Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Gratitude for what?

Many words to convey gratitude: 
To be grateful for all that we have been given
For kindness from those we love
A smile from a stranger
Your child's hug
The clerk's warm greeting
An unexpected call
Holding hands on a walk
A good day's work
Cooling breezes
Slow kisses
All is gift
Be grateful

Friday, November 21, 2014

7 Quick Takes about life, gratitude and a movie

1.  I live life at full tilt.  People who know me in real life, as opposed to only through social media, are laughing right now.  And shaking their heads, wondering how this is worthy of a quick take.  Because sometimes I forget who I am.  I love roller coasters and rides that spin you round and round, with lights and loud music.  But I also like to come off the ride and sit and rest and get ready for the next ride.  I am either going at full tilt or not.

2.  In this month of November, I have been focusing on gratitude for all the good I have in my life.  I must admit that it isn't easy and that I was sliding from grateful to grumpy the other day.  Part of the problem is that while I am fine handling many projects, I dislike it when others try to make their projects mine.  As I pondered this, I realized that I could be annoyed or happy that I could help.  All of life is a process and slow journey to holiness.

3.  What am I grateful for this week?  Our office was given an extra day off, yea!!!! I think it's because we have non-stop events for almost three weeks in  December.  At any rate, that day will hopefully be pent shopping for Christmas. Working out has also helped me this week stay focused and get rid of the extra adrenaline and sleep better.  I really like sleep.  I don't need lots of sleep, but I need good sleep.

4.  I'm sure most of you are aware of this, but it's Thanksgiving next week.  And then comes Advent, then comes Christmas!  Can we please follow this order?  Thank you.

5.  Gym pet peeve:  people who wear tons of scent while working out.  I am trying to breathe people,
Stop with trying to smell good while you sweat. In the end, sweat and and whatever you are wearing to try to smell good combine into something pretty stinky.

6.  My plan was to read 100 books this year. Don't think it's going to happen.

7.  We watched God's Not Dead this week at our Thursday morning study group.  It was great.  I was a bit concerned sine the group is made of women old enough to be my mom, but all enjoyed it, even tapping along to the music.  I would highly recommend it for teens and above.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Free Books!

I love books.  Right now there is a great give-a-way at CatholicMom on these titles:  Peace and Good:  Through the Year with Francis of Assisi By Pat McCloskey, O.F.M. (Franciscan Media, 2014; Encounter Jesus:  From Discovery to Discipleship By Fr. Dave Pivonka, T.O.R., and Deacon Ralph Poyo (Franciscan Media, 2014); Jesus is the Gift:  The Spirituality of Advent and Christmas By Regis J. Flaherty (Emmaus Road Publishing, 2014) and Integrity Restored: Helping Catholic Families Win the Battle Against Pornography By Peter C. Kleponis, Ph.D. (Emmaus Road Publishing, 2014).  
You have to enter to win!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Grace of YES Day

Today we are trying to have the internet explode with our YES!  Lisa Hendey of CatholicMom wrote The Grace of Yes:  Eight Virtues for Generous Living and today is your day to tell your story of Yes. So please join us by sharing your Yes on your blog, Facebook, twitter or Instagram!
My YES Story
Summer ended three months ago, but over here at our house we are still feeling the effects of what I have dubbed, The Best and Worst summer ever.  We can start with why it was the best.  To celebrate our thirty years of marriage we said yes to a three week trip to Italy.  We visited Rome, Florence, Assisi, Verona, Lago di Garda, and spent time with my family in Laurignano, (near Cosenza) a small town in Calabria.  It was a wonderful trip filled with beautiful Churches, great food and wine, and an appreciation for trains and the ability to speak Italian.  And then we came home and the best summer became the worst summer ever.
My husband had to go into the hospital for a very badly infected toe which set off a chain of events, test, procedures and life changes that we are still dealing with today.  And probably will be for a very long time.  There are many, many medical details which I can’t spell or explain properly, so I’m not even going to try.  Every day over the summer was a new chance to say yes to a change, to a test, to a procedure, to being patient, to staying calm, to overcoming fear, to trusting in God’s providence.  I did not think I was a stranger to difficult situations, but this was different.  It was my husband.  And I wanted him to recover and then get back to normal. 
At one point in the hospital, my husband didn't want to say yes to a test and procedure which might happen based on the test result.  I needed him to say yes and was having a hard time convincing him to do it.  I remember the nurse looking at us in disbelief and me following her out to ask for more time before she called the doctor.  In the span of minutes, during which I prayed with all I had, my husband changed his mind.  Thank God.  That test and the procedure were necessary and life-saving.  The yes led us to hoping back to normal would come quickly.
But before we could get to normal, there were a few medical things to deal with such as changing his toe dressing and hooking up his IV antibiotic infusion.  I am not a nurse; I don’t like feet; but I love my husband so I said yes.  None of it was as bad as I thought it would be.  The toe was like a very bad cut, once I got past the pins sticking out.  The IV, well, it was like programming a phone, as long as I concentrated, I was fine.  To help the healing, John went for hyperbaric treatments for a month.  Monday-Friday he spent two hours a day breathing pure oxygen and healing from the inside out. 
Recovery is a process and we waited for each new YES from the doctors that told us John was getting better.  Yes to driving, yes to going back to work, yes to removing the IV, yes to taking the pins out, yes to wearing shoes again.  We are still waiting for more yes-es and each day we hope and pray for continued healing.  When I am asked how John is feeling, I say “ok”.  He certainly is not back to normal.

One day, while we were still changing toe dressings and connecting IVs my sister asked how things were going.  I sent her a picture of John with the message, “I just finished changing his toe dressing and re-connecting the IV and now I’m going to cook dinner”.  I’m not sure if she even read the message or just took one look at my poor husband and sent back, “Wow, you really meant it when you said in sickness and in health.”  Yes, I did.