Thursday, May 30, 2013

Happy Birthday, Kayleigh!


Our first "surprise" baby!
 
 
 

 

 
23 years of beautiful smiles God knew we couldn't live without.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bouquet of Marriage Prayers ~ Day 29


The Need to Touch Hearts

She wrote that the computer had just crashed and she hoped I didn't mind her scrawl.
Mind it!?!
 
I heart it best.

 
That she took the time.
That she wrote her ache along with the ache in her wrist.
That she cared enough to write.
That she took the time to touch my heart.
 
Words matter.
 
Then there was the email the other day that churned my heart:
"Thank you for all the uplifting sharing that you do!"
 
A pouring of words and feelings and hurts and aches plucked into a hollow outlet.
Just as heartfelt. Just as brave. Just as much a part of reaching out. Just as beautiful.
 
And sometimes when I wonder why I write...because what I do is so small, so insignificant, so minut compared to what others do....a scrawled letter shared or an email plucked forth is sent my way and I am reminded why I write.
 
To touch hearts.
 
We have a need to touch hearts.
We have a yearning to touch hearts.
It's a God-given desire.
It's an urge connecting spiritual necessity to physical need.
 
God gives me this so that I can connect in a way I don't do it well otherwise.
Still...I often wonder if my voice is yet just another shout into a den of voices that no one hears.
And why should I continue if I'm just not good enough.
 
Because...
Without the written words I'm voiceless. Without the written word I've allowed Satan to tell me I'm voiceless. Without the type I cannot counterattack the anti-God culture that attacks my family.
Without the print I cannot leave a part of my heart for future generations to know. Without this outlet I cannot leave a part of my heart for my family to understand.
 
Words matter.
 
At the end of my days the words written upon my children's hearts and the words I've shared with others is my personal covenant to the God whose Word was made flesh.
It's a joining of my words to His flesh.
It's all I have to join with those larger parts of the Body who have more to give. I'm the little toe.
 
So for those who flesh out gratitude or correct my information or suggestion a different approach or question my resources or help me improve my words with their words and then take courage to share them with me in order to make my offering more worthy, I am grateful.
 
Without sharing, this is a voiceless misuse of words.
Shared it is not a clanging of voices.
It becomes a blending of hearts touching hearts.
 
To all of you who listen to the need to scrawl me a letter, pluck me an email, or jot me a comment.
Thank you.
You touch my heart each time you do.
That is the way God serves His body.
 
Words matter.
 

Bouquet of Marriage Prayers ~ Day 28


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Time Through Instagram

This sign pretty much defined our past weekend at Niblett's Bluff on the Louisiana/Texas border.
As did lots of popsicle licks...



And popsicle "please-may-I-have-one" lines that formed as nieces and nephews trekked by our camper.
And lots of boat riding trips down the river.
 

And lots of deep sea fishing on the land because it's the very best playground in the whole wide world.
And lots of walking around and around and around the camping arena.
Even a little bit of history because a very long time ago a little skirmish took place along this riverbank and this bluff in the war between the states...
 
Where we now swim and boat ride.
 
Happy and free to do so.
And we even enjoyed bits of A/C cooling like this...
...and relaxing like this.
More camp napping.
And still more camper napping. We're lazy that way. :-)
And staying cool with fresh vegetables.
 
And avocado on almost everything (Me, not so much the kids).

And sitting in wide open spaces...


Hoping for inspiration of some summer writing projects.
Thankful!



 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Woefully Behind

I'm woefully behind in posting the prayer intentions for our 40 Days of Prayer for Marriages and the reason is because I usually get the intention buttons off the Catholic Sistas FB site in the morning and post them sometime during the day.

This weekend was (is) Memorial Day weekend and we were camping with our camping group of family and friends. So there is much delay in getting these prayer intentions out but in God's time there is no beginning, no end, no past, no present, no future. It all coincides blessedly.

Here's the intentions for the past 5 days. Offer up those much-needed prayers now.




 
 

Bouquet of Marriage Prayers ~ Day 27


Bouquet of Marriage Prayers ~ Day 26


Bouquet of Marriage Prayers ~ Day 25


Bouquet of Marriage Prayers ~ Day 24


Bouquet of Marriage Prayers ~ Day 23


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"Marriage is rarely easy." ~ L.H.

The past 22 days we've been praying earnestly for marriages {past, present, and future ones because they all come together in eternity}. Not just for marriages but for SACRED MATRIMONY. There's a difference.

During this time, the movie The Great Gatsby made its debut at our movie theatres.

Here Lisa Hendey writes from the angle I experienced when reading Gatsby in high school. Depressing and vague were the two words I have used to describe my experience with the book. I don't remember much of it but I clearly remember the book's cover:
 
What was the book's main message again?

A friend recently suggested I might enjoy the movie and it might help clarify things the book did not. She reasoned that I now have life experiences which might allow me to appreciate the book's message that I did not own back in high school.

Ok, I was open to that idea.

Then Lisa writes these Four Faith Takeaways from her viewing of The Great Gatsby:
  1. Racism is still ugly.
  2. Money can’t buy happiness.
  3. Marriage is a complexly challenging institution.
  4. Lies devastate lives.
I suggest you go read her take on all 4 but it was #3 that reminded me for what these past 22 days of prayer have been for and, I admit, peaked my interest in seeing the movie.

* * * * *

"Marriage is a complexly challenging institution. It’s “uncritical view of adultery” is part of what earns The Great Gatsby an A-III rating from Catholic News Service. ...

"If you’re like me, you will sit in the theater knowing that the love between Gatsby and Daisy is wrong, contrary to her marital covenant, and yet you may secretly “root for” the two to land in one another’s arms. Their love might feel so “right” in the moment, cast in the light of Daisy’s philandering husband Tom, who seems so abusive. Surely Gatsby and Daisy deserve true love, right? In the end of the film, as I sat wiping away tears, I was reminded of many spouses I know who are carrying heavy burdens in their marriages. I have several of these situations on a prayer list I keep privately and I know the complexities of being true to one’s marital covenant. Marriage is rarely easy. Challenges rear their heads at many twists and turns along life’s highway to heaven. It seems to me that only God’s presence at the core of the relationship is sufficient “glue” to keep these bonds strong enough to survive. Even with Him present, married couples — good, non-cheating, honest men and women — may still struggle in their married vocations. And God seems to me to be altogether missing from the lives of any of the characters in this film."

* * * * *

"Marriage is rarely easy."

Thank you, Lisa, for not playing make-up artist but revealing an image of marriage that Hollywood glosses over and, often, rejects. There is no marriage that is simply a piece of cake. There is no marriage that doesn't need prayer, commitment, and God. Prayer nurtures it. Commitment is sometimes the one thing that bonds it, and God will then blesse it. Without God as the make-up artist, it becomes a dissolvable structure.

Reading Lisa's paragraph above (because I haven't seen the movie and I remember almost null of the book), makes me think this movie might be a book for our times. I could have quoted Lisa verbatim: "I was reminded of many spouses I know who are carrying heavy burdens in their marriages. I have several of these situations on a prayer list I keep privately and I know the complexities of being true to one’s marital covenant."

Even when reading about past marriages throughout history you know that it has never been an easy institution to sign up for. There's something heroic in that mention. One day a fellow church D.R.E. shared with me that she and her husband had attended a school reunion made-up of a number of couples who all married straight out of high school, including my friend and her husband. I forget the number of couples but it was in the double digits. Fifty years later, only two of the couples remained married to one another; my friend and her husband were one of the couples.

Statistically, marriage is tough. Doesn't matter the age in which you say, "I do!"

These couples married in the early 60's.  The 60's were perhaps a remake of the Roaring 20's on steroids.

It comes down to prayer...continuous prayer...commitment, God, and...yes, Love...which surpasses all things.

{This being said, I really don't have time to take on one more book. But...
 
...there's always tomorrow and summertime is ripe for a good movie. :-) }

Bouquet of Marriage Prayers ~ Day 22


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Monday, May 20, 2013

Bouquet of Marriage Prayers ~ Day 20


Picture Perfect Cakes in May

Whopper Cake by Karma Wilson/ Will Hillenbrand (Chocolate Fun Cake Recipe)


 A Cake All for Me! by Karen Beil (Polka-Dot Cake Recipe for early readers)


Ole! Cinco de Mayo by Margaret McManis/ David Harrington (Flan Recipe for May 5th)

 Cook-a-Doodle-Doo! by Janet Stevens/ Susan Crummel (Strawberry Shortcake Recipe)
Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman
{Pink Lemonade Recipe for The Cake}
Warthogs in the Kitchen by Pamela Edwards/ Henry Cole
(Cupcake Recipe included for Warthogs AND Human Children)
Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride by Pam Munoz Ryan/ Brian Selznick
(Angel Food Cake with Whipped Cream and Strawberries)
Don't Forget by Patricia Lakin/ Ted Rand
(Orange Sponge Cake Recipe)
 
Miss Poppy and the Honey Cake by Elizabeth MacDonald/ Claire Smith
(Honey Cake Recipe)
 

Goody O'Grumpity by Carol Ryrie Brink/ Ashley Wolff
(Includes 17th Century Recipe for Spice Cake with all the ingredients found in the poem)
  Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco
(Recipe for grandmothers to make with their grandchildren on rainy, thundery days)
 
Eight Animals Bake a Cake by Susan Middletonw Elya/ Lee Chapman
(Recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cake)
 
Saturdays and Tea Cakes by Lester Laminack/ Christ Soentpiet
(Sweet Recipe for Tea Cakes...just like Grandma used to make)
 
 
Auntee Edna by Ethel Footman Smothers/ Wil Clay
(Another recipe for Tea Cakes...just like Auntee Edna used to make)
 
 
My Pop Pop and Me by Irene Smalls/ Cathy Ann Johnson
(Recipe for Lemon Bar Cake Bake incase you don't care for Tea Cakes served above)
 
Bruno the Baker by Lars Klinting
(Recipe for a birthday cake for a beaver and a great introduction for the beginning baker)
 
Baby Babka, The Gorgeous Genius by Jane Breskin Zalben
(A European Recipe for Chocolate Babka ~ Chocolate Cake Loaf)
 
Beverly Billingsly Takes the Cake by Alexander Stadler
(Complete with a Busy Day Cake Recipe)
 
 
May is almost sweating into June. More cake books to come throughout this last week of May.
Grab a plate and stay a spell.

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