Thursday, December 30, 2010

Today I am sharing a video by one of the 3 people that I have had the pleasure of giving birth to and raising and living with over the last nearly 18 years.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mostly, O Holy Night!

So, there are some great Christmas songs out there and there are some not so great ones and then the snarky and the all out anti-Christmas ones. The ones that rail out against poverty and cry out in pain like Father Christmas by the Kinks. It is a pretty angry song but not unlike much of the brokenness in this world behind that anger is a whole lot of hurt.
This year has been different for me. The brokenness of human relationships has pounded my mind and torn open scars in my heart. Usually, the music of the season is going so long (an October start) and so loud in my car and in my home that by December 14th my family is pretty much done with me and my Christmas music.
October came and I did started to listen to Christmas music a little bit. I texted a friend to see when she started to listen to the songs of celebration and she responded with "the day after game day" which would be 2 days after Thanksgiving and then she wrote, "Mostly O Holy Night." I have that one by 7 different artists. It is really the only one that I have paid attention to this season.
Going to my computer I wanted to find out the history of the song. These are the words we normally sing:
O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
'Til He appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! O hear the angels' voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.
Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from Orient land.
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.
He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, Before Him lowly bend!
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim.

Incarnation: Emmanuel, God is with us. Strangely, I have felt at a loss at how to celebrate and acknowledge that the Creator of the Universe took on flesh and walked among us. I guess you might say I am on a search for simplicity.
The above words of O Holy Night is John Sullivan Dwight's translation. The original song was derived from French poet Placide Cappeau. Here is the literal English translation:
Midnight, Christians, it is the solemn hour,
When God-man descended to us
To erase the stain of original sin
And to end the wrath of His Father.
The entire world thrills with hope
On this night that gives it a Savior.
People kneel down, wait for your deliverance.
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer!
May the ardent light of our Faith
Guide us all to the cradle of the infant,
As in ancient times a brilliant star
Guided the Oriental kings there.
The King of Kings was born in a humble manger;
O mighty ones of today, proud of your greatness,
It is to your pride that God preaches.
Bow your heads before the Redeemer!
Bow your heads before the Redeemer!
The Redeemer has overcome every obstacle:
The Earth is free, and Heaven is open.
He sees a brother where there was only a slave,
Love unites those that iron had chained.
Who will tell Him of our gratitude,
For all of us He is born, He suffers and dies.
People stand up! Sing of your deliverance,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer!

This is the first year in many years that I did not purchase any additional music to add to my December collection. I never got off the ground with my usual listening tradition. A couple of Boston radio stations started their holiday tunes in November and I found myself changing the station once I heard the voice of Johnny Mathis or Bing Crosby or The Carpenters.

I came very close to abandoning all of the usual traditions. However, we had already made plans with extended family and I had committed to hosting one side and attending the other side's festivities. I did manage to enjoy being with extended family. Of course, we are very happy to have our "girls" home even while having to continue to adjust to their adult status. The relatives wanted to see them too.

I really want to think about revisiting the idea of simplifying Christmas for 2011 perhaps in February. There are traditions that are worth keeping: like reflecting on the Babe in the Manger, singing and enjoying Christmas music, seeing relatives and friends.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Be Ready
Today we will prepare for our oldest daughter, Grace to come home. She is back in the Commonwealth and went straight to helping out dear friends. There are lots of things to prepare for in this life before they come to pass. Be ready. People make incredible and often elaborate plans for a wedding and little preparation for marriage: get ready to have a baby but fail to prepare for parenting; focus on the Babe in the manger and forget that His entrance was made in the shadow of The Cross.

Many Americans go ALL out for Christmas and usually, I am one of them. There is lots of preparations involved. Playing Christmas music and singing along, black Friday, baking, decorating, shopping, making lists, checking them twice, Christmas parties, The Tree, spending lots of money, Holiday concerts, writing Christmas cards and letters, shopping, putting up the Advent Calendar (hey look at that, something I actually did this year), deciding when to get together with the in-laws ( a check mark here as well;-), time to reflect on what we are celebrating.

It Did cross my mind that in the traditional sense, I am not ready and not worried about it either. What a gift from God. I have been poked and questioned about my lack of action but remained unmoved for the most part. This morning I sat down to read my Bible (nothing unusual there) and came to a passage in Isaiah:

"It will be said on that day, Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation."
Isaiah 25;9

Jesus is the One who came. He has given us the gift of salvation. He will come again. Preparation for the remembrance of our God becoming flesh, yes I have done it during this season of Advent but instead of it being a family affair, it has been something, I have been quietly doing myself. (Our family is in one of the great seasons of parenting: some call it "launching arrows, others "sending out the eaglets" or "birthing adults." I freely admit that I am not doing a perfect job and at times find myself treating these adults like children. There is a lot of coming and going happening.)

Some Jews, Simeon and Anna, the Prophetess, Joseph and Mary, Mary's cousin Elizabeth and her husband, Zechariah, the lowly shepherds and others recognized Jesus as the Christ. All of Israel was waiting for their Messiah and some are still waiting. We, Christians await Jesus Second Coming. He will not come in the same manner as the first coming but as the Warrior Kin in power and might. And we say, Maranatha! (translated means Come Lord Jesus Come!)

Are we prepared for the Return of the Reigning King? Do we care? When Jesus does return will He find faith on the earth? I hope so. I want to be found ready: walking in the Truth with the Truth by the Truth in the stream of His Love empowered by His Spirit, loving God and Loving others, being about the business of building His Kingdom for His glory.

The food will be eaten, the drinks drunk, the songs sung and gifts given. Then we will turn the calendars to January 2011, a new year and hopefully continuing to prepare for the Return of God's One and Only Son.

I say Rejoice, Rejoice Emmanuel shall come to you O Israel.

Friday, December 10, 2010


I am really having trouble with posting my Advent Foretold posts and I still haven't figured it out. Perhaps, the revisiting of this devotional is for my personal benefit and not to be shared. Honestly, I have had a hard time getting into the Christmas Spirit this year. Tonight I am planning to go to a Christmas party and I am thinking that I want to just skip it. It is out of character for me. I am one of those people who drives her family crazy because I start listening to Christmas music in October. I am listening to some right now but even the music, I have been "eh," take it or leave it.

Nevertheless, Jesus Christ is the Hope of Glory, He is the Word who became flesh and He is the Light of the World. Jesus Christ is the Joy of our Salvation. He is the Alpha and the Omega and nothing I desire can compare with Him. My zeal, my love, my passion for my Lord has actually increased over the last few months, as I begin to see the Beauty of His Holiness. You read that right "begin." O Christians do you not believe what it says in the second letter to the Corinthians, "Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day?"

Now that I am writing I remember a song by my friend David MacAdam and in this song he writes, "Christmas can be everyday of the year when Jesus does your living. No longer a slave to yourself must you be when you can be forgiven." Yes, each day, I get up and say yes, LORD thank you for another day. With you there is Hope and with your Holy Spirit and by Your power will I live out this day. When (not if) I stumble and fall, your forgiveness, grace, mercy and yes, hope is right there enabling me to carry on. With this hope, I desire to bring life, joy, grace, truth, love and hope to each person I encounter because I have a personal relationship with the One who was born of a virgin, hailed as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, is called Immanuel, at birth was King of Kings, Lord of Lords. Jesus is the One who has given me His Holy Spirit. It is this Spirit that I need each and every day in every season.

So, I am not into the festivities or the mood or the decorating or shopping or even the music that is brought about at Christmas time, but that doesn't make me a Humbug. It just makes me human in the midst of life, changes and challenges, joys and sorrows, faith, hope and love.

Have a day full of hope!

Monday, December 06, 2010

In the past few years my sleeping habits have changed and I am usually in bed by 10 PM when I am at home. Well, I knew that tonight's game would be big, but I thought I might fall asleep. NO WAY, the cold, the adrenaline and of course the action of the New England Patriots have kept me totally engaged.

Yes! I am a fan since before the days
of Tom Brady.

Play offs and then on to the Superbowl 2011
chances look good for the Patriots.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Advent Foretold
Technology not always cooperating

For the last 3 days I have attempted to post my thoughts on Advent Foretold which I am reading through and I am doing something technically that is not allowing my posts to be posted. Nevertheless, I am reading, reflecting, and remembering our times in this book and around God's Word and His story of using imperfect human beings who really lived to carry out His perfect plan.
It is an Amazing story: Abraham, an old man and Sarah his wife, past childbearing age gives birth to Isaac. Isaac is the promised seed of Abraham and God says, bring this son to the alter, worship and sacrifice him. Abraham trusted God enough believing perhaps that God could and would raise Isaac from the dead. He didn't know how "God would provide" which was the answer Abraham gave to Isaac when he asked "We have the wood and the fire, what about the sacrifice father?" Abraham did however have faith in God. (Genesis 22)
The ancestral line is being set up for the One who would come in humility born of a woman. Isaac lives and has Esau and Jacob. Jacob the younger receives the blessing and begets many sons. Again, in God's providence and outside of the scope of human tradition, chooses son #4 of 12 and makes Judah the Lion and Ruler of his brothers.
For several generations there is silence and then from the tribe of Judah, Jesse would become the father of David, who would be the least likely son to become King of Israel.

To Date: it is a continuous History lesson and one that my children learned during the preparations of Christmas.

"Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6In his days Judah will be saved, an Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called:'The LORD is our righteousness.' Jeremiah 23;5

Thursday, December 02, 2010

December 2

Advent Foretold
written by Gary and Wanda Sanseri
originally published 1990 for their family

Looking at the first prophecy

Genesis 3;15

The stage was set.
Sin and death had entered the world.
God stated that there would be war and there would be the Victory.

All was not lost at the beginning of human history.

There is hope for those who believe in Restoration and The Restorer.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

December 1st Advent Foretold Revisited
Last year Katie and I went into our storage to find a few things - one of the treasures I came across was our family's copy of Advent Foretold, a December devotional for all Ages. We used this devotional from 1996 through 2002. At the moment of discovery, I was flooded with memories and emotions, of our family with growing little ones sharing in this tradition.

You probably can't tell by the picture but the book is held together by duct tape. There are pictures that can be colored in with each day's devotion. Many copies were made over those 7 years, unfortunately, not many were saved.
The first half of the devotional is Prophecies about our coming Messiah and the second half is the fulfillment of those prophecies. The purpose of the book is to point us to Our God Incarnate, the Son of Man coming as a babe, born of a woman. It is because of this Event in history that we celebrate His humble entrance into this world.
Today's devotion sends us to 3 Scriptures Isaiah 46;9-10, Isaiah 48;3, 5 and Numbers 23;19

3"The former things I declared of old;
they went out from my mouth, and I announced them;
then suddenly I did them, and they came to pass.
4Because I know that you are obstinate,
and your neck is an iron sinew
and your forehead brass,
5 I declared them to you from of old,
before they came to pass I announced them to you,
lest you should say, 'My idol did them,
my carved image and my metal image commanded them.'

6"You have heard; now see all this;
and will you not declare it?
From this time forth I announce to you new things,
hidden things that you have not known.

Now I am looking at Isaiah 48 and since the devotion today sets us up for the rest of the book, I thought I would give you my take on it. Only God has ever perfectly proclaimed those things that are yet to come. When I read, "hidden things that you have not known." It makes me think not only of the coming of the LORD but also, of those things yet to come in my own life and the life of the Lord's Church. His Bride being prepared for the Bridegroom and the LORD's second coming.

The Bible is a Living Word and we can trust in what God has left us, His Holy Word and he says here in Isaiah 48 I spoke it out and it happened. He announces new things and we can be sure that God's Word will come to pass.

I am looking forward to revisiting this book and looking again at the coming of Emmanuel.

"Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all people love poorly. We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour increasingly. That is the great work of love among the fellowship of the weak that is the human family."
-Henri Nouwen

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Read at your own risk*

I have just under 50 drafts sitting in my waiting to be posted file here on my blog. Today, I am just going to be risky and shot from the hip. I will post whatever I end up writing now. Consider yourself warned: READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

*This blogger is not responsible for the effects this blog post may have on your life in any way, shape or form.

When I was at the age of my two younger children, 17 and 19, it was all I could do to just get through the day. I lacked gratitude, ambition, drive, vision, hope, dreams, love. I worked hard, drank hard, was hard on myself in the most destructive of way. Basically my philosophy was be "Life sucks and then you die." There were no thoughts about the future, because I didn't think I had a future. It is now my belief that I am to glorify God and to enjoy him forever and to be hard on myself in a way that will enable me to be who God meant for me to be.
Here I am nearly a quarter of a century later and there doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day. At the age of 21 the LORD God invaded my heart and changed the course of my life. By God's grace my husband Dan and I have had the great privilege of having children and raising them together. We were given the opportunity to educate and bring them up the way we believe God would have us.
Nearly 3 years ago, I wrote a blog post about being in the Heart break Hill of parenting alluding to where I am in the marathon of parenting via the Boston Marathon and now, I hear the roar of the crowd as I have now entered Kenmore Square and soon the finished line will be within view. My role as a parent is in the midst of a radical changes and it is not easy. As I can ONLY imagine, the runners coming into Kenmore the transition that takes place right then and there, you can either push through the pain and finish strong or succumb to it and drag yourself across the line.
It is really difficult to assess how I am doing but according to my kids I am pushing through and each one of them has been so gracious to me. Even though they do not understand what I am going through, at least they do their best to be understanding. Each one needs me in a different way and in many ways what they need me to do is let them go and let them grow.
"What is next for me?" is a question I am starting to let myself really start to think about seriously. And I am happy to report there is a plethora of things I am thinking about today.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Pleasure is Mine

To my shame, I have not updated my reading list on my blog sidebar for some time. Currently, I just finished reading Lover of My Soul by Alan Wright, a gift from my dear friend Becky. There are a number of other books I have going too.
In the past 2 months I started to reread The Christian Imagination by Leland Ryken. The end of this summer, I had an awakening, an opening of my eyes that I never expected. Here I am daring to write about it, in an indirect way by quoting from this book, that I think every Christian ought to read. It is profound. It is truthful. Creativity, the arts, beauty are being neglected by a number of churches in the States. As Christians this is to our collective shame. We need to be willing to do something about it and draw people back to God through all of the Fine Arts and to support and encourage our own young people to embrace and cultivate their talents as well as continue to develop our own.

From the chapter, "Words of Delight" A Hedonistic Defense of Literature

"A person's attitude toward pleasure is actually a comment on his or her estimate of God. To assume that God dislikes pleasure and enjoyment is to charge him with being sadistic toward his creatures. The Bible, of course, does not allow such a conclusion. Someone has aptly written that 'God is not a celestial Scrooge who hates to see his children enjoy themselves. Rather, he is the kind of Father who is ready to say, 'Let us eat and make merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'
What does the biblical affirmation of beauty and enjoyment have to do with the reading and production of literature? Primarily it validates the enjoyment of literature as a Christian activity. When we enjoy the beauty of a sonnet or the artistry of an epic or the fictional inventiveness of a novel, we are enjoying a quality of which God is the ultimate source and performing an act similar to God's enjoyment of his own creation. The way to show gratitude for a gift is to enjoy it. Literature and art are God's gifts to the human race. One of the liberating effects of letting ourselves 'go' as we enjoy literature is to realize that we can partly affirm the value of literature whose content or worldview we dislike. If God is the ultimate source of all beauty and artistry, then the artistic dimension of literature is the point at which Christians can be unreserved in their enthusiasm for works of non-Christian writers. John Milton gradually came to deplore the ethical viewpoint of pagan authors, but he noted that 'their art I still applauded' (Apology for Smectymnuus). Werner Jaeger, in his book on the classical tradition, claimed that 'it was the Christians who finally taught men to appraise poetry by a purely aesthetic standard - a standard which enabled them to reject most of the moral and religious teaching of the classical poets as false and ungodly, while accepting the formal elements in their work as instructive and aesthetically delightful.
The modern age has generally regarded the arts as dispensable because they are non-utilitarian. But if we look honestly and deeply within the human spirit as created by God, we will find a hunger for human creativity, for artistry, for beauty. And if we look beyond the human spirit to the God of all beauty and creativity, we will conclude that literature and the arts are not the unnecessary pursuit of an idle moment."

Thursday, October 07, 2010

A Life of Crime

Adrenaline junkies probably make good criminals. A life of crime may pay. Getting away without being caught can give one a sense of victory. But is it really worth it?

Yesterday I saw The Town. And yes, as my son pointed out, you are seeing it just because it is set in Boston. He has that right. The Town in the story is a neighborhood in Boston, namely, Charlestown. It is where my dad grew up and my Auntie lived there until 2003. I lived with my Auntie briefly in 1985. Michael asked me, what about the story in the movie? I said, I am sure it will have a story and it did.

Bank and Armored money truck jobs include planning, violence and a disregard for the well-being of people. It is still people who commit crimes and crimes are generally committed against people. There was lots of action and edge of your seat moments in the movie but the story was the criminal and the victim coming into a relationship. It was this relationship in the midst of the crime that was authentic and sad. The other relationships in the movie were realistic too but there was no time to develop those because there was another job to be pulled off.

Criminals are people with souls. I think I have always been sympathetic toward the offenders not in a "I want them to get away with the crimes nor reveling in their anger" kind of way but in the realization that but for the grace of God there go I. Although, I did not enter a life of crime, the potential was there and the Lord has speared me from entering that lifestyle. The pain of Ben Affleck's character Doug McRay was evident even though it was not addressed in the dialogue. It was evident in his eyes and in his reaction to things. The story never blames his childhood for his actions. It is a case of it is what it is. However, Doug does not want it to always be that way. His interest in his victim organically develops into a relationship. The interest becomes an interest in a new life. This interest represents hope. (Now, I am making myself want to see the movie again...hopefully, I will wait until it comes out on DVD) Genesis says, it is not good for man to be alone. We were created to be in relationship with one another. In this world and in Christendom people are looked upon as the enemy. People are fallen, sinful if you would and responsible for their actions but not truly are enemies. We are all capable of committing heinous acts. People who commit heinous crimes and those who don't are both in need of redemption.

Some crimes you pay with your very blood, some you pay with your time and most you pay with your soul. Crime doesn't pay. It does however cost.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Light of the Gospel of the Glory of Christ

It is my privilege to also follow and read a number of blogs. This blog I am about to write is inspired by Ambition and Apathy and I just want to thank Hayley for continuing to write. Hayley asked herself, Why am I a Christian?

Today, I want to start by saying the reasons that do not make me a Christian.
It is NOT because I am intellectually superior to the next gal on the block and that I have weighed all of the evidence and have determined that this is the best way to live life as a human being.*
It is NOT because I was raised in a religious home.
It is NOT because I was baptized as an infant.
It is NOT because my husband perfectly shared the Gospel with me. **
It is NOT because I was desperate and in need of meaning in my life.***

I am a Christian by Providence, the grace of God was poured out upon my life. I can not take any credit for what Jesus did for me on the Cross. The Holy Spirit quickened my spirit, invaded my heart and gave me New Life. Just like a newborn baby does not understand their move from the womb of their mother to her arms, so a newborn babe in Christ does not completely understand what is/has happening/happened to them at the moment of New Life.

My response to this New Life was with much gratitude. I knew that I was a selfish brat. My eyes and ears were opened by the power of the Holy Spirit in order to realize that God was willing to give His Very Life up for me that I might be forgiven and given Eternal Life by His Own Blood. This wasn't just Good News, this was Great News. The one who led me to this birth place did not promise me anything but New Life.

Upon rereading what I just wrote, I see that this is the "how" I became a Christian but does not answer the question why? Couldn't I be anything I wanted to be? My parents told me that I could be anything that I wanted to be and the world caters to that mentality. My parents also wanted me to grow up and be a member of the religion I grew up in as well. (so I guess they even had their limits to the "anything") In the words of one of my children, "None of us choose our personality, our parents or the country where we were born. Everything we make choices out of is determined by something other than us." So, after being given New Life and learning to walk in it. I have discovered that being a Christian is the way to live in the Truth and that I am determined by God's grace to walk it out for the rest of my days.
Has this Pilgrim Road been a life of easy? Well, Christian means Christ follower and that means dying to self or as my friend Oswald Chambers puts it, "a willingness to go to the White Funeral," which I take to mean as laying down your own life and living for Christ. Jesus himself said, anyone who wants to save his life he must lose it. Have I had moments, dare I say seasons of wanting to throw it in my Lord's face and say no thanks, the Christian life is not for me? Yes, heartache and suffering are hard but His Grace is sufficient. Most of my heartache and suffering have been by my own hand, my sin and the Loving Hand of my Father has been there to restore, to forgive, to love me back into His arms. The suffering I have had at the hands of others has been minimal compared to my persecuted brothers and sisters. I have never renounced my faith in the One True God. Instead, I have gotten to know Him better and love Him more because He continues to reveal Himself to me. One thing for sure is that there has never been a dull moment.
My main reason for being a Christian is that in the light of the Glory of the Gospel it is the most authentic way for me to live. A number of the Christian Confessionals asks:

What is the chief end of man?
To Glorify God and Enjoy Him forever.
Living for His Glory, not mine own and Dancing for all Eternity. I am loved, forgiven, disciplined, lifted up, brought low, made righteous, justified, purified and made whole.

*I do however believe living a life of following The LORD is the best way to live.
**Dan did share the Truth of the Gospel with me.
***Even though I was desperate and wanted to live a meaningful life.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

You are INVITED:

to be delighted

to be inspired

to have one of the books of history

opened for you to see for perhaps the first time

by the telling of this incredible story

In celebration of the 375th Anniversary of Concord Massachusetts

Tickets for "Song on the Wind" are now available exclusively
by calling our toll free number. (877) 746-9755

Performance Dates:
Performances are approx. 3 hours in length including a 20 minute intermission.

Fridays, Wednesday & Saturdays September 10, 11, 15, 17, 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Saturdays & Sundays September 11, 12, 18, 19 at 2:00 p.m.

For some time I have been meaning to blog about this production, the true story of those early settlers and the natives of this land in "The Bay Colony" as Massachusetts was once known and how they related to one another and live together. My husband Dan is one of the cast members. In keeping with New Life Fine Arts mission statement, "Theatre you can believe in" everything is done with excellence, the music, the story, the sets and the costumes are beautifully crafted so that the story may be brought to life together with the actors, singers and musicians.

For Tickets and Further information visit

Song on the Wind

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"So they left that goodly and pleasant city which had been their resting place near twelve years; but they knew they were Pilgrims, and looked not much on those things, but lift up their eyes to the heavens, their dearest country, and quieted their spirits."
Of Plymouth Plantation

Friday, August 06, 2010

Welcome to my alleged Mind
It has been just over 3 weeks since I started to work on my 9131 blog post. Not sure if I will finish before I leave for vacation. Anyway, it has to do with sobriety. As some of you may know, I like to read other people's blogs as well. Josh Harris is one that I recently started to follow.....that is what blog readers do....follow.
Anyway, I have a hundred things running through my head right now.
Here is a sample:
My girls being together tonight.
9131 post still incomplete.
Christmas in July failings
My first of many trips to the PO to send a package or two to Lookout Mtn, GA.
Bike riding
Nantasket Beach
Waking at Dark 30 as my friend Laurie likes to call it
The probability of 3 kids in college at the same time
Having too many books going
My uncanny ability to bless and curse with the same mouth
August Birthdays
Sunshine kisses at dawn
Old friends New friends
Time for bed (not really but maybe)
Life and Death
We are all so fragile. Life can change in an instant.
Hoping for a warm September

Thursday, August 05, 2010

A Daily Devotional that I subscribe to....from Truth for Life

August 3

Extravagant Goodness

Luke 8:42

Jesus is passing through the crowd heading for the house of Jairus, so that he might raise the ruler's dead daughter. He is so extravagant in His goodness that He works another miracle on His way there. It is enough for most of us, if we have one purpose, to go immediately and accomplish it, without impulsively expending our energies on the way. Rushing to the rescue of a drowning friend, we cannot afford to use up our strength upon someone else in similar danger. It is enough for a tree to yield one sort of fruit and for a man to fulfill his own peculiar calling.

But the Lord Jesus is not limited in His power or restricted in His mission. He is so prolific in grace that, like the sun that shines as it rolls onward in its orbit, His path is radiant with loving-kindness. He is a swift arrow of love that not only reaches its ordained target but perfumes the air through which it flies. Virtue is always going out of Jesus, just as sweet fragrance exudes from flowers; and it will always be emanating from Him, like water from a sparkling fountain.

What delightful encouragement this truth affords us! If our Lord is so ready to heal the sick and bless the needy, then, my soul, do not be slow to put yourself in His path so that He may smile on you. Do not be lazy in asking, since He is so generous in giving. Pay careful attention to His Word now and at all times, so that Jesus may speak through it to your heart. Pitch your tent wherever He is so that you can obtain His blessing. When He is present to heal, may He not heal you? Be certain that He is present even now, for He always comes to hearts that need Him. And do you not need Him? He knows the extent of your need; so turn your gaze, look upon your distress, and call upon Him while He is near.

Family Bible reading plan

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Appreciation, Thanks, Indebtedness, Gratitude

On some level our culture no longer values the Thank you card or expressions of appreciation as it once did because we are an entitled people. However, in the realm of being a human being and having a positive outlook on life and in being an influence on others, I think that there is a thing or two to be said about being grateful.
A life without gratitude is one that we simply must bear and it is hard to find enjoyment in life if a person is just "grinning and bearing it." My lessons in learning how to be grateful started a little later in life (I think it should be taught from the time a child is very young i.e. "please and thank you" which ought to be taught as more than words to say, it is an attitude to be cultivated. ). I was 19 years old. It was hard. This lesson was going to help save my life. At 18 I was hell bent and when I actually faced my 19th birthday, I was surprised that I was still walking around on this earth and I was anything but grateful. Here I write many years later and grateful that I am still teachable and still learning how to be grateful.
Gratitude is indeed an attitude and one that does need cultivation. An open mind and a humble heart, I believe are essential to the garden of appreciation. And like any other garden, it needs to be tended to: water, sunshine, and weed. God is the Gardener and He delights in including helpers like me and you to help tend the gardens of our hearts. Once we agree that this Garden is worth our time and attention, we open ourselves up to a place of strength especially when life is changing. The changes are right, appropriate and good and can be painful at the same time. Gratitude can and will help carry us through the changes.
It is not enough for me to just say, "I am grateful for x,y and z" my gratitude needs to be directed toward someone else. For me, as a child of the Living God, I need to be grateful to God to give him thanks for every good gift and to be thankful in all circumstances. To be thankful in all circumstances: the way I understand this line of thinking has to do of what I believe about God, his role not just in my life but in all of life. If I believe that God is indeed in control of this world that He has created and I believe that in His character He is perfectly just, perfectly merciful and perfectly loving, then with my heart I can be thankful in any circumstance.
Time to drink in what I have just written.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dear Readers,
The last time that I posted this a couple of you let me know that there was apparently no links to my new blog, which is not replacing this one. I discovered that they were there just hidden. I have embolden the links: one to Nanowrimo, and two to my new blog. Just put your cursor over the words that are in bold and you will get there.
I am about to embark on something that I have been doing for some time but don't do it as often as I would like: Writing. As some of you may recall, we (the Mullaney Pilgrims) have participated in Nanowrimo since 2005. I have created another blog with a taste of my stories. So, for all of you that stop by here regularly, I want to ask you a favor and visit my new blog and give me your feedback. I am posting chapter 1 from my first Nanowrimo novel. It is unedited.
Thank you,
Catherine Mullaney
Cooking up some food for thought at Mac's Grille

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Just something I saw on a friends blog. Something to think about......if you are interested in what the future may hold for our country it is important to look back in history for some clues.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

In Our Midst

"How many times have you done that?"

"Done what?" the middle-aged woman answered with a question.

"Prayed with someone right there on the spot."
The older woman stopped the younger and looking deep into the younger woman's eyes, she decides that this young one is genuinely asking. The two walked to the car and got in.

"I have no idea how many times. It really isn't something I keep track of."

"Most people just say something like, 'Sure I will be praying for you.' And leave it at that. Most people don't do what you just did." replied the younger.
"You see that is the problem, or should I say that was my problem. I use to say that and leave it at that. If I remembered to pray for the person half the time that I did, I'd be surprised. There came a point where I was convinced in my heart and my mind that for me, I needed to pray with, not just for the other person, as long as they were comfortable with it."
There was silence and in the silence the older woman rested with the assurance that God was listening in on the conversation - this too was a type of prayer.
"Do you believe that God is in the midst of His people?" the older inquired.
"Then why are you surprised that I prayed with someone who said after sharing her burden, please pray for me?"
"Most people are just glad to have a listening ear and don't expect the person to pray right then and there."

Even in a lifetime, I will only know my Lord and my God just a little bit until I see my Savior face to face.

Come LORD Jesus Come!

©Catherine Mullaney

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Looking back over the course

Lately, my reflections and evaluations of bringing up children at home have been a lopsided ledger. I have been able to see my liabilities and can't seem to find my assets under all of them. A couple of interactions with my young adult children have helped me to find some and my husband will say, "look at them. The three of them are wonderful people and you had a LOT to do with that." My response to that is "only by the grace of God." I really don't want to take any credit.

Then I read the following on another Christian Mom's blog:

If I neglect the challenge to teach and train my children to transition from a busy school year to a relaxed summer schedule I will resent them. The un-interrupted quiet time I have when the kids are at school give me mornings at the throne of grace. Those peaceful hours help me focus on the things that matter. (to read the post in its entirety)

First, I will share my response to this part of the post

I just recently started following your blog. It was never my intent to post a comment, thinking that I would just be lurking, reading and digesting. My children are probably quite a bit older than yours. Something struck me and well I may blog about it because it was as if the LORD was speaking to me through you. What touched me was this:
"If I neglect the challenge to teach and train my children to transition from a busy school year to a relaxed summer schedule I will resent them. The un-interrupted quiet time I have when the kids are at school give me mornings at the throne of grace. Those peaceful hours help me focus on the things that matter."

When my kids were small (3 under 7), I would do my best to rise before they did to have that "un-interrupted quiet time" and quite often I would end up with one of them cuddling with me. Each of them knew that this was mum's time with the LORD, they were welcomed to be with me but they needed to be quiet. The first time I sent any of my kids off to school was last year when my oldest went off to college. (now they are 3 who are all over 17)
Thank you for inspiring me and reminding me of God's faithfulness.
Time for me to blog the rest of my thoughts.

What strikes me now is the phrase, "focus on the things that matter most" and for me the raising (which included teaching and training) children at home was the primary focus. When children are small especially under the age of 7, which lots of people consider the formative years, and one chooses to gives away the best part of their children's day to be shaped and molded by someone else, the testimony of honest people is a lot of unlearning has to be done at home. This takes tremendous effort and a fair amount of tenacity. I can only imagine that it is like fighting against a great tide. The worldview of the teachers, the authority factor, and the time children spend under the roof and influence of a school seems to me like a strong opponent to set against a pair of loving parents.

Long ago, I came to believe that it takes a greater amount of faith to send your kids to school, often placing them under the authority of someone you don't know, then to keep them at home. I still believe it.

As I continue to think about what my fellow blogger is saying, I can’t help but think that she is the one who is in need of learning to be flexible in the transition from delegating the responsibility of her children to others to taking back the full responsibility in order to avoid resenting them. Depending on the kid, it is usually one of two reactions to the end of school: the old Alice Cooper, “School’s out for summer! No more teachers, no more books…..” or “I am bored and I wish I was back in school.” I suppose there are those kids who are middle of the road and simply tolerate the fact that they have to go to school. However, I think most parents have harder time transitioning from a school schedule to a summer schedule.

Parents need to be parents. It is up to us to establish authority in the home. In a culture that is so focused on our right to be individuals, it is hard to operate as a family and value family life even when one chooses to raise children at home and maintain that authority and responsibility. Children who are in a classroom setting whether public or private may be encouraged to respect the teacher and one another but it is hard to create an atmosphere that calls for unity. Let’s try to imagine.

“Good morning, my name is Mrs. Mullaney and I will be your teacher this year from September 2010 to June 2011. As 5th graders, I expect that you will respect me as your authority and respect one another as fellow classmates. This year as my students, I will expect one more thing and it will require each of you to cooperate. We will conduct ourselves as a united class. It will be like being on a ship setting out on a voyage at sea. I will be the Captain and you will be my crew. In order to have a successful outing we will have to work together. Every crew member must pull his own weight and at the same time look out for one another, helping each other, encouraging each other and at times you may need to rescue a classmate or even your Captain.”

A student raises her hand and says, “Mrs. Mullaney that sounds like Kindergarten stuff.”

“Agreed and students who are educated do not leave the basics behind. An education is built upon a foundation. This is a foundational principle of the Farview Ave School. If you want to do well in this class and in life then you will agree to follow it.”

Objecting the student replies: “We are not just fellow classmates, we are competitors. I see how it is good to be united. My family is united by the fact we believe that each of my siblings and I ought to be at the top of the class. We are achieving just that and will continue to do so.”

Let’s say at this point, I have done some preparations knowing full well there will be objectors and that this student indeed has been at the top of her class since kindergarten, doesn’t have a lot of friends, and does not have a problem with treading on others to get to the top.

“Unlike the other teachers in this school, your attitude toward me and your classmates will factor in to all your grades in every subject.”

The objecting student wants to object again, it is written all over her face as the other students and I can plainly see. With all eyes on her she sets her jaw and straighten up in her seat.

“I believe that you can still be competitive but in our class, it will be required that you compete with integrity. Those of you who are already what other teachers might call ‘good students’ will help those who are struggling students to become better students and in so doing you will become not only better students yourselves but you will become better people because of your willingness to help others.”

If this were a real classroom and I had maybe 15 students, I may be winsome enough to achieve this unity, but the odds are against me. Probably the administration would be against me as well. (unless of course I produced great results ;-)

Amy went on to talk about every summer day to be a precious diamond day with her children. I contend that childhood is SO short that to have shared summer, fall, winter and spring days with my kids for more than 20 years has been precious and almost seems like too few. To say that I am grateful to have had my children at home with me would be an understatement. Instructing them and learning along side them (I became a Christian at 21), growing up with them in the faith and sharing everyday life with them has been a gift, an incredible gift from my Heavenly Father.

Our decision to educate our children at home did not entail any romantic notion of enjoying family life. It was a decision made after looking at all the options available: private, public and home schooling. Prayerfully researching and seeing that the best chance for discipling our children in the LORD was to not just have them at home but walk through life and be in this world along side them.

(to be continued)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Reading Blogs

I have been reading and started following more blogs, every time I have sat down to write a blog post. So here are some interesting places that I have gone to on the internets, the web, and all the other goofy ways that people say when they go surfing on a up.....


Again and Again, I find myself here so someone in this family can go here or there and everywhere.

And if you want to remember not to take yourself too seriously then I suggest you visit the following blog by one of my favorite authors.

Signing off.........Pax Vobiscum, CM

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


My grammar is not perfect.
I am spell-chek dependant (check dependent).
Sometime I change persons in the middle of a paragraph.
Life is messy.
Words are powerful.
Expression is necessary.
Setting the scene in such a way that you are carried off to another place and time is an art form.
To create an atmosphere that would bring you to tears or cause you to draw the shades and make sure all the doors in the house were locked.
And yet I can't help myself. I must write.