholics, the first prayer that is taught is the Sign of the Cross. Another prayer learned early is the Glory Be to the Father. Before long, both prayers become mindless. This is especially true for the Sign of the Cross because we say that prayer before (and often after) most other prayers.

Write 31 Days - Glory Be

Image by LoveToTakePhotos (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

However, have you ever thought about the power behind those prayers? Think about the Glory Be. When we say that prayer, we are offering our praise and love to God. We are proclaiming His sovereignty from the beginning of time to eternity. We are glorifying the holy and Blessed Trinity every time we say that prayer.

The Glory Be is a powerful prayer of adoration. So, let us say this short prayer with attention and devotion.

“Glory Be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.”

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Tweetable: 31 Days of Prayer – Glory Be

31 Days Writing Challenge

Happy Labor Day!

Have you ever wondered what Labor Day was all about? For most people, Labor Day has become a ritual of sorts indicating the end of summer and time to go back to school or back into “work” mode.

laborday

But it is really more than that. The Wikipedia defines Labor Day read more of it here:

Labor Day in the United States is a holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It is a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country.

This is a great definition because without workers: blue collar, white collar or no collar, we would not have a country. So today, as you barbecue or join in whatever activities you are doing today, take a moment to pray for all the workers in our country – including yourself!

Also, while you are at it, please say a prayer for all those who are unemployed or underemployed. There are so many people struggling to get by (us included) and to provide for their families.

God bless you and your family today and always.

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Image in public domain

Prayer to Keep the Presence of God

“You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever.” Psalm 16:11

Remaining in God’s presence during the day is a very important aspect of the spiritual life. I know for myself, I want – and need – to stay grounded in His presence; but alas, I fail short so many times.

PresenceofGod

Then I started praying this prayer that I found in the book Handbook of Prayer (aff link page 43). I’ve been praying this prayer first thing in the morning for a while now, and I am so pleased that my mind keeps going back to this prayer during the day! In hopes that this prayer will help you remain in God’s presence, I want to share this with you. ( The author is not listed, so I don’t know who the author is):

Prayer to Keep the Presence of God

“Lord God Almighty, You have brought us safely to the beginning of this day. Defend us today by Your mighty power, so that we may not fall into any sin, and that all our words may so proceed and all our thoughts and actions be so directed as to be always just in your sight. through Christ our Lord. Amen.”

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Go here to download a printable version of this prayer. Subscribers can go to their private page to get the printable.

Tweetable: Prayer to keep the presence of God

Image is in public domain

(This is a repost)

Yikes, it is Going to be Crazy, People!

Some of you know, but for those who don’t, I started my next semester of classes yesterday. I have three online classes and two campus classes. I kind of knew that I was going to be busy. The professor for the Christian Tradition had already posted assignments and reading on Friday, BEFORE the official beginning of the semester. It looks like it is going to be an interesting class. Anyway, I logged on to discover that I have a two-three page response paper due each week for two classes, plus the reading, plus the discussions. I am going to be hopping!

Please pray for me that I will be able to keep up with the classes and do well, keep up with Andrew’s homeschooling and everything else. I am hoping that I will be able to blog at least once a week but I may wind up neglecting the blog for the short term…

So, If you don’t see me around online much you know why. 🙂

Assumption Novena: Day 3

The Assumption of Mary (Public Domain Image)

Today is day three of the Assumption Novena. You can follow the prayers along here, or use either of the prayers here or here.

Product Review: Journey With Jesus: Sacraments

Journey with Jesus

via http://www.armadei.blogspot.com

Monica over at equippingcatholicfamilies.com was kind enough to give me the “Journey with Jesus: Sacraments” craft kit to review.

Journey with Jesus is a 23 page printable kit that teaches children about each of the 7 Sacraments as well as the Mass, the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit and the Stations of the Cross. Each page has fill in the blanks, prayers, Catechism and Scripture quotes and information regarding the Sacrament being studied. There are also pictures related to each Sacrament that the child can study. Once the pages are completed they can be made into an accordion scrapbook like in the picture above, or put into a store-bought scrapbook or one that you’ve created yourself.

My experience

So far, Andrew and I have worked on the Baptism and Sacrament of Penance pages. He is seven and will be making his First Holy Communion next year, God willing. My plan is to work on the pages as much as we can, put the scrapbook together and then revisit the book each time he receives a sacrament. And not being very creative (!) I’ve opted to just make our scrapbook out of construction paper.

So far Andrew and I have enjoyed working on the pages together. It’s been so wonderful talking about Baptism and Penance with him and watching his understanding and knowledge of our faith expand. I’ve read the Scripture and Catechism passages, having Andrew read the words he knows before he colored and glued and the pages to the construction paper.

If I had one slight criticism, it would be that the fill in the blank lines are a little too small. I’ve had to write the answers down for him because he’s not able to write that small yet. Having said, that, there really isn’t anyway to make them bigger and include everything on each page.

Andrew’s experience

When I asked Andrew how he like the craft kit, and told him I would be writing a review, he told me that he wanted to give his own review. 🙂 This is what he said:

I like this stuff, except there’s too many words I don’t know. I like the pictures to color and I like gluing.

Here are a few pictures he wanted me to take of him working on the pages:

Andrew coloring

Baptism page

Finished Baptism

Happy Andrew

I definitely recommend this Sacrament craft kit and give the program four (4) stars. 🙂

 

Presentation of the Lord (Candlemas)

Image by Collinson (1878) via Wikipedia, CCO Public Domain

“When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord,just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,”and to offer the sacrifice of “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,” in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel,and the holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him,he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:

“Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”

The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted(and you yourself a sword will pierce)so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem” Luke 2:22-38

Today is the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, formally known as “Candlemas”. In many cultures, the Presentation the Lord used to be the official ending of Christmas, therefore one of the traditions for this feast is to light lots of candles and decorate with greenery.

For some lovely explanations and  meditations on this feast, here are some websites to check out:

Fisheaters

Churchyear.net

New Advent

celebrating candlemas

catholicculture.org

americancatholic.org

about.com

Today’s feast is also a good lead in for this month’s devotion: The Holy Family. It is good for us, as Catholics, to imitate our families after the Holy family. It is good for us to pray to the Holy Family, asking them to bless our family and help us in our needs. You can go here for some prayers to the Holy Family to get you started.