Friday, February 25, 2011

Random Friday....turned into 7 Quick Takes Friday #2

I suppose I could have done a "Quick Takes Friday" for this if I could organize my thoughts into any reasonable facsimile of 7 bullet points...

but the Dora video running downstairs is almost over, so here, in no particular order, is what is on my mind and heart today:

1) The old minivan my son drives broke down on the way to school yesterday...but depite our fears, the "Dirty Dan" (family nickname for the car) lives (with a $350 new alternator)!

2) Hubby and I are going out to dinner and I will bring up the adoption again, it has not been mentioned between us for weeks now, and I had hoped that my temporary job would have helped alleviate the "cash crunch" enough that he could consider the issue without a critical level of financial fear and worry, but.......

3) things just came up at hubby's work that we hope will resolve by the beginning of March, but they will make it very difficult for him to feel secure about committing to such a large financial obligation as international adoption, but....

4) friends of my husband's family started a charitable foundation for disabled children (in honor of their son Tommy who lived his whole life in a wheelchair with a developmental disability until he died 2 years ago at age 20) and the huge annual fundraiser for the charity we always attend is coming up on March 6....I had looked at the flyer earlier in the day and then ran out to Adoration later and while praying in front of Our Lord it came to me - "Ask for a grant for your baby!!!" Yes, the child I want to adopt has both a cleft palate and arthrogryposis and will likely need many surgeries, so he is just the kind of child the foundation was started to help!! I plan on bringing this up to hubby tonight so I can check into the process...

5) Another financial "incentive" to the adoption I just thought of is that my almost 2 yo would be eligible for the free state program preschool at ages 3 and 4 if we have a disabled child in the house (my 4 yo is eligible next year because we have more than 3 children living at home and my oldest has an IEP, but this will not count for the school year AFTER this coming one because my oldest will be in college). So adopting would SAVE us $400-$500 a month in preschool costs (preschool is pricey here in the Chicago suburbs)!

6) I also thought of how we could manage to go abroad for several weeks to get our sister who lives in Portland (with her hubby and 3 boys) usually comes into town around August for at least 2 weeks...but her boys are homeschooled, so she is very flexible...I could pay for her and her children to COME STAY HERE and run the household while hubby and I had to go overseas!! She would LOVE to snuggle and dress my 2 yo daughter in pink for that time whole time! My 4 yo son would LOVE to hang out with her big boys! She can take everyone all over the Chicagoland area visiting relatives and supervise the older kids as well! Making a note right now to bring this up to hubby tonight too....

7) Finally, a new microwave is being delivered any minute now, to replace the one that burst into flames a few weeks ago - new one covered by warranty! See the Lord always provides! Blessed be the Lord!!

Oh, well I guess I did manage to do a 7 Quick Takes Friday, I should go try and get the header....

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 118)

I got the extra time because baby came up and nursed to sleep on my lap while I typed ;-)

Peace to all and please continue your prayers for God's Will to be done in my family!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

5 Minutes

I stopped on the way home from work at the Adoration chapel at our parish.

Only for about 5 minutes.

The best 5 minutes of my day.

For me, 5 minutes in front of the Blessed Sacrament is worth more than hours on my knees seeking vainly to quiet the endless babble of my trivial thoughts.

Now, after years of doing Adoration BADLY (I used to read "O - The Oprah Magazine" in front of the tabernacle - I kid you not, I was THAT clueless back in 1998), I have been given the great grace to worship in a more fitting manner. To feel that all-absorbing feeling that God loves ME and was waiting for ME and is so happy that I am there....

the joy is amazing.

I have been weeping at Sunday Mass lately....not out of sadness, but out of pure exhiliration that God loves us SO MUCH that He died for us AND wants to stay with us until the end of time.

At a Sunday Mass a few weeks after the birth of my 5th child, I was trasported with love and amazement when contemplating the REALITY that in Heaven we will get to experience this Holy Banquet and intimate Communion with the Most High FOREVER.

I saw (briefly) my husband and children and I all kneeling together before the throne of the Lamb....postpartum daydreams or a grace-filled preview of joys to come??

All I know is that my heart is full and my mind is still in front of the Eucharist.

Today I spent 5 minutes with Love.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Two long weeks

My absence here has been deeply felt...but I have not let my faith slip these last two weeks, because I have been doing the Lord's work.

By making money.

I unexpectedly found a temporary legal job in downtown Chicago on a document review project and, after consultation with my hubby, decided to take it. He took a few days off work. Two sisters-in-law and a brother-in-law pitched in to help out. I have been getting the kiddies off to school in the morning, leaving about 9am after a relative comes by to baby-sit, starting work at 10am, then punching out at 6:30pm and heading for home.

I miss my little ones.

They are doing just peachy though. My almost 2 year old especially seems to enjoy having different people around each day and a variety of fun things to do, like outings with Daddy and playing with her 2 week older cousin when that sis-in-law comes to babysit. My 4 year old son is happy to have so much computer and electronic game time (I am not limiting it while I am gone so much). My big kids are really pitching in to help. My husband is really picking up the slack.

But this will not continue.

Despite my occasional stay-at-home mom fantasies about skipping off to work at a posh office, the reality is not nearly so glamorous. The law firm I am working at on the 23rd floor of a Chicago high-rise is gorgeous, with ivory marble walls and floors and frosted glass partitions everywhere.

All I can think of is Jesus talking about "white-washed tombs."

Most of the people working there seem either annoyed or cranky or just desperate and lonely. I see junior associates in front of computer screens, not talking to anyone, for HOURS on end. The place just feels "dead" to me. A money-making, soul-sucking factory.

I can't wait to take my money and back...

to being the mommy who makes my baby smile and dance when I walk in the room;
to being the mommy who makes healthy, delicious dinners we all sit down to at 6pm to eat and share our day;
to being the mommy and wife who keeps this busy ship of 6 children smoothly sailing so that when my hubby walks through the door in the evening, he can just enjoy the love!

I took this job to make money to prove to my hubby that God will always provide for us, that I am willing to do the hard work needed to keep the family "in the black", to show that the adoption I am praying he will agree to IS financially possible...

but what I really did is prove to myself that being a wife and mother is the BEST job in the world, and I want to keep it, and keep working at it, for a very very very very very long time!

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Realities of Spiritual Warfare - Part Deux

I have a killer crazy busy week or two coming up... I will be a full-time working downtowm mom on a temporary legal project. This should bring in some good money which I have been praying for to show DH that I am serious about wiping out a few pesky debts so we can pursue adoption....

that was the great blessing of the last week.

I will even add to that the blessing of being able to put together family care for my little ones at home (almost-2 yo girl and 4 yo boy) while "heigh-ho heigh-ho, its off to work I go" for about 2 weeks.

But now, let me get to the little traumas of the last two weeks that "you-know-who" keeps throwing out in order to cause my hubby to fear and worry (and for me to just be incredibly annoyed).....

1) heater on hot tub breaks completely unexpectedly (just put a new one in less than 3 years ago).... we have to fix because leaving cold water to freeze up in a hot tub during the Chicago winter is not a good thing...

2) pipe breaks in our laundry room causing flood in laundry room and sending WATERFALLS cascading through the basement celing, necessitating emergency plumber visit, can you say "KA-CHING"?????

3) dryer stops the middle of Friday mega-loads of laundry (after the flood we used every bath towel in our house)....internal switch had shorted out....another repair bill...

4) my 11 yo daughter got an orthodontic device placed on Tuesday afternoon that on Wednesday morning (when we were snowed in by 20+ inches) caused her mouth to become STUCK OPEN SO WIDE that she began to choke and vomit uncontrollably and could not breathe...after a minute or so of incredible panic, the appliance broke and she was OK.... we are going to the ortho Wednesday, 'nuff said....

5) on Saturday, right before probably the busiest work week I have had in over 5 years, our microwave CAUGHT ON FIRE!!!! Something caused a hole in the internal wall and SPARKS and FLAMES preceded the total shut-down of the incredibly expensive microwave/convection oven combo we just put in during our kitchen remodel in June! Repair guy coming Monday to see if repairable/covered by warranty (it had better be)! But I have no microwave the week I will be leaving teenagers home to get afternoon snacks ready and start dinner...

My husband is seriously crazed, any one of these would cause him to lose sleep, the combination is close to doing him in....

We went out to a fun "trivia night" fundraiser with some friends on Saturday...just as we arrive our second son texts that the baby just "threw up gyros and fries all over"....


She ended up being OK so we did stay, I got to confide in a friend about my desire and conviction to adopt a special needs child...she and her husband (both over 50)  just adopted 3 small children from Ethiopia to join the 2 bio boys (in their 20's) and their daughter who came from China (who is now 16).

Just when I was ready to throw in the towel...ready to say that "maybe I have enough on my plate and God wants me to just make hubby and children happy"...ready to fall prey to despair and worry....she told me -

"I can so see you adopting. You would be wonderful for those children. In fact, you should get 2!!"

I love P. She is just the most optimistic, energetic and loving woman!!

We are going to try and get together and and let her hubby "rub off " a bit on mine. He is a logical engineer (my hubby's type exactly) and tends to over-plan and worry himself but when he saw the poverty in Africa first hand on a mission trip they did two years ago he said,

"Retirement is overrated. Let's get some more kids."

So I soldier the silence...waiting on the Lord and hoping a precious child from thousands of miles away becomes the next best thing I get to worry about.......

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Baby steps

Last night, as I was cleaning up the kitchen, hubby came up behind me and squeezed me sweetly and whispered in my ear that he loved me and was really trying to think about what we had talked about the other day...

I kissed him and told him that I appreciated that and looked forward to talking more soon!

He sighed, a deep sigh and left the kitchen...

This is so hard for him, I am so asking him to step out of his comfort zone...

He spends so much of his day out in the "real world", talking with other guys about how expensive kids are and how much college costs and how someday they will be "free" to retire and do all the things they really want to do....

I am asking him to step out of this reality and into the REAL unseen reality...

Where at the end of our life Jesus will greet us with open arms and ask what we have done to love "the least" and feed the hungry and comfort the afflicted...

I just can't see him asking about the size of our 401(k) or where we retired to....

Please pray for my dear husband as I do every day...thy will be done my Lord.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

We serve a mighty (sometimes sleeping) God.

The wind howling outside as I write is loud and relentless. I cannot even tell how much snow has fallen because the wind is whipping some into sculpted drifts and smashing the remainder of the icy flakes into the window panes.

I live in the south suburbs of Chicago and we are supposed to have close to two feet of snow by the time the storm ends tomorrow afternoon. But we are all snuggled and warm in a house with electricity (still!) and plenty of food and snow days all around for all the childrens' schools.

It is ironic that this storm is turning my thoughts to the elemental power of God, while I sit warm and cozy in front of a computer with a wireless internet connection.

From time immemorial, weather events manifested the awesome majesty of God to peoples all over the earth, who would tremble at the power of the wind, snow, rain and oceans. Now we can forecast blizzards three days in advance and have plenty of time to stock up on extra hot chocolate and gas for the snowblowers (yes, I did get extra hot chocolate - no, I did not get gas as we do not have a snowblower, we have teenage boys to shovel powered by said hot chocolate).

But I still tremble.

I sat with a cup of hot (decaf) coffee and looked out the window in amazement at what the power of God hath wrought. I felt like the apostles on the fishing boat in the storm while Jesus slept. I want Jesus to wake up NOW and get my hubby on board with the adoption! I want to start the paperwork NOW! I want to start fundraising NOW! I want what I want when I want it and I want it NOW!!

But I need to wait on the silent Jesus in the middle of the storm. Just because He is silent does not mean that He is doing nothing. It does not mean that He is not all-powerful.

It does mean that I need to wait in trust during the awesome storm.

Wait until He does what He needs to do with ME. Wait until His will be done.

I will sit and watch the storm and wait in perfect trust for my beloved Jesus, who knows what is best for my soul, my dear husband's soul, and the good of my children.

I will strive tonight to hear His sleeping breath in the howling wind.