Friday, December 30, 2011

Lord, thank you for....

#63 peach fuzz baby head brushing on my lips
#64 icicles on a tree
#65 warm slippers over cold feet
#66 the loud chaos of children playing
#67 my sister & brothers
#68 catching up with old friends
#69 children splashing in icy puddles on the front grass
#70 my favorite music
#71 fresh paint on the walls
#72 cooking dinner with my sister
#73 fat, dimpled baby hands

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Blessings Everywhere...

On this second day of Christmas I feel the calm joy that always follows our Christmas Day celebration. It's a day of relaxation & family. His Peace surrounds us and fills me.

#52 sleeping in
#53 waking to the smell of breakfast & coffee (I love my husband)
#54 Anna creating at her new art desk
#55 Jason & Ryan playing
#56 time with Alex
#57 napping with baby, sun coming through window keeping us toasty & cozy
#58 movies & popcorn
#59 root beer floats topped with whip cream
#60 stocking candy with breakfast
#61 His peace
#62 funny friends that make me laugh

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas gifts

Lord, thank you for the many blessings of today. I'm learning there are no small gifts...

51. the birth of our Savior
52. the Mass
53. wrinkled gift wrap on the floor
54. excited & smiling faces
55. family gathering & laughter
56. relaxation

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Getting Ready for Christmas

I love this quote from 
Whenever Christmas begins to burden, it’s a sign that I’ve taken on something of the world and not of Christ. Any weight in Christmas has to be of this world.
Christ came into this world as grace to lift all the weighty burdens.
Trying to truly live this, this week, the final week of Advent.

A baby with a little cold, and kids home sick from school both yesterday & today. Plans have a way of changing real fast. The last of my gifts that I'm sewing will have to wait until they go to bed. Tonight that meant not starting until 10pm. Yet, it is okay. It will get done. And if it doesn't Christmas will still arrive & our celebration will still be joyous. Christmas photo by the tree has not been taken, that means cards have not gone out. Christmas will not be a burden this year. I will not rush, hurry & stress. His peace is filling me with great calm & joy. wrapping gifts
#39...still warm from the oven cookies
#40...flying flour while kids baking
#41...too much sugar poured on cut out cookies splashing in bath sleeping at breast, milk dribbling down chin
#44...Ryan drumming
#45...Ryan's smile
#46...Ryan's ESPN interview with himself as head coach
#47...accomplishing a task
#48...being ok with tasks left undone
#49...board games on the rug with sick son
#50...everyone asleep, I'm alone with my thoughts, prayers, music, sewing machine and a glass of red.

Lord, thank you for your abundant blessings. You alone are my peace & only by Your grace am I able to live fully for what I was created. Thank you for opening my heart. Thank you allowing me to see my gifts. There are no small gifts from You.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Thank you God for...

#31...Saturday mornings with kids.
#32...silly girls & sweet boys.
#33... Advent
#34...little hands that always explore.
#35...her innocence.
#36...the sound of Anna saying.."mama"
#37...popcorn, Christmas carols, cuddly children still in their pj's at 1:45pm

Thursday, December 15, 2011

When I feel like I failed...

I pray for His healing grace. Yesterday my day started with quiet calm. My plans were sailing along smoothly. I guess it's easy to find joy when life is calm & easy. But it's about thanksgiving when the waves of life toss your little boat off course. That's still my struggle. Yesterday, I responded to disappointment with frustration and anger. It happens less than it used to, but it still happens. I failed to embrace the disappointment and disorder of the day. Jesus asks us to take up our cross & offer it up to Him. When disappointment passed & life calmed I saw my sins. To be honest, I saw it in the moment but was too caught up in my emotions to stop...breathe...pray. So, I ask for forgiveness. I give thanks to God for His perfect mercy. Today, I begin again, embracing the simple & abundant gifts from a forgiving Father. I will move slower today, soaking up the beauty of the young faces & little hands that come to me. I will open my eyes to the beauty among the clutter. I will embrace disorder as my cross. My heart tries to shed the guilt of yesterday with hope for today. I give this day to Jesus & ask for healing arms to hold me steady. Thank you, Lord for....

#21...your Mercy.
#22...your Cross.
#23...fresh beginnings.
#24...Advent candles that have burned and dripped pink & purple.
#25...happy children & music.
#26...bare baby feet clapping on the hardwood. little redhead & her toothless innocent grin oldest son and mama's boy. I love that he still has endless hugs & kisses for me. strong, beautiful, generous daughter who is transforming into a young lady right before my eyes.
#30...the Sacraments.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cold rainy days....that warm my soul.

I think sometimes that a rainy day is just what the soul needs. Rainy days during the summer are welcome retreats from the heat. I cherish summer rain, those summer rainy days spending time with the kids, staying in to watch a movie or work on crafts. Rainy days in December are a little bit different. The kids are in school, so it's just me & the baby. Because of the heavy clouds it's 8:30 am and still dark in the house, except for the Christmas lights. Leftover St. Lucy bread & jam with coffee while I nurse the baby. It will be a quiet day of organizing the house for Christmas. Maybe I'll get some sewing time if the baby decides to nap. I love to read while nursing the baby. Tucked into the couch with a book on a cold rainy day, for even just a half hour, fills me with peace. I never seem to feel hurried or overwhelmed on rainy days. So it's a day of rest despite all the things I will accomplish. I deeply feel the Spirit of Advent today. Quiet preparation...still trying to empty both home & heart. Peaceful & joyful anticipation. Feeling the hand of our Heavenly Father through prayer & gratitiude....awaiting The Gift. Thank you, God, I'm so grateful for....

#12..... cold, rainy days.
#13..... dark mornings & Christmas lights.
#14.....His Peace. faithful Advent companion, Caryll Houselander and her Reed of God, who touches my heart & inspires me every Advent.
#16....crockpot meal for dinner already on the counter.
#17....St. Lucy & what she taught the kids yesterday about living The Gospel.
#18....quiet mornings & sleeping baby.
#19....hubby's safe return from work last night.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Slow down... move with Purpose.

On my drive home from the gym early this morning I found myself hurrying. Hurrying to get home to help the 3 older kids get ready for school & to nurse the baby. Hurrying so my husband can leave for work. When my body hurries my mind starts to follow, so my sewing list for Christmas starts to rush through my head. I pray for the grace to slow down. I pray that my body and mind will move with purpose, His purpose. Ann at reminds me that there are no emergenies, only amatures hurry. She says, God’s Word never says Hurry Up. God's words only whisper: Wake Up.

Dear Heavenly Father, I am grateful for... life.
#7...nursing my baby.
#8...pouring my first cup of coffee while everyone else is still asleep.
#9...not hitting the puppy that ran out onto the road on my way to the gym this morning.
#10... a peaceful morning.
#11...Ann, her blog and her book.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Day one

There is no better season then Advent to begin my journal of gifts. The season of emptying oneself to prepare for The Gift. And there is no better week to begin then this third week of Advent, the week of Joy. Joy through gratitude, I keep saying it over & over again. So simple, so powerful. And this is a perfect day to begin this journal, The feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Her gratitude & surrender are complete and perfect.  My surrender is an imperfect work in progress.

Heavenly Father, thank you for...

#1 Jesus
#2 My husband, children and family.
#3 A warm home on a cold night.
#4 My youngest daughter still climbing into bed with us.
#5 Our Lady