Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Heartbreak Hill of Parenting

For those of you familiar with the Boston Marathon, you know about Heartbreak Hill in Newton, it is the last of four gruelling hills in a row and only 5 and 1/2 miles to the finish line. Raising three older teens is the Heartbreak Hill of Parenting. Even with kids who bring joy and don't cause us too much heartache (I don't care how well your kids are doing, you will go through something with your kids), it is the time of letting go and helping them to grow into adulthood, not perpetuate their adolescence. It is the time to press on, and press into the heart of Our Father who each of them will need to trust more and more. Grace said to me the other day, before this season of her life, "I could just trust you and dad and you had to trust God. Now, I have to trust God myself." Not an exact quote but that was the gist of what she was saying.

I am still very involved in my children's lives but this will decrease as it is meant to be. My role is always changing as my children (who really can no longer be called children) grow, mature and change. It is a wonderful thing as well as difficult. We want to continue to send our children out with blessings from Dan and me. Again, we are driven to our knees for wisdom. As the saying goes, it is hard to stumble while you are already on your knees. The road of childhood is very short and it has been completed by our oldest and the 2 younger are not far behind.

The beauty, grace and surprise of this journey is that I have been present for each stage of development and we have enjoyed laughter, tears, pain, joy and togetherness. I sat next to a mom with her infant (child #8) on the plane coming home from Florida with Grace last week. She was nursing her little one and I remember nursing Grace and humbled by the fact that God would give me the honor of being a mother. Linda Shepard, a mother I once knew gave me one of the greatest words of wisdom pertaining to motherhood when I was pregnant with Grace,

"Pregnancy is the ultimate in motherhood from birth on, it is a process of letting go."

Sunday, November 25, 2007

For the second time in the last 4 plus years we have returned to New England to live, this is the motherland and we are living on the South Shore of Massachusetts in the city of Hull very close to Nantasket Beach. There are a number of people who walk or run the beach each morning and I am one of them. I have made a feeble attempt to write about one of the freedoms of New England living. If you have any questions, I hope you leave it in the comment box and I will attempt to answer them.

Sincerely Yours

Walking down the beach at the break of day
Not the soft sands of Florida but the rugged terrain of New England
The air is brisk, the sky is clear and the ocean is tuned
To the rhythm of my foot steps
I am not alone but . . .

I don’t have to say good morning
No one will think I'm rude
You don’t have to say good morning
we respect your solitude

To me this is home in the human sense of the word
It’s not that we are an unfriendly people
We just like to keep to ourselves
It’s your people and my people
A pleasant smile can say hello just as well as Good Morning but . . .

You don’t have to say good morning
No one will think you’re rude
You don’t have to say good morning
we respect your solitude

Another way to have freedom and solitude but an acknowledgment
Is through a nod or a simple twinkling of the eye
Say Good Morning if you want to but remember . . .

You don’t have to say good morning
No one will think you’re rude
You don’t have to say good morning
we respect your solitude

I have spent some time in the south
I love some folks down there but there
are pressures of civility that made me question their sincerity
Here in the Bay state, you will encounter the grumpy, cheerful, depressed and some clicking there heels for joy
Be careful if you ask someone how they are because you will probably get the truth

Catherine Mullaney ©

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


"The goal of all his[brother Lawrence] actions was to do them for the love of God."

"Outside of feelings of surprise a person should not allow himself to be carried away with his feelings because God should remain the Master and center of our attention."

When I was a new Christian, I came across a little illustration of a train the engine being FACTS, middle car being FAITH and the caboose being FEELINGS. The point being that the train will run with or without the caboose. This may come across as simplistic, however I think that the above quote by Brother Lawrence can be taken as a warning. Since prior to my conversion I was led around by my feelings this was a good word of advice.
If God is to remain Master, it is important for me to know my place and the roles he has assigned. First and foremost, I am a child of the living God, daughter of the King and handmaiden of my Lord. Each morning I do my best to laid down my will and ask for His Will to be done. To surrender all that I do to God and ask Him to direct me in my everyday activities as wife, mother and friend is essential to bringing glory to God in this season of my life.
If God is to be the center of my attention, then I need to know the facts about who God is not just in my head but in my heart and I am responsible for exercising the faith that I have been given. The Truth needs to permeate my whole thinking and how I view the world, man and God. It also needs to be written in my heart. My faith needs to be authentic and reflected in my actions and decisions.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Practice of the presence of God
by Brother Lawrence
2nd installment

"What we need is to make our faith come alive."

"The goal of all his (Brother Lawrence's) actions was to do them for the love of God."

"We must give ourselves entirely and in complete abandonment to God, both in temporal and in spiritual matters. We must find our contentment in the execution of His will, whether He leads us by sufferings or by consolations, so that everything should seem the same to a person who has truly abandoned himself. We must remain faithful in the dry periods by which God proves our love for Him. In this way we make fruitful acts of surrender and abandonment. A single act of this kind enables us to make much progress along the pathway."

"Find our contentment in the execution of His will" not in getting what I want or what I believe I need or deserve (how unamerican of me) but in this carrying out process of doing what it is the Father would have me do. This reminds me of John Piper and his passion, that "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." The longer I walk this road called life, the more I see that I am nothing without Jesus Christ. I want to cry out and be in the place of Thy Will, not mine be done. Strangely enough, I find myself there more often than not especially in these days living as a very mobile American in a very non tradition way. In the material sense you could say that my life is unstable but in the spiritual sense the foundation stones are becoming more settled and secured than ever before in my life.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence

I have probably owned a copy of this little book for years and I am finally getting around to reading it. There are many good books and this one is already a treat. For right now I hope to share some lines or passages that grab my attention. I may or may not comment on them. I hope if you read this and you have any insights that you would share those with the rest of us in the comment box.

"Thou knowest well that it is not Thy gifts that I look for and desire, but it is Thyself and I can be content with nothing less."

"This sums up our entire call and duty: to adore GOD and to love Him, without worrying about the rest."

"...we must establish outselves in the presence of God by continually conversing with Him. It is a shameful thing to break off our conversation with Him in order to engage in trifling or foolish talk."
I think this last line sums up the purpose of this little book. I do want to be aware as much as humanly possible the presence of the Lord. I know that in this life, it is next to impossible but it is something to shot for because in the next life we will be with Him for all eternity.



I have updated my profile. It occurred to me when a new friend said she had read through several of my posts that she still couldn't figure out what it was that we did. So, hopefully my update will help with that. I will add that I am a daughter of the Most High God, lover of life, know about joy because I have experienced pain, make time for a walk most mornings and currently it is by the sea.