Caritas · My world

Love, trials and those “Oh, crap” moments

This morning I woke up, made my pot of coffee and turned on the computer like any normal Friday.  I have a little bit of shopping to do today, the oil in the car needs changed.  I need to pick up some sunscreen for our beach trip tomorrow.  While the coffee was brewing and the computer was booting I went in to give my sleeping husband a kiss.  He was still in bed, not sick, not having over-slept, but because he didn’t have to go to work today.  You see yesterday he lost his job.

And yes that does suck. And no, I don’t want to go into the whole whys and wherefores.  He had burnt out there a long time ago, he was already looking for something else, this wasn’t a surprise, but it still sucks. 

We took some time last night to gather our wits about us.  This isn’t a horrible time for this to happen.  Over the past year we have been incredibly good about paying off the bit of debt we have.  We have followed sound financial advice; we have everything in order.  I have a little bit of work coming in.  We have a decent amount in the savings.  Our only significant expenses are the house and our insurances.  

But if you could spare a moment to offer a prayer that he find a new position soon it would be appreciated.

While were we sitting in the backyard talking about what is going to happen I got hit by one of those overwhelming impressions:  I love this guy.  I don’t deserve him. I just love him.  The only thing of real value I have that I can give him is my love.  And he deserves every bit of love my heart can find.    As odd as it sounds and as (almost) twisted as it might be, his hurting made me love him all the more. 

You might remember the Gom Jabbar and the pain box in Dune. A test of being human, are you able to handle the pain — to overcome the immidate ache or do you act on instinct and pull your hand out of the box and meet death at the point of the Gom Jabber?  I hate those trials. I understand that I need to be reminded to be human, to put love first… but man I hate those trials.

 For a few moments yesterday the natural fear and stress of knowing that our income had just been greatly altered led to actual anger at my husband.  He could have worked harder, he could have done more, he could have tired harder to find another job sooner.  I was frightened and it was his fault and I was mad at him.  He could easily have taken my anger and turned his own against me.  I should be supporting him, what was done was done and being wretched to him wouldn’t undo it.  We could have turned into two animals scratching and biting each other while the wreckage we both hoped would save us pulled us under.  But grace and mercy prevailed.  Because of his humility and love.  Yes, he failed us – me.  Just him saying that  and how he feels it and how it hurts makes me see how much I love him.  That killed any trace of anger I might have had and turned it into just gratefulness that he loves me.  Even when I am not my best self he still loves me. 

Blogs I Know

Oh my goodness there are more of us

What can one say when you raid three nights a week (WoW), played D&D since sixth grade (thank you Dad for being such a great DM BTW … not every girl gets to say that) and love science fiction and fantasy? You’re a gamer.  Now toss in the whole Catholic homeschool mom to six and such and it seems sort of incongruous.  It isn’t but it seems that way.  Well I have been delighted to find From The Shattered Drum a fun blog that I have taken a fancy to.    Keith Strohm — Musings of a Catholic SF/Fantasy Writer.  Check him out if you have a second; it’s fun stuff.


loving with your heart wide open

 I read a book not long ago entitled “Who Moved My Cheese?” which contained a rather obvious set of little wisdom comments to help people see where they are in their lives and where they should be moving. I agree with much of it and disagree with some of it, but one part really sang for me. The question was “What would I do if I wasn’t afraid?” It has occurred to me many times that fear keeps us from really living they way we should, the way God made us to live. Faith is what should kill fear. What do we have to fear really? If the Lord is with us and fear is ridicules for there is nothing to fear living in the palm of God’s hand.

But we are all creatures of the fall. We all have our doubts and sins that pull us away from the perfect confidence that we should have in God. In our personal relationships we have to face the double jeopardy of not only dealing with our own fallen nature, but in dealing with the fallen nature of the other person. We are going to be hurt, so we put up our defenses and attempt to protect ourselves in the process we close off parts of ourselves and deny letting love touch certain things within us. We don’t share completely, we can’t give ourselves entirely and we can’t accept love unconditionally.

But how would it all change if we weren’t afraid? What if we were to open our hearts completely?

Real, sacrificial love is capable of loving completely. The marriage relationship is especially created for the idea of loving with a heart completely open. The 31 Proverb says: “When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls. Her husband, entrusting his heart to her, has an unfailing prize. She brings him good, and not evil, all the days of her life.” What a wonderful thing to be able to entrust not just his household and his worldly goods but his heart to his wife. The reward for this trust an unfailing prize. How would we love if we weren’t afraid?


Blogs I Know · Simplicity

Modesty in dress

Over at Woman Honor thyself if a nice post called WomaN: Cover Thyself.

 I have talked about modesty here before, but there are two nice quotes that I would like to address today:

Modesty, historically granted women the right to ?withhold themselves? from men who had dishonorable intentions. And yes, using a woman for sex without any form of commitment was viewed as ignoble and sleazy by both men and women. 

 When I was younger I was taught that dressing modestly served not only to honor yourself, but was a kindness for those men around you who were trying to be their better selves.  How difficult it is for a young man to NOT stare at that flesh proudly on display at the pool, the school  and the shopping mall.  No matter how much he might want to respect a girl or know her from the neck up it is tricky when she is exposing so much from the neck down.

There is such a hypocrisy to the modern idea of dressing like a street walker while expecting people (men) to respect you for your skills, talents and intellectual ability.  

Nothing frightens me more then sending my children out into a world where casual sex is more and more the norm.  I shudder when I hear other parents talk about how they want their children (daughters) to go out and experience life, they don’t want them to wait for marriage to have sex, they want them to be out there “experiencing” life (sex) before they settle down.  I actually heard a woman I generally respect say “I would be sad for my daughter if she didn’t get to experience a range of different sexual experiences before she settles down.”

Historically women might have been “withholding” parts of themselves.  But in the wider culture out there it seems like there is no longer considered a general goodness to virginity or chastity.  These are thing reserved to the morally repressive fringe.  Not the “sex-positive” open minded folks out there.  

Modesty may not sell.
But that all depends how much of your soul is up for grabs, now doesn?t it.

Sad but true.  Modesty doesn’t sell… but is it supposed to?  Some things shouldn’t be for sale.   Physical appearance is a veneer to the soul.  The quality of the core can not be ascertained from inspecting just the outer layer.  But modesty has within it a dignity.  A care of self and concern for others. 

Books · Mary Mary and Martha

Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World

I really love this title.  I haven’t read the book yet, but I will soon.  As soon as I do I will give you a review,  is Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World a solid Catholic book, is it Christian and find for the Catholic reader or is it problematic?  For now if you would like to order the book you can do so here:

Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World: Finding Intimacy With God in the Busyness of Life (Revised Edition with New Bible Study)

I would love to be able to discuss this book with my reader.  🙂

Catholic Homeschooling

Back to School Shopping

Yesterday while picking up a few groceries I happened to notice that hidden behind the fireworks, red, white and blue napkins, plastic tablecloths and discounted gas grills was a full display of pencils, notebooks and bottles of Elmer’s glue all awaiting eager back to school shoppers. There was in my heart about 30 seconds of regret that my children will not soon be picking up their “back to school” supply list. They won’t be getting a wardrobe of new clothes, and a backpack.  There will be no evening with them carefully putting their names on their pencil boxes and crayons. (though many classrooms have switched to a “community property” rule when it comes to school supplies)… and with that my entire regret that we switched to homeschooling our children passed.

Deciding to homeschool was a big step for us. We are staring at the start of our second year homeschooling and I am looking at it with a mix of excitement and the normal stress that accompanies any large endeavor. And homeschooling is in ways a large endeavor. It takes time, both planning and implementing. There are moments when the kids just do not want to do their studies and times where other pressing things get in the way. But overall I know this is the best solution for our family

One thing that strikes me as rather amusing at the moment is how homeschooling is viewed by so much of the world. Now, I will grant that having six children makes us rather insane looking to the common populace, then add the homeschooling thing on top of that and people you meet become quite convinced that you are completely insane without uttering another word. Until you walk into the local Catholic homeschool group then we are all nuts together.